Sunday, May 8, 2016

Kean Pt ~ Kaikoura, New Zealand


Kean Point Kaikoura Seal Colony

Have you seen Fur Seals, in their natural habitat, doing what seals do?

New Zealand Holiday For Families

Kean Point Kaikoura is a haven for wildlife and most importantly, at least for the tourists, are the New Zealand Fur Seals.

Kean Point Kaikoura

Kaikoura, being the small seaside town that it is, makes finding Point Kean relatively easy. A short drive from the town centre will see you at the point.

Along with many other tourists all searching for their up close and personal encounter with the seals. Although, the area is well signed and tourists are advised to stay at least 10 metres away, after all these are wild animals.

This was tricky for the kids though, keeping ones distance from a cute and cuddly baby seal is just so hard to do.

Southern Black Backed Gull

If you keep your eyes peeled there is all manner of bird life around the point. This Southern Black-backed Gull, decided to nest right on the main thoroughfare for the tourists heading out to get their glimpse of a seal or two.

He was continually on guard for random tourists that weren't looking where they were going to ensure they didn't step on the nest. We watched one tourist get the fright of his life, as he wasn't aware of the nest and the gull certainly let him know that it was there!

New Zealand Holidays

We visited Kaikoura over the New Year period, whilst it is often relatively windy out on the point, the days were glorious and it was certainly a lovely place to sit and be with nature....and to take silly family snapshots. I'm sure the seals have seen worse!


This was one of those moments where my daughter just could not resist sneaking up to get a closer look at the baby seal. Thankfully she chose to stay above and behind him on the rock, so he was completely oblivious to her even being there.


It certainly is a rare treat to see these beautiful animals in their natural environment simply doing what seals do.


Be sure to visit Kean Point several times during your Kaikoura stay and time your visits at different intervals, that way you are bound to see a variety of seals all behaving differently.


Whilst difficult for us to photograph, one of the highlights was visiting on high tide and whilst there were no gorgeous specimens sunning themselves as most of the point is covered in water, there were many seals, frolicking and swimming with each other right before our eyes.

It was truly magical to witness.

Whilst in Kaikoura, though be sure to take the short drive north to see the Ohau Seal Colony, whilst a different viewing environment than Point Kean, there are generally larger numbers at Ohau.

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Kaikoura is 180km north of Christchurch, a small seaside village, with a permanent resident population of approximately 2000, it is popular with both tourists and locals.

We loved or time with the seals, definitely a bucket list experience!

Happy Travels,
Kylie

Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Best Of All Lookout ~ Springbrook

The Best OF All Lookout Springbrook


We spent the recent long weekend exploring one of our beautiful national parks here on the Gold Coasts hinterland. Springbrook National Park and what a treasure it is.

Of course when exploring we are always keen to see the local lookouts and the Springbrook area has no shortage of them.

We actually only noticed the signage to The Best Of All Lookout whilst driving to Canyon Lookout so on our return we decided to take the brief side tour to check it out.

Considering we did scoff at the name, I mean seriously, who names a lookout the best of all? So of course we needed to know if it really did live up to its name.

Springbrook National Park

It was very close to dark on our first visit and the area was receiving wind gusts of up to 30km so we made a quick mad dash to the lookout, whilst we froze our tooshies off. We had a quick look, took a couple of snaps and vowed to return the following day to inspect the stunning little walk more closely.

Gold Coast Hinterland Walks

We did just that and whilst the wind had died down the next day, the weather was overcast and showery, so it was very cold and dark.

However, it gave the 700 metre return walk a true magical rainforest feel. Low lying cloud cover ensured that there was plenty of mist through the forest.

We were not prepared clothing wise and whilst we did linger a little longer it still wasn't enough to truly enjoy everything this stunning little walk has to offer.

I absolutely wish to return but next time it will be with my tripod and my tracksuit!! The low light simply makes it too difficult not have photo's with some amount of camera shake.

Bush Walks Springbrook

New fern growth was emerging everywhere. I am always in awe of these stunning plants and could sit and look at them for ages.


My daughter and I noticed these tiny little orange fungi growing on a log on our first walk through, it took us a bit of back tracking to find them again on the second visit. Seriously, they were only a few milimeteres in diameter, what a treasure.


This truly is a fabulous walk for families, there is a car park right at the entrance, the path is bitumen the entire way. Absolutely no trudging through any over grown rainforest walks here. However you still have the feel and the experience of a true rainforest walk.

If you haven't done this, put it on your list. It really is so close to the gold coast, just follow the signs down Repeater Station road, off Springbrook Road.

Gold Coast Lookout

The prize at the end of the walk is of course "The Best of All Lookout". It is rather stunning I must say. On a clear day you can see as far as Coolangatta.

Why not do some mountain spotting with the kids. Here you will find Mt Warning, the twin peaks of the Cougals, with Springbrook National park all laid out before you. If you are really lucky you may even see as far south as Byron Bay.

Gold Coast Hinterland Lookout

You know I think they may have come pretty darn close when choosing the name for this lookout.

Happy Travels,
Kylie


Thursday, March 31, 2016

Royal Australian Mint



Money, money, money, lots of money.


We were all quite keen to head to the mint so we could view the process of how our notes and coins are produced.

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Of course there is always the obligatory ‘head in the cut out’ pose.

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We headed upstairs to find a myriad of showcases laid out before us. This particular one depicting other countries in which our mint produces money for.

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Large scale plates and original sketches from Australian coins. The kids quickly noticed the 1c and 2c designs.

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The entire upper level is surrounded by class viewing windows, which allow you to peer down into the various work spaces, each of which have a specific task.

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Being a Sunday the factory floor was quiet but this large robotic arm, which does most of the heavy lifting here, caught the eye of the boys.



The current exhibition “One In A Million” showcasing when things go wrong on the factory floor. Blanks, misfires, double inlays of coins. Screws melted into coins and an array of things like that, quite fascinating!

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Something that we hadn’t considered before, is the fact that the mint also produces medals of various descriptions, such as the Sydney 200 Olympic Medals.


After watching a brief documentary on the workings of the mint in their small theatre we headed downstairs where the kids were able to mint their own coins for souvenirs.

Whilst it doesn’t take long to wander around the mint we were all pleased with the visit. Once again everything was superbly presented.

Happy Travels,
Kylie

*This post is from our travel diary dated 2nd September 2012