Strewth! We're in Australia?

Brixham Kiwi By Brixham Kiwi, 6th May 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Oceania>Australia>Sydney & Around

Arriving too early in New Zealand we head for the sunshine in Australia

Are you SURE this is Australia?

We left Auckland on 1 November in glorious sunshine – so hot that my hastily flung in fleece was hastily flung out again and another pair of shorts substituted – after all EVERYBODY knows that Australia is hotter than New Zealand right? Wrong! We were warned on the flight that it would get a bit bumpy towards Sydney, which it did but we weren't told that the plane had been struck by lightening until after we landed (although I had seen the flash). The rain was torrential but it was good to see our friends who came to pick us up and take us back to their house. The next day dawned grey and damp, but hey it was Melbourne Cup Day when everybody in Australia buys a newspaper, studies form and queues to place a bet on their fancied horse. They then get dressed up in best frocks, hats and shoes (and that's just the men.....) and have parties, go out to lunch, go anywhere where they can cheer their horse home. After placing our bets we were taken on a drive around the headlands and beaches around Mona Vale (not far from where Home and Away was filmed). Absolutely beautiful, even in the poor weather – golden sands, white surf. We were taken to Pittwater – a beautiful place for sailing – full of boats and hidden views. We then made our way, via Palm Beach to the RSL (Returned Services League) Club. We had a very good lunch and then watched the race on the big TV (one of my horses came second and Jeremy came second in our five person sweepstake).

The Blueys

We also had a really special day when we were taken up to the “Blueys”, the Blue Mountains, by our friends. What a fabulous day. The hazy blue effect due apparently to the finely dispersed droplets of oil from the many oil bearing Eucaplyptus trees (Blue Gum) which when combined with dust particles and water vapour appear blue. We also saw Scribbly Gum Trees which look for all the world as though somebody has scribbled in biro all over the trunk. We went down “The Steepest Railway In The World”, walked through the rainforest, where we saw two Lyrebirds intent on courtship, then back up the cable car. We also took a cable car ride across the valley and back – the car had a partial glass bottom which was a bit unnerving.... ( ). We then had "a nice cup of tea" in the cafe at the top, sadly no parrots - they seem to have deserted the feeders put out for them.

The Sun Shone.... briefly

Wednesday – woken by raucous laughing Kookaburras to warmth and sunshine! It is an amazing sound and one that we grew to know and love - although the jury is out as to whether we liked the Kookaburra itself - a bit like our Seagulls they can be quite aggressive. However we very much enjoyed our first experience of the laughing Kookaburra, especially as it accompanied some sunny weather!

Sculptures By The Sea Exhibition

We spent the day around Bondi Beach taking in the Sculptures By The Sea Exhibition – interesting, and lovely to feel the sun on our faces again. The next few days got damp again and C O L D – we were wearing fleeces indoors.

The Famous Manly Ferry

We did have a couple more good warm days though and on one we took the ferry from Manly across the harbour, past the Opera House and the Bridge to land in the middle of Sydney. It is amazing to see these iconic structures for real – we took hundreds of photographs, thank heaven for digital cameras! A good day was had by both of us – a bit of sightseeing and then Jeremy to the Maritime Museum, me to the shops!

It's a Birds Life

I am fascinated by the bird life - flocks of white Cockatoos that fly noisily back to their roosts at night making an unholy racket, flocks of beautiful pink Galahs scattered over grassland pecking away, often with the white Cockatoos and flocks of highly colourful Lorikeets in every tree and bush - quite amazing.

Uninvited Guests for Lunch

The closest encounter was by the gloriously colourful and totally unafraid King Parrots which made several visits to our friend's deck and would take seed from our hands.

I am wary of spiders and snakes but, so far, haven't seen any... long may it continue...

After a lovely week we got the flight up to Brisbane to stay with Jeremy's rellies - and, crikey... it's warm!

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author avatar Songbird B
6th May 2011 (#)

I am a dedicated follower, Brixham Kiwi...Beautiful article, gorgeous photos, and I love your humour too. Really enjoyable share....

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author avatar amberdextrous
7th Oct 2011 (#)

Another wonderful read, Brixham Kiwi -and especially nice to read such a positive account from a Kiwi visitor to my country.

And congratulations on the wonderful photographs -Thank Heaven -and Sony, etc- for digital cameras, indeed!

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author avatar Funom Makama
9th Oct 2011 (#)

Great article. Reading a piece like this makes me feel lucky to be part of this community. Keep up with the good work.

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author avatar Rose*
28th Nov 2013 (#)

It sounds like you had a fab time.

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