Ben and Barry's Blog

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Goodbye Stumpy

Our last morning in Sydney before we returned home was spent between the IMAX, watching Deep Sea 3D and a History of Sydney, and Starbucks coffee. In Starbucks we saw Stumpy the pigeon one last time. Stumpy was a pigeon with no feet, who somehow successfully navigated around people's legs, picking up all their crumbs. Goodbye Stumpy!


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Day 25 - Last Day :-(

On our final full day in Australia we take in Sydney by air. Our 3rd helicopter trip of the holiday takes us round a familiar harbour route, but from a different perspective.

We're just heading into Darling Harbour to take a night taxi across the bay, but as theres a thunder storm coming, this might be called off, we find out in a mo!
Helipcopter pros
Crunched up in tiny helicopter
Bridge and Opera House from the air


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Day 23 - Very, very high and Kylie!

Today we walked up 1439 steps, up over 440ft to the top of Sydney Harbour Bridge!! We were both a bit scared, and both very wobbly, when at the top the climb leader reminded it us was only 5.3 seconds down!! Eap!! Despite the wobbly legs the climb and view were spectacular.

After the climb we rushed back to the hotel to freshen, as we'd also booked to see Kylie's Homecoming Tour. We clapped our hands sore and sungs our voices horse. Fantastic show!

440ft up!
Relieved to be finish!!


Monday, November 13, 2006

Day 22 - Walk About

Today is a free day and we wander up the main street in Sydney, George Street, to do a spot of shopping. We wander all the way back to The Rocks by Sydney Harbour Bridge, then realise our feet hurt as we've been wandering for 5hrs!

While wandering around you see so many weird birds, not the usual pigeon/swan mix, but birds I have no idea what they are called??!

What the heck is this?


New Photos of Great Barrier Reef...

...have been collected from photo office and posted below on Day 16. Scroll on down to see them.


Sunday, November 12, 2006

Day 21 - Sydney Tour

Today we head out on a trip around Sydney in our coach. Its slightly dragged out, but we do get to see Bondi Beach for 20mins! The trip is then slightly repeated on our afternoon boat trip. However the boat trip is miles better as you get to see Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House right up close, we also had tea and cake on board!!

After the tour we are dropped in a shopping area called The Rocks, but is a bit too arty farty for us, so we catch a water taxi back to Darling Harbour then walk back to our hotel. We then discover that we don't have a pool :-(
Us in Sydney Harbour
A couple of famous landmarks
Bondi Beach


Saturday, November 11, 2006

Day 20 - Sydney!

Today after a late start we arrive in Sydney. We have a very brief guided tour of the roads around our hotel, before being left for the evening. We head over to Harbourside, which is right on the edge of Darling Harbour, which is literally 5mins walk from the hotel. We have a wander around, and then head back as we have an early start tomorrow.



Friday, November 10, 2006

Day 19 - Pool day

Today is a free day, so we have a lie in and catch up on some sleep. Its another 88° day, so we hit the pool again. In the evening we head down to Palm Cove beach to see whats around, and in our bit theres not alot, but we still have a nice wander along the beach. Tomorrow we're off to Sydney, which is 10° cooler than Palm Cove!

Palm Cove beach


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Day 18 - Kuranda & Skyrail

This morning we get up early to catch the Kuranda Scenic Railway. The brochure looked spectacular, the reality was a bit disappointing, although we did see Baron Falls waterfall. The day was starting to seriously hot up (88°) so we decided to duck out of the rest of the day and catch the Skyrail, over the rainforest, back down to the bottom of the mountain. We spend the rest of the day lazing by the pool.
Baron Falls
Skyrail over rainforest
Us on Skyrail


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Day 17 - Lazy pool day

Today there are no trips, so we have a completely lazy day by the pool, working on our tans :-)


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Day 16 - Great Barrier Reef

The most fabulous, spectacular day of the hoilday so far. The perfect day. We head off on our Wavepiercer on an 1½ hour trip out to the reef. Once there we put on our very flatterring full body lycra suits, to protect from "stingers", and head down for our Ocean Walk in our big diving helmets.

