Arrived Manchester. Late drink in 'Home' and quick drink in 'Britons Protection'.29th Sept
Met Cath and Colin for brunch in 'Common' in North quarter of Manchester. Cath and I then went to gallery and nattered a lot! Shopping later – down jacket.
Dinner in Thai – good.
Drink in Britons Protection – good.
Wandered around Media City to Salford Quay and along canal – Blue Peter Garden, Lowry Museum, lunch.
Dinner Pizza Express, disappointing. Drink in Peverial of Peak, liked the pub.
Flight Manchester to Singapore. Good films, comfy seats, no sleep. 13 hours!!
Flight Manchester to Singapore. Good films, comfy seats, no sleep. 13 hours!!
Arrived Singapore am, bus to centre, then wandered around by museum before metro to China Town. Left bags in hotel and had some food in Chinese café. Checked in; out again in evening – ate in food hall – Roti chanai, yum, yum!
Enjoying metro system in Singapore (air conditioned). Late start so metro to Little India for brunch – Masala Dosa for me. The to Sky Gardens, wandered around before going into 2 domes. Wandered more, then up to sky walk at dusk as light and music show started. Amazing! Vertigo on and off.
Metro back to China town and food hall for soup and fried parcels.
Early flight from Singapore. Took taxi van to Ibis in Auckland.
Wandered around Auckland. First took a look in old cathedral by hotel while making use of hotel laundry. Then breakfast nearby while clothes drying. Next down to dock area, on to University area, Albert Domain Park and into attractive Parnell district. Myna birds and Australian Magpies in parks. Looked around new cathedral and St Mary’s church.
Back in Auckland Domain; Winter Gardens. Crashed before meeting Ted, Jackie, Linda and Josh for dinner.
Picked up van 'Crunchie'. And drove to Coromandel Peninsula. Stopped in Thames for shopping and again in Colville. Parked then walked on beach before cooking tea. Dark by 7.30pm, so tucked up and comfy sleep. Pukeke wandering around campsite and Californian Quail, House Sparrows. Seagull and Parakeet flying over. New Zealand Dotterel on beach.
Waikewan Bay, Coromandel. Walk to Matamataharekeke: Yellowhammer, California Quail, Pukeke, Fantail on campsite.
Lovely views, fern-y forest with frequent curry scent from we don't know what.
Kingfisher, fantail, mini lizards, Tui. Australian Harrier as had cup of tea.
Pm. Walk on beach, brief swim for me. Welcome Swallow, several New Zealand Dotterel including on nest site, several pairs of Variable Oyster Catchers and some gulls.
Waiau Falls. Shopping in Coromandel.
Drive through centre to Waitianga area. Stopped at Hot Water Beach and again at Habei and walked to Cathedral Cove - Shell Duck and young Dotterel on Cathedral Cove beach, red Billed Seagulls in Hot Water beach car park, Fantail on walk back from Cathedral Cove.
Coffee and ice cream in Habei. Drove down route 25 to Broken Hills Gold Mine campsite. Rained. Paradise Watched Kingfisher and Blackbird at campsite. Eastern Rosella and Harrier with prey by roadside. Clear overnight, fantastic stars.
Walked from campsite to Broken Hills mine – Collins Drive tunnel.
Drove to Turanga (oil terminal and long beach on edge of Bay of Plenty). Ice cream and coffee, then Black Swans on route to Lake Okareta. Mallards, NZ Scaup, Blue Duck, NZ Dabchick. Friendly parky with tips on where to see glow worms.
Checked out hot pool – stoners!! no good.
Waimangu Valley walk. At Waimanga Lake Rotomatana – Black Swans, heron, NZ Shoveller, Grey Duck, lots of male and female Fantails in trees.
Into Rotorura – steam in Kuira Park.
Blue Lake (Tikitapu), back to Okareta to camp. Night walk – glow-worms, and Opossum in tree.
Early quick swim in lake for me.
Off to Taupo Lake area. Haku waterfall – walked 7km each way. Big waterfall, lots of Tui, Fantails, Bellbirds on route. Coffee in Taupo, shopping in Turangi.
Late arrival at basic camp – Waikoto, in Tongariro National Park. Very wet and more to come.
Drove to Napier to escape bad weather, via waterfall.
After coffee stop, Taupo. Wandered around Napier town, Art Deco, coffee in Emporium then checked into Cories B&B; hot shower! Dinner in Emporium.
Morning in Napier – laundry, farmers market, shops.
Up coast to Waiboa and inland to Mokau Landing. Stopped at Tutica Wildlife Reserve/Lake Tutica, just north of Napier, for lunch.
Cold overnight, woke up to frozen door, ice on ground and heavy frost.
Walked to Nga Whanau A Ruapani Tarms. Mokau Falls by road above campsite. Bell birds, mallards and Paradise Shell Ducks by lake. Black Swans with signets on campsite.
Rain at lunch time, moved on back towards Rotorua. Stayed in Lake Okareta campsite. Sparrows in van!
