Our Photos

Ella

The circle is complete.  Back to school for the last two days of term.

The circle is complete. Back to school for the last two days of term.

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Florence

An emotional return to all her class mates.

An emotional return to all her class mates.

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His Holiness turns 72

Our girls with young Tibetan refugees at the Dalai Lama's birthday celebrations in McLeod Ganj

Our girls with young Tibetan refugees at the Dalai Lama's birthday celebrations in McLeod Ganj

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Chonor House, McLeod Ganj

English lessons and tea.

English lessons and tea.

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A Tibetan Sanctuary

Florence in the gardens of the Norbulingka Institute near Dharmsala, India.

Florence in the gardens of the Norbulingka Institute near Dharmsala, India.

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Spiti Valley

The Spiti Valley, in the rain shadow of the Himalaya, is a bleak, high altitude desert.  With no trees and not enough oxygen, we only lasted one night.

The Spiti Valley, in the rain shadow of the Himalaya, is a bleak, high altitude desert. With no trees and not enough oxygen, we only lasted one night.

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Himalayan Camp

Our campsite at Baker Thach (place for shepherds) with the best ever view from a tent.  In the top left of the photo you can see the face of 'hanging glacier'.  This is a 50-60m high wall of ice.

Our campsite at Baker Thach (place for shepherds) with the best ever view from a tent. In the top left of the photo you can see the face of 'hanging glacier'. This is a 50-60m high wall of ice.

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Beas Kund

Standing in the now dry Beas Kund (lake), the girls can't quite get over how far they have walked.

Standing in the now dry Beas Kund (lake), the girls can't quite get over how far they have walked.

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The Himalayas

Day 2 of our trek. Half way to Beas Kund at 4,000m

Day 2 of our trek. Half way to Beas Kund at 4,000m

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Downtown Manali

When ever we venture into town the girls seem to attract a few admirers!

When ever we venture into town the girls seem to attract a few admirers!

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Happy Birthday Florence

It's not easy turning 7 when your friends aren't around.  Fortunately, Johnson's cafe make the best chocolate cake in Manali..........

It's not easy turning 7 when your friends aren't around. Fortunately, Johnson's cafe make the best chocolate cake in Manali..........

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Welcome to India

The rickshaw has now taken over from the tuk-tuk as the girls favourite mode of transport.  Being in India, bindis are the order of the day.

The rickshaw has now taken over from the tuk-tuk as the girls favourite mode of transport. Being in India, bindis are the order of the day.

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Halong Bay

There are about 3000 islands in Halong Bay.  It was well worth the walk up this one.

There are about 3000 islands in Halong Bay. It was well worth the walk up this one.

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The beautiful terraced rice paddy fields in the countryside surrounding Sapa.<br />
Photo by Florence Bracey.

The beautiful terraced rice paddy fields in the countryside surrounding Sapa.
Photo by Florence Bracey.

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Vietnamese Cyclos

With no Tuk Tuks in Vietnam the girls favourite mode of transport has become the cyclo.

With no Tuk Tuks in Vietnam the girls favourite mode of transport has become the cyclo.

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Cham Island

Cham Island in the South China Sea - only one hour from Hoi An, but as far as you can get from the hustle and bustle of Vietnamese life.

Cham Island in the South China Sea - only one hour from Hoi An, but as far as you can get from the hustle and bustle of Vietnamese life.

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Hoi An Ancient Town

Lovely Hoi An - a great place to soak up Vietnamese history.

Lovely Hoi An - a great place to soak up Vietnamese history.

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Whale Island Resort

Relaxing, good snorkelling, good food and nice bungalows.

Relaxing, good snorkelling, good food and nice bungalows.

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Saigon

Dave's birthday drinks in downtown Saigon.

Dave's birthday drinks in downtown Saigon.

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Phu Quoc Island

Floating about at Bai Sao on the east coast.

Floating about at Bai Sao on the east coast.

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Good Morning Vietnam

Outside our homestay near Can Tho on the Mekong delta.

Outside our homestay near Can Tho on the Mekong delta.

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Sisters

We have been on the road together for 5 months and are still best friends!

We have been on the road together for 5 months and are still best friends!

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Angkor - Ta Prohm

Banyon trees have a firm grip on the ruins of this maze like temple.

Banyon trees have a firm grip on the ruins of this maze like temple.

