Our Adventures in Beautiful Australia

Pam and I recently spent three weeks in Australia.  We had an amazing time.  We flew to Cairns and spent 4 days Scuba Diving the Great Barrier Reef.  The water was awesome as was the diving.  We lived on a Live aboard boat so we got to meet a lot of great people from all kinds of places.  One of the things we love best about traveling and the reason we continue to do it is because of the amazing people we get to meet.  We are so blessed to have friends from all over the world. 

From there we flew to Melbourne in the South and spent three days there.  We rented a car and drove The Great Ocean Highway along the coast of Australia.  Wow, was that amazing!  Well first we had to rent the car.  Of course they drive on the wrong side of the car and then they drive on the wrong side of the road.  So here I was in a city of several million people in 5 o’clock traffic trying to learn to drive on the wrong side of the car and road.  It made for interesting driving.  Pam was laughing so hard at me, I almost kicked her out of the car.  Every time I tried to signal, I turned on the winshield wipers as they are where the signal lights are on our cars.  It was very funny actually.  Once I got that down and we got to the coast, it was an amazing drive.  The highway goes right along the coast for about twelve hours.  The only time it leaves is to enter the rainforest for about 2 hours which was also amazing.  Then it rained in the rain forest so its not just a clever name.    We stopped first at the surfing beach as we got to the coast.  Because of the time of year, there were not a lot of people surfing but there were some and it was great to watch.  Seeing the waves crashing on the beach and the surfers enjoying them made us want to come back during surf season.  I have always thought it would be a blast to take some surfing lessons and this would be the perfect place to do it. 

We continues down The Great Ocean highway passing quaint little beach villages until we came to an amazing lighthouse out on the crest of a huge outcropping overlooking the ocean.  We decided to explore and made our way to the lighthouse.  It turns out it was built 150 years ago and is still used today.  Just below the light house was a quaint little coffee house that is housed in the same building that used to be the light house keepers stables.  As we walked in, the owner was just pulling hot scones from the oven and the smell was to die for.  We stayed there and had scones and hot chocolate and an amazingly romantic time together.  From there we continued our journey.  The Highway itself was amazing with never ending great views from the road.

As we started to enter the rainforest part of the road, we decidided to stop and hike to a waterfall that was about half a mile trail from the road.  Amazingly no one was on the trail but us and when we finally arrived at the waterfall it was well worth the hike.  The water fell about 60 feet from the stream above to a freezing sparkling pool below.  We had some time just to enjoy the atmosphere and the serenity of the falls.  We then made our way back to the car and continued the journey. 

After about eight hours of driving we finally arrived at The Twelve Apostles.  These are huge outcroppings of red limestone that at one time were part of the coast line but erosion has eroded away the coast from around them so that they are these towering rock figures sitting in the ocean by themselves.   There are of course twelve of them, thus the name The Twelve Apostles.  It is crazy beautiful, indescribable really.  These huge towers of rock in the middle of the ocean with the spray crashing against them and the coast in the background.  We hiked to an outcropping where we could get a better view of them looking back towards the shore.  This used to be quite a treacherous place for ships because of the tremendous currents and the sudden huge towers of rocks and there are still some left over ship wrecks on the shores in this area. 

After leaving there we started our journey back to Melbourne.  We were both hungry so we found a nice little cafe to stop and eat.  It was awesome because it was not a tourist place and our waitress was amazed we were there .  When she figured out we were Americans she kept asking us why we would go to Australia on holiday.  As far as she was concerned everything anyone would ever want to see is in the U.S.  It is ironic how we take for granted what is in our own backyard sometimes and travel thousands of miles to see something else.  I guess the grass is always greener on the other side (of the world). 

We spent the next two days in Melbourne seeing the sights of the city.  It is a nice city but to me most cities are about the same.  We did go see the new Transformers in 3D at the IMAX and that was pretty amazing.  We toured the parks and walked around the city which is very safe.  The next day we made our way to the airport and flew to the Gold Coast. 

Wow, Gold Coast has the most amazing beaches of anywhere I have been.  I loved the pure white sand and the huge crashing waves.  Once again this is a destination for surfers from around the world and you can see why when you see the awesome waves and beaches.  The best thing is that they have not allowed hotels to “own” a piece of the beach so that the entire beach is open and you can walk for miles and miles along the sand.  It is amazing.  We stayed at Jupiter Hotel which was a great place and where Date With Destiny with Tony Robbins was to be held.  We had one day before DWD started which was good because we knew once it started, it would be 14 hours days with no food or rest but we were excited. 

I want to talk about how great DWD was in my next newsletter so I am going to skip that (more to come) and talk about what we did after.  We stayed in Gold Coast for one more day to recover from DWD and enjoy the beaches and sun.  It was a nice relaxing day and we really didn’t “do” much but had great food and enjoyed hanging out with each other.  The next day we flew to Sydney.  We didn’t arrive in Sydney until late so we took a nap and got ready to go out for the evening.  We tested the Sydney night life that night which was a lot of fun but very different from the US.  They have clubs there but mostly people just sit around and talk and drink.  There is music playing but it is not like a club in the US where there is a band or a DJ and dancing etc.  Regardless we had a lot of fun.  The real fun came the next day when we took the double decker  Sydney tour bus to see the sights.  You could get on or off the bus anytime you wanted and see as much of the city as you want.  We had a blast!  We got to know a lot of Sydney history and see the sights.  We saw the business district and the red light district.  We got off at the Sydney Opera house and toured and ate.  We then got back on the bus and got off at the marina where we toured a authentic pirate boat, a battleship, and a submarine.  It was the best time. 

We walked from there back downtown to the Sydney tower and took the elevator to the tallest place in Sydney where we could view the entire city in 360 degree splendor.  We hurried back to the hotel, got ready and some friends picked us up and took us to their house for a great traditional Australian dinner to include crabs, oysters, and kangaroo.  We had a wonderful  time.

Living Every Minute is about enjoying the best life has to offer and being grateful  for all that we have  Australia made us so grateful for that wonderful nation and even more grateful to come home to ours.

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