I (we) went to New Zealand (Australia)

It's All Down Under Baby!!

Follow our progress as we traverse our way through New Zealand and Australia. Coffee cup moment anyone?? Tim, Chrissie, Jon

24-Dec-2005 22:14:00

Bon Voyage

Today sees the departure of Tim and Chrissie. They will be climbing into a large pressurised metal tube with jet engines on the side and flinging themselves over to the other side of the planet. Something that I myself will be doing in about 1 weeks time. I'm pretty nervous (maybe that's the wrong word) about the whole thing. I'm not afraid of flying but 26 hours alone with nothing but my iRiver (much better than iPod) for company is a bit of a daunting prospect. I suppose I could always try getting to know the person next to me on the flight, but knowing my luck it'll most likely be someone who doesn't speak English, has questionable personal hygene and will insist upon snoring very loudly for the whole of the flight. Still, I suppose it's only 13 hours to Kuala Lumpur............... Best of luck guys and bon voyage. Don't forget to keep up with the blog while you're away and I'll see you both in Wellington on the 6th. Jon

26-Dec-2005 14:36:00

Its All New Zealand Baby

Today does see the start of the epic journey and well its exciting in the house and snowing outside. Its gonna be one long flight. From a personal perspective on this one I am really happy to be flying with someone this time round - those 14 hours in Singapore last time did little to help my sanity!! So there we go in a few hours its off to Heathrow and then into the sky if we find a place to add to the blog in KL we will. Laters Tim

27-Dec-2005 10:26:10

Half Way there and 2 take offs and landings

Well guys here we are in KL airport - half way through the journey. So far we have had an interesting stop off in Pernang - which the flight was meant to have. Its just we did not expect to have to get off the plane and into an interesting and bloody boiling airport terminal. We are now walking and half sleeping our way round shiney KL international terminal following an epic train journey which we drove - Jon - look out for it otherwise there are no shops Both of us now smell lovely following the visit to the duty free place where Chrissy left before she beat up a women who constantly harrassed us - she has ponited out mid sentance writing here that there was more than one. Anyway Chrissy wants to add something - Woo hoo! This many hours together and we're both still alive and still talking to each other! Highlight of the flight was me getting higher than Tim on who wants to be a millionaire? Spot the brains in our friendship!!!! Can't wait to get to Auckland now - we're placing bets on how soon it is that we get a beer after arriving there -don't think it'll be long. Tim's back to talk more ......... BADGERS LOVE THE SLIDY FLOORS OF THIS AIRPORT Ok oh great ones we are off to walk - and get stuff and then a train and then a plane to Auckland in New Zealand in Sub Artic Division 3 HELP ME!!!!(SOS from Chrissy)

28-Dec-2005 10:42:00

Hey guys,

good to see you’re making full use of the blog. What’s this about a train ride? I assume this is from arrivals back round to departures/duty frees.

Also, I didn’t know anything about stopping in penang.

Jon

by Jon @ 28-Dec-2005 19:13:11

UK Update

Well, I thought I should add to the blog. Ok, I'm not even on the plane yet and won't be for another 4 days but....I'm just really bored at work. Yes that's right I'm at work over christmas to conserve my annual leave (see this is vaguely trip related). I bought myself a brand new rucksack the other day in preparation (well Millets actually ;o) ). It has zip-away straps, a zip-off mini-rucksack, a zip-on cover and zip-together zips. I have even started packing!! Several pairs of pants and socks (you can never bring too many of these) and everybodies shoes for the wedding. The problem is I think I'm rapidly approaching my 20kg baggage allowance and I still need to fit an entire suit and all of my clothes in there somehow. It must be the zips adding extra weight, or I guess you really can bring too many pants...... Guys, don't forget to switch comments on as you write your blog entries. That way everyone can add to it. How long was it before you guys got your first beer? Have Fun!! Jon

29-Dec-2005 13:04:13

I still say you have too much in the way of pants, plus if you’re the shoe mule this is just going to complicate things for you…

Just remember the old rule, half the clothing and double the money!

by Nathan @ 29-Dec-2005 19:27:25

PS Loving the kangaroo

by Nathan @ 29-Dec-2005 19:28:42

Skytower to Mr. Croom

Well Guys we are Here!!!! Much excitement on this one. First things first we are in Taupo at the moment but we will give you an update 2moz on this We touched down in Auckland and after a quick jaunt in a cab to the YHA international we set off into Auckland. I have been there before and spent a little bit of time walking around. This time more walking down to the dock side - A quick wander up to the tallest building in the southern hemisphere 220 metres and a stunning view of Auckland and the area. First beer arrived in about 1hr 30 mins a Speights for me and a Macs Gold for Chrissy in the Dispensary Bar follwed by a second and a strange guy sitting behind us!! A Montiths follwed in Wild Fire bar before booking tickets for the ferry and train on the south island (exciting stuff!!) Then a kip!! The pizza in La Forchatta (Evans we went there last time!) Then sleep. We travelled out of Auckland this morning and the landscape changed and gave way to some great looking stuff. Chrissy's turn to write: He's finally let me talk! We're still doing well - only 1 small domestic on the plane, where I unsuccessfully tried to sulk at Tim - didn't last very long! Auckland was pretty cool, the Skytower was amazing - reminded me of the CN tower in Toronto - no Claire, i didn't go on a cart afterwards!!! Tim had planned to do a Sky jump, but chickened out once he realised just how high it was - the glass floor was enough! The coach journey from Auckland to Taupo was OK - for the people from Raines - we have met the NZ Mr. Croom - he was driving our bus! Didn't look like him but had very similar style of speech and mannerisms - scary or what??!! Anyway, we arrived safe and sound in Taupo and trekked to our hotel, arriving dishevelled and sweaty - didn't think they'd let us in!! Have been instructed by Tim that I'm not allowed to tell anything more about Taupo - all will be revealed shortly! Laters and Respect Tim & Chrissy

30-Dec-2005 05:21:40

“The landscape changed and gave way to some great looking stuff?”
You could have been a bit more descriptive. Or is that coming in the next post?

