Australia, United Kingdom · 22 Days · 16 Moments · November 2017

Julie's tour through Australia


3 December 2017

In the evening we took a walk back down the esplanade and found a lovely restaurant we sat right on the edge with a lovely view of the marina! It was really nice food and cocktails! We have got our trip to Karunda tomorrow so another early start! So we walked back to the apartment and had an early night.
We arrived in cairns and checked into our apartment...it was late so we decided to go to bed it had been a long day with all of the traveling! In the morning we took a walk along the esplanade and had some breakfast by the sea! It’s lovely along the coast here but it is a wildlife sanctuary so you cannot go down on the beach, we saw pelicans and loads of crabs! There were also signs warning of crocodiles...we decided to hire a car and look for a beach we could lie on and go in the sea! We headed up to palm cove which was a lovely beach about 40 mins from Cairns, we had lunch in a little cafe on the front and it turned out to be run by a British guy! They had stinger nets here and that area was patrolled by loads of lifeguards so me and Mum were brave and went in the sea! You can’t come all this way and not go in the sea can you! It was lovely so warm! And we didn’t see any crocodiles thankfully! Later we drove up to Port Douglas it was a nice little town & a lovely beach view!

27 November 2017

Our journey continued and we stopped at the cannon ball run memorial, in 1992 there was an accident with a Japanese competitor which killed them and their passenger and two marshals, after that they did not allow anymore events in this area. We stopped just after this at a petrol station for lunch, I bought an aboriginal paining for my living room and we saw some emus! We also saw a road train which is a truck with 3 trailers...dad was very excited by this! Our journey continued and the last stop was at rainbow valley, it was pretty but I think it would have been more stunning if it had been sunny. We continued onwards to Alice Springs, we saw the flying doctors and arrived at the airport. It was time to say goodbye to the outback and hello to Cairns!

25 November 2017

Saturday was a big day! We set off for our last leg across the outback to Alice Springs where we had a flight over to Cairns...so we couldn’t be late! There was quite a bit more to see on this leg of the journey! About half of the journey this time was on a sand road which was quite exciting! Our first stop was at a meteor site! It was pretty cool, it’s called the henbury meteor site and its basically a huge crater where a meteor hit thousands of years ago with a few smaller ones around it where bits flew off! The meteor was only the size of 100 litre fuel drum but the crater is huge! So it must have hit the earth with some force! It was cool to walk around it! Felt a bit like walking on the surface of the moon!

24 November 2017

Just outside Kings Canyon we took a walk to Katrina Springs, it was baking hot but it was a nice walk through to a watering hole! We got to the hotel and checked in, grabbed a much needed shower and then headed up to the helipad for a helicopter ride over the canyon! It was a much smaller helicopter than I had been in Sweden but we had headsets that you could talk on which was good! It was a lady pilot and she gave us a tour of the canyon and told us lots about it! It was amazing to see it from the air! The helicopter was a bit bouncy but I was ok! Me and Mum came back to the hotel and went to the bar to get a drink and some WiFi! There is no phone service or WiFi available here, it’s quite cut off! So it was nice to chill with a cold cider and see what’s going on in the world! Dad went to the rim walk at kings canyon.
There are parts of Uluru that can’t be pictured, it’s sacred to the Anangu people (local aboriginal community) they ask that you only keep a mental image...I kind of like that...I don’t think we do that enough anymore! Always experiencing things through the screen of a phone. They also ask that you do not climb the rock, in their culture it is a coming of age thing to climb the rock and is reserved for a boy coming of age to a man, to them this is to do with a learning and understanding process as I understand it once this is reached the boy becomes a man and can then climb the rock. This is the only time it should be climbed. When we told people that we were coming to Ayres Rock almost everyone said ‘oh you can’t climb it now’ or ‘you need to climb it quick they are closing it’ the fact is you can climb it, they have even put a chain up the side of it to help people climb it. But the Anangu people ask you not to, so we didn’t. Thankfully they will take the chain out in 2020.
It was an early start on Thursday morning! 4am but it was worth it! We watched the sun rising while having a breakfast muffin and a cup of coffee beside Uluru...it was great to get on a Segway again, they are such amazing things! I was hoping it would be just like getting back on a bike because it’s been a few years since I’ve been on one...and it was! Our tour guide Scott was pretty mental but very entertaining! It was a really fun tour and amazing to see the whole way around the rock! Which I just don’t think we would have done otherwise...it would probably have taken us all day to walk. We learned about how the rock was formed...the area used to be a basin and was underwater, the rock is a sedimentary rock which built up under the water, it is predominantly sandstone...there was a big earthquake that caused the plates to move and the rock to turn on its side and pile up through the surface! This is why the lines run vertically and it’s believe most of the rock is still underground.
As soon as we landed in Uluru you could tell that this was somewhere special, some place like no other! Surrounded by red sand desert we made our way to the hotel! The hotels are commercially owned but they have done it in a really un-invasive way, everything is simplistic and functional and that just feels like it fits well with the surroundings. We dropped our bags and freshened up and then headed out to Katu Tjuta ‘the Olgas’ these rocks are a similar makeup to Uluru ‘Ayres Rock’ but they are a very different shape. We did two walks one around the rocks and the other into a crevasse in between the rocks! It’s was around 40 degrees so really hot and had to drink lots of water along the way but it was amazing to see and I was shocked how many plants and flowers are actually growing on it when it appears to be so barren.
On Friday morning we got up early again just to catch one last glimpse of the sun rising over Uluru, it looks so much richer red in the sunrise! We had breakfast and then began our journey across the outback to Kings Canyon! I was surprised how good the road was! But there was literally nothing most of the way! It’s pretty much un-inhabited, just lots of lovely scenery and a few wild camels, cows and horses! We stopped at mount Connah also known as fool-uru as from a distance it does look a bit like Uluru! It’s very flat on the top! It almost looks like the ground has risen up! The next stop was kings creek station, you can have a camel burger here! I wasn’t brave enough though! There was a lovely cockatoo outside in the tree, some people came along and thought it was funny to take him out of the tree and then when they couldn’t get him back in they just left him on the floor! Poor bird! I went over to see him after and he said ‘hello’ in ever such a sweet voice!

