The Best of Aussie Chrissie*

It’s hard to sit down and write a blog post about a two week long trip to Australia.  The days blur together, and when you look back, events of less than a week ago feel like they occurred weeks prior.  Ideally, I would have been able to blog as I travelled, but the reality of the matter was that, when you’re driving down the Great Ocean Road, you don’t want to spend time looking at a screen. When you are waking up early every morning to pack your day full of activities, you fall into bed exhausted.

So, instead of a play-by-play, I give you trip highlights from each of the cities I visited.  Cheers!

Adelaide: Overall, Adelaide was a magical experience.  For starters, the fresh air, blue sky, and 75 degree weather was a welcome change after eternally hot, humid, smoggy Jakarta.  However, most importantly, my friends and I were blessed to stay with the parents of some of our co-workers.  Not only did this mean that we got the insiders perspective of Adelaide, but it meant that we were treated like family. And, since it was Christmas, that was an extra blessing.

We went strawberry picking!

We went strawberry picking!

The best day in Adelaide was Christmas Eve.  The day began with a trip to Adelaide Central Market, where we drank coffees and browsed fruit and veg* stalls for produce to take on our road trip.  Following the market, Nathan drove us up to Mcclaren Vale for a bit of wine tasting, since South Australia is well known for its wineries.  After visiting a few wineries, we stopped to grab lunch at a delicious bakery in St. Thomas.  After eating our lunch on a grassy hill overlooking the beach, we went to what was essentially a petting zoo of roaming kangaroos.  We feed the kangaroos of all shapes and sizes, as well as pet a few koalas.

We pet and feed kangaroos and koalas.

We pet and feed kangaroos and koalas.

Christmas in Australia is much more like an American Fourth of July, with burgers and sausages* on the barbie* and summer salads.  So, while such an event would have never occurred in the states, it’s pretty normal to be out and about on Christmas Even in Australia.

On Boxing Day, we began out journey down the Great Ocean Road. We rented a Toyota Land Cruiser, and camp for three nights as we travelled east towards Melbourne.  Obviously, the camping itself was a highlight.

Camping and Road trips.  Good morning sunshine and oatmeal from the package.

Camping and Road trips. Good morning sunshine and oatmeal from the package.

However, the rock formations at the end of our road trip were beautiful and extremely memorable. The Twelve Apostles, which I was looking forward to the most, was packed with people and surprisingly not my favorite.  Instead, Loch Ard Gorge was the best stop of the day.  Less than a hundred steps down the rock face, the beach at the bottom of the Gorge was phenomenal. We didn’t swim, but we did scamper over some boulders to explore a bit of a cave.

Me and the Land Cruiser packed with gear.

Me and the Land Cruiser packed with gear.

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Loch Ard Gorge, on the Great Ocean Road

Melbourne.  What is there to say about Melbourne? First off, we stayed at a brilliant budget hotel in the middle of the Central Business District, so we were in ideal location for a lot of brilliant events.  While we did go out to St. Kilda and Fitzroy, my favorite part of Melbourne was going to the different shops.

Lunchtime in a funky cafe in St. Kilda.

Lunchtime in a funky cafe in St. Kilda.

Specifically, we started our day with a flat white from Pelligrino’s Espresso Bar, followed by a stop at The Paperback Bookstore next door.  After a bit of walking, we had another coffee at another local shop and explored a few more home good and outdoor stores.  The trams were jump-on-jump-off and we only used our transportation cards for busses and trains.

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Melbourne graffiti and the fabulous Janna.

Our first day in Sydney was a blur: we waited in a seemingly endless line to get into Mccrary Park, where we planned to sit all day long, reserving our spot to view the fireworks over the Sydney Opera House and Darling Harbor. However, once in the park, you could not leave, so it was a long day in the sun with 17000 other people.  While a cool experience, I definitely would not do it again.  Instead, the top of my Sydney list is the Sydney Fish Market. A cool atmosphere, we wandered the stall a bit and enjoyed a fresh fish ‘n Chips lunch.

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Happy New Year from Sydney, Australia!

Check out the heaps* of photos from the trip!  I have posted them in the photography section of my blog.

About the Asterisks…
*While in Australia, these were some of the common words and phrases used, which I found amusing and temporarily adopted.   Not listed is “good on yah,” a particular favorite of mine.

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