A Travellerspoint blog

Heading to Raro!!

overcast 11 °C

Hey everyone,

Sorry we have been poor blog keepers the past week but we have been super busy!! We spent a week in Australia splitting our time between Canberra & Sydney -- it was great to catch up with all those we saw in our short excursion. We are presently sitting in Auckland Airport waiting for our flight out to the Cook Islands for the next week and a half!!! We are both looking forward to some sun after the freezing cold weather & wind we have experienced as of late :)

No guarantees that we will be able to get internet while in the Cooks so if you don't hear from us for the next 12 days, don't worry -- we are alive & well on a beach somewhere. But don't feel too gyped, once home we will be uploading LOTS of pictures and all the blogs from June 2nd onwards....

Much Love,

Tom & Chrissy

Posted by tc2009 03:39 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Sydney

overcast 12 °C

Breakfast arrived on time and was much tastier than yesterday’s breakfast!! We met Anne & Glen in the lobby before heading off towards Sydney via the Coastal Route. The drive was almost about double that of the highway once you added in our various stops for looksies and lunch. Lunch was a fish and chip shop on the beach where we dined with a one eyed cat and an adorable dog on the other side of the fence. The fish & chips weren’t’ bad either.

Due to the fact that we were travelling BACK to Sydney after a long weekend, the traffic was horrendous and crawled along at points. By the time we made it to Anne’s daughter’s house (Danielle), it was dark. We played with Danielle’s new baby girl until dinner was ready. Mmmmm homemade food!!! Her chicken lasagna was delicious and although there was apparently a hot pepper in there somewhere, Chrissy’s love affair with Chiptole Peppers made it unnoticeable for either Tom or Chrissy. The sticky date pudding for dessert was also delicious.

But alas, the day had been long and it was time to get going to our hotel. We said goodbye and made arrangements to get in touch later tomorrow, we also got detailed instructions on how to get to the hotel as our GPS doesn’t work here unfortunately.
We made it relatively unharmed and while it seems an interesting area to be (and right next to the train tracks), it’s clean, quiet, and our room is quite nice. Chrissy was out cold before the door shut, having r dose of cold medicine leaving Tom to relax after a long day of driving.

Posted by tc2009 15:04 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Still Alive...

sunny 18 °C

Hey Everyone,

We have left the land of the long white cloud (AKA NZ) and we are now in Sydney after spending a couple days in Canberra. We will get around to updating before we leave for the Cook Islands, however until then enjoy the pictures we have posted and we will try to get more upson. Kangaroos pics to come!

Cheers,
Tom & Chrissy

Posted by tc2009 05:19 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Canberra - Day Two

rain 13 °C

After having the best sleep since Rotorua and an unimpressive breakfast, we headed off to pick up Anne & Glen. We even managed to catch up on the hockey playoffs and Glen gave us a crash course of the different versions of rugby. We headed back towards Parliament to explore it more in depth. Who would have thought that the giant flagpole atop the roof cost a cool two million and you couldn’t walk on the grass roof unless you were security. Have also been caught in the middle of a paparazzi war as Tom & Glen battled it out with their lenses.

After exploring the parliament (and witnessing a “…security breach…” in the form of an unattended stroller), we hit up the Big Three embassies conviently located next to each other. Canada, New Zealand, and Great Britain had the prime embassy locations and had some interesting details. Canada had the customery totem pole & French/English signs while New Zealand had a drive-up driveway and random carvings, and Great Britain was a fortress that nobody would ever be able to get into unless you spoke the secret password.

For lunch we hit up the foodcourt at the mall, which had surprisingly tasty selections! Chrissy is coming down with something however and was not in the least bit interested in the various food commodities. Tom finally settled on a knock-off of Burger King, which proved not as good as Burger King but still tasty.

After lunch, we decided to head to Tidbinbella Wildlife Reserve where we “hunted” down kangaroos and koalas. While we proved quite successful in locating groups of ‘roos, the koalas were more elusive and evaded our sight. After deliberating between turning left or right to get back to Canberra (it’s true: Canberra is a giant circle), we headed back to Glen’s house where we had Chinese takeaway (not take-out here). We rounded off the evening with a ‘…concrete mixer…’, which is a form of Cold Stone ice cream except it’s more of a custard than ice cream. Overall, it’s still quite delicious! Crawling into bed, we decided it as probably cheaper to get room service for breakfast than the café downstairs so before our eyes closed, we filled out our form and stuck it on the door.

Posted by tc2009 15:04 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Canberra

overcast 12 °C

As our shuttle was due at 7am, we woke up for 5.30 and were ready to go at 6.30. Making breakfast, we noticed that the two gentlemen joining us in the kitchen were still swigging back their beers and appeared to have been going since last night. This would be the hostel side of the hotel coming out. We lugged our bags out to the curb and waited. And waited. 7.15am and we are still waiting. Tom went to find out where the shuttle was and instead found out there was no booking for us at 7am. Great, our flight leaves at 9am, it takes 30minutes to get there and going at this rate, we are going to be the ones they have to hold the flight for as we race through security and jump over children/baggage/elderly passengers and arrive gasping for breathe at our gate and dirty looks from our fellow plane-mates.
This was not the case however disappointing it may be for all you readers, instead the front desk agent promptly called up a taxi who arrived in less than 5minutes and used his magic taxi driver skills to part the sea of traffic to ensure that we arrived with plenty of time to spare. We breezed thru security and made it to our gate just in time. There is even a rugby team on our flight that meant that Tom had to herd Chrissy onboard.

The flight to Sydney was boring and unfortunately all the movies are old and have been seen by both of us. On the flip side, the breakfast was good! To get into Sydney has changed since the last time Chrissy was here. Instead of the plane being fumigated inside and out, passengers are now subjected to something even worse: PAPERWORK. We filled out paperwork for customs, immigration, ministry of health, and passenger locator forms. When all is said and done, we both have developed a nasty bout of carpal tunnel.

After clearing customs/immigration/health authority, we picked up our rental car which seems bigger than the one we booked but apparently it is the size we booked so never fear, off we go! Chrissy is pysched to be driving again and before long, we were on the freeway (speed limit of 110!!!) and cruising our way up to Canberra.

The drive was long but soon we were in Canberra and at our hotel. After a quick clean up, we called up Anne & Glen, Chrissy’s host family from her previous Australia excursion, and after a happy reunion we headed towards the federal parliament. Glen was eager to play with his new camera so we became the models of the day. However, a wedding party was having their photos taken outside parliament and the bride seemed especially Bridezilla like. How could we tell? Well, the bridesmaids were all dressed in wild, wild west classy saloon girls while the bride was decked out in 2009 fashion. Ouch!

There wasn’t enough time to explore all of Parliament, so after a quick glance around (and being herded out by security) we decided to come back tomorrow to see more. We went for dinner at a steak house, which was delicious, and afterwards wandered about the city for a bit. Our wanderings took us past the statue of an “…interesting…” sheep statue and ended at a little café where we filled our little table with teapots, cups, cutlery, water glasses, and plates which were filled with super delicious cakes, pies, and puddings.

After dessert, we made our way back to the car and then on to Glen’s house were we chilled out for a bit before making our way back to the hotel. We collapsed into bed and were asleep before our head hit the pillow.

Posted by tc2009 15:03 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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