Australia
Australia

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Top 10 Travel Destinations Australia

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  • Day5

    Mother's Day

    May 12, 2019 in Australia ⋅ 🌬 20 °C

    We had a great day - a Mother's Day lunch and gathering. We started the day with a special breakfast from Miles - waffles, fruit - strawberries, kiwifruit and raspberries - and cream too. We gave Mum a bunch of flowers. Before everyone arrived we visited Nathan & Caroline's new flat, which is just around the corner on a canal. Then we visited the new house that Meghan & Dominic have just moved too.
    For lunch we had all of the above and Caroline's parents. We have a big lunch - roast, vegies etc.

    It was great to see them all and catch up.
    Tomorrow we leave for Noosaville, but before that we need to pick up Mark & Penny at the Brisbane airport.
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  • Day26

    Bunnings

    November 6, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    Up early to get down to the department for transport to register Bertha in our name. Again, very painless, but not as painless as the UK system of doing it online. Having said that, how easy is it for a foreigner to buy and register a vehicle in UK?

    We came home and I picked up the bunch of keys and sorted them. While we have 4 or 5 copies of some keys, we only have 1 copy of our main deadlock for Bertha. One of the door locks could probably be opened using a wooden lolly stick! We then washed everything we had collected the day before, sorted into what we would keep and what to send to the charity shop.

    With loads of stuff and lots of places to put it, we decided to go to the enormous DIY/trade store called Bunnings. As I’ve said befor, it has everything and makes a large B&Q look a bit insignificant. The plan was simple, park in their car park, start packing the stuff away and if we had a problem to go into Bunings and find a solution.

    In reality the plan worked well except they didn’t have something I wanted that I felt sure I would find in B&Q. Sometimes the language barrier is too high and I can’t make myself understood; never mind.

    The evening was spent continuing to pack and squirrel everything away. Now we just need to put our clothes in, buy some food and be on our way.

    First stop will be Bribie Island, a staggering 40 miles away north of Brisbane. “Bribie Island is the smallest and most northerly of three major sand islands forming the coastline sheltering the northern part of Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia. The others are Moreton Island and North Stradbroke Island. Bribie Island is 34 kilometres long, and 8 kilometres at its widest”. The island was connected to the mainland by a bridge in 1963. It is believed that the name of the island came from a corruption of a mainland word for it; “Boorabee” meaning 'koala bear'.

    We are meeting a friend who now lives on the island. Hopefully this will give us a chance to see how well Bertha travels full of crockery etc. Earlier today we went over a sleeping policeman and it sounded like everything smashed in the back! It will also be our first night camping!
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  • Day8

    Beautiful Brisbane - Day 2

    January 28 in Australia ⋅ 🌙 26 °C

    Before our tasty breakfast we did a big washing in the hotel laundry - how can we have got through so many clothes in a few days? We were then joined by my former social work colleague, Kylie, who had offered to meet up with us and show us around. It was great to see her again, and since I worked with her In Glasgow, she has returned to live on the Sunshine Coast with her husband Tam from Govan and their three children. Kylie took us on a trip to Mount Coot-tha, a favourite scenic point, which had fabulous views over the city of Brisbane. We then visited the beautiful Botanic Gardens, enjoying the shade offered by the huge variety of trees in view of the heat. On return to the city, we enjoyed a late tasty Greek lunch, before bidding farewell to Kylie after a most enjoyable day.

    Campbell and I then attended a small exhibition called Bittersweet, about the development of musical theatre in Australia. Although mostly obscure works we had never heard of, it included memorabilia and costumes from shows including The Boy From Oz and, of course, Priscilla. There was also mention of the latest hit musical, Muriel’s Wedding. Although it seems to have had great success here, I am not aware of any proposed productions on Broadway or the West End. The next Runway premiere perhaps? We then visited the much lauded Gallery of Modern Art, and on the way in we saw a pair of old boots on the steps outside. We wondered initially if these were actually one of the art exhibits, I have to say that the contents of the gallery were very highbrow, and we much preferred the architecture of the building to the art works themselves. Bring back Kelvingrove!

