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Day 1 : Up , up and away..hopefully

Wednesday 22nd October 2014

Taxi pick up at 4pm successful! Said a teary goodbye to Hollie & Ian handed over at work, before kissing the cat farewell.
The traffic was light ( for rush hour ) & we arrived at Terminal 2 , "The Queens Terminal" sadly she didn't bother to greet us personally. Check in was reasonably painless, we enjoyed dinner at The London pub Fullers brewery & browsed the duty free.

Our plane is a massive double decker A380 , complete with onboard swimming pool , casino & bowling alley ( not ).
We are settled in our seats & anticipating a disorientating 24 hour journey to the land of Skippy, Neighbours & Wentworth detention centre,

See you when the fog lifts.



"omfg a massive plane! Looking forward to your next blog to see if you survived!" - Sharron

Day 2 : The day that time forgot.

Thursday 23rd October 2014

The First leg of our journey was 12 hours of nothing , punctuated by episodes of airplane food.

Landing at the sparkly Singapore airport gave us the opertunity to visit a butterfly exhibit, conveniently situated in the terminal!

Ian met a sweet new pair of friends.

Just about 2 hours later we were on a similar plane bound for Sydney, the plane had been loaded with every traveller on earth who was full of cold , possesed a hacking cough & was beset with consumption. 7 hours & 10 torturous minutes later we arrived.  

Bliss xx


"as long as it was a cold and not Ebola because you can't have the vaccine till july2015" - Sharron

"Ever Cheery Sharronxx" - Deb

Day 3 : Lifes a Bondi Beach!

Friday 24th October 2014

Having exited the airport we awaited a courtesy bus to pick up our shiney hire car, our mission , to make it filthy!

Next stop Bondi Beach & a chance to wow the world with my Baywatch bathers.
Sadly it was overcast & rainy, Ian had a dip, just to say he had & emerged from the waves like a portly Daniel Craig,, Sans crocs.....

Hungrey Joes , Australias version of Burger King was our luncheon delight..We are feeling a little weary now as we are 10 hours ahead of GB time with little shut eye.

Wer arrived at the Sky Riders Motel & gaze longingly at our bed, Instead we take a dip & head out.

The 3 Sisters view point is a stones throw away, The vast scenic gorge is a mini Grand Canyon & no less spectacular.

Following a fruitful shopping trip to Coles , the local supermarket , Ian & I have a team of tiny ants propping up each eyelid up with matches.

The Indian restaurant is approximately 200 yds from the motel, Fortunately they mixed up our meals, Ian got stuck with a molten Rogan Josh which I found inedible , he lost his " Pepper Masala" to me.

We plan to crawl into bed & will no doubt be wide awake by 4am..ain't jet lag a bitch.

Goodnight reader xxx


"Mum..sorry, but I had a party and the house is trashed and Marmite is pregnant..this me's not Auntie Lizzie xx" - Hollie

"We are flying home immediately & have informed the RSPCA.. Consider yourself grounded until you are 35. This had better not be some poor joke from Auntie Lizzie or some other prankster !!" - Mum

"had a visit from our vet today who wanted me to pee on a stick, then she saw my lipstick and charged you £95 call out fee. Sorry" - Marmite

"Marmite has clearly been spending too much time in 'inappropriate' company!! Have a great time 'Down Under' you guys! I'm sooooo not jealous!! xx" - Jo Austin

Day 4 : Tea with Auntie Dee.

Saturday 25th October 2014

After a solid sleep we were awake bright & early, we returned to echo point where Prince William & Kate stopped to admire the same views, Ian took a path to one of the 3 Sisters rocks.

Advertised as a 1 hour return adventure, boasting over 900 steps!  Not for me thank you. He returned puffing after a mere 10 minutes, having made it about 100 steep crumbling steps..

Breakfast at the Mountain Cafe on main street was delightful.

Off to "Scenic World " ( not phoenix world Hollie) Sounding more like a theme park , than a set of Tropical rain forest walks, linked together by a series of cable cars & trains.

The first cable car, complete with glass floor, taking us across the gorge for a view of the 3 Sisters from the opposite side.

We walked to another spot dedicated to Kate & William who came to the area on their recent tour, via some pretty water falls.

We saw the falls from every angle!

