Migratory Plovers

Migratory Plovers start their journey from Broome to China…

Birds Australia

The team at BirdLife Australia are delighted to announce that three of the Grey Plovers have taken off from Broome on their annual northward migration! The first bird to depart, named ‘Ecosure’, has already made it to the South China Sea, just off the coast of the Chinese city of Shantou. While ‘Nad’ and ‘Charlie’ seem to have taken a different route and have stopped over in Indonesia.

This development is really exciting, because for the first time ever their journey won’t be shrouded in mystery. Although thousands of Grey Plovers visit Australia each year, we know almost nothing about their migration. But now, thanks to satellite technology, they’re beginning to reveal their secrets.

Unlike other species of migratory shorebirds, where we know so many intimate details of their most personal habits, the Grey Plover remains a mystery to science.

To solve the mystery, last month the Australasian Wader Studies…

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Baie de l'orphelinat

Noume…Baie de L’orphelinat

This area does not have a beach, it not place to swim. There are a lot of boats docked here at Port Du Sud, some people live on their sailboats and work in Noumea.We walked past the Marina…along the walking track

Baie de l’Orphelinat – Orphanage Bay : from Mont Vénus, view the bay bathed in early morning, or watch the sun set behind the sailing boats at anchor.

http://www.noumea.nc/en/discover-noumea/history-and-heritage/outstanding-places-visit

We did notice the bleached coral along the water indicating contamination..

 Baie de l’Orphelinat (Bay of Orphans), named in memory of the orphans of Empress Eugénie sent to New Caledonia to be brides for the first settlers. Along the bay sits a special centennial monument in the form of an anchor, erected in 1953 to celebrate a century of French presence in New Caledonia. We headed back into town as wanted to visit the USA memorial. This memorial is dedicated to U.S. service members who helped ensure the freedom of New Caledonia during World War II. The monument was erected in 1992, commemorating the arrival of the first 20,000 US troops in Nouméa. Over several years, nearly a million American soldiers stayed on the island during the Second World War.    http://princess2016.travellerspoint.com/3/

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USA Memorial erected 1992 remembering the first 20,000 US troops to arrive in Noumea

The sun was setting…and I was anxious to get the sunset from the ship, but we did better..we got the ship in front of the sunset as we headed back

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Noumea

Noumea, on the island of Grand Terre, is the capital of the French territory of New Caledonia. The peaceful port city has a diverse population and colourful European architecture, reflecting its colonial history.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noum%C3%A9a

Noumea is the capital of the South Pacific archipelago and French territory New Caledonia. Located on the main island, Grand Terre, it’s known for its beaches and its blend of French and native Kanak influences.

We went with Fernando, a tour guide, to Lemon Bay and walked back from there to the cruise ship.The walk was about an hour gentle strolling stopping to view what was along the way. It is a very pleasant walk along the shore with beaches and Marinas on the left and shops, hotels and accommodation on the right.

Everybody we met spoke French, asking directions or information was a way of chatting with locals either walking their dogs, exercising or simply strolling along as we were.

The first European to establish a settlement in the vicinity was British trader James Paddon in 1851. Anxious to assert control of the island, the French established a settlement nearby three years later in 1854, moving from Balade in the north of the island. This settlement was initially called Port-de-France and was renamed Nouméa in 1866. The area served first as a penal colony, later as a centre for the exploitation of the nickel and gold that was mined nearby.

A story from another traveler on Trip Advisor….We arrived in Noumea at 3pm and decided to take our 4yr old to a calm beach for a swim.  So we caught a minibus from the terminal to “Lemon Bay” or more accurately Baie des Citrons. The minibus cost us AUD$30 for the 2 of us, the child was free.

…For our return to the ship, we decided to try the local bus service. This was now about 6:30pm and after sunset. So we waited for no more than 10 mins for a City bus to come by and got on and asked the driver to take us to the Centre. The bus fare for two adults was about the equivalent of AUD$7 when converted from French Pacific Franc (XPF). Once you buy your ticket you immediately validate it at the bus entry. No need to re-validate the ticket when you exit the bus. I believe one ticket is good for multiple trips though. The bus was very clean, modern and had a/c. There was a conductor on the bus but he wasn’t taking money for fares.

On returning to the ship terminal we shopped at the terminal shopping complex for local goods. Items were not cheap but were reasonably priced. They all seemed to take AUD$.

We walked back from Lemon Bay to the cruise ship..the distance around 7.5 kms .We walked past Bay of L’Orphelinet and the Bay La Moselle where the Cruise Ship was docked.Because we did not look at the map, we missed the Artillery but did walk past the Memorial, a huge anchor and what could be bombs along the excellent walking track.

