A little taste of Australia.   2 comments

Everyone loves to see a little piece of Australia and what could be more iconic than a kangaroo. These photos were taken about a half hours drive north of Cairns in Queensland, they are in fact Whiptailed Wallabies, also known as Pretty-faced Wallaby. Driving along the main highway on our way back from Port Douglas, I could see this large mob (the collective term for a group of kangaroos) beside the highway. Unable to stop where they were I looked for an exit that would get me close to them. These photos were of a small mob, the
remainder of the mob were behind the trees close to the highway. I didnʼt feel very confident walking through this mob to photograph the others, there was some males that looked a little too protective for my liking.

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Sulphur-crested Cockatoo are a regular sighting where I live especially when the trees are in fruit. I started feeding them on my balcony some years ago and soon learnt of the destruction that they leave behind them. When I didnʼt have feed out for them, they would chew on anything they could find and that
included our decking, which to this day still shows the damage that they did. As fast I encouraged them to come, I had to discourage it. Our passionfruit vines no longer exist. It was common to see 12 or more cockatoos sitting on the fence the vine was on, feeding on the fruit.

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The Comb-crested Jacana is an Australian native waterbird and one that is a real challenge to photograph as they are very shy. They are sometimes referred to as the Lotus bird or Jesus bird for their ability to what appears to be walking on water. They can be found on freshwater wetlands throughout eastern and northern Australia. I have read that when the male senses his chicks are in danger, he bundles them under his wings and carries them to safety with only their dangling legs visible beneath his feathers, that is the shot I would love to capture.

These Jacanas I spotted in a dam located on a farm close to where I live. I was out looking for koala at the time and while I couldnʼt find a koala, I was able to capture these guys.

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I mentioned koala and yes they do exist, just very hard to find. Just a 20 minute drive from where I live they are often sighted. I have seen them but getting a good photo is another story. They tend to bunker down in the fork of a tree very high up and as they aren’t particularly active, one can wait hours before they do anything.

With all international travel cancelled this year, Queensland is just starting to open up again, so who knows where the next road will lead me.

Posted May 17, 2020 by broomee in Uncategorized

Lady Elliot Island, January 26, 2020   8 comments

Lady Elliot Island (LEI) is a coral cay situated at the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef, not too far from where we live in Tin Can Bay. This was my third trip to the island and it will definitely not be my last.

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To get there, I have to drive 1hr 20 minutes to the Hervey Bay airport, and from there it is roughly a 30 minute flight to the Island.  A flight to the island is the only option there is to get to there. Day visitors are welcome and also longer stays are welcome with a number of different types of accommodation available.

LEI is a nature lovers paradise at any time of the year.

September to May – Migratory Sea birds

November to February – Turtle nesting

February to May – Turtle hatching

All year round – Manta Rays

May to September – Peak Manta Ray season

June to November – Humpback Whale migration

At any time of the year, turtles call LEI home and for me they are a big draw card. In the shallow lagoon on the east side of the island that is only accessible 3 hours before high tide and 3 hours after high tide, it is hard not to bump into or drift into a turtle. They literally seem to be everywhere and have no fear of humans.

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I have purchased a dome lens for my Go Pro camera which enables you to shoot 0 % under the water and 50% above. I have tried it in the swimming pool with my dog and got some great results but trying it in the ocean for the first time proved to be quite a challenge especially as the wind was blowing from the east so the waves were breaking over us as we snorkelled in the shallow of the lagoon.

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The west side of the island is quite different from the east, with much deeper waters, coral gardens, and bommies. Bommies for those that don’t know are shallow reefs, or rocky outcrops where fish love to hang out.

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Visibility on the west side of the island was not outstanding so I didn’t take many photos but what I did see didn’t disappoint.

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Maybe my next visit I will be rewarded  with manta rays or even better, humpback whales.

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Posted March 1, 2020 by broomee in Uncategorized

Whale watching and Grizzly viewing, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada   6 comments

Anyone looking for a great place to view whales, specifically Killer whales and Humpbacks, throw in some Grizzly viewing and even Black Bears, well there is no better place than Vancouver Island off the west coast of mainland Canada.

After spending a considerable amount of time doing my research I came up with a two week independent itinerary where I maximised every moment of each day to view wildlife.