We walked round the Gorge to get the " Worlds Steepest train " Complete with adjustable seat to offer a ride which could be laid back or"cliff hanger" Which gave the impression that you were about to tumble vertically into your fellow passengers below!

More view points & a fabulous thunder storm.

We arrived at Auntie Dee's, She & Colin gave us a tour of their cosy home.

Dinner at The Springwood Sports Club with a selection of their great & welcoming family.

After a smashing meal & a good catch up, we waved goodbye to Colin & Delia, With promises to see them & their children next time they come to England.

After another packed day , we are ready for our beds..

Goodnight all xxxx


"Hi Mum....did you know it's a silly idea to set off fireworks in the house?? Hope all is well...Love, not Auntie Lizzie, but Hollie." - Hollie

"No bloody fire works ! I blame your madness on the Marriott Side of the family ." - Mum

Day 5 : Katoomba to Morpeth via pie country.

Sunday 26th October 2014

The day began with a little refreshing rain but quickly supercharged to Molten!
We left the skyriders motel & went to a series of lookout points on Ians itinerary.

Evans lookout provides a magnificent view over this section of the gorge.
Ian found a track to a slightly different view point at Govatts leap, look mum , no handrail..
Dear insurance company , please accept this photo as evidence he wasn't pushed !!

The blue mountains are named after the blue mist which shrouds the skyline..This is caused by the evaporation of the Eucalyptus oil which occurs in the extreme heat.

Lunch was at Busbys cafe restaurant at Wisemans Ferry, The temperatures souring to a sweltering 36 degrees we sat on the terrace & enjoyed the occasional breezy moment . We entered Apple orchard country, every farm & store boasting magnificent home made pies, we resisted the urge to sample these tempting wares : )

We took a short ferry ride after our meal & continued north towards Morpeth.

After a dip in the pool while Ian snoozed, we ventured out into Morpeth.
Our motel keepers recco of the local inn for a bar meal wasn't for us, we stumbled upon this little gem.

" Morpeth Wood fired Pizza, Indian delicacies & Wine cellar "

Populated by charming Indian staff, we passed through a wine emporium into an Italian style eatery complete with open pizza oven, to the leafy garden area, an idilic cool sanctuary in which to relax.

I enjoyed a 2 glass bottle of wine from the attached offy & some beautiful spiced prawns..Never failing to be predictable Ian chose the chicken vindaloo.

I will be setting an alarm to ensure I get first dibs on the bathroom tomorrow.

Goodnight all & thanks for the comments xxx

Day 6 : Skippies in the ( Lighthouse ) Garden..

Monday 27th October 2014

Ian & I were up with the lark & I had a lovely chat with Doris before Ian informed me I'd used up most of my pre paid minutes..Opps!
Bye bye Morpeth motel.

Off to Seal Rocks for a bounce amongst the waves .. Ian was giving it a bit of a Wayne Sleep!

Next we visited Sugarloaf Lighthouse, the first of a series built in the 1870's.
Ians, already sore, calf muscles had another work out as he staggered to the sumit.

Dispite being in the peak of my physical fitness I do admit it was bloody steep!

After leaving the Lighthouse Ian & I commented that the , " Kangaroo & Koala " Caution signs were a complete joke, as we hadn't seen hide nor hair of either beast.
Following some lengthy road works, we picked up speed & passed a Roo warning sign..50 m later we saw a young joey , watching the world go by , beside the carriageway.
We eagerly awaited a Koala hanging from a roadside tree in this high speed " Longleat " adventure"..No such luck : (

Lighthouse no 2, The Smoky Cape lighthouse , our B&B for the night.

We were met at the base of the cliff by our host Pat, he drove us & our luggage up the steep incline in a converted golf cart ..Our restored 19th century room was a joy & a quick check of the weather , predicts force 9 gales @ 3am !

Our cottage has a small rear garden overlooking the beach.

The Garden is home to a retired Kangaroo, Poor fella was injured by a car 2 yrs ago & is now a permanent feature in Pats garden.

Before heading out we climbed to the lighthouse tower , where a couple of polite tattooed lads took our photo.

The young men marvelled at length that we were staying on site, in the historic cottage.

Dinner was at the Riverside Tavern, I shared it with this somewhat startled man.

I chose the Flat head with Aoili, a local gent explained its a fish which remained ignored for many years, with its ugly head & skinny body, its possible my dinner was caught on the very river we are now sitting beside !

