Monday, September 22, 2008

Honeymoon Part II... New Zealand

I guess we had mentioned we were honeymooners when we booked the trip through TAUCK. They most of told all the hotels that they booked because we had plesant surprises like this at the hotels we went too.
The aquarium of Auckland that is underwater.

The War Museam of Auckland. It was amazing. I had heard about it but I had no idea. My family full of histroy buffs would have spent all day here. Islanders performing the Haka.
Lord of the Rings... everywhere we went in New Zealand seemed to be a Lord of the Rings film spot.
The Longland farms was a typical family farm of New Zealand. It was neat though to experience it firsthand. Cows and sheep are everywhere. It's really beautiful to see. There milk is really good--all natural. Their cows look different cause they are not on steroids. They are much smaller of coarse. Most of the world's milk comes from here. NZ is also known for their wool. Everyone goes crazy with buying wool sweaters in NZ cause it is so warm and pure wool. I just didnt like the look though. This particular farm thought we were able to roam the area. It is really beautiful--very green. They dont use ugly fences to pience off the land and pastures. Rather, they have beautiful thick hedges that segregate the pastures.

At the Sheep show at the Agrodome in the middle of no where but beauty.

Sheering the sheep. It was neat to learn about the different types of sheep and whool and what they are used for. He did this is less than 5 minutes time.

The Baths of Rotorua close to the gysers and mud baths.
Steaming gysers... so interesting to learn about. Mud mask good for the skin.
Mud pools out of the ground.

The islander that toured us around the gysers.

Mt. Cook is behind us. However, we were unlucky and couldnt see the peak because it was such a clowdy day. We weren't able to take the helocopter ride either that we had signed up for. Apparently, there are 13 peaks in the shape of a U that are all over 13,000 ft. Mt. Cook being the highest. This mt. is preep for Mt. Everest becuase of it's tough terrain. This national park is in the middle of no where really. We were just there for the afternoon before we headed to a small town that is driving distance to the Milford Sound.

I really do think the Milford Sound is the most beautiful place in the world. It is hard to explain but it's unreal. The drive is beauituful. Then we took this boat and were through it. What makes it a milford as opposed to a canyon is that the glacier moved it back in the day as opposed to water erroding its way thtough it. It is a lot like the Grand Canyong though. Tall sides yet with greenry on it. And the water is glacier runoff and crystal blue.

There were quite a few waterfalls running off the side as well.
The Nevis Bungy jump. 3rd highest in the world I believe. It was an 8 second freefall. Andrew was looking forward to this the entire trip.

He survived
We had to ride in a gondala to get out to the jump. (No I did not jump)
View of Queenstown from our balcony. It was a cute quant town. Basacially, it's a thrill town. College kids were here from the America. NZ doesnt have the liabilities that America does. It's every man for themself. There are hang gliding and all sorts of crazy things to do here. The jet boats are especially popular. They were so scary. The boat can go on 5 inches of water and it winds through rocks and goes right up next to them. They go 60+ mph and then do a 360 turn. I asked if they've had people die and they said yes but that their percentages were faily low. I'm not sure if I'd do that jet boat again. But I'm glad I can say I've done it.

This is a picture from the internet becuase I haven't scanned the one we bought yet but this is to get the idea...
We asked at the visitor center for a good walking trail. He told us it was about a two mile walk. He failed to tell us it was incredibly steep. It was well worth it though. Out last stop of our honeymoon was Christchurch...

The Canterbury museam was really interesting. They had an Antartica exhibit as well as historial things to the country. I love observing fine china. They had some amazing pieces here that were so intricate.
So beautiful!

They called this "punting in the park." It's basacially a gondala ride. All cozy...
The main church in Christchurch.
Neat to see the old tramways that stroll through town.

Honeymoon Part I... Australia

Australia's crest

Bondi Beach in Sydney

Baywatch at Bondi

We went to the Imax one night in Sydney to see the Great Barrier Reef "Down Under" where we had just been scuba diving a few days earlier
The IMAX was located on the neatest little harbor. Sydney is full of various Habors. This one had a neat night life and was fun to walk around.

This is the boat we went on for the "night cruise." It was a great way to see Sydney considering there are so many harbors. There was hardly anyone on the boat with us. The sunset was beautiful with the Sydney skyline in the view. We hiked this bridge. Surprisingly, it took 5 hours. They made us wear a harness and straped us to the bridge. We walked the upper part.

