Sydney To Auckland With Henry

I departed Central Hobart before dawn (why did we give up the dawn in favor of late night TV?) and arrived in Sydney from Hobart at 8AM. Henry was supposed to be arriving at the same time, but he was delayed both in Hong Kong and on the tarmac at Sydney, so he didn’t get out of customs until nearly 11AM. We took a cab into the city and spent the 9-hour layover reviewing (for me) and seeing (for him) the key sites of Sydney. We boarded an evening flight to Auckland and arrived at midnight.

On our one day in Auckland Henry guided us on a 7 hour walking tour, and we had a good time taking in this city (Henry agrees with me, we are not so much city people). We even picked some grapefruits for breakfast that were growing in one of the city parks. They were good, but a bit sour.

After another early morning flight, this time to Christchurch, we boarded our Wilderness Camper. If you go through New Zealand, camping is a popular way to go, and if you are a couple (or fewer) a Wilderness Base Jumper is about as good as it gets. It is a sporty rig based on the Fiat cargo van, and all custom designed by the owner of the camper rental (he also sells them under the road craft brand name).

After gearing up at a local supermarket we headed up and out of the city through Arthur’s pass and into the New Zealand Alps. We “free camped” for our first night right along side one of Southern New Zealand’s plentiful glacial rivers. It was a beautiful and secluded campsite indeed.

Camping With Carl

If you want to see The Red Center, I can highly recommend doing so by joining an Adventure Australia 4 Day Safari, if Carl runs it. I honestly have no idea if the other guides at this outfit have the knowledge, experience, energy, cooking skills, sense of humor and good nature of Carl. For four days He took care of 3 Young Women from Germany, 3 Separate Swiss (not German) Couples, and little (ha) old me. And he did so expertly.

We camped in various outback locations where there were shower and toilet facilities as well as wood floored tents, if you needed them. We all preferred to sleep in a swag (Outback Bedroll) under a vast canopy of stars and in the cool desert breeze. Even with the Dingoes wondering round the edge of camp and the mobs of insects abundant in any outback, we found it a very comfortable arrangement.

As to cooking, the tour came with all meals, and Carl with our help, provided abundantly. My only critique was too much meat for my normal diet, but well within fair range, and probably perfect for most people. We dined in gas bottle camp kitchens and with Dutch oven cooking over the hot coals of our fire, depending on the night.

Carl, I never got your last name, mate. But Thanks a million for a great trip. I am certain that with certain other guides it would not have been nearly this good.

We tourists all got along well, and in the end had a final dinner after tour at Bojangles Saloon, which has a live web cam, so Henry was able to watch our antics from far away Hong Kong. The gang helped me to ham it up in front of the camera every time our location was featured, giving Henry a good show. The Various other travelers, and I did exchange email so hopefully we can keep in some touch, at least to exchange photos.