Sydney, AustraliaSydney, Australia

Sydney – all about water…

On the way back to Australia we discovered a new feature in Qantas’ board entertainment system…the seat-to-seat chat. For sure we extensively used it and Iris convinced me, not to send any flirt messages randomly around the cabin as the system tells you the seat number of the sender

After getting started for our “adventure” with the Sydney bus system (if you ever have some spare time, I am happy to listen to whoever feels confident to explain it to me) we spent some time exploring The Rock (no movie, just the city area close to the Harbour Bridge) an it’s surroundings…

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Tongariro Crossing, New ZealandTongariro Crossing, New Zealand

North Island – in a rush…

What happens if you don’t really plan in advance? Sure, we all know…but it happens anyway We had not enough time to really fully explore the north island of New Zealand after spending most of the one month in the beautiful and spectacular south!

Boarding the ferry on the south island in Picton gives you some very nice views of the northern fjords…

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Milford Trek, New ZealandMilford Trek, New Zealand

Dry feet on Milford Track – “the finest walk in the world"

Kiwis (for those who don’t know yet, that’s how you call the locals here in New Zealand) tend to have the highest, finest, biggest, deepest, fastest, wettest, longest, steepest, … whatsoever. So we were not surprised to read about the Milford Track being described as “the finest walk in the world”. After walking it, we have to admit, this might be true

Let’s start with the beginning of the story in July this year. The Milford Track is one of New Zealand’s “Great Walks” where you have to book your mattress in the huts well in advance for the high season, as only 40 people (i.e. spaces in the huts, camping is not allowed) can walk the track each day and not only Kiwis want to walk it, but also lots of people from nearly everywhere. Especially for the Milford Track you need to make the booking more or less immediately when the booking for the season is opened, this year it was mid of July. Right, we have been at Galapagos Islands that time without internet access of course… So I asked HTM (= “high tech Mum” *smiley smiling*) to do the booking for us. And she really wanted to make sure that we get our hut passes, so she calculated the time difference and went with a glass of red wine (it was already late that day in Germany) to the computer. Unfortunately she was not the only one to do so, the server of the booking system was down / extremely slow due to the high demand and it took her much more than one hour (and more than one glass of wine) to complete the booking. Don’t ask who was sweating more – Mum when doing the booking or we when crossing the Mackinnon Pass

We left most of our things and our car in Te Anau (just had our sleping bags, some light weight, high nutrition food, a cooking set and a second set of cloths) and started the adventure…

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Oamaru, New ZealandOamaru, New Zealand

Penguins and “moving rocks” (NZ Eastcoast and Catlins)

Right, we are in the southern hemisphere and after spotting just only one penguin on the Galapagos islands, we went to Oamaru on the east coast of New Zealands south island to search for the smallest of all penguins (Blue Penguin) and an endangered species, the Yellow Eyed Penguins.

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The land of sheep, New ZealandThe land of sheep, New Zealand

New Zealand – the land of sheep (Christchurch to Mount Cook)

We started our Kiwi adventure in Christchurch, a city which is much nicer than we expected it to be!

We got our car (not from Hertz this time!) for the next month (wow!) – the journey begins…

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Melbourne, AustraliaMelbourne, Australia


After getting into the metropolitan area of Melbourne (wow, there are more streets and much more traffic than anywhere else we have been the last 3 weeks…*smiley winking*, we had some more fun with our friends from Hertz. Hertz Lady from Adelaide assured us: “You can drop off your car at any time in the evening or morning the next day before 9am”. So we went there at 8 pm, but Hertz was closed, the car park was closed with a huge metal door and there was no letter box to drop off the key. Never experienced this before!! Of course, there was no street parking for longer than 30 minutes. ALL other companies in the same street (Budget, Europcar, etc) had an after hour drop off point… We were not amused at all – just wanted to get rid of the car, as a) parking until after 7am in the morning is not available or only at high costs. All Hertz service phones had no office hours any more, so we got even less amused and phoned their 24-hour street emergency phone. They put us through to the Hertz airport office (still open) and Thorsten got to speak with the manager there who desperately needs some training in Customer Relations. End of story, we parked the car somewhere, got up early the next day to give the car back and definitely will not book Hertz again!!

After those initial problems we spend a cool evening with Harry and Cindy at a good pizza place and enjoyed our first big city evening for quite some time

Next morning, we went to the old Queen Victoria Market, where they sell lot’s of yummy stuff, even Weißwürste!

We saw some cool city life…

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Tower Hill, AustraliaTower Hill, Australia

Great Ocean Road: Adelaide to Melbourne

After only few hours of something you might call sleep in our JetStar plane, we arrived about some thousand kilometre further down south in Adelaide.

As many other towns in Australia, Adelaide looks nothing special to us…no really historic places/houses and everything nicely laid out in an ordered grid system of streets. So what to do here ? Easy: Shopping, Relaxing and BBQ

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Kakadu National Park, AustraliaKakadu National Park, Australia

All around Darwin: Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks

It has been a while since the last posting…but – other that expected – getting free internet in Australia and New Zealand is much more difficult than in South America…

After nearly one week throughout Queensland including Daintree National Park and another visit to the Great Barrier Reef it was time to switch locations again…and how do you do this best in a country where there’s thousands of kilometres between major cities? Right, simply take a plane from A to B – and be prepared, that people you will meet more in our local buses rather than in a plane will do the same: “Cheers mate!”

Apropos “mates”: We’re still travelling together with my dad Peter and my sister Kirsten

After some initial trouble getting an acceptable rental car – thanks to our “friends” from Hertz, which still haven’t been able to sort things out in their system – we easily found a nice hotel to stay.

Next morning it was time for our Northern Territory adventure: Well equipped with tips from Iris’ dad, we opted for an early start to the Kakadu National Park *yawn*

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Low Island, Great Barrier Reef, AustraliaLow Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Port Douglas: An old rainforest and sea turtles!

On the first day together with Kirsten and Peter we took it easy. First todo was relaxing at the 4 mile beach and trying to get a coconut down from the tree. Well, we haven’t been successful…

After that, we went to the Mossman Gorge, where we got a first impression what the Daintree National Park is like and Thorsten lost his sunglases in the river…

On the way back we found several mango trees with ready to eat mangos just lying next to them. Of course, the car stopped (I was driving) and all (except Thorsten who does not like them) were collecting like crazy. Yummy!! Thorsten got something else instead…

Continue reading Port Douglas: An old rainforest and sea turtles!