Australia – A Childhood Dream Came True

Australia Travel Blog

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Rock Wallaby

Ever since my early years, Australia has been spooking in my head as a dream destination. As a primary school kid I was very much interested in animals, and the exotic fauna of Australia with its many strange creatures fascinated me. However, I never considered this dream by any means realistic, and over the years and decades I more or less forgot about it.

But then, 30 years later, I met that certain guy at the office, let’s call him F… During that summer when we got together (slowly slowly – long story that I don’t want to bother you with), he had just had a bunch of cousins from Australia visiting at his family home in the Black Forest. I learned that his mother’s younger sister had emigrated to Australia in the 1970s together with her husband and then 3 children (no. 4 and 5 were then born in Australia). Most of them were living in Perth, one cousin in Melbourne.

Sydney Opera House

Some months later F’s sister went to Perth to pay these relatives a return visit. And that’s when my old dream, which had already been sleepily stretching in the back of my head for a while, was suddenly wide awake, and I said, “Oooh, I so much want to go, too…” The reply was, “Okay, sure, we can go. Since this needs some preparation, we could plan a trip for next year.”

Time for a happy dance!

We chose to go in March, because we wanted to avoid Australia’s worst summer heat and it was a month when four weeks off work could be taken without problems. Since it was my first trip – F had been three times before – we planned an itinerary that involved much more than just family visits. We booked an open-jaw flight with Malaysia Airlines (those were the times when they were a good, reliable airline with an excellent reputation, before all those catastrophes they recently went through).

Koala at Taronga Zoo
We flew from Frankfurt via Kuala Lumpur into Sydney and out of Perth.

Our itinerary started with five days in Sydney. Then we flew over to Melbourne, staying a couple of days with F’s cousin Yvonne. From there we rented a campervan for a week to cover the leg from Melbourne to Adelaide, along the Great Ocean Road, through the Grampians and Barossa Valley. The city of Adelaide was somehow neglected, but knowingly and on purpose, since we had to adjust to the timetable of the Indian Pacific which runs only twice per week. We decided to use the one full day we had in Adelaide to go on a tour to Kangaroo Island.

London Arch on the Great Ocean Road
A train ride of 36 hours took us through the Nullarbor Plain to Perth, where we spent the last week, partly together with F’s relatives, partly on our own.

This blog is partly based on travel pages I had written on the now defunct Virtualtourist. My pages there were not complete, though, so I have to recur to my memories and sum up what I remember, in particular concerning the cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. The entries will thus differ in length and depth.

I have to apologize for my photos: This was before I bought my first digital camera, I had my beloved but heavy analogue SLR. Thus, what I am showing you here are scans from slides. Amazing how few photos I took in those times.

It was a fast-paced trip, although I have seen much worse itineraries in various travel forums... We tried to find a compromise to solve that certain problem we all know too well: Wanting to see as much as possible without making the trip a rat race. I think we have succeeded.

Paulovic says:
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Posted on: Sep 19, 2017
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Rock Wallaby
Rock Wallaby
Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House
Koala at Taronga Zoo
Koala at Taronga Zoo
London Arch on the Great Ocean Road
London Arch on the Great Ocean Road
In the bush of Western Australia
In the bush of Western Australia
Perth
Perth