Sunday, January 30, 2011


Today we were up early again. Left for the Daintree Rainforest tour at 7 am. We stopped on the way for a morning tea break and had Daintree tea that they grow in the area. We then took a cruise on the Daintree River, only saw one crocodile. Then drove up the Alexandra Mountain Range to the rainforest. Took a walk through part of it, stopping every 5 to 10 minutes for our guide to explain something in the area. Very unusual trees, plants, ferns, etc. Later we stopped at a roadside inn and had a barby (not sure if this is how it's spelled). We stopped later at Emmagen Creek and had a swim. It was cool and refreshing, the trees keep a lot of sunlight out and it's shady inside. Our guide made a fire (really used gas) and made tea in a billy can. Sort of like we used to do in Nfld when I was a kid. Made another stop at Cape Tribulation on the way back. Beautiful scenery! No swimming in this area at this time of the year because of deadly jelly fish-2 kinds. On our way back we took a ferry across the river and made our way home. Only 9 of us on the tour and we had a great time. Went downtown for dinner. Tomorrow the reef!

Saturday, January 29, 2011


Took hotel shuttle to City Square in Cairns this morning. Had breakfast in a sidewalk cafe. Shopped until mid-afternoon. Ray went for a swim and spent some time in the hot tub. Tonight we went for a dinner cruise on the Ocean Spirit and sailed out to Trinity Outlet in Cairns harbour. Met two couples who sat on either side of us and we had a wonderful night. Both were from Australia and were here on vacation. Ben and Danille were celebrating their 10th anniversary and Ron and MaryAnn were our age. Tomorrow we start the touring at 7am. It is a little cooler here, around 30C and humid. Lots of tourists about.

Friday, January 28, 2011


This morning we checked out of our hotel early and went into Alice Springs to look around. It was so hot we mostly stayed in the mall shops. Did eat brunch outside, only 42C today. We flew to Cairns and arrived at our hotel around 8:30pm. First time we've flown Quantas and it was great. Only a 2 1/2 hour flight and we got a drink and snack plus dinner. We are on the 6 th floor with a balcony. Too dark to see much tonight but will have to check out the city tomorrow. It's only 28C here but humid.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Marie has done daily blog, but I'm giving her a rest today. OZ is amazing & awesome. Temp between 23 and 47C in mid afternoon. Worn shorts& sandalssince arriving, but no sunburn. Tilley hat works well to keep sun off. Flies by the 1000's are a nuisance. Bought a net to put over hat & head to keep out of eyes, nose & mouth.Seeing animals galore - lots of sheep, cattle on 1,000,000 acre stations. Saw 100's of wild camels crossing road in front of bus. Woke up with fantastic male peracock o?s our motel balcony. Food/meals much same as home, but 2-3 times cost. Rooms are very nice, but only 2 so far with tub for Marie.Saw ULURU at sunset & sunrise - got up at 4:30am. Saw Venus & Southern Cross in night sky.Clear nights; not many clouds. Ozzies very friendly; meeting people from around globe - all friendly.
Todat, toured Alice Springs. Saw Aboriginal Museum, Royal Flying Doctors Services of Australia, Alice Springs School of the Air (they provide schooling for kids over 50 km away and teach them on computer). Saw first Telegraph Station that connected OZ to rest of World. Last, saw Alice from top of ANZAC hill, a war memorial to all th wars. Had dinner tonight with couple from tour, from Thompson, alberta. A full day. Well, G'day. That's my report

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Picked up at 4:55am for a drive to Uluru for the sunrise. It was beautiful. Then we stopped at the Olgas, 36 rock formations, about 30 kilometres from Uluru. Back at the hotel in Ayers Rock Resorts for lunch. Left at 1 pm for the 5 hour ride back to Alice Springs. We stopped on the way back at a large cattle station. On the ride today we saw at least 100 wild camels. They were brought here in the mid 1800's to move good around in the deserts and were left and there are more camels here than anywhere else in the world. Now they are selling them to other countries. Also eating them, although we haven't seen it on a menu yet. Lots of emus today as well and one kangaroo.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


They were late picking us up this morning. Finally left the hotel at 7am for the drive to Uluru. Stopped several times on the way to our hotel, the Desert Garden. After lunch we took a tour out to The Rock. Stopped at the Aboriginal Centre to view some of their art and to have a snack. Walked in close to the rock. I almost passed out because it was 46C and I thought I was in Hades! We had wine and cheese & crackers while we sat and watched the sun set over Uluru. Came back to our hotel to cool off. Had a steak dinner in our room. $110.00 and it was tough! Early night tonight, as we have to be at the bus for 4:55am.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sunday and Monday

Could not get to blog last night. We were on the Ghan train from Adelaide to Alice Springs. It was a long ride, over 25 hours. We could move around on the train, roomy seats and a dining car. Lots of bathrooms and even a shower if we wanted. We passed through several small towns on the way. The further north we got, the trees and schrubs got fewer and fewer. It is almost a desert here and it is very hot. It was 39 C.when we arrived. Our hotel is lovely. I have a bathtub again. Large room with a balcony. Went into town for dinner. Lots of natives around, mostly selling art. Tomorrow we're going out to Ayers Rock. Staying out there for the night.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Picked up early this morning for another tour. This one around the city. Saw most of the city's government buildings plus churches, Art Gallery, etc. They are very ornate, with lots of wrought iron trim. Stopped for a tour and taste at Haigh's Chocolate Factory. Very yummy! Lunch at the Central Market and in afternoon we took a second tour to Cleland's Wildlife Park.On the way we stopped at Mount Lofty's lookout to see the valley. Saw red and grey Kangaroos, Tasmanian Devils,Dingos,Echidnas,Pelicans,Emus, Wallabies, and we had our picture taken holding a Koala named "Jay". Dinner at the International buffet across the street from our hotel. Last night in Adelaide.

