Project 365 2012 – Day 338 – NZ Day 17

Day 338 - Delicate

Day 338 – Delicate

Day 17 – Auckland to Rangitoto to Auckland to Melbourne

Our last day in New Zealand and we decided to spend a calm morning jumping off a bridge. We went bungy jumping off the Auckland bridge and because they went in reverse weight order I had to go last. It was pretty funny watching the other people do it because there was a school group of like maybe 13 or 14 year olds and they were cheering on their classmates doing the jump. There was one poor girl who was so scared that she got some ‘encouragement’ in the form of a push off the edge. The scariest part of the jump would have been when they tell you to put your toes over the edge and they hang the counterweight over. Willing yourself to jump is the hardest part, but the rest of it is so much fun and easy. I thought that it would kind of jerk up at the bottom, but my jump was more like a gentle swing after the terrifying free fall. That’s one thing I can cross off my bucket list now!

In the afternoon we headed out to Rangitoto Island, which is an inactive volcano. We ran into the same school group again and we all hiked to the top of the volcano. The view of Auckland from the top was amazing. It was a pretty interesting walk and very tiring. I got a lot of good photos of moss. We also explored old lava caves, which was hard without a proper torch. The iPhone torch did okay though, just light enough to see and dim enough that I didn’t see any spiders and completely freak out.

We got back to Auckland and did some last minute souvenir shopping before heading to the airport. We had some dinner at the airport after returning the car, then hopped on the plane and headed home.

Overall it was an amazing trip. New Zealand definitely gets points for being so beautiful and picturesque. My photos don’t do it any justice, but at least I’ll have the memories of being there. It was jam packed and I think it’s the type of place where you could spend ages and still not see everything. I’ve tried a lot of new things and surprisingly really enjoyed it all, bungy jumping, Zorbing, swimming with dolphins, white water rafting, sea kayaking, glacier hike, canyon swing, caving, rode a segway, and just driving around and taking it all in. The most amazing thing about the whole thing was that the husband and I didn’t get into any arguments even when we were lost!

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Queensland Roadtripping

Last November we had some free accommodation on the Gold Coast which came about when the in laws had booked a holiday but then had to cancel. We took the opportunity to go on a road trip to visit my brother in law up on the Gold Coast, the husband’s aunt and cousins, and we also stopped by Canberra on the way home to see my brother and his new girlfriend. It was also nice to get away after a sometimes stressful year.

We ended up seeing a lot of the rainforest and doing lots of walks, went to the beach, met up with a few friends and family, went to ALL the theme parks and discovered the awesomeness of sour watermelon slushies. My favourite was finding the best fish and chips and then eating them on the beach like hobos while watching a storm roll in. You couldn’t do that in Melbourne without freezing to death.

We had a great time driving through the  beautiful country and my little Astra did quite well on the trek. We also discovered when driving home from Canberra on the last leg that my car has cruise control. The Mr was not happy with this discovery as I was convinced for 6 years that it did not have such a magical function. Would have been useful to know at the start of the trip!

So many tumbleweeds in NSW. There were so many that got stuck in the car’s front grill

Pit stop in a random park in NSW

Turkey bird (well that’s what we called them) who kept pecking at a cigarette

Moss in Springbrook National Park

Steps in the rainforest at Natural Bridge

Waterfall at Natural Bridge

Waterfall at Natural Bridge

Waterfall at Natural Bridge

One of the many waterfalls you can see from Canyon Lookout. It was a great rainforest walk

Grass

Yellow flower in the sun

View from Canyon Lookout

View from Canyon Lookout

Moss

Trees in the rainforest at Springbrook National Park

Walking behind a waterfall. So pretty but had to protect the camera!

Strangler vines. They make such interesting patterns

More vines

Tall trees at the skywalk at Mt Tambourine

Vines

More vines. I love how different the plant life is in Queensland compared to down south in Victoria.

We accidentally took a wrong turn and drove into a paddock. Hello there cows

More cows

Lovely paddock. Silly GPS taking us down a road that doesn’t exist!

Not sure what this plant is but the red flowers are striking

Red flowers

Native plants look like little pom poms

White flowers. I have these in my backyard

White flowers

White flowers

Driving into the sunset

The lonely road ahead

I love driving though the countryside

Project 365 2012 – Day 204

Breathing Space

I tend to follow the notion of ‘filling the frame’ when it comes to taking photos. It just feels right to me, but looking at the photos on instagram that I’ve been liking, there’s a lot of space, minimalism, and simplicity that I seem drawn to.

It got me thinking that maybe I sometimes make my photos too complicated, messy, and claustrophobic. I just like things close up, but maybe it isn’t always the best choice. This is my favourite today. It just feels so serene.

Japan – Nara

We went to Japan in October 2010 for our honeymoon. Nara was a lovely little city filled with shrines and crazily hungry deer roaming around. See our other photos here Tokyo Kyoto.

Delicious sashimi brunch

Reflections in the lake, complete with raindrops

Deer just relaxing in the stream

Oh hi there curious deer

Found a heap of deer in the park

Stone lanterns and maple leaves

Stone lanterns

Moss

Exhibits

Here are some of my favourite sculptures that were exhibited at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show. There are a lot of very talented students out there.

I would love a tomato tree like this

Bamboo

Yellow Flowers

Cool netting display

Berries

Not Quite Spring Yet

I dragged the Mr out to the National Rhododendron Garden last weekend to see the cherry blossoms. My somewhat flawed logic was that if the cherry blossoms have come out here, surely they would be blooming up in the hills. As Mr Cookie Loves Milk so kindly pointed out when we got there, the Dandenongs are colder because of the altitude so the blossoms would bloom later than down in the city. Oops! It was somewhat disappointing when we got there and there were a lot of bare trees, but still had some fun taking photos.

All photos were taken on Sunday the 21st August 2011 at the National Rhododendron Garden. Entry is now free.

Not sure what these ones are but they're pretty and the bees loved them.

Mr Cookie Loves Milk walking through the camellias.

They want to bloom, they really do.

All the bare trees. At least the daffodils are looking great.

A few little buds are starting to blossom.

Better include some actual rhododendrons!

I love irises