From my friend P – A guest article
We had been planning a trip to Australia for two years, but somehow things just never materialised. I convinced my boss that I needed a long trip (I certainly deserved it!) and we landed in Sydney. Now I’m not a very confident swimmer but somehow the wife coaxed me to muster up some courage and try windsurfing. Boy, did I goof up. Joanna had pretty much doubled up with laughter by my third dive face first into the water! We enjoyed Rump Steak and Tiramisu at Mancini’s. Spent the entire afternoon climbing the Harbour Bridge’s arch with some Japanese tourists, who clearly couldn’t speak English if their lives depended on it! But the views are truly unbelievable from the top, and worth all the effort. Pity we had so little time. Chinatown Nightmarket was full of people trying to sell all kinds of stuff but the cuisine was good. The Opera house looks great from the ferries and the short but insightful tour took us backstage in this world famous landmark.
We also visited Blue Mountains and saw Red hands cave and some other Aboriginal attractions. Even saw a body painting demo. If you ever visit Sydney, make sure you have a couple of days for Blue Mountains. Nice place, that!
We left for Canberra where we visited the Parliament house and other national monuments. National portrait gallery has great Aussie portraits of important folk. We even got to mint our own $1 coins at the Royal Mint! Namadgi National Park is still pristine and has crazy hopping Kangaroos and Wallabies.
Canberra to Melbourne by bus takes about 8 hrs and we were a bit sore when we got down. Melbourne has gothic laneways and great coffee. A few hours of sightseeing and we enjoyed some Spanish tapas. Melbourne is heavy on culture and time just rushed by.
Perth in Western Australia was next on our itinerary and a really pretty city. On Australia’s other side, it is four hours away by plane (we had earlier thought of going by train but the journey takes ages!). We had a relaxing day on Rottnest Island in waters that reminded me of the Caribbean. Visited the magical AQWA Aquarium and King’s Park and Botanic Garden. Margaret Valley to the south of the city is an awesome place and has great wine, chocolate and cheese factories. Went south to Pemberton and spent a day exploring Karri Forest with some of the tallest trees in the world.
It’s an incredible country and there’s so much to see, that we can only wonder what we missed on that short trip. We plan to go back whenever we can get the chance. Australia holdiays are well planned when booked via Zip holidays.