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Trip to New Zealnd, Australia and ponits north and west

Trip to New Zealnd, Australia and ponits north and west

Old May 5th, 2008, 09:00 PM
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cwn
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Trip to New Zealnd, Australia and ponits north and west

Well, the hotels and train rides for the first part of our big trip are booked except the air. I have reserved that, but am waiting till I can compare using FF points and a 2for1 with the Star Alliance RTW ticket. I used the online fare calculator and it seems to be the best deal, but can’t get a firm quote till June.

The board members have given us lots of ideas and helped us decide what we really wanted to see and do. We are not trekers/hikers (bad knees), but enjoy nice scenery, interesting sites, good food and wine.

I have a list of sites, places to eat etc from all the trip reports/suggestions so far. But i continue to add to it. This trip has been in the planning stage for months, but we are still open to suggestions.

USA
Sat, Jan 10-
Fly Houston IAH to San Francisco SFO.
United UA377, 7:40-9:51am, BC, 4:11hrs.
Fisherman’s Wharf Marriot, 1 night
Sun, Jan 11-San Francisco

Mon, Jan 12-
Fly San Francisco SFO to Auckland AKL
Air New Zealand NZ7, 7pm-5:10am +2 days, BC, 13:10hrs
Tues, Jan 13-cross international dateline

NEW ZEALAND - 8 Days
Wed, Jan 14-
Arrive Auckland AKL. 5:10am.
Fly Auckland AKL to Wellington WLG.
Air New Zealand NZ405, 7-8am, EC only,1hr
BellaVista,kingstudio,2nights
Hertz car rental,2 days
Explore city and drive to wine country
Thurs, Jan 15-Wellington

Fri, Jan 16-InterIsland Island am Ferry to Picton
Hertz carrental,6 days
Drive to Nelson
Cruise coast of AT Natl Park, explore the area
Bella Vista, king studio, 2 nights
Sat, Jan 17-Nelson

Sun, Jan 18-
Drive to Westport, 150m
Bella Vista, king studio, 1 night
Scenic driving

Mon, Jan 19-
Drive to Christchurch, 148m
Buena Vista, 3 nights, apt
Scenic driving,
Tues, Jan 20-Christchurch
City sites, peninsula drive, wine country?
Wed, Jan 21-Christchurch

AUSTRALIA - 28 Days
Thurs, Jan 22-
Fly Christchurch CHC to Sydney SYD.
Air NewZealand NZ783, 3:45-5:15pm, BC, 2:30hrs.
Quay West Suites, 2nights, harbor view 1bdrm
City sites
Fri, Jan 23-Sydney

Sat, Jan 24-
India Pacific to Perth, depart 2:55pm
Sun, Jan 25-India Pacific
Mon, Jan 26-India Pacific

Tues, Jan 27-
Arrive Perth 9:20 am, drive to Albany, 5+hrs
Hertz rental car, 9days
Cape Howe Cottages, Ward Room, 4 nights
coastal sites and R & R
Wed, Jan 28-Albany
Thurs, Jan 29-Albany
Fri, Jan 30-Albany

Sat, Jan 31-
Drive to Margaret River, 4+hrs
Wildwood Cottage Honeybee Cottage, 2 nights
Wine tasting
Sun, Feb 1-Margaret River

Mon, Feb 2-
Drive to Fremantle, 3+hrs
Harbor Village Apt, 3nights
Explore the area
Tues, Feb 3-Fremantle
Wed, Feb 4-Fremantle

Thurs, Feb 5-
Fly Perth PER to Darwin DAW.
Qantas792, 8:30am-12:35pm, 3:30hrs.
Saville Park Suites, 2 nights, harbor view apt
City sites, drive to L Natl park
Fri, Feb 6-Darwin

Sat, Feb 7-
The Ghan to Adelaide, depart 9am.
Sun, Feb 8-The Ghan

Mon, Feb 9-
Arrive Adelaide 1:10pm, Drive to Clara Valley, 2+hrs
Hertz rental car, 7 days
Skillogalee Winery Wren Cottage, 2 nights
Wine tasting, bike ride
Tues, Feb 10-Clara Valley

