Kay Creasy

Joined August 2016
  • Day31

    FAREWELL DINNER

    April 2, 2017 in Australia

    Friday night was our farewell dinner at the hotel when we said goodbye to our fellow passengers who we had spent the last three week touring New Zealand with and also Lyn and Len our tour director and bus driver who had capably looked after us and made our tour enjoyable.
    Most were catching flights home the next day, a few had organised to extend their holidays before heading home. Our flight to Perth was leaving at 10.50am for a 7 1/2hr direct flight where we were met by Michelle who took us to Annie's for the night before catching our flight to Geraldton Sunday evening.
    Photos
    Lyn Persson and Len Ready
    Fellow travellers at Dinner
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  • Day31

    AUCKLAND

    April 2, 2017 in Australia

    We had a free morning to look around Auckland a large city which has the name of City of Sails due to the number of sailing boats in the harbour, they say 1 in 4 own a sailing boat.
    We were taken by bus for a tour of the city, harbour and also taken to the Domain winter gardens before our choice of activity which was an 1 1/2hr sail on the harbour. There wasn't a lot wind so the engine had to be used for part of the trip, it was quite relaxing.
    We had travelled approximately 5600km on our tour of New Zealand.
    Photos
    Auckland
    Sailing boats Auckland Harbour
    Domain gardens
    Domain gardens
    Our sailing boat
    Sailing
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  • Day21

    CRUISING ON THE BAY OF ISLES

    March 23, 2017 in New Zealand

    We started the day with a cruise on the bay and it was a perfect day for it. We cruised out around the islands and found a pod of dolphins who were happy to put on a show, then went to the hole in the rock. The hole was big enough for the catamaran to go through and as it was such a calm day we were able to sail through it, we then went to Otehei bay where we were able to get off and walk up the hill and get some great views of the bays and islands.
    After returning to shore we again boarded the bus for the last leg of the tour to Auckland where we have 2 nights. Tomorrow afternoon we are taken on a city sight tour before going on a sailboat around the Auckland Harbour, then a farewell dinner tomorrow night before flying out Saturday morning.
    Photos
    Dolphin
    Hole in Rock
    Etehei Bay
    Etehei Bay
    Lighthouse and cottage
    Paihia from the bay
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  • Day19

    ON THE ROAD TO THE BAY OF ISLES

    March 21, 2017 in New Zealand

    Today was a long day of travelling from Rotorau to the Bay of Isles with only toilet breaks and a lunch stop. We by passed Auckland via the motorway as the traffic is much heavier than the South Island, there is also a big difference in population. The South Island has 1 million and the north Island 4 1/2 million. We were given a quick tour of the town where we are staying for 2 nights. It will be an early 7.15am start for our choice of options tomorrow as we are going to Cape Reinga the most northerly point of NZ.
    Wednesday- it was a long day but very enjoyable as we didn't get back until 6pm. We travelled 480 km and approx 100km of that was on the beach and stream.
    North of here is only a narrow peninsular with only one main road but the west coast is the 90 Mile beach which is also a dedicated road for tourist buses to travel on when the tide is out. The tide was out this morning so we travelled up the beach which is quite firm when they know where to drive, we also had to travel up a stream which was a bit more tricky as there wasn't much water in so the track softer. Along the way we stopped for those on board to go sand boarding down a steep dune which was quite interesting, the walk up was the hardest part.
    We had quite a walk to get to the light house at Cape Reinga which is the most northerly point on the Island, the Pacific Ocean and Tasman Sea also meet here. We came back to Paihia via the main central road stopping at a place where they do wood carvings with Kauri timber which is said to be 45,000 years old.
    Photos
    Driving along 90 mile beach
    Walking up the sand dune
    At the top
    Sand boarding down
    Cape Reigne lighthouse
    45,000 year old timber
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  • Day18

    ROTORUA

    March 20, 2017 in New Zealand

    Today has been all about volcanic and thermal. Rotarua is situated in a volcanic basin and is covered with collapsed craters, cold and boiling pools of mud, water and steaming fumaroles. We were taken by bus to see a variety thermal active areas. We saw a geyser which goes up at about 10am each day, they set it off by adding some washing powder into it and within a couple of minutes it goes up for a short time and then the pressure builds up again for the next day.
    Jan and I and another couple took a 40 minute helicopter flight over Mount Tarawera to view the spectacular craters and domes formed by the eruption in 1886 which was the largest eruption in NZ. We were supposed to have landed on it but due to it being too windy up there the pilot took us over one of the areas the we had walked in the morning which was good to see from the air.
    This evening we were taken to Tamaki Maori Village where they put on a dance, musical and cultural evening followed by a Hangi Feast.
    Photos
    Artists palette
    Domes formed after volcano
    Entrance to Tamaki Maori Villaga
    Geyser
    Geyser about to errupt
    Maori warriors arriving
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  • Day16

