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Our first visit to Australia in 2008 was primarily for Mark and Adele’s wedding on the Mornington Peninsula near Melbourne.  At the time, we thought we’d never get another chance to go down that way again, so we also took in Hong Kong, Sydney, Uluru (Ayer’s Rock), Perth, and Singapore.  We were wrong, as the following albums will testify.

Hong Kong.  Much of it was closed for the Chinese New Year.

Hong Kong

These pictures have been roughly sorted as: a) in and around the harbour, b) in and around the city, c) the Blue Mountains, d) animals, e) the Chinese Gardens, and f) other places, including Bondi Beach.


These pictures have been roughly sorted as: a) general views of the area (i.e. some touristy stuff), b) general socialising, c) a fishing trip, d) a wine-tasting horse-trail, e) some preparations for the wedding.  The ‘x’ files are a few shots of our ‘suite’ on the ‘5 star’ Moonah Links resort.  Although the coffee table was cleaned the day after we wrote in the dust, as far as we know, the cobwebs are still there.


The ceremony was held at Ashcombe Maze on the Mornington Peninsula, and then the reception was held at the Moonah Links golf course, also on the peninsula.


These pictures have also been sorted: a) Ayer’s Rock (Uluru), as seen from our bedroom, b) other views of Uluru from the desert, c) the ‘Sounds Of Silence’ dinner, d) Kata Tjuta, the other big rock which, from some angles, looks like Homer Simpson lying down, and e) a few shots from the resort, which, in reality, was little more than a transit camp for people like us to fly in, look at the rock(s), and fly out again.  There’s nothing else there.

Ayers Rock

A few days in and around Perth: a) views of the desert, coming in to land, b) Perth city, c) a wine cruise up the Swan River, d) Fremantle, e) York and Wave Rock.


The last leg of our tour.  These pictures are of a) our impressive hotel, b) the city, c) Raffles Hotel (expensive drinks), d) the Botanic Gardens, which include e) the Orchid Gardens.


Our second visit was in 2011 at about the same time of year.  The outward stopover this time was in Penang, Malaysia.

It was always our intention for this stopover to just chill-out for a few days.  This we accomplished successfully, without venturing outside our hotel, except to go on the beach, until it was time to be taken back to the airport.


Mount Martha, Mornington: The first surprise was that Mark & Adele had only just had a pool installed in their garden - just right for a daily dip before the sun went down.  As on our last visit, we took some time to explore the Mornington Peninsular - it’s pretty towns & beaches, and some, but not much, wildlife.


Melbourne: Mark drove us in, as he had to do some work in the city, giving us a chance to wander around - with a little help from the local trams.


During our second week, we undertook a coastal drive along the Great Ocean Road, which we got to via the Sorrento - Queens Ciff Ferry,  We also drove through parts of the Otway National Park.  Along the way, we saw dolphins, koalas, & cockatoos, and we made overnight stops in Lorne and Port Campbell.

Ocean Road

Other Outings in the Melbourne area:  First a trip to Phillip Island, primarily to see the Penguin Parade (which, unfortunately, nobody was allowed to photograph).  But there was some stunning coastal scenery.  Next, we went up into the Dandenong ranges overlooking Melbourne, with a lunch stop in the delightful village of Olinda.

Other Tours

I came home after three weeks, whilst Ann stayed with Mark and Adele for a further five.  These are her pictures.  We are already planning next year’s visit.

Ann Ext

The main reason for our third visit in 2012 was to meet our grandson, Henry, for the first time.  Our trip was timed to include Henry’s first birthday and his Christening.  The outward stopover was again in Penang, Malaysia.  We also took the opportunity to spend a couple of weeks in Fiji.

The ‘highlight’ of our ‘chill out’ in the Rainbow Paradise Beach Resort, Penang (same place as last year) was feeling the tremors from a Pacific earthquake (Ann felt them, while I stayed asleep) and the threat of a Tsunami.  Apart from that, we managed to chill out as planned.


Next, we spent a few days in Melbourne, where Henry was brought to our hotel to meet us for the first time - a very emotional moment. 


