A Travellerspoint blog

February 2019

Feb. 3 – BAY OF ISLANDS, NEW ZEALAND

MISTY, MOISTY MORNING

semi-overcast 72 °F

0082.JPG
Serenity anchored in the Bay of Islands, the first of our two ports in New Zealand. We took an early tender to the Waitangi pier, then a shuttle to Paihia, and here we boarded a ferry to cross the bay to again visit the small town of Russell.

0083.JPG
Last night’s rain was welcome here – they had had none since Christmas!

0084.JPG
Russell was the original capital of New Zealand – oh, good – a Sunday Craft Fair in the Town Hall!

0085.JPG
After a bit of shopping we strolled along the shore road.

0086.JPG
Then we attended the 10:30am service at Christ Anglican Church, the oldest church in New Zealand (1836).

0087.JPG88

0088.JPG
This is the Policeman’s home (one policeman?) -initially the Custom House in the late 1800’s.

0089.JPG
A Morton Bay Fig Tree was planted by the first collector of customs

0090.JPG
Those are some fish I never heard of!

0091.JPG
Time to return to the mothership for our late afternoon Sunday Worship Service

Posted by Swenigale 17:02 Archived in New Zealand

Feb. 4 – AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

LAST DAY OF THE FIRST SEGMENT

sunny 75 °F
View Serenity 10 on Swenigale's travel map.

0092.JPG

We are in Auckland for two full days and the weather is clear and beautiful – perfect for a long walk up the hills from the port to the charming suburb of Parnell.

0093.JPG

0094.JPG

We had heard of the pretty churches and boutique shops – absolutely needed to check them out. This is the Catholic church of St. John.

0095.JPG

0096.JPG

Colonial buildings have been restored and protected and new owners have put their stamp on them.

0097.JPG

Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral, consecrated in 2017 – all debts paid!

0098.JPG

0099.JPG

The Anglican Cathedral church of St. Mary’s, consecrated in 1888

0100.JPG

Yes, we had made it to the top – but now must go back down to the ship for the Super Bowl! Yea, Patriots!

0101.JPG

0102.JPG

Posing Hästa

0103.JPG

0104.JPG

Cute.

Posted by Swenigale 00:16 Archived in New Zealand

Feb. 5 – AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

SECOND SEGMENT OF THE WORLD CRUISE

sunny 80 °F

24cf0870-2993-11e9-8e5f-b1d1dfbf1316.jpg

Today begins Serenity’s “Down Under Discovery”.

0106.JPG

Auckland’s ferry service is quick and reliable. This morning we took a short ride across the water to Devonport.

0107.JPG

0108.JPG

0109.JPG

Leaving the town behind us, we followed a track that would bring us to the top (we hoped) of Mount Victoria, Devonport’s highest volcanic cone at 283 feet above sea level.

0110.JPG

0111.JPG

Hi!

0112.JPG

That’s it – that skinny footpath

0113.JPG

No hand rails!

0114.JPG

We’re up!

0115.JPG

We’ve shown this unique gun in the past – it’s Fort Victoria’s “Disappearing Gun”. It took 110 pounds of black powder to fire a 210 pound shell 5 miles. It was hidden in the pit for reloading.

0116.JPG

Hästa in place

0117.JPG

Stick ‘em up!

0118.JPG

Going down (the easy way this time!)

0119.JPG

Devonport’s waterfront is a favorite escape from the city for Aucklanders.

Posted by Swenigale 14:11 Archived in New Zealand

Feb. 8 & 9 - SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

sunny 90 °F

0120.JPG

Like last year, we anchored in Sydney Harbor, again during the Lunar Festival. This year is the Year of the Pig.

0121.JPG

When pigs fly 😊

0122.JPG

Saturday morning lights (thanks to our stateroom TV screen and the ship’s bow camera)

0123.JPG

Two ferry rides later we arrived at Cockatoo Island.

0124.JPG

The largest island in Sydney Harbor, this was home to Australia’s first Naval Dockyard for the Royal Australian Navy (1913-1921) and continued to support and build ships until it’s closure in 1991.

0125.JPG

The tents? Yeah, you can camp overnight here – they call it “Glamping” (Glamour Camping). Really?

0126.JPG

Slipways were used to build and launch ships

0127.JPG

In 1839, before ship-building began, Cockatoo Island was established as a new penal colony, home for the “worst of the worst”.

0128.JPG

The military guardhouse and barracks

0129.JPG

Here’s our location – the inner harbor side of beautiful Harbor Bridge.

0130.JPG

0131.JPG

Full-scale templates for the fabrication of steel ship components were laid out in huge warehouses. Oh, there is so much more I could tell you- if you are interested, look up Cockatoo Island- great stories.