What do think of the Kangaroo?

by Jon @ 30-Dec-2005 14:55:20

I can’t believe you chickened out of the sky jump (although it probably would have invalidated your travel insurance)

by Jon @ 30-Dec-2005 14:57:16

Free Cocktails at the Biggist Fish Pond in New Zealand

Ok everyone - producing this on a keyboard that has letters worn offso it could take some time!! First of all Chrissy is gonna describe where we are staying! Ok, hi guys, we are staying in the Cove Hotel - in a luxury suite! Tim couldn't quite believe it, spacious living room, with wicked mini bar, balcony over-looking Lake Taupo and ............................................................... A SPA POOL ON THE BALCONY!!!!! How cool is that! Needless to say, we've been making good use of it - spa before room service brought us our breakfast! This is our extravagant part of the trip - after tonight its back to YHAs. McDonalds and Subways!!! Now before any of you get too excited - there are 2 beds!!!!! So please no ooohhhh e-mails and comments here kids. Now then after our excitement over the roomwe headed into town for something - a beer followed by the blog led us to a cool bar. Now Friday night and somewhere this cool does not deserve to be empty. So we entered to find the cute (acording to Chrissy) barman flinging bottles round in his role as the cocktail waiter. He turned out to be really cool as I drank my way through several bottles of Montiths and Chrissy through several glasses of wine. A stunning pizza followed. Now during this a f\group of NZ guys entered and drank margarita's (not something you associate with them!) One knocked one over and a replacement was made free of charge!! Chrissy spotted a strange bottle thinking it might be papaya liqour - it was banana (too many glasses of wine!) We then asked what he used that in and found out. I then casulay mentioned that I had once had a banoffe pie cocktail. The challenge was laid down and as willing Guinea Pigs he knocked up a free experimental banoffee pie cocktail - (awesome) We may pop in there later with the new immproved recipe!! So a fantastic evening - we are off for lunch and will return to tell you more about looking at Volcanoes from a small plane - very exciting and awesome stuff! Our deep joy and falicitations HAPPY NEW YEAR Chrissy and Tim

30-Dec-2005 23:50:14

MMMMM My wife Smell that Lime!!

Well guys shock and suprise we are still in Taupo!! We have stayed a third night here, rather than move on up to Rotarua and the egg smelling place that it is. Villionus - our top number 1 best bar here in Taupo served us well again on New Years Eve lunctime and then yesterday evening as well. Our barman (Robbie) continued to entertain us and was delighted to continue to continue to update the Banoffee Pie cocktail. We added some grated chocolate - removed the Vanilla vodka and added chocolate sauce to thicken the drink up. When we left last night after a couple of Montiths Summer Ales (terrific) A Choclate Martini for Chrissy and a top class vodka lime and lemonade. I then drank a large shot of 42 Below (NZ's award winning vodka and in my view justiflyably so!) also a Mojito and then a final Banoffee Pie Cocktail. We got discount on the Banoffe Pie on the basis and I quote "for being part of the creation of it!!" Now other than drinking we have been in a plane!! A small one engined plane that takes off and lands on Water!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We looked in our guide book thought it would be cool and within 30mins of thinking it would be a good idea we were airbourne flying over that lake - To give you an idea on size at its widest point its as wide as the English Channel. We then flew over 3 volcanoes (including the one which was mount doom in lord of the rings!!) The views were amazing and we have got some cracking pictures! of it all as well as some sunset pictures. On landing we were having problem mooring and for a few mins I was gonna have to jump past my wife (thats what the pilot called Chrissy!) and then on to the float bit of the plane and un tie and jump off the plane - I was however spared this and mightily relieved I was to as I was bricking myself about doing it!! Later today we head down to Napier and the Pacific coast and a major wine producing region and we are touring looking at wine tomorow - should be good. Hey guys, well Taupo is an amazing place - if u ever get the chance to visit then do - its fantastic! Our extra night was largely due to me, my grandad died on New Years Eve and I found out on New Years Day and we decided that we'd spoil ourselves a bit more rather than face the bus the way I was feeling. Luckily Tim has been fantastic - think he was quite happy to spend an extra night with a spa!!! The floatplane was the most amazing thing I've ever done. It was incredible to see such awesome sights, flying right over the volcanoes and seeing the crater lakes - a real mix of greens, blues, oranges and reds. Our pilot was really cool - obviously loves his job, so I can just about forgive him for thinking that tim and I are married - there's a scary prospect! The landing was fun - never seen Tim look quite so nervous as when the pilot suggested that he'd need his help. I have to say we were both quite relieved that it wasn't necessary, especially when we saw just how difficult the landing was - the pilot was definitely struggling! New Years Eve was very chilled - a huge lovely dinner followed by bubbly and fireworks over the lake - beats the pathetic attempts that London normally does! Yesterday we went for a 'leisurely stroll' along by the River Waikato, we walked for a couple of hours before deciding that this amounted to far too much exercise so we headed back to town for Macs Gold beer battered fish and chips - yum!!! The views along the river were awesome - for those of u who were in Canada with me, it reminded me of Bow River in Banff. Also a popular spot for NY picnics - great place to blow the cobwebs away from the night before - can't be bad! Anyway, enough of my general chit chat - can't believe Tim has let me say so much!! Loadsa luv to u all, us

01-Jan-2006 21:42:01

Excellent

by Mr Burns @ 02-Jan-2006 14:34:02

Hey Guys,

Good to see ur having a great time. Don’t party yourself out before I get there :oD

by Jon @ 02-Jan-2006 18:33:15

Take off in 16 hours

Just finished reading the latest installment from NZ. Sounds like you're living it up out there...A SPA!!! (ah the decadence of western civilization). I don't have anything to add that would top that, or even meeting a Mr Croom soundalike for that matter. However, I am all packed and ready to go. My electricity meter is currently spinning wildly as I charge my iRiver, Game Boy, Mobile phone and 2 sets of batteries for my camera. I have that sort of nervous energy you get before a trip (well I get it, not sure about you) and I'm not quite sure what to do with it (I've just finishing alphabetising my DVD collection). I doubt I'll get much sleep tonight in anticipation (again this always happens when I need to wake up early) but it may help in trying to reverse my body clock for when I get to Australia. It'll be 8:30pm local time and about 11am in the uk. This'll be my last blog entry before Australia unless I have more time than expected in Kuala Lumpur. I hope the next one is a tad more interesting. Lorinda, if you're reading this I'm due to arrive in MEL on flight MH129 due 8:35pm on the 4th. Tim & Chrissie, expect me on the NZ154 at 11:45pm from Melbourne to Wellington on the 6th. See all you guys soon (hopefully). Respect Jon

