Day 1: Auckland to Dublin – Wed 30 August, 2023
And we’re off!! Next stop Dublin….
Day 2: Dubai (Stopover) – Thu 31 August, 2023
After 17 hours of night time mode flight, we arrived in Dubai unscathed. At the hotel by 7:30am and into our rooms for a freshen up.
Catch the metro at 10:30am to head to the Dubai Mall (world’s largest mall by square meter). Very surreal as us down to earth kiwis wandered through the maze of designer stores, perfumes and high fashion. Of course we saw the Burj Khalifa 🙂 You can’t really miss it!
Day time image and night time with the Super Blue Moon off its shoulder.
Headed out to Korean BBQ for dinner.
Day 3: Dubai to Dublin – Fri 1 September, 2023
On arrival at Dublin airport this evening we transferred to our beautiful hotel.
Day 4: Dublin – Sat 2 September, 2023
After a good rest at the beautiful hotel, The Wilder Townhouse (superb staff and service) we had a walk around Dublin.
From the Grand Canal, through Trinity College where we went to see the Book of Kells (a-mazing!) to the River Liffey, and finally lunch in Temple Barr district. Then headed back through a beautiful and secret delight of Dublin, Iveagh Gardens.
Off to the pub for some good hearty meals, Guinness and live music. Back to hotel for early start tomorrow where we begin walking in the countryside.
Day 5: Dublin to Kilkenny – Sun 3 September, 2023
On the bus to Kilkenny we stopped off at the ancient (literally 1600 years old) monastic settlement of St Kevin in Glendalough.
Then off to Kilkenny for a guided tour around the castle and city centre.
Day 6: Kilkenny to Killarney – Mon 4 September, 2023
Today we went to the Rock of Cashel on an incredibly fine day. Some stunning photos in the ruins of one of the most significant sites in Ireland.
Then off to our accommodation but not before stopping in to walk around Muckross Gardens, the abbey and even enjoy a bit of jaunting!
Day 7: Killarney to Dingle – Tue 5 September, 2023
We stop off at the well preserved Ross Castle and then head to Inch Beach for a walk along the sand.
We headed off to Minard Castle which was destroyed by Cromwell centuries ago and had our lunch on the sun warmed rocks.
Then off to the pub for an afternoon beer at South Pole Inn, celebrating Tom Crean the famous Antarctic explorer.
Day 8: Dingle – Wed 6 September, 2023
A long walk through the peat bogs at Brandon Point,up to Sauce Creek, past the ruins of a megalithic settlement and settling in for a pint at Murphy’s bar.
Day 9: Dingle to Ballyvaughan – Thu 7 September, 2023
A travel day across the Shannon. But not before we pop in to see Trump’s Golf Course in Doonbeg. Our keen golfers were chuffed to pick up some souvenirs.
From there we headed to the stunning Cliffs of Moher. It was not quite the Irish weather we expected!
Day 10: Ballyvaughan – Fri 8 September, 2023
Today we caught the ferry across to the Aran Islands and spent the day on the largest one, Inishmore. Again the weather caught us all by surprise as we walked in 28°C across limestone formations to the ancient Black Fort (at least 2,500 years old).
Unfortunately we spent the evening in the Irish bar watching the All Blacks lose to France…
Day 11: Ballyvaughan – Sat 9 September, 2023
After hot walking the last few days it was a relief to have the weather close in a bit. We opted for a local walk around Ballyvaughan known as the Wood Loop. We ended the evening at the local whiskey bar O’Loclainn’s where the owner Margaret O’Loclainn gave us a run down on whiskey making and what to look for. Just brilliant and appreciated!
Day 12: Ballyvaughan to Donegal – Sun 10 September, 2023
Today was a travel day with a stop in Galway to see the Spanish Arch and the Main Street.
Then up to the Shrine at Knock where an apparition of Mary was witnessed by 15 people in the mid nineteenth century.
The a quick pop in to see William Yeate’s grave.
Day 13: Donegal – Mon 11 September, 2023
Today was a tough walk up Sleeve League. 500m assent to the highest cliffs in Ireland—3 times the height of Moher. Wet, cold and poor visibility for our assent fortunately gave way to finer weather on the descent. Amazing walk to the ancient church ruins and its companion Holy Well.
And a well deserved pint at the Rusty Mackerel.
Day 14: Donegal – Tue 12 September, 2023
Today was a trip to Lough Veagh and the 19th Century vanity project, Glennveagh Castle. It has some of the best gardens in Ireland and a beautiful walk along the lakeside.
And then a pleasant surprise Irish dancing demonstration at our hotel!
Day 15: Donegal to Dublin – Wed 13 September, 2023
Our second to last day sadly as we head back to Dublin for our final night together. We stopped off at Newgrange and Knowth and experienced Mesolithic magnificence.
And finally to our hotel for a farewell dinner.
Day 16: Dublin to Dubai – Thu 14 September, 2023
Our last morning to cross off things on our ‘To-Do’ list before we headed to the airport for the journey home.