"SUMMER" VACATION (January 8th to January
27th, 2002) Patricia and I joined four other couples
on a 14 day cruise aboard the Regal Princess leaving
Auckland, New Zealand on January 10th, visiting six
ports in that country and two in Australia before disembarking
in Sydney for a three day stay prior to our return home.
This travelogue is designed to answer at least some
of the questions we've been asked about our trip. I'm
sure you will surmise soon enough that we loved the
places we visited and hope to go back some day soon.
traveling companions were John and Mary Ellen Mohler
veterans of many trips with us from St. Petersburg to
Istanbul and from Alaska to Cape Horn; Bob and Patty
Misen with whom we previously enjoyed Japan and South
America; Don and Mary Ann Sadon who were along on the
same tour we took last spring to Holland and Belgium
plus Steve and Jean Bisset, friends of the Mohlers who
were our "Rookies."
ITINERARY By starting the cruise on the New Zealand
end we saved ourselves a bit of jet lag as the time
of day there is only three hours different than the
time in L.A. Of course it is a day later, so the official
time difference is 21 hours, but your internal clock
will never realize you lost a day in route. I always
thought New Zealand was South of (or under) Australia,
it's not, it's East, two time zones east of Sydney,
which is about the same latitude as Auckland.
Auckland the ship sailed to "The Bay of Isles"
near the northern tip of the "North Island"
where we visited a lovely harbor, home of more than
100 islands anchoring near the little town of Paihia.
Here I got my first lesson in English as spoken in New
do you pronounce the name of this town?" I asked
the young lady who sold me postcards. "Pie-HE-ah"
she said. I repeated her pronunciation as best I could.
"Yes," she said, "It's "Pie",
like the pie you eat and "HE-ah" as in "Come
in Paihia we took a ferry to visit the historic town
of Russell, first capital of New Zealand. We were told
that on New Years Eve (early summer in New Zealand)
the town swells to three times its normal population
as all the local Beds and Breakfasts fill to capacity.
Our guide told us that the night before we arrived the
community had experienced its first ever incident of
graffiti in a public place. "Must have been some
ruffian from Auckland up here on holiday", she
second port was Tauranga pronounced "Tare-ah-RONGA"
by our New Zealand guide. Here we visited a Maori Village
and drove along a beautiful white sand beach on a peninsula
reminiscent of the Balboa Peninsula - ocean on one side
and the harbor on the other. A tropical summer resort
(the average year-round temperature is about 70F) the
beach was swarming with bathers even though it was threatening
rain. We were told you can purchase a high rise beachfront
condo for about $200,000 U.S. More on that later.
we stopped in Wellington on the southern most tip of
the North Island. Wellington became the capital of New
Zealand in 1866 when the South Island threatened to
secede from the country because Russell was too "far"
north. Wellington, we are told, is always windy and
is likened to San Francisco because it is so beautiful,
hilly and subject to earthquakes, which number about
200 a year according to Ralph, our guide, who assured
us that most were below the level of awareness.
also sports a brand new supermarket that has become
the "in" place for Singles, according to Ralph.
On Tuesday nights (and no other) Singles go to the market
to check each other out. If you are looking for a partner,
you place a hand of bananas, fingers skyward, in the
upper portion of your basket. Before you finish your
shopping you will be joined by someone willing to buy
your groceries. I don't have a clue as to whether Ralph
was "pulling our leg" about this. I wouldn't
put it past him, so don't blame me if you try it and
it doesn't work.
took us to see the Parliament building. Standing guard
in front of the building is a statue of the Prime Minister
who signed the legislation giving the right to vote
to Kiwi women. Shortly thereafter they voted him out
of office. That's gratitude for you.
many members of Parliament are there?" I asked
many," he said without a moment's hesitation.
we visited Christchurch, the most British of New Zealand's
cities and the only one not on the water. It is separated
from it's port, Littleton, by a coastal mountain and
can be reached by way of a scenic highway over the mountain
or through a two kilometer tunnel bored through the
middle of it. The town was founded by pilgrims who qualified
for free transportation to the colony simply by being
members of the Anglican Church. The city is named for
the church Queen Victoria herself attended. There is
even an "Avon" river bisecting the town. It's
a lovely city.