02-Jan-2006 19:06:00

Croc style Boom, Like That

Hey everyone. We have arrived in Napier (get your maps out!) on the east coast of the north island - so and much to the delight of Chrissy and indeed me we are by the sea - did I say sea - i meant the Pacific Ocean - did I say pacific ocean - i meant south pacific (Dave will now sing selected songs from the musical!) For those who don' know Napier is an Art Deco city and probably one of the finest if not the finest. There is some stunning architecture and I love it!! After ariving (about 13 seconds) we ventured to Thomas Ian Evans heavan! Otherwise known as the Sea Life Centre of New Zealand - sharks, very funny fish, crocodiles, nemo and kiwis were seen. We then headed to the links for a round of crazy golf - I won! With 3 hole in ones incfluding one on the tough 18th - pictures of the hole to follow - Chrissy wants to write. SHOW OFF!!!! Ok shes stopped writing - other than that and I think we may be back there this afternoon as its a cracker of a course we are off to visit Wineries in the surrounding region Oh yeah and we drank a few handles (kinda pints) last night of Macs Gold, Macs Dark and Macs Sassy Red, as well as a local brew I can't remember (oh well will have to drink it again tonight) The journey from Taupo had some stunning moments and now its Chrissy's turn to write more and stop me dribberling on Hey everyone! Don't know if I can ever stop Tim dribbling on but I'll try!!! The drive from Taupo to here was amazing -a very diverse range of scenery -rolling hills, mountains, tiny rivers and waterfalls, very dense vegetation at some points and sparse in others (Mr Croom would be so proud of that sentence!!). Tim slept through the most stunning part but as he put it "I've seen it before!" (show off- again) I hope you're not thinking that all we're doing is drinking beer - but we do feel it is our duty to try and supoprt the local economy as much as possible. Meant we got into trouble at the hostel with people banging on the wall cos we were talking too loudly - oops! Miserable people! I was very excited to see Nemo and Doree in the Aquarium - big kid that I am! The sharks were also pretty cool, especially as there's a tunnel that u can walk through so they swim right over your head. Anyway, tim's told u all the exciting stuff - we're off to visit wineries now (more local produce). Me again - We have noticed here in Napier that people leave pebbles with messages on them - we are going to do a Approach one with tour details and stuff - we will take some pictures - but our name is spreading. Rock On! Chrissy and Tim

02-Jan-2006 19:48:52

Ah, Macs Sassy Red, you’re bringing back beautiful inebriated memories… what fine ale it is.

Rock on, and Jon, I hope you got everything in your bag.

by Nathan @ 03-Jan-2006 14:59:43

Sure did, with room to spare!!!

by Jon @ 04-Jan-2006 00:12:39

Melbourne here I come

Whay hey!!! Finally made it to Kuala Lumpur. The flight was great, smooth ride all the way. I very much enjoyed watching Wallace and Gromit in the curse of the were rabbit for the first time. As Tim likes to quote "Gromit gives the best silent comedy performance since Buster Keaten". The only problem I have now is that I have in fact seen ALL of the in flight movies that Malaysia airlines have to offer. This leaves me a bit stuck for entertainment for the 8 hour flight to Melbourne. No doubt I'll find some way to amuse myself. There's still plenty of life in the "who wants to be a millionaire" game, which inciedently doesn't feature Chris Tarrant at all (probably for the best). My best score so far is 128k and that was my first attempt! Anyway, I think I'm probably rambling. The lack of sleep is beginning to catch up with me so I'm off to find somewhere that sells very strong coffee. What up Homies... Jon

04-Jan-2006 00:09:13

We've Got Kareoke from 9pm!

Well guys a very quick blog entry just from me. We are in Paraparaumu at the moment and off to catch a train into Wellington this morning so more updates from there It will include such stories as: The Wine Trip - Awesome Palmerston North (Palmy to the locals) Walking in the Sea Dinner at Lakota The Return to Beachcomber Bar after 2 years - and yes Evans the manager is still trying to get people going back at 9pm for Kareoke! Anyway - Laters to you all just got to pick up the last few bits and bobs Jon good to see your half way mate Timmy Boy

04-Jan-2006 20:21:09

Rackoff Ramsay you flaming Galah!

Well, I'm finally here...26 hours by plane and I can already say it's definately worth it. I'm adjusting to the new time zone quite well. I passed out just after I arrived and forced myself to wake up this morning. There is still a possibility I could suddenly crash this afternoon but a coffee or 2 should see to that. I'm about to go on a tour of Melbourne by tram which should present some good photo opportunities. Maybe I can get a few shots on my Flickr site to rival Nathan's. For those of you who don't know him see www.mybigtrip.info Anyway, we have a guest blogger. Lorinda is here to add her very own pre wedding update. Hello my lovelies! Happy to say that Jon survived a room full of Aussies last night and likes our dog Muppet so all is going swimmingly. We are currently beseiged by a strange child (my sisters neighbour) who won't stop sing jingle bells!! Time to move on.... Now I am playing the tour guide and taking Jon into the city. See you soon, Lorinda xxx Word Jon