Anyhow its back to the lighthouse to don a sou - wester & await our shift up on the tower , keeping the candle burning, best we rope ourselves together for the climb !

Goodnight all, xxx


"Wow, the Cottage is amazing!!! Looks like you're having such a fab time!? xx" - Jo

Day 7 : A Carpet Python, Jellyfish , a Shark & Some Horse Flies.

Tuesday 28th October 2014

The Wonderful Pat made us fruit & a dirty great fry up..He was AMAZING.

Checking out of the lighthouse gave us a close encounter with a carpet python , who had been keeping our car company in the garage ! The knowledgable Pat estimated our pal to be an 8 footer, apparently they can grow to 10ft , Pat thinks the snake could have been brought to the lighthouse by himself as he regularly removes such creatures from old ladies gardens  ( some sort of civic duty i suspect ).

Next stop Trial Jail. Originally a prison , the prisoners were required to build a harbour wall extension , in order to create a safe haven for ships in foul weather...However ships became more sturdy & the project was cancelled when the new wall was only 7% complete.
Later in its history it became a low security interment camp for German nationals during WW1.

Next stop Trail Jail Beach.

The water was fresh & clear, teeming with tiny harmless jellyfish.
We chatted to a local fisherman who told us he'd seen a shark in our bay only minutes before, he'd avoided shouting an alarm as the fish had changed course & headed for open sea !!!

Onwards towards Coffs Harbour.
We drove to the cliff tops to observe the magnificent bay below, a swarm of Horse flies decided to keep us company.

The awesome view was somewhat spoilt by everyone running in circles & batting the pesky flies .

Another trail took us on a hike to the North overlook, again with our friends the Horse Flies as companians.

Welcome to the Heritage Hotel Motel Dorrigo.

Built in the 1920's and still owned by the original family.

Dispite a slight delay as we struggled to operate our door lock " Old doors " we were repeatedly told. We finally made it to the Hotel Bistro, for some disappointing Squid , Ians Mexican Pizza hit the spot though !

As long as we can get back into our room we look forward to a restful sleep : )

Goodnight dear reader

Day 8 : Our day on the Waterfalls way.

Wednesday 29th October 2014

First stop after our "Continental " Hotel breckie, Rainforest Sky walk- Dorrigo.

We parked at the Glade area & embarked on our " Crystal Showers Falls " hike.

Along the way we learned about the fascinating plant & tree life.

The Yellow Carabeens extraordinary trunk formation & up to 55m growth, is remarkable.

The rainforests' cool canopy made for a pleasant downhill trot.

We arrived at the beautiful falls. Like so many of our stops so far we have been lucky enough to be alone & to enjoy the tranquility.

The climb back out of the gorge was more taxing, I paused here & there as if in deep thought, waiting for my heart rate to return to a less terminal level!

We love a funky lunch venue ...Fusspots did not disappoint, our corned beef sandwiches were delivered in silence as the other diners, concentrated on devouring,mighty portions.

Guy Fawkes National park ( I had no idea the gunpowder plot was replicated in New South Wales ! ) another impressive set of falls , visible without a life threatening hike.

Danger Falls again offered a cardiac opertunity with its countless steps & steep sopes.

My dear husband chose a refreshing dip, No sharks here, just our very own Loch Ness Monster : )

The other places of interest were in a drive-by format, & a chance to browse the little row of shops in Dorrigo, before returning to our Hotel.

In the absence of a photo of 2 sane individuals, I present you with a fat bird & a bloke who last appeared on crime watch , in association with some cow tipping.

Goodnight reader , may you live long & prosper xx


"Bear looks like hes skinny dipping in the waterfall :) Lots of love" - Hollie

Day 9 : Byron Bay Lighthouse & Dracula's

Thursday 30th October 2014

We woke to the smell of woodsmoke, Goodbye Dorrigo & a long drive through the varoius national parks on our route, We travelled through varying amounts of smoke, most of the view points obscured... Another bizarre lunch scenario at a 24 hour cafe , selling squid at a dollar a ring & chips liberally coated in plain or chicken salt ( whatever that is !)

Byron bay lighthouse, for $7 we were afforded the luxury of driving to the car park near the top.

We pretended we could see the pod of Dolphins, another hiker was showing us & Posed by the sign telling us we were at the most eastern point on mainland Australia.

The rocky bay provided some stunning views.