Departing from Brisbane in Australia, I flew a direct flight with Air Canada to Vancouver BC before getting a Coastal Pacific Airlines flight to Victoria on Vancouver Island. Meeting up with my long time friend from Seattle at Victoria airport we picked up our car rental and began the voyage north to Campbell River which is just over a 3 hour drive. At Campbell River we had pre-booked all day whale watching and grizzly viewing tours with Campbell River Whale Watching Adventure Tours. August is the peak season for whale watching and I wasn’t prepared to travel all the way from Australia to find out I couldn’t get on the tours I wanted.

The main reason for my trip this year, was to maximise my time viewing Killer Whales, as they are not a regular sighting where I live in Australia, in fact they are an extremely rare sighting. At Campbell River we had 2 x full days whale watching from skiffs in the skiff pictured below and 1 day grizzly viewing in a similar boat as below.

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The journey to view the grizzlies in the wild is a 9 hour day trip. Commencing in Campbell River, the high speed vessel takes you through the Discovery Islands, up Bute Inlet and into the Orford River. Once you reach the destination, the Homalco First Nation guides take over, transfer you to their van and take you to 5 bear viewing platforms. Like any wildlife there is no guarantee that you will see bears or any wild life for that matter. We did however see a few bears but unfortunately I have had far better sightings of bears. British Columbia has gone through an extremely bad salmon season and the bears are emaciated. In some areas, First Nation people and volunteers have been dropping salmon in areas for the bears to feed on.

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The Killer whale is the largest member of the dolphin family. The killer whale is identified by it’s uniquely shaped dorsal fin and saddle patch and sometimes eye patches. The dorsal fin of a male can reach as high as 2 metres. There are 3 ecotypes of Killer Whales that inhabit Canadian Pacific waters: Transient or Biggs, Offshore and Resident. Transient Killer whales also known as Biggs Killer whales feed on marine mammals, particularly Harbour Seals, porpoises and sea lions. They travel in small groups and acoustically are quiet, most probably due to the fact that they rely on stealth to find their prey. Little is known about the Offshore Killer Whales.

Resident Killer Whales are the most researched of the three ecotypes. Resident Killer whales eat fish with Chinook Salmon being the majority of their diet. The Southern Residents are listed as endangered with the declining numbers being linked to reduced salmon populations, toxic pollution, noise and disturbance from boat traffic. The southern Resident population comprises of 3 pods, known as J, K and L. The population o the Southern Resident Killer whales consists of 73 individuals.

The Northern resident population is doing much better than the Southern residents and the current population is in excess of 300 individuals. The Northern Residents are categorised in 3 clans: A, G and R. Researchers have been able to identify members of the pods by their distinct set of calls.

Finding whales off Campbell River can often be like finding a needle in a hay stack. The Discovery Islands cover a large area and while you can be at one point, the whales are often at another. Fortunately all the whale watching vessels get along and are happy to report sightings to each other. Hence we had some great sightings of Transients on hunts and also Humpback whales.

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Humpbacks seen in the Discovery Islands

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From Campbell River we continued our joinery north for 2 1/2 hours to Port McNeill. Here my choice of whale watching vessels was with Mackay Whale watching tours aboard the Naiad Explorer. The tours here were not all day tours, instead from 10am till 3pm. While for some that might not seem long enough, what you do need to know is that compared to Campbell River, there is literally no travel time to the whales, they can be found as soon as you get out of the marina……. if you are lucky. If I was to do this trip again, I would pick to stay at Port McNeill over Campbell River. If you are interested in staying at the picturesque Telegraph Cove, you will need to book well in advance or do what we did and stay 1/2 an hour up the road at Port McNeill where Mackay Whale watching departs from.

Photos of Telegraph Cove

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I pre-booked 3 days whale watching from Port McNeill with Mackay Whale Watching and 2 days Grizzly viewing with Tide Rip out of Telegraph Cove.

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Grizzly viewing tours leave Telegraph Cove at 7am. It’s a long boat ride through the Broughton Archipelago to Knight Inlet where viewing of the bears is done by specifically designed bear viewing skiffs. On our first trip, there was no bears to be seen in the sedge grass at the end of the inlet and the rain was relentless, so our skipper chose not to transfer to the skiffs for bear viewing, instead we made our way out of the Inlet and as the weather cleared, we were rewarded with a sow and her two cubs and a black bear sow with her cub up a tree.

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And a black bear sow with her cub up a tree.

