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This is Topic: Australia
Following are the News Items published under this Topic.


 Leaving Sydney...
Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - 09:34 AM (GMT)

Australia





Leaving Sydney

Manly is home to Simon 'Spiff' Reed, who we met on Beachcomber Island in Fiji, so we headed over on the ferry for a few schooners of ale.
Spiff has been working over here as a construction consultant for the last 9 months and hails from Playa Del Preston, oop North.


After a few beers at the Manly Wharf Hotel, we headed over to Spiff's local, The Steyne.
It was great to catch up with him again and hopefully will meet up when he's over in the UK this summer.

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 New Years Eve - Sydney
Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - 09:18 AM (GMT)

Australia





New Years Eve

After getting stocked up on picnic food, we headed over to Mrs McQuaries Point. We were there around 1ish and the queue was unbelievable.
There was a strict no bring your own alcohol policy and they really were enforcing it apparently.

We started to drink the wine we'd thought we'd able to smuggle in, whilst in the queue. I managed to hide the wine well enough for it not to spotted, the others weren't so lucky though.
The 4 litre box lasted about an hour and then it was back and forth to the bar from then on.

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 Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - 08:54 AM (GMT)

Australia







Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

Christmas Eve was very different this year - it was 30 degrees for a start!

We went out with Pip and Rodg (who we'd met in the YHA) and headed straight to the Scubar, who were having a Christmas Orphans party.
We were given presents of Chistmas hats and after a few beers, decided to head out down George Street and show them off.

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 Sydney - Second time around
Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - 08:46 AM (GMT)

Australia






Wednesday 22nd December - Friday 7th January [ Sydney ]

We'd heard that GMTV were doing a live link from Mrs McQuaries's Chair in Sydney, so we made a banner and headed up there.
We were amazed at how many people were there already and it was difficult to get towards the front. We 'think' we were on the TV as the cameras were on us a few times.
It's been taped for us, so we'll have to watch it and see if we spot ourselves.

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 Canberra & John and Laraine's
Friday, January 21, 2005 - 08:16 AM (GMT)

Australia





Friday 17th December - Sunday 19th December [ Canberra ]

We left Melbourne and headed inland to Australia's capital, Canberra. A lot of people had said there's not much there, but we'd decided to go and see it anyway.

There wasn't that much to do, but we liked the place. We had a look at the parliament buildings and also the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, which has stood on the grounds in front of the parliament house for 27 years.

After spending an hour or so in the shopping mall, we set off for the 300Km journey to John and Laraine's in Sydney.

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 Neighbours Tour & Meet The Stars night
Thursday, January 20, 2005 - 02:45 AM (GMT)

Australia





Monday 13th December 2004 [ Neighbours tour and Meet The Stars night ]

Neighbours is filmed in Melbourne, so we just had to go and see Ramsey Street and Erinsborough High.

There's also a 'Meet The Stars' event every Monday night at the Elephant and Wheelbarrow in St. Kilda, so we booked the tour for Monday to coincide with the 'Meet The Stars' night.



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 Melbourne & St. Kilda
Wednesday, January 19, 2005 - 10:03 AM (GMT)

Australia




Wednesday 8th December 2004 - Friday 17th December 2004 [ Melbourne & St. Kilda ]

We had a lazy few days at the YHA in North Melbourne, spending 1 entire day watching 4 films ( The Castle, The Craic, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and something starring Ben Stiller ).

The car had to get it's rego (road tax) sorted out, so we did that in Melbourne as it's much easier to sort out in the state of Victoria. Different states, different rules.

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 Great Ocean Road & Cape Otway
Wednesday, January 19, 2005 - 09:56 AM (GMT)

Australia







Saturday 4th December 2004 - Tuesday 7th December 2004 [ Great Ocean Road & Cape Otway ]

We drove from Adelaide to Robe, where we spent the night and then onto Warrnambool for the next night. Warrnambool is the start of one of the world's most spectacular drives, the Great Ocean Road.
It's a road by the ocean and it's great.

After stopping at The Grotto, Loch Ard Gorge and London Bridge, we finally got to the Twelve Apostles. You can only actually see seven of these amazing rock stacks from the viewing points, so you feel a tad cheated.

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 Adelaide and the Barossa Valley
Wednesday, January 19, 2005 - 03:46 AM (GMT)

Australia






Friday 26th November 2004 [ Coober Pedy - Quorn ]

Our days in the outback are getting less and less. In just a couple of days, we'd be back in the big smoke of the cities.
Adelaide would be the first major city we've been to in weeks.

The drive to Adelaide was a little too much, so we decided to head to Quorn for the night and to do the short hop to Adelaide the next day.

