Belated Happy New Year from Oz

Trip Start Jul 08, 2008
Trip End Jun 30, 2009

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Flag of Australia  , Victoria,
Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Happy New Year everyone! Our time is Australia is just about up and we've had a brilliant few months here. A few highlights since the last update include:

- A fantastic Christmas with Millsy and his family in Wodonga. BBQs, backyard cricket and splashing around in a pool were all great, but believe it or not we both missed the dark nights and cold weather that typify Christmas for us! Massive thanks to Millsy and his family for being so generous and welcoming. Extra special thanks to Bernie for taking us shopping in the Aston Martin DB6!

- Seeing more kangaroos hopping about in Canberra whilst taking a friend's dog for a walk than anywhere else in Australia.

- Enjoying the famous Sydney New Year fireworks with Goldie, Lil, and Alex from the balcony of Goldie's sister's flat, which overlooks the bridge and opera house.

- Staying with Em Mullenger and Matt in their Sydney flat, and beating them at Trivial Pursuit thanks to our deeply sophisticated knowledge that Aqua's second major hit was 'Dr Jones' and Two Dogs was lemon flavoured when it was launched...

- Emily being delighted when asked for ID whilst trying to buy beer during the 3rd test at the SCG. She enjoyed this even more than watching Ponting get a golden duck.

- Driving 4820km in a campervan down the east coast from Cairns to Melbourne and becoming short-term members of the often mocked caravan and camping community. A sub-culture in its own right it's clearly all about size and how many spaces you, your caravan and camping equipment can occupy.

- A breathtaking balloon flight over Sydney at dawn. Thanks guys, you know who you are.

- Learning what being on the high side really means when sailing around the Whitsundays with one side of the boat almost submerged in the water and us 15ft in the air.

- Driving a 4x4 through the beautiful and very sandy Fraser Island before coming face to face with a dingo.

- A day trip to Australia Zoo, home of the late Steve Irwin, where after watching a crocodile chomp down on a pig's head we were told his jaw applied more pressure when eating than the breaking system on a jumbo jet. A good incentive to keep your distance if ever one was needed!

- Swimming with a 15 strong pod of dolphins, the most beautiful and graceful creatures and an amazing experience.

A parting thought: the Great Australian drive-through off licence - asking for trouble or a stroke of genius?

Next we're off to explore the sights, sounds and sheep of New Zealand, country number 14.
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