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Last Day in Beautiful Sydney 

It is our last day in Sydney today and we started it off with a trip to the Zoo!  We took a ferry from Circular Quay across the water and landed at Taronga Zoo.  I almost don't know where to begin - there were so many exhibits, interesting animals, and a huge area to cover by foot. 

We started off with the giraffes.  They are so majestic and lean, and had a great view of the city from their penned in area (lucky them!). 

We also saw a squawking peacock, chimpanzees playfully swinging from ropes and…

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Sydney sights, Part 1  

We arrived in Sydney in the middle of the afternoon after our long bus ride.  Our hotel, the Russell, is in the Rocks area, and is close to a lot of fun stuff.  It's very quaint - think tiny room, blue and white china on the mantle, a quilt on the bed, and NO TV!    

First off, we walked out to the Rocks Market, which is stall after stall of goods: jewelry, hand made clothes, wooden carvings, all kinds of food from corn cobs on a stick, to mini cupcakes and fudge, realistic rubber masks, crocheted hats…

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Byron Bay - I could stay 

On our last full day in Byron Bay, we woke up to a sunny, cloudless blue sky and the temperature was around 21 degrees Celsius.  Not bad for winter.  And now, we could actually explore the city properly, leaving our rain jackets at the hotel. So, we did!   

First, since it was so early in the morning and Byron shops don't seem to open til 10 or so, I asked Tyler if he'd made the trek up to the lighthouse again, and of course he said yes. 

The view was much, much easier to appreciate this time and we…

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Trip to Byron Bay 

 After saying goodbye to Noosa early on Wednesday morning, we lugged our suitcases across the street to the transit center, and tossed our stuff onto the greyhound bus taking us to Brisbane. We arrived around 11:30am to the Roma Street bus station and grabbed a quick bite to eat, then hopped back on the bus around 1 to head off to Byron Bay.  We got a great view of the Brisbane as we left on the bus heading for Byron Bay. 

My fleeting impression of Brisbane is that I'd like to go back there and actually…

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Daydream Resort and Whitehaven Beach 

After our trip out to the Great Barrier Reef, we wanted a day of relaxing by the beach.  We booked a trip to Daydream Island and then Whitsunday Island, and set off bright and early Saturday morning.  The first stop was Daydream island, around 9:30am.  The air was still slightly cool, but the sun was warm and the day fresh and inviting.  We got off the boat and walked around the stunning resort.  It has a little lagoon with bright, huge sting rays, and a few sharks, and we watched those for a bit before…

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The Great Barrier Reef Dive 

After saying good bye to Barry and Jane - our amazing hosts for the week, we flew out of Melbourne, north towards the Whitsunday Islands - 74 islands off the coast of Australia known for their beautiful beaches, sunny skies, and snorkelling.   

Our flight was delayed for over 2 hours, but we flew into Hamilton Island in the afternoon and caught a ferry over to Airlie beach, where we were staying.  We passed a lot of the pretty islands on our way over the Airlie Beach (it is on mainland Australia).  I had…

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The Great Ocean Road 

'The Great Ocean Road is a long, twisty highway that hugs the coast from Melbourne towards Adelaide.  Originally, Tyler and I thought we'd rent a car and take a leisurely drive down the road, stopping in the picturesque towns, taking in the views on our own, finding a quaint B & B to stay at overnight.  Once we arrived in Australia though, we decided against this for one major reason:   

Neither of us felt really comfortable trying to drive on the "wrong" side of the road.  Even as a passenger, I was often…

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Fishies and Penguins at the Melbourne Aquarium 

The good news is, Tyler and I took the train into downtown Melbourne today - pretty much all by ourselves! The even better news is, we also managed to find the aquarium!   

We arrived at the aquarium and the first exhibit was the penguins.  We could have stayed there all day.  They had 2 kinds of penguins - the King penguin, which are pretty big (the second largest species of penguin) and they have yellowish markings at their throat.  They were tall and proud, walking around and preening, often stretching…

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Wine tasting and Kangaroos in the Wild 

Had a real Australian breakfast on Saturday morning - toast and Vegemite.  Tyler and I both tried it - it's hard to describe, salty and savoury.  Tyler liked it a lot (of course) and just a bite was enough for me! 

We headed out bright and early to the Grampian mountains area.  Jane's parents live in "the bush" - a small town called Great Western, just outside of Ararat.  The landscape is amazing and we could see pretty far into the distance.  It was a beautiful morning, liquid yellow sunlight pouring…

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Day 1 - Hello Gisborne  

We arrived safely at the Melbourne airport in the late afternoon on Thursday, and Tyler's second cousin Barry was there to pick us up as soon as we'd grabbed our bags. We hopped in his car and immediately started marveling at everything.  The landscape is pretty hilly so you can see quite far into the distance.  Barry lives about half an our from the airport, in Gisborne, a cute neighbourhood full of sprawling bungalows.  The houses here have no basements. Their place is beautiful and full of art (which I…

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Australian Adventure - we arrived! 

We made it! 

Yesterday afternoon my brother dropped Tyler and I off for our 3 week adventure to Australia!  I don\'t remember how this trip came about, exactly, except that I had decided that since we were both turning the big 3-0 this year, we should do something really fun to celebrate.   I thought Tyler had mentioned to me at some point he\'d always wanted to go to Australia so I started researching and asking around and got hooked on the idea.   Fast forward to May 17 and we were off! We arrived pretty…

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