250Km south of Coober Pedy, we stopped at Glendambo to refuel. A sign said : "Welcome to Glendambo. Population... Sheep - 22,500. Flies - 2,000,000. Humans - 30." That pretty much describes it!

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 Mail Run - Coober Pedy
Monday, January 17, 2005 - 06:20 AM (GMT)

Australia





Thursday 25th November 2004 - The Coober Pedy Mail Run

The night before we'd met a group of travellers at the hostel, one of which was from oop North and knew a few people who we did. Small world eh?
After, stupidly, consuming way too much beer and wine, we weren't the eager beavers we should've been in the morning.

The mail run left at 08:00 and armed with a big bottle of water and a box of paracetamol we jumped aboard the custom built 4WD OKA van.

We had to cover over 600Km today and as Thursday is also fresh food day, we had a bit more to deliver.

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 Coober Pedy
Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 07:00 AM (GMT)

Australia








Monday 22nd November 2004 - Friday 26th November 2004

After the crossing the NT border into South Australia, we were now bound by speed limits and 110Km/h felt like we were crawling along. I heard a huge sigh of relief from Joo, when she saw the 110Km/h sign!

Nothing can prepare you for your first climpse of Coober Pedy on the way in. You feel like you've stumbled onto the set of Mad Max. In fact, Mad Max was filmed here, so that's probably why I felt like that!
They also shot Ground Zero here, a film about trying to end the world with atomic weapons. That should give you some idea of the place.



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 Uluru (Ayers Rock)
Friday, January 14, 2005 - 02:12 PM (GMT)

Australia







Friday 19th November 2004 - Monday 22nd November 2004

Turning off the Stuart Highway, we headed west along the Lasseter Highway towards Uluru for 250Kms. Quite a lonely stretch of road considering that it's the only road to Uluru.

We noticed a very big red rock and being the eager souls that we are, we mistook it for Uluru. A clearer view and a sign told us it was Mount Conner.
Just a cheap imitation and was probably put there to ease the boredom of the drive to Uluru.

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 Alice Springs
Friday, January 14, 2005 - 02:07 PM (GMT)

Australia







Tuesday 16th November - Friday 19th November 2004

Alice Springs, with a population of 25,000, is going to be a sprawling metropolis after some of the towns we've recently been to. 'The Alice' was simply a telegraph repeater station back in the 1880's and has grown to a modern town since then.

It's name comes from a permanent waterhole next to the station, in the bed of the dry Todd River - Alice was the wife of Charles Todd, the superintendant of telegraphs.

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 Tennant Creek and Devils Marbles
Friday, January 14, 2005 - 02:03 PM (GMT)

Australia






Monday 15th November 2004

Again on the road and we're heading towards Barkly Homestead. This roadhouse is the only place to get petrol for 260Km's (160 miles) and is also claims to be the most expensive in Australia at AUS$1.40 per litre (About 50p).

After filling up, we crossed into the Northern Territory where they have no speed limits. Joo wasn't impressed with this, but it meant we could get further and in less time. Travelling at around 160 Km/H, we were really eating the tarmac and pushed on until Tennant Creek.

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 Mt. Isa
Thursday, December 23, 2004 - 12:55 AM (GMT)

Australia








Sunday 14th November 2004

After filling up with bacon and eggs at the roadhouse, we were on our way and left dusty McKinlay behind. We were heading for the sprawling metropolis of the outback that is Mount Isa.

Mt. Isa is where Julie's brother and sister in law spent their Christmas whilst travelling 14 years ago. I bet that was a Christmas they'll never forget!

Dominated by the towers of the local copper and iron mines, Mt. Isa has a very industrial feel to it. It's also sweltering - nearby Cloncurry recorded the highest temperature in Australia at 53.1 C (130 F) and that was in the shade!

We had a wander around the Outback At Isa museum which was interesting and then watched the sunset from the lookout hill.

Here's the pix...

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 Townsville - Charters Towers - McKinlay
Saturday, December 18, 2004 - 12:15 PM (GMT)

Australia






Friday 12th November 2004

After catching the ferry back over to Townsville, we jumped in the car and headed inland into the outback towards Charters Towers. We'd made the decision that we wouldn't go up to Cairns as we'd got a bit of sick of beaches and bars. It's a hard life innit!?

Julie wasn't looking forward to driving in the outback, mainly because of the road trains. We'd heard that the road trains roar up behind you at serious speeds and the best thing is to pull off the road and get out of the way. The road trains are usually 3 or 4 trailers long and the units pulling them are big powerful things.

