Saying goodbye to Australia was so hard! We’ve had such an amazing time… We were very much impressed by the beautiful landscapes and friendliness and helpfulness of the people. Two months may seem like a long time, but it was only just about enough to get a feel for the different territories and regions. There’s not enough time to do it all in a lifetime! – and sometimes the circumstances (read weather) are not cooperative making it even harder. Often we felt we had to skip places and things to do because we had to keep moving… risking a travel burnout while we were at it.
I am grateful though, thinking about the experiences we had, the places we’ve seen, the friends we’ve made along the way will give me a warm fuzzy feeling for a long time to come, and I look forward to one day coming back for more. Here are our highlights:
1. Tasmania. Sometimes it felt like the final frontier. Remote, wild, lots of wildlife but fickle weatherwise (when we were there). We loved the south cape and Bay of Fires. Best starry sky I’ve seen so far on the whole trip.
On our (my) wishlist: walk the overland track.
2. Melbourne. Loved Brunswick’s vibe and discovered ‘Sunday sesh’. Also the hills around Melbourne and Yarra Valley Chocolates…
On our wishlist: spend more time here. 6 months or so would be good ;-)
3. Driving the Great Ocean Road from Melbourne to Adelaide. Our first meeting with a koala. Surfer towns. Amazing cliffs and coastline. Great wineries.
On our wishlist: visit more wineries in Coonawarra and spend some time in Adelaide.
4. The outback. You haven’t been to Australia without a visit to the outback! Before I visited it I thought Uluru was just a big rock, but now I’ve been there I was so impressed. It dominates the desert from afar. Its allure and spiritual and historic significance to the Aboriginals make it such a special place.
On our wishlist: Get the alone-in-the-world feeling driving through the desert from Darwin to Alice or from Alice to Brisbane.
5. Cape Tribulation. At the northern part of Australia’s East Coast, it’s a fantastic active holiday destination. Hiking in the jungle or snorkelling or diving the Great Barrier Reef, crocodile expeditions, bird watching…
On my wishlist: dive the Reef from Cairns or Port Douglas.
6. Byron Bay. How much we loved Byron! It has this hippie Ibiza vibe and great surfing. Let’s hope it doesn’t lose its charm due to overdevelopment.
On my wishlist: go back. Surf!
7. Brisbane. The surprise of our trip! We had no expectations, but now could totally see ourselves living there. Plus, it’s close to Byron Bay ;-) We felt at home in South Bank and West End – they are lovely areas. We loooved Boundary Market. Brisbane also has great transport links to other areas in Australia…
On my wishlist: explore Brisbane more.
8. Sydney. Our first encounter may not have been the most positive one (due to the weather mainly – which city is nice to visit in the rain?) – but the second time round we absolutely adored it. Bondi and Newtown’s vibe, the Opera House, Palm Beach, … It’s so diverse… Like London, but warm ;-)
So on my wishlist: transplant Sydney to Belgium :-)
All endings are also new beginnings, and let’s face it: our next stop Indonesia is not bad either…