April - June 2017
A 86-day adventure by LouisaJames
  • 62footprints
  • 1countries
  • 86days
  • 371photos
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  • 10.6kmiles
  • 5.8kmiles
  • Day 1


    April 4, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    Well we have arrived in Sydney! We were treated to a flight around the city before landing. Michelle (Jenna's friend) very kindly picked us up from the airport, in style too, in her new red Mustang and took us to her apartment for the next three nights. It's in the perfect place to explore the city, only 6km from the Opera House or a thirty minute walk. After a good cuppa we walked into town along the harbour bridge and explored The Rocks area. It us where the first European settlers arrived although many of the original buildings have since gone. Those that do remain make you think you are in any British town.Read more

  • Day 2

    Sydney - Manly

    April 5, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    Took the ferry across the harbour to Manly today. What a lovely and easy way to get to and from the city. We loved the atmosphere around Manly, very relaxed compared to the big city. Visited Manly beach before walking the 10km coastal track to Spit Bridge. Treated ourselves to happy hour beers and a meal over looking the town beach as the sun set. The night lights of Sydney skyline were great to see from the ferry on our return journey.Read more

  • Day 3

    Sydney - Bondi Beach and the CBD

    April 6, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Had to go and visit Bondi after seeing 'Bondi Rescue' on tv! We were surprised by its size, thought it would be a longer bay. However, it is a lovely beach with very fine sand. Everyone behaved themselves while we were there so no action from the life savers. Can't imagine how busy the beach can get when they have been kniwn to rescue 100 people a day. We had a little stroll around the coast then headed back into town for a look around the Botanical gardens. Really enjoyed being in the middle of the buzz in the CBD at going home time. It was best viewed from a bar of course!Read more

  • Day 5

    Blue Mountains: Wentworth Falls

    April 8, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    Its gets light early but pitch black by 6pm, we've adjusted our day accordingly. Yesterday we picked up a car and drove from the centre of Sydney up to the Blue Mountains, staying in a free rest/camp area on the way. We stopped for a picnic lunch at a bowls club and were invited to play (declined unfortunately due to time).
    Getting up early gave us the advantage when walking, having the trails all to ourselves. We walked the National Pass, a track cut into the cliff face of the canyon. Built in 1908 by 4 people in 2 years! Incredible sights of the valley and the Wentworth Falls. Further stops at xx and xx lookouts gave amazing views of the canyons.
    Finished the day in a wild bush camp below the cliffs, surrounded by gum trees.
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  • Day 6

    Blackheath and the Grand Canyon

    April 9, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    Rising early to get the best of the day, we went to the Grand Canyon - a circular walk that took us down a cleft in the cliffs towards the valley floor then explored the huge gulleys filled with ferns and other rainforest foliage. Incredible views and landscape, expecting dinosaurs to still be in there! One of the best walks we've done on our travels.
    Continued to xx viewpoint where Charles Darwin had admired the view (strangely his name has been scratched off the info boards, possibly by someone who thought his evolutionary ideas could never be right??).
    As we left a storm was rolling in, so hastily drove to a camp site in Lithgow and pitched the tent just as the rain came on and thunder overhead. A huge downpour meant the tent was surrounded by 2 inches of water and rising - quick decamp and repitch to safety on higher ground.
    Met an Aussie family who we spent the evening chatting to and sharing their dinner. So far everyone we've met have been so friendly and share the same sarcastic humour!
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  • Day 7

