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It’s December, I’m Sweating (and more about my Australian life)

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Now that I am living in the land down under – possibly for a very long time if this partner visa goes through – I need to really get used to these backwards seasons. It’s December; I’m sweating, and still I’m supposed to think that this means Christmas is just around the corner?! Yeah, that one is going to take a while to get used to.

Officially being my second year in this season in Australia, I can tell you that this year is no different to the last. There are seriously only a few weeks until Santa pops by and I have yet to cross anyone off my Christmas list. Even the thought of getting into the kitchen to do a little bit of cookie baking doesn’t appeal to me. ‘Tis the season, I think not!

Besides the backwardness of the seasons, some lags in technological advances and just plain expensiveness of this country, I would say Australia is treating me quite well. I’ve now been living in my apartment in a North Shore suburb for nearly 16 months, I’ve become a loud and proud member of the Sydney Travel Tribe, and I’ve done a fair bit of travel (not enough mind you!).

Since getting the WhyGo Australia position, I haven’t really been blogging much about my Australia travel experiences on this site. Since it is the end of the year, I’d thought it would be a great time to do a little bit of a round-up of some of these bits:

Broken Hill Road Trip

Pat and I drove out to the middle of nowhere, New South Wales. It took us 15 or 18 hours of driving to get there, but Broken Hill is where we ended up! An old mining town, Broken Hill has a lot of history… and a lot of pubs. Today, however, it has turned into an artist’s dream. Filled with galleries, I’m guessing this is where people go to be creative?

Nearby is the town of Silverton. Known now as a ghost town, there isn’t much here to see except for the Mad Max car and the glorious Silverton Cafe.

Silverton Cafe

The Awesome Silverton Cafe

We were tricked by some lovely photos in brochures telling us that Menindee was a fisherman’s dream, only to be disappointed by the fact that 3 of the 4 lakes were dried up. Pat was a very sad boy.

Pat Fishing

Pat Fishing in Menindee

On the way home, we stopped in White Cliffs – an opal mining town – to spend the night in the world’s largest underground motel.

underground bed

Our Underground Bedroom

Gold Coast (June)

This was another trip taken with Pat in the off-season to the Gold Coast. We stayed near Surfers Paradise and spent a fair bit of time hanging out with one of his childhood friends. Besides that, there was a night at Dracula’s, a trip to Timezone, and a lot of eating out. If it looks like we didn’t do much then that’s because we received some not-so-good news during our trip and decided to take it easy for a day in the middle.

condom kingdom

Pat checking out Condom Kingdom

Cooktown to Sydney Road Trip

August brought me to the opportunity of taking a road trip down the east coast of Australia thanks to a station wagon sponsorship from Travellers Auto Barn! Since Pat couldn’t get 3 weeks off work to go with me, I recruited Heather for the journey. We started in Cairns, headed north to Cooktown and then back down to Sydney. We were on a strict itinerary to make it work.

We took an Aboriginal tour in Cooktown:

guurrbi tour

Guurrbi Tour

We snorkelled the Great Barrier Reef:

fish tails

Fish Tails

We went whale watching in Hervey Bay:

fin flapping

Whale Watching

We took a 2 day tour of Fraser Island with Cool Dingo:

fraser island

The Majestic Fraser Island

We visited a Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie:

koala ambulance

Koala Ambulance

Sydney South Coast Circle Road Trip

About a week after returning home from the road trip with Heather, I set off on a journey with Pat to Sydney’s south coast, circling back to Canberra and the Blue Mountains. We had the lovely vehicle sponsorship by Jucy, but alas, the trip was made difficult by horrible weather and gale force winds.

Still, we enjoyed sleeping in the campervan, and we really liked Katoomba.

Jucy and Brooke

Brooke with the Jucy Rental

Magnetic Island

Now this was a true getaway! Pat and I had bought tickets earlier in the year on a JetStar buy 1, get 1 free sale to Townsville. We only spent a night in Townsville and spent the rest of our trip relaxing on the amazing Magnetic Island. Go. Do it. Love it!

bungalows

Bungalow Bay YHA in Magnetic Island

Gold Coast (December)

I just got back from another 3 days in the Gold Coast, but this time as part of a Gold Coast Tourism sponsored trip (I could get used to all inclusive holidays). It was incredibly fun, eye-opening and a treat to get to do all the things I didn’t on my last trip. I learned a lot about the area – more than I could have on my own – and am keen to get back to old Goldy sooner than later.