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Our second visit, the conditions could not have been more prefect and we got to transfer to the skiffs and enter the waters that are rich in sedge grass. One beautiful grizzly entertained us for an hour much to everyone’s delight. While we had to wait some time for her to get close to us, and we were rewarded for our patience. Sedge grass has 20% vegetable protein value which is enough to sustain bears. Then there is the berry season and finally the salmon run. On the way home we got to see the sow and her 2 cubs again, more grizzlies and black bear all feeding on crabs, barnacles and mussels that can be found on the rocks and under the rocks at low tide.

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Bear viewing skiffs at Knight Inlet.

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As I already mentioned finding whales our of Port McNeill was not a problem.

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A porpoise or dolphin fleeing the killer whales.

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Not only was there Killer whales but also plenty of Humpbacks. Bubble net feeding a technique that humpbacks use to feed is not often seen in this area, more regularly seen in Alaska, however, we did get to see lunge feeding and trap feeding as seen in the photos below.

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We don’t have seaweed where I live in Australia so seeing humpbacks playing in the seaweed was something new and exciting to see.

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Our last stop of the trip was Cowichan Bay, just one hour out of Victoria and what a beautiful little waterfront village it is with the Salish Sea on its doorstep. Like any waterfront village there must be a marina but the quaint floating houses were what I loved about the place and the best bakery of the trip. If you get to Cowichan Bay on your trip, be sure to plan a daily visit to the True Grain Bakery. The coffee, the breads and the savouries are to die for. We stayed in a very average Inn, the first on the right as you enter town but had I known that some the floating houses are available for holiday rental, I would have jumped at staying in one of these.

We had 4 full days booked with Ocean Ecoventures and I cannot recommend them more highly. Whales, wildlife and photography were the passion of Gary our captain, we were in our element. There was times we had to travel distance to get to the Killer whales but every encounter we had was something to be remembered. I cannot begin to count how many Biggs Killer whales (transients) we saw hunting and the interaction between pods as they came together. I am not sure anyone could truly say they know everything about Killer whales but going out with someone who literally lives their live for whales, you can be guaranteed an amazing experience. We were also fortunate to see the Southern residents J pod and the white calf Tl’uk which is a Transient killer whale.

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And Humpbacks from Cowichan bay

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Our trip ended at Butchart Gardens before returning our rental car to the airport and jumping on a flight back to Vancouver and then on to Australia.

But before I end this blog, the trip would not have been the same without the presence of all the other bird and wildife we saw.

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The Great Blue Heron

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Posted January 2, 2020 by broomee in Uncategorized

Butchart Gardens, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada   2 comments

Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island began from an idea that Jennie Butchart had to beautify the worked-out limestone quarry that had supplied her husbands cement plant in Portland. It all began in 1904 when the Butchart’s moved from Ontario to Vancouver Island to build the cement plant on a rich limestone deposit at Tod Inlet.

In 1912 as the cement plant exhausted the lime stone deposits Jennie began to gradually transform the quarry into the Sunken Garden where she transported top soil in by horse and cart.

By 1929 the gardens had expanded to include the Japanese Garden, the Italian Garden and the Rose Garden which overflows with roses.

In 1939 celebrating their grandsons 21st birthday at the gardens was the opportunity they were looking for to transform the gardens into the world renowned attraction it is today.

in 1977, Robert and Jennie’s great-grandson Christopher began producing a choreographed firework show. In 2009, his sister Robin, and the current owner of The Gardens, added the Children’s Pavilion and Menagerie Carousel.

Now in 2019, the gardens cover 55 acres are an absolute masterpiece and must be seen to be believed.

One year ago practically to the day, I visited Butchart Gardens for the first time. November….. most probably not the best month to visit the gardens even though everything I read said that any month was a good month to visit. I was expecting flowers and lots of flowers but I didn’t get that, I left feeling like I had been cheated.

This year I returned to Vancouver Island for a couple of weeks in August and before I left to return to Australia I made sure that I visited Butchart Gardens one more time. I spent hours taking in the beauty and could have stayed longer. Thanks to my ever faithful Canon camera I was able to try and capture some of the beauty to share with you.

My photos will give you some idea of how beautiful this place is. Anyone visiting Vancouver Island MUST take some time to enjoy what the Butcharts have created.

Enjoy.

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Posted November 6, 2019 by broomee in Butchart Gardens, Butchart Gardens, Canada, Vancouver

Humpback Whales, Hervey Bay, August 2019   1 comment

Not much needs to be said about these gentle giants that take some time out in the protected waters of Platypus Bay off the west coast of Fraser island.

