Hi all, hope everyone is well!
We've just made it to Brisbane for our last few days in Oz...
On Saturday we arrived in Brisbane from Noosa and had a walk around town, then out for an 'award winning' curry in the evening. That day we got caught in the crowds of the Welsh fans coming to watch themselves getting stuffed in the rugby bythe wallabies. After thinking there's not much to do in the city, we got ourselves out for a cruise on sunday on the river, saw story bridge, some high rise buildings, some cliffs at kangeroo point, about eveything there is to see! the we went for a stroll along the south bank of the river, over the goodwill bridge to the botanical gardens, then over to chinatown for dinner, then a long walk back to the hostel!
On monday we drove south and stopped the night in Port Macquarie - about halfway to Sydney. A very small town, we didnt have much time to see the sights either.
On tuesday we left Port Macquarie and took the scenic route south, got some brilliant views from on top of middle brother mountain(named by capt cook) of the coast north and south of 'Port'. the we continued south to out hostel in Sydney, staying in Kanga House hostel in Kings Cross. the hostel had brilliant views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge - after a long drive that night we were very lazy and stayed in with a pizza!
To make up for this lapse in activity, we got up on wednesday with newfound vigour and climbed to the top of the harbour bridge (not cheap but well worthit for the views and the experience) - luckily the weather held out and we didnt get rained on!- after the climb we headed down and saw botanic gardens, mrs macquaries chair, the opera house, darling harbour, circular quay, the rocks, the aquarium (lots of sharks and seals and reef fish) - past the fountains by the exhibition centre the to chinatown (again!) for dinner..... yvie loved the sezchuan squid and tom had some nice crispy peking beef.
on thursday we woke up and realised that the heavens had opened overnight, and were nowhere near closing... after dillying and dallying around we gave up waiting and put on the rain coats for the first time and braved the weather, went out and realised that nobody walks in australia when its raining - apart from us and a few other backpackers too cheap to get a cab! we went up tyhe museum about the building of the bridge in one of the stone pylons, the satisfied our taste for fish and chips after seeing so many fish in the aquarium yesterday, by going for fish and chips in circular quay in the city extra restarant tom remembers from years ago for having an angry aboriginal man outside - this time the men were happy and playing lots of music whilst we ate! in the afternoon we walked into the central shopping district then headed back before more rain started.
On friday we left sydney. on the way out of town, we thought it would be nice to see Bondi Beach, and as the weather seemed ok we drove out. of course, as we got near a beach (as it always seems to) the rain began. we thought we would be brave and have a look anyway, and then got so battered by the wind blowing sand into our faces, we didnt see much of the beach at all! Afterwards, we set south to Jamberoo to see Harry and Mary (friends of Toms parents from uni days!). again, we had rain all afternoon, which is bad for us but good for everyone else who were running short of water - Harry had two full water tanks so we could even have a shower! we went down and saw the new house of Mary's friend Helga - which is bigger than several palaces! that night we went down to the sports club for dinner with all the family, and just a few beers and bottles of wine, before setting of to the famous jamberoo pub with simon, shawn and ally.
On saturday, after recovering for a case of the sore heads, Simon (the youngest son) took us around the sights of Jamberoo and region - the blowhole in Kiama, Kiama headlands, Saddleback mountain, and up around the minnamurra rainforst to Minnamurra Falls - luckily for the time in the rainforest the rain held up - before starting again in a torrent as soon as we got back to the visitors centre. the rest of the afternoon was a bit of a washout, so we sat in and started working through clare's dvd collection, and the started on the wine again....
On Sunday we had to head south as the car needed to be back in melbourne for tuesday, so we started off down the highway ( with a quick stop in the famous robertson pie shop for lunch). On the way south we stopped in Canberra for a tour around the parliamnet house - very nice impressive new building, and a good informative tour. the we thought as the sun was still up and we didnt feel like driving all the way to melbourne the next day we would head south a bit, and ended up in a nice clean friendly motel in a small town called Gundagai just off the freeway.
Today we finished off that journey south, and arrived in Melbourne this evening, after driving a total of 4411km in 23 days (an avg of 191km/day) ready to drop the car off tomorrow morning. Parking was a mission but after searching the streets finally found a resting point for the night - but will have to get up early tomorrow to feed the meter :( found a nice hotel above a pub in chinatown (again!!!!) in the city centre, and came to this internet cafe to update you all). The plan for the next few days is to relax and sight see, see where the wind blows us, before flying to Fiji on friday evening!
And incase you heard, there have been some terrible floods in New South Wales, north of Sydney - luckily we missed the worst of it by a few days and havent been affected other than the odd wet day.
Hope you're all keeping well,
nice to see some messages on the board- keep them coming!
Yvette and Tom