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.
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.
On the way home, we stopped in White Cliffs – an opal mining town – to spend the night in the world’s largest underground motel.
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.
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:
We went whale watching in Hervey Bay:
We took a 2 day tour of Fraser Island with Cool Dingo:
We visited a Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie:
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.
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!
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!