My favorite part of the trip? Learning to surf! You can catch a funny photo of me getting up on y Travel Blog.

And that about sums up my Australia travel life from the beginning of the year up until this point!

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14 Responses to It’s December, I’m Sweating (and more about my Australian life)

  1. ayngelina December 7, 2010 at 11:31 pm #

    This will be the second year I’ve been away from home for Christmas, the first was 10 years ago in the Philippines, and the only thing that makes it feel better is that it doesn’t feel like Christmas.

    • Brooke December 9, 2010 at 7:07 am #

      I don’t miss the cold at all at least!

  2. Russell V J Ward December 8, 2010 at 7:45 am #

    Hey Brooke, good luck with the partner visa – keep us posted! Can totally relate to the topsy turvy seasons. Has been 5 years for me now and I still can’t get my head around a hot Xmas and I still pine for white or cole Yuletide – until I hit the beach and then I forget eveything as I swim between the waves. You’ve just gotta enjoy it while you can! North Shore suburb – we must be close – I’m a Northern Beaches dweller. Keep up the travelling! Russell

    • Brooke December 9, 2010 at 7:10 am #

      Woohoo, North side represent 😉 Yeah, I really hate winter, but being such an integral part of the holiday season for me – it just doesn’t feel right in the heat!

      Yes, will keep you all posted on the partner visa! Finally got the FBI checks in, so my app should be complete. I’m waiting.. *twiddles thumbs*

  3. Heather December 8, 2010 at 5:04 pm #

    You’ve done heaps this year! Thanks for helping me experience Queensland!

    • Brooke December 9, 2010 at 7:10 am #

      No worries:) This must be why I’m broke, hey?

  4. Bethany December 9, 2010 at 3:16 am #

    That’s crazy Brooke! Look at all the fun you have had. Magnetic Island looks awesome too! And free trips – yah!!! I am dying to get my first sponsored trip. I love that pic of you surfing too – you look like a natural!! enjoy the warm weather it is freaking cold here in the U.S.!

    • Brooke December 9, 2010 at 7:14 am #

      Yeah, this round-up kind of puts it in perspective. Maggie is amazing, and I recommend it to anyone! The sponsored trip was totally worth it in regards to WhyGo Australia – I learned so much more than I ever could on my own, which will help me help others.

      Sorry it’s so cold in the US! I don’t want to go back to that life 😉

  5. joshywashington December 9, 2010 at 6:35 am #

    geez girl, looks like you have been having a blast! Your round up reads like an Aussie holiday wish list…

    • Brooke December 9, 2010 at 7:16 am #

      Yeah, I guess it does! It’s weird because I’ve done these all on separate trips… I didn’t realize how much it added up to.

  6. Chris December 13, 2010 at 6:21 pm #

    A few recognizable sites there! I lived in Menindee as a kid and spent a great deal of time in Broken Hill. Glad to see somebody else visiting my old stomping grounds.

    That YHA on Magnetic Island is actually where the first seeds of my travel bug were planted. Drinking cask wine with Irish backpackers there was my first brush with the travel community, haha

    • Brooke December 17, 2010 at 7:51 am #

      Wow – you LIVED in Menindee?! I can’t imagine 😉 And, yay for the Maggie YHA! Such an awesome place… we loved our little bungalow.

  7. Jessica the hedgehog December 17, 2010 at 7:31 am #

    Hey Brooke! 🙂

    It was so great to hear from you again the other day on our website. It looks like life has been treating you well, and I’m looking forward to catching up on all your travels. Yay!

    Also: The Koala Hospital is about the cutest thing I have ever read about. I may just have to adopt my own Koala! 🙂

    Happy Travels! 🙂

    • Brooke December 17, 2010 at 8:03 am #

      No worries, Jessica – your site has such quality writing (unlike SO many travel blogs these days), I’m glad to see that you guys are still posting and having travel adventures! Thanks for stopping by!

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