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Curious what backpackers do in Australia? Discover travel destinations all over the world of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.
  • Day23

    Arrived in Perth, caught bus to city and are on the train to Fremantle - South West of Perth on the coast. Dropped the car off in Brisbane at 7am and will be in Fremantle around 7pm. Although the flight went via Sydney, it's a very, very big country! Some of the views out of the aircraft window were stunning, taking in the coast and desert with dried up salt flats and dirt roads straight and as far as you can see.Read more

  • Day3

    Well we continue to break our own rules by driving around 6 hours today just to get to a campsite north of Coober Pedy, a delightfully toilet paper-strewn spot with the poetic name of Pootnoura. No toilets, which explains the surrounding decor, but a welcome stop anyway. Caught up with a couple we came across in Pt Augusta who have an older fully off-road version of our van. Full of helpful tips and advice (them, not us), it strikes me that this is the reason we like caravanning - people are intrinsically nice, we just need the opportunity and space to prove it. And since vanners are on holiday they are automatically in a good mood and thus quick with a wave, a smile, a good deed and a beer. One day I hope to be like them. 😋The pics attached include a couple of images of our drive: getting our Easyrider groove on, Coober landscapes and POOtnoura camp

    Don't panic, we won't be posting EVERY day, we are sure to get over it soon. 😋
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  • Day234

    Today we used the excellent local public transport system to travel to Perth for the day by bus & train. We did a bit of shopping ready for the final leg of our travels and also visited the Art Gallery of Western Australia for a bit of culture. After a tasty Japanese lunch, we spent some time wandering around the Elizabeth Quay area, where we were lucky to see a shag bird eating a fish for its afternoon snack. You can also see Solana here enjoying another $1 bargain "Slurpie" icy drink! Tomorrow we pick up our hire car for our last couple of weeks. We've enjoyed our past couple of weeks in cities but we're looking forward to heading out into the countryside to see more Australian scenery and (hopefully) a few Aussie animals...Read more

  • Day41

    I thought I'd missed my chance to see wild crocs because I hadn't made any plans and tomorrow is ANZAC Day with a big parade that starts at 6am (!) with an extra bus at 5:15.

    But I passed a 'croc tours today' sign so decided to go for it. Worked out really well ... a small trip through Wallaroo Tours to a guy, Pat, who's a real enthusiast. I wish I could post videos on here, their power and speed is stunning.

    The bus guide was great too, very informative. I hadn't realised how much this area (Australians call it the Top End) was bombed in WWII. There's still a big military presence, Australian and US.
    This is also a big mango growing area. One farm was passed apparently has 4 million trees ...
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  • Day26

    Yesterday we picked up a rented camper van from Perth that we have for the next 56 days until we need to return it to Darwin. After admin, checking the van over and food shopping we didn't get started til late afternoon. However, we managed to get as far as Kojonup (300km) by sunset but left the unpacking until daylight this morning. Already it feels completely different from the East coast as soil seems to have been replaced by red dust/sand. Looking forward to settling into van life for the next eight weeks. We got to Albany today and after a quick look around town and lunch we went up to the viewpoint and Anzac memorial at Mount Clarence. It has amazing views over the Princess Royal Harbour and King George Sound. It's where all the ships carrying 42,000 soldiers, from both NZ and Australia, left for the war in Europe (WW1) but were diverted to Egypt. Booked into a camping holiday park and have enjoyed the pool and spa this evening, although trying to convince ourselves that it's not our scene!Read more

  • Day232

    Yesterday (25th April) was ANZAC Day in Australia (and New Zealand), a public holiday, similar to Remembrance Sunday. We spent the day relaxing with Gary, Belle, Daniel and Claudia in their lovely home. We finally had our "lazy day"! It was lovely not to be rushing around trying to see as much as we can and not to have to rush Solana to get ready, eat up, walk faster, etc... We ate some Anzac cookies (biscuits traditionally made with ingredients from the days of war rations - much tastier than they sound). In the evening we had our first Aussie barbie for dinner, washed down with the last bottle of wine we brought over from New Zealand - a fitting Anzac meal! This morning we said our fond farewells to Gary, Belle, Daniel & Claudia. It was really lovely staying with them and we vowed not to leave it as long 14 years (Laura last saw them in 2003!) before we meet up again. Perhaps next time we'll meet up somewhere exotic in between UK & Aus?...

