Saturday, June 17, 2006

Lennox to Coffs Harbour to Nambucca Heads to Port Macquarie to Newcastle to Sydney to Bris-Vagas

So we left Lennox and nipped up the coast to Queensland to get the car safety-ed, then drove down the coast to Coffs Harbour. Nice little coastal town with a brand new YHA that we stayed at, a good find so we treated ourselves to an Indian for dinner! In the morning we explored a bit and took some photos of the area and then headed off in search of Nambucca Heads.

Another cute little coastal town, though we were starting to notice the cold by this point, we walked up and down and around and then got back in the car and headed to Port Macquarie for the night. We ended up staying in a cabin in a caravan park rather than a hostel as they are roughly the same price and you get a kitchen in your cabin and - more importantly - you get a bathroom. I think this is the first time in almost four months I haven't had to put all my clothes on in the middle of the night to go to the toilet. A luxury indeed!

Up the next morning and we explored some of the beaches (Port has LOADS!) and then walked up through the bushes to a hill thing / lookout. After some photos and a walk further around the headland I spotted something vaguely familiar out to sea. I called Rob over, and we stood watching the sea for a good five minutes before they came up again but we got to see some of the early season whales. They put on a little show, showing their flutes and blowing water etc. No photos as they were quite far away unfortunately. After this we continued down the coast, taking the odd tourist drive - one really good one being around the great lakes - until we got to Newcastle.

In Newcastle it was officially freezing. The coldest we have been since Japan! It was actually only about 12oC but still. Anyway, the hostel was doing a free BBQ at a local bar so we went down to that and drank too much. Of course! The next day we hung out there sorting emails and hiding from the weather, and then Saturday we made the trip down to Sydney.

We actually need to get to Coogee/Bondi so we ended up driving right through the city which was pretty cool. Rob's friend Ross was very kind to let us stay at his, and the first night we go there we headed down to Darling Harbour / Kings Street Warf where Ross runs a Latin American bar restaurant. We had a lovely meal and some drinks, and then some more drinks, and danced a bit and then had some drinks. Great night, and getting in after 3am makes it easy to lie in the next day! We also took the ferry over to Manly, only just missing the wine festival, but having a nice meal with everyone at an African restaurant and some drinks too. Enough drinks to miss the last ferry home (definitely the boys fault!).

(sorry about the lack of photos, i've been to Sydney before and have a load, so i kind of forgot to take some!)

We also made an effort to sell the car - which culminated in offering it to people for free and still not being able to get rid of it. It's total low season in Sydney and I think anyone who is there braving the weather is there to work, rather than to buy cars. We went to the car market in Kings Cross (for market, read dark car park), where they had a car that was considerable newer than ours, considerable more expensive than ours, and an estate, and they were practically giving it away because they were leaving the next day. This is what we had feared when purchasing a car and thought we had a back-up plan all sealed up. That fell through (never trust an aussie) which left us in a panic as what to do.

And here we are in Brisbane. Whoever says you can't drive from Sydney to Brisbane in one day is lying. You can totally do it and be here around 5pm in time to do some shopping and drink some well deserved beers! Daniel is very kindly taking control of big blue to try and flog it, and we are doing a relocation in a rental car back to Sydney (cheaper than flying). So it's Saturday, we leave tomorrow, hopefully get to Sydney Monday earlyish and get time to see the aquarium and the other stuff we missed when we were there last.

So that's it for Australia for now. Three months on the East Coast, so that means when we come back, it's three months on the west coast. We are hopefully going to time it so we can snorkel with the whale sharks and all that nonsense.

We fly out Tuesday to New Zealand.

To the snow.


Yes, I’ve bought a coat, my first in two and half years.

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