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Angkor - Preah Khan

Stepping back in time at the sprawling Preah Khan

Stepping back in time at the sprawling Preah Khan

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Angkor Wat

A challenge for the girls climbing up the steep, worn steps to the central gallery of Angkor Wat. The world's largest religious building.

A challenge for the girls climbing up the steep, worn steps to the central gallery of Angkor Wat. The world's largest religious building.

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Pi Mai Lao - Laos New Year

Many farang (foreigners) get in the spirit of the water festival.  Gabby got involved in her usual exuberant way but sometimes got more than she bargained for!

Many farang (foreigners) get in the spirit of the water festival. Gabby got involved in her usual exuberant way but sometimes got more than she bargained for!

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Pi Mai Lao - Laos New Year

Lao New Year - The country's biggest festival held in April every year.   The 3 day holiday involves a lot of getting wet.  The girls armed themselves with the biggest water pistols they could find and gave as much as they received..........

Lao New Year - The country's biggest festival held in April every year. The 3 day holiday involves a lot of getting wet. The girls armed themselves with the biggest water pistols they could find and gave as much as they received..........

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Kuang Si Waterfall Pools

Ella jumps from the lime encrusted fallen tree into one of the many swimming holes downstream from the Kuang Si waterfall.

Ella jumps from the lime encrusted fallen tree into one of the many swimming holes downstream from the Kuang Si waterfall.

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Monks at Wat Si Bun Heuang

Orange wrapped Buddhist monks are very much part of Luang Prabang's scenery.  This World Heritage town boasts over 60 temples and these novices and monks study and live in many of them.

Orange wrapped Buddhist monks are very much part of Luang Prabang's scenery. This World Heritage town boasts over 60 temples and these novices and monks study and live in many of them.

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Luang Prabang Cafe Culture

photo by Florence Bracey

photo by Florence Bracey

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Luang Prabang Statues

On the slopes of the 100m high Phu Si hill you pass many new Buddhist statues amid the ruins of an abandoned temple.

On the slopes of the 100m high Phu Si hill you pass many new Buddhist statues amid the ruins of an abandoned temple.

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Mekong River

A smoky but beautiful trip down the majestic Mekong

A smoky but beautiful trip down the majestic Mekong

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Tree House Breakfast

Breakfast time at Tree House One: Green tea, pineapple, papaya, bananas and sticky rice with vegetables.

Breakfast time at Tree House One: Green tea, pineapple, papaya, bananas and sticky rice with vegetables.

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Chiang Rai

Beautiful Buddhist temple (under construction) in Chiang Rai.

Beautiful Buddhist temple (under construction) in Chiang Rai.

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Travel by tuk tuk

Our girls favourite mode of transport.  A tuk tuk does not feel 100% safe in the feisty Bangkok traffic but then neither do the taxis or busses.

Our girls favourite mode of transport. A tuk tuk does not feel 100% safe in the feisty Bangkok traffic but then neither do the taxis or busses.

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Cooling off in Manly

These fountains on the Corso in Manly tempted the girls every time we walked past them - and every time they got drenched.

These fountains on the Corso in Manly tempted the girls every time we walked past them - and every time they got drenched.

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Girls at Waiwera

The girls enjoying our last beach stop in New Zealand at Waiwera - just 30 minutes north of Auckland.  They look so grown up!<br />
Photo by Greg Peacocke

The girls enjoying our last beach stop in New Zealand at Waiwera - just 30 minutes north of Auckland. They look so grown up!
Photo by Greg Peacocke

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Bay of Islands

Swimming at our local beach,  Tepaka Point,  while staying at the Barclays.  Gorgeous.

Swimming at our local beach, Tepaka Point, while staying at the Barclays. Gorgeous.

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90 Mile Beach

Long drives with the girls is usually a pretty arduous affair - this drive up 90 mile beach was an obvious exception!  A great way to travel - no other vehicles, no traffic lights, a 100km/h speed limit the whole way coupled with great views.  The girls enjoyed poking their heads through the sun roof to catch the breeze.

Long drives with the girls is usually a pretty arduous affair - this drive up 90 mile beach was an obvious exception! A great way to travel - no other vehicles, no traffic lights, a 100km/h speed limit the whole way coupled with great views. The girls enjoyed poking their heads through the sun roof to catch the breeze.

