Tuesday, April 29, 2014

This is our plane

Just a small one today, for the small airport of Wellington... I think this is the plane I will fly out on. It's just arrived at our gate lounge.

In departures

In Departures area at Melbourne Airport. Scored both the supposedly random explosives swab AND the body scan this morning. Have changed all my Aussie money back into Kiwi stuff so am deprived of chocolate for the time being!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Some more random Melbourne pics

A few more random Melbourne pics from my wanderings...

 Coming back down Bourke St- an Italian restaurant. At first I thought it looked French.

 Graffiti in Hosier Lane. A bit of a feature on some Melbourne walls. 

A variation on the graffiti theme for Easter

 More graffiti near the Rose St Saturday market

Cat guarding his home down St Kilda way

 Walking down St Kilda Pier

 Starfish down the St Kilda breakwater, not far from where I saw a blue penguin and a native rat.

After some exploration on the tram for Kew- past some Jewish areas of Melbourne with schools and synagogues, I took the quick trip back to town on the train from Glenferrie.

Random Melbourne Pics

I've been walking lots in Melbourne- and taking trams. Here are a few random shots I like from some of my explorations.
 Up Bourke St, not far from my hotel

 At first I thought it was the same sign, moved to a different place to get the ANZAC crowd. But comparing signs, I see we have different bikes, presumably placed in the same places daily...

 Some more old shops up Bourke St

 Sculptures galore on a walkway down by the Yarra

 Yarra view. Haven't taken a boat ride yet. Maybe later today? Or maybe next time...

On another Yarra sculpture, this time on Southbank

 Another Southbank sculpture. Everything looks better with blue blue skies!

 Bridge with sculptures, on this bridge that crosses back to Flinders St

For the trains- above Flinders St station

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Evening sky

Evening sky from the bus. Peaceful end to a beautiful day.

Port Campbell

Our last stop of the day before taking the highway back to Melbourne. Not many tour buses here and this place feels very peaceful. If I was ever brave enough to drive in Oz I would quite like to stop a night here..

From above the Razorback

Stunning views in the late afternoon sunshine

From Island Arch end

More Apostles

Gibson's Steps

There were 84 to go down to be on the beach. Not sure what possessed me. It wasn't as bad getting back up as I thought though. Can see that this ocean must get mighty wild- near the edge of Bass Strait, and the Southern Ocean, with weather straight up from Antarctica. Warm and sunny this arvo though.

Looking back

Looking back the other way...

Peak Hour

I guess if you take a day trip here from Melbourne, it's likely you will arrive here with every other bus tourist!


Saw none. Didn't venture off the path. Yes, a Kiwi fear of snakes, but apparently the snakes around here are very venomous.

Apollo Bay

Our lunch stop was at Apollo Bay. Time for a quick walk. Now heading towards limestone country, and the Apostles.

Lunch stop ahead

Apollo Bay, our lunch stop, lies in a bay down there... Another stunning viewpoint.

Kennet River

One of the small rivers crossing the sand.

Hard rock terraces

Lots of hard rock shelves on this part of the coast. Asked the driver about them but he just knew they were 'very old', as opposed to the limestone we will see later today.

Cumberland River

Surprisingly small rivers cross the sand into the beach near here. Behind is Mt Defiance that we are now winding our way around.

Near Lorne

Urquhart Bluff

Our first photo stop by the ocean- Urquhart Bluff

The ocean

Now we see the ocean


Angelsea- where we have just had our morning tea break.

Waiting to leave

Heading off on Great Ocean Rd tour.

Angelsea morning tea break

It's morning tea time on our Great Ocean Rd bus trip, at Angelsea. We are beside the river and have had first glimpse of the ocean. I'm pleased I've managed to master my left- right issues and chose a seat on what is to be the ocean view side of the bus!

Sent from my iPad

Friday, April 25, 2014

Anzac Parade, Melbourne

After the Dawn Service, there was a short break before the ANZAC parade got underway at 9am. I queued for the Gunner's breakfast- very welcome after getting up so early- and wandered around on parkland near the Shrine where there were various monuments. People were setting themselves up with seats near the tram tracks along St Kilda Rd, and that is where I decided to wait as well. Mobile ambos were on bicycles- police were patrolling on bicycles and horseback. The organisation was obviously thorough, but not obtrusive. The Aussies have pulled off this massive parade before.

The navy, army and airforce all had their turns to march. Some of the older veterans were transported by cars or jeeps, while a few walked. The crowd clapped especially hard for these old men (and some women- mainly nurses.) There were groups of peacekeepers, and groups from various conflicts. At one point there was a break in the parade for a 'medical incident' where a veteran collapsed. Bands were interspersed throughout the parade, and eventually I worked out I was seeing the same bands over again. What a massive day for them- being transported back to the start to march and play again. There were military and civilian bands, and also some very good school bands.

Mainly I will just present some photos to give the flavour of the whole event, without much extra commentary...

 Returned peacekeepers
 New Zealand had a small presence, but were there. They had the honour of being one of the early groups to march.
It was the Navy Band that played so beautifully in the Dawn Service. (I think!)
 This school drumming band were particularly strong and impressive.

 Currently serving soldiers were out in force.

 I walked back up to the Shrine area where marchers were finishing. Blue blue skies and sunshine after the cool start to the morning.

Quite a few descendants marched with photos of their loved ones. This photo was especially poignant.
 Young members of the scouting movement carried signs with dignity.

 I'd noticed this magnificent fountain as we had bussed past, glowing even in the pre-dawn darkness. I was glad to walk back past it in the sunshine.

While the airforce marched, there were several groups of planes that flew over.

After three hours I started heading back towards Flinders St. I gather there was still another hour of parade to go. I missed the wreath laying ceremony at the end of the parade, but will head back to look at the Shrine more closely in the next few days.