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27 October 2009 @ 01:19 pm
If you've been to Australia...  

What were your favorite things? The things you wish you'd done more of, or that you regret having missed?

 
 
 
dd-bdd_b on October 27th, 2009 08:29 pm (UTC)
Would like to have toured some of the wine producers.

Liked Sydney a lot.

Liked the scenery driving up the inhabited coast quite a lot, too, as I recall.

(Was there in 1983 or some such; not recently.)
Amy Sissonamysisson on October 27th, 2009 09:14 pm (UTC)
Oh wow, is this ever a trip down memory lane.

My first time driving on the left side of the road? Driving a van (manual steering, manual stick on the floor, everything backwards!) of fellow students on a wine tour of Hunter Valley! I volunteered because I didn't like wine back then.

Nowadays I wouldn't be nearly so generous! ;-)
dd-bdd_b on October 27th, 2009 09:20 pm (UTC)
My first experience driving on the wrong side of the road was earlier that trip, when I was deposited in the Aukland NZ airport at 8 in the morning after flying from Boston. I was used to manual transmissions, but not to first gear being *away* from me, and not to using the same hand for the shift as I used foot for the clutch, both of which make a surprising difference at least to me. Still, no paint was sacrificed to this experiment.
martianmooncrabmartianmooncrab on October 27th, 2009 08:40 pm (UTC)
never made it to Melbourne, or the Diamantina River..
(Deleted comment)
Amy Sissonamysisson on October 27th, 2009 09:16 pm (UTC)
My one favorite thing was climbing Uluru (Ayers Rock at the time). From Kate's post it doesn't sound like you're into that, plus I'm not sure it's even allowed anymore.

I can't believe it's been 20 years already....

I just adored Sydney. I often went down to the harbor and the Opera House just to sit in those splendid surroundings for an afternoon.
Jean Weberavalookau on October 27th, 2009 10:57 pm (UTC)
AFAIK, climbing the rock is still allowed, but discouraged.
(Anonymous) on October 27th, 2009 09:23 pm (UTC)
Loved; changed life; want more
(1) Best: met woman who is now my wife, at AussieCon II, in Melbourne.
(2) 2nd best: Our son has an Australian passport, has visited;
(3) Worst: I've only seen Melbourne and Sydney. Got to get re-employed, save money, whole family go again.
-- Prof. Jonathan Vos Post
Roxannermeidaking on October 27th, 2009 09:25 pm (UTC)
The best thing we did was spend the money to spend several days on Heron Island, on the Great Barrier Reef. It was fabulous. Also very good was a balloon trip early in the morning, out of Alice Springs. Kind of pricy, but I still remember it well twenty years later. Sleeping out under the stars (they don't have mosquitoes!) - and the stars are *all wrong* - was very good. I would have brought clothing for more seasons. They claim that it's always summer, and that may be true in Queensland, but it wasn't true in Alice or in Melbourne.
Janet Freemanjanetfreeman on October 27th, 2009 09:29 pm (UTC)
Australia
In Cairns, I absolutely LOVED snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef! We also rode the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway over the nearby rain forest. At one stop you can walk to a view of a HUGE waterfall (gigantic even by Pacific Northwest standards) and explore a small exhibit about the flora and fauna. The ride ends at the village of Kuranda, which is touristy, but you can see lots of digeridoo and native art in the artist stalls. The beach at Cairns and the town itself are interesting, too.

I enjoyed exploring Uluru (AKA Ayers Rock) with a guide that described the aboriginal legends. I didn't climb on the rock out of respect for the locals' beliefs. We went to a museum near Uluru where an aborigine displayed native tools and described their use through a translator--loved hearing the language! We hiked a bit in the Kata Tjuta mountains (AKA The Olgas)--take LOTS of water.

In Alice Springs, the Royal Flying Doctors http://www.flyingdoctor.net/ gave a tour of their facility, which provides medical care to people in the huge but sparsely-populated Outback.

In Sydney, we mostly walked to sights near the hotel due to time constraints, but did do a standard bus tour. Bondi Beach (home of the beach volleyball during the Olympics) is wonderful--reminds me of Manhattan Beach in LA. Wish I'd climbed the bridge, but my traveling companion doesn't like heights--we settled for walking across it.

In Melbourne, we took an all-day tour including Healesville Sanctuary (the highlight for me--over 200 species of Australian wildlife in natural habitats), a visit to a sheep station with a winery, and a cruise on the Yarra River through the city itself. I'm not big on being bussed by lots of buildings, but this is a pretty city.

In Hobart, Tasmania, we visited Bonorong Wildlife Park and got to feed roos, wallabes, and emus, pet a koala and a wombat, and see Tasmanian devils. The area around their is beautiful as well. We also went to Mt. Field National Park, a World Heritage Site, and walked among the trees to a nice waterfall.

