A B EXPLORER TOURS
Box 153 GORE 9740
Ph 03 2087704 or 0274 324068
Tour Director- Allan Boyer
A B EXPLORER TOURS
Box 153 GORE 9740 Ph 03 2087704 or 0274 324068
Tour Director – Allan Boyer
Member New Zealand Professional Guides Association & Travel Agents Association New Zealand
Bulletin – November 2019:
Here we go into Summer again and things are still busy on the tour front; so much for easing back a little! The highlight for Pat and me was our 5 weeks in Australia during June & July. A few days in Sydney then across to Perth on the Indian Pacific train and a few days in Fremantle. We continued up North with stops at interesting places on the coast to finish up in Port Hedland about 600kms south of Broome. Inland to the mining towns of Tom Price and Newman and “Oh boy” the size of the mineral trains there was amazing. Leaving the Pilbara behind we headed south inland and back to Perth. Even though it rained quite a lot a great drive and some flowers out. More days in Fremantle after visiting Rottnest Island with its interesting seascapes and loads of quolls hopping about. Across to Hyden to see Wave Rock and then down to the south coast and Esperance on the Southern Ocean. Next it was across the Nullabor Plain taking 4 days to reach Port Augusta staying in road houses along the way. Time on the cliffs overlooking the Great Australian Bight but not so many whales about as 2 years ago when we were last there. From there to Adelaide and home. About 5000kms driven and great experiences behind us. Lots of great places and even possibilities of an Explorer departure in the back of my mind to some of those places!
Explorer Tour departures have been busy too. In August Cathy & Graeme took a small group of ladies to Rarotonga in the Cook Islands and it sounds like they all had a great time there chilling out and enjoying what this place has to offer for a relaxing and informative holiday. This will be repeated in 2020. During that time Pat and I were away with a group of 20 to the top of the North Island. A day in Wellington then the Northern Explorer train to Hamilton to meet our coach and Sue (Driver) who drove us to Whitianga, Coromandel, Snell's Beach and Kawau Island. North to Paihia and Russell, Cape Reinga, Opononi and Takapuna before coming home.
In October another group departed for Darwin and the Northern Territory with Pat and me. They experienced Aboriginal culture and art with local guides Tess and Greg in Litchfield National Park. The cruise on the Katherine River in the Nitmiluk Gorge is an experience as was the museum and other places in the district. Next Kakadu National Park with the sunset Yellow Water Cruise and a day out in Arnhem Land for more fascinating information. Several hours spent at Cahill's Crossing watching the Crocodiles (about 40) feeding on Barramundi was awesome as were the walks to art sites and the views out over the flood plains. Thousand of wading birds were seen as well at Mamakula Wetlands as the water dries up. Days in Darwin at the finish enabled people to appreciate what happened on the 19th February 1942 when the Japanese bombed the town. Earlier in the journey a visit to the Adelaide River War Cemetery was a sobering experience for us all. We had hoped to see something of the early onset of the wet season but nothing although our hottest day showed 42 degrees on the mini coach outside temperature gauge. We have said this will be the last but if enough people express interest it could be run again.
Amongst all this some Rail Touring was done for New Zealand and Australian visitors to the South Island for Dunedin Railways. Things have been busy as you can appreciate.
IN THE PLANNING:
Over the summer I will be mostly in Dunedin managing Dunedin Railways cruise ship trains. There are around 120+ ship visits before the season finishes in April. Also I will likely manage some of the South Island tour trains so if interested in information for these do let me know and the detail can be sent when formulated.
April: We are heading back to Molesworth Station again with the departure to leave Gore on the16th via the West Coast. The first 2 nights will be at Haast Village with a day trip down to Jackson's Bay and the Cascade Valley. As the Glaciers are hard to access and retreating we will not visit these so will have just 1 night at Franz Josef. Next a call at Okarito and on to Hokitika for 2 nights where there is a host of things to do including a visit to the spectacular Hokitika River Gorge. After a short visit to Greymouth travel along the north side of the Grey River to Blackball and see historic coal mining places to arrive in Reefton for lunch. Into North Canterbury for 3 nights to allow 2 days on Molesworth with Rick Stirling including St James and a crossing of the Southern Alps to the Rainbow River. During this time there is opportunity to make use of the thermal pools as well. Leaving Hanmer Springs down the inland road via Oxford to overnight in Geraldine. Next day back to Gore via Dunedin on the 25th.
Currently there is a list of people wanting to undertake this journey. If information in regards this is enclosed with this bulletin then you have priority but should you like that detail to consider please make contact asap so as to not miss out.
August: Cook Islands- We are looking to offer another Rarotonga departure with Cathy. This time it will be for 10 days to allow more time to experience more of what is on offer there including Resort activity. This is an ideal place to unwind and relax as well as to learn something of the culture here too. If looking to obtain a sun tan for the summer this may well be the ideal departure for you.
North Island: There is interest in a repeat of what we did in August to the top of the North Island. We can repeat that with a departure at the same time next year. Also people have asked about a similar length Explorer to the east coast of the North Island as well so that is also a possibility too.
Chatham Island: Although not undertaking our own departures there any more we are able to offer the small group concept with an operator who offers the same style of departures that we did so yes, you can be accommodated. These are better than the 4 or 5 day departures being offered there these days.
Norfolk Island: At last we can operate there again with direct flights from Auckland being offered by Air Chathams. I intend going up there early next year to check out what is on offer for small groups. Much has changed since Australia has taken over the Island and we need to ensure that we can offer a reasonable departure there like we used to do. There is much to do and experience as we delve into the convict history as well as the Pitcairn Islanders' settlement there. Time to relax as well.
Western Australia: As indicated earlier Pat and I spent some of our holiday over that way this year and have come home with an idea. The thought will be to offer the Indian Pacific train from Sydney as an option to travel across the continent over 3 nights or else you might choose to fly to Perth. Basing in Fremantle we would explore that area including 2 nights on amazing Rottnest Island with its wildlife. Returning to the mainland we head north to view the amazing Pinnacles and Stromatolites with overnights in Cervantes and Port Dennison. Next stop Kalbarri amongst amazing sea cliffs on the Indian Ocean. Continuing on up the coast to Exmouth and its amazing beaches and sea life then overnights in Karratha and Port Hedland prior to arriving at journey's end in Broome to spend 3 or 4 days unwinding before transitting through Melbourne and home. This will not be a too strenuous journey and will have plenty of interest for everyone.
Now this is only an idea but if you think you or others could be interested in a unique and very interesting journey do let us know.
South Island: There are still people interested in joining departures to the top of the South Island, as well as the Westport, Denniston and Karamea area. Also the Canterbury Valleys and Kaikoura and Blenheim so perhaps they will run again if we have a minimum of 6 people wishing to participate on each. This is the base number we work on for a departure.
Ring, email or write to have your name included for information on any of the above.
OK, so not quite ready to retire but some time soon.
We trust you have had a brilliant year and are looking forward to 2020 so all the best from us.
Patricia & Allan Boyer