Wed, Feb 11-
Drive through Barrosa Valley and on to Oakbank in Adelaide Hills
Adelaide Hills Cottages Lavendar Fields, 4 nights
Explore the area, wine tasting, R&R
Thurs, Feb 12-Adelaide Hills
Fri, Feb 13-Adelaide Hills
Sat, Feb 14-Adelaide Hills

Sun, Feb 15-
Drive to Cape Jervis, 1 1/2hrs, leave car at car park.
Kangaroo Island Ferry to Kangaroo Island
The Lookout, cottage and tour package all inclusive, 2 nights
Mon, Feb 16- Kangaroo Island

Tues, Feb 17–
Ferry to Cape Jervis, Drive to Adelaide airport, 1 1/2hrs
SeaLink Ferry 10:30am-11:15am
Fly Adelaide ALD to Sydney SYD.
Qantas764, 4:50-7:15pm
Quay West Suites, 2 nights, Harbor view apt
More site seeing
Wed, Feb 19-Sydney

Thurs, Feb 19 to Fri, March 13-Cruise Sydney to Hong Kong, 24 days
With stops at some Pacific Islands, Japan and China
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Old May 5th, 2008, 10:03 PM
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Hi cwn -

Sounds like a good (and busy) trip. Would love to hear your impressions of Cape Howe cottages upon your return, as I have my eye on this place for our next visit.

Regarding the Abel Tasman cruise - are you referring to taking a scenic water taxi ride or perhaps kayaking? Just wanted you to be aware that Abel Tasman is about an hour's drive from Nelson, so you'll be backtracking when you drove from Nelson to Abel Tasman and back on the day of your cruise. Marahau, Kaiteriteri, Mouteka, Upper Mouture, Tasman and Mapua are all closer to Abel Tasman if the park is your main focus.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 10:07 PM
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You may already realize this, but Cape Howe cottages is located about halfway between Albany and Denmark. Lots to see in both areas - let me know if you need some ideas.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 05:42 AM
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Just be aware that Jan and Feb are the hottest months in Perth and Adelaide. You might experience numerous days over 40 C, which is hot to be driving around.

Also, note it's the "Clare" Valley, not Clara Valley.

John Fitz has a current trip report about Adelaide where he mentions a bit about the Adelaide Hills that might wish to read.

Also look at this website (click on "Regions" for Clare Valley, Adelaide Hills and Kangaroo Island):

http://www.southaustralia.com/

and this one may be of interest for wines:

http://www.winediva.com.au/regions/regions.asp
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Old May 6th, 2008, 09:33 AM
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cwn
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Melnq8-
Glad you chimed in- I love your trip reports. They have been so helpful in sorting out what we would really like to see.

I will be glad to post on Cape Howe, one or your post actually put me on to them. I hope it is as neat as it sounds. I know that it is in between the two towns. That was one of the appealing things since we want to spend several days in the area.

Any suggestion on what you really like-neat places to stop, food and wine ideas are welcome. I can no longer hike, we did that in another life and loved it, but short easy walks are all I can manage now, so we just look, eat and meet people, all the time having a good time.

Nelson area accomodations have been hard. We want to see the area and I did look at some of the other towns, but nothing really turned me on that wasn't way more than we wanted to spend.

Abel Tasman sounds like a beautiful area. There are a couple places that sound nice for a day trip/ picnic. We will not hike or go kayaking, but did read about the scenic water taxi ride. I also found a listing for a sailing day trip out of Nelson that sounded interesting. I need to work on this area more, but we are very flexible here.

speckles
Thanks for your comments-yes we know it will be hot, but the cruise we wanted to take leaves from Sydney on Feb 17 so that set our time. Heat is OK with us as it will be cold and wet at home.

