Monday, August 18, 2014

The Big Island

After Kauai, we flew to the Big Island for a few days at the Volcano House Hotel.  The best part about staying at this hotel is you are right on the rim of the Kilauea crater.  Which would have been much more exciting if it didn't pour with rain the whole time we were there.

But you can't control the weather so who cares?

Kilauea Crater 01

One night the rain stopped long enough for us to realise we could see the glow of the lava lake from our room, so we put our shoes on and rushed outside to get a photo (of sorts).

Kilauea Crater 04

We also did a boat trip around the island to see where the lava had been meeting the sea when it was flowing last year.  That was pretty cool and it stopped raining for an hour which made it much more enjoyable.

Lava Flow 01

Lava Flow 03

Here's one last shot of the crater with sulphur dioxide casually pouring out.

Kilauea Crater 03

After 12 days it was time to come home and that was a shock to the system; when we left Hawaii it was 30C and when we got home to Melbourne it was 5C.

All in all it was a good holiday.  Oh, and we flew Hawaiian Airlines.  Nothing to write home about.

Saturday, August 16, 2014


Recently we visited Hawai'i for a holiday and it was just lovely.  Rather than do the usual touristy thing, we decided to stay on Kauai instead, neither of us having been there before.

We stayed at the Grand Hyatt Kauai, and while it was a massive hotel, much bigger than we usually stay at, it was really nice and they upgraded us to a deluxe suite which made it even nicer.  This was the view from the lobby when you entered the hotel:

Grand Hyatt Kauai

Which you have to admit is not too bad.  This was the view from our room:

Kauai Beach

Which is a very nice view to wake up to every day.

The weather was really nice and warm (important when you've come from the middle of winter in Australia) and the 27 pools at the hotel just about covered what you needed.

We drove up to see the Kilauea Lighthouse: Kileaua Lighthouse

And went to the Waimea Canyon: Waimea Canyon

Waimea Canyon 03

Waimea Canyon 04

And we did a helicopter flight over the Na Pali Coast, which is inaccessible by road - you have to go via helicopter or boat. There is a 13 mile hiking trail rated difficult, but that's not my idea of a holiday stroll.

Kallio Point

Na Pali Coast 02

Whilst on our flight we saw the waterfalls used in the movie Jurassic Park, which don't look all that impressive from the air but they are more than 400 feet high.
Jurassic Falls 02

Friday, February 14, 2014


Recently we visited Canberra - our nation's Capital - to visit a couple of exhibitions that weren't coming to Melbourne.

We stayed at the Park Hyatt Canberra, which was excellent, and perfectly located close to all the things we were going to see.  I highly recommend this as an accommodation option if you ever have to stay in Canberra.

Our first visit was to the National Gallery of Australia to see the Gold and the Incas exhibition.  Gold and the Incas showcases the splendour of ancient pre-Hispanic cultures of Peru.  More than 200 objects are included, from gold regalia, intricate jewellery and striking vessels to elaborate embroidered and woven cloths.  It was very good and extremely interesting.

Our second excursion was to the National Library of Australia to see Mapping Our World: Terra Incognita to Australia.  This exhibit shows rare and unique cartographic treasures from around the world. Discover how European explorers unravelled the secrets of the great south land.
Highlights of the exhibition include the magnificent Fra Mauro Map of the World; the remarkable Boke of Idrography presented to Henry VIII; an intricate world map by the Benedictine monk Andreas Walsperger (1448); a fifteenth-century Ptolemy manuscript; magnificent and controversial ‘Dieppe’ charts; one of only four surviving copies of Mercator’s groundbreaking 1569 projection, and original manuscript charts by Pacific navigators including Louis de Freycinet, James Cook and Matthew Flinders.  We came home with three replica maps, they were that good.

Whilst in Canberra we visited Parliament House, which is quite beautiful.  You can go in any time and wander around.


We also went to the Australian War Memorial.  My father is a Vietnam veteran and he was keen for us to see the Vietnam exhibit.  It was fascinating and truly one of the best war memorials we've been to around the world.


This is the view of Parliament House looking straight down Anzac Parade, past the old Parliament House to the new Parliament House.


Canberra is very nice to visit although I wouldn't want to necessarily live there.