05-Jan-2006 03:05:00

Russian Oak is Bollocks

Well everyone we are in Wellington. The nations capital has welcomed us and now it is time to start describing what we have been up to in the last few days. Firstly the wine tour - some of you know that we had booked a personalised wine toue of the Hawkes Bay region - around Napier and Hastings. Fran our guide was great as we went round 5 wineries and stuff on route. A quick pop into a cheese place as well. We returned cluching wine - in my case a bottle of wine which cost $50 or about 22 quid. Acording to John the guide in that particular vineyard its 90 odd quid at Gordon Ramsey's in London and he described it as the best Southern Hemisphere wine he stocked - so form an orderly line for tasting in a while. We had some stunning wines and we were pretty stupid in that we drank most of them rather than spit them out - but its a waste So we then had a second round of mini golf - I lost badly this time so Chrissy has her revenge on me once again. So we are a day or so away from Jon's arival we are both excited about that are ready to get ver to the south Island and look at Whales. Now after that and a lot more food and stuff we moved down across the North Island to the Kaipati Coast town of Paraparaumu - seen of a drunken day between Ian and I last time Chrissy after checking in with the scary owners who are selling up - staying in the same room as last time - which was even scarier we ventured out to the Beachcomber Bar - Chrissy the only women in there sowed strength by drinking handles while the locals drank 12's (the difference between halfs and pints) I looked on with pride. A few Tui's and Export Golds and we moved in to Lakota - a new place opened on my birthday - some top class food there - Chrissys musscles were by all acounts sensational and my venision meatballs could win awards for their tastyness. A few more montiths summer ales as well. We theb travled into Wellington by train at a massive cost of about 3 quid each - I was excited as always to travel by train - I am so sad but hey. In Wellington already we have discovered the Macs Brewery - may go back but we are going with the flow I am trying to concentrate as well at the moment on the Cricket - never watched Channel 9 from Oz live before - so pretty excited about that! And guys please add more comments so we look like we have friends! Laters Amigos and Amigoes'es Tim and my wife

05-Jan-2006 03:36:28

Good to hear you guys sound like you’ve had a much better time in Wellington than I did – I thrashed my van to death and nearly spent several days in endless loops on the one-way system. Still, nice place.

Carry on enjoying – the venison meatballs sound brill. You’ll be glad to hear that apart from the weather there probably being a damn site nicer, you don’t get a sad desperate bunch of worn-out old C-list media whores whoring themselves for the amusement of a weak-brained British public on Celebrity Big Brother. George Galloway for pete’s sake…

by Nathan @ 05-Jan-2006 22:12:33

Basin Reserve to the Westpac and then perhaps to the Telstra

Yo yo yo Ok People after 1 day here in Wellington or to be more to the point half a day we realised this morning that we had covered most of the attractions So for you Cricket lovers we headed off to the National Museum of Cricket at the Basin Reserve which is the Test Match venue here in Wellington. A quick wonder around the museum and we were met by the man with the biggist beard in New Zealand. After a wonder through this town - which is lovely by the way we headed to a bar which had Montiths Summer on Tap. Then shock horror the New Zealand cricket came on with a game against Shi Lanka. I then spotted that the game was going on here in Wellington at the big Westpac stadium - it was'nt full and so Chrissy the wonder that she is excepted that we should venture down - she is a terific girl. So parted with $58 or 20 somthing quid we went down to the Westpac to watch New Zealand bat 220-ao not a great performance and Chris Caines failed with the bat which was dissaponting. Anyway with hopes that we will go down to the Telstra Dome next week to watch Oz against the Shi Lankan boys in could be that I have watched both Oz and Nz play cricket in their own countries in a week - awesome or what!! Chrissy is also doing a blog entry and I will let her describe more Jon will be here soon so - another traverling companion and stories to tell. TBMJ

06-Jan-2006 05:45:05

Cricket bloody cricket

Hey everyone, we thought we'd write separate blogs today but we are still talking to each other - in fact there haven't been any domestics for a while - I'm quite impressed (and surprised!). As I haven't written anything for ages, I'll just add my bits to what Tim wrote the other day. The wine tour was great, so many yummy drinks to try. We started so well, with spitting out or pouring some away but after that, it was just too tempting to finish what they gave us - ended up back in Napier a little merry (hence my name!), but it was all good! I also bought a really nice bottle of wine, but unfortunately there won't be any available for tastings as we drank it the other day - sorry!!! Parapara was fun - was really cool to be in a tiny place right next to the sea. Yes, I really was the only woman in the bar we went to and the barman seemed quite surprised to see me drink 3 handles of Mac's - mum, aren't you proud of your ladylike and elegant daughter??!!! Had a great time paddling in the sea - Tim seemed quite suprised to see my roll up my trousers and run towards the water - if I can paddle in Stokes Bay in February, I can paddle in the Tasman Sea in January! Onto Wellington and yesterday we spent the day exploring the city. We went to the fantastic museum - thought we'd do something cultured! It was great, with lots of interactive and fun exhibits - think they may have been geared more towards children, but Tim and I joined in anyway. Think I am bringing out the big kid in Tim - later on, I ran towards the swings while he looked on despairingly, till he realised that it looked like fun and went on 1 as well - we decided against the slide though - I was worried I'd get stuck (lard arse that I am!!) Today has been nicknamed 'test our friendship day', with a real cricket theme. We went on a so-called pilgrimage to Basin Reserve (the home of new Zealand cricket), which has a cricket museum and everything! Woo Hoo! Luckily it was only small, so it didn't take long to loook around it. Then we went and sat outside and watched the Wellington team practice - men in shorts - always get my vote! We took a wander into town and went to the Cathedral, which was an amazing building, very modern and simple, but I really liked it. After that, it was time for lunch and we found a pretty cool pub, where Tim found out that NZ were playing Sri Lanka just up the road. I've never seen him eat his lunch and drink his beer so fast. Before I knew it, we were off to the Westpac Stadium to watch the game. Now, to say that I'm not really a cricket fan is an understatement, but I'm learning! We spent a couple of hours there, with me desparately trying to work out what the hell was going on without bugging Tim too much with my stupid questions. Luckily we were sitting next to a rowdy group of guys who kept me entertained with their shouts, cheers and chants directed at various players on both teams. By the end of the first innings (mum - you're impressed now eh?), we decided it was far too cold to stay there any longer, so we headed back into town to the same pub where guess what? A cricket game was on TV - is there no escape??!! Anyway, tonight Jon joins us and tomorrow we'll head to the south island - very excited about that! Hope everyone is cool, Luv n hugs Mrs. C. Jones

06-Jan-2006 05:56:57

Are you seriously trying to tell me you don’t like cricket?!? You seemed to love being on that cricket pitch in Antigua. I didn’t hear any complaints about the game then!

by Jills @ 09-Jan-2006 23:18:48

Picton a gogo

This is a truly momentus part of the trip. This is the first blog entry from all of the members of approach (who are in New Zealand...sorry Leanne). We're about to catch the ferry over to Picton Where we'll be staying for the first night on the South Island. My visit to the North Island has been brief to say the least but it does make me want to come back and explore it properly. I'm really getting the hang of time zones now. My body clock has fully reset itself and i now think that I'm operating at approximately local time (albeit easter 1986). Wnyway, here's Tim. Well guys itis the head south again with a niight in scenic Picton onthe way - you just can;t bea6t a night in front of a ferry port in my book. Then onto Kaikoura and whales Chrissy sends her warmest regards and cannot be bothered to type!!! Peace out from 2 Irivers to 3

06-Jan-2006 20:58:03

Do the Hokey Pokey Kokey

We're all in the small town of Picton at the top of New Zealnds south island. We did just write a fantastic blog entry but the stupid computer didn't save it. We'll have to come back and re do it but it'll have to wait for another time. So sorry peeps, now where do we get our money back !!!!!!

