Three Sisters

The Blue Mountains near Sydney provide some of the most amazing views I’ve ever seen. This is of the the three sisters in Katoomba. You can climb down some stairs and up to the middle of the first sister. Those were some scary stairs.

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Australia’s Weird Food: Giant BACON!

We were amazed at the size of bacon here. When you buy it in the grocery store, it’s regular bacon and Canadian bacon, still together! You can also get them separate, but why would you?
This is the best bacon ever. We bought some for an outdoor BBQ on the sunshine coast. These BBQs were available in every public park, for free!

Even Scott is shocked at the size!

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Fraser Island

One of the must stops down the east coast of Australia is Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world. Not wanting to miss out, we took a one day 4 wheel drive trip.
The truck picked us up and took the ferry over to the island. Right away, we struck gold and saw a wild dingo!

The jeep took us over to the island on a ferry, and then down the beach until we got to Lake MacKenzie, a lake that is fed only by an underground aquifer and rain. It was absolutely wonderful to swim in, especially after swimming in salt water.  It has the same silica based sand as on whitehaven beach. We spent some time swimming and lying on the silica beach before heading to the rainforst. We were amazed that trees so tall could grow right out of the sand! Next we headed to the  wreck of the Maheno, a ship that sunk offshore in 1935.
After washing ashore, the still intact ship was used as a location for weddings and other parties before WWII, when the Australian air force used as a target for bombing drills. Now it is half destroyed and all rusted out, and a stop on all standard tours. It was fascinating.
On the way back we stopped for a swim in a small creek halfway down the island. This was my favourite part of the trip. The current in shady stream was so strong that you could let it push you, and we had a few races with the other people on our tour.  The water was amazingly pure and clean.
Before we headed back to Airlie, we stopped and did something that I had previously sworn I would never do, but more on that later.

What a great day!

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Australia’s Weird Food: Caramel Slice

I love that in Australia and New Zealand, what we would call bars they call ‘slices’. Slices are availible everywhere in many flavours, but I think the most popular must be caramel. Coconut bottom, caramel middle and chocolate on top.
We didn’t really like this caramel slice, purchased at the Melbourne market – it was way too sweet. However, we had a delicious meringue from the same bakery, so it all worked out!

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Cuddling at the Koala Sanctuary

We stopped at the Lone Pine Koala sanctuary, just outside of Brisbane, for some quality time with Australian animals. Much cheaper than the Australian zoo, the Koala sanctuary cares for over 130 Koalas, as well as kangaroos, dingos, wombats and a platypus! After walking past the bird cages, we met the biggest bats I have ever seen. Seriously scary looking bats. Then it was on to the good stuff. Koalas!
Koalas are one of those animals that are actually in cute in real life as they are in their stuffed animal incarnation. Maybe even cuter. They have an area at the sanctuary where you can hold a Koala for a short while. They charge nearly as much to take a picture as they did for admission, so we opted out of the photo, but we still got to hold a Koala for about 30 seconds. They were very cuddly, and their fur was rough, unbelievably cute.

Then we headed over to the emu and kangaroo enclosure. They had a huge field for these animals and they wandered around relatively free, emus taller than me, and about 50 kangeroos and wallabies. You could even feed the kangaroos. There was a presentation from the staff on how they cared for the animals, many of them having been adopted while injured or babies. It was very informative and included adorable photos of baby animals!

We watched a sheep herding and then a sheep shearing demonstration, which was actually quite interesting. The men they had doing it where actual shearers and herders and they gave a great presentation about the history of the industry in Australia. We loved watching the dogs working, sheep really do follow each other quite easily.

We even got a chance to see an elusive cassowary. Those are some scary looking birds! The platypus, unfortunately, remained elusive, even in captivity, and was hiding most of the day.

I would highly recommend Lone Pine, we felt like the animals were well treated, and we learned a lot about animals we don’t have in Canada. Our favourites were the koalas, the kangaroos and the wombats. Too cute. A informative, enjoyable and excessively cute day!

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A day in Kendall

Unlike Scott, whose last name is pretty common, I don’t often find places with my name. So when I found this town on the map, I knew it was worth the detour. Not only was it a whole town named after me, never has there been a town with more items in it with the name of the town.
The town was named after Henry Kendall, an Australian poet who lived here in the late 1800’s, and throughout the town were plaques with verses from his poems.
This one near the school was pretty obviously not written by Kendall himself, but I thought it was pretty good anyway!
 Believe it or not, this is only a small portion of the collection of photos I have of myself with places around Kendall, but I think that’s probably enough for now. Kendall, Australia. A town worth visiting – for me anyway!


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