Lost Month crossing International Date Line

September 20 Qantas flt 100 carried Ellie and George over the International Date Line on it's way from Los Angeles to Auckland. On the other side a 27 day tour of New Zealand, Australia and Fiji metamorphosed into enjoyable events, interesting places and memorable occasions following each other at a time destroying pace. Years worth of memories generated in no time at all.

Pictures which follow offer but a taste of the sights making the trip fascinating and memorable.
 
Twin lambs befriended us on a visit to the New Zealand farm home which serves as the venue for "a farm stay" on tours such the Menkart's as well as a Bed and Breakfast. Tea time and dinner time conversations and a guided tour of the forty acre mini farm provided an interesting window on life and times in New Zealand.

 Milford Sound is one of a plethora of New Zealand's natural attractions. A four hour motor coach ride from Queenstown to the Sound was followed by an hour scenic boat tour of the fjord. A forty minute return via a fully loaded, single engine, Cesna flying over rugged snow capped mountains, deep road less valleys and inaccessible lakes provided a exciting coda to the adventure.

Melbourne, Australia's center of academia and the arts, won over the frenzied commercial Sydney as our favorite Australian city. A two hour tour of the town aboard the city's famed Restaurant Trolley, enjoying a four course four - star meal accompanied by an endless supply of excellent  Australian wine, may have impacted our choice.
Melbourne's parks and flower gardens confirm that our visit took place in the spring. The photo on the left was captured but a few feet from Cooks Cottage. The home in which Captain Cook had lived between voyages. Transplanted from Ayton England to Melbourne in 1934 on the 100th anniversary of the State of Victoria, the Cottage is now a historical monument and tourist attraction.
 
 

 

 
Punctuation by spectacular rocks provides the endless expanse of arid flat land, which is the Outback, with spectacular vistas. The pictured Olgas and their neighbor the Ayres Rock, are examples of must see Outback attractions.
 


Australia's animal population mixed for us the anticipated with the unexpected. As we expected cattle and sheep share the Outback with rabbits and dingoes. Camels roaming the Outback we did not anticipate. They were imported for transportation. When obsoleted by rail and truck they were left to roam and breed. In animal preserves we were able to see and in some cases touch, the koalas, kangaroos and other species unique to Australia. Many are nocturnal hence unlikely to be seen in the wild.
 

 
 

Three days in Fiji provided the ideal opportunity to relax, unwind and sort out recollections of the fast paced tour of New Zealand and Australia. Closing an eight hour time difference, regaining the day  lost crossing the Date Line from East to West, left us jet lagged. The disorientation was compounded by an abrupt turnaround from Spring, the time for  birds to build nests, to fall  the time that leaves fall from trees.
 

A great trip, highly recommended for anyone with the time and inclination.