0132.JPG

Dog-Leg Tunnel was used as an air raid shelter and storage area.

0133.JPG

The sandstone from the island was quarried for use in walls and buildings.

0134.JPG

Back on the mainland scattered raindrops caused a wedding couple to abandon their photo shoot and seek shelter

Posted by Swenigale 21:04 Archived in Australia

Feb. 11 & 12 – HOBART, TAZMANIA, AUSTRALIA

OUR OVERNIGHT VISIT

semi-overcast 70 °F
View Serenity 10 on Swenigale's travel map.

0135.JPG

We crossed some tumultuous seas before our calm arrival on Monday morning. Today in Hobart is a Wooden Boat holiday. Keep in mind – it’s summer here!

0136.JPG

0137.JPG

In a rental car with good friends, we headed off for a 1 ½ hour drive to the Tasman Peninsula -

0138.JPG

Stopping on the way to pick up some Australian meat pies and dessert (of course).

0139.JPG

Our destination was Port Arthur, a penal station established in 1830. Many countries were part of a global phenomenon of forced migration, punishment and reform, trying to deal with crime. This also provided free labor as countries established their colonies.

0140.JPG

The historical site is now a major tourist draw, with more than 30 buildings and ruins.

0141.JPG

Our guide’s information was full of interesting details – all of which I will tell you right now! Heh, heh 😊

0142.JPG

Thanks to the officers and wives and their meticulous journals of the day, much is known about people and events.

0143.JPG

Stories of individual prisoner’s lives have been preserved and are on display at the excellent interactive Visitors Center.

0144.JPG

The grounds now a days, also provide a place for a family outing.

0145.JPG

0146.JPG

From a boat tour we looked to the harbor – imaging it being seen by convicts as they sailed to their prison home. Transportation of convicts here ended in 1853.

0147.JPG

Back at our ship, on Tuesday morning we walked into Hobart Town with its impressive colonial buildings.

0148.JPG

The tower of St. David’s Anglican Cathedral
0149.JPG

The windows are beautiful! Most moving, however, was a plaque along a side wall – it is a tribute to Alec William Campbell “The Last Australian ANZAC*”, 1899-2002. And “to the memory of all who have served this country in the Armed Forces and Paid the Supreme Sacrifice. Lest We Forget”.

*Australian and New Zealand Army Corps

Posted by Swenigale 18:40 Archived in Australia

Feb. 14 – KANGAROO ISLAND, AUSTRALIA

semi-overcast 68 °F
View Serenity 10 on Swenigale's travel map.

0150.JPG

Yes, there be Kangaroos on Kangaroo Island! Here, just off the Southern coast of Australia, residents attach “roo” bars to the fronts of their vehicles because the kangaroos and wallabies are so numerous!

0151.JPG

b112ebf0-30b2-11e9-b074-25e67978719b.jpg

This guy was lucky, but we passed quite a few by the side of the road that weren’t quite so quick.

0153.JPG

K.I. is Australia’s third largest island and we drove to the absolute other end of where we were anchored (about 2 hours away).

0154.JPG

Flinders Chase National Park was our destination. It is one of many protected places on the island.

0155.JPG

“Remarkable Rocks” were formed 500 million years ago. The granite was exposed by erosion over hundreds of thousands of years and they are still being changed by exposure to the natural elements of wind, rain and salt from the relentless Southern Ocean.

0156.JPG

0157.JPG

0158.JPG

0159.JPG

0160.JPG

A short drive and a long walk away, still in Flinders Chase, is the approach to spectacular “Admiral’s Arch”.

0161.JPG

0162.JPG

Seals steal the show away from rock formations – this area is protected in order to provide fur seals a place to feed, breed, haul-out and rest.

0163.JPG

0164.JPG

Eager to explore!

0165.JPG

Back on board that evening, we saw that the crew had been busy decorating. Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

Posted by Swenigale 15:44 Archived in Australia

Feb. 15 – ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA

sunny 77 °F
View Serenity 10 on Swenigale's travel map.

0166.JPG

If we had known we would be returning to the Adelaide Zoo, maybe we would have taken out a membership!

0167.JPG

Animals never disappoint.

0168.JPG

The following are just a few of our many pictures: the Yellow-footed Rock-Wallaby,

0169.JPG

a Red Kangaroo,

0170.JPG

Patagonian Cavy,

0171.JPG

My favorites – the Meerkats, and there were many babies this time.

