● For full details on our route, transport info, hotel details, etc, look at our Google Maps page

Saturday, 30 August 2008


31st July – 30th August

As we have said to many people, we were not trying to see Australia during this trip, it was just an opportunity to meet up with some old friends and recharge our batteries before the South East Asia leg of our journey.

Sam’s Uncle John and Liz kindly agreed to let us take over their summer house for the duration of out stay, so we were able to relax and unpack and felt like we were in a home from home! Liz met us at the Airport and drove us through Sydney, over the Harbour Bridge, what would become a very familiar sight for us over the next few weeks!

There is far too much to tell about our month in the city so we’ve picked out a few highlights. We took almost a thousand photos, so we’ve also selected some of the best in a cut down album for you to look at.

Firstly, the biggest thanks must go out to Uncle John and L
iz (and Jaffa!) for making us feel so welcome at their home. We were chauffeured around, fed, watered and wined on too many occasions to mention!
  • Marty invited Ady to the Manly Sea Eagles vs Melbourne Storm NRL game, which turned out to be quite a drunken affair, involving another northern monkey, Greg Batchelor!
  • Uncle John’s friend Mal let us have his tickets to the Sydney Swans vs Freemantle ARL clash in Sydney. Sydney won in a nailbiting game, which we thought was a cross between rugby, football and netball!
  • We visited the Hunter Valley one weekend for wine tasting with chauffer Victoria and her friends.
  • A concert at the Sydney Opera House – Stravinsky’s Firebird and Tchaikovskys Piano Concerto #1, with the best seats in the house behind Orchestra for a bargain price of $35!
  • Curry Club! Stu led the resurrection of the London institution that was Curry Club, with 18 attendees, not a bad turnout at all!
  • We went to the Koala Park and got close to the famous Australian Bears, thanks again to Stu for letting us use the car! Has he still not noticed the dent on the door?!
  • Another weekend trip out, and we headed up to the Northern Beaches to stay with Kath’s parents, Dee and Lyall, for the night. After a stroll down Palm Beach (Summer Bay in Home and Away!) we headed to a pub with the largest beer garden in the world! Later, Ady put together some Bonza Burgers in the evening which went down a treat.
  • We hired a motorbike for the day and took off down to the Kangaroo Valley on a 400km round trip. Being a sports bike it wasn’t the most comfortable bike to ride for a full day, but was fun all the same!
  • Mary Anne pulled some strings at her old workplace, The Annandale, and got us into a gig on the Friday before we left. ‘The Mess Hall’, a great Aussie two man group who have been likened to ‘The White Stripes’ brought the house down and proved that Sydney can party hard if it tries!
  • The day we were due to fly to Melbourne saw us up at 6am as Marty had arranged for ‘The Champ’ aka Scotty, his chopper pilot friend to take us in his helicopter for a flight over Sydney and the beaches. An amazing experience, worth the early start, and some great pictures too!
Thanks again to Uncle John and Liz, Victoria, Kath and Patrick, Marty and Mary Anne, Stu and Sophie for all of their hospitality during our time in Sydney! It was also great to catch up with all of the other people that we hadn’t seen for in some cases several years!

Next we head to Melbourne, for a couple of nights in the alternative Australian city.

Visitors Since 19th May 2009...