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Just got back from vacation!


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#1 ranchhand

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 11:12 PM

I took the family to Australia. Absolutely loved it, a great country!  We went out on a dive boat, and my son experienced his first SCUBA and snorkel dive! He is now a fan of diving, just like his old man is. So I finally got to dive the Great Barrier Reef (long been on my bucket list) and was not disappointed. Water was warm (80°F) and the tropical fish were absolutely beautiful beyond description. God really let his imagination go wild when he created undersea life. My son went nuts.

 I got proof that I really went to Australia: Here is my daughter holding one Australia's finest public relations exports!

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These are one of the cuddliest, soft little animals on the planet. He just crawled up on her and was quite content to stay there. His fur is so soft and silky it is just hard to let go of him.

The people are relaxed and very courteous, we had nothing but good experiences.

 


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#2 kennethr

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 05:01 PM

I am really jealous.  Australia is on my bucket list too.  Where did you go?  Any more pics?


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#3 ranchhand

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 08:17 PM

We entered Sydney for a few days, went to Melbourne for 4 days, Port Douglas and Hobart in Tazmania. The Wildlife Habitat in Port Douglas is the best for a Koala experience; you can also wander the foot paths and interact with various animals. We loved the little Wallabies so much we tried to figure out how to smuggle one home in our suitcase, but finally decided it wouldn't work. Here are some pics of the photos I got as we wandered around.

We dived the G.Barrier Reef from a dive boat (as I posted above), did several hikes through the rain forests (one was guided and the other was not). This was a custom trip that we planned out together, then got a pro travel agency in the area to make all arrangements, and they did a terrific job of it! Everything went off like clockwork.
This little guy was taking his PM nap and I zoomed in on him with my telephoto:
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My son petting a Wallabie; they are the cutest, most mellow little guys...

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Various birds here and there throughout the trip:

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Couple of owls taking a nap:
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The famous Kookaburra, one of the most insane cries ever heard by man:

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The 12 Apostle formations on the shore drive in Tazmania.

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Sydney Harbor:
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There are so many more it's had to choose!

 


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#4 kennethr

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 08:56 PM

Fantastic.  American Airlines just came out with what they "say" is a bargain price, 1277 RT from Dallas to Sydney. I may just have to check into that.



#5 ranchhand

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 12:30 AM

Just FYI....everything is expensive in AU compared to USA. It's not unusual to pay $5 AU for a cup of coffee. Generally, salaries are good there and since they have socialized medicine at least that expense is lessened. Not unusual to pay $150AU for party of 4 at a restaurant (including a bottle of wine). Even with the USA dollar being slightly stronger, things are still expensive. The living standard is as high as the USA. but expenses are higher.


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#6 LF from MC

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Posted 11 February 2018 - 11:44 AM

What a wonderful vacation you must have had, and the birds are just beautiful.

Lorraine

 

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#7 Angoid

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Posted 11 February 2018 - 09:31 PM

We visited Australia in a short (two-and-a-half-week) round the world trip a few years ago.  It is an amazing country.

 

We took a seaplane one day from Sydney Harbour to this restaurant and then we stayed at the Shangri-La hotel in Sydney for 2 nights overlooking the Sydney Harbour Bridge.  We would never have been able to afford that hotel, but my wife won that in a competition she did at work at that time :D

 

Did you do the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb Bob?

 

Like you, it's nigh on impossible to choose a few favourite photos but I got this one of the Sydney Opera House:

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#8 ranchhand

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 11:47 AM

My son and daughter did the bridge climb. Wife and I decided we had climbed enough bridges in our life so we declined. As it turned out, they were quite disappointed; first, it is organized in large groups, and each person is zipped into an orange full jump-suit, and then a built-in safety lanyard line is snapped on to a pole that runs the length of the bridge. So one can walk only as fast as the slowest person in the group. Then there is a "guide" person that takes groups of 10 to 20 and they slowly trudge along the bridge while the guide stops them quite often to do his spiel. They finally get to the top and pretty much stand there while a group photo is taken. Then return. It really is not a "climb", more like walking an inclined ramp in a jump suit under a blazing hot sun.

Actually, there is a free tower that you can do down on the pier that is almost as high, and the view of the harbor is spectacular. We also did that and the "kids" liked that much better. The last picture in my first post was take from that. Quite spectacular. Here is also a pic of the Sydney opera house taken from that same place.

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#9 dashwood95

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Posted 17 February 2018 - 06:31 PM

That's awesome!!  So want to hold a koala one day.  They are awesome.


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#10 ranchhand

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 05:55 PM

Yes, you are right, Dashie! At first I was kind of "ho-hum" about it, I have seen lots of cute, cuddly animals in my time. But there is something about these little guys the tugs at your heart. They are so gentle, silky and soft that my family didn't want to let go! The animal park that I referenced above is the best experience; some of the parks only let your picture be taken with them, but this part puts one in your arms totally. So if you go to Aussie-land some time and want the best experience, contact them and make sure that you really can hold one entirely, not just take your picture with one.


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