We arrived at Jupiters Casino & Hotel at Gold coast ( Oz's version of Vegas ) & our eagerly anticipated " Dracula Show ".

The meal was served by our weirdly dressed hosts, after a trip on their Ghost Train. The Show a burlesque extravaganza - a-la -Rocky Horror style , was polished & impressive..My massive fish bowl cocktail was a challenge to say the least.

We returned to the hotel & took a quick tour of the vast casino.

We checked the news & can find no info on our potential bush fire, the region is tinder dry.

Ian wants to sleep with the curtains open to enjoy his " Hinterland View", I suspect he will be making a 4am journey to the curtains to switch it off  !

Good night reader xx

Day 10 : Crikey & a warm welcome in Peregian Springs.

Friday 31st October 2014

We made an early start , passed various view points then visited Cedar Falls , unfortunately the falls had been switched off.

Australia Zoo, legacy of the great Steve Irwin our destination for the day.
Our first Koala..appeared to be hanging up in storage.

The Croc & bird show at noon, showcased some spectacular birds including parrots & a mighty condor with a 3 m wingspan.

Mossman , a 380 lb croc showed off his massive jaws & agility beneath the water.

Ian achieved his ambition of petting a kangaroo.

Finally the tiger enclosure, we just missed the presentation by the keepers, but while the men chatted the tigers nuzzled & enjoyed having their ears tickled.

45 minutes later we arrived with Annette & Ken..
I took the grand tour of their lovely home & made myself comfortable in the 5 star guest suite!

Tommy & Will joined us for a BBQ dinner before their social duties called them away.
Before bed we Skype'd Hollie she assures us the house is still standing & the dog hasn't been claimed by the RSPCA. We enjoyed a few glasses of wine & a good catch up, hard to believe its a full 7 yrs since we were all together.

Looking forward to tomorrow

Goodnight reader xx


"OMG what a lovely picture! only Hollie missing :( Annette and Ken have changed very little Life in Oz is clearly the answer!! I hope you all had a fabulous catch up and do not leave it for so long next time!! " - Caroline

Day 11 : Whistle stop tour with Annette & Ken

Saturday 1st November 2014

Breakfast Auzzie style !

Annette & Ken took us to many of their favourite spots, Coffee in Montville with a magnificent view of the hills & vallies,  Slight haze prevented us seeing the distant ocean.

Nothing could stop a little retail therapy in the delightful boutique stores, which lined the small high street.

A major triathalon was taking place at Noosa heads, making parking a virtual impossibility, Our hosts were astonished to find a spot in the surf club car park , a stones throw from the tempestuous waters.

After a quick shower, we were lucky enough to be included in " Andreas surprise Birthday bash" at Grant & Linda's magnificent beach front apartment.
Once again we were made to feel like old friends, Ian & I were delighted by their hospitality.

The stunning apartment is ruled over by " Lily " Grant & Linda's cat who not only donned her bat cat outfit in our honour, but demmo'd her artistic skills on her cat painting app for the I pad.

Next & Final stop in this exhaustive adventure, Kaalis Indian Cuisine , Australias finest curry so far,, even met with Ken's seal of approval.

Such a wonderful day , Hard to believe it's 7 long yrs since we all did this, as per Ms Mousdale we really must not leave it this long again to be with dear & valued friends. Annette has not aged a day ..need to get her secret formula : )

Goodnight all xxx

Day 12 : Surf Club fry up & a ferry to Fraser Island

Sunday 2nd November 2014

Thanks to Annette & Ken for an all you can eat Sunday breakfast at the surf club ( Where else ? )

We enjoyed watching the nippers ( The junior life guards) going through their paces, as we tucked into our meals.

After a fond farewell & promises to return our gracious hosts' favour in september next yr, we set off towards Hervey Bay & our ferry to Fraser Island.

We filled up with fuel in anticipation of Wednesdays super long drive & caught the Kingfisher Bay ferry for a 45 minute journey to the world largest sand Island.

We had bright sunshine & took advantage of the open upper deck.

Our vigilent Captain studied the sports pages as our ferry headed towards potential disaster!

Narrowly missing 2 icebergs & a German U Boat we docked at Fraser Island & a small bus brought us to the Resort.

We explored our surroundings & settled into our " Sea view" Room , We visited the car hire area & found Ian's request for an automatic vehicle had not been fed through, Complaints have been lodged  !!!

