Lorraine and Rod`s southbound trip to New Zealand.
My family and myself (Lorraine and husband Rod and 2 young children) and also my parents (George & Alice) boarded the SS Australis at Southampton on Feb 1974 bound for Auckland, New Zealand.
My parents were in cabin 770 (with a porthole) and we were on Main Deck (inboard cabin, cannot remember the number) The cabin attendant was a Greek, I think he was called Vasilli.
As soon as the ship left port myself and my 2 children started to feel seasick and we climbed into the bunk beds and there we remained for at least 3 days!! Going through the Channel we hit a
terrific storm and couldn't stop at France, so continued on through the Bay of Biscay to Las Palmas. Rod remained fine throughout the storm but on walking around the ship discovered
it to be 'desolate' as practically all the staff and passengers were experiencing sickness apparently.
There were ropes all down the stairs and the lifts were wedged shut. The baggage had been covered over on the top deck and wasn't able to be delivered to the cabins for 3 days.
Eventually arriving at Las Palmas things seemed to be getting back to normal and the passengers could then disembark to try and get their 'landlegs'. From the terrifying experience
of the storm my father's hair, would you believe, turned grey in that time! He never did get over the voyage.
We enjoyed stopping off at the different ports of call, Cape Town, Fremantle, Melbourne, Sydney and arrived in Auckland on the 9th of March. I can't say we had a fabulous time on the ship,
it was difficult for us with 2 young children, and our 2 year old was running around everywhere. The children wouldn't eat the food as they were feeling sick all the time. I remember having to buy a
piece of cake from the shop everyday for them. We do remember enjoying the 'Bullion' drink! We had all lost 'heaps' of weight when we finally arrived in New Zealand.
My father had his 51st Birthday on board and the staff were really good, a Birthday Card from the Captain, and a special Birthday Cake was made.
We are now settled in New Zealand (although it took a long time). We went back to the UK, then returned here again (on the plane), and ironically our children, now adults, live in the UK!
Lorraine and Rod
Below are a couple of photos Lorraine and Rod took, plus a postcard of the ship and a birthday card sent by the Captain:
Click on any of the thumbnails below to view a larger image.
Many thanks to Lorraine and Rod for their contribution to the site
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