After a good 3 weeks of meetings with family and friends, we took the FlixBus from Dresden to Frankfurt Airport shortly before midnight on Saturday. At noon, our 19-hour flight to Australia took off, with a change in Abu Dhabi. By the way, we crossed the equator on the second part of the flight (around 0:30 CET) and were thus able to welcome spring/summer in the southern hemisphere 😉 After we had landed safely in Sydney on Monday evening (local time/MET+10h), despite a few strong turbulences, we made our way to the hostel. It was located in the centre of town and was the perfect starting point for the next few days.
Now a bit of Australian history, so that you don’t say you don’t learn anything from us 😉 Kingsford Smith Airport Sydney is located directly in Botany Bay, the bay where James Cook landed on 28 April 1770 and shortly afterwards took possession of it as the first British colony on the Australian continent.
We used the time until we could pick up the camper we had rented in advance to “cure” the jet lag on the one hand and to do some organisational things on the other. Of course, we also took walks through Sydney, Australia’s most populous city with around 5.2 million residents (for comparison: Dresden has only a tenth of that). We even visited the world-famous Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge twice. Then it was time to pick up our rental car. Now it was time to leave the city and head for the Blue Mountains National Park to the west. Our first campsite was right in the heart of this mountainscape.
The first day “on the road” we spent at the campsite and basically settled into the car. Not so easy, given the limited space, the correspondingly limited storage options and the fact that we have to fold down part of the bed before each journey. But we knew what to expect 😉 The next morning, it was time for our first hike through Australia’s flora and fauna. We had chosen the 6.3 km long Grand Canyon loop. It was to be a breathtaking and fascinating nature experience. Huge ferns, eucalyptus trees and palms, babbling brooks, waterfalls and bare as well as overgrown rock walls. Walking through this gorge, we got the feeling of being transported back to prehistoric times and we were practically expecting a dinosaur to turn the corner at any moment. We then made our way to the next campsite and stopped at Hassans Walls Lookout. There we learned from a local about the history of the development of the Blue Mountains.
Considering the medium-term weather forecast for the south (barely above 20°C and a persistent cool wind), we decided to continue our road trip towards Brisbane, north of Sydney. The following days consisted mainly of driving, including stops at places worth seeing.
Right next to our next campsite was the starting point of the Korogoro Walking Trail. It leads over the headland of Hat Head and through a rather rare coastal rainforest. The highlights of the hike, however, were the encounters with kangaroos. 🙂
A little anecdote on the side:
Since we landed in Australia, we have been trying to find an “Akubra” for Sven. This is a hat from a traditional Australian family business, which is made of rabbit fur felt (rabbits are a plague here) and whose name is used nationwide as a synonym for such hats. Only the model, colour and size were not quite clear. So we rattled around in shops on the way until we finally found what we were looking for a week later in Port Macquarie. Britt has owned such a hat since her work&travel year.
So, those were our first impressions from Down Under. See you soon.