Still smarting from the car episode, Ian attempts to eat a peanut whilst posing for a photo.. The results speak for themselves.

Dinner is to follow then a good sleep, possibly a quick Heimlich to dislodge the peanut too !

Goodnight reader xx

Day 13 : Navigating Fraser Island's sophisticated motorway system.

Monday 3rd November 2014

Bless his heart, our Auzzie Trax guy secured us an automatic vehicle for our day out on the Island.
The Hi Lux Truck seemed like it had seen better days & immediately alarmed us with an array of warning lights across the dashboard, Our guy suggested we ignore them all , based on his faith in the 50 point check he seemed to think it had just undergone.

The day began overcast , between small showers of rain the weather failed to brighten up.

Armed with our trusty map we headed out from the resort towards Eastern Beach.
We were allowed to drive along the shore line, but not within 2 hours of low & high tides. First stop Eli Creek, I paddled in the tepid water.

We tried to avoid the tour buses & successfully kept one step ahead of the crowds.
The rusting wreck of the "Maheno" poked out of the sand.

Further along the deeply rutted roads we arrived at Central Station,  a Tropical  rainforest stop off. These weird plants latch on to the side of the local trees.

Our final point, Lake McKenzie..A vast inland lake, made entirely from rainwater..Beautifully clear & in shades of blue green.
The water was as warm as bathwater, I paddled, but we decided not to swim as the air temperature felt very chilly !

Poor Ian was quite exhausted by the challenge of the loose sand roads, The Hi Lux served us well & we managed to return it without adding to its dents & rusty war wounds.

Ian pasted on his best smile for a tea time dip in our resort pool, we managed again to avoid the crowds, except for a few local birds that enjoyed a dip as we towelled dry.

After my long day of being a passenger , I had earned my Fraser Island Lime Margarita.

Dispite looking devastated , this is the " Before " pic of Ians taster platter of Emu, Croc & Skippy : (

We enjoyed a posh dinner at Kingfisher Bay Resort. We have a long drive tomorrow so will sign off now..

Goodnight reader xxx

Day 14 : The long & winding road

Tuesday 4th November 2014

Rising early for breakfast before our retuen journey, meant we were up with the larks feeding below our free ocean view balcony.

How would you like to wake up to this every morning ?

Our ferry left promptly and looking back you can see how cleverly the resort is hidden in the rainforest.

Today will mainly consist of driving...............

8 hours and a few loo breaks later we arrive,

Bring on the 44km drive across the national park, the last 17km over unsealed roads, plenty of cows for company.

The Skippies are out in force on the front lawn of our retreat.

Ian strikes a pose, What can I say ?

Our wilderness lodge is closing for the summer  ( Too hot , fires etc ), Tonight is the last night.
Early dinner as they begin to pack up. We are staying in a Glamping style cabin .

Tomorrow we plan some trecks along the trail, not sure how far we will get depending on heat !

Goodnight all xxx

Day 15 : Throw another shrimp on the bonfire , Guy Fawkes

Wednesday 5th November 2014

We enjoyed our balcony breakfast, while watching an amourous skippy being rebuffed by his lady love.

Carnarvon Gorge our destination for the day.

Although the water levels are woefully low, we still managed to find several sets of stepping stones to navigate.

A mum & baby Kangaroo seemed unafraid of us & allowed us a great photo shoot opertunity.

Our 8 mile walk through the ozzie landscape in Carnarvon Gorge gave us many great photo stops.

The Moss gardens, an exquisite water fall where the filtered water meets the layer of shale in the rock face resulting in a series of slow drips.

along the edge , ferns and mosses grow in bright colourful greens.

Next stop " The Amphitheatre" a 30m ladder climb to the hidden tube of rock.

Smoothed out by years of water erosion, the amphitheatre has almost perfect acoustics..1 lucky crow took home Ians apple core to his grateful family as we sat enjoying the peacefulness.

Leaving Carnarvon Gorge , we now have added a pair of frightened Emu's to our wildlife count.

Dooleys Tavern, Motel, pole dancing club, Casino, whore house , car wash, laundry  & Restaurant is our stop over point tonight.

They do a passable steak & my beef & Guiness pie was delightful.

Another early night no doubt , a drive ahead to Airlie beach is on the cards for tomorrow.