    We were planning on going to see the big show in town - The Book of Mormon - but as we both had seen the show before (Campbell twice!), and the fact that our body clock has still not quite adjusted to Australian time, we were worried we would fall asleep at the interval. Instead we settled for a walk round the old, historic quarter, viewing Parliament House, the Old Government Building and the City Botanic Gardens. By the time we walked over the pedestrian bridge over the river and caught the ferry back, it was certainly nearing our bedtime of 9pm.
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  • Day111

    Dolphins and then .... going south

    January 30 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    We decided to go on a dolphin watching tour that included, for the stupid, a boom netting experience. My take on boom netting is being water boarded while being given an enema, not my (nor Bun’s) idea of fun.

    We set off with about 30 people in a boat designed for 150 and headed north. The captain did the safety announcements and then said that spotting dolphins was a group activity and don’t simply rely upon the crew. After about 20 minutes we saw a pod of maybe 10 dolphins about 200m away between us and a rocky headland. The boat slowed and we drifted along watching them surface and dive. With the dolphins moving and the boat pitching, it wasn’t easy to take photos or videos. Not the most entertaining experience but the boat isn’t allowed to get close to the dolphins and they were more interested in doing whatever dolphins do. None decide to come and surf our bow wave or leap out of the water in front of us. Never mind.

    The boom netting experience took place for the dozen people who did it. They appeared to enjoy it apart from one older gentleman who looked to be drowning.

    The 90+ minutes were very enjoyable. We returned to the port, had a coffee and then went back to Bertha via a couple of shops.

    We drove to Hyams Beach, the beach in Jervis Bay that has “the whitest sand in all Australia”. Sorry, we were told that Whitehaven Beach on the Whitsunday Islands, oh and also Lake McKenzie on Fraser Island have the whitest sand!

    When we arrived at Hyams Beach we were told that there was no swimming because of Blue Bottle jellyfish in the water. We went down and looked at the “whitest sand” and found it to be a lot less white than either Whitehaven or L. McKenzie, but that could be because of the ash and pieces of burnt wood mixed in with it. The jellyfish lay all along the edge of the water, we didn’t even paddle.. Time to leave Jervis Bay and head south.

    We weren’t sure where to drive on to. We reached Milton and decided to carry on to Kiola. Just outside Kiola we stopped to visit the information centre that tuned out to be a notice board outside a newsagents. While the board wasn’t helpful, the locals in the newsagents were full of information “it’s all burnt down here”. They suggested a campsite on Merry Beach so we drove down to it, checked in to find that there is no phone signal at all so we can’t plan for tomorrow - never mind, all part of the adventure. There are, however, a huge number of wallabies and kangaroos on the site, plus loads of ducks and rabbits. Bun is fretting that a joey has lost his mother, but I think they are just having some time apart and the joey is learning that trying to jump into the pouch of every wallaby you come across, male or female, will only get you a quick biff around the ears. I’m sure mum will find him when she’s had enough time on her own.
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  • Day113

    A bit stranded

    February 1 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

    We awoke to a very strong smell of smoke in the air and a very strange light. The sun couldn’t penetrate the smoke and gave the sky a colour that we’d only seen once before and that was during a solar eclipse. The firies had all left at around 7am and a couple of the mobile homes had already left.

    We sought advice from the camp manager. It has never been our intention to become part of the problem .... but not sure if nature will help us to achieve that.

    The Rural Fire Service released a map overnight showing the fires and the burnt areas, just as I have on my app, however, they added their prediction for fires if the temperature reached the expected 40C and the wind became westerly. The map put us in the middle of a fire hazard. This was purely a prediction but the advice was that we shouldn’t stray too far, Narooma is a safe place.

    We decided to go to Mystery Bay, apparently it hadn’t been evacuated yesterday, somewhere else had been. We set off the few miles down the A1, arrived at the Mystery Bay Road to find it closed. Back to Narooma for b’fast.

    We found a lovely cafe with views across the bay and treated ourselves to b’fast and work out what to do today. The reasons for coming to the area are to visit Mystery Bay and to see if we can get a trip to Montague Island to snorkel and dive with the seals. The boats were not going to the island because most of their bookings had cancelled coming to the area.

    We planned a couple of maintenance chores for Bertha and then drove down to see if the seals were about. The one we had seen the day before was still sleeping in front of the fish gutting table on the quayside. We then drove around to the harbour entrance where a number of seals were sleeping on the rocks on the inside of the breakwater. The sea was looking quite ferocious with waves breaking over the breakwater.