    Today we flew from Sydney to Perth; the flight took 5 hours and covered 2,045 miles. Five hours to fly across one single country... This journey across Australia was longer than the journey from New Zealand to Sydney (Sydney is only 1,340 miles from Auckland). In fact, Perth is actually closer to Jakarta (Indonesia) than it is to Sydney! Although, as my sister Jen pointed out, it will take her and her husband Phil longer than our flight today to drive down to Dorset for the weekend. Big world, or small?... We are staying in North Fremantle (not far from Perth city) with Sandy and Mo, an uncle and aunt (by marriage) of Laura's. After we arrived we went for a short walk along the banks of the Swan River, then went out for a quick dinner. We're all tired early tonight,, after the journey and 2 hour time difference. Today was our last flight before we make the long journey home in 3 weeks time. Meanwhile, we're looking forward to exploring Western Australia for the next 3 weeks.
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  • Day233

    After nearly 2 months of following our friends James and Lou's travel footsteps but always missing then by a couple of days or weeks, we finally managed to meet up with them today. We originally met them when we were travelling in South America 12 years ago, so it was fitting that we met up again on the other side of the world! It was really lovely to see them both and we all spent a fun day exploring Fremantle together. Solana enjoyed having some adults that weren't her parents to talk to and play with too! Fremantle is a small city, with a relaxed and friendly feel about it - we all liked it. There are quite a few old (for Australia) buildings and we went to see the Roundhouse (3rd photo), which used to be the jail and saw the cannon being fired there at 1pm (so loud that we felt, as well as heard, it!). We had a picnic in the park for lunch and enjoyed a game of Uno cards in the sunshine. We also found some lovely beaches right on the edge of the city; we hadn't taken swimsuits but Solana went skinny dipping again, whilst we restricted ourselves to a paddle. We've come back for dinner with Sandy tonight and we hope that our travel paths will cross with James & Lou's again whilst we're in Western Australia...Read more

  • Day22

    Yesterday we stayed put at the great campsite in Tweed Head/Coolangatta to spend the day exploring up the Gold Coast and relax in the swimming pool. We enjoyed a couple of swims and being thrown about on the slide. We stopped at Elephant Rocks (Crummbian Beach) to watch the many surfers as it was a good vantage point out in the ocean.
    Today we made it up to Brisbane and went exploring the city in the afternoon. Today is Anzac Day (Remembrance Day) which also means it is a public holiday. It also means it is the only day in the year that they can play 'Two Up', a betting game played in bars. Bets are made between many groups of two people for two coins to land either both heads or both tails before they are flipped. This is all after many people have been to Remembrance parades starting before dawn. We really like the city. It is a very outdoor city complete with a free swimming pool, beach and water fountains to play in. There is also a free river ferry through the main part of the city from where you can see more outdoor pursuits. There are bolts in the river cliffs for climbing, bbq's, walk ways and people on jet skis and kayaks.Read more

  • Day24

    We spent a lovely day catching up with friends Laura and Julie and their daughter Solana. We first met them on our travels 12 years ago in South America and by coincidence, they also felt the need to travel again. For a couple of months now we have been a few days or weeks ahead of them so it's been great that our paths finally crossed. We explored Freemantle on foot taking in the round house (another old jail) complete with a cannon that is fired at 1pm each day. Or at 1.05 after a few minor technical hitches! We both enjoyed playing at the playpark, almost as much as Solana, as well as having a picnic lunch and paddle in the sea. We really enjoyed catching up with our friends and hope to do it again soon. We finished the day having a beer and steak before returning to prison for our second night stay! At least we got to share a cell together. It's actually a really good Youth Hostel that's not been open that long.Read more

  • Day235

    Photos to follow when internet better.

    Today we picked up our new hire car (a Toyota Corolla sedan) and left Perth. After having spent the past 2 weeks in cities, it was nice to be out on the open road, with our own 4 wheels, again. We visited Laura's friends Claire and Josh and their 2 children Lewis & Charlie, who live in Kinross, half an hour North of Perth. We had a nice lunch with them and Solana enjoyed playing with the boys for a couple of hours too.

    We then continued North and visited Yanchep National Park. There was some great bird life there - including water birds, parrots and galahs (rose-breasted cockatoo). We finally got to see some cute koala bears here too. Although koalas are native to Eastern Australia, they have been trying to introduce them here in the West and these ones are part of a breeding programme. It was in Yanchep that we saw our first kangaroos in the wild too - a small group of them feeding on the grass as we were walking back to our car - we were all very happy to finally see kangaroos, especially Solana. We saw a couple more kangaroos by the side of the road as we drove later in the afternoon too - they tend to be more visible around dawn and dusk, when it gets cooler. However, it became apparent that we were enjoying the wide, relatively straight, open roads a bit too much when we were stopped by the police this afternoon for speeding... A hefty $200 (approx. £120) fine meant that we had to settle for take-away fish & chips for dinner, rather than sampling the lobster that this area is famed for... This evening, we visited the Pinnacles Desert, an area with hundreds of limestone rock formations. We arrived just before sunset (delayed by our brush with the law!) - so the light was good but unfortunately didn't last very long. We're spending the night in the small town of Cervantes (population about 500 people), in a B+B recommended by Laura's Uncle Bob & Aunt Angela (thanks Bob & Angela - it is lovely).
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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