on the inevitable shopping tour of downtown Christchurch,
four of the men in our group found park benches on which
to wait for the women who were intent on scouting out
treasures to bring home. We philosophized on why men
don't seem to enjoy shopping as much as women do. John
Mohler opined that it was a cultural thing going back
to the days of "Hunters and Gatherers". Men
had short bursts of energy to capture dinner, then sat
around and talked about their exploits, according to
John, while women were on the move constantly seeking
edible roots and berries. We suggested this theory to
the women when they returned with bundles for us to
carry. They said in their opinion "men are just
lazy." I like John's theory better.
final New Zealand port was Dunedin, the most Scottish
of New Zealand cities at the Southern most tip of the
South Island. It is the oldest major city in New Zealand,
founded in 1848, and more than 80% of the early settlers
the time we arrived in Dunedin we were starved for NFL
news (the guys were, anyway). On shipboard your only
news comes from CNN International, which is very anti-American
indeed. The only American news that rated full coverage
was the transportation of Al Qeda prisoners to Guantanimo,
then taking place, and the opinion of every "Talking
Head" seemed to be that WE were violating "Human
Rights". Sports news was confined a time slot when
none of us were in our cabins.
Dunedin I located an "Internet Store" where
for a dollar (NZ) I could tap into NFL.COM for the scores
of the playoff games on the previous day. There were
computers available on the ship you could rent by the
hour and in this way Bob Misen kept up with his stocks
and his e-mail.
then toured "Fjordland" National Park as the
ship navigated several fjords home to many spectacular
waterfalls from melting glaciers high in the "Southern
Alps" of the South Island.
two westward days at sea, we arrived in Hobart, on Australia's
island state of Tasmania. A beautiful harbor and quaint
shops now occupy space originally settled by convicts
and their overseers. Most stores were closed because
it was Sunday and some of our fellow travelers elected
to visit the Wild Animal Park where Tasmanian Devils
were close enough to touch. These nasty characters have
jaws nine times more powerful than a Pit Bull and can
break the leg of a horse with a single bite. One hopes
they're on the "Endangered Species" list.
rest of us toured Salamanca Market shopping district,
but most of our souvenirs were purchased in huge barnlike
structure called "The Shed" adjacent to the
day at sea brought us to Melbourne, capital of the state
of Victoria and the first really "big" city
we visited. Here the Misens left the ship to travel
to the home of friends who live outside of Melbourne.
Here's a travel tip: if you leave a ship early, be prepared
for the customs agents to search your bags from top
to bottom. If you are the only one departing, they have
plenty of spare time to search your bags. When the rest
of our group disembarked two days later in Sydney along
with 1600 of our fellow passengers, no one paid any
attention to our luggage.
were urged to visit "Victoria Market" which
turned out to be a Farmer's Market/Flea Market combination
open only on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Next we visited
the "South Bank" shopping area along the river
and visited Melbourne's brand new Casino.
reminded Patty and me of Los Angeles. Many suburbs,
no real downtown, porn shops next to fast food places,
you get the idea. But, it was raining the day we were
there and we had to dash between awnings to keep from
getting drenched, so, maybe our opinion would have been
more favorable had we been able to stroll.
another day at sea we arrived in Sydney. I had heard
about the beauty of Sydney Harbour, but we were truly
dazzled. Our hotel, the Regent, was located within walking
distance of the famous Sydney Opera House and our room
afforded us a view of that magnificent structure as
well as the Harbour Bridge.
two-hour "Harbour tour" by ferry is a must.
