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February 2nd 2020
Published: February 7th 2020
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For some time, we have been planning a protracted trip to Australia and New Zealand. Jennie and I came to Oz in 2003, but were unable to see some things, with only two weeks to tour around (one week of our trip was spent on a dive boat trip to the Coral Sea). We have never been to New Zealand. Since Chuck and Lucie had never been to either one, and given the length of the journey, we decided to spend an unprecedented 5 weeks seeing both countries as best we could in that time.

We made some choices with an eye on the length of the trip. First, although we had wanted to visit the Ningaloo Reef to see whale sharks and see the oldest living things on Earth, the stromatolites of Shark Bay, we decided to miss that because it would have required several more days of travel. It is said that when you visit Australia, the three things you see are the Reef, the Rock, and the Road (the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru, and the Great Ocean Road along the south coast of Victoria, roughly between Melbourne and Port Campbell). Similar to our decision on Western Australia, we decided to skip Uluru (Ayers Rock), because it would have added at least 2-3 more days and a great deal of expense. I think I will buy a red filter lens for my camera and go over to Stone Mountain in Georgia and get creative with Photoshop.

So our general route will be Sydney->Melbourne->Hobart->Adelaide->Cairns, then back to Sydney to head for New Zealand.

Sydney is one of those cities that gives off an immediately identifiable vibe. You can almost feel the seafaring energy here. The city sits on, and around, and among a large multi-legged harbor with its 240 km of busy shoreline. The twin anchors are the iconic Harbour Bridge and the equally (or more) iconic Sydney Opera House. Under or around them steam myriad water taxis, ferries, cruise ships, and commercial vessels coming into port or standing out to sea. Many of the sites for tourists are situated along the harbor front. You can't go wrong by starting your day at Circular Quay.

As in our last visit, we started out with a ferry ride to Watson Bay and lunch at Doyle's on the Beach. Not a place that is likely to get its third Michelin star, but delightful seafood by the water and a nice place to decompress after a 14-½ hour flight from Los Angeles. That repast was followed some replenishing rest.

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