A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about boats

"A Pinch of Adrenalin and a Heap of Natural Beauty"

Wednesday 11th November 2015

sunny 18 °C

After a couple of busy days on Doubtful Sound we were happy to have a reasonably quiet day today. We had arranged to go on a speed boat trip up the Upper Waiau River which was advertised as "a pinch of adrenalin and a heap of natural beauty" which sounded just our cup of tea. We were picked up in a minibus from outside our accommodation. We found out that it was just going to be the two of us so we knew the whole trip would revolve around what we were wanting from it which is always nice. It was only a short drive to where the boat was waiting for us on Queens Beach, so named because the road to it was laid in anticipation of a visit by the Queen Mother. There was no need to get our feet wet as we could climb aboard while it was still on the trailer and it was launched once we were all comfortably seated.

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Mark our driver gave us a quick safety briefing and showed us how he would signal if we needed to hold on because he was going to put the boat into a spin. The river wasn't very deep but because of rocks and other debris in the water there was quite a lot of movement and a bit of white water. We were shown some of the local flora

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and Mark also pointed out a few of the locations on the river that Peter Jackson used for the filming of Lord of the Rings. We went up the river as far as the edge of Lake Manapouri that we had crossed yesterday on our way back from the Sound. It gave us a very different perspective on the Fiordland scenery.

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On our way back we did a couple more quite gentle spins which was good fun and Mark also stopped the boat for a while so we could look for trout. We saw quite a few and I was surprised as to how large they were, certainly more than a meal for one. Once we were back on dry land, we paid for the trip and were then taken back to our motel.

We had decided to gave a quiet afternoon and so we walked into town and got something to eat. We also packaged up some of the presents we had bought for family back home and posted them by air mail so that they should arrive in plenty of time for Christmas.

Posted by Gill's Travels 00:29 Archived in New Zealand Tagged boats rivers new_zealand te_anau Comments (0)

Our Much Awaited Arrival in Sydney

Thursday 27th August 2015

sunny 16 °C

Today we flew from Melbourne to Sydney and I met up with my cousin Carrie for the first time in over 20 years. We were up fairly early so that we could finish our packing and have time for a light breakfast before our taxi arrived at 8:30am in order to take us to the airport. The distance was only a few miles and so were arrived with plenty of time to spare. Check in seemed pretty straightforward and just as our research had indicated we were able to take our remaining few bottles of wine on the plane without any problem. We had a bit of time to read and relax before boarding, and although take off was delayed slightly, we made good time and arrived in Sydney at just after midday. I am not sure how Carrie had pulled this off but she had managed to get almost to the arrival gate to meet us. We had a hug and Nigel recorded the event on camera. We then made our way to the station to get our Opal cards and get the train to Circular Quay near Sydney harbour. We were a little unsure as to exactly where our hotel was and in the event we probably should have got off one station earlier at Winyard, because the walk with all of our bags was a bit of an effort, even with Carrie's help. We checked in and went and had a look at our room. We had gone for a club room which guaranteed us a room on a high floor, so we were pleased to be up on level 33 with a great view of the buildings and streets of the CBD.

Once we had dropped off all of our stuff, we went back out with Carrie to have our first sight of the harbour area, including the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.

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Pictures of the area can be quite misleading in that the two often look further apart than they actually are. Once we had taken in our first views of these iconic landmarks we found a restaurant on the Quay and had some lunch and shared a bottle of wine. Once finished we carried on exploring the harbour area and agreed where we would meet up with Carrie in the morning.

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She also really helpfully pointed out lots of landmarks and made loads of suggestions of places to eat whilst we were in the city. By late afternoon Carrie really needed to get her train back home, and so after coming back to the hotel with us to get her things, we were sadly soon saying goodbye again. Once Carrie had gone we went back to our room and did some unpacking before going out to have a meal at a restaurant called City Extra down in the Quay that had been recommended to us by Carrie. We both had a variation on fish and chips, and the food was delicious. Once we had eaten we were pretty tired out so we made our way back to the hotel. I took a few more photographs of the nighttime view from our hotel before getting ready for an anticipated good nights sleep.

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Posted by Gill's Travels 06:33 Archived in Australia Tagged bridges buildings boats sydney australia Comments (0)

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