Memories of "Down Under" -- Australia and New Zealand
On Saturday, June 1, 1996, my husband Bill and I boarded an airplane
at the Birmingham, Alabama International Airport for a trip that had
been two years in the planning -- a trip to Australia and New
Zealand! Below are some of the memories we would like to share with
you. Before embarking on our memories, we would like to thank the
following people for their help in making our trip our success:
- Mr. J. Franklin Bullard, Sky III Travel Agency, Birmingham,
Alabama, who helped us custom design our trip and took care of our
plane tickets, tours, and hotel reservations for us. Every time we
talked with him, he also entertained us with some of his
delightful travel experiences. Frank retired this past fall and I
will really miss his great service and sense of humor as we plan a
return trip during the 1997 Christmas holidays.
- The friendly skies and staff of United Airlines, who provided
good service and plenty to eat and drink (even though I was
usually trying to sleep so I wouldn't have problems with jet lag).
During our eight flights with United (and its companion airline,
Ansett Australia) we encountered no problems with missed
connections or having to hurry through an airport to catch another
flight. We had no luggage problems during the entire trip. Even
the 14-hour non-stop flight from Los Angeles to Sydney seemed
shorter than I had imagined it would be. And we arrived in Sydney
and returned home to Birmingham on time.
- Australian Travel Services (ATS) who coordinated our hotel and
tour reservations, even making a voucher correction for us at the
- Dr. John Cantelow, retired Assistant Superintendent of
Personnel, Birmingham Public Schools, who allowed me to take a
personal leave day the last day of school. A February ice storm
which closed the schools for four days required an extension of
the school year to June 1 instead of the original closing date of
- Mr. Ian White, Year 4 and former computer teacher at
School in Sydney, Australia, and my computer keypal since
March of 1994, who met us at the Kingsford Smith Airport in Sydney
at 6:05 a.m. on Monday, June 3 (it was 3:05 p.m. on Sunday, June 2
in Birmingham), the day after he got out of the hospital following
leg surgery. He gave us not only a very thorough tour of Sydney
but also introduced us to "yum cha" and squid, hosted a delicious
seafood meal at Doyle's where we could view the harbor and Opera
House, showed us his school where I got to see the
W. J. Christian School
home page come up on the computer halfway around the world, and
gave us a tour of Sydney at night. Also, thanks for taking the
picture at the top of this page.
- Our bus driver Jim, from
who was well informed as well as entertaining during our tour from
Auckland, New Zealand to Rotorua, as well as showed his driving
skills in a 56-passenger bus on an icy, winding mountain road so
we could see Paradise Valley and the animals in their natural
settings. If the roads had been that icy in Birmingham, the
schools would have been closed. We loved his sense of humor.
New Zealand Memories
Click here to read about our second
trip to Australia and New Zealand in December of 1997.
For more personal accounts of Australian travel, please go to this site:
Australian Expedition. My son loves to travel as much as I do and
has been to Australia twice.
If you have any comments or corrections
concerning these pages, please send a message to Madeline Buchanan.
Madeline Buchanan's home page.