This trip to the land "down under" was my third time in Australia, and by far my most exciting experience there. I had previously been to Oz in 1998 for six weeks during October/November, and again in October of 2010 for a month. As I had just retired January 31,2017 and had no need to return after my "vacation was over", I decided to stay for the full three months which was all my 90 day visa would allow. I was joined by my nephew Sam, my sister's second oldest boy, and we drove a camper van I'd rented some 13,000 km through the country. We started on the east coast driving northward from Sydney to just past Cairns at a point called "Cape Tribulation". Then we drove back south to Townsville and headed west into the interior of the outback. You can drive for an hour and a half on the Flinders highway and not see another vehicle. We drove past Mount Isa, a small mining town of about 25,000 people, and turned southward at "Warumungu" along the Stuart highway toward Alice Springs, the geographical centre of Australia. All along that way we went through tiny towns..."Tenant Creek", "Wilora", "Ti Tree" eventually coming to Alice Springs. It's a pretty town with numerous touristy sights, but unlike popular belief that it is right where "Ayers Rock" is located, it's actually a four hour drive to Uluru. We also visited Kings Canyon near Uluru and hiked around the enormous and beautiful canyon. On our way south from Alice Springs, Sam and I had the opportunity to play golf in "Coober Pedy", the Opal mining capital of the world. We carried on turning westward along the south coast and drove the famed "Nullarbor Plain" toward Perth. There we bought tickets to see a game of Australian rules football in the home team stadium. On our way back east toward Melbourne I'd never seen the stars as vivid as I did on a moonless night at a lonely stop on the Nullarbor Plain. We drove the "Great Ocean Road" along the south coast and visited the "Twelve Apostles". Once in Melbourne, Sam needed to find work so I dropped him off at a hostel and made my way on the ferry to Tasmania where I drove the island myself in search of photographic opportunities, and, as the images attest, there were many to be had. Being on my own for as long as I was and driving the island absorbing the scenery, I fell in love with the land of Australia and the people. I will be back again...
The "Three Sisters" in the Blue Mountains"Christ Church Cathedral" in Newcastle.The beautiful sea side north of Newcastle."Bogey Hole" near Newcastle."Bogey Hole" near Newcastle.Byron BayA surfer riding the waves at Byron Bay.Kite sail pilots riding the wind near Byron Bay.These lizards are everywhere.Singers in the band "Kelly Knight and the Daze"Guitar player for "Kelly Knight and the Daze"A surfer getting up on his board at Byron Bay.A surfer finishing out her wave at Byron Bay.Surfers meet kayakers in Byron Bay.Waiting for a wave in Byron Bay.Carving up a wave in Byron Bay.One of the denizen birds of Lamington National Park.One of the birds in Lamington National Park.One of the many parrot species in Lamington National Park.Begging for a few crumbs in Lamington National Park.