Photos – AU & NZ

I posted the pictures of the Australia/New Zealand trip on my Smugmug page at SMUGMUG:

  • a selection – at the bottom of that page (labeled AU & NZ)
  • all of them – broken down by location – under Travel -> Australia and New Zealand (note that “Travel” is a menu item at the top of the page).

Some last notes about the trip.  First some things we learned:

  • it isn’t so much driving on the left side of the road that is the problem. It’s more that the turn signal and windshield wipers are on different sides of the steering wheel. Every time I went to turn a corner I would turn on the windshield wipers by mistake. By the time I finally had that burned into my brain we were home and I’m now having the same problem in reverse.
  • at home we use a NAV app on my phone to help us get us around and it works fine. In New Zealand we used Google Maps and Apple Maps. Neither were very good with the freeways in Auckland (even after I finally remembered to turn off airplane mode). We started with Google Maps and for various reasons decided to use Apple Maps going from the Bay of Islands to the Auckland airport (the first leg of our trip back to Nanaimo). There are so few road choices in New Zealand; how much trouble can you get into. Apparently quite a bit. It’s likely lack of New Zealand local knowledge built into the routing algorithm but one starts to wonder if the app doesn’t have some sort of malicious intent – maybe a vendetta against people travelling in New Zealand. A 3 1/2 hour trip ended up being a 5 hour fiasco as Apple Maps took us through some of the windiest, narrowest back roads of New Zealand – no towns, no gas stations, nowhere to even stop for a pee break. We finally switched back to Google Maps and after a few more misadventures on the freeways, arrived at the airport just in time to get on the airplane.

A number of people made our trip more enjoyable – some who weren’t even there:

  • Barbara Trotter our travel agent (Vision Travel in Victoria) did a great job arranging  the cruise
  • one of the most amazing experiences was provided by cousin Doug at the Tetsuya’s restaurant in Sydney. We’ve never experienced anything like it. Unfortunately Doug and his partner were away and weren’t able to experience it with us.
  • Julie’s sister Marguerite and her husband Wayne paid for a wonderful meal at one of the wineries in the Marlborough wine area in NZ (they weren’t there either).
  • cousin Cherise was there (Tauranga) along with her husband Nelson to show us around and we had a wonderful evening with their daughters in Auckland.
  • Barry Raynor (a friend of Les Dickason’s) spent a day and a half showing us around Melbourne. Barry was a wonderful host and as a result our time in Melbourne was one of the highlights of our trip.
  • the nicest tour (which we arranged on our own) was in Burnie Tasmania with Robyn McCarthy (LINK). She was a lot of fun and provided a great experience.
  • we met a super-nice couple from North Carolina (Don and Judith Hillman) who made our time on the cruise very enjoyable.

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