And suddenly ... Australia, a destination that does not wait for me, no consideration, prices and length of the flight ... and my passion with stars and stripes that has often brought us over the past few years in the Atlantic. Then my husband, nicknamed by me flight finder, finds the flight ...
7/8 Rome - Milan - Abu Dhabi - Melbourne
And finally we leave. The ticket that we found at 790 euros each will be there in 24 hours in Australia with 3 flights, the longest of 13 consecutive hours. Luckily I spent 10 of them sleeping!
We arrive an hour late. Pick up your car with Europcar. Here is a question: eye on insurance did not come to the United States, the deductible in the event of an accident or car damage is also 3/4000 euros so it must be cut down with supplementary insurance policies that make the rental price increase not a little. We chose Europcar by paying everything in advance with clear prices. And let's taste the Australian winter, how cold !!! We arrive at the Cosmopolitan hotel in the st. kilda for 20. A quick dinner at the Mac donald near the hotel and we plunge back into the arms of Morpheus.
9/8 Melbourne - Phillip Island - Sale
Wake up early the weather unfortunately does not promise anything good for today. Breakfast back at the Mac and off to Phillip Island about 1.5 hours from Melbourne. We find only rain and wind and a few cars on the island most famous for motogp and penguins. We manage to do the Phillip Island Go Kart and then have lunch from Subway but we must quickly for our final stop. We find tree trunks on the street flooded roads and a lot of wind. In the woods, on roads similar to ours in the countryside, observe speed limits at 100 km / h ... Incredible! Sale is a small village before the Gippsland lakes. Our Comfort Inn & Suites hotel offers an elegant, large 2-bedroom apartment with a kitchen with a single stove in the living room that we won't easily forget ... Dinner at the Sport Legend. We order at the checkout and then you store everything at the table. It will almost always be like this.
10/8 Sale - Bermagui
We are preparing for a long stage. In hindsight with a little more a nice flight would have been better but coming from the long intercontinental trip I thought it would be better to go a little way. In reality for many kilometers there is nothing but trees, the fastest road passes far from the coast. Let's start with news of damage to the wind and even the snow near Cranberra. Finally we meet the first roadside Wallabies who eat grass, we visit the Killer Whale Museum in Eden. We eat at the Wheeler oyster but nothing oysters are like ours. Tonight we sleep in a warm house found on airbnb. Dinner at home after shopping in the supermarket.
8/8 Bermagui - Wollongong
We leave early the time is felt. Sydney approach stage. We stop in Carmel Rock, Australia Rock and in Hyams Beach certified by the Guiness Book of Records as the whitest beach in the world. Dinner in a fantastic steakhouse. Excellent meat we cooked alone on the plate. An unforgettable fillet ...
8/8 Wollongong - Sydney
At 40 km from Sydney there is a checkpoint with a breathalyzer, everything ok obviously. We arrive at Hyde Park Hotel at 11am, parking included, spacious room with 4 single beds, breakfast included, butter, jam etc. provided. In the fridge. The camera is ready already so leave your suitcases and go to the Opera symbol of the city. Today I decided to rely on walks and taxis to take public transport tomorrow
From the opera we head to Circular quay and then to the rocks the original district of Sydney. We already buy metro and bus passes and ferries to use tomorrow. Finally the temperature is higher, around 18 degrees. We watch the sunset at Macquire Chair with the sun going down behind the equally famous bridge symbol of the city. We walk looking for a restaurant and arrive in Darling Harbor at the Hard rock Cafe. A lively area that we loved. We return cooked to the hotel with a taxi.
After breakfast at starbucks we head to Bondi Beach by bus 373 from Hyde Park. Although there are surfers in the winter, of course, even if there are no high waves that I imagined. From Bondi there is a beautiful walk that leads to Cogee beach right on the ocean but we stop at Bronte beach and from here with the 379 bus we return to Bondi Jct to take the metro to Circular Quay. And off to another famous Manly beach. Here we have lunch in one of the many restaurants on the seafront. It's cool. I thought a lot while organizing the trip whether to see bondi or manly and in the end we saw both but I liked much more bondi for the landscape while manly for the shops. Let's wait a little strolling to catch the ferry at sunset. And it's worth it! We go up to the Tower Eye and have dinner in a steakhouse at the circular quay. From here we take a ferry to see the bay at night. It leaves from Circular, passes by the zoo and Darling Harbor. Unforgettable.
