Beach and towards the outback
Sun 16 Sep 2007 16 °C
This is just the most recent post. Previous posts are available in the Archive section below right. They include:
- 30 Jul 2007 The East Cape
- 22 Jun 2007 Aside from the Scenery
- 12 Jun 2007 On a sheep farm in the Catlins
- 10 Jun 2007 Sumner and Akaroa
- 10 Jun 2007 Day to day life on the road
- 28 May 2007 Milford, Te Anau, Riverton
- 6 May 2007 Fiji, Auckland to Havelock
All but the earliest one have an associated photo album.
What a huge country Australia is! We're only seeing a very small part of it. Guess we'll have to come back.
We spent just a week in Sydney after flying in from New Zealand. We'll have more time there on the way out. The first thing Diane noticed after arriving was how much drier Australia is than New Zealand. Even downtown Sydney seemed to be covered with a fine dust. They have been in drought conditions for many years. Also they have a golden sort of light any time of day.
The rough and ready pioneer spirit of the Australians is readily apparent and contrasts with the more gentle civility of New Zealanders we encountered. Aussies pride themselves on straight talk. Diane chatted with Mavis, a delightful widow and veteran
We had many walks through domain parks to the Art Gallery, where we saw the Arts of Islam, and to free concerts in the museum.
In the parks we saw flocks of cockatoos and also ibises with long bills.
Of course we saw the famous Harbor Bridge and Sydney Opera House. It is inspiring. It is so alive it pleases us that humans would make that.
The ornate iron grillwork on balconies reminded us of New Orleans.
We stayed at Sydney Star Accomodations where we had the top floor to ourselves in a huge room.
The interesting manager, a charming man by the name of Andrew, is a Polish photographer who is going in October to be a United Nations photographer for a year in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan at $5K a week.
A Sydney neighborhood called The Rocks had an annual Aroma Festival that is very popular and had lots of live music and street performers.
Visit http://dianeanddave.net/albums/Sydney/index.html for all Sydney photos.
Glenelg in Adelaide
Our strategy for such a large country was to fly to three separate states and explore from their capitals. After the excitement of arriving in Sydney, we flew to South Australia's Adelaide on the coast.
We were fortunate to be there during their SALA Festival, a celebration of South Australian Living Artists, with hundreds of venues throughout the state. We went to aboriginal art openings with speakers and music and spoke with some artists.
We took up residence in an old Victorian hotel, now a hostel, for a month out at the beach in the suburb of Glenelg.
We enjoyed the ocean walks in the morning, the laid back holiday seaside atmosphere, the nearby library and a used book store and an internet cafe just across the street.
The easy setup let us get some financial housekeeping business handled. After covering so much ground in New Zealand, we were content with the easy logistics of the town and the convenient transportation into the Adelaide CBD (central business district).
We made a friend from France, Mériem, who is a chef and has been traveling for several years.
We also met Matty, a chef from Perth in Western Australia, who was great fun and very interesting guy. He had a wise-cracking maturity.
Visit http://dianeanddave.net/albums/Glenelg/index.html for all Glenelg and Adelaide photos.
South Australia includes the borders to the great Outback deserts. Having found a map of this border area that showed how it could be done in a 2-wheel drive we rented a car and took off. We had in mind the destination of a former sheep station, Rawnsley Park Station, that had been converted to an ecological reserve and resort. It is set in the Flinders Ranges, one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world.
We were surprised to discover that our car insurance was inactive after dusk as soon as we left the most populated area because the kangaroos come out of the hills at dusk to feed and actually like to congregate near the roads. And many accidents happen. We drove northwest and stayed in Quorn, a very nice dry western type town. I asked where everybody was and was told that they were all in their back yards gardening because they had had a good rain. We met wonderful ladies at the local library that is shared with the school.
We went on to Hawker, a provisioning hub for the outback. We bought mosguito netting and hats for the very persistent mosquitos. I have enjoyed measuring my vacation at the Grand Canyon as a two hat vacation. I think my hat with mosquito netting is fabulous.
We bought port port out of a barrel by the liter in a rinsed out milk jug. They drink it a lot here and it was good. We viewed a diorama of the rock formation we were going to hike at called the Wilpena Pound. There are a just handful of living diorama artists in the world today.
Rawnsley Park station in the Flinders Ranges
Aboriginal rock paintings
As far out back as we got
There are a number of abandoned homesteads throughout the country. The farmers and the water moved on.
Morning bliss outside our cabin
Rental caravans are available in most parks
Diane pointing at a rock up in a tree. It looked like a scarecrow.
Dave capturing wildflowers
Yellow-footed rock wallabies
These guys have a blue tongue
Check us out!
Visit http://dianeanddave.net/albums/Flinders/index.html for all Flinders photos.
As always, we love hearing from you, whether by a comment in the blog or by email (diane [at] dianeanddave.net or dave [at] dianeanddave.net).