Goodnight reader xxxx


"What no pole dancing Deb, thought you might have entertained the locals lol!" - Ken Christie

"Those locals couldn't get their 5 dollar bills down my G String quick enough Mr C" - Deb

"Like mummy walked 8 miles! " - Hollie

"Yes indeed... And she saw a snake!" - Ian

"I so bloody did walk 8 miles..according to ians google thing & it was a snake not a stick!" - Mum

"Yes indeed... And she saw a snake!" - Ian

Day 16 : Capella to Airlie Beach via the sugar cane fields.

Thursday 6th November 2014

Up with the lark & a fond farewell to Doolies Tin shack Tavern. A confusing fuel stop / bog visit enroute presented Ian with the puzzle of , was he a bloke or a Shiela ?

After a fairly uneventful 3hr drive we arrived in Nebo,,( Which we speculate is near Su Bo & Next to Elbow ! )

We stopped at their Historic Hotel, The historic guy propping up the bar invited us to try the Historic walk through the village, We suspected he kept a 12 bore shot gun in his truck & might appear in our rear view window, as we chose to avoid the Historic walk & 90+ degree heat.

Ian purchased a massive pizza, a valliant effort was made to finish it, flies & all.

Thank Goodness we didn't have to rely on this old pump for fuel.

Another 3+ hour drive to Airlie beach & through Mount Osser, offered some stunning views as the road wound on through the never ending sugar cane fields.

After checking in to our " Motor lodge "  Airlie beach beckoned for a tea time stroll.

No stroll would be complete without a beer stop.

After a refreshing shower we visited the " Lovely India " Restaurant & Bar.
We puzzled the mix of Indian & Auzzie/Yankee staff by refusing to order our meal , all at once ..Fearing the usual , everything arriving at once problem we often experience on hols.

My starter was mind bogglingly enormous, thank heaven for Ian who obligingly ate most of it for me.
Goodness knows what the main course will bring ( If they ever figure out we haven't ordered it yet ! )

Anyway going sailing tomorrow, Shiver me timbers , hoist the mainbrace..
See you when the fog lifts xxx

Day 17 : SV Domino day

Friday 7th November 2014

We waited at the beautiful Marina for our sailing day.

In total we were 7 including our captain & his first mate (Mario).

Captain Reg ran us through his proposed route for todays adventure.

My personal Captain Jack Sparrow.

Left leg, What Ian thought the feet in his neoprene anti jelly fish suit should look like.......Oh dear

And here he comes, like a villain from a Bond Movie.

The impending full moon has caused the strong tides & the water appears quite dirty.

Highlight ! A turtle came to swim with us.

It's true what they say..Everyone is graceful underwater.
Ian thoroughly enjoyed his snorkeling trip & is keen to Scuba dive at a later time !

I did struggle with the Flippers , Our captain said he doesn't get on with them & I should have taken them off, ah well , with hindsight !

After an hour in the ocean we enjoyed a gourmet lunch ..Sweet chilli Muscles, chicken , salmon ,feta salad with olives & bread not to mention some enormous prawns.

A fond farewell to Black Island . almost a desert island of our own.

Our Captain was frustrated by the lack of wind on our voyage..during the final miles a breeze sprang up allowing him to shut off the engines & guide us the remaining short distance by sail.

Our companions, Sarah , John & their friend from the UK Fiona , were friendly & happily took a photo of us.

Home for a welcome shower & Ians choice, a Chinese meal to round off our splendid day.

Goodnight Shipmates  xxxx

Day 18 : Whitsundays & The Great Barrier Reef from the air

Saturday 8th November 2014

Air Whitsunday welcomed us to their grand sounding " Terminal 1" ..( The 1 relating to the number of staff on duty ).
We met our pilot Dan & climbed aboard our sea plane with our 4 other companions.

Once airbourne , Pilot Dan took us out over the Whitsundays & informed us the Islands were named by Captain Cook when he arrived on Whit Sunday 3rd June in the 1770's..Had the international date line been around, they would have been called the Whitmondays !

Our stop off at Whitehaven beach for a glass of Champagne , also allowed enough time for me to take a quick dip.

Yes I know, It's like watching bay watch...
The 97% pure silica sand is almost pure white.

We & our fellow passengers took photo's for each other .

Back on the air & a chance to view " Heart Reef" set in it's own lagoon.