07-Jan-2006 21:51:25

Do the Hokey Pokey Kokey part 2

It looks like I've got a bit more time to write. Tim and Chrissie have popped out and will be joining me in about 10 mins. This entry marks my first full day in New Zealand and I'm really enjoying it. The ferry ride from Wellington to Picton was good. Saw some amazing scenery and got some good pics. I just need to find somewhere to upload them now. We were dalayed by about an hour on the ferry and left floating aimlessly outside Picton Ferry Terminal for an hour. However a couple of sassy reds helped the trip go a bit more smoothly :o). I have also made it to the water for the first time this trip..yay!. I didn't have my swimming shorts on so I did the typical british thing of rolling up my trouser legs and paddling. All I needed was a knotted hanky on my head and a string vest and I could have been on Brighton beach (If Brighton beach had sand, was set against some of the most spectacular scenery I've ever seen and made it above 12 degrees in the summer). Tim and Chris will no doubt add to this entry later so watch this space..... Aloha Jon

07-Jan-2006 22:15:26

Jon,

String vest and hanky set are in the post. Keep up the good image of Blighty over there.

Nathan

by Nathan @ 07-Jan-2006 23:46:45

Just Walk Pass the Train

Yo Guys Well we are in Kaikoura - recovering from some mass vomiting on our whale watch! - More on that later from Chrissy and Jon. BUT we did see the arse end of a whale diving into the sea and some Dolphins as well Ok since my last contribution we have been to sunny Picton the port on the south island and stayed in cosey beds in a great little hostel with on suite twin rooms. On the High street and a small one it is to we passed the youngest acordian player in New Zealand being a martyr for his art - pretty good player as well. We then travelled by train south on the Tranz Costal - some special views from the observation carridge on that one especialy in the gorges just out of Picton and then as the Kaikoura range opened up in front of us. Anyway I am off to continue rehabilitating my stomach into the present time. yo yo to you all again TBMJ - Gangsta Rapping's undescovered talent!

09-Jan-2006 02:41:03

Accidental Colonic Irrigation

Yo what up? Jon here, We have arrived here in a little place on New Zealand's west coast called Kaikoura. It's a tiny little town whose economy seems to revolve around serving local seafood and whale watching. I feel I have to comment on our excellent accomdation. We decided to spring for a B&B instead of going to a backpackers hostel (although all of the hostels we've been to have been very good). I'd very much recommend it and I'm shamelessly plugging it. It's called the Driftwood Inn - Kaikoura. Of course the rooms are a good size, it's clean and tidy and you get a full breakfast cooked for you on request, but by far the best thing is the spa in the back garden looking out over the surrounding mountains....yes we really have arrived! We were slightly dissappointed last night after finding out that mussel boy's (a chain seafood restaurant) had sold up and moved away, however we decided to give the new restaurant in it's place a go (Pipi's). This was an exceptionally good idea. I had a steak that was at least 2 inches thick! and Chrissie ended up with what must have been a whale & chips. Again I'm shamelessly plugging it. Anyway back to today. We've all just come back from Whale watching and thanks to some choppy sea conditions are all feeling a little bit delecate...did I say delecate?? I meant violently sick. However, it was more than worth losing our breakfasts to see these amazing creatures. I shall be posting some pics soon, I promise. We were also lucky enough to find a small pod of mating dolphins (oo errr missus). We have one more night here in Kaikoura before heading down to finish the New Zealand part of our trip in Christchurch. However don't despair we still have a week in sunny, sunny err sunny Melbourne. Stay tuned. Jon This blog entry has been brought to you by the good people at the Driftwood Inn in conjunction with Pipi's cafe and restaurant :o)

09-Jan-2006 03:11:00

Sick as 3 dogs

hey everyone, my turn now (finally - have to let the guys go first otherwise there's trouble). Yes, I was sea sick - can't even blame the rum punch this time Jills! But I'm pleased to say that we weren't the only ones and at least we saw the amazing sperm whale and some very beautiful dolphins who were dancing and leaping around our boat. The most important thing to say is that I've had my first hokey pokey, nope its not rude, but a great butterscotch ice-cream with pieces of honeycomb in - yum yum and thanks Jo for the recommendation! Can't really think of anything else that hasn't already been said by the others, except that if anyone has any ideas as to how we could put a spa in our house please let us know! Also, any of my family/friends please feel free to add comments - so I can beat Tim in the popularity stakes!!! (Jon's winning so far!) Ok, gonna love ya and leave ya byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

09-Jan-2006 03:21:44

Sitting Back Swigging a Beer

Well Guys we're running out of time in NZ with tomorrow our last full day here. At the moment we have been enjoying a relaxing lunch and walk in Kaikoura before catching the train to Christchurch this evening and then flying to Australia on Thursday at stupid o'clock. The last few hours have been focussed on food and drink in the main with large amounts of drinking and eating - so much we are now full - until later that is and the atractions of Christchurch's Oxford Terrace come into full View Now before we leave we will be awarding some awards to the best places in NZ - and trying to e-mail them as well to let them know Here are the nominations so far Best Acomadation.- YHA Wellington. Sequina Lodge Picton, YHA International Auckland, Drifwood Villa - Kaikoura Best Luxuary Acomadation - The Cove Taupo Best Beer - Montiths Summer Ale, Macs Gold, Macs Sassy Red, Macs Dark, Tui, Speights Old Dark Best Food - Villino Taupo, The Olive Brach Kaikoura Best Kiwi - Robbie the Barman from Villino Taupo - Fran from the Wine Tour, The Crazy Insane People at Paraparaumu Chrissy says high :aters with the results get your ball gowns and Diner Jackets On Timmy Boy