0172.JPG

Keeping watch

0173.JPG

Laughing Kookaburra

0174.JPG

Koalas, awake and munching their favorite food

0175.JPG

Photo-op, on our way to visit Adelaide’s Pandas……

0176.JPG

The real ones (Wang Wang, the male, is full after his morning of eating bamboo)

0177.JPG

Monster Pelican

0178.JPG

African lions resting in the shade

0179.JPG

Ring-tailed Lemur – we’re hoping to see many more of them when we get to Madagascar in a couple of weeks!

0180.JPG

Cotton-top Tamarin

0181.JPG

Treats (imported from the USA) for Ruth and Ed)

Posted by Swenigale 19:25 Archived in Australia

Feb. 18 – ALBANY, AUSTRALIA

sunny 72 °F
View Serenity 10 on Swenigale's travel map.

eac43080-3507-11e9-9970-bb1016d16622.JPG

Many different elements to our day – first stop in the morning – was at a memorial “Erected by comrades and the governments of Australia and New Zealand in memory of the members of the Australian Light Horse, the New Zealand Mounted Rifles, the Imperial Camel Corps and the Australian Flying Corps who lost their lives in Egypt, Palestine and Syria 1916-1918”.
The first Australian and New Zealand convoy left from Albany to fight in World War One on November 1, 1914.

0183.JPG

Next, a walk in the wild to view “The Gap”, a cliff formation – from a cantilevered platform!

0184.JPG

Vegetation here is similar to that in the Antarctic.

0185.JPG

Looking way, way down under our feet

0186.JPG

In the same area – an amazing Natural Bridge

0187.JPG

A short drive and a long walk later – we hoped to see Blowholes if the sea was right

0188.JPG

0189.JPG

It was tricky walking – and no sightings today, but we sure heard the blows!

0190.JPG

Another stop: The Whaling Museum. Whaling stopped here in 1978 – the museum is very well done, describing the hunt and eventual processing here of every bit of the whale.

0191.JPG

Ahoy!

0192.JPG

The whales were winched ashore on these rocks.

0193.JPG

In an animal park nearby – a cuddly Koala …..

0194.JPG

An Albino Wallaby…….

0195.JPG

And a Bush-Stone-curlew

0196.JPG

Our final stop – the beautiful white sands and walking trail of Middleton Beach. It was a wonderful day spent with good friends and amazing sights!

Posted by Swenigale 03:54 Archived in Australia

Feb. 19 – BUSSELTON, AUSTRALIA

sunny 90 °F
View Serenity 10 on Swenigale's travel map.

0197.JPG

Here we are in the back of beyond, so to speak! Almost the very southwest tip of Australia in the Margaret River region. The little train is a symbol of the town – it runs along their mile-long wooden pier, the famous Busselton Jetty.

0198.JPG

Farther south along the coast are numerous caves that are open to the public. We walked down many, many steps

0199.JPG

More down (remember – what goes down….)

0200.JPG

Our young guide was passionate

0201.JPG

In the Lake Cave is a very, very slow-moving river that eventually empties into the ocean.

0202.JPG

Crystal “straws” – the hollow beginnings of stalactites

0203.JPG

Columns formed eons ago and the rock beneath eventually broke up and drifted away – leaving them “floating” in air!

0204.JPG

The Lake Dragon 😊

0205.JPG

These formations are “shawls”.

0206.JPG

Magical, yes?

0207.JPG

0208.JPG

0209.JPG

Nearing the top (puff, puff) and the magnificent Karri trees

0210.JPG

Nearby a drive in the Karri forest

0211.JPG

The Margaret River region is famous for its wines, but look what else we found!

Posted by Swenigale 03:26 Archived in Australia

Feb. 20 – FREEMANTLE/PERTH, AUSTRALIA

sunny 90 °F
View Serenity 10 on Swenigale's travel map.

37977e40-3813-11e9-9285-dfe17da0e690.jpg

We’re taking our time posting about our final port in Australia since we have seven consecutive sea days to cross the Indian Ocean! This final port was also the first in the 3rd segment on the World Cruise.

0213.JPG

Ed and I both escorted tours in the afternoon which started by taking a ferry up the Swan River from the port city of Freemantle to Perth, the capital of Western Australia.

0214.JPG

0215.JPG

King’s Park in Perth is almost 1,000 acres of protected land and Botanical Gardens.

0216.JPG

It is also the site of the State War Memorial.

0217.JPG

0218.JPG

0219.JPG

0220.JPG

In the park gallery/gift shop we were introduced to the Gum Nut Babies – a series of children’s books by May Gibbs.

0221.JPG

Driving along the river through the affluent suburbs

0222.JPG

And back to Freemantle

0223.JPG

0224.JPG

Freemantle’s beautiful colonial buildings are well preserved.

Posted by Swenigale 01:02 Archived in Australia

(Entries 1 - 11 of 11) Page [1]