Thursday, April 26, 2012


Off into the sunset! Heading west across the Tasman Sea back to Syndey!


The Sea Princess rounded the southern tip of NZ in the night. In the morning, we were ready for Dusky and Doubtful Sound and finally Milford Sound before we headed into the sunset.
Everybody was heading to the waterfall. The ship above is the large Pacific Dawn.
It is dwarfed at the fjord wall.


The train station is the most impressive building in Dunedin. Only two trains per day and they are for tourists.
 Nicely detailed mosaic floor and theme appropriate windows.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


 Pohutukawa trees - I presume.
MrsWhiskers wrote on cruisecritic:
As a business owner, resident & member of the local business promotions I can tell you we have enjoyed hosting cruise ships ...
I am just back from a meeting where we were told that Akaroa was the #1 NZ destination for cruise passenger satisfaction. Really good to hear as a lot of effort went in by the locals.
There are at least 87 ships booked for the coming season so I hope we can keep up the good work.
 We were two large ships in every NZ port.

Akaroa's Animals

You may ot know this secret place, but Akaroa is a gem.  
We took a nature tour to see blue penguins. The one below is still moulting and therfore in one of the three hundred nests that the farming family has built in their valley. The sea lion above lounged on the rocky beach.
 Merino wool is happy to have a coat on this blistering day.
 The farmhouse

Monday, April 23, 2012

Views from above Wellington


Wellington is the capital of New Zealand. We were lucky that my cousin and her husband picked us up at the cruise ship. That's how we got to see the city and its surroundings without hanging out with 2000 other passengers.

At first, we went to the beautiful Old St.Paul Church, a masterpiece of woodwork.

Our next stop was the parliament, the new and the old part. The old part had to be retrofitted for earthquake resistance. What an expensive job to fit moving feet underneath! No worries! The building is not going to run off into the mountains or dive into the sea.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


 Nach dem schweren Erdbeben 1931 wurde Napier im Art Deco Stil wieder aufgebaut und hat sich so zu einem huebschen Staedtchen gemausert.
 Tourists flock to Napier becasue it is a pretty Art Deco town and because it is in a wine growing region.
During the earthquake, the ground rose 2 m which gave Napier a whole new waterfront.

 This stylish group came with a band playing music of the thirties!

Saturday, April 21, 2012


 Maori Dance Group
 Tree Ferns
Hot Springs


 The Sea Princess docked downtown, right next to the busy ferry terminal.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Bay of Islands

Our first stop, the Bay of Islands was shrouded in clouds and sheets of rain.


It's time to say farewell to Sydney. We'll  be back in no time.
The Sea Princess is docked close to Darling Harbor.
Embarkation runs smoothly. At the sailaway party, I win $ 50 for the onboard boutique. Way to go mama! Sea Princess barely fits underneath the Harbor Bridge.

The ship you see above is one of the famous Costa Line. We are underneath the bridge and will now pass the opera house.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Flying Foxes

Flying foxes are fruit bats. They have colonized a corner of Sydney's botanical garden to the dismay of the arborists. The camp is so large that it threatens the survival of the trees. These are cute furry animals wearing large leather coats - of course not, I am just kidding. They wrap their wings around themselves when resting. Their bodies are covered in reddish-brown fur.
Check out this really good youtube video of the flying foxes in the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney.

Sydney's Wildlife

Lorikeets, cockatoos, flying foxes, ibis, eels, just some of the wildlife in Sydney's parks and the botanical garden which happens to be next to the CBD. Taronga zoo is across from the opera and offers more wildlife.

Let's have a look:


echidna and black-headed ibis


rainbow lorikeets

pelican, triple the size of the brown pelican in Florida

Monday, April 16, 2012

New Zealand - Circumnavigation of Australia - Red Center

G'day mates! No worries, the country may be down under and you lose a day going there, but everything works out just fine.
Sydney is a beautiful city at a wonderful harbour. It has sulphur-crested cockatoos, black-headed ibis, and flying foxes in its down-town botanical garden. Its ferries are wired for internet, the streets are squeaky clean, brekki is served with genuine Italian espresso and top notch green tea, children go to kindi and you can watch footy on tv.

Enjoy the photos!
 Harbor Bridge
It's not us up there!

 CBD = Central Business District,
what's known as downtown in the USA
As you can see, Sydney has palm trees! We had gorgeous weather when we were there, but it rained cats and dogs while we visited other places down under.