10-Jan-2006 01:06:33

Dave, the physically astonishing woman

Tim is blogging at the same time so we'll see who gets their entry up first. We're about half way into our first day in Christchurch and our final day in New Zealand. For me it's only been a fleeting visit but I've decided that I'm going to move to Kaikoura, get a pilots license and fly the whale watching tours and shuttle service between Picton and Wellington. Ok, maybe I'm not being entirely serious here but it has been a truly memorable trip so far. The best bit is of course I've still got a week in Australia to go. I definaitely need to come back one day and spend some real time here. I shall be accepting donations on behalf of the "Send Jon back to New Zealand Fund" NB - This is a fictional charity. Lorinda, we'll see you soon and I hope all's well with the wedding preparations. Be Cool Jon ps - Look out for our upcoming collaborative blog entry "A complete history of New Zealand"

11-Jan-2006 00:22:47

Laters to New Zealand (and yes I am blubbing!!)

Yo Guys Jon is blogging at the same time. So here we are in Christchurch Town today ready to say goodbye again to NZ. So as such and without getting to wet around the eyes here are some personal reflections. Its been amazing to be back in this great country the fact that I have spent the past two and a half years going on about it may have given you some indication of how much I enjoyed being here. On the places we have been it was great to spend some time in Auckland looking a little bit more round and hopping up the Sky Tower as well as being able to eat in the same places but drink in different bars. Taupo was frankly amazing and in many ways made me see far more value to the North Island - which sometimes gets a bit of a bad press and after 3 nights in Taupo I challenge anyone not to realise how good it really is. New Year was calm and the bar we went to was terific - Great Beer and Food and an amazing plane trip all summed up the place for me Spending more time in Napier was also a real bonus espcialy with our wine tour - thanks to Fran for showing us around all those winaries and the cheese place - deffinatly something I would recomend The Nostlagic revisist to Paraparaumu was fun and we think we have uncovered a real star in the cheap and excellant Lakota resteraunt + the beachcomber bar does not change at all and that is so funny Wellington was fun for the Cricket - which I loved and cheers to Chrissy for coming both to the Basin Reserve and then the Westpac for the one dayer South and to Picton and Kaikoura - I really recomending stopping off in Picton - its to easy just to rush off the Ferry and get south and its a great little spot to spend a few hours and a night even Lodsa congats to Chris and Suzzy at Driftwood for their terific acomadation - amazing value for money and a really top class B&B - in fact its World Class. So why come 24 hours on a plane - well if nothing else come just to say you've gone that far - its a bloody long way and well - after all those hours the rewards are amazing So pack up your house badgers get them on a plane and get out here - We are gonna be compiling a list of places we recomend and we will also let them know that we recomend them as well - just in case you hop out here so you can find something amazing to eat drink or sleep on. Cheers to Chrissy and Jon for ur company on the way round Laters from oz Timmy

11-Jan-2006 00:23:30

Book your B&B room now!

Hey everyone, it is indeed our last day in NZ, so I'm gonna keep this pretty short so we can get back out into the sunshine! It has been an amazing trip, with so many memories to take home with me (plus a couple of T-shirts - although not as many as Jon!). As well as Jon moving to Kaikoura, I'm going to be opening a B&B (with spa) in Taupo - man, I love that place! Admittedly I haven't seen a huge amount of the South Island, but Taupo wins my vote on so many levels - not least because its where Tim and I got married!!!!! Ah the happy memories I have of that most romantic ceremony on a floatplane. Anyway, we're off to Melbourne tomorrow (at stupid o'clock) and I can't wait to see Lorinda, Marco, Claire and Sharon - gossip city or what??!! Loadsa luv, me xxxxx PS Especially big hugs to all the Berrys right now

11-Jan-2006 00:30:20

Christchurch looks lovely from Sydney!!

Greetings from Sydney - Its a long story with some funny twists and turns and a ing Airline to whom we owe our thanks and the crap Flkight Centre to whomn we owe a traditional British style thrashing (6 of the best trousers down) Anyway more from Melbourne when we are there in a hour or 2 But we got a Sydney staamp in our passports - cool or what Respect n Love Tim and the wife

11-Jan-2006 22:31:58

Cartwheels in Christchurch to Weddings in Melbourne

Hey everyone, Well, we have finally made it to Melbourne (Tim and I via Sydney!) and Jon and Claire joined us last night. Our last afternoon in NZ was spent wandering around in the sunshine, including a stroll by the River Avon and me desperately attempting cartwheels in the park - still can't do the damn things! We found a great Indian resturant (having found a pub with happy hour on beforehand) and all ate and drank a bit too much! Tim and I managed to get to the airport for just after 4am to catch our flight to Melbourne, which was eventful - sure Tim is writing about that as I write this so won't say anymore. It's great to be in Oz, wonderful to see Lorinda and meet all her family. Tim and I got a sneak preview of the wedding, as we went to the rehearsal yesterday afternoon, just after I discovered that Lorinda wanted me to do a reading - she was sure she'd asked me but she hadn't! Ah well, should be fun! The tanned Claire finally managed to make it to our motel, just as we were all dropping off to sleep so the gossip and catch up had to wait until this morning! We're gonna spend the afternoon/evening exploring Melbourne, possibly catching a bit of cricket too if Tim gets his way! Anyways, Kind regards, Christine

13-Jan-2006 02:12:00

It sounds like you are having a brilliant time. Of course Lorinda didn’t ask you but she will swear blind that she did. Hope it all went well.
Love to all
Sue

by Sue @ 14-Jan-2006 20:16:25

A Message from Zachery Von Shalroden (aka. Timothy Benedict Mark Jones)