Every year the annual humpback migration to warmer waters to give birth takes place. Warmer waters can be as far as the Great Barrier Reef, New Caledonia or even Tonga but there are whales that don’t make it that far and give birth before. I have seen many whales over the years give birth off the Gold Coast. The migration is a time of fasting for the humpbacks so getting back to Antarctica for the Summer to the waters rich in krill is a priority.

Hervey Bay for many years has become known as a resting place, a place of play and a safe place for the humpbacks in the shallow protected waters of the Bay.  Few predators will follow them in to the bay because of the shallow waters.

The whale watching season unlike the Gold Coast does not begin till about the 3rd week in July and goes through till the end of October. Where as on the Gold Coast the season starts on June 1st and goes through to the end of October.

A little early in the season to see mums and calves, it was an absolute treat to see what we saw.

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And a very special moment which my photos don’t really capture is a Southern Right Whale enjoying time with a juvenile humpback whale. The Southern Right whale has a broad back and no dorsal fin. In my photos below the Right whale is in the foreground and you can see the dorsal fin of the Humpback behind.

Not only was this a special moment seeing the two different species together, Southeren Right Whales do not normally travel as far north as Hervey Bay. I captured with my camera one on the Gold Coast some years ago, however they are predominantly found in the southern waters of Australia.

The Right Whale gets their name because they were the ‘right’ whale to catch back in the 1800’s. They were slow-swimming, floated when dead (unike the humpback which sinks to the bottom), and provided large amounts of valuable products – particularly oil for illumination and lubrication. They have been protected in Australian waters since 1935.

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Posted August 8, 2019 by broomee in Uncategorized

New-Zealand’s Tranz Alpine Train Journey   4 comments

The Tranz Alpine is one of the world’s great train journeys covering 223 kilometres from one side of the South Island of New Zealand to the other. The train journey departs Christchurch at 8.15am and returns at 6.30pm, stopping in Greymouth on the West coast for 1 hour. 

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Along the journey there is a few stops.

Arthurs Pass at 737m above sea level is a popular place to stop and enjoy alpine walks or you could even overnight if you wanted to enjoy the region some more.

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From Arthurs Pass the train descends through the 8.5km long Otira Tunnel built under the southern alps. This land mark structure was the second longest tunnel in the world when it was completed in 1923.

The Otira Tunnel marks the transition from Canterbury to West Coast and the landscape becomes remarkably different on the far side. The weather on the west is typically wetter and the scenery more green.

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The fishing town of Moana sits on the bank of picturesque Lake Brunner and is well off the beaten track but worth the stop. Natures simple beauty abounds here.

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A Fantail

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A Tomtit

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The weka is a flightless bird species of the rail family. It is endemic to New Zealand.

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The Sacred Kingfisher as found in Australia.

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There is a short walk not far from the train station (follow the direction of the train to the walk) that crosses over a very modern swinging bridge, not like some of the swinging bridges I have crossed in NZ which leave you wondering how you managed to get off alive.

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A short walk up the hill from the train station, turn right at the second street and you will find Hotel Lake Brunner a short walk along the road, a great place to have lunch especially beside the fire in winter.

Three hours will go fast at Moana, but be sure to be back at the train station as the train will most likely only be stopping for you. If you’re not there, it will keep on going.

Our journey home, I mean back to Christchurch, was a cool one in June (winter) but I still managed to spend much of the trip in the open air carriage with camera in hand.

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As the light dimmed it became more difficult to take photos especially with the speed of the train, so I ended up sitting back and enjoying the journey back into Christchurch.

Definitely a journey worth doing and a day where the driving is left to someone else.

Posted August 1, 2019 by broomee in Uncategorized

Christchurch and beyond, New Zealand, June 2019   5 comments

55 years ago I was born in Christchurch. Our 8 night trip to Christchurch at the beginning of June was to be the longest time I had spent in Christchurch in 28 years. We left when I was 16 and I returned for a few years when I married my first husband at the age of 24 and had my son.

I have been back to New-Zealand a number of times but those trips were all about travelling around the country. This trip was about Christchurch and spending some quality time there with my good friend from high school and her family and taking my husband to places that I remember growing up. Even though its been 28 years, I can get around Christchurch and the suburbs with ease, it was like I had never left.

The suburb of Sumner was where I spent my childhood. I have never lost my love of the ocean and living close to it.  Cave Rock still stands today and was a place I loved to climb, play hide in seek in as the tide came in and out.

