Amazing Australia

Mandy Walsh on 21 October 2007

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Its hard to know where to start with my love for Down Under. It certainly is somewhere very close to my heart and not a day goes by that I don’t think of something I did or saw in Oz. I began my journey in Sydney. A fantastic vibrant city that is so easy to get around from the Opera House, Darling Harbour, the Rocks, the shopping area of Pitt St to the infamous Bondi Beach and its breathtaking walk to Coogee Beach. Then there is Manly Beach and its Aquarium which is accessible by the many frequent ferries that depart from the Opera House area. They also go to Sydney Zoo where we even fed the baby Koala bears. The restaurants and bars are fantastic. Café Sydney overlooks the Opera House and views from the window tables will give you a night to remember. And for those ‘Home and Away’ fans Summerbay is only about a 40 minute drive from Sydney. Whilst the Hunter Valley vineyards and the Blue Mountains are about a 2 hour drive from Sydney. I went to Oz for 3 weeks and stayed 15 months and was lucky enough to be able to work and travel. I have been to Brisbane, stayed in Byron Bay, spent a fabulous few days in Noosa and even camped on Frasier Island with its infamous 70 mile beach/highway. Our couple of days here were fantastic! Continuing up the coast we have Airlie Beach, the gateway to the Whitsundays. Here we sailed for 2 nights/3 days on a 100 year old tall ship called the Solway Lass and visited Whitehaven Beach and even enjoyed a helicopter ride to Daydream Island. Travelling on up the coast to Cairns, then Palm Cove, then Port Douglas, Mossman, Daintree and Cape Tribulation. Cape Tribulation and Daintree are where the World Heritage Rainforests meet the Great Barrier Reef. You never know what you might see, from crocodiles to exotic butterflies, turtles and many more colourful species. Palm Cove and Port Douglas are really quaint beach resorts and are the stops to enjoy the Great Barrier Reef and its diving. Or even just lie back and enjoy the serenity in one of the many Spas and Wellness Centres.

If you fancy change why not head South of Sydney to Thredbo and Jindabyne. About a 6 hour drive and you are in the Perisher Valley. Perfect for skiing June to September. Not many people know that its possible to ski in Australia and we enjoyed a great weekend here with all our friends. Perfect for the whole family. There are also ski resorts in Victoria and these are a closer drive from Melbourne than the NSW ski resorts are from Sydney. Also along this coast are the stunning beaches of Jervis Bay, the waters here are full of dolphins and we had a fantastic experience whilst out on a daytrip cruising. The beaches here are known to have the whitest sand in the world. We enjoyed a couple of weekends in this beautiful unspoilt area. And well worth the drive in my opinion. On down to Victoria and we have Melbourne. A truly great city, whether you want to shop, party or just enjoy the culinary delights of the many eateries. There is something for everyone here. We travelled along the Great Ocean Road and marvelled at the Twelve Apostles and its truly spectacular coastline. We were also lucky enough to go to St Kilda and the Melbourne Grand Prix which was just a brilliant experience. Another great city in South Australia is Adelaide and its beautiful beaches of Glenelg. Life in Adelaide is much slower paced than Sydney and Melbourne. And a must do for wine lovers is the Barossa Valley, home to the wineries of Jacobs Creek, Penfolds and Wolf Blass. Make sure you nominate a driver or better still book a tour if no one is a tee totaller. I cannot express my passion and knowledge of Australia enough, and due to its large expansive size and diversity it would be impossible to tell you about it in so few words. So whether you would prefer a relaxing balloon ride over Yarra Valley or an exhilarating sky dive over Sydney, Australia has it all. Ask me an Aussie Specialist.

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