The Great Barrier Reef itself consists of over 2900 individually definable reef's, stretching well beyond the sunshine coast, south & into the Northern Territories.

Hayman Island..Exclusive Island retreat for the rich & famous.

Flight over & a visit to Airlie Beach market.

Fish & Chips from paper our Gourmet Lunch, in a place caled Bowen.

A View of the mountains we are heading for from Inkerman Outlook.

A cool dip at the Shoredrive Hotel pool , while my laundry does its thing.

And a final photo during our stroll along The Strand, in Townsville.
Later at Bogarts , the posh eatery attached to our not so posh hotel , Ian opts for a steak while I try ... Homemade Gnocchi with Spinach Prawns & BUGS ( Bugs being a local crustacheon similar to a sweet prawn ).

More driving tomorrow so good night dear reader xxx

Day 19 : Waterfall way day

Sunday 9th November 2014

We left our " in need of refurbing " room in Townsville & headed towards Cairnes, Ian's goal, to visit the falls tea house.

We were immediately beset by flies once Ian's Omlette & my chicken salad arrived , The food was however excellent.

The views took our breath away as did the blistering noon day heat.

Our first falls, The Millaa Millaa falls ( Australias most photographed )  a popular spot, lots of scantilly clad young women ( & some hot guys : ) were taking advantage of an afternoon dip.

Falls 2, The Zillie Falls , not really accessable but a great photo opertunity.

Ellinjaa Falls, our final stop , something of a climb , but beautiful & my fave ( even got a smacker from the old man ! )

Checking into the Mercure Harbourside, hows this for a view ?

And finally a trip out to The Tandoori Oven , Guess who's choice that was ?

Might stop off at the Cock & Bull on the way home Auntie Dee's favorite watering hole .

Ian has blocked ears & thinks he may have to hang up his stinger suit & retire from a glittering career in Scuba diving, we are administering ear drops, on the up side, I can call him whatever I want & he's clueless!!

Goodnight shipmates xxx

Day 20 : My Boomerang won't come back

Monday 10th November 2014

Our day began at Freshwater Station where we caught the scenic railway to Karunda. The train will  climb 1 metre in every 50 metres we travel, karunda being a hilltop village.

The Pioneering railway , originally built to get supplies to the the mines in the north, was built over 100 yrs ago by up to 1500 men at a time.

With 36 recorded fatalities, The workers chipped through the rock with only hand tools, constructing 55 tunnels and numerous cut in's along the way..

We saw the spectacular Barren Falls.

We arrived at Rainforestation . A zoo come Aboriginal cultural centre. Ian "Steve Irwin " Veck wrestles another ferocious beast ..

This cheeky little chap woke up just long enough for his photo call.

Next stop the Duck tour, Our guide ,"Alrighty" Luke ..Entertained us with his vast knowledge of the 10 plants, conveniently planted enroute.

Including these beautiful tree fearns, known to be a favorite food of the dinosaurs.
We continued to a pond where Luke demonstrated the versitility of his WW2 US military duck, gliding effortlessly through the 18 inches of muddy water , in boat mode.

Now something for the ladies..Our Aborigine friends demonstrated  their fearsome dance moves , with much leg shaking, wearing nothing more than a small pillowcase.

Then to the cultural centre where we were invited to throw a boomerang, I videoed Ian's effort, . Suffice to say the Auzzie wildlife will be in no danger from hunter Ian.
One of the nice semi naked fellas , demonstrated his large Digeree doo.

Final stop Sky rail, a 40 minute scenic ride back down to ground level.

And a chance to view Barren Falls from the other side of the gorge, during 1 of our 2 stops on the way down on the massive cable car system.

Dinner tonight was of the Turkish variety, very tasty too, down in the town centre.

Someone has switched the lights off on our hotel view , so we shall have to wait til morning to enjoy it again!

Goodnight dear reader xxx

Day 21 : Yorkies Knob & Tubing The Mulgrave River.

Tuesday 11th November 2014

Our day began in a slightly more relaxed way, no plans & an aimless drive along the coast, taking in the interestingly named " Yorkies Knob " a quiet seaside village.
A pair of Giant bangers & chips at Auntie Dee's fave "The Cock & Bull"

Back to our hotel & quick change to await our transpoert to the tubing session with " Foaming Fury ".

After a 5 minuite walk along some treacherous pathways, we entered the not so raging waters.

