It’s hard to cover the entire continent of Australia in a single post, but we didn’t spend too much time there, so it’s not as difficult. We took one trip to the west coast, visiting Perth and travelling south to Margaret River. Our second trip took us to the east coast, to visit Sydney and the Blue Mountains. Australia was a strangely easy place to visit, in the midst of all our Asian trips. It was foreign in location, but so recognizable, since the language was English.
#1 - Farm stays of Margaret River
#2 - 4x4 trip to the Southern Ocean
#3 - Opera at the Sydney Opera House
#4 - Blue Mountain vistas and hikes
#5 - Sydney Harbor ferry
#6 - Kangaroos at dusk
#7 - Losing stuff and breaking stuff
What to do next time:
#8 - Brisbane and the Gold Coast
#1 - Farm stays of Margaret River - Southwestern Australia has made an industry of farm stays; bed and breakfast-like small hotels situated on a working farm, with a petting zoo-like mentality. Each morning and afternoon, all the guests get to accompany the farmer to feed all the animals, include sheep and lambs, goats, cows, llamas, kangaroos, wallabies, horses, etc. Whether it be hand-feeding grain to the horses, or bottle-feeding milk to the baby lambs, a fun time was had by all. Where else can you cuddle up with a baby kangaroo?
#2 - 4x4 trip to the Southern Ocean - While in Margaret River, we signed up for a 4x4 trip south through the forest of southwest Australia, passing through the wetlands, forests, sand dunes, and ultimately arriving at the beach. We did pass through almost impassable territory, requiring the capabilities of the vehicle we were in. The sandsurfing we did in the dunes were better than any Egyptian desert we’ve visited, and the power and grandeur of the Southern Ocean on the deserted beach was a majestic sight and sound.
#3 - Opera at the Sydney Opera House - the Sydney Opera truly is a wonderous building on the shores of the Sydney Harbor. While we were there, we simply had to see an actual opera within its walls. We saw the Strauss opera Salome. The opera was compelling and disturbing at the same time, I wouldn’t recommend opera itself, but the experience in the Sydney Opera House was second to none.
#4 - Blue Mountain vistas and hikes - West of Sydney, about an hour inland are the Blue Mountains, named because of the seemigly blue mist that settles in the valleys in the mornings. It is a beautiful place, with lots of charming hikes and chairlift rides from valley to peak and through the forest.
#5 - Sydney Harbor ferry - We stayed in a neighborhood, requiring a public ferry ride to get to different parts of the city. The sights from the ferry, including the harbor bridge, opera house, and different parts of the city, all descending down to water’s edge never got old.
#6 - Kangaroos at dusk - It was an iconic sight to be driving back to the farmstay in the early evening, and see dozens of kangaroos jumping in the fields alongside the road, silhoetted by the setting sun. Nowhere else in the world can you see that in the wild.
#7 - Losing stuff and breaking stuff - Nathan bought a remote-control helicoptor in the Brunei airport, and we took it with us to play with in Perth. The first time he flew it, he went up too high, and the wind carried it hundreds of yards away into a forest. We went to look for it, but it was gone. And . . . while playing in the river, and jumping from rock to rock (one of my favorite activities) I dropped the camera in the water. Grrr
#8 - Brisbane and Gold Coast - there is so much to do on the continent of Australia, we literally only scratched the surface, but a return trip would include a visit to the Gold Coast, Australia. With the beaches, amusement parks, and all the fun entertainment, I would be excited to go there next.