8/8 Sydney - Brisbane - Hervey Bay
We take the first internal flight that lasted an hour. We pass through Noosa Head, a beautiful seaside town full of people where there is the first place to spot koalas but the parking lot is too small. We can't get out of the car! Sigh! We leave for Hervey Bay where we will sleep.
8/15 Hervey Bay - Rockhampton
Today Whale watching with Spirit of Hervey Bay. How many belene! We are literally surrounded. It is the time of year when whales move away from Antarctica and choose these areas to give birth and there are many. Very emotional! On the road to Rockhampton we find many dead wallabies on the roadside, unfortunately we will find many other times.
8/16 Rockhampton - Airlie Beach
The longest leg of the trip, probably and with the famous hindsight a nice internal flight would have been to do ... anyway ... we stop in Cape Hillsborough where at dawn the wallabies arrive on the beach, unfortunately we don't sleep so close to watch the show .
8/17 Airlie Beach
Today beautiful excursion! We go to Whitsunday Island. I chose the thundercat but there are many companies. They take us close to the beach, we go down into the water (there are no marinas), we walk up to the Lookout (not to be missed) and we go down on the opposite side to the white beach for swimming. The colors I have seen will take them with me forever. Near us in the water we see 2 stingrays, the water is so transparent, an enormous displeasure to leave this place. Let's go back to the boat, have lunch and go to 2 areas where to snorkel. The water is cold, not everyone goes down. Obviously they provide wetsuits, masks and snorkels. Here too we meet many whales that come around us. Magnificent day.
8/18 Arlie Beach - Townsville
Magnetic Island today! In 3 hours we arrive at the ferry. On the island I booked the topless car of small cars with manual gearbox completely open and we have fun touring the island, we do not find beautiful beaches but we have a lot of fun ... We have lunch in Horseshoe Bay, even here there is a path where you should see koalas but we're not that lucky
Another dinner in a fantastic steakhouse.
8/8 Townsville - Cairns
We pass by Mission beach where we have lunch and then Cairns. We pass through sugar cane and pineapple crops. Excursions to the coral reef leave from Cairns. It's getting hot, we are about 30 degrees in winter ... We have dinner at the marina at the Prawn Star: it blocks, sashimi, sashimi and sashimi ... We have dinner on a boat (there are 3) in tables with other people, not really cheap but from to do!
I had chosen to do the Kuranda scenic Railway and descend with the Skyrail cable car. The train is slow but characteristic for me, the tourist village of Kuranda and the beautiful cable car, I chose the glass floor even more exciting. There are intermediate stops. Organized very well. For lunch we tasted the meat of crocodile, kangaroo and emu ...
8/21 Cairns - Darwin - Kakadu National Park
Here we are on the second internal flight. They didn't even look at our passports on domestic flights ... mah! We arrive in Darwin and leaving the city we notice that the landscape is almost desert. Darwin is hot, 33 degrees, it's the dry season, we find fires on the street. We head to Kakadu National Park. The hotels inside the park are very expensive but obsolete, luckily both the swimming pool and the dinner have raised our spirits. We slept at the Aurora Hotel. Around nothing!
8/22 Kakadu National Park - Batchelor
We stop to see the rock paintings in nourlangie rock. The mosquitoes attack us, we manage to walk waving our hands in front of the face in some places. Let's take a ride and quickly return to the car. Then we go to Yellow Water to take a river cruise in search of crocodiles and we also see many varieties of birds. We sleep at the Butterfly farm of a very nice and extravagant gentleman.
8/23 Batchelor - Litchfield National Park - Darwin
Today we visit Litchfield famous for termite mounds, even 5 meters high. It is an incredible landscape. The termite mounds follow one another like gravestones in a cemetery, more or less tall. The most famous is the 5 meter high cathedral. In this park there are also waterfalls and rivers where you can swim. Returning to Darwin we stop at the Territory Wildlife in Berry Spring. And finally we have the first close encounter with wallabies and kangaroos, one also with the kangaroo in the belly but of which we only see the tail and its movements. A truly beautiful park, it is not a zoo. A train takes us to the various stops. One consideration: to see some species up close we can only visit these protected structures.
