24 Feb
Days adrift.  Click here to see our best and worst experiences so far.
Number of flights.  Click here to go to the itinerary page.
Bus, train and taxi rides.  Click here to see all posts relating to transport. (56 posts)
Miles walked.  Click here to see all posts relating to walking and trekking. (43 posts)
Countries visited.  Click here to see what we think of them. (14 posts)
Number of species spotted.  Click here to go to our wildlife page.
Photos taken.  Click here to go to the photo gallery. (105 posts)
Rainy days.  Click here to find posts relating to the weather. (50 posts)
Number of times scammed.  Click here to read all about it!  (2 posts)
Otters spotted.  Click here to go to our website about otters: amblonyx.com
...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

Archive for April, 2011

29 April 2011

Blue whale blues

28th April 2011 Today was a bit bitty. We are staying around the Port Fairy area, having another night in our neat little kottage. This morning we went out to Portland, as it’s supposed to be a great spot for sighting Blue Whales who visit here for a few weeks every year around Easter. But » » »

29 April 2011

Fully equipped

27th April 2011 This is our third day on the Great Ocean Road and I must say it’s a fairly splendid drive. In fact, I reckon it beats other boastful coastal routes such as South Africa’s Garden Route and New Zealand’s Catlins Coast – you get more ocean views for your miles, and there are » » »

29 April 2011

Danger of freezing

26th April 2011 Australians seem very concerned about risk. Perhaps this is due to living in a place where everything is poisonous. Which seems to be a bit of a myth, by the by, as we’ve seen lots of wildlife and none of it dangerous. All the walks we go on here have scary black » » »

29 April 2011

Tasmania A to Z

Usually I’m trying to make a narrative or explore a theme with photo galleries, but this is just a ramble through our Tasmania snaps now that we’re looking back a good week or so. Related Images:

28 April 2011

My feet Hertz

25th April 2011 Is it just me that does this kind of thing, or does it happen to everyone (except Maureen)? I went to fetch our rental car this morning, while she finished packing and caught up with email. I thought it was a fifteen minute walk to the address but it turned out to » » »

28 April 2011

Melbourne is nice

24th April 2011 We’ve abandoned the stupid trams and have been walking around Melbourne instead. Which is great, because the centre of the city is compact and attractive and has plenty of grassy spaces around it. There are no important must-visit sights in Melbourne so you can just explore. It’s Sunday today. Not only that, » » »

28 April 2011

Experience the difference

23rd April 2011 One repeated theme of this year is noticing how varied people’s impression of a place can be, based on their own experience of it. Mum and dad visited Melbourne before meeting up with us in Perth, and they enthused about the city and particularly the convenience of “just hopping on a tram » » »

24 April 2011

Unlucky Hobart

22nd April 2011 You’ll recall our first day in Hobart was spent largely in a crummy backpacker room listening to the rain nailing down the roof above us? Well, it was mostly dry on our return but it was also Good Friday. It seems that in Australia that’s akin to Christmas Day and so absolutely » » »

24 April 2011


21st April 2011 Tonight we’re back where we started, at the Giant’s Table near Mount Field NP; the place where we had a cosy plank-floored cabin with a wood-burning stove and no platypus in the garden. At dusk this time we did see a platypus, but our cabin was less cosy, with carpets and no » » »

24 April 2011

Overdid it

20th April 2011 This was my doing. We spent far too long night-driving in search of animals this evening and have overdone it. Unhappily, Old Wesleydale the Georgian house was only available for one night so we moved along to a nice old B&B in the same village of Mole Creek. This was our base » » »

21 April 2011

Georgian comfort

19th April 2011 My image of Australia, far less Tasmania, didn’t remotely include a rambling old Georgian farmhouse set in rolling green pastures with a perfect cottage garden gently decaying into autumn browns and an old stone-build barnyard along the side. But that’s where we are tonight, in the old buttery which has been converted » » »

21 April 2011

Always on the go

18th April 2011 Before we set out on our travels, I always had an urge (usually stifled) to correct people who called our year away a holiday. We’re not tourists, we’re travellers. It’s not a holiday, it’s a year of travel. But do you know what? This is effectively a year-long holiday. There’s two ways » » »

21 April 2011

Fuzzy lawnmowers

17th April 2011 The fuzzy lawnmowers in question are wombats. Narawntapu National Park must be the best spot in the world for these chunky marsupials, we could see a half-dozen without going more than twenty paces from the car park. They’re lovely animals to watch as well, because they’ll allow you to approach within about » » »

21 April 2011

Tassie nightlife

Not only did we get to watch Tasmanian Devils on our veranda at Mountain Valley Wilderness, we also saw Duck-billed Platypus in the river nearby and went out for a night drive on which we saw another five species of mammal. Good stuff. Related Images:

16 April 2011

Devil worship

15th April 2011 These Tasmanian Devils are great critters. They inspire a whole mixture of adjectives and it’s really special to be so close to them – anyone considering a holiday including Tasmania should definitely book at least one night at Mountain Valley Wilderness*. As for my adjectives, well let’s see. They definitely look primordial, » » »

