Blogs from Australia, Oceania


Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Point Cook January 21st 2023

Australia has 28% of it’s population foreign born (Canada‘s is 23%) and with the largest segment of immigrants from China, it’s unsurprising that Chinese New Year is a big celebration in Melbourne. On a pleasant Sunday afternoon, we took the train to the city centre and attended the launch of the big celebration and parade. The crowds, mostly unmasked, were large and concentrated around China town. Its estimated 80,000 people were packed into a few streets to watch the parade and participate in other activities . In the Chinese Zodiac calendar, 2023 is the year of the Rabbit. According to the BBC; ”2022 was the Year of the Tiger and decorated as a positive and active energy in Chinese ... read more
Head of the Dragon.
Body of the long Dragon
Pt Leo Winery

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Point Cook January 14th 2023

A busy week exploring and orientating ourselves to the area. The local golf course at Sanctuary Lakes is okay but the conditioning is below expectations therefore, we will probably play more at the numerous other courses in this area. Green fees with cart(buggy) is around $70.00/person, similar to Canada. The Australian $ exchange rate is favourable so there is an approximate10% discount built into prices. Have yet to get fully engaged into Australian news. There appears to be on going concern with extreme weather conditions particularly in the West and Northeast. Our area has yet to be affected, although there are wide swings in temperature ranging from 35 C down to 20 C in a 24 hour period. There was a news story on health care in Australia which is under strain and the need for ... read more
Figure of Gayip
View from top of Flinders Peak trail
Bounty from Mussel Festival

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Wangaratta January 14th 2023

I know we just arrived home from our nearly four month trip around the world on the 22nd. October 2022 but now we are embarking on a lap of Australia. Not exactly planned for right now but that is the way it happened. As a lot of you would know we have had issues with Uniting Age Well since we moved into our Granny Flat in October 2011 and things just haven't improved. Cowboys the whole organisation especially senior management. The building was never right from the beginning, poor builders and the problems have never been fixed or maintained to a good standard. On more than one occasion we have been threatened with eviction for speaking up about issues with the building and lack of "giving a shit" from management, so it all came to a ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Tasmania » Hobart January 6th 2023

Our last morning allows a sleep-in before we check out right on 10. There's an arbitrage crying out to me in the reception vending machine. The disrupted tooth paste and tooth brushes had spilled out of their rack and were resting on the Mama instant noodles. $4 and I reckon I’m gaining bulk value. Boom! The Mama noodles fall into the access draw followed by two toothpastes and one toothbrush. Creamy Shrimp isn’t my first choice noodle flavour, but it’s definitely top 10. Jules had spotted a café and patisserie up Elizabeth St and we have late breakfast at Imago. A Japanese inspired café with delicious breakfast and drinks stylishly presented. Yum! We buy some vinyl at Tommy Guns and Deaks chats skate shops with the dude at Jimmy’s skate shop. He even learns a unique ... read more
230106 Jimmys Skate
230106 Hobart Alley
230106 Allurity View

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Point Cook January 5th 2023

After almost forty hours (door to door) travel time, we settled into our accommodations at Sanctuary Lakes which is about 1/2 hour drive outside of Melbourne. Despite all the news coverage on disruptions, our travel through 4 airports was seamless and we arrived on time at destination, with our luggage and golf clubs. Most flights were with Air New Zealand which we consider the best of any airlines we’ve taken. Their service and efficiency was excellent. Not sure it’s an appropriate linkage, but airlines tend to reflect on their country of origin. I hope Air Canada's passengers don’t assume that Canada operates the same way as our national carrier!!! It‘s hard to understand why cell phone costs in Canada are so much more expensive than many other countries. In Australia, which is quite similar to Canada ... read more
Back Patio
Coastal paved bike path
Great room of our house

