Now home from our Aussie Adventure these last few days, we’ve had time to empty our suitcases and reflect on our trip. It’s no good dwelling on the Rail Trip which didn’t happen – with the promise of a full refund, you can be sure we will try again, perhaps for next year. After all, it is one of the great rail trips of the world, travelling across the Australian Continent from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.
Perth was a lovely city, and one we had never visited before. We read Perth has the title of the most isolated capitol city in the world. That being the case, there are plenty of people happy to live there, and plenty more who come over for a visit. We loved the wonderful Kings Park, and the free buses around the CBD.
Our visit to Rottnest Island was something we had been looking forward too, and seeing those cute little quokkas. Sadly, with thoughtless tourists bribing them with food for photo shots, their health is suffering. We stayed overnight, and once the last ferry had left for the day, the place was practically deserted. Rottnest Island has few permanent residents, with most island workers commuting from the mainland.
I often commented that we were probably the only Kiwis who had never visited Sydney – that has now been rectified as we have finally experienced our first visit there. A huge, busy, cosmopolitan city, our accommodation was just across the road from the busy Central Station. Trains, buses, and light rail will take you wherever you want to go on your pre-paid Opal card. As do the ferries down at Circular Quay, what an exciting place that was. We didn't realize how close together Circular Quay, The Opera House, The Sydney Harbour Bridge, and The Rocks were, just a short walk and you can see them all. And a few stops on the Light Rail takes you to Darling Harbour, another must-see place.
No shopping got done in Sydney, we didn’t even venture into the main shopping area to visit David Jones or Myers. Oh no, we were much too busy jumping on and off ferries, trains and the light rail.
So what were the highlights? The best money we spent on ourselves was upgrading to Premium Economy on the Auckland-Perth leg of our journey. No where near as posh as flying Business Class, but we were pleasantly surprised at the seating, leg room, attentive service, and just how comfortable those seven and a half hours flying were. The extra cost might not suit everyone, but for us, it was a good decision.
Best sightseeing trip – the Manly Ferry trip, long anticipated, and Manly Beach was beautiful.
Best wildlife sighting – would have to be those cute quokkas. Not at all hard to spot on Rottnest Island, as they sat there quietly nibbling on leaves, making them very easy to photograph. And we were rather impressed with sighting an osprey sitting on it’s huge nest down on the rocky foreshore.
Best Hotel - was the Duxton, in Perth.
Best Meal – at Pan Pacific Hotel in Perth, oh my, those wonderful huge prawns at the buffet. (This was the hotel our train load of disappointed train travelers were booked into after our trip was cancelled). We don’t get prawns like these back home in New Zealand, ours are tiny little imported ones. Mind you, we had a rather memorable meal at “Public House” bar and restaurant in Perth, which would come a close second.
So now we are safely home we have got out of holiday mode where we discussed “where shall we go for dinner tonight?”. We are now back in every-day life mode where the question is “what shall I cook for dinner tonight?”. We had a great time, but it’s always nice to arrive home safely again at the end of the holiday, isn’t it? Back to your own bed, and welcoming little Gemma back home again. She got a present, a tiny soft kangaroo, which she swats around the floor, chasing it here and there. We are sure she has grown while we’ve been away, and she has settled back nicely after spending time with the breeder.
Gemma and her baby kangaroo