We stayed at the back of the pack & took full advantage of our Guide Amy, not only for her photographic skills , but also to push us off the rocks when we ran aground in the low waters.

Mid way through our shenanigins we were invited to jump off a bridge, some idiots did, some sensible people photographed them !

The river gave us a few minor rapids & a chance to lazy river float our way through the calm bits.

The best way to carry your tube ....

Dinner at Marinades, another India Emporium..The Service is shocking & we are having a ball, making them look idiots : )

They were sooooooooo crap look at the pic the waitress took ..

Sorry about Ian's expression, according to him, it's the only one he's got .........Really?

Goodnight reader xx

Day 22 : A surprise concert at Sydney Opera House

Wednesday 12th November 2014

Goodbye Cairnes & goodbye lovely view.
We took a painless flight to Sydney with no frills" Jetstar " , slightly overbooked , one lucky lady spent her journey on the flight deck in a spare seat !

Our final stop in The York Hotel, we have a spacious apartment & my own personal washing machine & mini tumble dryer, I'm in heaven.

As soon as my first load was on , We headed out to the Opera House, The magnificent landmark dominating the bay.

Directly opposite is Sydney Harbour Bridge, home of Sydney's New Year fireworks extravaganza.

Ian & I took the 4.30 Guided tour & learned about the 16 yr construction process & the challenges the architects faced , once the fantastic design was chosen in 1959.

Whilst booking our tour we decided we should try & see a performance , The Ballet wasn't on Ian's short list.

So we opted for, The Sydney Symphony Orchestra & Tori Amos....We can safely say we didn't recognise a single tune throughout the entire performance, However her devoted fans cheered & roared as each song began.
The Orchestra were superb & made it a thoroughly enjoyable event.

Dinner was served at The Eastshore Restaurant. The view of the opera House & Harbour Bridge were awe inspiring .

Anyway reader back to our apartment with its 12th floor corner balcony for 40 winks before tomorrows adventures.

Goodnight reader xxx

Day 23 : Jet boat & the revolving restaurant

Thursday 13th November 2014

After a lazy start we decided to walk over the Sydney Harbour bridge.

Part way across, Ian chose to climb one of the stantions,the 200 + steps held no allure to me, Ian caught some stunning views on camera.

He also learned lots of interesting historical facts, It took lots of steel to build the bridge & it took quite a long time .

Quite an impressive structure , & a bridge.

Adding to our list of views of the Opera house.

This high class establishment caught our eye , but sadly we couldn't afford the caviar & champagne prices!

Next stop Jet Boating !

A high octane whiz around the harbour, 30 minutes of sheer adrenaline!

The stunning Opera House from the water .

We both got mouthfulls of salty water,  we couln't stop laughing & grinning as our skilled skipper , performed stunts & soaked us!

The Bridge from below.

Back to our hotel, the pool proved to be a bit nippy , but the spa was perfect.

& Dinner at the Sydney Tower Buffet, we arrived early enough for a drink in the posh "360 " bar & it's panoramic daylight views.

Then up one more floor to the buffet dining area. The food was plentiful & varied..We weren't rushed & spent a good couple of hours enjoying the sparkling nightime vista.

A short walk back to our hotel & to bed for the last time on Aussie soil.

Goodnight reader xxx


"Wishing you a safe journey back to the UK. You've certainly covered a lot during your stay. Great to see you again.x" - Annette

"Thanx annete and once again we enjoyed our time with you xxx" - Deb

"Thanx annete and once again we enjoyed our time with you xxx" - Deb

"test2" - test

Day 24 : Bon voyage Sydney

Friday 14th November 2014

After packing up , we boarded a sightseeing bus for the Sydney tour.

The 90 minute tour on a blistering hot morning , on an open top bus was very illuminating.

Another view of last nights dinner venue, The Sydney tower.

And a final view of the Opera House..

The beautiful architecture is sometimes obscured by the gaudy shop fronts below, from this level the details are easily visible, & Sydneys past comes to life.

This Iconic Coke Sign is officially heritage listed & dominates the colourful " Red Light " district !

Finally before we say goodbye to this adventure & head to the airport, we managed to find, The First Fleet Memorial, the twin of which is at the square tower Sallyport Portsmouth.

Wish us safe passage & we'll see you when the fog lifts.

Goodnight reader xxx

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