No, we did not drop off the edge of the world. The Internet was harder to get to than I expected while on the cruise. We are now back on land in Sydney. A quick list of the ports we visited since I wrote last:
Adelaide – took a walking tour through the Botanic Gardens learning about the different plants they have here.
Melbourne – a busy vibrant city we look forward to returning to at the end of our trip.
Two small ports in Tasmania – I got to pet a kangaroo (very soft, like a cat or dog) and a Koala (not soft but rather stiff fur and oily so dust packs up on him) at an animal reserve.
Two days at sea to get to New Zealand, cruised through Fiordland National Park at the south end of New Zealand. Very impressive. Tall mountains with waterfalls cascading down.
Christchurch – walked all through their lovely Botanic Gardens and had a guided walking tour of the city noting many beautiful Victoria buildings.
Wellington – a bigger city with a harbor front that is having work done on it but will be quite nice when finished. Visited the Te Papa Museum where we learned more about the Maori. Took a cable car to the top of a hill where their Botanic Gardens are. Lovely walk back down the hill through the gardens and lunch at the bottom in the rose garden.
Both Tasmania and the east side of New Zealand reminded us of Northern California and the Medford area. Golden rolling hills, only here they roll down to the sea. Most of the rain falls on the west coast and doesn’t make it over the mountain range (The Alps), like Seattle gets rain and Yakima doesn’t. The Christchurch area landscape looks more like Southern California to me. We’ve been very lucky with the weather with a few cool and blustery days. Wellington is greener and is known for it’s bad weather but we had a windy but sunny day and were pealing off layers of clothes as the day wore on.
We had two more days at sea then landed in Sydney yesterday. We were promptly picked up by friends (who we’d met on another cruise) and they drove us up through the beach suburbs in North Sydney. Really beautiful beaches and inlets that stretch up the coast for miles. This is definitely a beach and water sport culture!
Tomorrow we begin to explore the city of Sydney.