23 November 2017

After the Segway tour we stopped for some lunch at the square and booked an astronomy tour for later tonight! Then we went to the cultural centre, it was interesting to read about the aboriginal culture and there is an art centre there where we saw some Anangu ladies doing some traditional aboriginal art and dot paintings! From there we went back to the hotel and had a well deserved swim! The temp was now up to 40 degrees! Glad we did our tour first thing in the morning or we would be scorched! In the evening we went on the astronomy tour! They led us out into the desert where they had seats set up and two big telescopes! Almost as soon as we sat down I saw the biggest shooting star ive ever seen! They told us all about the stars in the Southern Hemisphere and showed us some of them up close in the telescope! It was amazing! At the end they focused the telescope on the moon and took an amazing picture on my phone! I was shocked how bright it was and all the craters that you could see

22 November 2017

In the evening we went to catch the sunset from the sunset lookout point! The rock looks so Red in the sunset. Afterwards we went on the ‘Field of Light’ tour, this is made up of thousands of fibre optic lamps like flowers on a stem, it stretches for miles and is an amazing sight to behold! It was created by a British artist Bruce Munro and the flowers/lamps were actually made in the UK and shipped over to Australia to be installed. It was amazing to walk amongst the field, it was windy do the lamps were swaying and it felt pretty magical! The only downside was that it was difficult to get a photograph that was anywhere near a representation of how amazing it looked but I guess I’ll just have to save that as a mental image!
On the final morning in Coffs before flying back to Sydney we had some pictures on the balcony, one last banana bread breakfast in the Coffee House! A quick look around the shops, then off to the jetty! We grabbed an hour on the beach and then had lunch on the balcony of the yachtie club restaurant such a beautiful view from there, sat in the sunshine enjoying a nice glass of white wine! We will be really sad to say goodbye to Coffs, so many happy times there!

20 November 2017

After the rally was over and we had said our goodbyes to Anna, Holly, Jan and Mick, with a tear in our eyes and a lump in our throat we went off on a little trip! It was the best idea to take our minds off it and also make the most of our last full day in Coffs. We went to the old butter factory at Bellingen and looked around all of the handmade shops, I bought two necklaces and dad bought an Aussie hat ready for the outback! Mum thinks it makes him look like crocodile Dundee hehe. We carried on to Dangar Falls, they were lovely it was also a lovely drive up to them! We walked down as far as me and Mum dared as it looked a bit snakey for us! Dad carried on to the bottom of the falls and there he saw a massive 4ft long lizard! So we were glad we had stayed halfway down! We carried on up the mountain and visited the rainforest sky walk! This was well worth a visit! It was amazing to walk out onto this platform and see the vast rainforest all around you! Loads of birds etc.

14 November 2017

We landed in Sydney on Saturday evening, after a quick taxi to the hotel to drop the bags we went to meet mums school friend Donata in Mascot, we have some nice Italian food and coffee and caught up, it was a lovely evening. On Sunday we got up nice and early, hired a car and headed over to Birkenhead Point, me and Mum love the outlets there, so many bargains! I bought lots from my favourite shop Witchery and loads of Havianas plus two pairs of shoes from Nine West as my size was half off the already reduced price so they were a bargain!! In the afternoon we headed over to Bondi Beach, we went around the handmade market, which I just love! I bought some jewellery and me and Mum bought some wide brim hats ready for our trip to the outback later this month. After a nice lunch with a sea view and a bit more shopping in the bondi shop we chilled on the beach for a few hours. In the evening we headed over to Darling Harbour and had a lovely steak and cocktail with a view of the harbour.
We had a great week in Coffs, we stayed at Pacific Towers again and enjoyed the most wonderful view you will ever get from a hotel room, if I woke up to that view everyday for the rest of my life I would still never tire of it! One morning we even saw dolphins out in the sea! We went up to Emerald Beach on Tuesday evening and saw the kangaroos again, I’ve done this a few times now but I still find it so exciting to see them in their natural habitat, bouncing around! It’s just something that we never get to see anywhere else! Took loads of pictures as always but got a lovely one of a kangaroo with a joey in the pouch so I have attached that one in this post as it’s my favourite! The views were stunning so many beautiful beaches around Coffs coast!

12 November 2017