S: Australia 2014
BC: DEPARTED | AUSTRALIA | 10 FEB 2014
1: Australia | AUSTRALIA | January 25, 2014 entry | January 25 to February 10, 2014 Cairns, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney
2: officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent as well as the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area. Neighboring countries include Indonesia, East Timor and Papua New Guinea to the north; the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. | AUSTRALIA
4: Nestled along Australia's northern coast lies sunny, tropical Cairns. It is home to the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Rainforest and the Tjapukai Aboriginal people.. We unexpectedly spent more time here than planned due to a cyclone.
8: BABINDA BOULDERS Aboriginal legend says the spirit of a young lover scorned, Oolana, guards the boulders and her calls for her lost lover can still be heard. We enjoyed a picnic lunch and long walk along the creek with a quick dip of our toes at the end.
9: PARONELLA PALACE PARK Everyone has a dream but not everyone’s dreams are fulfilled. José Paronella’s dream was to build a castle. He chose a special part of Australia and created Paronella Park.
10: PARONELLA the park is quite the wildlife haven, boasting more than 7,500 species. We carried umbrellas during our tour to ward off the bats. The canteen displayed a 4 meter long python skin recently found on the property
13: TJAPUKAI ABORIGINAL PARK a tradition 25 years strong. We experienced boomerang and spear throwing lessons. Matt was featured in the fire starting dance and the girls explored new fruits. Most of all our hearts were warmed by the kindness of the people sharing their culture with us.
14: PARONELLA the park is quite the wildlife haven, boasting more than 7,500 species. We carried umbrellas during our tour to ward off the bats. The canteen displayed a 4 meter long python skin recently found on the property | GREAT BARRIER REEF
17: Neither flight schedules, rain, cyclones nor cranky children will keep us from checking the reef off our bucket list! From above and below the sea it truly is spectacular.
18: BRISBANE situated in the Central portion of Australia's East coast, Brisbane is where we had most of our animal adventures. The port city is home to several animal sanctuaries.
20: AUSTRALIA ZOO | The Irwin Family started this zoo and it is now supported by the state.
21: Matt and Charlotte toured the animal hospital where they learned the animals biggest threat is humans. Sarah and Stella went on a tortoise adventure.
23: LONE PINE KOALA | The largest koala sanctuary in the world. Home to 100+ koala's.
24: PHILLIP ISLAND | home to the worlds smallest penguins and the nightly Penguin Parade. We huddled on the beach and watched the penguins waddle in groups to sleep for the night. They started with a lone brave few and progressed to a flood on penguins.
26: THE GREAT OCEAN ROAD an amazing drive down Australia's Southern Coast capped off with a picnic lunch on the beach.
28: road tripping | MELBOURNE TO SYDNEY
29: Two days, 12 hours in the car and several creative routes later we arrived at our destination Sydney
31: sydney harbor bridge | THE SYDNEY HARBOUR BRIDGE is one of the most recognizable symbols of Australia. The Bridge provides a frame for one of the most beautiful harbors in the world and holds a special place in the city's heart. The Sydney Harbor Bridge has connected the Sydney CBD with the North Shore of the harbor since it opened in 1932. It is the worlds largest (but not longest) steel-arch Bridge. It was beaten in length, by New York’s Bayonne Bridge, which is 25 feet longer and opened just four months earlier. On major celebrations in Sydney history, like New Year’s Eve or the announcement of the Sydney Olympic Games, the Bridge has always been the focal point.
32: SYDNEY | exploring the harbor | THE ROCKS
33: The Rock is one of Sydney's oldest neighborhood featuring the Harbor Bridge and the Opera House. Our hotel overlooked both from the rooftop swimming pool.
35: For Matt's birthday we surprised him with an early gift, the Harbor Bridge climb at twilight. We suited up and climbed to the top watching the spectacular sunset over Sydney.
38: Farewell Australia... until next time....