A very belated happy new year to everyone. Hope you all had a great Christmas and new year.
We had a lovely Christmas with our parents and family friends on Melbourne. We had a slap up dinner with lobster, prawns, oysters as well as the usual turkey with pleanty of great wine. We showd my parents around the City and had agreat few days out.
We had dinner on an old tram which drove us round the city. The price inculded all your drinks, so needless to say we all made the most of that. We went to Phillip Island to see the penguins and seals but the bush fires in Victoria were so bad we couldn't see anything for the smoke.
Unfortunatley we had the coldest Christamas day on record. We had really bad weather while we were in Melbourne.
After Christmas we drove to Sydney with my parents following behind. We stopped off at Canberra, the Oz capital to see the sights but we were glad we only stayed for one night as it was a bit boring and had no atmosphere at all. We arrived in Sydney on new years eve, we checked into a lovely hotel not far from Bondi beech. The city was heaving with people trying to find a good spot for the fireworks. We bought our own drinks and food and got a really good spot on top of a hill over looking the harbour bridge. On the way up there we bumped into Phil Tuffnell. I got my photo taken with him, Liam said he was embarassed hehe. The wait for the fireworks was worth it, they were amazing.
We spent a day up in the blue mountains which was beautiful and a day seeing the sights in the city. We spent new years day sailing around the harbour in the sunshine and had afew drinks in the opear bar. We really like Sydney, one of our favourite citys in Oz.
After waving goodbye to my parents we drove to Byron Bay which is a really cool little surfing town. We spent a few days on the beach watching the amazing surfing before driving to Surfers Paradise. We didn't really like it that much there, it's like Blackpool but hotter, lots of high rise buildings. We met up with some friends who we worked with in Margaret River, Val and Andy. We all went to an amazing water park for the day, very good fun, we were all like big kids.
We drove to Brisbane to spend a few nights there. We really liked it although many people we have spoken to really don't. It is a very new city. Only 100 years old so there is no history here really. The four of us booked up to go to Fraser Island and the Whitsundays together.
Fraser Island was the first. We had to go to a little place called Rainbow beach where they put you into groups of 11 and give you the 4 wheel drive with all the camping gear and enough food for 3 days. It was a self drive tour so they gave us a map and everyone took turns to drive who wanted to drive. Liam drove but I didn't, loads of people were getting stuck in the sand but we didn't get stuck once which we were very proud of. You can't swim in the sea on Fraser because the waters are shark infested!!!! There are two fresh water lakes and a lovely fresh water creek which is crystal clear. We went to all of them over the three days which was a good job as there are no toilets or showers on the island. We would set up camp early evening and cook dinner which was a nightmare because we had a really anoying couple in our group (you always get one) but we met a great couple from Cork so we cooked the food together. We camped in tents because of the Dingos which can be dangerous, but it would have been good to sleep under the stars because they were amazing, the best stars I have ever seen.
We were glad to get back to Rainbow beech for a shower. We had two days to do 800km to Arlie beech to catch our boat to the Whitsundays. We just about did it, we arrived in rain so we were a little disapointed and hoped the weather would pick up. Our boat was called the Tongara which was a cateraman, there were 23 of us on board which was alot better than some of the other boats which hold 40 - 60 people. The crew said the weather wasn't in our favor and it did rain the first evening as we were sailing out. We could all sleep on deck if we wanted to but some of us eneded up going under to get a dry bed. The next day we had a big shower of rain in the morning then the sun came out and stayed out for the rest of our trip so eveyones spirits picked up and we all had a great time. We went snorkling twice on the Barrier Reef which was amazing. The fish and coral are so colourful. Unfortunatley alot of the coral is dead because people stand on it and beacause of global warming, the crew told us that the great barrier reef will be gone in ten years if things keep going the way they are which is really sad. Luckily we didn't see any sharks although we were told they were out there. We had to wear stinger suits bacause of the box jellyfish which are deadly. The suits were like wet suits but thinner, not the most flattering things in the world.
We got off the boat yesterday and left out friends to go back down south. I have still got my sea legs on, feel a bit wobbly. We drove up to Cairns today. We will spend a few days around here and hopefully meet up with a few other friends. We can go crocodile spotting on the Diantree river so I hope to so that soon. We will be heading back down to Brisbane soon to sell our van in time for us to fly to New Zealand on 03/03/07.
We have put photos on up until Sydney, we will add the rest soon.
Keep in touch we would love to hear from you all.
Love Carey and Liam xxx