This leg of
the trip is a mixture of adventure and meeting with friends of
long standing (they're not that old, so I won't call them "old"
friends!!!). I arrive in Brisbane on 12th October, and plan to
take 2 weeks driving up to Cairns, taking in the Great Barrier
Reef, and other areas of interest.
I fly from Cairns
to Uluru (Ayres Rock) on 26th October, then go overland to Alice
Springs. I plan to take 6 days exploring this area. Then on to
Broome for the weekend, staying with a friend from my childhood
in Africa, Graham Jones. On the 3rd November I fly to Perth to
spend two weeks with Gwynnie and Max Evans and their family.
Perth, I am taking the train, overland to Adelaide on the 16th
November, arriving in Adelaide on 18th November. I plan to spend
3 days in Adelaide, then 4 days in Melbourne, finishing off with
5 days in Sydney.
||Before I commence this, click
on this link to see some extra pictures from Auckland.
The trip commenced with an overnight stay at the parents of
my friend Gill Felton. They helped me plan my route. I discovered
just how big Australia is at this point with the distances
I needed to cover. First major stop was in Hervey Bay for
the whale watching, then up to Airlie Beach for a rest on
the Coral Sea coast. Final stop was Cairns for the Great Barrier
Reef, and the Rain Forest. Completed 25th October.
||The journey from Uluru (Ayres Rock) to
Alice was fantastic. However, I failed to get to Kata Tjuta
(The Olgas) because of a Dust Storm and Bush fire! The visit
to King's Canyon was wonderful, and Alice has to be seen to
be believed. Trip completed on 1st November 2003.
||I had a wonderful 2 days with Graham and
Chic Jones in Broome. A very hot and humid place, but I loved
it. A lovely sandy beach, and a town on the edge of the desert,
but next to the Indian Ocean, amongst the Mangroves. Home
to the cultured Pearl. Visit finished on 3rd November 2003.
||After a few days much needed rest, Gwynne
and I set off on a short tour of SW Australia, visiting Albany,
where we saw many things, including Dolphins, did a tree top
walk near Walpole, had a tour of a timber processing plant
in Manjimup, saw whales, and visited a limestone cave near
Augusta. The visit finished on 16th November 2003.
||The Indian Pacific rail trip across the
Nullabor was really interesting. I even got rain in a desert
for the second time this trip! Adelaide is a beautiful city,
with lots of lovely buildings. The wineries are well worth
the visit, since this region produces 80% of Australia's wine
exports. A visit to a penguin colony was fun too! Completed
on 21st November 2003.
||I visited Carol and Frank Lawton and their
two children, Tim and Cat. They made me most welcome, and
gave me a tour of the city, and local area. On the Monday,
I did a tour of the Great Ocean Highway. Completed 25th November.
||The visit to Sydney was very brief due
to the unexpected departure for the UK, though I did manage
a day touring around the city and harbour. Completed 26th