Auckland New Zealand

auckland Viaduct Center

Although we have spent a fair amount of time on New Zealand’s North Island on previous trips, our only stop on the North Island this year was confined to Auckland. Auckland is the country’s largest city and commercial center. It was also the place from which our plane to San Francisco departed (which was the [Read more …]

Eating and Sleeping in Central Otago New Zealand


Central Otago Restaurants We ate at 3 different places while visiting the central otago area: Mt Difficulty where we had a two-dish lunch. Joyce had broiled Gurnard (a mild, flaky, white/greyish fish) with scallops, asparagus and Kalamata olive and tomato salsa was good, but not especially memorable. Tom fared much better with the wonderful griddled [Read more …]

Touring Central Otago

Kawara Gorge 02

Although we visited New Zealand’s Central Otago primarily for its wineries, we also took a little time to briefly explore some of the region’s sights. Some of the most dramatic sights are impossible to miss. Central Otago’s desert-like mountainous landscape is incredible. You are surrounded by tall, jagged mountains: some sheer rock and others forested. [Read more …]

Central Otago Wine Region


After our fabulous Milford Trek, we decided that we needed to get back to some wine tasting while we were in New Zealand. Central Otago was calling us…….. New Zealand’s Central Otago Wine Country Central Otago is the furthest south of any wine region in the world (45 degrees south). It has the coldest and [Read more …]

The Milford Track


The Milford Track on New Zealand’s South Island is one of the most beautiful, famous and accessible multi-day hikes in the world. The 3.5-day trek (plus an additional 1.5 days of travel and time exploring the incredible Milford Sound). While we had previously done some other hiking in New Zealand, taking part of this hike [Read more …]

Queenstown New Zealand (South Island)


After spending over 3 weeks in Sydney and 2 months in Australia, we were ready to move onto our next country….New Zealand. This is our third trip to New Zealand. We have toured many of the country’s primary cities, sights and of course, wine regions. We have partaken in many of the South Island’s primary [Read more …]

Exploring Sydney: Cremorne Point


Once again, Sydney’s ferry system too us to another coastal walk. The quiet residential suburb is nestled between Mossman Bay and a small harbor. It provides lovely views of the CBD skyline, the Opera and the bridge. The proposed plan to develop a large coal seam that was discovered under the city at one time [Read more …]

Exploring Sydney: Watsons Bay and Vaucluse

Macquarie Lighthouse

Thanks to the easy to use Sydney’s ferry system, we spent one of our days in Sydney focused on another rugged coastline—that of the South Head peninsula, of Watsons Bay and Vaucluse. Like the Manly coastline, it consists of a combination of steep oceanside cliffs, jagged rocky shorelines, inviting coves and sandy beaches. Watsons Bay [Read more …]

Exploring Sydney: Balmain


Balmain is another historic village near Sydne that dates from 1800. Many of today’s oldest buildings date from the 1840s and 50s, when the original owner of the peninsula sold it, and it was subdivided into lots that were developed as homes for workers. Larger, grander commercial and public buildings popped up along Darling Street [Read more …]

13 Toranga Zoo


An easy, 20-minute ferry ride in the Sydney Harbor brought us to Toranga Zoo, on the north end of the Harbor. This large, 2,500 animal zoo has a particular focus on indigenous Australian wildlife, although it also has a substantial collection of African and of some Asian animals. Animals are generally displayed in open environments [Read more …]