Asia-Pacific

Wendy’s personal goal to travel to six of the seven continents (skipping Antarctica) was met when she and Rick touched down in Australia in January 2011. The Walleighs spent nearly a month traveling on both the north and south islands of New Zealand as well as in southeastern Australia, including Sydney.

New Zealand & Australia’s Isolation Engendered Unique Land & Sea Creatures

Australia

With isolation from connected continents over millennia, the region’s animals and plants adapted uniquely to their geography and climate and thus evolved distinctly differently from those on other continents.  The Silver Fern is not only New Zealand’s national symbol but also endemic to its forests and jungles. Australia has 600 different reptile species.  New Zealand […]

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Australia’s Central Coast North of Sydney

Australia

The Walleighs’ experience north of Sydney with their “local” friends was different from other parts of their trip.  What they saw near their friends’ home in Terrigal were glorious beaches, surf, rocky coastline, and some additional unique animals in Reptile Park. Most days were spent lying on the beach, in the ocean, walking on the […]

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Australia: Sydney is a Lovely City

Australia

Sydney and the central eastern coast of Australia were the only places Rick and Wendy visited.  Unfortunately they had no time to visit “the Outback” nor the Great Barrier Reef off Queensland, which recently had been badly flooded by weeks of rain and then struck by Cyclone Yasi, supposedly a Category 5, comparable to Katrina. […]

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New Zealand Overview–from Countryside to Cities

New Zealand

Wendy’s personal goal to travel to six of the seven continents (skipping Antarctica) was met when she and Rick touched down in Australia in January 2011.  For most of this trip, they traveled with one couple, driving for approximately one week on the south island of New Zealand, one week on the north island and […]

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New Zealand’s North Island–Maori Culture, Thermal Features & More

New Zealand

Known best for being the Maori cultural center and its active thermal fields, New Zealand’s north island is also warmer in temperature than the south island.  So the Walleighs could enjoy part of this island in shorts and t-shirts.  Their route was from Wellington to Auckland with many fascinating stops, including time in each city. […]

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New Zealand’S South Island—Rugged Coasts to Glaciers in Lord of the Rings’ Country

New Zealand

Despite the cool and sometimes rainy weather on New Zealand’s south island, it was Wendy’s favorite of the two islands.  The variety of dramatic scenery in such a relatively small area was quite impressive. Southern Alps’ impressive glaciers: Just inland from the south island’s entire west coast are the Southern Alps, which are covered with […]

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Nepal: Rick’s Trek to Soloban for Mini-Hydro-Electric Project

Nepal

In late 2005, Rick volunteered in three projects that would help him decide the kind of international economic development work he would find most satisfying as well as where we might attempt to live.  Project number two was intended to be short-term. Friends wanted to institute a micro-hydro-electric program in Soloban a remote village in […]

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2011 Walleigh Travel Journal: New Zealand and Australia

Australia

JANUARY 1 – 29, 2011 . On Mon., Feb.21, 2011 a shallow quake of 6.3  (in Sept. 2010 there was a 7.1) occurred right under downtown Christchurch, collapsing buildings, killing—as of Feb. 24–nearly 100 and trapping up to 200 in many buildings’ rubble.  7 weeks ago we stayed in the city center in the Grand […]

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