Pelican landing at Tuggerah Lakes. Taken by Reginald J, Dunkley

Pelican landing at Tuggerah Lakes. Taken by Reginald J, Dunkley

Patricia Newell-Dunkley – Photographs by Reginald J. Dunkley

Prince Harry farewelled Australia in grand style chatting and shaking hands with fans on the steps of the Sydney Opera House.   Sydneysiders, school- children, war veterans, and star struck teenagers all gathered around the Prince as he made his way through the crowd collecting gifts for his new niece, before heading off to New Zealand.

He arrived in Wellington on May 9th for the start of his tour and was greeted by the Governor General, he visited the National War Museum and a rugby match. A stunning sunrise over Stewart Island was seen on his visit, the down-to-earth Stewart Islanders put on a rowdy evening at a classic Kiwi Pub Quiz where his team was beaten by his bodyguards. He tried the “Prince Harry” brewed ginger beer and had a good night out. With a population of just 400 he was able to rub shoulders with locals – learn how to shuck a bluff oyster and explore a predator-free wilderness and home to a number of rare and endangered birds. He also met a 118 – year old Tuatara reptile named Henry. He received a “Hongi” the traditional Maori welcome where noses are pressed together and was welcomed by the city mayor who said he was the first member of the Royal Family to visit Stewart Island.   On to Christchurch where he was greeted by hundreds of eager Cantabrians, the quake hit city is still recovering five years after the devastation, travelling by tram he toured the city and then to University of Canterbury. In New Zealand’s river city of Whanganui he took a trip in a Marae, rowing with a Powhiri at Pujiki Marea on the banks of the river meeting up with War veterans. While in Auckland the Prince showed off some fancy footwork during a five-a-side game of soccer. He ended his extremely successful tour on a high note by scoring the winning goal in the final moments.   While in New Zealand Prince Harry saw a familiar face in the crowd, and was reunited with his old matron from Ludgrove School, now a pre-school teacher in Christchurch.

Yorkshire Terriers Pistol and Boo shot to international stardom when they were discovered in Australia. Flying in on Johnny Depp’s private jet the woofers were not officially declared, with strict quarantine policies once the animals were discovered they were quickly bundled onto Depp’s private jet and returned to Los Angeles accompanied by Amber Heard-Depp. The Hollywood film star is in Brisbane filming the latest instalment of The Pirates of the Caribbean 5 “Dead Men Tell No Tales.”

For the first time Australia is represented in the Eurovision Song Contest, by Guy Sebastian. Celebrating their Diamond Anniversary in Austria , Vienna, it will be the second time in history the city hosts the contest. 2014 saw Conchita Wurst win with her song “Rise like a Phoenix”. With forty countries participating and the final held on 23rd May.   33 yr old Guy Sebastian is a Malaysian-born Australian Singer-Songwriter. Winning Australian Idol in 2003 and a Judge on The X Factor. Married with two sons he and his wife Jules have their own charity foundation to raise funds for people in need. For the song contest he will be singing “Tonight Again”.   Good Luck.

An Australian event auction was held at the most magnificent residential castle in South Australia.   Castambul Castle positioned on a private 25 hectares in The Adelaide Hills, held one of the grandest antiques and art collections ever seen. Hundred year old Royal Worcester Porcelain vases, a suite of Versace wine goblets, a Norman Lindsay Etching, 19th century French Boudoir clock, 4,000 year old statues, rare bottles of Grange wine, Gothic furniture, 4,500-year-old Chinese Jade Artefacts, to mention just a few of the 572 items collected by the owners of the seven bedroom, five bathroom Castle which all had to be sold with no reserve. The truly storybook Castle was sold last December.

The Noosa International Food and Wine Festival were held at The Sunshine Coast, Queensland where everything was available. Celebrity Chefs, Exclusive Champagne Master Classes, Seventies Beach Party and Clam Bake on Noosa main beach 1, Street Parties, Food Trails, Beef and Reef Lunch, a Real Farm Experience, a Greek Australian Food Journey, and a Grand Concert. Naming just a few of the treats this festival provides every year. The Noosa Region, with its beautiful beaches, lush green Hinterland, stunning coastal National Park and pristine river is a joy to behold. It has a cosmopolitan lifestyle and is the ideal place to kick back and escape from it all, while you put your toes in the sand.

Meanwhile here on the Central Coast of N.S.W. the Pelicans are still waiting for their daily feed on the stroke of 3.30 p.m. at The Entrance. Flying in with great speed and regularity, meanwhile the tourists happily click their cameras regardless of the wet weather. The birds are still keeping me busy at Shelly Beach and Pixie the Pomeranian is getting a little too plump. It looks like diets all round when the cold weather is over. My books “The Complete Guide to Painting and Decorating Porcelain, Letters of a Travelling Lady, and Wallis the Woman I Love,” are available on Amazon and

Cheers. Patricia.