After our walk, we grab some lunch and go for another helicopter flight around the reef. What you can see in the video is only about 1% of the reef, which isn't one solid mass, but lots of smaller chunks near each other. The whole reef is the size of the UK!!

The day is running short, so finally we head off for a quick snorkle in the roped off area. We were a bit wary, as the helicopter pilot had said he'd seen sharks in the area, although luckily I think they were put off by our blue lycra!

After such a fabulous day, we had some wine on the journey home, and toasted Dad and Tom. It really had been spectacular, and I cried behind my sun glasses for about 30mins of the homeward journey thinking about them.


Monday, November 06, 2006

Day 15 - Transfer to Palm Cove

Today we fly to Cairns and onto Palm Cove, where we are staying in the Novotel Palm Cove Resort. We arrive fairly late, but its still hot enough to enjoy a swim.

The pool
Me in the pool


Sunday, November 05, 2006

Day 14 - Ayers Rock and The Olgas

Today we start out at 4am to see the sunrise over Ayers Rock. Not quite as spectacular as the sunset, but still it had to be done! After the sunrise we go round the base of Ayers Rock, which is 9.4km, luckily we do it in the coach. We stop off briefly to do the Kuniya Walk and see some cave paintings.

At the cultural centre of the national park we grab some breakfast, then its off to The Olgas, or Kata Tjuta as the Aboriginals call it. They are actually bigger than Ayers Rock, at 546m tall. We do an hours walk down Walpa Gorge, where we see the valleys carved by running rain water, and many flies!!

In the evening we do our helicopter flight of Ayers Rock and The Olgas, watch it below.
Not bad for 4am!
The red rock
Cave paintings
The Olgas


Saturday, November 04, 2006

Day 13 - Drivin' to Ayers Rock

Another long coach journey today from Alice to Ayers Rock, or Uluru as the Aboriginals call it. We stop off at Camel Springs on the way and see some camels (strangely enough!) and rescued Kangaroos ie. ones that had been run over! We check into the hotel, which is literally in the middle of no where and is self sufficient in electricity, water and sewerage, its a gorgeous 5 star hotel.

Tonight we head out to Ayers Rock to see the 348m tall rock change colour in the setting sun. The view is spectacular. Watch the video below.
Ayers Rock is bigger than me really!
Ayers Rock sunset
Sails in the Desert hotel


Friday, November 03, 2006

Day 12 - On our way to Alice

Today we're flying to Alice Springs. When we arrive we have a brief tour of Alice Springs and the Flying Doctor service. Barry's not feeling too well today, so we duck out of the rest of the tour and head back to the pool, as its boiling hot!!

5 street wide town of Alice Springs
Flying Doctors in Alice
Alice sunset


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Day 10 & 11 - Sun, Shopping & Zoo

On day 10 we duck out of another 8hr coach tour of Adelaide, as the sun is out, its boiling hot and we want to sit by the pool for the first time this holiday. We have a lovely morning in the sun, with its piercing rays, but in the afternoon it clouds over, so we head up the high street.

On day 11, it starts out grey, so we head to Adelaide Zoo to see some native ozzy animals. The sun then decides to come out again, so we head back to the pool. We're the only ones there! Tomorrow we head to Alice Springs.
Barry at the zoo
Kookaburra in an old gum tree
Streuth its crocs!


Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Day 9 - On our way to Adelaide

Our 2nd day on the coach sees us stopping at the rather spectacular "Blue Lake", which is a lake in the top of an extinct volcano. The whole area is on lime stone, and lots of areas have simply collapsed due to errosion and created sink holes, some of which they've turned into gardens!

Also the best day yet, as we goto "Populars" winery, for a wine tasting session. We literally pass miles and miles on vinyards on our way in and out of the wine producing region.

In the evening, we finally arrive in Adelaide. The weather is much warmer now, and we head to the pool for a quick dip.
Blue Lake
Garden Sink Hole
Mmmmm winery
Gorgeous sunset


Freaky Town of "Keith"

Obviously named after Barry's brother, we visited this town of "Keith" on our way to Adelaide. How many Keith shops can you spot??!! There were many, many more....