Then we all spent a day at the zoo.


Our flight to Nadi on the island of Denarau, Fiji, had been brought forward by a day, so we booked a night in the Raffles Gateway Hotel next to the airport, which meant we were able to get into the swimming pool less than an hour after touching down.  The rest of our stay on Denarau was in the luxurious Sofitel Fiji Resoert and Spa.

Nadi Denarau

From Denarau Port , we caught the catamaran ferry to the island of Malolo LaiLai where we stayed at the Plantation Island Resort.  The is when our holiday started to feel ‘exotic’.


The five of us were the only passengers on a small speedboat to Mana Island, where you could walk from one side of the island to the other in under 10 minutes.

Mana Island

A catamaran ferry took us back via a few other islands to Nadi where we caught our flight to Brisbane & then Melbourne, to spend a couple of weeks on The Mornington Peninsular.  When we landed in Melbourne it was very cold, and raining.  Here are a few pictures of our journey.

Return To Oz

Our base was the Mornington Motel on Mornington’s Main Street.  From there we visited The Enchanted Maze, some hot springs, local vinyards, rode on Puffing Billy, looked for kangaroos in the wild, and watched some Aussie Rules Football.


This is a separate album for Henry’s Christening and birthday party.


Another separate album for the very entertaining Enchanted Maze and sweet shop.  A fascinating and pleasant afternoon out.  It has been a rainy day, but it stayed dry for us while we were there.


Our visit to see Puffing Billy is also in a separate album.  Again, it was a great day out, and again it stayed dry for us.

Puffing Billy

Postscript: While we were staying in Mornington, Mark & Adele had just embarked upon looking for a new house to accommodate their growing family.  This album shows their existing house, as portrayed by their estate-agents.  These are their pictures.


And this is where they moved to.  Again, the pictures were by the estate agents.


In 2013, Ann went on her own for just over seven weeks.  Flights were again with Malaysia Air, with the main journey between London and Kuala Lumpur on their new Airbus A380.  No stopovers this time - just a connecting flight to Melbourne.

This is an ‘all-in-one’ album for the whole stay in Mornington, and includes trips in the surrounding area, including Melbourne.  Of course, our grandson, Henry, is prominently featured.


This complementary album is from Mark, and comprises pictures taken with his iPhone.


2015/2016.  A visit to the familiy to celebrate Ann’s 70th birthday.  We stayed for a month, taking in Christmas and the New Year.  Flights to Melbourne were with Royal Brunei Airlines, with brief stops in Dubai and Bandar Seri Begawan.  This was my fourth visit, and Ann’s fifth.

A small album from our outward journey.  The cabin crew were really friendly, and one of them was celebrating his birthday.  Note: The airline carries no alcohol, and we had to listen to a prayer before every take-off.


Having ‘settled in’ our first excursion was to take the ferry from Sorrento to Quenscliff, where we had a great night out on The Blues Train.  We stayed the night in Queenscliff as the ferries don’t run overnight.  Queenscliff itself is an attractive old colonial-style town.


McCrae is another town on the Mornington Peninsula coast.  Here we were invited to the Yacht Club by Andrew, a member, for a beach barbecue.  Later, on Christmas Day, we went to Debbie & Martin’s for a family Christmas dinner.  We spent most of the day by the pool.


Mornington - the pleasant town after which the peninsula is named.  One thing that surprised us was the lack of Christmas paraphernalia in the town centre.  Very strange.  However, a group of houses on the edge of town more than made up for it.


The Mornington peninsula is a delightful strip of land that encloses one side of the bay around Melbourne.  It is home to some great beaches, vineyards, and some very picturesque colonial-style towns.  There are even some hot springs to wallow in.


A few days after landing in Oz, we visited the Moonlight Wildlife Conservation Sanctuary and had a look at some cuddly animals - and some not so cuddly.


The children were taken to Melbourne to see Santa.  These are Ann’s pictures of the day out.


Whilst in Australia, we stayed with Mark and Adele in their lovely house in Mornington.  Here are some pictures of us all ‘at home’, including Christmas morning.




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