I have copied to my trip file some of the things in John Fitz's report. It was very helpful.

The spelling was a... hmmm... mistake. Fortunately, I spelled it right when I wrote for reservations! We love the idea of the bike ride there.

Thanks for the web sites. We enjoy tasting new wines and exploring. I had not seen either. The first one is especially helpful.

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Old May 6th, 2008, 09:43 AM
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cwn
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Oh Melnq8,

Any suggestions on what you really like-neat places to stop, food and wine ideas are welcome. I can no longer hike, we did that in another life and loved it. Short easy walks are all I can manage now, so we just look, eat and meet people, all the time having a good time.

I do so love reading your trip reports.

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Old May 6th, 2008, 09:58 AM
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OK Melnq8, I just read the recent posts to the Adelaide thread. Wow, moving to Perth!

Now, I have will to go back and look up all the posts on Haigh's chocolates...I love See's. Unfortunately, it is sold at one of the stores I regularly shop in Houston! I knew I was going to love Australia!
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Old May 6th, 2008, 05:54 PM
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cwn -

It's always good to hear that someone actually made it through one of my loooong reports, let alone found it helpful.

Let's see, things to see and do in the Albany/Denmark area:

As you like sweets, suggest you pop into the Toffee Factory near Denmark, which I mentioned in one of my reports. Try the Lemon myrtle toffee - a flavor this yank was completely unfamiliar with.

Denmark is home to about 160 species of birds and there's a very nice park right in the center of town - good picnic spot.

You might be interested in taking the Scotsdale Tourist Drive (Denmark) which passes many wineries, art galleires, a cheese factory, an alpaca farm, etc. If you continue driving, you'll find Willam Bay, Greens Pool, Elephant Rocks and Madfish Bay. These are all easy to reach and involve very little walking. Gorgeous scenery.

Valley of the Giants between Walpole and Denmark is a must see - home to the Tree Top Walk, the Ancient Empire and all those incredible tingle trees. Fantastic (short walk involved).

We really enjoyed Porongurup (40 km from Albany), although it was on fire during our second visit (March 2007 - during a horrible heatwave I might add!) and we were unable to re-visit. I don't know how it was affected by the fire, but it's the world's oldest mountain range and has (or had) some fantastic giant Karri trees, loads of birds, family owned wineries, picnic areas, a few arts/crafts galleries and beautiful scenery. Most of the walks through here are on the longish side, but the area is well worth a visit regardless (parks pass requred)

Two People's Bay is another favorite and doesn't involve much walking to see - suggest you pop into the visitor's center there, maybe have a picnic lunch at their picnic table and then drive around to take in the gorgeous views. If it's not too hot, you might want to park above Little Beach, and take the short walk down to the beach for a picnic there instead (take hats, no trees, really exposed down there). On our first visit to Little Beach we saw a couple perched on a rock overlooking the sea (whale watching!) sipping wine from proper glasses - my first thought was 'how incredibly civilized' and I immediately fell in love with WA.

There's a sandalwood factory in Albany that you might find interesting, as well as the Wind Farm, which is very much worth a visit (short walk involved along the boardwalk).

We also liked Waychinicup National Park (particularly the inlet), but its a bit harder to get to and the roads are unsealed.

On your drive up to Margaret River from Denmark, you might want to make the detour to D'Entrecasteaux National Park (via Northcliffe)- we loved this area and it was a complete surprise. Great views from the lookouts with only short walks involved here and there.

So much to see and do - I hope you have a wonderful time.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 08:14 PM
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cwn
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Thanks Melnq8.

I just added your comments to my notes. I did enjoy reading your reports on both New Zealand and Australia.

You spend a night or two in Fremantle as I remember. Did you find any good places to eat?
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Old May 6th, 2008, 10:19 PM
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Fremantle -

We tried a couple of Indian restaurants - disappointed with both to the extent that I didn't even write down the names in my notes.

We really liked Little Creatures Brewery, and wish we'd eaten there.

