Australia Miscellaneous II
Australia Miscellaneous II
We are about to get on a plane back to the U.S., and I can’t believe our 6 month stay is coming to an end. It’s been a great trip, and there has not been a day that has gone by without me realizing how lucky we were to have this opportunity to see Australia. I’ve been asked what has been our favorite place in this country, and it’s been very hard to find just one place or thing that we love more over all else, but here are some of the highlights:
There is a lot of rivalry between the capital cities in Australia, but I feel Sydney wins with one of the most memorable skylines often dominated by its Opera House or Harbour Bridge. Even if you’ve never been to this part of the world, pictures of these landmarks tell you where you are. Sydneysiders should be proud of their beautiful city.
Little known to Americans, the Blue Mountains are only two hours outside of Sydney, and yet feel miles away from any city. It was here that we first experienced how much wide open the land was in Australia. Looking down from this escarpment, we saw how thousands of acres of forest could only be explored by hiking in!
We saw thousands of miles of beaches in Australia, and almost every one of them was spectacular. From the east coast beaches facing the Pacific Ocean…
To the West Coast beaches facing the Indian Ocean, Australians are very lucky to have great access to the ocean. Every town we stopped at facing an ocean had great beach access, plenty of parking, and hardly ever were they crowded. Australians barely comprehend when I explain that in New York City, it’s over an hour’s drive to a decent beach, and it’s filled wall to wall with people on summer weekends. If you you love the beach, live in Australia!
Speaking of the Ocean, the Great Ocean Road between Melbourne and Adelaide is definitely worth driving. You’ll find beautiful windswept beaches, fantastic rock formations rising out of the sea, and ancient rain forests all along this coastal drive. Truly a worthwhile adventure.
Near Adelaide is the Barossa Valley which is a world renowned wine making region, and also a very pretty area to visit. It was a nice break from all the ocean scenery to see some flat farm land!
Speaking of flat, we loved spending time in the “Red Center” of Australia. Summer may not have been the best time to visit, but we experienced true Australian heat while visiting. The natural scenery is like no other place in the world, and will forever be imprinted on my mind.
The spectacular coastline continued on the west coast, south of Perth, but inland was also some beautiful farm country. We especially loved the Margaret River area with it’s good food, quiet little farm communities, and great beaches. As the rest of Australia learns of this place, I don’t think it’s going to remain quiet for long!
As silly as it sounds, shearing sheep in the Grampians was definitely a highlight! We did it at a real shearing shed, not some tourist attraction, and gave me some great insight to an industry that helped build Australia!
Every scene in Tasmania reminded you how far south you were in the world. Sitting on the Southern Ocean, it was a beautiful windswept land. And the roads…great driving!
Queensland offered us a glimpse into the Great Barrier Reef, an attraction of a lifetime. We swam among the coral that formed the largest living organism in the world, making us feel pretty insignificant. Queenslanders also showed us their great state set in the warmth of the tropics. We were spoiled by all the beautiful weather waking every morning and saying “Ho, Hum, Another Beautiful Day!”
These are some of the highlights of our trip, but certainly not the only ones because I didn’t even mention New Zealand! In each post I made in the last 6 months there was always something that I enjoyed, and this trip truly was a trip of a lifetime. We’ve been told many times by Australians that we’ve seen more of Australia than most Australians, but we’re not done! We never made it to north west coast towards Broome, and the the area around Darwin, but we plan to come back someday to see some more.
Australia was everything and more I had hoped for on this trip. The people are the friendliest you’ll find in the world, and once you get to know them better, they easily become friends for life! That will probably be the one thing I’ll miss the most, but I hope this was only the first of many times I’ll be back because it’s too beautiful of a country to only see once!
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