A Travellerspoint blog

New South Wales: Last few weeks in Australia!

Sightseeing in Sydney and Wwoofing in Windsor

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View My Trip so far! on Sophfidoe's travel map.

Unfortunately I've made it to Sydney airport; I was expecting an overpriced internet booth but have been pleasantly surprised by this free one! So here I am filled with mixed emotions and yes girls, still without a man!! (but instead, according to Mum, have acquired an Aussie accent!)
As I had expected, the last 4 months have been full of adventure and I have the people that I have met along the way to thank for that, you know who you are!

The last few weeks have been action packed. Staying with Mum's old neighbour, John and his family gave me the advantage of seeing Sydney with locals and enabling me to get my bearings: -

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Palm Beach from the Lighthouse

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Views from Sydney North Head

WWoofing in Windsor

Unfortunately I didn't get chance to be a Jillaroo this trip but I did Wwoofing at an eventer and racehorse stud farm with a lovely Aussie family in the suburbs of Sydney, what seemed to be the equestrian epicentre of Oz!
looking after these million dollar horses in 40 degrees heat was an experience to say the least and one which only Wwoofing could enable: -

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Pre foal

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Foal a few hours old

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Feeding time

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He has won $3.7 million in racing so far!

I'd really recommend Wwoofing and had I stayed in the country longer (and maybe not had such an adventurous nature) I'd have done it for a lot longer.

Last week in Oz

The last week back in Sydney has been a combination of experiencing the nightlife (much to the shock of my liver!): -

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Making the most of Sydney festival (which runs throughout Jan): -

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Bringing Sydney together for Festival time by placing pianos around the city!

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Sydney Symphony Orchestra

Getting glimpses of the numerous beaches: -

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Coogee Beach

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Eastern Beach walk from Bondi to Coogee

Replacing some 6 month old worn out clothes which have holes in procarious places, having the worst night of my trip in a 6 bed hostel room with 4 old men sweating in the heat and contemplating leaving at 2am (that's what you get for a $20 room in central Sydney)!

Taking pictures of the harbour from as many angles as I was physically capable of: -

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Sydney Harbour viewed from the Bridge

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Opera House

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Sydney Harbour

Partaking in friends birthday cruises in Pittwater: -

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Grant and Jas

Before finally making it to Palm beach on Australia day morning feeling, unfortunately, a little worse for wear: -
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Palm Beach

So as you can see, I have had a great number of road trips around Oz, experiencing such contrasting landscapes and living with the locals. From rainforest to the red centre to beaches and water that blows your breath away - Australia for me really does have everything (I sound like a travel agent!)!!

New Zealand now has the tough challenge of living up to its reputation and I'm looking forward to more adventure!

Posted by Sophfidoe 02:45 Archived in Australia Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

Southern Australia, Victoria and New South Wales.

From Adelaide to Melbourne, Canberra and finally Sydney for NYE!

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View My Trip so far! on Sophfidoe's travel map.

As you can see, I'm getting a little behind on my blog, so the last few entries have been kept much shorter to give you a brief overview of what it was like spending Christmas and New Year away from home.
It's hard to get into the Christmas spirit when it's so hot outside, so it wasn't until I went to explore the chocolate and wine shops that it began to feel like the festive season! It was great to Skype the family and see all the decorations and hear about the festivities at home.

Then, before I knew it, my Christmas in the sun was over and so was my time in Adelaide. Instead of taking the bus to Melbourne I decided to get a lift with a man, Peter, who was going to Melbourne to see his family and wanted someone to share the driving. It ended up being a much quicker and cheaper way to get there and despite Mum being a little worried, the 65 year old grandad was harmless!

I only had a day to explore the city of Melbourne before I set off once more on a three day road trip to Sydney in time for New Years Eve. It was the largest city in Australia that I had seen so far and much more like the cities I'm used to. Sydney and Melbourne are big rivals and sitting here in Sydney overlooking the beaches I think I already have a favourite! However I might feel differently when I spend more time in Melbourne.

Melbourne to Canberra

It was another great find on gumtree, the rideshare website. Steve, from Melbourne was keen to do a road trip before returning to work and offered me a lift to Sydney. I knew we weren't going to be travelling in an old campervan but I wasn't expecting the red BMW that arrived outside my hostel. It was backpacking with a difference, but a great trip.

On our way to Sydney we made a few stops at the most random places I have ever come across! Australia is known for having 'big' versions of things spread across the country and we encountered a few on our trip!

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The Big Merino!

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The Big Trout!

It wasn't just the 'Big' things that had the novelty value, a cartoonist used to write about a crazy pub which has been built in two locations in Australia, New South Wales and Queensland. We visited the Ettamogah pub for a quick drink; you'll never see a pub like it!

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The Ettamogah pub has every 'typically aussie' in it!

We made a quick stop off in the capital, Canberra before moving onto the Blue Mountains. The city has a bad reputation for being a dull place with no night life, but it was a perfect place to stop for a few hours. All the government buildings are located here along with a good university. I was surprised at the ease with which you could just wonder in to the Parliament building when they weren't in session. There was a brief security check but that was it!

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Steve and I in Canberra

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War Memorial

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Old Parliament House

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Canberra to Sydney

We ventured off through the rural countryside, much like home, before reaching the Blue Mountains. They are stunning to say the least! We didn't have time to do any hiking but we got a chance to see some waterfalls and gasp in awe at the landscape.

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The Blue Mountains!

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The Three Sisters

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Sydney

I love Sydney! It's slightly different to how I imagined it though, the Opera house is a little smaller but still has amazing presence, especially when the bridge is in the background. I never really knew how the rest of the city looked, it's much more hilly than I had expected, but I feel this gives it that extra character.
There are the typical tourist things to do here; walking over the bridge (or over the top if you can spare $200), wondering around the Opera house (or you can do a tour), seeing the beautiful Botanical gardens (to me these are the best in Australia), going to the zoo which gives you great views over the harbour, having a BBQ on one of the numerous beaches, taking a ferry to Manly which is a lovely suburb (the ferry ride itself gives you stunning views of the harbour, especially at sunset) and where I could see myself returning to for a while.

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Sydney Harbour Bridge

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Views from the ferry to Manly

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Champagne picnic with Jas in her neck of the woods, Manly. We met back in the US in 2004 and again in London in 2007. Her apartment overlooks the beach so it's easy for her to nip down for a quick swim!

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Sydney at dusk

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Queuing for NYE

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The terms for NYE

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The Harbour was full of people lining its edge

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Boats in the Harbour

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Happy New Year!

I still have a few days of exploring this great city so will update you further in the next entry!

Posted by Sophfidoe 13:41 Archived in Australia Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

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