Nowadays Tooraweenah is just a tiny village with 240 inhabitants, but its origins date back to the year 1837. An area of 16.000 acres was taken over then by the settlers.
In 1841 they opened the first shop. In 1884 they opened a school and in 1886 a hotel.
Fondest memory: In 1931 Cecil Arthur Butler landed with his airplane on a direct flight from London to Australia in Tooraweenah and in 1938 he came back there and founded an air-service for passangers and mail between Charleville and Sydney and in Cunnamulla, Bourke, Coonamble and Tooraweenah these airplanes made a stop-over.
In 1916 23 men from Tooraweenah started to march from Tooraweenah to the city of Bathurst in order to find soldiers to fight togeather with them in WW II.
Next to the football-field of the village you will find a monument for this march, that got the name
I came to Dungog accidentally - on my way to Stroud - and I can only recommend this place for a short stop-over of maybe 1-2 hours or as a base to take a hotel and explore more of this great scenery and architcture.
Fondest memory: I was also quite lucky with the weather and it was one of my last few days that I had in my campar-car.
In my main picture: a vintage car of the australian brand called "HOLDEN" - a branch of GM and in the mainroad through Dungog I saw this great vintage-car inside a shop.
You will find the largest collection of HOLDEN-cars in my page about Canowindra !
The historic village of Stroud was founded in 1824 by the Australian Agricultural Company (AAC). The village was surrouded by a fence and by 2 gates in 1826 in order to defend the town against the perceived threat of convicts and lifestock.
Nowadays you can still see a replica of one of these gates !
Fondest memory: Nowadays you can still see 30 heritage buildings in Stroud, the oldest of them beeing the Quambi House, that dates back to the year 1830 and was built as a school-house.
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Favorite thing: travelling with a 2 year old: we travelled for 3 months in Australia camping with a 2 year old, then another time for 5 weeks in tasmania staying in cabins witha 10 month old and a 3 year old. we went where we wanted to go , kids enjoy playing in different playgrounds , beaches walks etc, so you don't have to do extra special things, experiencing differing styles of life is good for them. If driving stop regularly at a park for morning tea and lunch etc so they can get out and run around. Caravan parks are good if you stay in cabins as these usually have a good playground and room to run around. Take some lttle cars and a small ball and some books /puzzles for at night.Take a parka and beanie and mittens, have fun.
From your side of the world I think New Zealand and Australia would be a pretty ideal dream honeymoon. You will be able to see so many different things between the two countries. I would suggest 2 weeks in NZ (I like picking about 4 places to have 3 or so nights each at), a week in one of the big cities (Sydney or Melbourne) and then finish with a week at the beach (Sunshine Coast is nice, or Cairns/Northern Queensland or even around Perth on the West Coast.)
Back to NZ probably the most 'dreamy' places in my opinion to just relax and enjoy the scenery (or get active and do some tramping) were the Glaciers on the West Coast or Lake Tekapo. We loved the place we stayed at there.
Feel free to ask for more help if necessary.
Three sisters, the members of Katoomba tribe, had fallen in love with three brothers from the Nepean tribe. Tribal law forbade them to marry, and the broders decided to use force to capture the three sisters, causing a tribal battle. As the lives of the three sisters were in danger, a witchdoctor from Katoomba tribe turned them into the stone. After the battle a witchdoctor inteded to reverse the spell to return the ladies to life again. Unfortunately, a witchdoctor was killed and the three sisters remain in their rock formation.
Favorite thing: We made a day trip from Sydney to Blue Mountains. It was guided tour and a bus driver was a guide as well. All the way he explained us about the places we were passing. He also told us a legend about three sisters - the three peaks you can see on the photo.
Favorite thing: The landscape around Blue Montains is realy breathtaking. In our one day trip to this place - it was a guided tour,. We stopped at the points from where the view was the best. Everybody wanted to took some photos, the place worth it for sure.
This photo was taken from the sea side. There is this settlement of the luxury houses, approachable from a sea side only. We took a short cruise along the gulf in Sydney.
I recomand such a tour to everyone who visit Sydney. It's so amazing to admire the sigst from "water-side".
Favorite thing: I thik, this photo was taken in Ballarat, but I'm not sure. You can see, how the small cities look like. My first impresson was, so many space. Therfore, the buildings aren't tall, at all except in the big cities of course.
Some more tips for cruise passengers. If you have questions please send me an email, and I will add my answers and the information to this manual - as long as it is of general interest.
Things you should or might want to know – or not…
The Rush to the Top Decks:
Whenever getting close to a port of call, the passengers hurry to the bow of the ship to get the best views of the islands/ports/cities to be visited.
However, this is not the only place from where you get great photos. Sometimes the sun rises towards one side of the ship, so you get great shots from there. Or you want to photograph how the tenders are lowered to the water. In general, however, the bow often really is the best place to take arrival photos. It clearly was the best place before the arrival in Moorea, as dolphins accompanied the ship, and they were in front of the bow. It is also interesting – but just once – to photograph how the anchor is being lowered. If you only want to hear it apply for a shaky bow cabin ;-)))
But really, you also get good shots from the sides, especially if you bother to climb the stairs to the top level. Most times the ship turns (around) before anchoring in a lagoon or landing at a dock.
On such shore days you also have to be prepared to go to breakfast earlier, as the queues start building up early. Plus, you want to have finished breakfast one hour before the tender or disembarkation tickets are handed out – if you travel on the Pacific Sun and/or with this captain and his crew… ;-)
Just test it on the first occasion to get an idea how it is organised, and if and how it works.