16 April 2011

Wild Tasmania

14th April 2011 The main reason Tasmania went straight onto our itinerary was for wildlife. Tonight we’re on the trail of the Tasmanian Devil. Oh, and I have some errata for yesterday’s post! The critters on the lawn were not wallabies, they were Tasmanian Pademelons. This is a very important distinction and you’d have to » » »

16 April 2011

Wine and wallaby

13th April 2011 Rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain. It finally gave up raining once we’d settled into our accommodation at about five in the evening. Hilariously, a guy at one of » » »

16 April 2011

Kiwi adventures

Written by Maureen People come to New Zealand to experience the great outdoors and we were no different. Thanks to Matt’s parents, we were able sample some of the best experiences the country has to offer. We cruised, walked, messed about on kayaks, tottered on a glacier and saw enough cetaceans, pinipeds and avians to » » »

16 April 2011

Heart of Sydney

Sydney is a big, friendly, colourful city with a lot going on, and a lot going for it. We definitely felt it deserved more than six days, which is unusual for us in a city. Related Images:

13 April 2011

Hobart is raining

12th April 2011 Rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain. Imagine you arrive in a city and get a bus from the airport to your hostel. Through the window opaque with rain and » » »

12 April 2011

Sydney Opera House

11th April 2011 I’m really delighted by the Sydney Opera House. Every big city should have one. Not exactly the same, obviously. But every big city should have a venue for the arts that is: Central and impressive from afar, providing a focus for the cityscape Unique and ambitious, to astonish the first-time visitor and » » »

11 April 2011

Buses and hot chocolate

10th April 2011 I’ve skipped a day. We’re taking it a bit easy in Sydney, not trying to tick off all the sights of the city. To be honest we’re not much like that anyway; I’d rather wander around an interesting neighbourhood and look at the shops and houses than make sure I’ve seen all » » »

9 April 2011

My poor feets

8th April 2011 There’s very much a fixed list of what is appropriate to eat at breakfast and what is not. It changes around the world of course – I’m unlikely to find the calming rice soups I enjoyed in Thailand popping up in the cafes of London any time soon. So even though we » » »

9 April 2011

Wild New Zealand

Here are our best shots of the wildlife in New Zealand. They were often very accommodating in letting us get quite close. Equally, they were quite hard to find – New Zealand has its own conservation problems and they’re desperately trying to reverse all the damage done in under 200 years of European habitation. Related » » »

8 April 2011

New Zealand nutshell

In reality this is a South Island nutshell, as we’re only going to be stopping three days on the North Island. We spent four enjoyable weeks here. New Zealand is a very civilised country, small enough to be manageable, majoring in natural beauty and outdoor activities but with a strong supporting cast of good food » » »

8 April 2011


7th April 2011 To my surprise the Sydney Opera House is every bit as beautiful and engaging to the eye as the hyperbole would suggest. To say it gives a focal point to the harbour view is an understatement. To my mind it makes the harbour view. I tried to envisage Sydney’s harbour without the » » »

7 April 2011

Do you miss the exotic?

6th April 2011 So here’s the thing. We really enjoyed our month in New Zealand, it’s a fantastic place to visit unless you are a relentlessly urban person or only enjoy beaches. But I was reflecting on our blog entries for the month and trying to work out what was missing; somehow they didn’t feel » » »

7 April 2011

Painting pictures with words

5th April 2011 Yesterday was rained off. If I’m not mistaken, the only day in eight months. We stayed indoors and caught up with various chores, did some reading, and when the rain eventually stopped late afternoon we went for a walk just to get out. However, while it was raining on us it was » » »

4 April 2011

Trek, plonk and splash

The Marlborough Sounds area stands a very good chance of being my favourite bit of New Zealand. We had a magical trek along the Queen Charlotte Track, saw wonderful wildlife in Queen Charlotte Sound, and had very contrasting indulgence in the Marlborough wine country of Wairau valley. Related Images:

4 April 2011

International glacier expedition

3rd April 2011 Walking on a glacier is something that you should definitely do once, but probably only once. I’ll no doubt caveat that later in the post. Our expedition was a truly international affair, with us representing the UK and accompanied by others from China, Malaysia, South Korea and Argentina. Our guides were Canadian » » »

4 April 2011

Forecast is gloomy

2nd April 2011 Despite being on the far side of the world, there seems to be no country more closely connected to the UK than NZ. People all over the world have asked us “where are you from?” and usually the answer “England” satisfies them. Here if we say England they’ll say “yeah, where?” so » » »

4 April 2011


1st April 2011 Today’s kayaking was much more elemental than yesterday’s. The elements in question being mainly rain and wind. No more blue skies, and the rain quickly soaked us through. When we stopped on a beach to eat out lunchtime sandwiches early, the sea which had felt icy yesterday now seemed warm in comparison » » »

1 April 2011

Seasick but cheerful

31st March 2011 Who knew you could get seasick in a kayak? Today had an unpromising start. We had to get to the kayaking office for 8:30am… only to be told that we wouldn’t actually start our day of kayaking until lunchtime. There would be a briefing first, and some instruction, and then some hanging » » »

1 April 2011

Is it just the sun?

30th March 2011 Today was a surprisingly satisfying day, despite not really doing much. Of course, I write this after a couple of glasses of very good Syrah from one of the wineries we visited a few days ago, but still… All we’ve actually accomplished today is getting from Havelock to Motueka, doing a washload » » »