    Time for a dip. The temperature wasn’t 40C and there was little sun, but there wasn’t much wind either. There were a number of places to choose from, the beach in the estuary near the bridge, the beach with the shark net or the beach without the shark net. Knowing we weren’t going to be in the sea long enough to attract sharks, we elected for the final option..

    I’m sure the sea today was no colder than yesterday, but without the sun, it felt a lot cooler. A quick swim and out, back to Bertha for a cuppa. Back to the campsite to get a pitch, do some laundry and then go out to the cinema to watch Jo Jo Rabbit, a bit weird but quite entertaining.

    We walked over the road to the pub for a beer and watch the sun go down and the bats fly into nearby trees to eat the fruit and then we went back to camp. The new moon is bright red as the sun was when it went down. Smoke has been in the air all day, but the horizon showed a blue line between the sea and the smoke, so we guess the smoke was quite high.

    As I finish this, the wind has picked up and is shaking Bertha, the weather f’cast says winds of 46-59km/h, I wonder what that will do to the fires and what tomorrow will bring?
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  • Day115

    Canberra City

    February 3 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    This was a strange place. It didn’t exist in 1900 other than as a sheep station in the middle of nowhere - In 1824, Joshua Moore built a homestead named Canberry, whose name was derived from a local Aboriginal language; its meaning is disputed Australia became a nation on 1 January 1901, when the British Parliament passed legislation enabling the six Australian colonies to collectively govern in their own right as the Commonwealth of Australia. Australia decided that it needed to have a capital, but could not use any of the capitals of the existing states. It had to be within the state of New South Wales, but at least 100km from Sydney.

    Once a suitable location for the capital was found, in 1911, the Australian Government launched an international competition for the design of a new capital. Walter Burley Griffin (from Chicago) submitted designs drawn by his wife, Marion Mahony Griffin, and beat 136 other entrants to win the competition. However, his plan was never fully realised as he stayed in Chicago and an Australian government committee Was appointed to oversee the building of the city, but they didn’t particularly like the winning design and started selecting elements from various plans and began reworking the winning design. So much for democracy.

    I won’t bore you with the design principles etc. As a city it has a beautiful layout, big man-made lakes created by damming the river, plus some magnificent buildings. However, in our eyes it lakes soul, life and any sort of “vibe”. It lacks the hustle and bustle of a city. We have been in Brisbane and Sydney at 5pm and watched the cafes, bars and restaurants fill up in the city centre; that didn’t happen in Canberra, it was dead.

    I’m sure that the commute to work along the multilane roads carrying half a dozen cars is very easy, but I wonder if Canberra needs a million or more people living in it to give it some energy?

    We drove up to the tops of Mount Ainslie for a spectacular view across the city
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  • Day118

    Canberra Arboretum and Bonsai Display

    February 6 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 19 °C

    It took two attempts to see the Bonsai exhibition. The arboretum is open until 8:30 pm so we chose to go there at the end of the day only to find that, while the gates were open, the exhibitions were all shut at 4:00.

    A wonderful display of bonsai trees at the arboretum that will probably look great in 20 years time and amazing in 50 years time.
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  • Day120

    Mount Macedon and Hanging Rock

    February 8 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    Macedon is overshadowed by Mnt Macedon although that is not visible from John and Kerry’s house due to the trees obscuring the view.

    John took us for a drove a gave us a bit of the history including the Mnt Macedon Ash Wednesday fires in 1983. There is a graphic account of that fire (the fires) at: https://www.abc.net.au/news/emergency/2013-02-14/ash-wednesday-bushfires-1983-from-the-archives/4519214

    John took us up to the war memorial at the top of Mnt Macedon before taking us to Hanging Rock, yes that is THE Hanging Rock made famous by the book “Picnic at Hanging Rock”.

    Hanging Rock is certainly different and a lovely place to scramble around. Next week they are showing the film at the base of the rock, might have to go to that.
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  • Day121

    Daylesford - “All aboard”

    February 9 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 22 °C

    We were lent a car to go exploring, so set off to Daylesford Market. Actually the market was less like a produce and craft market and more like a large car boot sale. However, it enabled us to buy Kerry a pink rose called “Forget Me Not” with proceeds going to the Alzheimer’s Society.

