I've just finished traveling around the eastern part of Australia. I went from Sydney to Hobart to Melbourne to Cairns back to Sydney in ten days. No small feat considering the size of the country.
Hobart is a cute little port town with one of the best museums I've ever been to. If you're down that way, be sure to check out MONA. I really want to go back to see the rest of Tasmania as well. There are so many mountains & canyons & rivers & wild spaces to see there. Maybe next time I'll get the chance to see a Tasmanian devil too.
Melbourne was cold & rainy, so the city didn't really get the chance to impress. However, Phillip Island made up for it in spades. We saw koalas up close, & watched as the tiniest penguins in the world came in from the ocean to nest on the shore for the evening. Waddle waddle.
After the chill of Hobart & the rain of Melbourne, Cairns was a pleasant change - sun, beach & palm trees. We spent a full day out on the Great Barrier Reef. It always thrills me to see something in person that I've only ever heard about. It stops being a story & becomes absolutely real. I love that.
The second day in Cairns, we took a tour of the rainforest. This was no ordinary tour. It wasn't the scenery that was so amazing - though at every stop we saw a beautiful waterfall or lake or rainforest path - incredible all on it's own. But the tour company really made the day one to remember.
We spent the whole day singing & laughing & waving at strangers as we drove from place to place. We played road trip games, drew pictures on the windows, splashed around in the water, tried to play the didgeridoo, & went in search of the elusive platypus. It was good clean non-stop high-energy fun for the entire 12-hour trip. If you go to Cairns, don't miss Uncle Brian's Fun Falls & Forest tour. It's a winner!
Now, back in Sydney, I'm getting my stuff in order to fly back to the US. It's been over a year since I've been back, & almost three years since I left to wander the globe.
This trip home will be relatively long. I have a summer job as a tour leader in the national parks, which will go through October. Afterwards, I'll spend the holidays with my family for the first time in four years. I'm really looking forward to that.