During World War II, Nouméa served as the headquarters of the United States military in the South Pacific. The five-sided U.S. military headquarters complex was adopted after the war as the base for a new regional intergovernmental development organisation: the South Pacific Commission, later known as the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

The city maintains much of New Caledonia’s unique mix of French and old Melanesian culture. Even today the U.S. wartime military influence lingers, both with the warmth that many New Caledonian people feel towards the United States after experiencing the relative friendliness of American soldiers and also with the names of several of the quarters in Nouméa. Districts such as “Receiving” and “Robinson”, or even “Motor Pool”, strike the anglophone ear strangely, until the historical context becomes clear.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noum%C3%A9a

Budget Sydney

Sydney is very expensive to find accommodation in, so get a package if you can that includes accommodation or look for hostels and YHA. Its also worth trying Airbnb.com for sharing with locals.

The city is amazing, and transport is excellent so hit the ferries, trains and buses and you can see as much as you want to for a reasonable cost.

http://solotravelerblog.com/affordable-budget-sydney-free-tips/

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  • Use your Opal Card to save more. An Opal Card is the tap pass you can use to pay for public transit in Sydney. Yes, you can purchase individual tickets but why do so when the card is incredibly convenient, free and you can get a refund of any money left on the card before you leave. Plus it saves you money. From Monday to Friday there’s a $15.00 cap on how much you can spend in a day. On Sunday the cap is $2.50. Plus you can save 30% on your fares by traveling at off-peak times. Get the full details here.
  • A harbor tour for $5.85. Tour Darling Harbour by ferry. Your fare is calculated by where you tap on and where you tap off. But if you go a full circuit plus one stop the fare remains that for one stop. I learned this by mistakenly hopping on a ferry going in the wrong direction. As a result I got a tour of the inner harbor for the cost of one stop.
  • Walk and soak in the city. Budget Sydney definitely includes walking which is great because there are so many wonderful neighborhoods to explore. High on my list are:
  • Go to the Beach. There are many beaches accessible by ferry and public transit from Sydney including:
    1. Manly Beach
    2. Balmoral Beach
    3. Bondi Beach
    4. And many more here.

Sunrise RoseBay Sydney

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Russell Island Moreton Bay Queensland

Russell island

Russell Island is situated just off the coast of Brisbane, Queensland Australia.

It was first settled in 1866  and become a major supply of fruit and vegetables to the Brisbane market and supplied Australia with oysters from the many oyster farms throughout the area . Today is a cheap land, low cost living place attracting people who cannot afford living on the mainland or who like the idea of living on an island, usually to retire there with their cottage and boat and retirement lifestyles.

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There is a shopping centre with a IGA Supermarket, Chemist, Hairdresser, Take-away that is constantly changing hands and management, a PO, a Bakery and that’s it. Across the road a Police Station manned one day a week, an Ambulance station that is almost complete, a Library, a Motel, Liquor Store and 4 Estate Agents…or is it 5 or 6..There is a Cafe, a Medical Centre and an Estate Agent around the corner and a church and a Rec Hall also used as 4 churches on a Saturday and a Sunday., and the Anglican Church, an original building.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell_Island_%28Moreton_Bay%29

Russell had 1,779 permanent residents in 2006 up 35.9% since 2001.[5] However, this changes dramatically on weekends and holidays when many of the 30% of dwellings on the island which are classified as unoccupied are visited by their owners. Fast ferries and scheduled barges straddle the distance to Redland Bay quickly for most of the day.

In the 2011 Census the population of Russell Island is 2,473, 50.3% female and 49.7% male.

The median/average age of the Russell Island population is 51 years of age, 14 years above the Australian average. This pattern is changing in recent years with Centrelink sending people to live on the island and families bringing children and animals to live cheaper than they can on the Mainland. The pattern is changing and this is reflected in the shopping areas and Ferry travel and the number of people working for the Dole or shopping at the Community Centre Op Shop.

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68.8% of people living in Russell Island were born in Australia. The other top responses for country of birth were New Zealand 6.1%, England 5.7%, Scotland 1%, Philippines 1%, Germany 0.9%

Electricians, builders and plumbers are resident on the Island, making the island somewhat self-supportive. Services include power, phone, broadband, water and garbage collection but sewerage and tarring of the vast majority of streets is still some time away. Garbage is trucked to the mainland for disposal. The Rural Fire Brigade, State Emergency Service and the Ambulance service receive strong volunteer support. Several volunteer Justices of the peace live on the island. A small primary school for around 180 students and there is a swimming pool next door as well as the shark proof swimming enclosure next to the Jetty.

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