Sunday, December 29, 2013

Travel Bug Part IV

The Highlight of Our Travels in 2013 has to be Our Adventure Down Under!

We spent 19 days exploring some of Australia and New Zealand, 13 days aboard the
Celebrity Solstice Cruise ship, traveling with our friends, Cara, Andy, Nancee and Marc.

Except for the very long flights (a grueling 14 1/2 hours in coach) from and back to LA, 
the trip was fantastic! 
We spent 3 days exploring Sydney prior to boarding the cruise ship, touring the city sights, which of course, included the iconic Sydney Opera House 
and a harbor cruise around the Sydney Harbor.  
Nick, Nancee and Marc "climbed" the famous Sydney Harbor Bridge! (It's way too high above the harbor waters for me!)

Sydney is a beautiful city, an easy city to walk around,
with lots of pubs, cafes, water fountains, and shopping malls all over downtown.
Due to the Bush Fires near and in the Blue Mountains, however, we weren't able to see any of the Outback of Australia. We also toured the beautiful capital city of Melbourne, pronounced "Melbun," and visited the Melbourne Zoo. 

We sailed through the Milford and Doubtful Sounds of New Zealand, with breathtaking views of the  fjords and many waterfalls, despite the heavy fog and some rain.
We visited 5 ports of call in New Zealand where we took excursions to see much more of the country.
 We visited the Lanark Castle, toured the Speight's Brewery and tasted the local brew, visited a Sheep Farm and watched a herding dog named, Jack bring the sheep herd down the mountainside where the sheep were grazing, watched a sheep shearing demo, took a Jet Boat Ride, saw Kiwi farms, walked the mud trail at Hell's Gate Mineral Hot Springs and Mud Pools, and took a wine tour of 3 NZ Wineries.

The scenery was spectacular, especially in New Zealand, where 
all the hills and valleys were covered with greenery and sheep. We enjoyed this beautiful country so much and would love to return someday.
Both the Aussies and Kiwis are such welcoming, friendly people, always willing to 
chat with us or give directions on occasion to sometimes lost American tourists!

Pictures tell the story better than words, so hop on over to my flickr page to see many of the sights we saw!!

1 comment:

Janet Robertson said...

We did this trip but all to climb Ayers Rock and see Alice springs which was amazing......hope you saw Robertson beach in Sydney! Only saw north island in NZ.....Can't wait to go,back!