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 Magnetic Island
Saturday, December 18, 2004 - 05:00 AM (GMT)

Australia







Wednesday 10th November 2004

We'd stayed at base Townsville and managed to sort out a package that included Magnetic Island for 2 nights. 'Maggie' is only 20 minutes from Townsville but it's a million miles from anywhere.

Boasting 320 days of sunshine every year, the island has a tropical feel to it and with all the Mokes driving around you feel like you're in a Lilt advert.

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 Airlie Beach and The Whitsundays
Friday, December 17, 2004 - 11:55 PM (GMT)

Australia




Saturday 6th - Tuesday 9th November 2004

After a much needed nights sleep at Rockhampton YHA, we drove over 500 Kms (310 miles) up to Airlie Beach.

Airlie Beach is the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands, named by Sir James Cook who sailed through them on July 3rd 1770, on what he thought was Whitsunday. In fact it wasnt' at all, as he'd forgotten to take account of the international date line and he was a day out.

The 'Fantasea Festival' was on whilst we there, which had street parades and a beach volleyball tournament.

We booked with Ocean Rafting and did a full day cruising through the amazingly clear waters on the Monday.

First of all we went to the Nara Inlet Aboriginal Caves and then onto Whitehaven Beach. The sand on Whitehaven Beach is like talcum powder - so fine and white.

The trip was great and Joo managed to get some great snorkelling done, even though she had to wear the rather unfashionable 'stinger suit'.

Enjoy the pictures....



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 Kroombit Cattle Station
Friday, December 17, 2004 - 12:15 PM (GMT)

Australia







Wednesday 3rd 2004

Kroombit is a 10,000 acre working cattle station where we'd learn to be a 'Jackaroo' and a 'Jillaroo', riding horses and mustering cattle. We were welcomed by Alan, the owner, who poured us a cup of 'billy tea' and told us what he had in store for us over the next few days.

Our first task was to learn how to ride a horse and we'd shown around some of the property on the 2 hour horse ride. 2 hours! My bum was killing when we got back and all night we were both walking around like John Wayne.

We were treated to a champagne and cheese sunset later, where they wouldn't let anyone go back until all the champagne had been drunken!

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 Noosa to Kroombit Tops
Friday, December 17, 2004 - 05:15 AM (GMT)

Australia






Tuesday 2nd November 2004

Up early and on the road for our longest drive so far, 400 Kms to Monto. We're actually heading for Kroombit Cattle Station but that's another 250Kms, so Monto was just a quick stopover to rest our heads.

The owners of the Albert Hotel were really nice and we chatted all night at the bar with them. The rump steaks we had were delicious!

Have a butchers at the pix....

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 Whale watching - Hervey Bay
Thursday, December 16, 2004 - 07:30 AM (GMT)

Australia








Monday 1st November 2004

Whale watching season is officially over on the 1st of November, but we'd heard that there was still a good chance of a sighting. We were up early and out on the boat to see if we could spot some.

After about 30 minutes, the captain stopped the boat and just in front of us were a mother and her calf. Our first sighting!

From then on, our eyes were never off the water and we spotted a group of 3 young whales playing.

They're very difficult to photograph but we did manage to get a couple.

After the trip, we then backtracked down to Noosa to see Julie's auntie Frieda. We all went out for a lovely meal in Noosa and was great to see Frieda and Larry.

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 Fraser Island
Thursday, December 16, 2004 - 05:54 AM (GMT)

Australia






Saturday 30th October 2004

After spending the night at Hervey Bay, we were up early for our 2 day trip over to Fraser Island.

Fraser Island is world heritage listed and is the world's largest sand island.

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 Australia Zoo - Home of the Crocodile Hunter
Thursday, December 16, 2004 - 05:52 AM (GMT)

Australia







Thursday 28th October 2004

Pushing on, we went straight from George and Judy's up to the Glasshouse Mountains and to the home of Steve 'Crocodile Hunter' Irwin - Australia Zoo.

Apparently Steve had been at the zoo earlier that morning and was still knocking about. I reckon they say that every day, just to get your hopes up.

The zoo was, however, very impressive, even without the Crocodile Hunter present. We hand fed the kangaroos which was great and we could've watched the koalas all day long.

Joo managed to bump into a client from the salon at the zoo, which was pretty strange. Small world, eh?

All in all a great day and as Steve would say - 'Crocs Rule!'.

Enjoy the pictures, there's heaps of em!

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 George and Judy's - Brisbane
Thursday, December 16, 2004 - 05:50 AM (GMT)

Australia






Mon 25th - Wed 27th October 2004


From Lee and Julie's we headed to Joyner in North Brisbane, where John's brother George lives with his wife Judy.
George and Judy have lived in Australia for more than 30 years and have a beautiful house, which George designed.

