Bird lorikeet feeding

Bird lorikeet feeding

Patricia Newell-Dunkley Photographs Reginald J. Dunkley


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Greetings from down under as we come to the end of the year, and the weather warms up with the prospect of a long hot summer ahead.

Holidays are being planned and the most popular at this time of year are Christmas Cruises. For some people cruising the exotic Caribbean is a must with its romantic golden beaches and secret waterfalls, parties galore and everyday indulgence on board.

For others three, four, or seven days cruising around Australia and New Zealand is the ideal holiday, taking away all stress and strain of Christmas.

Cruises leave from Sydney Melbourne and Brisbane, visiting Noumea, Port Vila Mare, Isle of Pines, Hobart, Kangaroo Island, and there is usually a mystery Island.

Noumea is the capital of New Caledonia and for those who want a chance to swim with Turtles; Signal Island is the place to visit.  This remote white-sand island is one of the world’s largest lagoons and is frequented by turtles, colourful corals and beautiful reef fish and within easy reach from Noumea.

Shelly Beach surfer

Shelly Beach surfer

On the Pacific island of Vanuatu you can discover Port Vila, with its startling Blue Lagoon, the stunning Rarru Cascades, Turtle Bay and Sanctuary, and admire the natural landscapes of this unspoilt Island.

The Port of Mare is Arcadia, nestled in the heart of the Loyalty Islands of New Caledonia, famous for its majestic Flora and Faun, its age-old cultural traditions, unmarred natural wonders and world class white-sand beaches.

The island’s most treasured attraction is its stunning natural aquarium next to the main village of Tadine.  Here you can swim in this natural pool up close and personal with fascinating marine life.  The Island has a small population and untouched beauty, the Island of Mare is truly paradise.

The Isle of Pines is yet another tropical paradise and one of those places you dream about, clear turquoise water, pure white sand beaches, pine trees and a very easy going life style.

Not far off the coast of New Caledonia’s mainland, the island is a perfect place to relax and charge the batteries, sun, surf, and surrounded by natural beauty.

This cruise leaves from Sydney.

Cruising to Tasmania, Hobart is Tasmania’s capital city with world class activities and attractions. Nestled in the foothills of Mt. Wellington, Hobart combines heritage charm with a modern lifestyle in a setting of natural beauty.

Located at the entrance to the Derwent River, with well-preserved surrounding bushland close to the city and beaches, line the shores of the river and estuary beyond.

This delightful city has something for everyone, picturesque waterways, rugged mountains, and gourmet experiences by some of the world’s finest chefs, with seafood straight from the Southern Ocean.

A stop-over in Hobart on a cruise will definitely entice you to return for a longer visit.

Kangaroo Island is one of the world’s finest nature destinations, celebrated for its pristine wilderness and wildlife, as well as a thriving food and wine industry.

On an island almost seven times the size of Singapore, there is much to see and do.  You can walk among the free roaming kangaroos and the colony of Australian sea lions at Seal Bay. Discover koalas snoozing high up in fragrant eucalypt trees at Flinders Chase National Park. Explore the stunning natural rock formations and much more.

A return trip to the island will soon be on your bucket list.

It is easy to see why cruises are so popular, especially at Christmas time.

Here at Shelly Beach all is well the surf is high and holiday makers are starting to arrive.  The flags are up and the lifesavers are on the ready.  Swimming between the flags is a must as there is always a rip in the ocean; nevertheless there are always those who break the rules.

The birds are flying in and enjoying their breakfast, Princess Pixie is still watching the Possum who seems to have taken up residence.

My books “Letters of a Travelling Lady, Wallis the Woman I Love, The Complete Guide to Painting and Decorating Porcelain” are available on Amazon and Xlibris.

Cheers.  Patricia