Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Aussie Adventures

No year of global travel adventures would be complete without a visit to my homeland, Australia, so a group of friends and I spent a few weeks there in May, exploring the country, and bonding with the many strange creatures we found.

Firstly, a HUGE apology to my many friends and family who I didn’t get a chance to see while I was in Australia. As soon as I announced I’d be heading Down Under, a swarm of friends from all over the world decided this was their chance to visit Oz, so subsequently the seven of us spent 90% of our time travelling and touring around the country, leaving me with little free time to hang out with friends from home. I promise I’ll return again soon and hope you’ll forgive me and want to see me then!

Our international crew of Guri, Lee, Amanda, Eric, Elena and Sharbani, flying in from four continents, spent a couple of days in beautiful Sydney, soaking up the harbour and beach sights, sampling Sydney restaurants, and checking out the nightlife. All were deemed to be of pretty damn good quality, (although Guri would like to state emphatically that it’s not quite Moscow for nightlife). Mum and Dad had recently moved into a stunning harbourside apartment, so while we lost the space and beach frontage of my childhood home, we weren’t exactly suffering when it came to quality of accommodation. Unfortunately, with my Mum, Dad, and sister all overseas, I only actually got to see Dad, who appeared for a 48-hr guest appearance, which was great to see him for the first time in over a year.

After a couple of days acclimatising and regrouping (and Sharbani and I getting used to the comforts of civilization again), we flew north to Far North Queensland, home of the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Rainforest, thousands of gorgeous beaches, and Cane Toad Racing (you’ll have to ask Lee about this one). We stayed at the Mirage in Port Douglas, and spent 4 days swimming, diving, eating, drinking, and relaxing (when Cam wasn’t cracking the whip to get sightseeing done). We visited the Reef and Rainforest, as well as Cape Tribulation, one of the few places in the world where virgin rainforest goes right to the beach, with a reef right offshore.

We next flew to the Red Centre, and spent a few days driving through the heart of Australia, seeing such sights as Uluru (Ayer’s Rock), the Olga’s (Kata Tjuta), and King’s Canyon (don’t know what this is called in Aboriginal). The Outback captured everyone’s heart, although all were a little perplexed at the multibillion dollar tourist industry that had grown up around what is essentially just a big rock. The other excitement is that Eric finally turned up, having been scheduled to arrive the day we arrived, but waiting until a week later to mysteriously appear in Guri's hotel room. We rented cars and drove in convoy through the desert, travelling almost 1000km over two days to see all the sights and experience Australia's desert heartland.

Once done in the desert, it was back to Sydney for a few more days of sightseeing, eating, and drinking. We headed to the Hunter Valley to deepen everyone's appreciation of Australian wine, and ate yet more fabulous seafood. As everyone started to dribble back to their respective overseas homes, I was left needing a vacation from my vacation! Next stop- Thailand!

Thanks to everyone for coming from all over the world to visit my home country, it was great to have you all there.

As always, the photos are here.

1 comment:

Biggie-Z said...

Greetings, Cam! Our mutual friend Jane directed me to your blog. I'm green with envy at all the traveling you've been doing, and will start reading forthwith.

Adding link to your blog on mine.