Australia is a bit like a cross between Britain and the USA. They drive on the left there and it’s not difficult to find a decent pub. But like the US it’s big and you need a car for just about everything you do. And of course they have a lot better weather than we do in the UK for the most part.
We visited family in Brisbane and friend in Sydney and Melbourne. So we owe a big thanks to Dan and Donna in Brisbane and Kim and Suzie in Melbourne for putting up with us. And also to Chris Grinton and his family who treated us to a wonderful day out and picnic in the Dandenong Mountain Range just outside of Melbourne.
Unfortunately, I didn’t take a lot of interesting pictures in Australia. I spent most of my time playing about with my camera, getting used to the settings again since I hadn’t used it for some time. I’ll do a better job when I go back there.
Australia is a place that just seems to ooze affluence. The standard of living seems very high; although it’s a lot more expensive for visitors than it used to be. Over the past few years the Aussie dollar has risen from around 50 cent (US ) to be more or less on a par with the US dollar. Nevertheless we had a great time there.
There are some great bars, shops and restaurants around Stanley St and the Harbour area of Brisbane river’s Southbank. And if you’re ever looking for a sugar overload, try a visit to the ice cream parlour there. Another place to visit is the Summit Restaurant at the Brisbane Lookout on Mount Coot-Tha. It has good food and impressive views across Brisbane and the surrounding countryside.
What can I say about Sydney. There’s plenty to see and get to using the hop-on hop-off tour buses. But of course the main Sydney attractions are always the iconic opera house and the Sydney harbour bridge. I got dozens of pictures of these but not a lot else. There’s an area of Sydney, not far from the harbour called The Rocks. Lisa’s friend Sheena took us to a great pub there called Glenmore Hotel. They have good food, good beer and a great view of the opera house from the rooftop bar area.
In Melbourne Lisa’s friend and colleague Suzie and her husband Kim very kindly provided us with lodgings for the few days of our visit. Suzie also took us out sightseeing to Arthurs Seat near Mornington. On the way back we stopped at a small independant vinyard and an nearby cheese producing farm that specialised in some fairly exotic flavoured cheeses. Ever thought of trying cheese made from sheep’s milk?
On another day we went out with Chris and his family for a picnic at Lakeside in the Dandenong Mountain Range. We took the Puffing Billy steam railway from Belgrave up to Lakeside. It’s a trip that any steam train enthusiast would love. Once a year there is a race between runners and the train to get to the top of the mountain. As you might guess, the train isn’t particularly fast and takes a winding route so anyone who’s fit enough and has trained for the event might just beat the train to the top. Unfortunately, we just missed it. The race was due to be run the day after we were there.