    Wollemi National Park

    April 10, 2017 in Australia ⋅ 🌙 10 °C

    A cold (5 degrees plus wind) night, but thankfully we stayed dry. Left Lithgow and headed up a one way road on a whim, turning out to be one of the best days we've had. Taking a rough track off the road for a walk, we found an area of huge Aboriginal significance by accident and was strangely not signposted. Under a huge overhang of cliffs are the outline prints of hands - some large, some really small ones and in red and white paint. They haven't been fenced off and there isn't much information on dates etc, but was a fantastic find.
    From there we drove further into the park area and went for a walk along a long gone railway line. This snaked up the side of a steep hill and rock face finishing at a 600m long tunnel through the rock. The whole thing must have been a feat of engineering and sleepers, rails and reinforcements can still be seen in places. The tunnel also held a large number of glow worms, so turning off the torch made the tunnel look like the night sky. We returned via an old coaching road carved through the hills, again a massive task.
    We left the paved road and continued on rutted and potholed gravel/mud tracks to the end of the road. Along the way we encounterd our first kangaroos and wallabies in the forest and by the roadside. Also spied a wombat, a massive ball of fur! Spied plenty of bird life including various species of parrot.
    So far we've also seen a snake (plus a huge dead one on the road) and funnel web spiders.
    The wild bush camp is in a clearing surrounded by gum trees and cliff faces, absolutely stunning. A group of wallabies wandered by and we watched them boxing while we ate our dinner.
    Another cold night, but with the nearest street lights 40km away the stars are out.
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  • Day 8

    Gangudy (Dunns Swamp) Wollemi NP

    April 11, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    Cold but beautiful start to the day where an unusual bird flew in and stood right next to us while eating breakfast. Interesting finding our way back along the track past some old buildings and relics from the oil shale mines to Lithgow, trying to miss the pot holes, etc. Thankfully while back in civilisation we noticed we had a slow puncture thanks to a screw in one of the tyres! Once sorted we made our way further north west through the Capertee Valley (second widest canyon in the world, just not as deep) and back into the Wollema NP where this area is also recognised by the pagoda rock formations. Another bit of unsealed road, where we saw our first kookaburras, and we got to Dunns Swamp. This is a great camping spot where apparently there are platypus! Haven't seen any but plenty of other wildlife like parrots, wallabies, waterfowl and possums that creep up on you in the dark.Read more

  • Day 9

    Dunns Swamp

    April 12, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

    Loud and very varied bird call early this morning was a nice way to be woken. Had a stroll around where we were camping and saw more Aboriginal hand prints thought to be around 1000 years old. Climbing over and walking on the wierdly shaped rock pagodas was good fun. Then took a picnic lunch on a longer walk along the 'swamp', which is actually a river that's had a dam built across it. Saw a long cave and some fine views of the area. Finished the day with a fire, great to cook the dinner on.Read more

  • Day 10

    Mudgee wine region

    April 13, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Reluctantly left the swamp camp to head on a full days drive North to the Mudgee wine region and loop back towards the coast through beautiful and varied countryside. A quick stop in Mudgee to re-supply and have a wander around the old (for Australia!) buildings. On the way out of town we stopped at a vineyard which also had a great collection of vintage motorcycles.
    The wildlife was out in force and included two emu next to the road and a spiky Echidna, a large porcupine type creature the size of a football and pencil size spines - they can grow up to 50cm long. Much of the mileage today was on dusty gravel tracks.
    Stopped in a free community campsite with bbq facilities and a tennis court! This particular site had drinking water and toilet facilities, however most remote sites we have stayed at are basic with a non-flush compost toilet , no electricity or shelter and water has to be taken with you. Many service stations and sports/parks have free hot showers so we can stay fresh and sociable!
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  • Day 11

    Hawks Nest, Wingham and Coppernook

    April 14, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Another days drive North stopping off in Hawks Nest to have a swim in the warm ocean and body surf in the (sometimes huge) waves with dolphins swimming behind. On the way stopped at a service station in the shape of Ayers Rock (Uluru) and included a random display of goliwogs!????
    Went inland via Wingham which has a charming feel with early 1900's buildings and a old jet aircraft on the village green. We met a team testing their 6 litre Nascar engined sprint boat on the river in preparation for the Easter weekend races. This boat can get up to 120mph!
    After a spectacular sunset we stayed in a forest clearing site, setting up in the dark after dodging wildlife on the gravel track in.
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