Lined with homes and beaches, populated by endless sailboats,
Sydney Harbour lives up to its reputation as the most
beautiful harbor in the world. During the Harbour Cruise
you can get off at the Opera House, the Zoo, the Aquarium
or at Watson's Bay resort. After spending two hours
at any of these, you simply get on the next tour boat
at no extra charge. We passed one beautiful beach protected
by netting called "Shark's Beach." With typical
Aussie understatement, our guide told us there "hasn't
been a shark attack there since October." It seems
the Harbour is full of sharks drawn by the many fish
processing facilities along the banks. You won't see
many water skiers.
sheer chance, we were in Sydney for their Independence
Day, "Australia Day," January 26th. "Sydney-siders",
as Sydney residents prefer to be known, come to "Circular
Quay" (the historic area near the Opera House)
to watch "Ferry Races," "Tug Boat Olympics,"
and sailboat parades, then go to the fireworks at Darling
shopped in the Pitt Street open air mall and in a beautiful
old building converted into specialty shops called the
"Victoria Building" where we finally found
those treasures we had been looking for the whole trip.
BIT OF HISTORY The Maoris, a Polynesian people, arrived
in New Zealand in canoes eight or nine hundred years
ago. Any indigenous aboriginal people were wiped out
by the Maoris who were a pretty fierce folk and by the
time Captain Cook first "discovered" New Zealand
the Maoris were quite capable of defending themselves.
Try as they might the English settlers never conquered
them and in 1840 the British Crown and the Maoris signed
a famous peace treaty that's in effect today.
visited a Maori village while in Tauranga. If you have
seen Maori totems you know they often feature a warrior
with his tongue hanging down to his chin in a particularly
fierce grimace. When you visit a village, there is a
ritual you will follow involving a young man from the
village who will come out to greet you by growling to
show you how tough he is and how much danger faces you
if you misbehave. He will stick out his tongue touching
his chin in the ancient manner, which to the original
Maoris (suspected of being cannibals), probably said
"You look pretty tasty, and if you're not careful
you will be lunch."
fierce display is followed by speech making. Our Maori
Chief, who had spent 5 years in Truckee, California,
made a very touching speech about the terrorist attacks
of September 11th and how many travelers subsequently
cancelled their plans. "I know you are making a
statement just by being here," he said, "and
we want you to know how much we (the Maoris) appreciate
it." Finally, a ceremony is held during which everyone
years Maoris tried to assimilate into New Zealand culture,
but now many are returning to their villages to tend
their ancestral farms, and are again living off the
land. Nearly everyone living is a Maori village is related
to one another - women refer to all older women as "Auntie".
the speechmaking in an open-air courtyard at our Maori
Village, we were constantly interrupted by a loud and
raucous bird high in a nearby tree. The Chief referred
to the bird as "Uncle David". Then told us
the story of the real Uncle David, a village elder skilled
at speaking to visitors, who had died some 18 months
before. Shortly thereafter, the loud bird showed up
in their tree every time they had visitors to compete
with the speakers on the ground. They are convinced
that the bird is Uncle David, reincarnated, putting
in his two cents worth.
Australia the aborigines were a stone-age people thought
to have arrived by land bridge, since any form of water
travel is completely foreign to them. England established
the first penal colony, in Botany Bay, near Sydney,
in 1780 shortly after the American War for Independence
deprived them of a place to ship their prisoners.
of the prisoners sent to Australia were petty thieves
sentenced to "7 years of transportation" for
stealing a scarf or a beefsteak. More serious criminals,
murderers, rapists, horse thieves and the like, were
routinely hanged in "Merry Olde England."
Prostitutes were never shipped to Australia for being
prostitutes, since the world's oldest profession wasn't
a crime in Pre-Victorian England. After serving their
time, most prisoners stayed in Australia, since they
had no means of getting back to England. Today you will
meet Australians of Irish descent who proudly tell you
their ancestors were sentenced to "Transportation"
for insurrection against the British. But, in general
it is a good idea not to bring up the "convict"
past to your Australian host, or you're likely to reduce
the room temperature several degrees.
Zealanders, on the other hand, are only too happy to
talk about Australia's past and brag that no prisoners
were sent to New Zealand. What they don't tell you is
New Zealand is the place Australian prisoners went when
BOOKS TO READ Here are a couple of books you will enjoy
before going to Australia. Robert Hughes "The Fatal
Shore" is the definitive account of the period
in Australian history when prisoners were sent to New
South Wales, Tasmania and later, to Western Australia.
The great and funny travel writer Bill Bryson has also
written a wonderful book, "In a Sun Burned Country"
which is not to be missed. Both of these are available
on Amazon or Barnesandnoble.com.
