Thursday, 8 October 2009

Australia - Sydney to Byron Bay

Three and a half months gone and we have arrived in Australia, our penultimate destination.

Australia is the first country about which neither of us was massively excited. South America was always going to be an adventure, New Zealand was always going to be beautiful and Fiji was always going to be Fiji. Australia was basically on our list because it was next to these places and having made the effort to reach the other side of the world, thought we’d better pop over and cross it off the list.

As such we flew into Syndey around three weeks ago. We didn’t do a great deal for a couple of days, largely due still being on “Fiji Time”.

We got our act together with a visit to the Opera House (less impressive than I thought it would be) and the harbour bridge (more impressive than I thought it would be). From there we followed up with trips to Bondi Beach, which is nice enough but not worthy of the hype, and Manly, a small suburb of Sydney a ferry ride across the harbour. Manly was great, probably the best beach in Syndey and the ferry back at sunset was up there with the best of the 300 sunset photos I’ve taken.

Other highlights included a trip to the contemporary art museum and being taken for a $2 steak by a group of Norwegians we met in Fiji.

After a few days in Sydney we’d had enough of the city, so new Greyhound (coach) ticket in hand we set off for the “Blue Mountains” – by train. The Blue Mountains are literally that, apparently caused by the forest giving off eucalyptus vapour which gives everything a blueish hue. Nice enough place but having spent 2 months up and down the Andes and a month in New Zealand we have seen a few mountains.

We then nipped back to Sydney to catch our coach north. Should have been pretty mundane but we awoke at 6am to find the whole city bright orange, caused by a dust storm blowing from the west. It turned out that this was a very rare event and so a nice little bonus for us. Description can’t really do it justice so take a look at the harbour bridge (above) to give you an idea. I’ll also put my own photos of it on Facebook, albeit they are somewhat less impressive!

From Syndey we headed up the coast to Newcastle. Very uneventful place, the highlights of which were the hostel’s “events organiser” (bloke who takes you to a pub if you fancy it) who had “PSYCHOTIC” tattooed across his back and a trip to a wildlife reserve where we had our first sightings of wombats, koalas and Kangaroos.

Bored of Newcastle we jumped back on the Greyhound for the 12 hour ride to Byron Bay...


- Wombats - Wombats are brilliant. End of.

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