Saturday, 2 September 2017

#52Stories, Week 32, What was the biggest, most exotic vacation you took with your family when you were a child ? What memories stand out ?

We went on great holidays.

Road trips around South Island in the summer holidays. The first one in 1965/66 even had a white Christmas at Milford Sound – and had Mum racing to the shops in Invercargill to get everyone whatever winter weight clothes were on offer. Summer holidays – pfft.

Weekends or day trips to Raglan, Taupo, Rottenrua Rotorua, Coromandel, Waihi or the Mount, sometimes longer. Trips to visit grandparents, other summer holidays exploring Hawke’s Bay, Northland and Taranaki.

But probably the most exotic would have been our trip to Sydney and Melbourne in January 1977.

Back then you didn’t need a passport to visit Australia – and the Aussies didn’t need one to visit us. So much more simple. It felt then like we were friendlier than we are now, in some respects.

We flew to Sydney and stayed in Potts Point. Walking down Darlinghurst Road in the early evening sure was an eye-opener, I think Mark’s eyes nearly popped out of his head ! We went to the Hyde Park Barracks, Taronga Zoo, caught the hydrofoil to Manly and the bus all the way back to town, went on an all day bus tour to Warragamba Dam and the Lion Safari, explored The Rocks and shopped.

After about a week, we caught a flight to Melbourne. No airbridges then – it was like stepping out into a sauna when we disembarked. We stayed in Carlton I think – or Fitzroy – near to the Carlton Gardens. We went on a day bus trip to Echuca, and an afternoon/evening trip to Port Phillip Island to see the Fairy penguins. As well, we met a cousin of Mum’s and went to see her Uncle Frank and Aunt Kath. Another day we went to see Dad’s cousin and his family. I think we caught a train there – they lived near Sorrento. We shopped as well, getting lost in buildings and laneways.

I remember buying jeans for $10 – so cheap ! I got two pair cos at that price who could say no. Mum and I had split up and gone our separate way to Dad and Mark. It was SO hot ! But nice and cool in the shops. We came upstairs from somewhere – or out of a shop - to go and meet Dad and Mark and it was pouring. Crazy weather.

It was a great holiday.

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