A WEBSITE: If you plan to travel to Australia there
are many websites to help you. My favorite is the site
for the Sydney Morning Herald, (smh.com.au), which I
checked out every day for a couple of weeks before the
trip because we were worried about the "Bush Fires"
that had plagued the area since "Black Christmas".
We followed the heroic efforts of the thousands of Australian
volunteers who fought the fires on a daily basis. Lucky
for us, the weather changed and the fires were extinguished
before we arrived.
Herald's Website was also helpful in getting a long-term
weather forecast for our trip and to check out local
dining and entertainment. One day the "Food"
section was devoted to the opening of the first "Outback
Steakhouse" franchise in Sydney which attracted
standing room only crowds of Australians anxious to
see what "American-Australian" food would
SPEAK THE LANGUAGE For a very long time in my life I
couldn't distinguish between English as spoken in England
and English as spoken in other English speaking countries
outside North America. Many is the time I have insulted
an Australian or South African by asking if they were
British. Naturally, an Australian can always tell if
a person is from Perth or Hobart or New Zealand, just
as we can tell a person is from Brooklyn or from the
Deep South. It's still difficult for me, but I think
I can now at least tell an Australian from a New Zealander.
Much of it is in the idiom.
a general rule, New Zealanders tend toward the British
and Australians tend toward the American. New Zealand
is divided into "Provinces," for example,
while Australia is divided into "States."
A Pharmacy is a Pharmacy in Sydney, but it's a Chemist
Shop in Christchurch. New Zealanders speak more slowly
and will tend to use more words rather than less. An
Australian tour guide would never have said, "We
hope you enjoy your stay Down Underneath" as our
guide in Christchurch did. He would more likely say,
"Welcome Down Under."
Christchurch, my Patricia found a ceramic chicken in
a department store that she fancied. "You like
the "heen"? (Rhymes with seen) asked the clerk.
"No," said Pat, "but I like this chicken".
The clerk called over her supervisor to explain this
chicken was a hen, pronounced "heen" in New
New Zealand a "Café" is pronounced
"Caf" as though there were no "E"
at all. But an "Arcade" is pronounced "Arcadie"
to rhyme with Sadie. In Australia they will add an "ie"
to the end of almost any word or name to make it more
to popular opinion, "G-Day, Mate" was not
on the lips of everyone who served us in Australia.
"G-Day" is a common polite way of greeting,
but "Mate" is reserved for friends or at least
people with whom you are well acquainted. You'll be
thought of as pushy or ill informed if you use the expression
with Australians who are strangers to you.
Australian will say "I'll give it a look"
or "I'll give it a taste." A New Zealander
will add a "bit" to it and say, "Give
it a bit of a look." When asked if he had any recommendations
for a restaurant in Wellington Ralph, our tour guide,
couldn't think of one off hand, but, said, "I'll
give it a bit of a think."
Dunedin, on New Zealand's South Island, our tour guide
was asked if an early resident of the city might have
used a calling card. She didn't say "maybe"
or "perhaps," she said, "he may have
Christchurch we were told, "There are 3.4 million
people in New Zealand and 16 million sheep." They're
quite proud of their clean air and rural atmosphere,
and rightly so. It's beautiful.
in Australia they can't help thinking of a Kiwi as a
"Bit of a hick."
attended a meeting of the Sydney Cove Rotary Club two
days before we left. The program that day featured exchange
students from a school for the deaf in Sydney who had
been sent to live with the parents of deaf children
in Canada for a year while the Canadian deaf teenagers
came to Sydney. All of this was funded by Rotary.
in sign language through an interpreter, the Canadian
student told us that she couldn't understand Australian
sign language when she first arrived. I was surprised
because I had always thought sign language was universal,
so, I asked about it during their Q & A session.
