Australia – The Highlights Reel

I think the fish beside me loves to photobomb the tourists.  I loved watching the really colourful ones like the one on the bottom right.
I think the fish beside me loves to photobomb the tourists.  I loved watching the really colourful ones like the one on the bottom right.

Wow, where does a month go?  We are back from Australia and had a wonderful time.  Some highlights in no particular order:

1. The Great Barrier Reef was amazing and I stayed in the water with the fishies until I almost peed my wetsuit, but being Canadian I got out and went in a more proper place where other tourists wouldn’t swim through it.  Later I was told by every Aussie to have peed in my suit, that’s what people do.  Makes me wonder what I was swimming through with hundreds of other tourists sharing the same area.  Hmmm.

!st Day - Barrier Reef tour day.
!st Day – Barrier Reef tour day.
2nd Day - During the cyclone.
2nd Day – During the cyclone.
3rd Day - We leave.
3rd Day – We leave.

We also had our most stressful travel experience in Airlie Beach where we saw the Reef.  Cyclone Ita went through on the end of its big “week out”.  It was only a category 1 by the time it hit Airlie but you can see how much the weather changed from the view from our hotel.  It messed up our flights pretty bad and we are still trying to sort out some of the refunds.  But I’m still grateful that we got our tour in the day before everything shut down.

2. Picnic in the countryside

Our friend Christen in Wollongong took us out for a day tour around the area south of Sydney.  We went through Kangaroo Valley, saw a blow hole along the coast and went up more twisty roads than my stomach cared for, but we did get to have a picnic lunch at this amazing little location overlooking fields with the ocean at our backs.  It was super peaceful and lovely. One of my favourite moments of the trip.

3. Amazing meals

We had lots of great food while we were away, so much that my pants hardly fit when we came back.  I’ll post about some of our food adventures and my getting back into my jeans experiment later.  Some of our favourite meals were at Movida, Hardware Societe and The Meatball and Wine Bar in Melbourne.  Ten Minutes by Tractor in the Mornington Peninsula and at Messina and Adriano Zumba’s (both dessert places) in Sydney.  We had lots of local Aussie eats including crocodile with crispy crocodile skin, lamb brains, quail, baramundi, snapper and wallaby, all of which I enjoyed.

Ten Minutes by Tractor
Ten Minutes by Tractor
A tractor that might take more than 10 minutes to get anywhere. 
A tractor that might take more than 10 minutes to get anywhere. 
Adriano Zumbo's
Adriano Zumbo’s

4. Visiting our friends

We loved seeing all of our friends and miss them already.  Thanks to them we had lots of great meals, a roof over our heads and instant tour guides and taxis.  It was wonderful.  This trip wouldn’t have been half as fun without them.  Thank you to Ben and Megan for delicious homemade meals, an adorable baby and generosity beyond our expectations.  Alexis and Alexis, thank you for toting us around Sydney, taking us on a beautiful walk to Bondi Beach (George) and meeting us for a really great wine tour in Melbourne (Linton).  We appreciate the airport pick ups and drop offs as well.  Christen, thank you for the memorable drive to beautiful sites along the coast, and to Kangaroo Valley, along with the Easter sunrise service on the beach. 

The Auld's, Ben and Megan with us at Public in Brisbane
The Auld’s, Ben and Megan with us at Public in Brisbane
Dave with the cutest little bean an best travelling baby, Charlotte.
Dave with the cutest little bean an best travelling baby, Charlotte.
Alexis Linton and Alexis George with us in Sydney at Three Blue Ducks, or Two Fat Chickens, or something like that.
Alexis Linton and Alexis George with us in Sydney at Three Blue Ducks, or Two Fat Chickens, or something like that.
Christen and I outside of Wollongong, touring the countryside and laughing to Hamish & Andy on a gorgeous day.
Christen and I outside of Wollongong, touring the countryside and laughing to Hamish & Andy on a gorgeous day.

5. Wine tour in the Yarra Valley

We had a wonderful day where a driver took us to four great wineries.  We had a gourmet lunch and sampled more wine than I could try.  Seriously, we could have had 60 different wines between the four locations.  Our favourite was the sparkling shiraz that we had at three of the four stops, including the famous Chandon Winery of Moët & Chandon fame.  A little bubbly anyone?  Yes, please!

Me and my favourite man and travel companion, Dave.
Me and my favourite man and travel companion, Dave.

There will be more, but this is a great start of some of our highlights.  Perhaps I’ll even get around to a gag real of terrible pictures.  We’ll see how ridiculous I feel in the coming weeks.  :)

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