Ross and Vicky's Round the World Adventure


It all started with some fellow divers telling us about the Bilikiki, a dive boat operating in the Solomon Islands. We knew that you had to book up to two years in advance and December 2019 had seemed a good time to aim for. We had also thought for a long time about visiting our friends in New Zealand although we had never managed to get there as it was such a long trip. Then we saw the Oceania exhibition in the Royal Academy and standing in front of that big map of the Pacific we thought why not? From here, with my retirement, we decided to go around the world adding some more places which have always been on our list but too far to reach...

Our journey

You can follow Vicky's travel blog with her articles on our travels here

 

Cambodia Temples and Schools

After months of planning, at the end of November 2019 we are finally off on our round the world tour. The first stop is Singapore for a couple of days to catch up with old friends and then we head on to Cambodia to see the progress that United World Schools has made since Vicky visited four years ago and to visit the school that we sponsored - Kiri Vongsa. Read more>

 

Diving in the Solomons

It is 6:15 in the morning. We are moving through flat seas with small tree-covered islands all around the horizon. Dolphins are playing in our bow wake and off to our right, two men are fishing in dugout canoes. The sun is coming up in a sky of fluffy clouds. We are in the Russell Islands, part of the Solomon Archipelago, on day 11 of our two week diving trip aboard the Bilikiki. Read more>

 

Diving the Poor Knights Islands in New Zealand

23 kilometers off New Zealand's Tutukaka coast the Poor Knights Islands allegedly got their name from Captain Cook who thought they looked like a knight lying down - see above! They are now a marine nature reserve and a great place to see millions of schooling fish as well as a huge diversity of other marine life. Read more>

 

New Year in New Zealand

First impressions of New Zealand as we catch up with old friends, explore Auckland and then head further afield with Tommy to enjoy Northland, Waiheke Island and the Coromandel peninsula. Read more>

 

Volcanoes and Vineyards

For the second part of our visit to NZ we explore some of the rest of North Island. Over eight days we drive south through the centre of the island to Taupo, spend a day in the Tongariro National Park and then continue SW to Napier and Hawkes Bay. After three nights in wine country we head on to Wellington for a couple of nights before taking the ferry across the Cook Straits to Picton in South Island.Read more>

 

The Wild West Coast

After sophisticated wine tasting and dining in Marborough we head off for the wilder side of South Island. The West Coast is home to only 33,000 people and there is an awful lot of mountain wilderness.Read more>

 

Birds of New Zealand

The New Zealanders are very proud of their birds and go to great lengths to preserve native species which, like in the rest of the world, face rapid decline and possible extinction. Here the problem is as much to do with introduced predators like rats and stoats as to loss of habitat. As we have travelled around the North and South islands and walked in many forests and open spaces we have been surrounded by bird song and lucky to see many of the more common species. Read more>

 

Fiords and Lakes

After Makarora the final sections of our New Zealand trip explore the fiords, mountains and lakes of Southern South Island ending in Dunedin and the Otago peninsula. From Manapouri we spend an amazing 24 hours on Doubtful Sound before heading back to the Lakes District for a great few days walking the hills around Arrowtown. Read more>

 

New Zealand photo gallery

A selection of photos from the many places that we have visited over our five week trip from one end of New Zealand to the other. Read more>

 

Diving and Sailing in Polynesia

We are dropping through clear, dark blue water with the seabed about 40m below us. As we get deeper more and more sharks come into view, first below us and then all around. We are at one of the French Polynesian "passes" where a gap in the atoll allows clear ocean water to pour into the lagoon as the tide comes in. Read more>

 

A Visit to Polynesia

I am writing this in Rarotonga, Cook Islands, sitting on the veranda of our thatched hut, sipping a homemade cocktail (Tahitian rum, coconut water and fruit punch) looking out to sea and listening to the sound of the waves breaking on the reef, close to shore. We are nearing the end of our visit to Oceania and I am gathering my thoughts about these incredibly remote islands. Read more>