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Brighton beach and pier where my girlfriend lives. The houses on the hills seen in the distance, is Sumner where I grew up.

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Christchurch will always be Christchurch to me but there has been so many changes since the earthquakes in 2010 and 2011. In many ways Christchurch will never be the same. The city has gone back to some normality but so much has moved out of the city now. With construction taking so long to happen, businesses have been forced to the suburbs and the city is quite. I have to ask myself, will it ever be the same again. When I looked for landmarks on street corners that would indicate to me that I knew where I was, they have practically all gone. So much has been rebuilt and so much is still waiting to be constructed. Block after block of streets in the city that were once wall to wall with buildings are now designated green land.

The Bridge of Remembrance

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The Antigua boat sheds have been a part of Christchurch’s history for over 130 years and are classified as a Category 1 Historic Building. This was one of my favourite pastimes, rowing on the Avon with my friends. 

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Punting on the Avon wasn’t around when I was growing up but i quite like the idea of someone else doing the hard work.

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And even New Zealand has Canadian Geese, they were introduced in 1905.

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Over the road from the historic art centre, is the botanical gardens and museum. The museum is one of the best museums in New Zealand and while there has been a few changes, I felt like I was going back in time, remembering my youth and the endless times I visited this museum.

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The Avon River flows through the city centre where everybody gets to benefit from its beauty in all seasons.

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As we strolled past the Magistrates Court, I had to tell my husband about the time I went to court at the age of 15 for a driving charge. Back then you could get your drivers licences when you were 15. One day I was driving my mother to an appointment and I drove up the back of a car that was in the middle of the road indicating to turn right. I obviously wasn’t paying attention and the result was a $70 fine. I can remember being terrified standing in front of the magistrate and to make matters worse, he made me feel like a criminal. To this day i have never stepped in another court room.

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Christ’s College is the oldest independent boys school in New Zealand, founded in 1850. It is both a day school and a boarding school. We happened to get to go on the grounds to watch a college football game. It is quite the thing to do in Christchurch.

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This magnificent bronze book lays in the grounds, what a magnificent piece of work.

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Just to refresh everyone’s memories. Christchurch was hit by a powerful magnitude 7.1 earthquake on 4 September 2010 however it was the magnitude 6.3 earthquake on 22 February 2011 that caused severe damage to Christchurch and Lyttleton, killing 185 people and injuring thousands. The epicentre was near Lyttleton, just 10kms southeast of the Christchurch business district. The earthquake struck at lunchtime when many people were on the city streets. More than 140 people lost their lives in the collapse of the Canterbury Television and Pyne Gould Corporation buildings. The earthquake brought down many buildings that had been damaged in the previous earthquake in September. To this day, more than half of the buildings in the central business district have been demolished.

This is quite obviously a new area which has risen up since the earthquakes. On the banks of the Avon River, it is a great place for people who work in the city to come and sit and have their lunch. Restaurants line the promenade behind. New Zealanders love their food and they know how to serve it well.

Earlier in this blog I mentioned the green land that has replaced a lot of infrastructure that was badly damaged and demolished. So much land has now been deemed unsafe to build on. In the suburbs streets upon streets have been turned into green land. I can see someone will benefit from these green areas as the trees and bushes grow, so will the bird and wildlife. I am sure in the not too distant future, Christchurch will become a great place for bird watching tours.

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My best friend was married in the Edmonds Band Rotunda located adjacent to the Avon River. It was sad to see it in this state, I remember it so fondly, especially the day my girlfriend came up the river on a gondola, wearing the wedding dress I had made for her. It was only a couple of days ago that I got news that money has been allocated to restore this beauty, they are expected to start later this year.

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Christchurch has always had a big art presence, with the historic art centre located in the city centre. The Gothic Revival buildings date from 1877 and suffered significant damage in the earthquakes. To this day the restoration is still taking place.

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Colour murals can be seen literally around every corner of the city, these are just a few.

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On the 15th March this year, the world stood still when news hit that a mass shooting had occurred in Christchurch where 50 people had been killed in 2 mosques. One of those mosques was around the corner from a house I lived in with my first husband  in 1987. There is still a strong police presence at the mosques and where the floral tributes were laid outside the Botanical Gardens, just hours after the shooting, there is still some tributes still remaining today.

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I was told while we were in New Zealand that all the soft toys that were left at the tribute, were collected, cleaned and given to the children of the families that lost their loved ones in the mass shooting.

