Australia and New Zealand Concluding Thoughts

Usually, I post my concluding thoughts in my daily wrap up.  With so many days/destinations in Australia and New Zealand, those wrap ups were plenty long enough as is.  So I broke my concluding thoughts on each country out here.

New Zealand Concluding Thoughts

We loved New Zealand.  We went to a lot of places and did a lot of things on this trip, but – if you made us pick a favorite spot – it would probably be New Zealand and especially the South Island.  It is probably not fair considering we spent 18 days in New Zealand and much less in most other places…But, oh well, that is our answer.

Everywhere we went was very safe.  We caught some of the local news shows, and rarely was there any crime to report.  The people were very friendly and helpful on top of that.

The entire country was very beautiful, with a variety of landscapes.  There was also a wide variety of things to do at all potential price points.

Continue reading

Great Ocean Road and South Australia Wrap Up

The scope of this portion of the trip evolved greatly over the course of planning for the trip.  At first, it was nothing…maybe a day trip on the Great Ocean Road from Melbourne.  Then it was drive the Great Ocean Road in a day to Adelaide and do day trips from there to Kangaroo Island and the Barossa Valley.  It didn’t take me too long to figure out that was a horrible idea.

The final itinerary ended up at 7 nights, and I’m glad it did.  This was one of my favorite portions of the trip (especially South Australia).  Alyce really liked it too, though it may have lost a point or two in her book for being more rustic.


The Great Ocean Road (“GOR”) is a 150 mile coastal highway commissioned by Australia to put soldiers returning from World War I to work.  It is also the world’s largest war memorial, being dedicated to soldiers that passed in WWI.

Continue reading

Melbourne, Australia Wrap Up

Oh, hello again Australia.  We’re very exci……Let’s be honest.  At this point of the trip, all of the traveling was starting to wear on us a little bit – some more than others.

We loved New Zealand and were sad to leave.  Just about everywhere else we went we were going someplace completely new, so you weren’t sad to leave because you had something new and exciting to look forward to.  Not here, we were back to Australia…Not to say we didn’t enjoy Australia the first go around – we loved it too.  I think we had just hit a travel lull.

Still, the show must go on.  Melbourne is the second largest city in Australia (4.25 Million people) and is the capital of the state of Victoria.  It was the biggest/most prominent city for most of Australia’s history, but only in the last 40-50 years has Sydney surpassed it.

The cities are similar in many ways, though I think Melbourne has a more “hip” vibe (for lack of a better term).  Melbourne also lacks the iconic landmarks that Sydney possesses.  Basically, Melbourne plays a Chicago or San Francisco to Sydney’s New York.

Continue reading

Sydney Wrap Up

Well…We’ve been home for about 2.5 months, and I’m finally getting around to finishing up my “wrap ups.”  As one might imagine, taking 3 months off tends to put you behind the 8 ball at work, so – needless to say – I’ve been pretty busy in that regard.

Fortunately, I kept good notes and have Alyce’s blog posts to look back on.  Plus, I have a decent memory, so I should be able to recap things almost as well as if I had wrote this while we still on the trip.  On to Sydney…

Sydney is the largest city in Australia; its metropolitan area population (4.7 Million) would put it between Detroit and Seattle in the US.  So it is a big city, but not huge.  The city was pretty clean—maybe slightly less so than some of the Asian cities, but still very clean.  I also found Sydney to be very safe, as was the case with most of the places we visited.

Sydney’s downtown – at least from a tourism perspective – is located around a little cove off of Sydney Harbor call Circular Quay.  A quick note: Quay is pronounced as “key” (like you lock/unlock things with)…something we did not figure out until our last day in Sydney.

DSC_3262 Continue reading

The Great Ocean Road and South Australia In Pictures

Here are the pictures from the Great Ocean Road and South Australia portion of the trip.  I put a bunch in this post – probably too many.  So, this post may be slow to load.  The link to all the pictures in full size is below:!i=2413731568&k=CBxDDpJ


Continue reading

Australia and New Zealand Wrap Up

I’m working on getting some of my wrap ups done and will probably have more time in the coming days, but – until then – here are some thoughts from the second portion of our trip.

Trip Itinerary (click to enlarge)

Trip Itinerary (click to enlarge)

Arriving in Australia was great (outside of the fact that we felt like we had been run over by a truck).  Being able to have conversations with everyone around you for the first time in nearly a month was a very welcome return to normalcy.  Being able to look at a menu without being confused at all was another welcomed change…Outside of the fact that Aussies call appetizers “entrees” and entrees “mains.”

Continue reading

Melbourne, Australia In Pictures

Sorry for my absence posting lately…Between all the driving, managing the pictures, and keeping up with the planning – I’ve fallen behind.

Here are the pictures from Melbourne.  There are not that many, as we were only there for 3 days and did not take a whole lot of pictures.  I’ll try to upload some below; I know there have been some problems with opening up pictures on the site.  I’m not really sure why that is, but I’ll try to look in to it.  Though as always, it is best to view the pictures on the smugmug site.  Here is the link:!i=2410186736&k=jCz2ZpM


Continue reading

Adios Australia!

Today was our last day in Australia.  We are sad but looking forward to seeing something new.  Tomorrow, we fly from Adelaide to Bali.  It is about a 5 hour flight, and we’ll get there around 3 pm.  It us, Bali signifies the beginning of the end of the big trip.  We both have mixed feelings about this.  I can’t wait to see my boys and my family, but I’ll miss all of these exotic and amazing places that we have seen.

For our last day in Australia, we left Kangaroo Island fairly early in order to catch the ferry.  We said goodbye to fatty who was waiting at the door for his last bit of grain and headed out.  We drove to another wine region called McLaren Vale.  Here, we visited two vineyards: Kay Brothers and Mollydooker.  Both of them were wonderful.
We did a tasting at Kay Brothers and a tour at Mollydooker.  Kay Brothers is an old vineyard, and they make some very highly regarded wines.  The man who was pouring the wine was extremely informative.  He gave us alot of history about the wines in Australia.  We also got to taste alot of great wine!
The tour at Mollydooker was excellent.  We walked through the vineyards, and he explained what made their wines different from other wines.  Apparently, “Mollydooker” is a term that refers to a left-handed person (similar to “southpaw” in the US).  The two owners of the vineyard are both left-handed and that’s how they got the name!  The best part of this tour was that we got to see the harvested grapes being crushed and juiced.  We have never been to Napa during harvest, so we have never gotten to see this.
We also got to taste juice that was just being pressed.  Some of the other tastings came out of the giant tanks that hold the wine prior to bottling.  At the end of the tour/tasting, we were going to buy at least one bottle of wine.  But, they let us have (for free) the two bottles that they opened for the tasting.  There was another couple on the tour with us, but they said that they didn’t want it.  Crazy.
For our last night, we are staying in the Amande Bed and Breakfast.  It is not the creepy type of B&B where you sleep in an old lady’s son’s room.  We have our own little cottage separate from the main house.  Am I the only one that is creeped out by bed and breakfasts?
Our flight leaves Adelaide around 9 am tomorrow, so we’ve got an early day (the drive to Adelaide from McLaren Vale is about 45 min).  We are looking forward to seeing what Bali has to offer!
Two weeks left 🙂
Sorry for the lack of pictures. WiFi is not good (again).  I’m getting tired of that.  Hopefully, the rest of the trip will have great WiFi.  Hopefully……….!!
XOXO Alyce