Archive for the ‘vacation’ Category

Sydney Notes

Tips

  • hen you’re out in Bondi, do the coastal walk to Bronte. It takes about 45mins and is great if the weather’s good (which it usually is). Taronga Zoo is quite good, and your best chance of seeing some native animals, and since it’s right on the harbour you can get the ferry over to it (15mins) from Circular Quay. You can rent kayaks over by Spit Bridge and go for a paddle around the inner harbour if you like. Also, the water will be about 18-19C at this stage, so a swim at any of the beaches will be an option. Balmoral beach is one of the nicer harbour beaches if you’re not into surf.

To Do

  • Taronga Zoo to Balmoral Beach Walk: This walk will give you a good look at a historic Sydney suburb, bushwalk and Harbour views (and some great views back to the Bridge & CBD), harbour beaches, and old army land returned to parkland… Clifton Gardens is an old pleasure ground, cafe there (and restaurant, probably require a booking) to refresh half-way… at Balmoral Beach, ‘Bottom of the Harbour’ fish & chips is good

Food

  • In the Rocks, go to the Australian Hotel and have a kangaroo & emu pizza – it’s delicious!!

Queenstown Notes

Queenstown Tourist Site

Tips:

  • The downtown area of Queenstown covers less than 2 square kilometres. Most shops and restaurants are within easy walking distance.
  • You won’t need a suit or tie in Queenstown. But be ready with warm clothing – mountain weather can change quickly.

To Do and See:

  • To the southwest of Queenstown is Fiordland. This remote, pristine region of New Zealand is renowned for boutique lodge experiences that are as unforgettable as the scenery.
  • TSS Earnslaw and Walter Peak High Country Farm, 10 – 1:30
  • Comedy Club Xmas Special at Revolvers Comedy Club
  • Every visitor to Queenstown should hike or ride to somewhere high. From the top of almost any hill, magnificent views await.
  • Lord of the Rings locations
  • Historic Arrowtown
  • From TxD: I really like the drive out to Glenorchy. V. scenic along the lake. Or, you can get a refurbished paddlesteamer, though I’m not sure of it goes the whole way to Glenorchy. Go visit Wanaka too – about a 45min drive away, but the scenery is also spectacular and it’s far less touristy than Queenstown.

Restaurants:

  • Wai
  • Dux de Lux: Fine Dining with Vegetarian & Gluten Free Options, breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Brazz on the Green, Queenstown’s freshest culinary experience. Contemporary & modern with Queenstown’s old world built in.
  • The COW Restaurant is an institution serving superb food and the menu is still the same as when the restaurant opened its door in 1976.The same delicious mix of hand rolled pizzas and spaghetti dishes, hot soup and homemade bread and salad.

Auckland Notes

Auckland Tourist Site

To Do and See:

  • Otara Market is the largest Maori and Polynesian market in the world. You’ll find island-style floral print fabrics, Maori carvings and all kinds of tropical fruit and vegetables.
  • Auckland War Memorial Museum is the custodian of the finest and most important collection of Maori treasures, or taonga, in the world.
  • Auckland Zoo is always fun -150 species, 500 animals. Zoo encounters, presented by zoo keepers, give you the opportunity to come eye to eye with some amazing creatures. 9.30am to 5.30pm daily, $18.00 pp.
    Eye-to-Eye Animal Encounters:
    – 11.15 Giraffe Monday, Tuesday
    – 1.45 Lion Tuesday
    – Impromptu Encounters (Daily): Listen to PA announcements

  • Auckland Museum: Daily Maori cultural performancesinclude a welcome dance, poi dance, stick game, weaponry display and haka
  • Princes Wharf: Located in the heart of Auckland’s revitalized waterfront precinct, Princes Wharf extends into the Waitemata Harbour where it provides a maritime gateway for more than 40 cruise ships that visit the City of Sails each year. Princes Wharf offers a vibrant hub of world-class restaurants and cafés…
  • Pou Kapua: To view some Maori/Pacific culture, take a look at Pou Kapau – the world’s tallest Maori/Pacific carving. At 20 metres high with a diameter of about 2 metres and weighing 20 tonnes, it is a magnificent icon, a symbol of our identity as the people of the land. Right near Auckland International Airport.
  • Nearby is Brick Bay Sculpture Trail, spread across two kilometres where ever-changing displays of 25 to 30 sculptural works are sited. All the sculptures are contemporary works by established and emerging artists. Daily 10-5.

Restaurants:

  • Gina’s Pizza and Pasta Bar: Italian restaurant of the year
  • Harbourside Seafood Bar and Grill: a varied menu specialising in the best of New Zealand’s seafood, a live crayfish tank and special creative touches in presentation. Reservations: Recommended (harbourside.auck@xtra.co.nz)
  • Kermadec Ocean Fresh
  • Revive Cafe: Bill absolutely wants a lunch here! Vegetarian and semi-organic with many low-fat, allergy free and animal free dishes.
  • Nourished: An upmarket café offering an innovative and healthy menu. With an ever changing menu and amazing coffee, this café is a favourite with inner city office workers and is located just opposite the waterfront and ferry building.