The Photographers' Hush-hush Photo Rush:
At every port of call the ship’s photographers race out of the ship, and then assault you with their cameras. Then they sell those photos for AU$ 30. If the photos were really good or unique, we would have bought one or two, but apart from the ones taken in Fiji with a near-naked dancer they could have been taken anywhere. Often there was no specific background at all, sometimes just half a coconut palm, or part of a ship, or just sky. The only thing that identified the photos as having been taken here or there was the frame which said where it was.
After some shore days we declined to be photographed all together, so they could save their energy and the paper. They do not like to be photographed in return either, so if they annoy you just photograph them back ;-)
Some of the photos taken on formal nights were nice. We even bought the last ones, as they were embedded in a print of the itinerary of the cruise, so this was a nice memory.
Take a Copy of your Passport with you.
We had to drop off our passports before landing at the first of four French Polynesian islands, and they could only be picked up again after we had visited the last one of those islands. (BTW No queue there… ;-)
So in case a car rental company requests your passport there, have a copy ready and explain. We had been told to bring a passport and driver’s licence to our rental place in Raiatea, but in the end they only wanted to see a driver’s licence and credit card. So no explanations nor a copy needed. But better be prepared.
Getting off the ship at the end of the cruise was the easiest thing you could ever imagine. We just left, dropped our Cruise Cards in a box (although we had been told earlier that we could keep the cards for our scrap books, and staff said they did not know why they suddenly wanted to keep the cards – another act of fabulous organisation), walked past an immigration officer, let one of those cute MAF beagles sniff at our hand luggage, grabbed our suitcases, hopped on the airport bus, and were gone.
Immigration officers had boarded the ship in Suva, the last port of call. Every passenger got a note in his cabin when to show up in one of the restaurants which had been transformed into a huge NZ immigration office, and bring passport, immigration forms and all questionable things bought on the various islands. You also had to fill out a complete list with all purchases that were made of plant material, or were a kind of food (a lot is allowed into NZ despite the strict rules), and they wanted to know about visits to farms and forests, and see hiking boots, sneakers, and snorkel gear.
The queues were enormous, and it took about one hour to get through this procedure.
They confiscated most of the fans made of woven flax, as it obviously was still green and could host insects or mites, and other nasties they do not want to eat their way through NZ nature. But all those woven baskets, trays and bowls were allowed, as most wood carvings, tea, coffee, cheap shells, etc. Just do NEVER forget to list them in your customs declaration, as in first place all kind of food, plant material, and animal products (which includes shells) are forbidden items, and it can easily cost you NZ$ 200 if you are forgetful. The MAF beagles will at the end of the last queue find everything you think you could smuggle into the country.
On the first day of the cruise there was an emergency rehearsal. All passengers had to go to their respective muster stations with their life jacket and learn how to use them correctly.
For a start, nobody really knew when we would have to be at our muster station which was the Atlantis Lounge. So when we saw the first people walk up the stairs with the life jackets in their hands, we asked when the rehearsal would start, and were told a time different to the one we had got in writing.
When we arrived at the new time, it still was the wrong time. But well, at some point the show started ;-)
What we learnt is that obviously you have a lot of time until a ship sinks… When the alarm sounds, you should walk to your cabin in a quiet manner, grab your life jacket, and walk – again in a non-hectic way – to your muster station where you will get further instructions.
The worst hours on board were not the two rough nights which made us fear of racing straight into hell. The worst time were the hours when we were not allowed to leave the ship in Raiatea because of the swine flu scare.
Although there were more than 200 people on board affected by the norovirus, the only reason for not letting us off the ship were the very few cases of people ill with flu – not even swine flu – symptoms.
There were negotiations in Papeete (Tahiti) – and it was clear: If they would not let us off here, the other three French Polynesian islands (Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea) would be off the itinerary, too. And they were the reason why we had booked this cruise at all.
We could see Bora Bora at the horizon, and this beautiful Gare Maritime at the foot of the ship, Raiatea’s sparkling harbour buildings and beautifully paved harbour promenade, the waiting tour operators, car rental companies’ agents, souvenir shop owners, this beautiful turquoise blue lagoon, the volcanic mountains… Everything so appealing and at arm’s reach – but somehow out of reach.
It was like being freed from prison when we were allowed off the ship after a four hours’ wait, at 1pm. Our holiday dream was kept alive – and we could still tour the island, as the captain had delayed the departure by two hours.
The only health check taken was to measure each passenger’s temperature by infrared cameras, and off we went.
The toughest measures were taken in Apia (Samoa). They had set up a health centre under a big marquee at the port, with nurses wearing masks, tables, chairs, and a kind of waiting room. Each passenger’s temperature was measured by thermometers in the ear. This took ages, and some people who had not queued early for disembarkation tickets waited longer than four hours. My husband and I – thanks such a lot, my dearest John, for queuing at every port of call – were the first two passengers to get off the ship, and so could enjoy a full day on the island of Upolu.
In Fiji they did not control us at all although the Ministery of Health issued a notice, published in the Fiji Times the next day, that they had checked all passengers getting off the Pacific Sun. They wrote that five passengers were “not allowed ashore on the orders of health officials”. Those officials were “part of the quanrtine team at Savusavu port”, and they requested that those people remained in their cabins.
Of course, they only knew about those five people because the ship’s officials – doctor and/or captain – had told them. And in another sentence they admitted this: “It is understood that the cruise liner sent a report to the Savusavu Hospital last week informing it of the situation on board.”
They wrote: “Health inspectors from The Savusavu Hospital awaited the arrival of the cruise liner to check passengers.” And: “Ministery of Health spokesman Iliesa Tora said a team was at the port in the morning to carry out necessary inspection on the 1600 passengers that disembarked.” I can assure you, we were not checked at all. They did not even check our temperatures by infrared cameras, as they had done in all other ports of call.
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