Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Sydney Harbour Bridge

I'm hemorrhaging money in Australia; it's bloody expensive. $10 for a pint. They are charge £135 to do the bridge climb; too steep for me. So I visited the pylon exhibition (left forefront) instead. A bit more affordable at $11.


I caught the ferry over to Manly and wandered up to 66 Darley Road, where Mum, Dad and Andrew lived for a couple of years at the start if the 70's.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Museum of contemporary art

Looks like she could do with a bra.
I liked the sculptures made out of starfish.


The Long Room, SCG. Apparently the pavilion pre-dates Lord's by two years. Lord's is more impressive though.

Bit of graffiti in the away dressing room.

Black swans

The famous Australian black swan. You have to be careful with them, they can break a man's arm with their wings.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Dame Edna Farewell Tour

Went to see Dame Edna's farewell tour and it didn't disappoint. Sir Les Patterson held court in the first half and then Dame Edna reigned after the interval.
Sir Les repeatedly spat on a couple on the front row and then dragged them up on stage. It turns out (unbeknown to Sir Les [i think]) that it was the American Ambassador and his wife!

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Australia v Wales

First test at the SFS since 1998, and Wales must be wondering how they ended up on the wrong side of a white wash. Met up with Scotch Al (Matt Carver's old uni mate) for the game.
The Welsh were too spread out in the stadium to get any real singing going so it was a bit lacking in atmosphere. Turned out to be a one point game, Australia running out winners at 20-19. A welsh kick had struck the upright early on in the second half. On such things games are decided.

Friday, 22 June 2012


I'm staying just around the corner from the harbour bridge and the Opera house. Caught up with Jen and Liz who I met in Chile. Great to see them again. They were on form, unlike me, I'm still suffering from some kind of lurgie. Really annoying. I've no appetite and feel I little sick the whole time.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Off to Oz

After a great 3 weeks travelling around NZ in the camper van it's off to Australia for a bit of a sportathon.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Brave little soldier

15 hours sleep in the back of a chilly camper van seems to have the trick and I'm feeling a bit more on form today. Man flu on holiday is no fun.

Man flu

Woke up to a touch of man flu today; not good. Thought it best to start heading towards Christchurch. Will hopefully be back on form in the morning.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Milford Sound

Technically a fjord and not a sound as it was created by glacial rather than river erosion; but you all knew that. Stunning scenery regardless, if not quite the weather to match.

Ireland v All Blacks

Unable to get tickets to the game so we watch the game at the Canterbury Club. Almost as gutted for Ireland as I was about not getting tickets.

Hanmer Springs

Bevan and I have a road trip to Hanmer Springs. Afternoon at the hot springs and then the pub and a curry. Bevan snored like wounded buffalo all night.


Staying with Bevan (old work colleague from Lloyd's) and family just outside Christchurch. I'm given a tour of some of the earthquake damage. Depressing stuff. It's ripped the heart out off the city.

Sharplin falls

I didn't have enough time to climb Mt Somner so had to be content with a walk to Sharplin Falls.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Bealey Spur

Arthur's Pass through the Southern Alps had reopened after the recent snow fall. There was still plenty of the white stuff on the hills. I hiked up Bealey Spur to get a better view; sometimes walking through snow over a foot deep. Luckily someone had already trodden the path so I was able to step in their footprints. Super views.

Mt Robert

I fine looking mountain, and like me there was a bit of snow on the top. There were lots of rainbows on the route today, including one over the lake at the bottom of the mountain.
Initially I was walking through cloud so it felt like the Lake District. It brightened up for the descent, so I got a good view of the lake below.

Wine Country

Drive through the Marlborough wine region. Vineyard, after vineyard. Even recognised a couple of the names, such as Cloudy Bay pictured below.

To the South Island

I caught the ferry to the South Island. In the left of the picture you can see Wellington's rugby stadium, know as the Cake Tin.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Wellington pad

Had dinner with Greg and Jane (friends of James in Walberswick), watched the rugby. Great to have some home cooked New Zealand lamb. They have a super pad overlooking Wellington.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Rimutaka Forest

I went for a hike through the Rimutaka forest, just north of Wellington. I followed a track back but I don't think it was the one I was supposed to. Still I made it back ok.
I love the fern trees, makes the forests feel very prehistoric.


A stunning spot and I was treated to some sunshine. Hardly anyone else around, just a couple if surfers.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Taranaki Falls

I took advantage of a break in the weather to walk up to the Taranaki Falls, with the volcanic peak of Ruapehu in the background.


Here's the spaceship I'm travelling around NZ in. It has a fridge, cooker and even a DVD player. Being a saddo I'm watching Lord of the Rings.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Bag End

The title of this blog makes a large nod to Bilbo Baggin's book so it very appropriate to visit Bag End.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

New Zealand immigration

I got quizzed about my Pakistan visa at passport control. Just at the desk, but at such times the beard doesn't seem such a good idea.

Friday, 1 June 2012