I have it on good authority (Scottish neighbor) that there's a nice Fish and Chips place right on the water - I think it's near Little Creatures. Don't have the name though, sorry.

We had drinks at the Sail and Anchor on the balcony, overlooking the town of Freo - that was nice.

I also loved the Freo market, and wish I'd discovered it sooner - fabulous produce.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 11:01 PM
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A few more random thoughts that you might have already read about in some of my trip reports -

Nelson -

World of Wearable Arts Complex near the airport - fascinating place

Fossil Ridge Winery near (Richmond) Nelson - fab chardonnay

Waimea Estates near Nelson has a very nice cafe for lunch (you may need to book in advance, very popular)

The Grape Escape near Nelson - wines from three vineyards, shop with interesting locally made items

Flax is a very good restaurant on the Mapua wharf, between Abel Tasman and Nelson (might need to book)

You might consider catching a water taxi from Kaiteriteri Beach to Awaroa Lodge in Abel Tasman for lunch and a look about. You'll want to check the water taxi schedule in advance and perhaps book the day before - this can be done at a visitor's center or by calling yourself.

You might be interested in driving out the Cape Foulwind Seal Colony from Westport.

Waipara Valley (wine country) is about 40 minutes north of Christchurch - Pegasus Bay has a nice lunch menu.

There's a cheese factory and a winery on Banks Peninsula and several wineries and orchards around Christchurch.

Olio Bello in Margaret River has fantastic olive oil, tapenades and a nice outdoor cafe with some excellent pasta dishes (lunch and afternoon tea only I think).

Wills Domain near MR is a great place for lunch too - wonderful platters.

Eagle Vale is worth a stop - they had a very nice Shiraz as I recall.

Great kebabs at Kappadokia Turkish Kebabs in MR. They make a mean loaf of bread too.

Margaret River also has a farmer's market

Nice views of Albany from the top of Mt Clarence (a few steps to climb)

The Gap, Natural Bridge and the Salmon Holes in Torndirrup National Park south of Albany - some short walks involved - pretty area.

You can pick your own strawberries (in season) at a couple of farms near Albany

Now I'm hungry...

Oh yeah, don't forget the ice cream - available by the scoop at milk stores and dairies throughout NZ.
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Old May 7th, 2008, 04:35 PM
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Cwn,
Not sure if you ever got that OBI you were after in Japan the last time hopefully you are successful this time.
We seem to cross paths on our many adventures.

Carol
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Old May 7th, 2008, 09:49 PM
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cwn
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Hi Carol,

I thought those post were yours. Actually I think we were going on the same cruise a while back before you had your back? problem.

Glad you are back to traveling.

Yes, I got my Obi, in fact I got 4! Three from the Temple Market, two of them were wedding Obis and one for one of my girls. I also got a 1920's one from a neat little shop. Much to my delight I will get another chance in March! My other two daughters want one now(I kept 3 of them for my dinning table).

Your trip sounds nice. Have a good time!

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Old May 8th, 2008, 07:03 AM
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Hi cwn,
Glad to hear you got your OBI and more. I only have the one we bought when we were on the same cruise.
balexand - rogers.com
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Old May 9th, 2008, 12:35 AM
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melnq8

I always read your trip reports - you've seen much more of the country than I have. NZ as well.
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Old May 9th, 2008, 12:42 PM
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cwn
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Thanks again Melnq8 for all your great ideas. I have added everything to my notes on each location.

We are really looking forward to our trip. Thanks for everyone's help.

Any one have any special hints for Darwin?

Thanks again.
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Old May 9th, 2008, 03:06 PM
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Thank you Margo, that's good to hear!

I'm currently sitting in the United lounge at Changi Airport in Singapore, awaiting my flight to the US (you know you've got a long day ahead when you check in and receive FOUR boarding passes). I'm on my way to Colorado to visit family and I PROMISE, I won't write a trip report (maybe a a few hotel and restaurant reviews...on the proper forum of course).
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