We flew ca. 10,000 km and drove ca 4,000 km across Australia. It was a gorgeous trip.
The points of interest in Australia are less the cities and the buildings but more the landscape and fauna and flora. There are a few older buildings but very often they kept only the façade and rebuilt the whole building behind it. We liked very much Australia and felt excellent during the whole trip. Very few topics we didn’t like e.g. most shops closing at 5 pm in smaller places. In some places we couldn’t even find a restaurant for dinner because everything was closed in the evening. It was annoying that there are thousand of miles of wonderful long beaches where you cannot go into the water because of jelly fishes.
The Australian are friendly, laid-back people and very helpful. Sometimes I had problems to understand the Australians even if I speak quite well English. We didn’t have much contact with the Aborigines. We saw some of them hanging around the Countdown supermarkets (most of them in Northern Territories) some of them drunk and smelling bad. But I am sure that this only a small part of the Aborigene population.
In Sydney and in Melbourne there is very heavy traffic. In the other places people drive very thoughtful (except drivers of huge trucks).
I organized the trip myself by using German touristic books. I’ve booked most of the flights in advance and the hotel in Sydney (for New Year Eve). The other hotels and the rental cars I’ve booked 2-3 days in advance.
The Climate of Australia
This vast country experiences a variable climate. Three quarters of the land is desert and has low and unreliable rainfall. The huge dry interior is hot year-round during the day but can very cold at night. The southern half of Australia has warm summers and mild winters. The Top End in the north has just two seasons: the dry and the wet with its monsoon cycles. This means at any time of the year you cannot have good weather in the whole country. We were there in January-February timeframe and had excellent weather in the South but lot of rain in the North. Unfortunately some places in the National Parks were closed due to crocs.
Great Barrier Reef
GBR ist stretches over ca. 2300 km. There are two major areas: the inner reef and the outer reef. For diving and snorkeling the visibility in the outer reef is much better and there is much more sea life then in the Inner reef.. The downside of this is that the outer reef is in the Cairns area ca. 60 km offshore. In the outhern areas of GBR the outer reef is even more distant.
Food and Drinks
Flat white – cappuccino without cocoa powder
Bug – small lobster north of Brisbane
We ate of lot of fish and seafood especially barramundi, salmon and snapper. The sea food in Brisbane area was very tasty but we had to explain that we don’t want it beer battered.