Now add the following things to any food you have handy 1 tea spoon of Dried Basil 1 Desert Spoon of fresh oregano 1/2 a cup of semolina 1 cup of self raising flour 1 Handle (NZ beer measurement) of paprika 1 Pint of Hair Gell 1 Tankard of Momassas Finest Tomatoe Puree 1 Glass of French White Wine Vineger 250mls of Tibetan Snow 12ozs of Fosters 17 quarter weigts of cooked mussel shells 1 plump young Strawberry 75 Hogsheads of Finest Somerset Cider 1 small sip of Bad Hungarian Wine 17011 small flecks of salt 45 wires from your TV A freind with a strange look A slightly off Christmas Date you left in the box 76 Chiss Truffles Now then once complearted and if any of you do my congrats pat yourself on the back hug yourself and find a Koala!! So we be in Australia - having arrived at Christchurch Airport at at 4am we then found out that Virgin Blue do not run early morning flights to Melbourne anymore!! Flight Centre had apprantly told us (liars) Anyway thanks to the marverlous women on the desk we managed to change our flights on the spot and for free and fly around 45 mins later to Sydney - where we entered land of Oz - and hopping kangas. Then a domestice flight down to Melbourne. So then we met Lorinda and went off to the wedding rehersal - Chrissy did'nt know she was doing a reading!! The rehearsal over we ventured to our Motel and went out and got some Beer and wine - (we were unsuccessfully) looking for the train station. So the little lady and I then drank some beer and Jon arrived - we than went off to KFC (first one!) then I began to pass out at 8pm (not bad considering I and the wife had been up since 1am [Oz time that is] all very confusing) Anyway baffles apart - move a small Badger to your right - slap your sofa with a wooden spoon - shift a mate over your shoulder and splat some Tommy K on your washing machine. Mega Love and Hugs Zach

13-Jan-2006 02:37:15

I'm asleep, whaddya want?

Well my last few hours in Christchurch were really quite uneventful. I pretty much stayed in the hostel until the shuttle to the airport came to pick me up. I know I should have got out and about but it was bucketing with rain and it seemed wholly uninviting out there. It did mean I was able to spend some time on the internet and chat with my parents back home. Still, I'm now in Melbourne! yay. I'm currently feeling really groggy. Managed to sleep for about 16 hours last night so maybe the disruption to my sleeping patterns has something to do with it. I can hardly stay awake at the moment (1:30 pm Oz time) so I'm going to keep things short. I still haven't found somewhere I can upload my photos yet but I'll let you all know when I do. Those of you who are interested anyway. I think we're all off to melbourne jail (where Ned Kelly was hung) to see if we can book a candle light tour, scary huh (Cue rubbish ghost noises). I think on the way I'll pick up a doube espresso. Catch you on the flipside, Jon Oh and please people, leave some comments.

13-Jan-2006 02:37:56

Wake up. There’s enough Starbucks all over the place there, you’ve got no excuse.

Oh and have fun!

by Nathan @ 13-Jan-2006 21:27:51

Candle light tour of Melbourne jail, pay extra and get them to turn the lights on.
see ya soon
Dad

by dad @ 13-Jan-2006 22:34:21

Smelt that Iron Joey Boy

Greetings one and all from the marverlous Leongatha Libary We are in a small town outside of Melbourne following the wedding and are staying in spectaculary cheap and amazing acomadation - a room all to myself at the mo Wedding was cool - my legs are very burnt from playing cricket Jon and I got a game and a produced the best off break of my life as I bowled around the wicket to a right hander pitched outside off Offstump and hit middle So all is good - Jon's tail end cross batted swipes proved very effective as well Laters and keep your cake cool and your Badgers warm I've seen a Koala and a wallabie and hand fed one! Zach

18-Jan-2006 03:58:41

weddings, wallabies, koalas and more bloody cricket!!

Hey everyone, Lorinda and Marco's wedding was fantastic, luckily my reading went well despite Tim and Jon's best efforts to put me off! Jon and I decided we'd humour Tim and his cricket obsession and went with him to look round the MCG on Sunday - mainly because we knew it would annoy Chris - sorry mate, but thats life! We went on a wildlife adventure yesterday - viewing kangas, wallabies, cassawrays (big birdy things), emus and koalas - cool or what! We then went to Penguin Parade last night, where we watched a lot of Little Penguins (smallest in the world) walk across the beach from the sea to the sand dunes - amazing to see them so close to us. Jon tried to work out how he could steal one, but didn't quite manage it! Anyway, enough rambling from me, see u all soon, Lots of love Chris xxxxxx

18-Jan-2006 04:05:48

How comes I got a pay slip for you today when all I hear is about fun and drink? Glad to hear the wedding went well. Keep those lads under control and best wishes to Lorinda and Marco. If you see Sharon give her my love.
Mum

by Mum @ 16-Jan-2006 18:14:13

Glad all went well. Nicole had a baby boy. See what you miss when you go globe trotting?!
The penguins sound a great sight the sea-gulls on Springfield Park just can’t compete!
A safe journey home to you all.

by Mum @ 18-Jan-2006 18:47:02

Wait ages for a blog and 3 turn up at once

Hello all, very sausage about being a bit lax with our blogging recently. There is a good reason though. We've been sausaging in a sausage town called Leongatha which must be the only place in the world without an abundance of internet cafes. We are currerntly using a library machine which is also the oldest computer in existance. Many congratulations to the happy couple Marco and Lorinda. The ceremony was great and we all enjoyed it immensely. Sausage then we have been getting out and about in Melbourne. Among the highlights was getting the guided tour of the Melbourne cricket ground (Chris Rice, time for you to turn green). The cricket game at Cowes was great. I batted 5th in the order and despite conditions favouring the bowler was able to notch up a few runs (Chris Rice, time to turn greener). Yesterday we managed to get out to the animal park where I made a new friend, Derek the wallaby. I've now decided that I will be adopting sausage wallabys and inviting them round for tea and biscuits in the UK. They assure me that quarantine laws do not apply to them. Later that evening we got to the Penguin parade which again was excellent. Although they had no marching band and their floats were a lackluster affair at best it was sausage brilliant fun to watch them waddle up the beach to their homes among the sausage dunes. Of course only a few of the penguins were real, to ensure a good sausage they employed what has become known as "live CGI" effects and interspersed the real penguins with sauage dogs which appear the sausage at a distance. Sausagely I wasn't able to photograph the penguins sausage you'll just have to imagine them. time to sausage off, Jon

18-Jan-2006 04:25:33

Nice to hear from you again.We were about to send out a sausage party.

by dad @ 18-Jan-2006 13:16:10

Equal rights for sausagey sausages.

by Nathan @ 19-Jan-2006 00:12:28

Ah Pooh!

