Entries from 'Australia'

O Batmania!

“There’s something magical about Sydney. This is fun, but it’s not magical.” That, my friends, is how Him described funky, artsy Melbourne, but I’m not sure I agree. Sydney, that shining darling of New South Wales, boasts a glorious harbor, the iconic Opera House and some famous beaches, but Melbourne has spunk — and a…

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Great Ocean Road (Part II of II)

Aside from the tour of MollyDooker winery, our second day on the Great Ocean Road ranks as my favorite experience so far thanks to some (very) close encounters with wildlife. More on that later, but first, some history: Back within Port Campbell National Park, we hiked down to Loch Ard Gorge, named for the ship…

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Purple carrots and placenta cream

Him says the list below consists of boring minutiae — and he’s probably correct (perhaps similar to your Facebook friends reporting on what they ate for breakfast) — but I’m going to share it anyway to justify the wad of receipts I’ve been carrying these past few weeks. Ever since we nearly succumbed to restaurant…

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The Great Ocean Road (Part I of II)

If planning a drive on Australia’s Great Ocean Road, give yourself plenty of time to see it properly — preferably a week. We had just over two days to traverse this famed coastal road linking Portland to Geelong, and that wasn’t nearly enough. Construction on the Great Ocean Road (henceforth the G.O.R. in this report)…

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Australia Budget Breakdown (Warning: Extremely scary numbers ahead)

Although our blog hasn’t quite caught up with us, we left Australia more than 10 days ago and have been traveling around the south island of New Zealand before we head to Auckland for a family wedding!  But in the meantime, I’ve finalized all my expenses for Australia and wanted to share my results. My…

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Bottle shock and awe

“Have you seen the water feature?” asked Sparky Marquis in his delightful Australian accent. We had, in fact, already been informed of the waterfall outside the office at the MollyDooker winery in McLaren Vale, located about 45 minutes driving south of Adelaide. Our tour guide, Russell, mentioned it and guessed Sparky, the owner and CEO,…

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Lost in wine country

We had planned to visit the MollyDooker winery — home of our favorite wines — from nearly the moment we knew we were coming to Australia. We were first introduced to the brand in 2006, when Him’s mom bought a bottle of the 2005 Shiraz, The Boxer. Since that time, we’ve celebrated family birthdays and…

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Adelaide’s got balls

While wandering the streets of Adelaide during our first evening in this garden-filled, wine region gateway, we happened upon Urban Cow Studio, a quirky shop full of art and wares by local craftspeople. While perusing the hilarious T-shirts (printed with things like a cartoonish ghost saying, “I’m the ghost who played Patrick Swayze’s ghost in…

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Riding the rails across the Outback

If you’re interested in traveling at a painfully slow pace through barren landscape at great expense, then the Ghan is the train for you. We rode the rails from Alice Springs in the Outback to Adelaide in the south, a trip that would amount to a 2-hour flight but drags out to nearly 24 hours…

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Camels, kangaroos, and contagious conjunctivits

“That is one big rock!” Her exclaimed. We were seated in our rented Toyota RAV4, A/C blasting, in the sunset viewing parking lot several kilometers from the base of Uluru, the massive monolith in the Red Center of Oz.  We decided to stop over here to see the “postcard view” before going to see the…

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