Yesterday was Australia Day, so in honour of the occasion, here’s a few memories from my trip there in 2005 (hard to believe that was half a decade ago!). Of course, Koala Bear went with me.
I flew into Sydney and spent my first month there, then went back and forth from there to my other destinations. That’s where I saw these flags with the Sydney Sky Tower in the background. Like any good tourist, I took a trip to the top of that tower and had a bird’s eye view of Sydney—a great way to get a mental map in your head for later explorations.
I also took a day trip into the Blue Mountains (which are neither blue nor mountains), which included a stop at the Three Sisters. Usually a blue haze is created over the mountains by sunlight refracting through the eucalyptus oil hanging in the air, but because it was a cloudy day when I was there, the mountains weren’t as blue as they could have been. I saw my first kangaroos there, as we stopped to watch the big grey kangaroos come out at dusk.
I spent a Sunday afternoon wandering around the Sydney Botanical Gardens, checking out the local Aussie flora and fauna. From there, I got this awesome view of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge—both famous landmarks. For a slightly exorbitant price, you can climb the bridge, but I never did. I did attend a play at the Sydney Opera House by a local Aboriginal playwright.
I escaped from the city to a small hostel nestled between the ocean and a national park, which is where I met this very friendly kookaburra. He usually joined me for breakfast on the deck in the mornings, including snatching my breakfast one morning. The wallabies usually came out around 4:00 in the afternoon, and we also had an iguana and a wild turkey wander through.
I spent a month in Alice Springs, and started it off with a tour of Uluru (Ayer’s Rock) and Kata Tjuta (the Olgas). Uluru is definitely the centre of Australia and a sight worth seeing. We spent the nights sleeping around a campfire in our swags and watching the stars. Our “troopy” dodged camels and kangaroos as we bombed around the middle of Australia—there aren’t many roads to and from Uluru.
From there, it was a few more months on the road, making my way back to Sydney and my flight home. I have about a thousand pictures, a few books and CDs, some jewelry and souvenirs, lots of memories of a very good trip, and plans to get back there someday. Until then… Happy Australia Day and g’day, mates!