Tag Archive for Australia

Tips for Sydney’s New Year’s Eve

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A year ago at this time, we were in Sydney, Australia and trying to figure out how to make the most of our New Year’s Eve experience. NYE is a big deal in Sydney – 1.5 million people turn out to watch the fireworks and the parade of illuminated boats up and down the harbour – and the question of where to go to watch the fireworks is a daunting one. The city’s official NYE website lists more than 60 locations from which you can watch the fireworks, listed on…

Australia: The Wrap-up

The platypus: much smaller, and weirder, in person.

Days in country: 92Cost per day: $203.  Not including big splurges on things like diving the Great Barrier Reef and tickets to the Melbourne Cup and the Australian Open, we spent $173/day (No, there is really no reason to not include this spending in our total, except to make us feel better).  Lodging was by far our greatest expense, an average of $71/night.  That’s one of the reasons we would think seriously about renting a campervan if we were going to do the east coast drive over again.  The next…

The Red Center

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Just before we said goodbye to the much beloved Australia, we took an organized tour to the Red Center departing from Alice Springs. This ended up being one of the more expensive parts of our trip, since we had to fly to Alice and fork out a few hundred dollars each for the tour. It also involved many things that push my comfort zone – sleeping outside, hiking, and extreme heat. All that being said, it was well worth it.  We ended up taking the 3-day/2-night tour to see Uluru…

Melbourne Street Art

Melbourne was our favorite city in Australia and one of our favorite places on the trip so far.  We were there on two separate occasions, for a total of about two weeks.  Melbourne is a very artsy, bohemian city with lots of cafes and restaurants. It’s the place where Australia’s cool young people want to live; Sydney – full of bankers and insurance companies – just doesn’t hold the same appeal.  One aspect of Melbourne that contributes to its cool culture is the prolific street art throughout the city. Here…

A Visit to the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital

Sleeping his way to good health

A few hours north of Sydney, Port Macquarie is a small town that boasts an amazing attraction: a free-to-visit koala hospital. Naturally, we had to stop by and take a look. A large whiteboard inside the hospital’s entrance lists the current patients, their estimated age, the nature of their injury/illness and the treatment they are receiving. 200-300 koalas are admitted to the hospital every year. The majority of cases are injuries from motor vehicles, dog attacks, and — strangely enough — chlamydia. Don’t ask me why, but koalas are really…