New South Wales & Canberra

Published: October 2nd 2010
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Arty Sunset ShotArty Sunset ShotArty Sunset Shot

I think Lou's winning the comp

Chris's Section

We're now in New South Wales. We noticed the difference almost immediately. Gone were the windswept hills of Victoria, replaced by the lush green plains of southern NSW. Apparently we're lucky to see them looking so green. Australia has been in the grip of a severe drought for over 5 years - much longer in some regions. This part of Oz normally looks pretty parched. A seriously wet and cold winter has brought out a sea of colour. The fields are full of wild flowers which are breathtaking. We wish we could have taken some photos, but you're not allowed to stop on the highway. Even if I was feeling cheeky (many of the roads are deserted) my sat-nag (Lou) wouldn't allow it!

We had planned to stop at a recommended campsite just over the border in Albury, but we couldn't find it. There are 4 North Streets in the city and we couldn't find the right one - plus the sat-nav was skitzing out. So we pushed north and stopped at a site in a tiny town (think one shop and a pub and that was pretty much it). The site itself was just a
Coal Miner LouCoal Miner LouCoal Miner Lou

Actually, this is her bedtime attire
field, but the drive up was great - we drove for an hour at one point without seeing another car! A farmer stopped next to us at the site to have a chat. He was drinking while sat in his truck. He asked us a few questions, where are you from, etc etc, and drove off. A very friendly guy, but he reminded me of the guy in Wolf Creek. I made sure all the doors were locked that night. If you haven't seen this film you won't understand, but watch it if you get the chance.

A major tip for those planning a similar trip - you must buy a book called 'Camps 5'. It lists all of the campsites in Oz priced under $22 (many free sites too). It's really informative about each site, has maps and will save you loads of cash. We don't know what we would have done without it as many sites are pretty expensive. It's starting to warm up now - it's pushing 20c, but there's still a pretty chilly wind. This is the reason we've gone into NSW so soon. Victoria is beautiful, but it was cold!

Despite what everyone
Chef ChrisChef ChrisChef Chris

Praying for neither wind nor rain!!!
has told us, we entered Canberra full of jolly optimism. We left feeling depressed. Canberra has wide, well-ordered streets, parks everywhere and even a big lake, but it has no soul. We went into Canberra on a Saturday, and apart from the traffic, you would think it was a scene from the movie 28 Days Later. There were hardly any people in the city centre. I cannot think of another capital city that is so quiet. The parliament district is beautifully laid out, but it's not pedestrian friendly at all. We walked for miles to get to the 'sights' that were, on the map at least, next to each other. As for the buildings themselves, they're of the dull concrete variety. Maybe I'm doing the place an injustice, but it was pretty grim.

On the way back from the supermarket we stopped at the lights. A chap rushed out to clean our windscreen. We waved our hands in a 'no' motion, he took one look at our van and said “no worries, this is on me”. Made me laugh for hours. We've now covered 2000k (1300 miles). We aim to slow the pace down quite a bit over the next few weeks as we head for the coast.

Louise's Section

I write whilst trying to cheer up after our visit to Canberra. It may be the fact that my reaction lenses tint at the sight of daylight here but my god Canberra looks grim! I don't want to offend any locals but it does need some bright colours to liven it up and for a capital city. I was astounded that it only has 350,000 people. I can kinda see why now. But knowing us, we missed the good bits I'm sure. We wanted to treat ourselves to a nice lunch and some beers and maybe watch the footie final but we could only find one pub in the centre and they charged $18 for a pizza (£12), Chris deciding this was not good value for money and was then scared of the beer prices. This confirmed this was a no-no and off to Maccys we went, followed by a treat at the supermarket, steak and wine for tea now, mmmm 😊

Chris is right about New South Wales, it is beautiful. We've seen so many huge areas of Rapeseed growing which means amazing yellow fields

Can you feel yourself losing the will to live?
that go on and on and then purple wild flowers all over the place. We have also seen some amazing sunsets and stars at night. The skies are so clear at night out in the country that you can see galaxies and loads of shooting stars in just one spot. We currently have a sunset photo competition going on between us. I think I am winning as I took the one on this blog.

We're also dead chuffed we made it onto the front page of the travel blog site thanks to peoples recommendations, thank you whoever you are, glad you are enjoying them.

Oh I nearly forgot, I can now add a Possum to my list of Aussie animals I have now seen. It is really hard to remember that they are not cute, tame, fluffy animals that I can chase, catch and cuddle. I have to remember that they will most likely rip off my glasses, scratch the hell out of me and give me rabies, so as hard as it is, I stand still and stare at them (still making cat calling noises to them, just in case they want a cuddle).

Better go as Chris has farted again in this tiny living space we have and I have nearly died. Ever since we landed in Oz and are back on the high carb diets (mainly fish and chips, pasta or some sort of pie and gravy), it hasn't been good. I don't know what's worse, me being killed through a toilet related accident or Chris's arse tornados. I suppose you could say they are the same thing.


3rd October 2010

I had to .....
take a look just because of the wounderful photos ..... thanks I really enjoyed my visit!
3rd October 2010

Back Home
Hi you two, Thanks for the two blogs You have certainly added some miles to your little van. you're right - Canberra is kind of a non-place. It's only called the capital because parliament sits there, not because it's a big city! thanks for your kind words about our roast. I had a fun night too. We got home today to a loooong lawn, loads of weeds and camelia petals everywhere so after cleaning that up we are settling down to a pizza for tea. Stay safe and keep enjoying yourselves. Cheers, Marg
6th October 2010

are you going anywhere near the gold coast my mate mat lives out there
7th October 2010

Yes, we're going up to the Gold Coast. Should be there in 2-3 weeks I reckon.

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