Lots of sheep stations in Australia are converting to wineries, btw. Not much money in wool and mutton nowadays.
Kevin Standlee: Wildlifekevin_standlee on October 27th, 2009 09:29 pm (UTC)
I only had a few days post-Aussiecon 3, and having chaired the winning Worldcon bid had wiped me out, but the things I enjoyed were:

1. Healdsville Wildlife Sanctuary, where I got to pet dingo pups and a very laid-back kangaroo as well as see many other Australian animals.

2. Puffing Billy Steam Train trip out into the hills. You can reach this one by suburban electric train from Melbourne -- you take the train out to the end of line, walk from the end of the platform across to the Puffing Billy station, and climb aboard a steam train into the hills. They have little short trips, but I took the full all-day excursion (with lunch layover at the end of the line).

What I'd like to have done more of: riding trains, of course, which gives you the opportunity to see the scenery without having to worry about driving on the wrong side of the road. :)
calendula_witch: armscalendula_witch on October 27th, 2009 09:44 pm (UTC)
I loved the people. Everywhere, they were so incredibly nice. And they didn't hate Americans, which was very popular in the rest of the world back then (1995 or so).

Sydney was great--reminded me of San Francisco, a lot, except filled with (yes) super nice people. :-)
surliminalsurliminal on October 27th, 2009 10:20 pm (UTC)
Lived in Sydney c 4 mos, been to Queensland twice, melbourne severl time, Adelaid once.

From that I'd say;

Sydney is v glamorous and unmissable but not narly as hospitable as rest of Oz - has that big city London/NY brusqueness.

If you like water/beaches the Whitsunday Islands off Queeenslan are the most beutiful place I've ever been. You get 3 day sailing trips which I did twice - amazing. far better Reef snorkelling than on the big trips off Cairns, where the tourusts have trampled the coral to death. I found Qld generally pretty amazing for natural wonder - rainforest, beaches, roos, koalas, alligators etc galore.

Melbourne is fantastically liveable and is where the sf fans are.

Adelaide is small and friendly and to me felt like a home from home. Fantastic food and wine, great for goimg to see wineries. Also home of extremely hospitable sf fans!

I'd do all these if you had time.. but DON@T spend all your time in Sydney.
crwind on October 27th, 2009 10:38 pm (UTC)
If you've lived in Australia...
Favorites: Fremantle market, the Sidney Arts Festival, Galapagos Duck live, the Art Deco architecture of both Melbourne and Sidney, large dripping baklava from Ferry terminal vendors at the Sidney Quay, weekend suppers with the Moorhouse family. Regrets: not having sufficiently thanked Grant Stone and Sheryl Moorhouse Stone for having put me up and put up with me so many weekends over three decades ago.
Jean Weberavalookau on October 27th, 2009 11:04 pm (UTC)
Re: If you've lived in Australia...
Pssst... it's *Sydney* mate, not Sidney.
crwind on October 27th, 2009 11:23 pm (UTC)
Re: If you've lived in Australia...
I do know better, honest I do. My excuses: 1)sleep deprivation (normal for me on Tuesdays) 2) mind on other matters (how to move things out of the condo now that it seems sold) 3) too many decades removed (last visit 1985) 4) fingers with tiny little minds of their own, 4)um, um, um, ....
Jean Weberavalookau on October 27th, 2009 11:03 pm (UTC)
I call Australia home
Favourite things: anything away from the cities. Really, too many to list, but really you haven't seen Australia until you've seen at least some of the outback. Around Aussiecon time is a good time of year to go north, to Cairns, the Barrier Reef, the Daintree Country... not all of which is "outback," but it is away from the major cities. Eric and I have a lot of info on our (non-commercial) personal travel website, Avalook. http://avalook.com/
craftspagan on October 28th, 2009 01:11 am (UTC)
Been to Oz
Best two weeks of my life. Drove from Melbourne to Sydney by way of Ballarat, Bendigo, Echuca, Corryong, Cooma, Canberra, and Sydney. They wouldn't let us dive off the Great Barrier Reef as it was Great White breeding season so we didn't go farther north.We did hit a lot of wineries. We had a small Winabago and camped at RV parks the whole trip. We saw and did more than our friends who took a guided tour. I want to go back so badly. Some day,...some day.
billeylerbilleyler on October 28th, 2009 05:01 am (UTC)
Interesting "contrast and compare" between you and Kate--
Your note about future Australia trip versus Kate's query about Australia trip.

Was this a test?
David D. Levinedavidlevine on October 28th, 2009 05:06 am (UTC)
No test, just trying to reach people who don't read both of our blogs.