She explained that deaf teenagers, like all kids, develop
jargon and idiom in their sign language to make it difficult
for adults to understand.
had no problem understanding the signing of her teachers
and host family - it was other kids with whom she had
to learn to communicate. She went on to say that when
she went to Auckland for a short vacation she found
significant differences between Australian sign language
and New Zealand sign language. The Australian Rotarians
in the audience thought this was enormously funny and
she was interrupted for a good minute while every one
(but me) had a good belly laugh.
asked my host after the meeting why they thought this
was so funny. He said it was difficult to explain, but,
Australians look down on New Zealanders as being backward
and "I suppose, it's like one of your Polish jokes."
interesting sidelight. In New Zealand we saw many more
young people with tattoos, nose studs and magenta Mohawks
than we did in Australia. Perhaps the next generation
of Kiwis will take after Americans more than their parents
did. How sad!
AND GAMBLING Both New Zealand and Australia are nuts
about sports but for the most part, they're different
sports than Americans are nuts about.
we boarded the bus on arrival in Auckland the bus driver
said, "Welcome to New Zealand, permanent home of
the America's Cup." This "joke" was repeated
to us in one form or another several times a day for
the next ten days. Kiwis are crazy about sailing. First
kids take sailing lessons, THEN they learn to swim.
All the harbors are filled to the brim with sailboats
whenever the weather permits.
New Zealand it was front-page news that Tiger Woods
was playing in the New Zealand Open, but attendance
was suffering because of unseasonable rainstorms. A
Wellington convenience store owner bid $75,000NZ in
an auction for the right to be Tiger's ProAm partner.
Tiger, who got a $1 Million appearance fee, finished
in the top ten, but the Open was won by an Australian,
much to the chagrin of the Kiwis.
New Zealand Times sports page was full of cricket (the
annual New Zealand vs. Australia match was underway)
and rugby (the "All Blacks," national rugby
club, was touring South America, leaving victims in
are only three television stations in Sydney, filled
most of the time with reruns of American shows. However,
when the Australian Open Tennis Tournament began one
station was devoted to full time coverage for the length
of the Tournament.
and New Zealand share most popular sports, but, there
is one played only in Australia. Australian rules "football"
a much rougher version of our own game made dangerous
by much less padding on the players. You can catch it
on late night ESPN in "the States." Surfing
and other beach sports are also more popular in Australia
where the weather is more hospitable to such activity
than in most parts of New Zealand.
Down Under loves to gamble. The local on-line betting
parlor (www.TAB.com.au) was giving odds and allowing
Ausies to bet not only on the outcome of the Tennis
matches, but on the outcome of given sets and even individual
games. In addition you could bet an "over/under"
arrangement on the number of service faults a player
might make. You won't find such betting on individual
sports in the U.S., there would be too much chance for
corruption on the part of the players. The Sports Book
was also taking bets on the Winter Olympics, a practice
you won't see anywhere else.
one Casino we visited, in Melbourne, reflected the Australian's
zany interest in gambling. They had Black Jack Tables,
but Baccarat was much more popular. They also had several
versions of Black Jack with exotic names I don't remember,
that offered to pay you extra if you're under 21 in
five cards (remember those days in Vegas?). This game
also allowed you to "Surrender", forfeiting
half your bet if the dealer showed an Ace or Ten. There
was still another game that offered to pay you triple
if you made a 21 with 3 sevens and offering bonuses
for different combinations. It was too much for a "Black
Jack Purist" like me.
Bryson points out in his book, they have a particular
passion for a slot machine called a "Pokey."
It reminds me a lot of the new machines they have in
Vegas that payoff vertically, horizontally or diagonally.
The Pokey bet is either 2 or 5 cents. Cheap enough,
you might think, but the machine encourages you to make
up to 25 bets on each pull of the handle in order to
get the maximum payoff opportunity. And the Ausies seem
to play Pokies at the speed of light, hardly waiting
long enough to see if they've won before pulling the
handle again. We never did figure it out, but, if you
go Down Under you'll have plenty of opportunity to learn
because nearly every Sports Bar and pub boasts of Pokey
MONEY, MONEY Probably the most awesome thing about a
vacation Down Under is that it is inexpensive. I mean
Australian Dollar is worth only about 55 American Cents
and the New Zealand Dollar is only about 45 Cents. Goods
in the shops are generally priced at far less than comparable
goods in the U.S. However, at "Designer" stores,
like Ralph Lauren for example, you'll find the prices
are about what you'd pay in the States.
had the finest meals under $40 including wine, tax and
tip. A good bottle of wine will be on the wine list
for $30NZ or 15 American Dollars. Gift items are generally
inexpensive, too, with fine wallets and belts made of
Kangaroo hide at half the price of leather in the states.
