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Australia

Curious what backpackers do in Australia? Discover travel destinations all over the world of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.
  • Wow - what a spot! Stayed 2 nights at Lake Boga right on the waters edge, about 10 minutes from Swan Hill. A very entertaining stay - we were treated to a bushfire which unfortunately claimed a fire truck on the first night, then a big dust storm on the second night.

    Lake Boga played a part in WW2 as it was chosen as a top secret repair depot for the flying boats (Catalinas etc) after the bombing of Darwin. We loved the Flying Boat Museum and spent a couple of hours pouring over the exhibits. The original communications bunker is still inplace and has been wonderfully restored.

    Saw the sights of Swan Hill including the Burke and Wills Tree, Pioneer Settlement and Heartbeat of The Murray laser show.

    We still can't get over how dry and brown the landscape is. There is hardly any grass and lots of bindis and tumbleweeds.
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  • 2 nights free camping at Sebastian Recreation Ground - 15 mins north of Bendigo. Good spot with afternoon shade, toilets and potable water. Morning and afternoon horse trots were training behind us.

    Really enjoyed the Talking Trams which run non-stop tours around central Bendigo. On the first day we were the only passengers, so the conductor gave us a personalised tour of Bendigo and also the tram maintenance depot.

    Decided to do the Central Deborah Gold Mine tour. This tour is an authentic experience compared to the Ballarat mines apparently. The mine closed in 1954 and was one of over 5000 gold mines in Bendigo. We descended 61 metres in hard hats and miner's lamps and got to see mining equipment in operation. We panned for gold to no avail but had a great day.

    Starting to get cooler now...13-26°
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  • Bit overcast and cooler this morning so I took a track round Cape Byron. Saw dolphins ... amazing...maybe 30 or more around Watego's Beach, then followed the path up to the most easterly point in mainland Oz and on to the lighthouse. The walk got even better after that, with views over Tallow Beach, which is absolutely gorgeous and almost deserted, and on up Tallow Ridge through more rainforest. It's a round walk so eventually rejoins the road back into Byron. I paused to check where I was. Did I have the sense I was being watched? I'm not sure, but suddenly I was eye to eye with a swamp wallaby about 15 feet away, slightly behind me to the left. Wow. My first wild wallaby! Not a great pic, but I wasn't feeling very composed!!Read more

  • Tallow Beach at the Cape Byron end seems to be THE place for serious surfing, so that means the rest of the beach is nearly deserted. South of the car park is the Arakwal National Park, which is really why I went ... to see what wildlife I could spot: the back half of a wallaby, a wallaby (hopping) paw print, countless birdsong, an unidentified bee-eater, evidence of a very neat beach creature (pic below), half of something large with a red tail moving fast! (bush too thick to see what it was) ... and so it goes on. Just my cup of tea! I don't think many people take the paths through the Park, but the surroundings are stunning.
    It's very sobering to think about what Australia must have been like just 200-odd years ago.
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  • Took the scenic route from Bendigo through some beautiful towns such as Maldon, Maryborough, Avoca and Ararat. Maldon especially was very appealing with a very well preserved historic streetscape.

    Stayed 3 nights at Old Man Emu Farm Stay at Halls Gap. $15 pn with very few neighbours and on the banks of a small dam. Kangaroos, sheep and emus were constant visitors during our stay.

    Spent a full day driving and hiking various trails through the Grampians. We visited Boroka lookout, The Balconies, Mckenzies Falls, Lake Bellfield, Halls Gap, Stawell and more. I was mad enough to venture out onto the rock ledge at Boroka lookout for the "signature" Grampians photo. After watching several backpackers dangle their feet over the edge of the "Jaws of Death" rock formation, I even shuffled half way out on that too!

    A beautiful part of the world...temperatures 14-29°
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  • I hired a bodyboard this morning - the surf is great - up to about 3' cresting waves (enough for me) even in waist deep water (safe 😉 ). Thought I brushed against some seaweed, that's my Irish Sea training showing through. But clearly not seaweed when I saw the welt - a bit tingly but not painful. I checked it out with Reception and they said it's a bluebottle sting. Apparently there have been a few reports this morning. They recommended a hot shower (denatures the protein ... I'm trying not to remember your weever fish experience Sis, this was 1% as bad). I've now found out that a 'bluebottle' is a Portuguese man o'war! I'm kinda excited to have been stung by one! Once the day cools off I'll head back to the beach and see if I can find any washed up.Read more

  • Top recommendation - Roma Street Parkland, complete with flying foxes (1m wingspan!) Bit of a shock after growing up with pipistrelles.
    Totally touristy day today taking a river cruise to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. Highlights? The platypus tank and a dreaming wombat!
    After the amount of rain today I can understand why the Aussies switched to polymer banknotes years ago. Everything I was carrying is sodden.Read more

  • Feet in the Pacific for the first time ... might be just the tiniest bit excited 😃😎

    Much simpler accommodation. No aircon, no en suite and no kitchenette (complete with dishwasher !), but I get the ocean right on my doorstep ... well maybe 70m. Bliss.

  • What's a trip to Hobart without visiting
    1. The Cat and Fiddle Arcade
    2. Salamanca Place
    3. Mount Wellington
    ????
    Yes visited all three!
    Saw the Cat and Fiddle play the nursery rhyme.
    Wandered the stalls and shops of Salamanca, listened to great music ( the buskers ) and had a coffee/tea.
    Drove to the top of Mt Wellington which was crawling with tourists. There has been new boardwalks and walking paths constructed since we last visited.
    Always cooler than Hobart.
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  • We stayed with friends for our Hobart leg of our journey. The first photo will show the view of the Derwent River from their window.
    We went out to a show in The Speigel Tent one night with Kevin and Mary. The show was called Velvet. It told the story of a young man who had strange dreams - it was set to disco music with elements of the circus demonstrated by aerial feats from a rope hanging in the centre of the tent and some fantastic hula hoop gyrations. Marcia Hines had top billing. A great night out in the Hobart Docks precinct.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

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