Drove towards Waitomo, Stopped on route at Waikato river reserve, excellent path and swing bridge, walk and lunch. Lots of Fantails, Silver Eye, Quail.
Stayed in Top10 campsite at Waitomo.
Glow worm caves and Rukuri caves. Jim!!
Walked to natural bridge in Rukuri bush walk. Drove to and walked on black sand beach (dead seal).
Wakoto Falls, Piripiri caves, natural Bridge.
Pizza and chips in bar by campsite.
Otopeheke for ferry booking then drove to Raglan via coast road and Bridal Veil falls. Lunch in Raglan (surf town).
Ferry from Half Moon Bay Auckland to Waiheke Island after leaving 'Cruchie' with Spaceships in Auckland depo.
Met family at house (no 155).
Linda and Josh's Wedding.
Bruch with wedding guests then ice cream with Mel, and family day on the beach. Pizza madness for dinner!
Early start, ferry back and drive down North island to Wellington. Good Mountain vews.
Lunch stop in Cambridge, honey at farmers market. Cup of tea in Bulls.
Hotel in Wellington, drinks at Quay.
Early start to ferry, fantastic views on way in to S Island – Picton.
Shopping in Picton and booked kayaking, then off to Aussie Bay campsite. Walk to
Momonang, along coast; ice creams.
Walk towards the Grove after dinner – letter boxes! Mel and Andy drove past us on our way back, stopped for natter.
Sea kayaking from The Grove along Queen Charlotte Sound. Stop at beach, quick swim at end. Shags in trees and on rocks, starfish, Gannets diving.
Drove to Havelock for coffee/tea, then Nelson (big). On to St Arnot – lakeside campsite on Kerr Bay. Walk in woods, lovely views, eel by pontoon, lots of sand flies.
Walk tip at breakfast from local. Walked up Mont Robert route, zig zag to cairns, great views, but hot. Tom-Tit.
Drove to Murchison, with short stops on the way. Cup of tea and shopping in everything store in Murchison.
Coke in Berlins. Boullah River. West coast – breezy, no sand flies, hurrah!
Crafter Beach Top1- campsite in Westport; washing.
Short walk by lighthouse, chased by Weka in car park. After tea drove to seal coly bay for sunset. Gulls.
Beer in 'The Quarry' in Westport.
To seal colony in morning. Short walk, lots of seals, Black Backed Gulls.
Drove to Pancake rocks and blow holes. Met Mel and Andy. In time for high tide – lots of blowing!
White Fronted Terns.
On to Greyport – grey!
Then Hokakite – old buildings and craft shops.
To Okarito Community campsite. Short walk in woods, South Island NZ Robin. Rain overnight
Woke up to torrential rain, gave up on plans to kayak on Okarito lagoon.
Quick chat and cup of tea then on to Franz Joseph for breakfast (bowl of beans!).
Up to Fox Glacier for photos, rain slowing.
Quick stop in Haarst vistor centre before starting on Haarst Pass. Stopped at Roaring Billy and Thunder Creak waterfalls, then Blue Pools (grey!), short swing bridge.
On to Wanaka and stayed there in Top10 style campsite. Hawae on the way.
Breakfast in Wanaka, then on to Linds Pass – Clay Cliffs and Kettle Holes (Wairepo) – saw Stilts and Plovers at Kettle Holes. Noisy bullocks! 6K walk.
Through Omarama towards Mount Cook via Twizel. Photo stop, then back to Omarama and on to Oamaru, driving alongside NZ's largest reservoirs. Stopped to see Maori cave paintings, but mainly removed! Pidgeon's and starlings in rock face.
Beers and chips in new Brewery Tap on Omaru harbour, chatted with campsite owner.
Stayed in Top10.
Walked through Town Gardens (lovely) to old town. Wandered around Oamaru.
Coffee in 'Steam', lunch in the Criterion.
Drove to Marika to see boulders and then Yellow Eye Penguins (2), lots of seals, nesting gulls and shags.
Coffee in village bar. Then on to Yellow Eye Penguins reserve at Oamaru - one coming out of sea. Decided against visiting Small Blue Penguins, set up too zoo-like.
Beer in Criterion then back to Top10 campsite.
Farmers market and coffee in Oamaru. Then to Riverlands garden north of Oamaru -lots of ideas.
Timaru for coffee and art gallery/sculpture park. Scenic road 79 through Geraldine, Mayfield, Staveley – stopped for view of Rakaia Gorge then took gravel road to Lake Colleridge. Great mountain views.
Quick look at Arthur's Pass after Linden Lake, then on road to Christchurch. Straight grey, rain; boring end to trip!
Top10 near airport, take away fish and chips.
Fly to Singapore (10 hrs, sigh).
Hotel and a wander around quayside. Quick beer.
breakfast near Hong Kong Street, metro to Botanic Gardens – fantastic, but very hot. Metro to Little India for late lunch. Rain. Snooze in hotel. Back to airport for trip home.
Flight 13 hrs. Paris CDG – buses! Manchester. Earlier train than expected, home by 5pm.