One Trip EVERY Month Challenge – Eastbourne, New Zealand


Having just had a 6.2 magnitude earthquake, I am glad that I visited New Zealand before New year and not after. Technically, within the last month thus meeting the requirements of East of Malaga’s New Challenge: One Trip Every Month, which you will find here. January – Eastbourne ferry from Wellington -a 30 minute trip across Port Nicholson to Days Bay where kayaks can be hired and an assortment of cafes/shops/galleries can be found.

Oriental Bay


Wellington Harbour: Your Departure point

Walk along the esplanade, passing Te Papa museum until you come to the pontoon at Lambton Quay with the blue catamaran “The Dominion Post” ferry that will take you to Eastbourne.Eastbourne1New Zealand 20136

Buy your ticket at the EastWestferry office opposite and cast your eyes back over Wellington city proper across the brilliantly turquoise  wet stuff. One way ticket costs $11.00 for adults.

EAstbourne New Zealand

Stay on board while the ferry docks at Matui/Somes island to pick up passengers.Once a prisoner-of-war camp and quarantine station, the Department of Conservation now manages the island and the walking trails Note: the tiny island could make a great destination for a day trip with a picnic basket, (no retail facilities), exploring the flora, the lighthouse and the bird-life that makes this place its home.

New Zealand 2013 1262

Final approaches to Days bay and disembark at Eastbourne jetty, which doubles as a dive platform for teenagers!


Upon disembarkation from the ferry, enjoy an ice-cream (Hokey Pokey is a must), or if the weather turns inclement, a hot chocolate from ‘Chocolate daze’ Cafe is strongly advised!

Eastbourne A 10 minute walk from Days Bay is a trendy assortment of shopping. But a walk along the beach is free!

There is plenty of time to purchase a special gift or some souvenirs at Van Helden Gallery, before the return home.

Van Helen Gallery, Eastbourne, New Zealand

If you wish to take an alternative route home, there is only one road in and out, and this can get pretty freaky in high tides or storms. And no guard rails in case you wander off the road. Beware!


Eastbourne, North Island, New Zealand – One trip every month challenge – January. The destination for february is something to ponder about.

One trip EVERY month


Day Trips Touring Australia – Gympie

It is Easter and we are on our way to Tin Can Bay, a sleepy seaside village, for a few days R & R over the break.

Even though it is a journey not requiring us to stretch our legs or do a toilet stop, (only 2.5 hours, by car), I was keen to see Gympie, an old gold mining town of the past. The town of less than 20,000 has coped with not one, but two devastating floods in the past month, (see flood marks over head high, on the Toyworld sign in the below pictures). So, I was keen to inject some money in to the local economy by supporting the local businessholders, and do a bit of sightseeing in the process. A town dating from mid 1800’s would surely offer some historic buildings and churches, if nothing else. Note the beautiful rose window through the doorway of the Catholic church below.

Gympie 2013

Depending on your interest there are a few other points of interest in Gympie.Family 2013 031

* The main things that brings tourists to Gympie, is the Mary Valley Rattler, a Heritage steam locomotive that runs through the scenic Mary Valley beginning at the old Railway station in Tozer Street. Locals put on quite a historic show, as well as tourist markets at the various stops en route. This was not on offer for us today.

* Visit the Mining Heritage and/or Timber Museum,  located at opposite ends of the town. Time did not allow for us to do that today.  Look for the  large statue, honouring the gold miners contribution,which is found,  in the park to the right, as you enter the southern outskirts of  town, and heralds the nearby Mining and Heritage museum.

* A stroll down the town’s main shopping precinct, Veteran memorial and a light lunch at a local café. We choose this option, as time was against us. Mary Street has various shops of interest. Batik boutique has low-priced beachy style sarongs, tie-dyed kaftans, the hairdresser was offering Eyebrow waxing for $5, with no appointment necessary, and Meen Bags in the Condies arcade was a feast for the craft ladies. Meen Bags was twice inundated with flood waters from the Mary River, the first time the water went up to the roof, and the second time two-thirds of the way there. Amazingly, they still keep this wonderful cottage industry going. How could I not buy something? Green bags in all colours, perfect for groceries, hand-made at $9, backpacks for $15.00, cosmetic bags, and hand knitted cosy socks comprises some of their delightfully cute stock. Winter Owl would surely have loved the purple and blue shopping bag, adorned with owl motifs in the below photo – (bottom right). So cute! I purchased a drawstring shoulder bag, with ladybugs and bees for $15.00.


Next door to “Meen” Bags, (check them out on Facebook), is Gympie Mosaics, where you can get hands on and create your own masterpiece.

And where to, for lunch:

Jules Inn: where you can step back in time, to the milk bars of the 60’s. Frequented largely by the retired sector, a sure indication of quality food at rock bottom prices.

Coffee shop:  Italian style coffee shop serving burgers, wraps, smoothies, thickshakes, and pies, toasted sandwiches etc at reasonable prices. Service and food is good, hearty and filling. Toasted cheese sandwich ( around $ 6.00) came complete with patriotic flag in situ.

Or Subway, or  other junk food establishments on the main highway.

In fact, everyone was very friendly and accommodating in Gympie. The local lads even arranged for some light entertainment whilst we ate our lunch, with some teenage shenanigans on one of their mates, who hobbled along, cursing, as his mates had wrapped his arms up in bubble wrap. All in good humour, no doubt.

After lunch, we checked out the Anzac and other Armed Conflict’s Veteran memorial in the main street. It is well worth a look, and has some sobering statistics, on the human cost of War, which we should all definitely ponder about.


Transportation – Photo theme from “Where’s my backpack?”

Christchurc, New Zealand: methods of transport. Which I doubt is running anymore due to constant earthquakes and tremors which have devastated the city.
Christchurch, New Zealand: methods of transport.
City Circle Tram, Christchurch, New Zealand

Photo theme – Transportation

Quickly I found some photos to participate in this theme. They are all from New Zealand with the exception of the last photo. To see the orginator for this idea, visit:

 Ideas to post from

Both of the methods of transport,  in the above two photos, I doubt, are running anymore due to constant earthquakes and tremors which have devastated the city of Christchurch in 2010 and 2011. We visited the city less than 2 weeks prior to the first big earthquake that devastated the city centre.

The tram used to do a tourist circle around the city centre. The city centre is now a ghost town and the tracks buckled beyond use, I suspect. And no tourists to patronise the tram. The gondolas used to travel up the mountain at Lyttleton for a fantastic view of the area around Christchurch and the Port of Lyttleton. Lyttleton was the epicentre of the earthquake. No gondolas anymore, me thinks…..

But the punting business is up and running again I believe…. not the usual method of transportation, but rather nice and relaxing.

Punting on the Avon river
Punting on the Avon river

Some more photos from New Zealand – land of mud pools, quakes and fantastic scenery and nature.

Wellington, New Zealand. Cable Car….ala San Francisco
Arahura Ferry- Queen Charlotte sound  - New Zealand
Arahura Ferry- Queen Charlotte sound – New Zealand








My final photo is from 2011 on a bus tour through Europe. More mountainous country, but no earthquake danger this time.

Inside a coach, on tour through Switzerland and Europe








Oh! I forgot to add the weirdest form of transport that I have seen. It was on the streets of Copenhagen, Denmark.


How do you get around? Our dependence on transport is certainly something we ponder about a lot.