by Chris Rice @ 19-Jan-2006 06:37:54

Shouldn’t that be sausage out a sausage party ;o)

by Jon @ 19-Jan-2006 22:24:12

sausagen’t that be sausage out a sausage party

by dad @ 20-Jan-2006 16:36:08

And now the end is near

Well this is the final blog entry from me (Jon) for the trip. There will of course be the 'Entire history of New Zealand' but this will have to be a collaborative work back in the UK. I hope you've found it interesting, amusing, thought provoking or at very lest something to read during your coffee break. I make my way to the airport in a little under 4 hours ready for 29 hours in a pressurised tube with wings and jet engines to fling myself back to London, back to winter and back to work. I'm now several shades of biscuit darker (biscuits being the scale that sun tan is measured on, from rich tea to chocolate bourbon) and many t-shirts heavier (luggage wise). I've fed wallabies, seen penguins up close and thrown up on whales, not to mention surviving a wedding and subsequent celebrations. I've drunk collossal amounts of Monteiths summer ale and covered around 40,000km. Nanu Nanu, This is Jon aka Willie D'Souza signing off Dave and Leanne, I'm looking forward to the panto. I make no guarantees of being awake thoughout all (or indeed any) of it but I'll be there none the less.

19-Jan-2006 06:36:14

If you can see a Bridge it might cross water

Greetings to all around the world. As you may have now guessed Jon, Chrissy, Wille De Souza and Zachary Von Shalroden have not been in the UK for a while. This is due to the fact that we are in the southern hemisphere - I now realise that you will all no doubt be shocked by this and thought that we were all hiding in the Mission House Cellar with nothing but a wierd imagination and accesses to Boardband. However this is the last day here in 35 degree Melbourne and soon we will be on our way home to good old cold London. In recent weeks you have been blogged from the following places Kuala Lumpa London Auckland Napier Taupo Leongatha Melbourne Sydney Wellington Christchurch Kaikoura Picton Paraparaumu and some places we have possibly missed as well and let me tell you something its been a pleasure making everyone back home feel educated and entertained with our travels. The Blog will be finished back in London town with the awards for the trip so keep yourself looking for that together with our History of New Zealand. Many things have happened in Leongatha - mainly the vast amount of drinking of Coldies (Carlton Cold) and also the mega important purchase of a $3 Chocolate Cake. Melbourne is warm - frankly boiling and this evening is one first of all to relax and say Bon Voyage in Mr Jon Chambers and then for me and Chrissy to Jet off tomorrow avro and arrive back in London at 5.30am Saturday morning. Another week off work for me - mainly to continue the jet setting Lifestyle in London and walk round it like a tourist. Or just sleep off the jet lag! So as we end this particular entry all I need say is this Shallmonnagalba Kabozamm Malikjsta. - A rare Siberian Greeting and sign of affection. Sleep tight - Slap a Bed Bug - Make a Tea and sniff out your best truffles. With eyes welling up again it farewell to Oz and the MCG and the sun and hello London England From everyone - to the cake and the Fudge - Chrissy says big up booo hello hi and Bongour and whishes you all a restful period of eating Laters and Respect and Love Zach, Tim, Issac and Abendigo

19-Jan-2006 06:44:27

Ok, so I lied

I have 5 hours to wait in KL airport and it's 6am local time so not much is open, not that it matters much as my body thinks it's on australian time (9am tomorrow morning) not that this matters much as I haven't slept since thursday morning. My flight seemed to go incredibly quickly this time and I got some great views of a thunder storm as I was leaving Melbourne. They haven't called my flight yet so ermm... I'm just going to waffle on a bit. I know it seems like a bit of an anticlimax to the big sign off but there really is precious little else to do whilst stuck in an airport at stupid o'clock and a bad case of airplane insomnia. However my alter ego (Willie D'Souza) seems to be coming on quite well in a sort of fight club style split personality type thing. Willie tells me I've already said too much. Anyway, Starbucks is opening up around the corner. I think it has become compulsory that every street/airport terminal in the world must have one. I'm off to spend the last of my Malaysian Ringets on coffoffeee! Willie D'Souza will see you later. Jon

19-Jan-2006 22:18:25

Hope you get back OK and not too knackered – it’s gone so quickly!!

by Nathan @ 20-Jan-2006 02:57:45

The final countdown!

Hey everyone, Thought I should write again as I didn't yesterday when the guys did - far too lazy thats my problem! We are in Melbourne in the heat and getting ready to say our goodbyes to the southern hemisphere in a few hours. The trip has been amazing, seen so many fantastic sights, met some cool people (Robbie in Taupo wins that one), ate some fab food (always important) and had so many laughs! Tim and Jon have been wonderful travel buddies, especially at times when I have been emotional, tired or just plain grumpy - thanks guys! Its been fantastic to meet up with Claire and have some good old fashioned girl talks until 3am, its great to know that some things don't change - she still farts as loudly as she ever did!!! The wedding (the real reason for the trip after all) was wonderful, it was a real honour to be part of Lorinda and Marco's big day and to be made so welcome by all her family, even when Tim kept mentioning the Ashes! Well, I guess thats about it, its soon time to come back to reality (and work on Monday). Looking forward to seeing you all, Big hugs, Chris xxxxxxx

19-Jan-2006 22:32:34

You've Got minor womens wiplash

Well after a crash bang wollop trip to Melbourne Airport followed by a 7hr + flight we are back in KL There is currently an alarm going off and no one is doing anything so we will continue to write. On our way to Melbourne airport our cabbie who was a liability had his cab rammed by another cab that was trying to get out onto the road near the drop off point. I was apprantly a witness - great!!!! After a spell in the Airport in which new Billabong t-shirts were purchased and a possible escape to New Zealand fleetingly considered we boarded our flight So its 10.15pm and my ears are ringing Good night from me and good night from her Zach and Anna

20-Jan-2006 14:14:50

Home Sweet Home

For those of you who have managed to stick with our random mutterings and slightly insane blog entries, we are back in London! We arrived back at 5.30am today and are somehow still awake, although I'm not sure for how much longer! It was an amazing trip but now its time to catch up on some sleep! Au revoir Chris xxxxx

21-Jan-2006 14:44:27

Cool, leaving this from wordpress

by jon.chambers @ 26-Apr-2006 14:05:07