    WELLINGTON to NAPIER and ROTARUA

    March 18, 2017 in New Zealand

    We left Wellington this morning and headed north crossing through the Rimutaka Ranges which has some very high peaks. The countryside then levelled out to very picturesque hills and plains and very different to the South Island, most was nice and green with lots of cattle and sheep. As we got nearer to Hastings we saw where they grow a lot of fruit and vegetables. As soon as we got to Napier we had a High Tea (that was our lunch as we arrived at 2pm and hadn't had a lunch stop along the way) followed by a conducted walking tour of the Art Deco in the town. Napier was flattened by an earthquake in 1931 and what survived was almost burnt by a fire that followed. The town was rapidly rebuilt and was completed within 2 years. It used Art Deco features in the rebuilding of the town which the town is now recognised for.
    Today we travelled to Rotorua stopping at Taupo which is a centre of volcanic and geothermal activity. We saw three volcanoes in the distance at Taupo. We then went and saw the Huka Falls. It is not very spectacular as waterfall height wise but 200,000 litres plunge over the rocks every second or enough to fill 5 swimming pools every minute.
    Later this afternoon we are going to a farm for dinner about an hour away.
    Photos
    High tea
    Building that withstood the earthquake due to having been double concreted
    Lake Taupo
    3 volcanoes in the distance to the right
    Waterfall
    Rapids after the waterfall
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  • Day14

    BY FERRY TO WELLINGTON

    March 16, 2017 in New Zealand

    We left Blenheim around 10.00am yesterday for the half hour drive to Picton to board the ferry which left at 2.15pm for the 3 1/2 hr journey to Wellington. There is only the middle section which is Cook Strait that is likely to get rough but was quite calm yesterday. There are three interisland ferries and they are constantly on the go with several trips a day as they take a lot of trucks and freight across.
    I am having a quiet day at the hotel today as I have picked up a cold and have a soar throat and have just about lost my voice. We had a gastro bug go through quite a few on the bus between MT Cook and Queenstown and the three nights there seems to have stopped it, we fortunately missed out on that one.
    Jan has gone to Zealandia with some of the others as that was our choice of activities this morning. This is an echo attraction with local birds and animals. She said I didn't miss a lot, they did a lot of walking and was very dark trying to see animals or birds that they were supposed to be looking for. She enjoyed the ride on the cable car.
    Photos
    Interisland ferry
    Picton
    Entering Cook Strait
    Cook strait and Sound waters meet
    Cable Car Wellington
    Wellington from Cable Car
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  • Day13

    AT BLENHIEM

    March 15, 2017 in New Zealand

    Due to earthquake damage and landslides last November to the coastal highway between Christchurch and Blenhiem some of the road through the Kaikoura region which we were to have travelled were closed so we had to go via the inland route via Spring Junction and Murchison. This was a longer journey and the countryside much the same as the last few days and the weather was still drizzly.There was also a lot of roadworks along that road as it is now the main road south. It was also affected by the quake and is also being repaired and widened. As we got closer to Blenheim the country flattened out and was replaced with many vineyards and a number of wineries, this is the major wine growing area on the island. There is approx 2600 hectares planted to vines. The weather also fined up and Blenhiem is supposed to be the sunniest town on the island although they haven't had as much sunshine as expected this summer.
    Today was a nice sunny day and we had a free morning so had a walk around the town before going on a Greenshell mussel cruise in the afternoon at Marlborough Sound.
    We were taken by bus to Havelock where we boarded the catamaran and were taken out into the sound where they farm the mussels. It takes between 18 months and 2 years for the mussels to grow to the approx size of 10 cm ready to be harvested. We were given a sample of freshly steamed muscles and it is a the first time Jan and I had tasted them, we thought they were okay but nothing to rave about.
    Tomorrow afternoon we catch the ferry to Wellington, not sure what we do in the morning after we leave the hotel at 10.00am apart from travelling to Picton where the ferry leaves from.
    Photos
    Sheep dog in his cage under truck tray looking out
    Catamaran for mussel trip
    Lines of mussel
    Lines of mussel
    Boat carrying bags of harvested mussels
    Cooked mussels
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  • Day11

    BACK TO CHRISTCHURCH

    March 13, 2017 in New Zealand

    It was another day mainly travelling by bus and short stops along the way.
    The weather was still drizzly and low cloud cover this morning and no chance of any helicopter flights so we didn't see anything of the two glaciers. It was a lot of windy roads climbing along the alps until we got close to the west coast at Ross then to Hokitika. We then travelled a little further north before turning east crossing the Southern Alps again to Christchurch. We were to have taken the TranzAlpine train to travel through Arthur Pass and Porters Pass and the Canterbury Plains but due to the recent fire the train won't be running again until next month so we had to do the road trip instead.
    Four couples leave the tour here and the rest of us continue on to Blenheim tomorrow and I think we pick up some more passengers in Wellington for the rest of the tour.
    Photos
    Driftwood on the beach from the rivers
    Arthur Pass Village
    Views through Arthur Pass
    Railway Bridge Arthur Pass
    Rock Slide
    Rocky hillside
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  • Day10

    FRANZ JOSEF

    March 12, 2017 in New Zealand

    Today we left Queenstown to travel through the Kawarua Gorge and along the shores of lakes Wanaka and Hawea and crossed over Hasst Pass and into the Westland National Park then past Fox Glacier on to Franz Josef. The great weather we have been having changed to being overcast and light drizzle and some clouds cover on the mountains. We travelled up and down the mountains and along winding roads with hair pin bends and over many single lane bridges but all very interesting with much of it being rain forest. If the weather is suitable in the morning we can take a helicopter ride over Fox and Franz Josef glaciers but doesn't seem very likely at present.
    Photos
    View along the way
    Lake Hawea
    Landslide
    Rocks washed down from glaciers
    Gravel river beds
    Rain forest at Waiatoto
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