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Published: June 14th 2006
At last where she belongs, that'll teach her to have my tea on the table late.
We landed in Sydney on the morning of the 23rd May and transfered straight through from International to Domestic flights for our flight to Melbourne. We are only staying in Australia for a week and heading to Melbourne to catch up with a couple of friends, Andy and Tim whom we met in Peru and travelled with for a while. We arrived in Melbourne at about 2pm pretty exhausted after a poor nights sleep, early morning, a day of travel and the loss of a couple of hours which isn't a good combination.
We headed into the centre of Melbourne and down to the trendy South Bank area - complete with backpacks, and had a caffeen boost before meeting Tim from work. By the time we got to Tim & Andys house in the suburbs, Andy had dinner ready and we had a lovely dinner catching up on travels and happenings since we last met.
We spent the next three days sight seeing in Melbourne, here's what we got upto over those days. We went to the Melbourne Gaol (Jail) museum, Melbourne Gaol was first opened in 1845 and closed in 1924. Most famous for its inmate Ned Kelly
who was hung at the Jail.
We did all the highlights of the city as in the travel guide: had lunch in China Town, looked around the arcades. We went up the Observation Deck at the Rialto Tower 253metres high on the 55th floor of Rialto Towers office block, currently the tallest office building in the Southern Hemisphere, but not for much longer given the building of the block across the river. It had fantastic views all across the city as it was a good clear day. We had a walk around the Queen Victoria Markets in Melbourne. Markets are excellent especially the food, the indoor food market is deli heaven with foods from all over the world available. Sight seeing around Federation Square and Melbourne centre for Moving Image.
We spent the evenings with Tim & Andy relaxing and enjoying their hospitality and good food. On friday evening we had a fish & chip tea and then Tim drove us to Andys parents holiday home at Mansfield. Andys parents have alot of land up there and a house and they took us there to see some Australian wildlife, on our arrival we saw some Wombats. So that was
one thing ticked off the 'to see' list.
On saturday we awoke at 6am and went for a walk looking for wildlife. Saw wild Kangaroos, Walabies, Wombats including a poorly Mangey one, Parrots and a stag. Went in to Mansfield and had coffee and cake. Drove to Powers lookout and had a short walk and then went for a beer at a pub near where Ned Kelly famously had a shoot out with the police and murdered a police officer. Saw a Kookabura which came and sat very close to us, the lady at the pub feeds it every day.
Later that afternoon we took a power nap and then went out in the 4x4. Andy drove whilst me, Andy & Tim stood on the back with a spot light looking for animals. We saw loads of Wombats a fox and a few Roos. Once we had had dinner, a few bottles of bubbles then an early night. Andys parents land is a massive area, very nice setting. While driving around the area we saw loads of Sulphur crested cockatoos all gathered in a field.
We got up on Sunday and had a leisurely breakfast then Andy
and I went a short walk around Andys parents land. Early that afternoon we drove back to Melbourne, an took in a few home comforts before we set off to Asia.
Monday came and our time came to say goodbye to Andy & Tim and leave Melbourne, we caught train into Melbourne and the skybus to the airport. Flew to Sydney. Realised I made a mistake with the flights and we dont fly out to Bangkok until Wednesday not tommorrow. So with a bit of time we went a wander down to the opera house and have a look at the Harbour bridge.
As we unexpectedly had an extra day in Australia on Tuesday we caught the train to Katoomba in the blue mountains which is 2 hours from Sydney on the train. We got the bus explorer tickets to hop on and off around the usual tourist circuit. We did a couple of short walks but the weather was rubbish with a very thick heavy mist and drizzle and heavy rain at times. It only cleared towards the end of the day when we got a glimpse of the impressive scenery which reminded us a little of
View from the top of Melbourne Sky Tower
The lake you can see is the centre of the F1 Grand Prix circuit.
venezuela. I think you need a longer stay and to go into further into the blue mountains to get a true feel for it.
We checked out the main highlights of the Three Sisters, three limestone pillars which we didnt see! Saw only one of them from the Giants Stairwell and that is because we were stood right next to it. We also saw Leura cascades and Bridal Veil Falls which were very pretty and also Leura Village which is a very picturesque if a little upper class touristy.
Wednesday came and we packed bag and checked out. We had a wander around Darling harbour and then met Jon Buckley for dinner (a family friend whom emigrated to Australia), Andy and I had the special a massive plate of ribs and a few beers. It was good to catch up with Jon again but a shame we didnt get chance to see the rest of the family and to go surfing with Jon. We got a taxi to the airport and caught plane at 5pm to Bangkok.
It is good to be back travelling proper again. We enjoyed our brief stop in Australia and think it is
a place we may return in the future, probably on our way to NZ to see Sarah & Gareth. We are both quite looking forward to Asia and experiencing another new and different culture.
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