Monday, January 12, 2015

Farewell, 2014. It's been a Fab year. Part 2

When we last left my 2014 stroll down Memory Lane, we were contemplating whether or not to cancel our trip to Australia and New Zealand.

Chris was recovering from emergency surgery and an 11-day hospital stay in September. Then, a week before we were to fly out, I was coping with a sinus infection and an abscessed tooth.

Poppy and her gorgeous Mum, Hayley
Wondering what else could possibly go wrong, we made the decision to go for it. On October 15th, we took off for the Land Down Under.

We’d been to Sydney before in 2011 for son Sam’s wedding. Now, part of the reason for the journey was to meet little Miss Poppy Hunt, age 1.

We stayed in a flat overlooking the Sydney Harbour, which meant all the pleasures of the city and surrounding areas were just a ferry ride or stroll away.

Crepuscule (Noisette) at the Royal Botanic Gardens
Love that view of the "Coathanger" bridge

Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney

Mr. Lincoln, Down Under

 One weekend we took a side trip to Kiama where I judged the New South Wales Rose Show in Jamberoo. There I met fellow judge Mark McGuire who invited us to visit his magnificent rose garden in downtown Sydney.

A rose called 'Glorious' took top honors

You can see the Sydney Harbour from this amazing city garden

Alas the time with Sam, Hayley and Poppy flew by, and soon we were back on a plane bound for Auckland, New Zealand.

One of the joys of our visit there was getting together with old friends (new ones for me) Mike and Carolyn from Chris’ days living in Hambledon, England. 

During our week on the North Island we visited Waiheke Island, the Bay of Islands and of course, more beautiful rose gardens.

Tui birds can become drunk and disorderly after too much Kowhai nectar

Captain Cook counted 89 islands here (there are 144)
Me and Syd the cat at the Waterfront Cafe, Paihia
Nancy Steen Heritage Garden in Auckland

Back on the plane, to Christchurch and the South Island. We were shocked and saddened by the devastation that still lingers after the 2011 earthquake.

Francois Juranville (Rambler) at the Christchurch Botanical Gardens
Gorgeous rhododendrons dotted the trails at the gardens

From there we took the TranzAlpine train to Greymouth, then drove to Franz Joseph (home of the glaciers) for the night.

Took these photos hanging off the observation car

The trip to Queenstown was beautiful and scary. Chris failed to tell me a British couple had been swept away crossing the Haast Pass and have yet to be found. 

Lake Wakatipu at Queenstown and the Remarkables mountains

There was a heritage rose trail at Arrowtown

Near Glenorchy

If you have not been to Queenstown, you likely will feel like you’ve visited there. The mountain range,The Remarkables have hosted numerous movies, including Lord of the Rings.

You pass a variety of scenic vistas on the drive back to Christchurch, then turn a corner and there is Mount Cook. 

Fact is New Zealand is so amazingly gorgeous it is difficult for the brain to take it all in.

Was it real or was it a dream?

And how can we top it in 2015?

Oh, one last thing. We also celebrated our 25th anniversary a few days after returning home!


Les said...

What a wonderful trip you must have had. I can't imagine how beautiful New Zealand must be.

Lynn Hunt said...

Les, you of all people must visit there one day. You will be surprised there are some areas with no native trees. Along the route of the Alpine Train we noticed Scotch Broom everywhere. Settlers brought plants from home and now it has taken over. But it is truly an amazingly beautiful country. As I said, a new breathtaking scene around every corner.

Sunil Patel said...

Hi Lynn, congratulations on your recent 25th wedding anniversary. The New Zealand views and roses are mesmerising, I'd be scared of walking into something or off a precipice due to being distracted by those incredible vistas!

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