Ceramics, too, are reasonable. They also refund a tourist's
VAT taxes at the airport on your way home.
top it off, we stayed in the finest hotel in Sydney,
a Four Seasons Hotel called the Regent, for less than
$200 American per night. The price of real estate is
a bargain nearly everywhere, topped by that $200,000
Beachfront Condo we mentioned earlier.
AND WINE We were pleasantly surprised at how good the
food is in both New Zealand and Australia. The fruit
and produce are particularly excellent in New Zealand
where Pat said the cherries were the best she's ever
eaten. Kiwis are particularly paranoid about tourists
bringing in "Hoof and Mouth" disease or some
other pestilence so you are not allowed to bring any
foodstuffs into the country. At each port you will encounter
inspectors accompanied by "food sniffing"
Beagles (as opposed to those bomb sniffing German Shepherds
you find in U.S. airports). They will sniff out whether
or not you're trying to smuggle a picnic lunch ashore.
Zealand Farms raise cattle and sheep, of course, but
also deer, raised not just for meat but for their antlers
which are ground up and sold in herb shops all over
in both New Zealand and Australia was quite good, if
a bit more fortified with alcohol than American beer
is. Australia is the only country I've ever been in
where you won't find a Budweiser sign anywhere.
Zealand vintners produce excellent White Wines particularly
Reislings and Sauvignon Blancs. "Church Road”
Sauvignon Blanc may have been the best I've ever had
of that variety and our waiter told us that you can't
go wrong with any "White" from New Zealand's
"Hawkes Valley." The best Reisling was by
known for its White Wine also produces a great Pinot
Noir. We tried some from "Dalrymple Vineyards"
and "Pipers Brook," both of which were very
Australia and Victoria are the great Australian wine
producing states. They have had particular luck combining
two varieties of fine Red Wine grapes, so you are likely
to find a "Cabernet-Merlot" or a "Cabernet-Shiraz."
We enjoyed wine from "Tyrell Winery," "St.
Hallet" and "St. Hugo" the latter being
from the famous Coonawara Region. The "Blue Pyrenees"
is another region for fine wines. You won't find any
California wines on an Australian Wine list, too pricey
to Restaurants, there were several we would recommend
our favorite was "Shed 5" on the docks in
Wellington. Sophia, our waitress turned out to be an
aspiring singer who was trying out with the "Young
Americans", so she paid particular attention to
us ten tourists from the States. "Is everything
cool bananas?" she asked, then responded to the
bewildered looks on our faces by explaining that she
simply wanted to now if we were having a good day. After
we ordered we had to wait nearly an hour, so, Sophia
wondered if we'd like a "Nibble on" to tied
us over. The food was worth waiting for - spectacular
Rack of Lamb, excellent fish and even Abalone, now being
farmed in New Zealand. The bad news is, they don't "pound"
the Abalone, so it's a bit tough for American tastes.
arrived in Auckland about lunchtime and wandered into
a French Restaurant near the wharf called "Cie
Cie." It was an excellent choice, the Rack of Lamb
was terrific and they offered an excellent "Snapper,"
which the waiter explained wasn't a snapper at all but
a "Terahiki." You could have fooled me. They
also specialized in "Mussel Cakes" as an "entrée,"
which Down Under means an appetizer and not a main course.
Hobart we asked a local lady to recommend the best restaurant
in town. She sent us to "Mure's Upper Deck"
on the wharf where you will find the best Fish and Chips
in the world. Made from Blue Eyed Cod or just "Blue
Eye" to the locals and rolled in "Beer Batter"
it is light, tender and extremely tasty without being
greasy. They had desserts with local berries that were
"to die for." Mure's also has excellent "Atlantic
Salmon" the name of which denotes the variety and
not the origin, since it's farmed outside of Hobart.
