Australia

Nearly 1.5 years passed since the last Blogpost, and it wasn’t quiet at all. Our Journey through Australia continued to:

Sydney (2 weeks)
Canberra (1 month)
Sydney (3 days)
Brisbane (2 weeks)
Tin Can Bay (1 month)
Brisbane (2 days)

We had a wonderful time in Australia, and it passed too quickly.

Sydney

This was our 2nd eagerly awaited time in Sydney.

The AirBnB was further away from the city center, in Cabramatta. It’s dirtier and busier here with some old abandoned  houses. We spent 2 weeks in a garage that was converted into an apartement where the surroundings weren’t that bad. Our “Frontdoors” where the garage doors operated by remotes, and very small windows. The 2. bed was one to pump up, and it couldn’t keep the cold from the floor away.

To get from Cabramatta anywhere in Sydney takes a long time, even to the public transports. At least we had a big park nearby, so we could stroll around and breathe fresh air.

The owners, a woman from fiji with her adult daughter, were really nice. We couldn’t resist an invitation for lunch , and it was a delicious indian meal.

This time we could visit the Vegan Market in Sydney and enjoyed the spacious area and heaps of people celebrating the vegan lifestyle. We ate yummy meals but it was really hard to choose from the variety of options. Special Products were there in abundance and in the end some tees made it in our bags. Chatting and watching the scene chilling in sunbeds was great.

In the park next to the  Sydney Opera House, which by the way is wonderful, Netflix made a presentaion of a new Australien series, projecting it to a screen. They showed the fist 2 episodes before the official launch. since i couldn’t find the spot I entered the opera to ask for help, and it was great from the inside too..

We visited Bondi Beach and Manly Beach and loved beeing at a beach again. To call the beaches “lonesome beaches” would be far from reality.  Guards are monitoring the beaches, because swimming is only allowed in special areas (marked by flags), and everybody else was whistled out of the water.

There are many wonderful, huge playgrounds in Sydney our children really loved. The Fairfield Adventure Park and the Blaxland Riverside Park are great examples.

Sydney is big, so to get around all the special places Sydney has to offer, it takes time. We couldn’t visit that lovely pub we found during our first time in Sydney. We really wanted to go there, but it would have taken too much time.

Time passed quick and on to Canberra we went.

Canberra

Our Housesit was in the region Kambah.

We met the owners there in real life before they started their journey, and really it didn’t surprise us to find out how nice they were. It fit like a piece in a puzzle with all our previous experiences in Australia. Tom originated from Scotland and I love the Scottish accent. I have to admit the Australian accent is sometimes, especially from the male residents, really hard to understand.

So we spent Xmas in the Australian summer, mainly in the own pool that especially our kids used very frequently. Our then 3 yo daugther learned to swim there within 3 days. Our neighbors there were vegans and our children often played together.

A big golf course next to our house was open to the public, so we could walk the dogs there too. Many golf balls then found a new home. The dogs were lovely but didn’t like other dogs. If They spotted some, they started barking and pull on the leash like crazy. Kathi was once pulled too strong, similiar to “Ben Hur” and had “a few” scratches. It was then my turn to walk the dogs.

We had some visitors. The owners of the house in Wagga Wagga came, so we could meet them in real life. Since it was too hot to have the dogs in the car, they left them at home. Our children were a little sad about this, because they built a very strong bond to them, Jack and Max.

It is wonderful to make friends all over the planet, especially if they get as strong as in Australia.

Luckily another travelling family invited by us, joined us in the house (we asked the owners before!). Stefanie, Stefan and Finn from Mamakompass stayed a few days longer than planned, because we had a great time together. Hopefully we will meet again. From the hills next to us we enjoyed the sight over the town together.

The Dino-Museum was a pleasure for our children, like the Ice-cream-parlor before entering, that also had board games for playing.

For sure, Canberra offers much nature and is a great environment for runners. Big streets are easy to avoid, espacially in the region of Kambah.

Sydney

Our third time in Sydney we booked a hostel in Sydney Central. It was mostly a building lot – outside and inside. The rooms smelled moldly and the carpeting was moist… hopefully a onetime experience. Near to the hostel was the Chinese Garden and a wonderful playyground.

Brisbane

In Brisbane we lived in the, at that time not yet, highest building, the Brisbane Skytower. It was next to the botanical garden we visited quite often. I broke my finger and had to get surgery. It was quite complicated to get the OK from the insurance company and get an appointment for the short time we were there. Surgery.

Splinted we went on to Tin Can Bay.

Brisbane was a nevertheless wonderful time with much to see and experience – e.g.

Tin Can Bay

At our last housesit in Tin Can Bay, I got treatment for my hand by the local doctor and local physio therapist, after they had contact with the surgeon in Brisbane. Still I can’t move my hand like before after that long time, and it only gets better slowly.

Especially our son loved Tin Can Bay. Not only the village itself, which mainly is a retreat for elderly people, but the Lorikeets excited us. Flocks of them cruised in the air and occupied trees by the hundreds, making loud noises.

We could see dolphins, which are free to roam in the sea, but were fed for decades, so some of them arrive every morning to get some food – not enough to not be hungry, so they don’t get dependend. In a few meters/feet distance we could watch them.

The “sea” in Tin Can Bay is only connected through a sea gate to the ocean. If the tide is high you could swim and bathe, but at low tide it is a vast wetland with hundreds of blue army crabs.

Another highlight for our son was playing scrabbel with our neighbors, in English of course, and he managed it quite well. Some gardening brought us joy too.

Conclusion

On the last day in Australia, in Brisbane, we found a mixture of an arcade hall and a pub that only served vegan meals. Funny mixture.

Our daughter learned cycling in Wagga Wagga and swimming in Canberra.
Our son absorbed English unbelievable well for the short time we were in Australia (6 months) even though he almost never had contact to other kids.
Both learned much about the Australian nature (fauna, flora, …). Australia was where both of them learned the most.

  • Sydney was a wonderful city, but it depends where you’re situated for your experience.
  • Bowral was nice and we liked it despite the cold winter weather.
  • Wagga Wagga was where we really felt at home.
  • Canberra was more of a real city that we liked. A beutiful nature, big streets that you can nearly all the time cross over or under bridges and is therefore a great place for runners..
  • Brisbane offered so much and had wonderful weather.
  • Tin Can Bay overwhelmed us with its nature and we loved it, even if there is not much to do.

Australia was wonderful and we were sad we had to leave. The children even now often say that they want to go back.