Friday, January 21, 2011


Today was a full day. We were picked up at 8:15am and went outside Adelaide to the Barossa Valley. This is wine country. We stopped at a German cafe for morning tea, then on to Wolf Blass winery. They gave us 5 wines to taste and then we left for lunch at the Kaesler Winery. We couldn't resist the kangaroo entree, it tasted very good. No fat, just lean meat. (It wasn't the cute one I fed last week) On the way back to the city we stopped in a Bavarin village, Hahndorf. This area was settled by the Germans in the 1800's. Wecame back to the harbour for dinner. I'm now at McDonald's again. I found out last night that they have free internet. Yeah!

Thursday, January 20, 2011


We returned our rental car this morning and walked a few blocks to the Adelaide Central Market. Lots and lots of shopping and many places to eat. We had lunch and bought a few gifts. Then took a free tram (the only thing free in Australia) to Rundle Mall. A little more upscale, but I liked the other one better. We arranged some tours for Friday and Saturday. Then back to mall one for a few more hours. Bus back to the hotel in Glenelg. Needed to rest, it was over 35 C today. Everyone says it is a dry heat, but hot is hot. Out to McDonald's. We are now in the state of South Australia and are in a half hour time difference. I always thought the Newfoundland was the only place with 1/2 hour time zone.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Today we Stopped at Tantanoola Caves Conservation Park and Ray walked to the top of the cliff. Stopped at Rope for a coffee and had lunch at Menengie. Saw two emus on the way. Arrived in Adelaide in late afternoon. No bathtub again and no free internet. Went out for dinner near the pier. We are close to the water. Lots of people around, we watched some street performers that were pretty good. Tomorrow we start to case the city.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tuesday, Jan. 18th

We stopped at Otway National Park this morning to see the oldest lighthouse at Cape Otway. On the way in to the lighthouse, we saw 13 koalas, including a mother and baby, in the trees. Later we saw the 12 Apostles, large rocks that stand tall in the water, close to the cliffs. Tonight we are staying at Mount Gambier. The hotel is old and beautiful. The room is as big as a suite, wish we were staying here more that one night.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Today we rented a car and started along the Great Ocean Road on our way to Adelaide. Tonight we stopped at Apollo Bay after lunch in Geelong and coffee break in Lorne. Ray is driving on the left side for the first time. And the road has many twists and turns. What a drive! The views are unbelieveable.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Last full day in Melbourne.  We had breakfast downtown and visited the Melbourne Museum in the afternoon. Heard a native play the digerdoo and he told stories about the aboriginal people.  Spent some time watching street artists and shopping.  Tomorrow we leave for the Great Ocean Road drive to Apollo Bay.  Ray is going to be driving on the left side for the first time.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Today we went to the Melbourne Aquarium.  Saw lots of King Penguins, Sharks and Stingrays.  After lunch we returned to the market to shop.  Dinner was Chinese, a great restaurant in ChinaTown.  Meeting lots of interesting people, from many different countries.  Also, the Australians are so friendly.  Can't do enough for us, giving directions, telling us places to go, etc.  Today we met a couple at a cafe and they gave us a couple of pints of strawberries at the market. Also met a couple on the bus who gave us their number in case we do make it to Brisbane.  They want to show us some sights outside of the city.  Brisbane is cleaning up after the flood and we may have to change our plans for that area.  Will know later if we change from train to plane.

Friday, January 14, 2011


Today we took a tour out of Melbourne to Philip Island and Churchill Island.  We saw Wallabies, kangaroos, koalas and emus.  Also saw local sheep shearing on a working farm.  Enjoyed seeing boomerang throwing and trying it out as well.  At the end of the day, we watched the Penguin Parade.  These penguins are called Little Penguins and are only 12" high.  They come back at dusk from the sea after a day of eating and make their way back to their sand burrows to feed their young.  Loved all the animals and had lots of fun with the people on the tour.  Rain also stopped today and it was sunny and warm.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


After breakfast at a little cafe outside our hotel, we took a free tourist shuttle and toured the city.  We stopped at Victoria Market and spent hours shopping at the flea market type stalls.  Also checked out the food stalls.  There's lots of outside restaurants and cafes.  This is a large city, over 4 million people.  We are 5 minutes from the Yarrow River and there are several brdges that connect the city.  It is very clean and looks very modern.  It poured rain today, but we don't have the problems that they have to the north.  More about Brisbane later.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Still Wednesday

Forgot to mention that I only have access to the internet for 15 mins at a time.  The going rate to hook up mine is $10. per hour.  Will try to upload pictures later.

Melbourne, Australia

Arrived in Melbourne. Beautiful city. Over 4 million people. We went up the Eureka tower and had a look at the city. Today was a rest day after 25 hours of travelling.Walked a few blocks for dinner. I had pizza with barbequed lamb,and it was pretty good. taking a tour of the city tomorrow.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Three more days!

Leaving for Melbourne, Australia via Los Angeles on Monday, January 10th. Follow our adventures.