Six weeks in Australia
My apologies for not posting anything last month. I had just returned from my six weeks in Australia and suffered from brain fog after the long journey coupled with the inevitable jet lag. Adjusting to the cold weather in England after six weeks in sunshine and temperatures in the upper 70s and lower 80s was a shock too – we even had snow two days after I arrived home.
But anyway – Australia! Where to begin? People have asked me what was the highlight of my trip, and honestly, there were so many that it is impossible to pick out the top ten, let alone just one. Of course, it was wonderful to see my daughter and her partner again. They emigrated in 2019, with every intention of returning to visit the following year, but then Covid struck and Australia closed its borders, only opening them again to non-essential travellers at the beginning of 2022.
I had seen photos of their new home, but of course it was far better to see the ‘real’ thing, and also the surrounding neighbourhood – and I was very excited to see my first kangaroo at the side of a road nearby!
My daughter is a teacher, and her ‘summer holidays’ occur in December/January. I confess it seemed somewhat strange to see Christmas trees and other seasonal decorations in hot, sunny weather – and I did feel sorry for my UK friends who were in the midst of a cold snap with below freezing temperatures.
One highlight of my stay was a short cruise from Brisbane to Sydney with two days in Sydney itself. The first view of the famous Opera House and the bridge was unforgettable. It is such an iconic view and I must have taken dozens of photos from different angles, by day and also at night.
We visited several beaches and bays on the Gold Coast, south of Brisbane. Some, inevitably, were crowded and ‘touristy’, but others were beautifully quiet, with pale sand, turquoise sea, and white surf. I loved the mountain areas too, with lush rainforests and some amazing views.
The koalas at a wildlife sanctuary were a delight – they seem to be able to sleep anywhere in their favourite gum trees but the one I held for a few minutes was very cuddly!
We also fed some very tame kangaroos, saw babies peeking out of their mothers pouches, and loved the way they bounced along on their very long back legs. At the same sanctuary, we saw other examples of Australian wildlife – a duckbilled platypus, Tasmanian devil, emu, kookaburra and dingoes. At another place, we fed the llamas, and also fed the beautiful rainbow lorikeets – who responded by pooping all over my top and pants!
I was sad when my visit eventually came to an end, but the memories will stay with me forever.
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