Trip Start Jan 25, 2006
14Trip End Jul 20, 2006
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Hope everyone is well. When we left you last we were leaving Brisbane after catching up with Rox & Bob. After this we started our travels down to the Australian Rivera of the gold coast. Our first port of call was Surfers Paradise. We thought that the beach was lovely, but it was too built up for us. Billy topped up his tan whilst I gently cooked to a nice red consistency. We headed further down to Palm beach where we stayed overnight. The weather was still hot during the day, but cooling down at night.
We were very excited about our next destination of Byron Bay as we had heard alot about it from other people. We did love it. The whole atmosphere is very chilled with lots of hippies. We spent two days chilling out on the beach and I had a two hour relaxation therapy which consisted of a 1hr massage and 1 hr in the float tank
After recharging our batteries we started the long journey towards Coffs Harbour. We arrived in the evening and went for a walk around the town. We stayed in a campsite right next to the main highway. The next morning we were rudely awoken by a huge crash. A driver had nodded off at the wheel and smashed into a tree head on no more than 15 foot from our van. Within seconds there were loads of people helping and therefore we decided to take the best view from the back window of our van. Hopefully he was ok as he was cut out of the car, but was still conscious. A very dramatic wake up!
We headed off to Dorrigo National Park and drove to Dangar falls. We did a walk through rainforest and under some lovely waterfalls. From here we drove to Nambucca Heads and then onto Port Macquarie which we really liked as the town and harbour were lovely. We walked along the harbour at dusk.
The next day we stopped at some small national parks to do short walks and carried on to Port Stephens
The next day we were very excited as we were heading down towards Sydney. We decided to go to Manly (a beach on the north coast of Sydney). We really liked it here but found out that there were no campsites. So after getting Billy some surfer dude shorts we headed up to Narabeen for five days of luxury camping (further up the north coast).
We headed out early the next day and familiarised ourselves with public transport by getting the bus into the city. The weather was beauitful with the sun shining and 24 degrees every day. We were greeted with the sight of the harbour bridge and the opera house which was not disapointing. We decided to get the ferry over to Watson's Bay to sample the best fish and chips in town at Doyles. They were great and we walked them off after on the coastal track up to 'the gap'. We then got another ferry to the Olympic Village to see the site of the 2000 Olympics
Late afternoon we headed back into the city for a chinese meal in chinatown, followed by a look at the skyline at night. We finally crawled into bed after 12pm, which is late for us!
The next day we visited the 'Rocks' region of Sydney which is where the colonial settlers first made there homes. We walked over the harbour bridge for great views and then went to the Sydney Observatory. After a quick lunch we headed to the Opera House for a guided tour, much to Billy's disgust! This was very informative and Billy actually enjoyed it. It inspired us to get tickets for the next evening for a performance of 'Jazz meets Symphony' in the main concert hall.
That eveing we went to Sydney aquarium to see sharks , platypus and penguins amongst other fish and mammals. We rounded off the evening with a bbq dinner in Cockle Bay Wharf on Darling Harbour.
We walked around the botanic gardens the next morning, getting some good pictures of the harbour
The next morning we decided to unwind with a beach day. We travelled in to Bondi Beach where we sunbathed for a couple of hours before doing the coastal walk to Coogee. We went back to the campsite for dinner and then headed to the local cinema to see Mission Impossible 3 which we thought was cr*p!
Our journey finally took us away from Sydney and out to the Blue Mountains National Park
The next morning we battled to get our limbs working and headed to scenic world to travel on the steepest railway in the world to the bottom of the blue mountains. We did a 15km walk which incorporated over 3000 steps (1300 of which were in a row uphill!). Obviously we didn't realise this before we started and heard many comments of 'mad brits' as we merrily climbed them. After this we did the rainforest boardwalk before catching the cableway back up the top. That night in order to warm up we went for hot drinks and decided that we deserved a dominos pizza. Freezing cold night again!
The next day we headed inland to Canberra. I was very excited as our first port of call was the 'Institute of Sport'. We were given a guided tour by a resident sportsman and we got to play in the interactive room. Obviously both Billy and I were like kids wanting to beat each other in basketball and taking penalties, etc. We also went to the Anzac Memorial museum which was extremely informative and moving. We had a quick look around Canberra, but were not impressed and therefore decided to move on.
Our journey is then continuing around the coast to Melbourne which we will inform you of on our next installment. Hope everyone is well and take care,
Billy and Sarah xxx