Part 2: Olga Fizzles, but Sydney Shines

Port Douglas is as pretty a harbor town as you could imagine. There are big parks at both ends of the main street, a beautiful marina just a couple blocks from downtown and multiple cozy coffee shops and bakeries. Lush foliage was planted everywhere. The shopkeepers were all friendly. It was so hot, nobody was […]

Our Trip Down Under, Part 1: Large Aircraft, High Humidity and Koalas

[Kathy decided to write up our trip, both to help us remember it better as the years go by, and to share the story with friends. With her permission, and in installments, here ’tis for all.] We left Seattle on a typically gray, damp day. The first flight was to L.A., where our good friends […]

Auckland Meet-Up

Thank You! to John, Dave and Jerry who joined me at the Symonds Street Starbucks. It was very nice to meet you all. I’m sorry there’s no group shot, but in addition to not all being there at the same time, my “camera person” had elected to sleep in that morning. And for the record, […]

Auckland, NZ

I was expecting not to be too impressed with Auckland. Not sure why, just didn’t expect to be.

Dinner in Hell

Today was a “day off”, so we shuttled into “downtown” Rotorua for some shopping and just general wandering around.

Ah, that sulfur smell…

I may never eat eggs again.

Rohan, Edoras and … a Corgi

The Lord of the Rings was filmed in several locations all over New Zealand. Even just flying into Queenstown on our arrival evoked images of many beautiful scenes from the movie. So, it only made sense that we would take a “Lord of the Rings” based tour while we were here.

6WD, Jet Boats and Trains

Happy Anniversary

Milford Sound – And Another First

I’ll explain that picture in a moment.

Queenstown, NZ

A Final Day in Sydney

Sydney Meet-Up

Blue Mountains

With the cancellation of the planed activities up in Port Douglas due to Cyclone Olga, we took our first formally organized tour – a bus tour up into the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. The weather threatened (again) but things turned out quite well.

Sydney and Aussie Day

Here’s a thousand words: Yep – I took that, and yes, that’s the view out of our hotel room. Actually it’s a small part of the view, since to the right is Circular Quay, and to the left the Sydney Harbor bridge. I did take a panoramic shot from the roof of the hotel. (Because […]

There’s Rain and then there’s

Monsoon Olga was a bust. Lots of warning, lots of cancellations (including most of our plans in Port Douglas), but then … nothing. Nada. Zip. Monday was a quiet, almost windless day. Hot and humid.

Best Laid Plans

As part of setting up this trip, I’d booked a few activities that were to take place today (Sunday, as I write this) and tomorrow. Note the words “were to take place”. It turns out that 30 years ago Kathy and I got married during “cyclone season”. How … interesting.

Bucket List item: check!

So when I started putting together an itinerary for this trip I asked Kathy if there was anything in particular she wanted to see or do or whatever. She had only one request: “I want to hold a Koala.”

The 33 Hour Day

Actually the title is a misnomer.

Weather, Weather, Weather