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Te Paki Sand Dunes

If you're fond of sand dunes and salty air -  this is the place to be!  Don't forget your toboggan (see video clip)

If you're fond of sand dunes and salty air - this is the place to be! Don't forget your toboggan (see video clip)

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Rocky Point

Rocky Point.  On the beach at Greg and Mary-Ann's.  Possibly the most peaceful place we have ever experienced.

Rocky Point. On the beach at Greg and Mary-Ann's. Possibly the most peaceful place we have ever experienced.

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Geyser

In the thermal areas of New Zealand we saw many great sights but few of them matched the majesty of the Diamond Geyser.

In the thermal areas of New Zealand we saw many great sights but few of them matched the majesty of the Diamond Geyser.

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Marlborough Valley

Ella becoming accustomed to the aromas of fine wine

Ella becoming accustomed to the aromas of fine wine

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Lake Tekapo from Mount John

We have never seen lakes this turquoise before and there are plenty of them in this part of New Zealand.  The colour is due to rock flour in the water.  The 'flour' is created when the stony bottomed glacier rubs against the rock valley, causing fine particles to be suspended in the galcial melt water.  The sediment gives the water a milky quality and refracts the sunlight beaming down, hence the brilliant colour.  Amazing!

We have never seen lakes this turquoise before and there are plenty of them in this part of New Zealand. The colour is due to rock flour in the water. The 'flour' is created when the stony bottomed glacier rubs against the rock valley, causing fine particles to be suspended in the galcial melt water. The sediment gives the water a milky quality and refracts the sunlight beaming down, hence the brilliant colour. Amazing!

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Aoraki/Mount Cook

Florence at the start of the (8km round trip) Hooker Valley walk to New Zealand's highest mountain.  Aoraki means cloud piercer in Maori but there were no clouds to be pierced that day.  Another stunning walk, snow capped mountains always in sight, the sound of ice falls accompanying us the whole way....

Florence at the start of the (8km round trip) Hooker Valley walk to New Zealand's highest mountain. Aoraki means cloud piercer in Maori but there were no clouds to be pierced that day. Another stunning walk, snow capped mountains always in sight, the sound of ice falls accompanying us the whole way....

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Doubtful Sound

On board the Fiordland Navigator.

On board the Fiordland Navigator.

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Flying Girls

Ella and Florence soaring over the Otago countryside on their tandem hang glides.  Having jumped off the mountain at Coronet Peak they flew for about 20 minutes with other hang gliders, paragliders and a few hawks.  They both loved it!

Ella and Florence soaring over the Otago countryside on their tandem hang glides. Having jumped off the mountain at Coronet Peak they flew for about 20 minutes with other hang gliders, paragliders and a few hawks. They both loved it!

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Terminal face - Franz Josef

It's difficult to convey the monstrous enormity that is the Franz Josef glacier but this photo goes a little way to doing that.  It's of the terminal face and the you may just be able to make out eleven people in the centre of the ice.  I did this trip on the glacier (without the kids) after missing out on the heli-hike.  It was brilliant to walk on this enormous feat of nature! <br />
Gabby x

It's difficult to convey the monstrous enormity that is the Franz Josef glacier but this photo goes a little way to doing that. It's of the terminal face and the you may just be able to make out eleven people in the centre of the ice. I did this trip on the glacier (without the kids) after missing out on the heli-hike. It was brilliant to walk on this enormous feat of nature!
Gabby x

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Franz Josef Glacier

Ella following 'Goose' up the glacier.  The ice is 100m thick at this relatively flat area of the Franz Josef.  We are about midway up the 11km long glacier.

Ella following 'Goose' up the glacier. The ice is 100m thick at this relatively flat area of the Franz Josef. We are about midway up the 11km long glacier.

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Franz Josef Glacier

Ella looking into a pressure cave which her dad was enticed to crawl through shortly after.  A bit wet.

Ella looking into a pressure cave which her dad was enticed to crawl through shortly after. A bit wet.

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Hokitika

Driftwood

Driftwood

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Hokitika Driftwood Sculpture Competition

Viking Cruisers.  Ella's favourite sculpture.

Viking Cruisers. Ella's favourite sculpture.

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Punakaiki Sunset

From our deck at Hydrangea Cottage.  Magic.

From our deck at Hydrangea Cottage. Magic.

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Onetahuti Beach

Well worth the walk.

Well worth the walk.

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Awaroa

Dave heading for a swim by the sandbanks.

Dave heading for a swim by the sandbanks.