Oceania » Australia » Tasmania » Hobart January 5th 2023

The Chicken (Tori) Karaage is spicy in Hobart. I ate it, but it got the better off me at 4am. Not the best night sleep for all as my pre-dawn poop disrupted our shared room. The Bury Me Standing breakfast bagels were great though and the sanctioned sleep-in was appreciated by all. We collect our e-bikes just after 10 and pedal the scenic Hobart Rivulet up to Cascade Brewery. A really pleasant ride along a shaded rivulet (brook) through South Hobart. The brewery is opening for business/tours when we arrive, but with everyone feeling good, we opt to extend our ride south up to Strickland Falls. The enthusiastic mechanic at Hobart Bike Hire recommended it and he wasn’t wrong. The small waterfall is about 300 metres above sea level in the foothills of Mt Wellington. The ... read more
230105 Strickland Falls
230105 Retro Cafe
230105 MONA

Oceania » Australia » Tasmania » Bruny Island January 4th 2023

The window was tight today. Hobart to Bruny Island and back, before the Kona hire expires at 2pm. And we nailed it!! Up at 7am. Bagels-to-go and on the road by 7.30. We’d been warned of the Bruny Island car ferry queues and lonely planet lists travel time as 1hr 45min from Hobart to South Bruny, Google concurred. A pandemic induced hire car shortage had lead to a price spike and we had the Kona until 2pm and wanted to use it. We’d rightly bumped Bruny Island forward a day to allow our Hartz Mountain trek but still wanted to get down there. It’s only a 35 minute drive to Kettering but the ferry could be 20 minutes or it could be an hour! If the Kona isn't returned to Hobart depot by 2pm it's an ... read more
230104 Bruny Island Ferry
230104 Adventure Bay Beach Playground
230104 Cheese Beer Bread

Oceania » Australia » Tasmania » Geeveston January 3rd 2023

A much cooler night and quality curtains allows for a bit of a sleep-in and both kids are reluctant risers. It might be the 18,000 steps we’re doing daily. Today will be no different.We share a quick backpackers breakfast (Woolworths croissants, fruit and nutri-grain) in the Kermandie Guest Room. An expansive room with two 8 seater square dining tables, a couple of smaller tables and chairs and a couch, in front of a fire-place; all overlooking Port Huon marina. Dozens of seagulls circle and cry above the rows of boats below. On the insistence of all at yesterdays dinner, we jump in the Kona and drive through Geeveston for the Hartz Mountain National Park. The last half of the drive is on unsealed roads but the Kona handles it well. Arve Road swerves through gum trees, ... read more
230103 Lake Esperance
230103 Tahune AirWalk
230103 Willie Smiths

Oceania » Australia » Tasmania » Richmond January 2nd 2023

After our pandemic pause we are getting back into the swing of travelling again now. Sourced provisions for self-catered breakfasts - no longer paying $50 a day for continental breakfasts. Although, we didn’t actually pay for our Eaglehawke Neck breakfasts. An oversight on my part. Yoghurt, muesli, fruit and nutri-grain in the girls room and we’re checking out. Not before the cleaners are knocking on our door. The Tasman Peninsula farms are dotted with small homes and barns. The older barns have caught Deaks eye and he is attempting to snap them as we cruise by at 90km per hour. They are eye catching, isolated on green hills adjacent to the blue green ocean. Before we know it we’ve hit Orford and the suburban housing feels dense after a couple of days in national parks. A ... read more
230102 Richmond Cafe
230102 Cygnet Appleshed
230102 Silverhill Gum

Oceania » Australia » Tasmania » Tasman Peninsula » Port Arthur January 1st 2023

The downside of a panoramic view is the sunrise hits you early. Doesn’t seem to bother Deaks! A quick continental breakfast at Lufra (is it complimentary? Not sure) and we are off to Port Arthur. Every drive down down here is a short drive, by Queensland standards, we are there in 20 minutes. And every drive on Tasman Peninsula is scenic. Always surrounded by water, beach, farm or forest.I must confess I didn’t know off Port Arthur before the mass shooting in 1996. And while the tragedy of the shooting hangs over the place, the historic purpose of the place is equally tragic and harsh.The old buildings - particularly the penitentiary and church - are beautiful. The stories of the prisoners, guards and commandants remind you of the grim and inhumane purpose of the place.Anyone living ... read more
230101 PA3
230101 RC1
230101 WB1

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