    Daylesford also has a rail line that runs to Bullarto and is kept going by volunteers. unfortunately it does not run steam locomotives but we fancied a trip and bought to return tickets. The “clickerty clack” of the wheels was quite soothing and evoked memories of train journies taken in my childhood before lines were laid with seamless joints.
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  • Day136

    Great Ocean Road - Koala Hunting

    February 24 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    We wandered across the road and along a well mown path to get to the sea opposite the Coast House. We had been told to be aware of snakes, but the path was narrow and spiders had made webs across it, so we were most concerned about getting a face full of spider and web - actually I wasn’t concerned, Bun was walking in front! Always the gentleman, I walked at the front on the way back. Blackberries are out ... autumn is coming. In one months time we will be flying out of Australia ☹️

    We have seen koalas in rescue centres, hospitals and wildlife parks, but no wild koalas in their natural habitat. We have been told that there are a couple of places in this area where koalas are almost “guaranteed” - hope they are not like the manta rays and go on holiday when we go visiting!

    Kennet River is back along the road we drove down yesterday, there we found “Kafe Koala” which sounded like a good place to start. While planning and having a coffee, the Beatles “Hard Days Night” Album (I think, happy to be corrected) was playing in the background, not what we were expecting.

    Off up the track where we had been reassured we would find koalas hanging from every tree. We quizzed people who were walking back down from the forest and were reassured that koalas were up there.

    Several couples and families drove through the forest, not sure if they managed to see any. We were guided to a tree and yes, there was a koala in it. Known for sleeping 20 hours a day, they don’t move so there is no hope of a better pose. Fortunately the day was grey and overcast, OK , grey koalas against a grey sky may not be the best combination, but as there was usually sky behind them, they would have been nothing other than black shapes if the sky had been any brighter.

    Spotting koalas was difficult. Walking up hill, looking up into the sky when it’s raining means eyes hit with rain drops, neck ache and the risk of walking off the track and falling down the side of the steep hill. We knew that they sat in the cleft of branches so we initially looked near the tree trunks, but then found them draped quite a long way along branches.

    Well it was a successful walk, six or seven koalas later we were becoming koala 🐨 blind and decide to walk back to Bertha. On the way back down the track we met two minibuses with blacked out windows. The doors opened and out jumped a load of Chinese, some in suits, dresses etc looking very smart. One of the easiest ways of spotting a koala was to watch where others pointed their camera, but where’s the fun in that?

    After the excitement of koala hunting we walked along the river for a while and then drove back along the GOR to Apollo Bay, a historic town with a sandy beach where people can actually get into the sea, much of the coast along the GOR has been large waves crashing onto rocks.

    Wandered about, then back to The Coast House to edit and crop the photos.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Commonwealth of Australia, Australien, Australia, Australië, Ɔstrelia, አውስትሬሊያ, استراليا, ܐܘܣܛܪܠܝܐ, Avstraliya, Аўстралія, Австралия, Ositirali, অস্ট্রেলিয়া, ཨསྟྲེ་ལི་ཡ།, Aostralia, Australija, Austràlia, Awstralya, Austrálie, Awstralia, އޮސްޓަރުލިޔާ, ཨས་ཊེཡེ་ལི་ཡ, Australia nutome, Αυστραλία, Aŭstralio, Austraalia, استرالیا, Ostaraalii, Avstralia, Australie, An Astráil, ઑસ્ટ્રેલિયા, Ostareliya, אוסטרליה, ऑस्ट्रेलिया, Awstralska, Ausztrália, Ավստրալիա, Ástralía, オーストラリア, sralygu'e, ავსტრალია, អូស្ត្រាលី, ಆಸ್ಟ್ರೇಲಿಯ, 호주, ئۆسترالیا, Ostrali, Awusitureliya, Ositáli, ອົອດສະຕາລີ, Ositali, Austrālija, Ò-tāi-lī-a, Австралија, ഓസ്ട്രേലിയ, Awstralja, ဩစတြေးလျှား, अष्ट्रेलिया, Avstrualii, ଅଷ୍ଟ୍ରେଲିଆ, Австрали, آسټراليا, Austrália, Ositaraliya, Ostralïi, Sotralïi, ඕස්ට්‍රේලියාව, Avstralija, Awstaraaliya, Australi, Аустралија, ஆஸ்திரேலியா, ఆస్ట్రేలియా, ออสเตรเลีย, Australya, ʻAositelēlia, Ostrelia, Avustralya, Autereraria, ئاۋستىرالىيە, Австралія, آسٹریلیا, Australia (Úc), 澳大利亚, אױסטראַליע, Orílẹ́ède Ástràlìá, i-Australia

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