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Gabs & Florence walking

Near the end of a 10km coastal walk - Florence hadn't asked to be carried once but did have a good supply of chocolate to keep her energy levels up!

Near the end of a 10km coastal walk - Florence hadn't asked to be carried once but did have a good supply of chocolate to keep her energy levels up!

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Ella & Flo on the beach

Waiting for the taxi on the golden sands at Awaroa beach isn't a problem.......

Waiting for the taxi on the golden sands at Awaroa beach isn't a problem.......

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Seals

Seals on Tonga Island in the Abel Tasman National Park are so used to the visiting tourist speed boats they readily pose for photos........

Seals on Tonga Island in the Abel Tasman National Park are so used to the visiting tourist speed boats they readily pose for photos........

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Sea Kayaking

Exploring some caves during our stop at a secluded beach in the Abel Tasman National Park.  South Island.  NZ.

Exploring some caves during our stop at a secluded beach in the Abel Tasman National Park. South Island. NZ.

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Horse riding

Ella and Florence on Ginger & Star on their horse ride in Marahau - bigger horses than they have ever had before!

Ella and Florence on Ginger & Star on their horse ride in Marahau - bigger horses than they have ever had before!

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Marahau Beach

There is a 4m tidal range in this corner of the South Island which gives dramatic changes in the scenery.

There is a 4m tidal range in this corner of the South Island which gives dramatic changes in the scenery.

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With Jez in Havelock.

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Flying Fox

Our gorgeous cottage (we were in the James K) at the Flying Fox on the Whanganui River Road.  This eco lodge is run by John and Annette.  Their dog Billy is the resident children's entertainer.  The only way to reach your accommodation is by flying fox, 20m above the river, or jet boat.  We can't recommend this place highly enough, it was ace!

Our gorgeous cottage (we were in the James K) at the Flying Fox on the Whanganui River Road. This eco lodge is run by John and Annette. Their dog Billy is the resident children's entertainer. The only way to reach your accommodation is by flying fox, 20m above the river, or jet boat. We can't recommend this place highly enough, it was ace!

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Raglan Surf

This is why they live there

This is why they live there

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Marcus and Victoria

A fabulous wedding in a great setting - overlooking the famous Raglan left hand break.  Thankfully, for Victoria, there was no surf on the day.........

A fabulous wedding in a great setting - overlooking the famous Raglan left hand break. Thankfully, for Victoria, there was no surf on the day.........

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Wedding Boys

We've never seen so many pairs of shorts and flip flops worn on a wedding day......check out Ella hangin' with the boys!

We've never seen so many pairs of shorts and flip flops worn on a wedding day......check out Ella hangin' with the boys!

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Pohutukawa Tree

These 'New Zealand Christmas Trees' flower in December.  The red flowers contain the most delicious honey which the girls found to be a perfect snack during the long walks we were doing!

These 'New Zealand Christmas Trees' flower in December. The red flowers contain the most delicious honey which the girls found to be a perfect snack during the long walks we were doing!

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Best to cover your tracks.

Black sand dune by the swamp south of Karekare.  Yes, the sand is hot.

Black sand dune by the swamp south of Karekare. Yes, the sand is hot.

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Florence

at Karekare

at Karekare

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Ella

at Karekare

at Karekare

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Dave and Florence

Karekare

Karekare

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Americas Cup match race

On the main winches. Bart and Dave. Auckland harbour.

On the main winches. Bart and Dave. Auckland harbour.

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In the Lead.

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We win

NZL41 beats NZL40 convincingly.

NZL41 beats NZL40 convincingly.

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Karekare

Flo and Sarnes lovely home at Karekare beach to the west of Auckland. (45 mins)

Flo and Sarnes lovely home at Karekare beach to the west of Auckland. (45 mins)

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Karekare

Karekare beach.  Stunning black sand and lush cliffs.<br />
Paddy Gabby Dave Sherif Steph Bart.<br />
Photo by Jez Webb.

Karekare beach. Stunning black sand and lush cliffs.
Paddy Gabby Dave Sherif Steph Bart.
Photo by Jez Webb.

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Wild Tassie Sky

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Grass tussocks on mountain

The girls new word for the week - 'tussocks'

The girls new word for the week - 'tussocks'

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Tame possums

Bedtime at the lodge.  The baby possum wanted to come inside and sleep on the girls bed that night.  We had to coax it out of our cabin.  They may be cute but they eat everything.

