Sair and Chris on the move
We got a 7am bus on Wednesday from Sydney that got to Newcastle at 9.35am. Wasn't that long really but was an early start so I ended up falling asleep! The buses are nice - spacious and air conditioned so think we'll be ok on them. The rest of that day was spent wandering around Newcastle. We went for a coffee on the sea front and wandered along the beach briefly. The wind is so strong here, it's pretty hard to wander so we just got blown down the front! It's a lovely beach and the hostel is AMAZING. The lounge is huge with leather sofas, there is a grand staircase leading upstairs and our room is big with a sea view. We were very impressed with YHA. Yesterday was POURING all day but we didn't care because we spent the day on a wine tasting tour which was organised with the hostel. Tex, one of the hostel receptionists was the driver and he was great fun. He pointed out landmarks on the way and made us all have a good laugh throughout the day. We visited 5 vineyards and 1 cheese factory and it was fantastic! There were only 5 of us in the group in total so it was a good size. We all got on well so and even better after 50 different wines! All in all we had a good day to remember. We made a few purchases as we fell in love with a GORGEOUS dessert wine! The other purchase was a bottle of white wine which we are going to enjoy with our next curry as we were told it is a good accompaniment! The tasters were so enthusiastic and knowledgeable, we learnt a lot! The rain never stopped and the winds were apparently 100km an hour so it was a pretty miserable day but we certainly made the best of it! Today was a bit brighter so we decided to have a wander around Newcastle shops (the few of them) and another wander down the front. The sea was really rough so there were lots of fishermen out and the fish they were catching were huge! Was great to experience! This afternoon we got the bus to a wildlife reserve, Blackbutt, which is free to get into. We saw koalas (that are as cuddly looking as on the photos), kangaroos, beautiful peacocks, wallabies and emus! It was amazing as it was so quiet - we didn't meet another person! We got some good photos so will put them onto the website soon! We're now popping out for tea tonight to a place where we can get steak and a beer for $10! We've packed up and are ready to move onto our next destination, Port Macquarie where we are staying for 3 nights.We're staying in another YHA so we're hoping it's as nice as here! Our bus in 9.35am and we are due to arrive in Port Macquarie about 1pm! Oh and we've now booked our WHOLE trip so we can now concentrate on enjoying ourselves and we're doing well with money! We've booked a lot of YHA hostels as we have heard so many good reviews from other people and this hostel in Newcastle is so nice we assume they are all similar standards.