Dunedin we had great little Baguette sandwiches at a
place called the "Bodega Bistro" on the "Octagon"
(their version of the Town Square). Here we were also
introduced to "Potato Wedgies" with sour cream,
chili and cheese to dip them in, a treat we tried several
other places on the trip with excellent results. (When
you see "Chili" on any menu Down Under it
means green chili, not Chili Con Carne as in the states,
so, you may be disappointed with a "Chili Burger."
were a number of restaurants we liked a lot in Sydney.
Regent Hotel's dining room had a very good Sunday Brunch.
We also had lunch there a couple of times where Don
Sadon tried an "Aussie Burger" which turned
out to have a layer of beets. He said it was quite good.
on the Circular Quay (pronounced "key" Down
Under) combines a spectacular view of the Opera House
and Bridge with outdoor dining on a balmy evening. They
claim to have "Australia's finest beef" and
I wouldn't argue with them. They also have excellent
fish and lamb.
"135 Bar and Grill" overlooking the Pitt Street
Mall has excellent Salmon and also serves "Roast
Kangaroo" which John Mohler bravely ordered. He
let me have a taste. It is a very dark meat tasting
a bit like beef, surprisingly not at all "gamy."
must for visitors to Sydney is "Doyles at Watson's
Bay." When you take the Harbour Tour you will be
able to get off at Watson's Bay and spend two hours
enjoying the best Seafood in the Southern Hemisphere.
Doyle's was founded more than a hundred years ago and
still "packs them in" twice daily. Among the
fish on the menu are "Baramundi," "Garfish"
and "Jewfish". But stick to the Blue Eyed
Cod and try the Fish Chowder.
WE'RE NOT IN KANSAS ANYMORE: To get a flavor of life
in any English speaking country one buys a newspaper.
In Dunedin, looking for sports news, I purchased the
"Otago Daily Times". Otago is the name of
the NZ Province in which Dunedin is located. The following
articles all appeared in that paper on January 16, 2002
and all were in the "hard news" section of
the paper. They are copied here verbatim including the
headlines, in which you may get a hint of the British
tongue in cheek. I will only add that Dunedin is also
the site of the largest University in New Zealand, Otago
University, whose undergraduates may just have been
involved in the following "crimes".
CAUGHT, VICTIM STILL AT LARGE
have got the alleged offender and witnesses, now all
police need is a victim.
Dave Scott, of Mosgiel, said an elderly woman narrowly
avoided being struck by a car as she crossed Park St.,
off Gordon Rd in Mosgiel, about 10 AM yesterday.
to the incident alerted police soon afterwards, providing
a registration number, which led police to the 18-year-old
Const Scott said the woman who was almost struck wandered
off before police arrived. Police were keen to hear
from the woman, who was walking a small dog at the time.
Scott said it was likely the teenager would face driving
Dunedin woman has been sickened by the indecent assault
of her 26-year-old horse last weekend.
been trained her whole life to trust humans and some
swine comes along and puts her through this," the
woman, who asked not to be identified, said yesterday.
woman said the horse, which she had owned for 20 years,
was assaulted some time on Saturday night.
mare had been housed in a pen at her Wakari property.
On Sunday morning, it was discovered someone had tied
the horse to a post by electric fencing tape and apparently
interfered with it.
veterinarian check of the horse revealed it had been
are keen to hear from anyone who had noticed suspicious
activity around stock in the Wakari area. Horse owners
should also pay particular attention to their animals,
SEEK LOCOMOTIVE JOYRIDER
are looking for a man who took a shunting locomotive
for a brief joyride from the Gisborne railway yards
Sergeant Ross Smith said a member of the public reported
the Tranz Rail locomotive running down the tracks with
no lights on about 12:15 AM
Police arrived at the rail yards, the engine was returning
with its lights on. They saw a man leap from the locomotive's
cab and run off.
Sgt. Smith said police were looking for someone with
the skills required to operate a railway engine.
believe it's an ex-railway employee or definitely someone
who's been trained in driving trains. You'd need to
be a train driver to work the controls. It's quite complicated
how they start them."
CAN HARDLY WAIT TO GO BACK DOWN UNDERNEATH