8/24 Darwin - Adelaide - Kangaroo Island
Last internal flight. And we get to Adelaide. We have lunch in a cold Glenelg where the train also arrives from the center of Adelaide. On the road to Kangaroo Island we find reserves full of kangaroos and gentle green hills that descend to the ocean. We wait for the ferry to Kangaroo Island and we arrive now in the dark. The ocean is not flat and can be felt. Parking inside the ferry is not easy ... practically a thousandth joint.
8/25 Kangaroo Island
Wake up at dawn to reach the most western place on the island. First stop is Flinders Chase National Park 2 hours from Penneshaw. The Admiral Arch is beautiful in a fantastic setting. Sun and clouds chase each other, wind, waves, seals, even rainbow. Nature on this island is master. (and today it burns for 2/3) then we go to Remarkable rocks rocks shaped by the wind and the water of strange shapes. And then ... Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary with koala walking. A series of eucalyptus trees of different koalas ... to see them move slowly or to see them sleep in the branches, great emotions! We have lunch there and then we go to Little sahara where we surf / ski on the sand. And our busy day on Kangaroo Island ends at Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park. It is a small zoo and in addition you enter the kangaroo enclosure, there are many species of kangaroo, you can feed it directly from your hand. There are finally kangaroos with kangaroos coming out of the baby carrier ... and here we make the koala cuddle. We hold the koala in our arms while it placidly eats its beloved leaves ...
8/26 Kangaroo Island - Meningie
We take the ferry back to the mainland and head towards the Great Ocean Road but the road is long and we stop to sleep in Meningie on the homonymous lake ... 2 motels 1 restaurant 1 supermarket. The only emotion was taking the barge to cross a river ...
8/27 Meningie - Mount gambier
Another stage between cows, sheep and some dromedaries
When I saw them I was very amazed I was not prepared for this vision ...
8/8 Mount Gambier - Port Campbell
We start under a flood ... the thought of arriving at one of the most famous places in Australia at that time saddens me ... luckily the road is long and when the sun arrives it manages to peep out. There are several scenic spots to stop at: Bay of Islands, The Grotto, London Bridge, The Arch. And we will arrive at twelve apostles at sunset. This is one of the areas that I liked the most. The road flows near the ocean. The 12 apostles are now 7, the sea continues to erode them. Let's go back to Port Campbell satisfied.
29/8 Port Campbell - Ocean Grove
We stop at the parking of the 12 apostles and go to see how much a flight on the helicopter costs and ... some madness must be done right? 30 exciting minutes! We continue on the Great Ocean Road, many curves, many jobs, many wonderful views. The speed is very low. GOT ends up in Torquay a large town with a beautiful beach. And its inevitable surfers. Tonight we are sleeping in Ocean Grove an hour from Melbourne. To compensate with the next nights we spend only 50 euros in an airbnb.
30/8 Ocean Grove - Melbourne
We get up calmly and treat ourselves to an American breakfast in a nice cafe in the center of Ocean Grove. We arrive in Melbourne, head to the St. kilda pier and take a walk on the pier where you can see the skyline of the city. Then we walk part of the Albert Park Circuit, where the first F1 race takes place every year. But at 2 pm we are at the Pan Pacific hotel ... this is my surprise for my family. 5-star, 2-room suite, kitchen and rooftop lounge. To be honest when I started looking at where to sleep in Melbourne and the reviews I felt bad ... Many apartments for rent with bad reviews then spend to spend let's treat ourselves well. From the room seen on my beloved skyscrapers and I must say that the evening was supremozionante. We leave reluctantly. Melbourne has free buses into the city center. We cross the bridge and find the stop. A beautiful city, I preferred it to Sydney. We turn around a bit and then eat in an alley with outdoor tables. Let's go on the riverside and WOW! How much life, all illuminated. Traveling along the river we return to the hotel.
The last day ... it's always bitter sweet. Let's go to Queen Victoria Market, how nice! Souvenirs must be bought here! There is the area of the meat, fish and vegetable market. We eat outdoors and then go back to the city. We take the old tram that goes around the city. We go down to Federation Square. We rest for a while in the hotel and then we succeed. We have dinner on the riverside.
1/9 Melbourne - Abu Dhabi - Milan - Rome
We order breakfast in the room to end on a high note. We close our suitcases and take one last trip to Melbourne. A little shopping (favorable exchange) and off to the airport.