I thought mom would enjoy this. She loves old architecture. This is the old Treasury Lounge. It is now the Intercontinental Sydney where we stayed. The view from our room was unreal. We had a corner room that was all glass.
The Sydney Zoo wasn't my favorite activity especially after going to Africa. I think this giraffe is malnourished so he's small. The zoo is on it's own Island. We took the ferry to get to it. Notice the Sydney skyline in the back.

I love turtles. This is the biggest tortise shell ever found. It's from India.

I'm convienced that Australia has the best shopping in the world. It doesn't have overwhelming designers on its street corners. Rather it is all boutiques of unique clothing. Australia is very Americanized; however, it's very diverse with cultures. We must have walked 5+ miles this day in Melbourne going around and seeing the sites. Andrew was great with the map. He was a trooper letting me walk around here.

This is the Langham in the background where we stayed. We are on old tram car that strolled around the city as we ate. Apparently you have to have reservations a year in advance, but it was all set up through the company we booked through.
At the War Memorial Museam looking back on Melbourne. War Memorial for all soldiers.
Hot air ballooning at sunrise over the Outback.

Ayer's Rock. It was so neat to watch at sunset because it changed colors every minute.
Buying art in the Outback from Aborigenese people. It is hard to tell but it is quite intricate. We were able to buy it for much more cheaper than it would be in a galeria. I loved learning about the Aborigense. They have such an interesting culture. They were very mistreated like the Indians here in America.

People travel from all over to simply hike Ayers Rock. It is interesting that it is promoted as a form of commercialism (sp?). But when you get there they strongly discourage it and say that it offends the Aborginese because it is a sacred rock. There is a sign before the trail. People still do it, but everyone frowns upong then. I told Andrew I still wanted to hike it, and he wouldn't let me. He said it would be like climbing on Angel Moroni. ha! Ayers rock is indeed a loaner rock but there is the Ulura Rocks in the far distance. This is where we are in this pic. Ayer's rock gets all the publicity; however, this rock is far more sacred to the Aborigenese. There isn't given much information of what goes on with this rock except the process of boys becoming men at age 12 takes place in these. This trail we are on is the only place you can walk at the Uluras. There is a trail around Ayers but there isn't with this one. This pic doesn't do justice... we are weged in between two tall red rocks. It was so beautiful.
Camals at sunrise. The guy that took us taught us so much about the Outback. He is in love with camals. It was hard for me to hear him bash on horses. He is just passionate about his camals.
We were only in Caines for a night. We got to the hotel at about 9pm having traveled from the Outback. We had to leave out the next morning at 5. We had to stay here before we could fly out to get closer to the Hayman Island. We enjoyed walking around that night though. It is a very touristic town with vendors and the beach life.

Riding the boat out to the Hayman Island... I can't remember what island we flew into but it was the closest one to the Hayman. We walked off the plane and the boat was not even a half mile walk. The boat was pretty fast and the island was still a good hour away. We were by far the youngest couple on the boat. The captain walked up to Andrew and told him of this little door we could go through to get to the bow of the ship and it would be a neat view and exclusive. Some old man and a young girl (yes a couple) followed us out. They were totally cramping our style cause we wanted to be the only ones at the front of the ship. We didn't move from the bow and they gave us dirty looks. We recepricated. We ended up having to see them the entire weekend cause naturally they were going to the same island and it was so small we ran into them all the time. I don't get awkward very easily but it was every time I saw them.

So handsome!
This is the Hayman Island, a one resort island. All the workers live in dormatories back in the bush. Backpacking is a big thing for Aussi's. They usually take a couple years off after high school before university. Many come and work here on their backpacking route.
This is the view from our room. During the day it was low tide and the beach extended way out. We saw some crazy things when we walked out at low tide.
This is the view from our room when the tide was up. There was a huge diff. We could only sail and kayak in the morning or we'd get beached.
There was a great hike up the island to look out and see down into the place. It's low tide in the background.
Andrew loves specialty drinks.

This was the boat that took us out to the Great Barrier Reef. The Hayman Island is the cloesest island (for residents) to the Great Barieer Reef. We still had another hour boat ride to go to get to the reef. Those that leave straight from Caines have a few hours on boat just to get there.

This pic doesnt do justice but this is part of the reef. We haven't gotten our underwater camera developed yet but there should be some good pics on there. This is the pontoon that the boat hooks up to.Scuba diving! We weren't certified and they didn't give much training at all. When I got 20 ft. down I almost had an attack. I felt like I couldnt breath. It was amazing though. I took water in when I smiled becuase I was so happy to be holding Drew's hand under water swiming around seeing the colorful coral and fishes. Andrew loved the slide that was attached to the pontoon. A few times was fun enough for me, but he went on it about 20 times.