I didn’t mean to go to Australia for the third time. As a general rule, I don’t go back to countries that I’ve already visited. The exception is Salzburg, Austria – not to be confused with Australia – of course. I lived there for a semester (Austria that is) while I was at university. I haven’t been back since 2002 but I have been meaning too. Australia, however, seems to have an invisible pull that I didn’t realise was there.
The first time I went to Oz was when I was 19, my first backpacking experience. Let lose and fancy free, I drunk my around the country. I first started in Perth, Greyhound bussed it to Adelaide before hopping on the green Oz Experience bus that took me up through the middle and then down the well trodden route of the East Coast.
The second time was when I was 24, which was my stop off point to make some money before continuing through New Zealand then South America before heading home. I was on a round-the-world trip that started in Moscow, Russia and ending in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. I ended up living in Melbourne because of U2. The tickets to their gig were sold out in Sydney, but weren’t sold out in Melbourne. So off I went on the Greyhound bus, saw the gig, got a job at a bar and stayed there until I had to leave the country. Melbourne quickly became, and continues to be, my favourite city in the world.
Which brings me onto my most recent trip to the Land Down Under. It was the first proper grown-up holiday I’ve had i.e no hostels, was with my Significant Other Half and less alcohol. Due to my job working at a travel agent, I was lucky enough to stay at a five-star ecolodge that was nestled in the Daintree Rainforest and overlooked the Coral Sea. After chilling out for a few days, we travelled down the East Coast to Fraser Island on the, you’ve guessed it, the Greyhound bus. We joined a tour and was one of the oldest one’s there. Frightening thought considering we’re only in our early 30’s. Still, I enjoyed being with the other backpackers, but soon we were on our way down to Sydney and back to five-star luxury.
We stumbled on the I’m Free Tours, run by the very knowledgeable Justine. I’m not one to over-enthuse about products or services, but I throughly recommend doing one of their walking tours if you’re in the city. You pay what you think the tour is worth. We only had four days in the Sydney and was a great introduction to the sights and history of the city.
Despite visiting Australia for the third time, I’ve yet to travel the West Coast and the Northern Territory. Maybe next time.
Photos taken on my Lumix GX 7.
Sunrise and clouds
Cairns. Avoid spending too much time here. Jumping off point to the Great Barrier Reef.
Sunset. I was experimenting with some settings on my camera.
Day in the office
Plane and sea
At the ecolodge overlooking the bay.
Out to sea
Hope Island on the Outer Barrier Reef
Leave nothing but footprints
Does anyone know what this creature is?
I actually caught this using a line and hook.
Hanging out in a hammock that I found out was overrun with ants!
Another day, another sunset
Lake McKenzie. Fraser Island.
Coast of Fraser Island
Fraser Island is one of the only places in the world where you can take off and land on a beach.
Tiny toad. Or is a frog?
Champagne Pools at Fraser Island
Dingo on a beach at Fraser Island
Waiting at a bus station at Harvey By at 4am.
Fireworks outside the Sydney Opera House
Outdoor exhibition about extinct birds
Protest at Millers Point stopping the local council from selling off public housing, some which date back from 1820 for redevelopment.
Sundial, Blue Mountains
Lazy day. Featherdale Wildlife Park
One-eyed owl. Featherdale Wildlife Park
Name that bird
Jellyfish washed up on Manly beach
Sydney Opera House
A random market that was down by the Rocks.
I can’t remember the name of this 1920’s band but they were fun to watch. Had gin and dance a bit of Charleston.
This guy is the best barber in Australia.
Getting made up 80’s style at the Village Bizarre
Love TV. Part of Village Bizarre. Had no idea what was going on.
People watching Love TV.