A Travellerspoint blog

New Zeland

We had a wonderful time in New Zealand, staying at a massively discounted 5 star hotel in the centre of Auckland, and managed to take in quite a few sights.

Early on we took a trip up the Sky Tower, which is apparently the tallest building in the southern hemisphere, where we had lunch and took some wonderful photos. We considered base jumping down, which is like bunji jumping, but as we'd just had lunch decided it probably wasn't a good idea.

We tried again to go swimming with dolphins. The seas were incredibly rough and everyone ended up being sick, one of the engines exploded, and we didn't even get to see any dolphins. Not the best way to spend $100, but we'll be trying again in Fiji.

Posted by roblist 19:23 Archived in New Zealand Comments (1)

Arrived in New Zealand

and birthday, Sydney and Brisbane in between

It's been a while since the last update, internet access where we've been has been really expensive.

We had a fantastic time in our hotel in Sydney, and spent a few days taking in sights like the opera house and Captain Cook's ship, the first ship from England to 'discover' Australia.

Unfortunately, when we visited an Air New Zealand shop to re-route our ticket out of Melbourne the price had doubled, so we ended up booking a flight from Melbourne back to Sydney with Virgin Blue this morning.

We managed to blag a free over night train ride down to Melbourne. Karma punished us by sitting us next to people who were sick, and then wouldn't stop talking about how they were sick.

In Melbourne we visited our Mecca, the street where they film Neighbours (photos to come), it's a lot smaller than you'd imagine. We got some photos outside Harold's house and some grass from Susan's lawn to sell on eBay when we get home.

Today's flights were okay, although the Virgin Blue was at 6am. Although a 'no frills' airline, the literature was keen to boast about their extras such as a 'pressurised cabin, for our comfort'. It's always disappointing when travelling on a Virgin train or plane that they don't name First and Economy class something a little more creative like promiscuous and prude.

The Air NZ flight was particularly crappy, carrying on their fine tradition. The check in lady, a failed stewardess by mine and Tabi's reckoning barked at us because we didn't have business class tickets, and the cabin crew seemed to resent everyone on the flight. The air conditioning above my seat was dripping, and the kid in front kept slamming his chair into my knees.

We've arrived in Auckland now, and into our pre booked hostel. Tabi doesn't like it much, so is on the PC next to me trying to find somewhere else.

I'm sure there's more news, but I've forgotten most of it.

Posted by roblist 22:58 Archived in Australia Comments (2)

Arrived in Sydney!

We had an all day train journey down the East coast yesterday from Port Mcquarie to Sydney, and finally got in to Sydney Central at about 10:30pm. Our hotel was a 15minute walk or so away which is very close considering we’ve been further out in much smaller towns.

We’re staying in a 4.5 star hotel for about 50p less than two hostel beds would have cost, thanks to a brilliant deal on lastminute.com. As we’ve just arrived, we’re still planning what to do for my birthday.

There’s probably more news that I meant to share with you all, but having just woken up, I’m too sleepy to remember any of it.

Posted by roblist 18:14 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Change of plans...

After finally getting through to the airline, we've decided to extend our stay from Sydney, where we were supposed to fly on to New Zealand, to Melbourne - mainly so we can visit the set of Neighbors. I spent 15 minutes crawling through the automated menus on the airline's telephone system until a car horn went off at a time I was supposed to speak and put the system into a mode where my only two choices were 'before the flight' and 'during the flight.' That's not the sort of question you want to answer without knowing the context, so I bailed out and called again. After a few more tries, we've managed to get the airline to agree that they can 'maybe' make the change.

We've been in Port Macquarie, which is a bit further south, for the past few days. Tomorrow we're off to Sydney for my birthday.

Speaking of presents, I had a very nice email the other day from a long time blog reader who lives in Chicago. He offered to take me out for a beer if we're heading that way. We're not, but it did get me thinking - this blog's had nearly 3000 individual visitors, how can I turn this traffic into a way to get free stuff? You’re probably reading this blog at work, in which case you’re being paid to read it, so if there was no blog, you wouldn’t get paid (work with me here), so you owe me.

I realise people might want to give free stuff to more needy causes, like starving children in Africa*, or helping save the environment – but I only worry about my own problems, I guess I’m lucky that way.

So – how can you avail yourself of this fine service? Well, I take Visa, Mastercard, Discovery and Diners Club (really, no kidding). Just click here to give – and remember, it’s better to give than receive, so keep in the forefront of your mind how selfless I’m being.

I'm banking on the fact that many of you are cheapskates, and will not donate a penny, but have some vague feeling that you'd like to help, if only there was a way for you to help that didn't cost you any money. Fear not. Next time you make a search on the web, instead of using Google, use this page instead, it's exactly the same as Google, except I get to keep some of the money. You could even tell your friends about that page to help further (if you're the typical blog reader as I imagine you, you can skip that bit).

Who said e-Commerce was dead.

Posted by roblist 20:17 Archived in Australia Comments (3)

Photos

There should have been lots more, but the heat out here destroys CDs pretty quickly. There's some more in the gallery here, but here are a few good ones:

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What should have been a relaxing walk suddenly turned more tense

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There are 14 rows of shelves with the people massacared by the Kamer Rouge arranged by age and gender

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Elephant trekking in Ko Chang

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Angkor Wat

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The forest is slowly reclaiming Angkor Thom

Posted by roblist 23:11 Comments (0)

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