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Pamela & Nick are travelling..
8th Dec 2011
Australia

Our last few days in New Zealand were quiet, we did a lovely boat trip around Milford Sound with its stunning waterfalls and mountains and best of all, free cups of tea! We travelled through rolling countryside, stayed in small towns (although there aren’t many big towns on the South Island) and visited beautiful lakes on our way back to Christchurch. From Christchurch we hopped on a plane (though we stayed well inside of this one!) and just like that we were in the 16th and penultimate country of our trip, Australia.

We started off in Melbourne with a long and lovely walk around the Botanical Gardens which were very pretty and full of flowers, they were well watered as it started to rain half way round our walk but as you know we’re used to getting rained on now! Day two brought some sunnier weather for our very exciting Neighbours Tour. I love neighbours and I don’t care who knows it, so I was very happy to be able to go on this tour. We were picked up in town in a mini bus and were taken to the studios where we saw some of the sets, met one of the actors (Chris for those of you cool enough to also be a fan, we also saw Lucas walking past) and saw the cars and props. We then went to the street itself (a real street where real people live) and got to take photos and pose with the Ramsey Street sign like proper geeks – it was great. It was all a good laugh and lots of fun.

Melbourne is a really great city with amazing architecture and lots to see, they have a free tourist tram and bus service with commentary so we got a guided tour for free which is always nice. After seeing loads of the city it was only fitting that we have a meet and greet with one of its residents, and who better than our very own Matt Black. As Matt is living in Melbourne we met at a very English pub and it was great to catch up, we had a lovely evening and saw a bit of the city with him. The next day we explored the markets and the seaside by St Kilda, making the most of the sun while it lasted! The evening was spent with Matt and his friend Alex, it was good to spend time with a familiar face after so long.

We picked up our next rental car, Cammie, a lovely shiny Toyota (free upgrade!) and headed down the Great Ocean Road. On the advice of a lovely lady at an info centre we drove by a golf course where she said kangaroos lived. At first we didn’t see any, just men with golf trolleys and silly outfits, but then we saw one, and another, and... loads! There were around 20 kangaroos, lying, sitting and jumping around the golf course as people just played around them. They were so lovely and didn’t mind at all that people were there. The next day we drove down a road towards the sea and we saw loads of koalas, mostly in trees, sleeping and looking very cute, but one walked down the path right next to us. Both were great experiences and made it feel very Australian.

The Great Ocean Road was full of things to see, we went to the Lighthouse from ‘Around the Twist’, went on a treetop walk through the rainforest, saw the 12 Apostles and ‘London Bridge’ Thankfully the weather was kind to us and we had some sun so it was all very pleasant. The drive back up took us through lovely coastal towns, seeing giant pelicans and brightly coloured birds, we talked to friendly locals and had some great meals. All very laid back and enjoyable. Even the change in weather didn’t spoil our fun as the wind and rain set in (it’s been described as the coldest start to an Australian summer in 51 years!)

So our Aussie adventure brings us near Sydney and tomorrow we’ll drop off Cammie and meet another familiar face, our favourite uncle, Spencer. Once again it will be lovely to have someone to show us around, give us some handy tips and hopefully feed us a few good meals!! As it nears Christmas it will be nice to spend some time with family, though it won’t be the white Christmas we’re used to we know we’ll have an amazing time... knowing our luck it’ll be cold and rainy so will feel just like home anyway!

Pamela



Next: Wonder, Thunder and Blunder Down Under
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8th Dec 2011  Kangaroo!
Kangaroo!

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