Sydney and Reflections.


In my last post, I forgot to mention the Fruit Bats of Cairns. They hang in the trees during the day and begin to fly at sunset. They are probably as long as my forearm, their wingspan is close to the span of my arms. The squeak and flutter when hanging upside down in the trees and they squeal when flying.

Sydney is a large town, The British settled it as a penal colony. For the people, male, female, children, it was a struggle to learn survival skills. Those who learned thrived. Several of the original criminals are now revered as founding father.

We took a boat tour of the outer banks of Sydney, visited Bondi Beach – surfers paradise, strolled through the botanical gardens and visited a zoo of native animals. The houses in Sydney, along the bay, are each worth several million, the views are extraordinary. The days were full.


In looking back, I think New Zealand was the most beautiful part of the trip. If you are healthy and young enough to hike and follow bike trails,


this is a place you really need to visit. Temperate Rain Forest, Glaciers, all surrounded by the ocean and the purest air I have ever breathed and probably the friendliest people you will ever meet. The government is definitely a dreamland for supporters of Bernie Sander. They have strict but fair immigration laws, I suspect similar to those Trump is trying to articulate.

Australia that we saw was a big city tour. I would have loved to go further west to see some of the wildlife.



Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand. It is a lovely harbour city. The harbour drains into the Tasmanian Sea and the Pacific. The cost of living is very high, an average home is around one million dollars. The harbour is filled with large personal boats, 1 in every four owns a boat.

We spent drizzly morning driving around the town. We stopped at a memorial garden that was in full bloom, how nice it was to see the fresh flowers.

The main stop was the War Memorial Museum to see a cultural presentation about the Maori, the indigenous people. Like the Native Americans they were pushed aside by the European Settlers. They try to keep the cultural alive. There are three large language groups in New Zealand, English, sign and Maori. Only the English and sign are legally recognised by the government. Kiaura is the all purpose greeting used by the Maori.

We took the afternoon ferry to Davenport, a small island. We climbed to the highest point on the island to enjoy the view. We shopped at the local craft shops.

The evening was a Welcome dinner and a chance to sign up for optional tours. Tomorrow we fly to the South Island.