Photos from Australia and New Zealand

Wellington NZ from cable car
Wellington NZ from the cable car

Back in Caledon after an amazing three weeks in Australia (Victoria State) and New Zealand (North Island). My photos are here and here.

Some suggestions for anyone planning a trip there:

  • If you can’t stay and/or travel with someone you know who lives there (always the best way to discover a new place), some of the B&Bs are amazing, and much better value than the hotels. 
  • What is called a hotel there is not always what North Americans call a hotel. A hotel can be anything from a 4-room roadside inn to a tower that includes both permanent resident and guest units.
  • Getting used to driving on the left side, and the many roundabouts (including two-lane, double-loop roundabouts) takes some time. And some mountain roads are more challenging (and less likely to have guardrails) than most North Americans are used to.
  • Most of the roads, even small rural roads with hills and sharp curves, are posted 100km/hr (60mph). Pay close attention to the suggested curve signs and passing (“overtaking”) signs and road markings.
  • Recommended accommodations North Island New Zealand:
    • Songbird Gardens, Pohangina Valley (North of Palmerston North, NZ) – a delightful cottage with a spectacular view (thanks to Pohangina Pete for the recommendation, and the wonderful hospitality)
    • Abseil Inn, Waitomo NZ
    • The Cove, Taupo NZ 
    • Oceanside, Mount Maunganui NZ
    • Best buy in the city, weekend special at CityLife Hotel, Wellington NZ
  • Recommended restaurants (remember I’m a vegetarian):
  • Artistically and environmentally notable places:
    • Bruno Torfs’ amazing sculptures at Sculpture Garden, Marysville, Victoria
    • The Surf Coast, especially around Lorne and Aireys Inlet, Victoria
    • Drive through the Black Spur temperate rainforest, Yarra Valley, Victoria
    • Te Papa, the Wellington NZ museum, which also has an extensive and growing online KnowledgeNet for learning about Maori culture
  • The world’s best white wines (I’ve always been a red wine drinker, but these whites have changed my mind):
    • Just about any (I tried 7, all excellent) of the NZ Sauvignon Blancs, especially those from the Marlborough Valley such as Nobilo’s veryinexpensive Drylands
    • Milawa Valley Australia’s Brown Brothers Dry Muscat, the best-smelling wine I’ve ever sniffed — should be a perfume
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3 Responses to Photos from Australia and New Zealand

  1. Very glad you enjoyed your trip!Welcome back home!Bye,Srinath

  2. robert says:

    Hey! I’m sad I missed you, I’ve been in Hawke’s Bay for three months now working the 2008 harvest. Anyway, I’m glad you liked the whites you tried. I find the best way to travel in this country or any other is couchsurfing ( You get to meet locals, who show you around! Also, there are many, many great hostels here in the NZed. Again, I’m glad you enjoyed your trip! (my photos:

  3. Rimu says:

    Yeah One Red Dog is pretty stunning.Did you spend much time in the south island? Particularly the northern and western parts of it…It’s a pity I was out of Wellington while you were passing through, it would have been interesting meeting you :)

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