All posts filed under: Travel

Takahē at Zealandia thedreamstress.com

The bird life of Zealandia (with bonus dino-lizards)

This Christmas my in-laws gave us membership to Zealandia Ecosanctuary as a present, and it has turned out to be the best gift possible. Mr D and I head off to Zealandia nearly every weekend, to enjoy the scenery, and revel in the birdlife. (I revel. Mr D looks at it suspiciously and hopes it doesn’t poop on us or attack us). What’s Zealandia? Zealandia is an ecosanctuary/park/wildlife sanctuary just 5 minutes drive from the Wellington central business district (and Parliament), and completely surrounded by a predator proof fence. The fence is designed to keep out ferrets, stoats, rats, cats, possums, weasels, and other invasive pests that destroy plants and kill birds. All these pests have been cleared out from inside the sanctuary, and many species of native birds, some critically endangered, and some of which went extinct in the Wellington region over a century ago, have been reintroduced. Zealandia is 225ha (just under a square mile) and just a little smaller than Central Park, but is much wilder and hillier than Central Park. It …

Hey Honolulu I’m going home to happy Hawai’i!

I’m off to Hawaii for the next two weeks to be with my parents at the family farm.  I won’t have the best internet connection while I’m there, but don’t worry, I’ve pre-scheduled lots (well some) fun blog posts.  There will be a Rate the Dress every week – though I might not be able to tot up the final ratings until I’m back. If internet is better than expected, you might even get some bonus posts!  I seem to write particularly good posts when I’m in Hawaii. Sadly, there will be no duckling post as they all hatched earlier in the year.  Nor will there be a Honolulu Museum of Art or ‘Iolani Palace post, as I’m spending the whole two weeks on Moloka’i Hopefully there won’t be a repeat of Slugfest 2016. (slug photo redacted by popular demand) Even more hopefully there won’t be a Hawaii Hurricane Watch 2018 2.0 while I’m there!  (or at all.  Frankly the world has had quite enough weather excitement for the whole year already). I’m just looking forward to …

Old Government House, Parramatta, Sydney, thedreamstress.com

Old Government House, Parramatta, Sydney

I’m in Sydney & the surrounding area for the week, visiting the wonderful Theresa, having a much-needed mini-holiday with Mr D, and, most importantly, speaking in conjunction with the ‘Tales from the East: India & New South Wales‘ exhibition at Old Government House, Parramatta, Sydney. I was incredibly excited about getting the opportunity to visit Old Government House.  It’s the oldest public building in Australia and one of the few authentic examples of Georgian architectures in the Antipodes.  It’s also an extremely important structure from a historical standpoint.  It’s strongly linked to both Australia’s convict and colonial history, and to Governor Lachlan Macquarie.  Macquarie is sometimes called the ‘Father of Australia’.  While his legacy is chequered, he was undeniably central to shaping Sydney & New South Wales general trajectory in its formative years as a colony. He and his wife Elizabeth were also responsible for expanding Old Government House to its current structure.  The house is furnished as it would have been under their residence, in the style of the 1820s. Theresa and I were …