We are continually being reminded this is an ‘Expedition’ not a cruise but we still seem to have the same level of comfort albeit no pool to blob in. Staff to manage our rooms and more staff to feed us all the food they possibly can!!

The name of the game here is get out in the Zodiacs and adventure into the wilderness and we have been doing that well.

Slept well, awoke early but a quick read of my book and I nodded off again for another couple of hours. 7am and the captain gets on the loud speaker, ‘sorry to get you all up early but there’s an infestation…. of whales on the starboard side! Had cringed at the thought of perhaps having to be loved in our room for the rest of the cruise!!!

But no - we spent the next several hours stooging along and watching whales galore! Small ships such as this one “Caledonian Sky’ can easily manoeuvre around so we circled and watched whales for quite a while - magnificent! Took about 60-70 photos I think but culled it right back to half a dozen of the best.

After our ‘whale watching’ the ship sailed into Talbot Bay and headed towards the ‘Horizontal Falls’.

Basically a free day in Broome today as we weren’t being picked up till 3.30pm so I arranged a half day tour of Broome to get a feel of the place and where we were at. Broome has really only ‘come of age’ since the 1970’s and now boasts a regular population of 15,000 which explodes to 50,000 in the peak of the dry season which is where we are at now so every caravan park in town is full as is most of the accommodation. The Broome races also happened to be on in town today so people fly in from everywhere for that as well.

Started out yesterday Brisbane to Sydney.

A long day today with an almost 5 hr flight from Sydney to Perth, 2 hrs wait then 2 ½ hrs up to Broome.

Just arrived in 9pm east coast time but seems a bit silly going to bed here at 7pm!

Dark so no bearings yet but the camels were all heading home as we made our way to Cable Beach.

I assume we're close to the beach!

Flight from Sydney to Perth, one of the nicer flights we’ve been on, with the little more expensive option of course to make it happen that way. Turned out to be a long day with just under 5 hrs to Perth, a 2 hour wait there then onto a smaller aircraft for another 2 ½ hr flight up to Broome.

I had a window seat and every time I fly over anywhere on long haul in Australia, it’s staggering to think how bit this country really is. WE flew for ages with nothing but red earth below us and no sign of habitation anywhere for miles. The odd long stretch of road or pipeline, never sure which from up high but otherwise nothing.

Quick 7 day trip to MZ to help Mum packup and move from New Plymouth to Tauranga.

Neryda and Claire had done a heap of work re garage sale and packing in order to get things happening and the weekend I arrived, Neryda and Peter also stayed so we put in a full day and a half of just packing.

It was all a bit hard on Mum though pulling up stumps and having to downsize at the same time, not only that but also watch her family just get in there and do stuff that she couldn't even see what was going on. But it had to be done with a time factor involved for a removal truck arriving!

But the new home in Tauranga is gorgeous, up high at Althorp Village and lovely to sit and watch the sunsets and clouds rolling through over to Mount Maunganui. A great spot.

Woke to rain, cold and yucky looking weather this morning. Thank goodness for a great day yesterday!

Not a cloud in the sky, not a breath of wind, how many times can we say the words "this is magnificent". Lakes Hawea and Wanaka and the Haast Pass are beautiful on a day like today.

We set off on another day of following our nose. Decided to head a different direction to Lake Hawea today but then decided to continue on through Haast Pass as it was such a delightful day. So pleased we did, the scenery along the way has been fabulous with the weather of the kind that you probably have to be lucky to come across.

It is well known that the Cardrona Pub is a great stopping point on the road between Wanaka and Queenstown but have never actually been there.

As such, our goal for the day was to head over the Crown Range road  as it's called, stop at the Cardrona Pub for lunch then venture on to Arrowtown after lunch.

The pub is only about 25kms from Wanaka and all flat to get there. I had always thought it was up high on the range - wrong! Anyway, a gorgeous day in this neck of the woods, mid 20's and hardly a cloud in the sky so we had a drink before lunch out in the beer garden then the usual pub fare for lunch.

A train trip you need to do! The Taieri Gorge train is a return 4hr trip through an amazingly scenic gorge sparsely populated with high country sheep who haven't seen the inside of a shearing shed for a long time, the Taieri River all the way and steep walled hills with fossilized rock coverage.

You would love it, knowing how you love the hills so much. Running commentary all the way as well from a very well learned train manager.

A bunch of cruise ship passengers were meant to be on board as well but they had cancelled out for whatever reason so we had heaps of room to move around. I've taken heaps of photos so will link you to those when I've got them sorted..

After this we are off for a tour of the Cadbury chocolate factory!

It's been a big weekend here, arrived in Auckland on Wednesday night and had the night there to ourselves before driving down to New Plymouth on Thursday. It was a 'hot' day then, 30 in New Plymouth so the kiwis were all dying of heat stress! Very dry driving down as the country had had very little rain for months.

The first night is always the best they say and we did it well of course even though only a dozen of us around.

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