185 Empty Chairs is a temporary art installation reflecting on the loss of lives, following the earthquake on 22nd February 2011. The individuality of each chair pays tribute to the uniqueness of each person presented.

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The landmark that most people recognise as being the heart of Christchurch is the Anglican Cathedral which was badly damaged in the earthquakes. 6 years after the earthquakes, it was finally decided that they would rebuild. The rebuild is expected to take 10 years and cost $NZ104 million.

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Leaving Christchurch behind we spent a wet day in Akaroa, the only French settlement you will find in New Zealand. It is located just over an hours drive from Christchurch on Banks Peninsula. Banks Peninsula was originally an island formed by two volcanic cones, the peninsula has two dominant craters which form Lyttelton and Akaroa Harbours. The charming township called Akaroa is located in the sheltered area of Akaroa Harbour. The drive to Akaroa offers picturesque views from every turn.

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Akaroa oozes charm. Historic cottages draped in roses and vines, line the French named streets. This is the place where the Christchurch folk escape too for relaxation. Whether its sitting at a restaurant or cafe whiling away the day with a local wine in hand over-looking the beautiful and serene harbour, or whether it’s taking a wildlife cruise out to the heads, whether its something more strenuous like kayaking or walking trails, there is something for everyone, even on a miserable day like the one we experienced.

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I had a couple of things I really wanted to do while we were in Christchurch and one of them was drive to Kaikoura to the seal colony and the other was to drive over the Port Hills from Sumner to Lyttleton which was the epicentre of the earthquake in 2011. The Sumner/Evans Pass Road was only reopened in March this year, 8 years after the road was destroyed by the earthquake.

Kaikoura

On the 14th November 2016 Kaikoura was hit by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake which devastated the region. State Highway 1 is the main route to Picton in the north was destroyed and the railway was swept out to sea. The Kaikoura earthquake in scientific term was a new phenomenon. It started 70kms south of Kiakoura, ripping across several fault lines and ending 90kms north of Kaikoura. Geo Net described the long rupture as the earth unzipping itself.

The Kaikoura earthquake shock for more than 2 minutes, it demolished houses, ripped up roads and railway lines, and caused massive landslides.

It was decided after long consultation that State Highway 1 and the railway line would be rebuilt, rather than building new inland routes. The route is particularly beautiful and is one of the great journeys of New-Zealand. Around the clock work commenced on this massive project and in September 2017 the first freight train rolled into Kaikoura Station, just 10 months after the Kaikoura earthquake. With the Main north train line reconnected, the focus then moved to State Highway one. During the nights freight trains operated and during the day the trainline was used for carting rubble and bringing in machinery and materials to assist with rebuilding the road. Working around the clock, State Highway 1 was re-opened in time for Christmas 2017. It was an absolutely phenomenal effort. To this day, there is still extensive works being done on State Highway 1 and the road can be closed unexpectedly. It is essential that you plan ahead and check for road closures and if need be take a different route.

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I couldn’t go all the way to New Zealand and not take one photo of a woolly sheep.  Isn’t that what New Zealand is all about, sheep? Now here’s one big woolly sheep.

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I didn’t know about the whale site until I literally stumbled on it. From the road, I could see bones and realising what i was seeing wanted a closer look. There was a small sign saying it was a whale site and that you were not to take anything as the area was closely monitored. There was no information about the bones, how long they had been there or from what whale. Kaikoura is known as the whale watching mecca of New Zealand. Whether by water or by air, there are tours to view Giant Sperm whales, Humpbacks, Pilot Whales and Orcas.  Whales are a very common sight in the waters off Kaikoura due to the deep canyon located close to the coastline. The water depth drops drastically from 50 metres to over 600 metres.

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Kaikoura is not just about whales, you can swim with dolphins and you can swim with the seals. For me Kaikoura is all about the seal colony. With the major changes in State Highway 1 which runs adjacent to the coast, viewing of the seals has now changed. Back before the earthquake it was common to find seals basking on the grassy bank of the main road. While it is still possible, the main colony at Ohau Point is now viewed from an amazing broad walk that has been constructed specifically for viewing the seals. Not so many years ago, one was able to cross the highway and walk up the stream where the seal mums would leave their pups to play while they went out to sea to feed. Now that is not possible.

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Our trip is not quite over but if you haven’t fallen asleep yet, you would if i continued, so I shall end off here.

Posted July 9, 2019 by broomee in Uncategorized

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