Bedtime at the lodge. The baby possum wanted to come inside and sleep on the girls bed that night. We had to coax it out of our cabin. They may be cute but they eat everything.

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The long walk

The easy rated walk.  Most of this 9km walk is on a raised boardwalk to minimise damage to this amazing place.

The easy rated walk. Most of this 9km walk is on a raised boardwalk to minimise damage to this amazing place.

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Drinking the Grange

This very fine 1991 wine is incredibly expensive to buy (probably worth about 20 a sip) but was a gift from the lovely Michael Chugg - Robbie Williams' Australian tour promoter and another Launceston lad.  <br />
After much deliberation we decided to crack it open on Christmas day, much to the delight of Dad (Ron) & brother-in-law (Andrew).  In a desperate attempt to get Andrew to crack open his bottle of the same wine but the 1995 vintage, Ron begged us all to take a photo of him drinking the last sip of his glass & probably

This very fine 1991 wine is incredibly expensive to buy (probably worth about 20 a sip) but was a gift from the lovely Michael Chugg - Robbie Williams' Australian tour promoter and another Launceston lad.
After much deliberation we decided to crack it open on Christmas day, much to the delight of Dad (Ron) & brother-in-law (Andrew). In a desperate attempt to get Andrew to crack open his bottle of the same wine but the 1995 vintage, Ron begged us all to take a photo of him drinking the last sip of his glass & probably "the last Grange I'll ever drink in my life". Sadly, Andrew didn't take the hint but promised to open his bottle at Ron's wake.........

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On Quadbike

Ella and Sarah-Kate

Ella and Sarah-Kate

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Bracey Cousins

All the cousins together on Christmas Day for the first time!

All the cousins together on Christmas Day for the first time!

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Christmas Day

The whole family at Wendy and Andrew's

The whole family at Wendy and Andrew's

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Sydney

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Sydney Opera House

Photo by Ella Bracey

Photo by Ella Bracey

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Sydney

My three girls at RW show.

My three girls at RW show.

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Taronga Park Zoo

Not a real Koala.

Not a real Koala.

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Sydney

Ella.  Looking very cool at the Sydney Stadium. Chap on left, not so cool.

Ella. Looking very cool at the Sydney Stadium. Chap on left, not so cool.

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Traditional Thai Massage

2 Thai sisters came to the house on several occasions to massage us on our deck.  Ella & Florence looked forward to the experience more than we did!

2 Thai sisters came to the house on several occasions to massage us on our deck. Ella & Florence looked forward to the experience more than we did!

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Caves

Gorgeous caves on the way to Ao Phra Nang Beach.  Not sure how to explain to Ella & Florence the number of red tipped wooden phalluses stacked at the entrance to Princess Cave (Tham Phra Nang). Phra Nang, it is believed by local fisherfolk, controls the fertility of the sea!

Gorgeous caves on the way to Ao Phra Nang Beach. Not sure how to explain to Ella & Florence the number of red tipped wooden phalluses stacked at the entrance to Princess Cave (Tham Phra Nang). Phra Nang, it is believed by local fisherfolk, controls the fertility of the sea!

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Sunset Views

Such a lovely way to spend the last hour of daylight!

Such a lovely way to spend the last hour of daylight!

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Diary writing

Keeping up to date with diaries.

Keeping up to date with diaries.

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Snorkelling trip

Gorgeous beaches, great snorkelling - so many fish!

Gorgeous beaches, great snorkelling - so many fish!

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Monkeys

Krabi/Thailand

Krabi/Thailand

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Our lovely beach house

Deborah's House at the Railei Beach Club www.raileibeachclub.com - a perfect place to relax & do very little for a week!

Deborah's House at the Railei Beach Club www.raileibeachclub.com - a perfect place to relax & do very little for a week!

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Ella's Leaving Party

Ella 9th Birthday and leaving party - surrounded by all her friends.

Ella 9th Birthday and leaving party - surrounded by all her friends.

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Leaving Party - spinning plates

Asterix - party entertainer extraordinaire - kept the kids entertained for hours!  His assistant, Florence, had to spin plates (they were really heavy mummy) but managed not to drop them!

Asterix - party entertainer extraordinaire - kept the kids entertained for hours! His assistant, Florence, had to spin plates (they were really heavy mummy) but managed not to drop them!

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