A Travellerspoint blog

Melbourne

What can we say about Melbourne. Everybody raves about the eateries, coffee shops and the shopping. Our experience? Well the coffee has been good, both hot and cold versions. The shopping has been fruitful, yes we did get a couple of banana's, milk & yoghurt. Deborah gave some bananas to a homeless person to help them out. And the food, when you can get it, has been good.
The downside has been trying to find a restaurant open on Sunday night near where we, and our Wagga friends, are staying. But the worst was the Japanese restaurant, Niku Niku, for our Saturday night's dinner where we were to meet some of our new Cruise buddies (coming in all the way from Blackburn), who were missing us. We booked for 8.30pm, arrived and we're told we needed to order immediately, as they were closing before 9pm. Not told this when we booked, and website and door times state 10pm close. So we upped chopsticks and headed down the road for a great meal at a Chinese restaurant named Red Cliff. We had a lovely fun filled evening with Michael & Julie.
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We took a walk earlier to Queen Victoria Markets, and found a shop where you can refill your wine bottle at a discount, a very ethical and wastage friendly idea. And then headed down to Woolies at QV Centre on Lonsdale Street.
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Lonsdale Street was buzzing.
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It is the Lonsdale St. Greek Festival, but it was all Greek to us. Literally.
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Another walk around on Sunday found Ian discovering even more libraries. The State Library of Victoria,
And a quaint 'Little Library' in a shopping centre, which is like a book exchange.
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We had a lovely lunch in Melbourne in a quaint little cafe in Royal Arcade. We then saw this lovely little shop, Hoot
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Of course, as we walked around Deborah did discover the Nespresso shop, and we popped in for a free sample or 2. She also hit the Pandora shop! Then it was time for a circle ride on the free tram.
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Now it's time for some dinner, prepared in our Inner City apartment, and a Glass or 2 of the best NZ wine.
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Posted by iandeborah 00:37 Comments (2)

The sounds- Dusky, Doubtful & Milford

We have New Zealanders on board who have tried to visit & see the Sounds who have never really seen them because of poor weather. As we cruised into the Sounds the clouds & the mist lifted & the Sun shone through.
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The previous night there had been a huge rainfall. So the many of the waterfalls were running. Magical experience is the only way we can describe it.
Here are some seals sunning themselves on the rocks.
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Two rocks named the hares ears
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We had a New Zealand expert on board providing background history & information about the fiords/sounds over the ship's PA. Even he was amazed with the weather.
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Our Captain Marek did a 360 degree turn in front of one of the largest waterfalls for the photographer's onboard to try and capture a rainbow in the falling water.
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Our second and last formal nights dinner was tonight. Here are our table buddies. Tian & John from London, Julie & Michael from Blackburn Melbourne & us.
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We sailed toward Melbourne with over 4 metre waves on occasions, we all looked like drunken sailors as we walked the corridors. But it didn't stop Deborah trying to channel her inner gambler.
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Here are our friends from Marylyn & Dave, from Wagga Wagga NSW, after winning a progressive trivia.
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To round out the night & the cruise Captain Marek again took the microphone & blasted out a few rock tunes. He was the most visual Captain we have ever seen on a ship. He and his team new how to float a boat.

We arrived in Melbourne today for the next 2 days. Scheduled to be home late Monday.
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Posted by iandeborah 21:01 Comments (1)

Dunedin delights - walking the art trail

Tuesday finds us in Dunedin, near the bottom of the south island.

We took the shuttle bus from Port Chalmers to central Dunedin and immediately Ian found the library.
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Our first stop was at The Kitchen Table a quaint spot where enjoyed a lovely coffee.
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We commenced the street art trail. Artists from all around the world have contributed
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The First Church on Otago
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All rounded out with a drink at The Craic, next to the Library.
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Heading back to the ship Ian discovered another library.
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Posted by iandeborah 18:56 Comments (0)

Akaroa kayaking wild life adventure

We arrived just before 7 am at this tendering port called Akaroa, New Zealand.
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A small sleepy little village that has only recently become a cruise ship destination since the Christchurch earthquake. After a short walk down town we had a refreshing ice cream. As usual Ian was able to persue his hobby of Library spotting.
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We hopped into our mini bus with 6 others. It was a scenic drive up a very steep mountain goat track into the next bay which is called Flea Bay. We geared up and paddled out in our 2 person sea kayaks into the bay. There is a colony of small penguins on the bay some of which we were very privileged to see on the rocks, in caves and swimming around us. The bay is also home to a nursery of sea lions. Just had some new pups which we also got to see play. It was a fantastic nature site. We spent a lovely afternoon with them. We thoroughly recommend it. It was one of those treasured experiences.
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Got up close & personal with one of the locals.
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This is one of the tiny penguin nesting boxes where the penguins hide out for a couple of weeks while they are moulting for a couple of weeks as they feel quite bare, naked & unprotected from other wild life.
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The school children have also made different penguin houses for the penguin. They are all individual.
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Tomorrow we wake up in Duneden.

Posted by iandeborah 14:08 Comments (0)

The Capital of New Zealand, Wellington

As we arrived.
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Look who we caught up with today. My Sister Caroline drove to meet us as we docked at Wellington.
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A big Happy Birthday message is sent to my Mum today, we hope you have a lovely day.
Monday 18th February.

A little bus ride into town, a tour of the Parliament, yes we saw the library. A ride up the funicular railway and then a lovely scenic walk through the Botanical Gardens.
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Finally, we had a quick walk over to Te Papa Tongarewa museum.
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We say farewell to Caroline for now.

Sail away was just before 6 pm.

Posted by iandeborah 12:47 Comments (0)

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