As a four-decade Certified Travel Agent, international airline employee, researcher, writer, teacher, and photographer, travel, whether for pleasure or business purposes, happens to be a significant with an integral component of my life. Some 400 trips to every single portion with the globe, through road, rail, sea, and air, entailed destinations both mundane and exotic. This article specializes in Australia, New Zealand, plus the Pacific.
The Sydney Opera House, sporting its sail-resembling roof and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, confirmed my arrival “down under” after another flight whose hour duration eclipsed two digits in number for the appropriately named Qantas Boeing 747-400 “Long Reach.”
Although a desire to reduce trip costs relegated me to some smaller hotel, that it was nevertheless well-located and appointed, with quaint decorations, a refrigerator, a smaller kitchen area, along with a private bath, facilitating grocery storage in the morning and Thai get for dinner, eaten at its very round table.
The country-continent’s sights were, however, canvased, with both walking and coach tours in a flawlessly-blue spring, which, within the southern hemisphere, meant October, and included Kings Cross, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Darling Harbour as well as its monorail, the Chinese Garden, the Queen Victoria Building shopping complex, the Sydney Aquarium, and The Rocks, a restored and preserved neighborhood whose buildings dated at the very least a century, but had since been changed into terrace houses, shops, galleries, craft centers, restaurants, and taverns.
Ferries plying the deep blue harbor required to Manly along with the area’s famed Bondi Beach, one among Sydney’s iconic, crescent-shaped, sweeping stretches of sand.
The prerequisite “cuddle a koala” occurred over a full-day tour, whose initial Wildlife Park stop, offered quintessential indigenous animal interactions, including people that enabled me to secure a kangaroo, nurse a wombat, pet a dingo, and walk one of the colorful birds, specially the parrots and cockatoos.
A tour continuation, which entailed a drive past Windsor and through the Hawksbury River, ultimately pinnacled inside an ascent up Bell Bird Hill for the spectacular view from Kurrajong Heights. The Great Dividing Range was later visible because coach passed canyon ridgetops and towering sandstone cliffs, before arriving in Katoomba, the leading town inside the Blue Mountains in New South Wales.
Lush vegetation, steep cliffs, eucalyptus forests, and silky, sun-glinted waterfalls blanketed the region.
The Three Sisters, a rare rock formation and one among the area’s most-visited geological formations, represented several sisters on the Katoomba tribe, who fell deeply in love with three brothers on the competing Nepean one. Since tribal law forbade them from engaged and getting married, the brothers chosen to capture the sisters, sparking a war between your two tribes. In order to protect the 3 sisters, a witch doctor cast a brief spell to them, transforming them into current rocks, using the intention of turning it well after the danger had passed. But, as they was killed over the war, the sisters remained of their present sedentary state for eternity.
The Scenic Skyway gondola, considered one of two mountain-ascending means, facilitated spectacular views from your summit, where its Skyway Revolving Restaurant served lunch, Devonshire teas, cakes, and pastries.
A second escorted tour taken these day-this time on the modern, double-deck bus-offered clues about Australia’s Washington, DC equivalent in Canberra. A drive through Mittagong, an urban area in New South Wales’ Southern Highland, a skirt of Berrima, and also a cross of Lake Burley Griffin resulted in the national capital. Its sights included a tour in the New Parliament, the National Gallery of Australia, the National Library, along with the Australian War Memorial, a drive after dark numerous embassies and diplomatic residences, and lastly a view in the top of Mount Ainsley, town’s highest point, which offered demonstrable evidence of its carefully-planned, presented, and structured configuration.
After its brief evening rush hour, the town itself remained virtually vacant.
Although New Zealand will be the second largest landmass within the South Pacific after Australia and so always stands in their shadow, perhaps it has to be the other way around, at the very least in terms of the company’s diverse offerings in that compact area.
Consisting of North, South, and Stewart Islands, aforementioned the smallest and frequently considered the “forgotten one,” it has a 3.5 million-strong population, 70 percent of whom live around the first from the three.
Initially settled through the native Pacific Maori people around 750 AD, it traces its first European exploration to Captain James Cook, whose sea voyages sparked interest by adventurers, traders, and settlers alike. While it is an English-speaking country today, it is always a mixture of cultures, particularly those with the Maori plus the Polynesians. Its main export products include dairy, meat, and wool.
Because of their location between two harbors, Auckland, its capital, is refereed to because the “City of Sails,” as well as Main, or Queen, Street gives a myriad of shops, businesses, arcades, and restaurants.
My first hotel, the Novotel Auckland, located within the intersection between Customs and Queens Streets, was touted as follows.
“Situated with a picturesque harbor, Novotel Auckland provides the perfect venue for business travelers, corporate functions, or family holidays. Auckland’s Waitemata Harbor uncovers with an abundance of water sports, bars, restaurants, and shops. This idyllic harbor location places guests inside heart from the city’s shopping and business district, and in close proximity to many of that popular entertainment spots and places of interest, turning it into the ideal venue within the City of Sails.”
It certainly supplied me having a hospital welcome. I was offered coffee upon arrival because my room had not been ready, although I had made the reservation for this only twenty minutes earlier on the airport. A dinner of lasagna with pine nuts inside the city-overlooking Vertigo Restaurant was particularly memorable.
Always avoiding the congestion and parking problems associated having a rental car in primary cities, I initially elected to tour Auckland around the hop-on/hop-off, double-decked Explorer Bus.
A ferry across Waitemata Harbor to historic Devonport had become the threshold with a peruse of that Victoria Road as well as its intersecting streets.
Pickup of a car rental-in this example, a Ford Falcon Futura-always signaled country coverage of your destination, because it did for me the next day. A 133-kilometer drive on State Highway 1 resulted in an intermediate stay in Hamilton, New Zealand’s fifth largest metropolitan area and center in the Waikato faming region. Located about the tree-line banks with the Waikato River, the location offered an assortment of art and culture venues, gardens, and shopping, and, to me, a comprehensive lunch at Valentine’s Seafood Buffet.