We stayed with George and Judy for 3 nights and explored Brisbane from there. It's a great city and the best part was the 'city beach' - an artificial beach lagoon in the middle of the city.

We managed to fit in a tour of the Castlemaine XXXX brewery. Great tour, but I had to drive so I didn't manage to sample the full range of beers at the end of it.

George and Judy really looked after us and made us feel so welcome - it was difficult to leave!

Enjoy the pictures.

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 Lee and Julie's - Brisbane
Wednesday, December 15, 2004 - 10:50 AM (GMT)

Australia






Sat. 23rd October 2004

We headed out that morning over to Lee and Julie's (bear with us as it might get quite confusing!), which is 40Km's west of Brisbane. After picking up a slab of beer - a token gift for any Aussie household - Lee met us and we followed him up to their house.

Lydia, their daughter, was very shy when we first arrived but after an hour that had changed. Lydia decided Julie was her new shopping partner and they were both doing what girls do best. It was only pretend and luckily they weren't using real money...... yet!

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 Sydney to Byron Bay
Wednesday, December 15, 2004 - 07:15 AM (GMT)

Australia







Our post still wasn't at the Post Restante office, but we've got a tight schedule to keep to and needed to get going to manage to fit everything in. We decided to try and get it forwarded to John's and we'd pick it up in 3 months time.

From Sydney we were heading north up past Newcastle and towards Taree, where we'd spend the night and keep on trucking the following day. We made a final call to the Post Office to check if our post was there and it was! Sods law,eh?

We were 200Km's past Sydney, so we stopped straight away and turned round to head back to Sydney. Stayed the night in Newcastle and left for Sydney first thing the next morning. Another drive into Sydney city centre! (John's going to think we're crazy.)
We've been over the Sydney Harbour Bridge 9 times in 1 week!

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 Blue Mountains
Wednesday, December 15, 2004 - 06:00 AM (GMT)

Australia









Here's the pictures from our Blue Mountains trip.

(Click on the Read More link below)

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 John and Laraine's - Heathcote
Tuesday, December 14, 2004 - 09:00 PM (GMT)

Australia







A few bits of paperwork needed sorted with the car and soon as they were done, we headed an hour south of Sydney to Heathcote to stay with John and Laraine.

John goes way back with Joo's Dad and has lived over in Oz for 30 years. John took us out to National Park, where we spotted an echidna (ant eater hedgehog thing) and also an iguana. In their garden they've got a family of possums and a load of wild cockatoo's.
Quite bizarre seeing them just flying about the place - the cockatoos that is.

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 Sydney (Part 2)
Tuesday, December 14, 2004 - 02:07 AM (GMT)

Australia






Sydney Part 2


Click here for the pictures.

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 Sydney (Part 1)
Tuesday, December 14, 2004 - 02:06 AM (GMT)

Australia







With a population the same as the whole of New Zealand, Sydney was gonna feel pretty busy for us both.
We got into Sydney just after 5 in the evening and the temp was a massive change from Christchurch - a nice 28°! I think we're going to like Sydney :)

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 We're in Alice Springs...
Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - 07:50 AM (GMT)

Australia






Hi all. We've finally made it over to Alice Springs. Spent the last 7 weeks cruising up the east coast of Oz and have seen some beautiful places along the way.

We're on a tight schedule to get back into Sydney for Christmas, so headed inland from Townsville through Charters Towers, Mount Isa, Tennant Creek all the way to Alice Springs.

Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kings Canyon are on our agenda for the next few days. From there we head to the opal mining town of Coober Pedy and then onto Adelaide.
From Adelaide we head across the Great Ocean Road into Melbourne and then back into Sydney.

The weather out in the outback is stifling. An average of 36 degrees each day! Hot enough to melt your flip flops!!

The site will be updated as soon as possible, with all the pictures from Australia. After 6 hours driving every day, the last thing I want to do is open up my laptop - more like open up a cold can of VB!

Take care - Lee and Joo

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 We're in Sydney!
Friday, October 08, 2004 - 01:17 PM (GMT)

Australia






Finally made it to Sydney. Only been here 5 hours and love it already!!!
The weather's gorgeous and it seems a really cool place.

We're going to head down to the Kings Cross car market and see what's on offer. We've got 3 months in Oz, so we're going to buy a car to get around in.

Got a few peeps to meet up with in Sydney, so we're gonna catch up with them over the next few days.

When I get chance, I'll get all the pix from NZ up onto the site - betcha can't wait!

Take it easy,

Lee and Julie :)

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