Off to Australia and New Zealand

It is wet, dark and dreary in Vancouver, but we are leaving tomorrow night to spend the rest of December in Australia followed by a week in New Zealand. No big plans, just visiting and enjoying the sunshine. Inge has a conference for the first few days in Sydney, then we fly to the Gold Coast to see my daughter Sara and to visit the Brisbane area. Next, back to Sydney where we pick up a car and drive to Melbourne. Dec 30 we fly from Melbourne to Auckland to visit our friends Mike and Liz.

I will do a little blogging while we are there so watch this space. I’ll be using new tools: an iPad mini to write the blog and a Sony RX100 for photos. It should make a compact combo. (I recently wrote about the camera and my evolution in travel cameras on my own infrequent blog: rsmyth.ca (no www needed).)

Enjoy reading.

G’day from Sydney

We arrived Tuesday after a good flight and have been enjoying Sydney. Good weather. Lots to see. Very comfortable place.

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20121207-095051.jpgThe obligatory city and Opera House photos

After wandering around the city on Tuesday and a good night’s sleep, on Wednesday we took a ferry to Manly and did a lovely shore walk through parks and bush land part way back to the city.

20121207-095521.jpgInge in the ocean at Manly

20121207-103244.jpgLots of lizards in the bush

Thursday was Inge’s first day at the conference. I went out walking for the day: across the harbour bridge to North Sydney, more coastal walking and a ferry ride back to the city.
It is Christmas but the warm sunshine gives it a strange feel. Unlike Canada, there is far less Christmas hype and decorations are fewer but more tasteful.

20121207-101104.jpgOld shopping arcade dressed up for Christmas

We have a few more days here and look forward to them.

More Sydney photos

We are on the Gold Coast now, but here are few more Sydney photos before I move on.

The weather in Sydney turned cool and very windy for our last few days, but we still got out on foot and by ferry.

20121214-123533.jpgSydney on a windy day from Manly

20121214-123745.jpgChristmas party

20121214-123844.jpgBondi Beach

20121214-123928.jpgfisherman near Bondi Beach

20121214-124032.jpgPelican on a river near Sydney

Gold Coast

On Tuesday we took a short ( about 1:20) flight north from Sydney to the Gold Coast where my daughter Sara lives. Its about 100km south of Brisbane. We made it from the airport to Sara’s in our rental car on the “wrong” side of the road with Inge at the wheel. The major problem with a right-hand drive car isn’t driving on the left side of the road, it is remembering that the turn signal and wiper control stalks are reversed. It takes ages to learn not to indicate turns with your wipers.

20121214-161241.jpgRoy and Sara

Wednesday we took the train to Brisbane, walked around in lovely weather, spent quite a bit of time in the two wonderful art galleries, ate a very tasty lunch and took the train back to the Gold Coast. A tough day. 🙂

20121214-161438.jpgPedestrian bridge in downtown Brisbane

20121214-161657.jpgSnake

20121214-161832.jpgSouth pacific art

Thursday we did a bush walk in Springbrook National Park, but that’s for the next posting.

Springbrook Park Walk

Time is flying by and I’ve been too busy having fun to post very munch.

Here are some photos from a forest (bush they call it here) walk in Springbrook National Park, about an hour drive inland from the Gold Coast. This bush area is on a plateau. Very lush and full of the sounds of birds and insects.

20121218-181247.jpgLooking towards the coast from the plateau. The ocean and the high-rise towers at Surfers Paradise are just visible through the haze.

20121218-181413.jpgWe did the falls walk

20121218-181511.jpgDense forest which creates a canopy

20121218-181622.jpgGreat waterfalls

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20121218-181810.jpgTrail going behind a waterfall

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Besides the bush walking, we’ve been in the ocean a few times and I’ve discovered how much I love it. Warm water and lots of surf. Needless to say, we are enjoying the trip.