No Worries Mate

Posted by  Daniël Cronk   in       6 years ago     482 Views     Comments Off on No Worries Mate  

I am alive and well.... I have been way too busy to do any writing, just occasional status updates here and there. Here's a brief update on what's been happening.

I arrived in Sydney on September 3rd after 30 hours and 35 minutes of travel time. . . leaving on saturday and arriving on monday morning, I only assume my body dematerialized for the entirety of sunday. . . I made my way to my friend Tony's house, in one of the suburbs of Sydney and within a couple of hours of arrival had walked to the CBD (Central Business District) of Sydney, about 40 minutes one way. I choose to walk instead of taking the train into the city to help curb the impending jet lag (which, ironically never came). That first day was a big day as I made my way down to the Circular Quay (that's pronounced, key for those keeping track), or if you're asian you might pronounce it "Sucky Rocky". Tony was telling me of a time when an asian girl had walked up to him and some of his friends and asked them where she could find "sucky rocky," perplexed they finally determined it to be Circular Quay & the Rocks (an area not too far from the Quay).... so of course the rest of my time in Sydney I had to call it the Sucky Rocky.

Panorama of Sydney Harbor

Sydney is a beautiful city (very livable, in my opinion) and the people very friendly. The harbour, with its iconic Opera House and Bridge are of course the highlights. That first day I walked over 10,5 miles (16,9 km)!!!!! Take that jet-lag!

Sydney Harbour

Sydney Opera House as seen from the Taronga Zoo

Sydney Opera House in zoom burst

My second day in Sydney found me at the Taronga Zoo, where I was able to catch up with various Australian creatures as the wombat, echidna, koala and of course, kangaroo.. i steered clear of all of the dangerous creepy crawly creatures, though!!! This evening, Tony had an evening planned with some friends of his and I can neither confirm nor deny that I had a little bit too much to drink that night.... then comes the next day, where I was scheduled to do the Harbour Bridge climb. I managed to drag my sorry self out of bed and took the train down to the city and managed to squeek past the beathalyzer, just barely, and up the bridge for some of the most beautiful views of Sydney one could hope to see. It was a gorgeous 3,5 hour climb; too bad you're not allowed to take your camera with you ;-(

Oh, G'day Mate!

Sleepy time

Gorilla with a cheeky smirk

Strike a pose, Vogue! Giltz & Glamour - Taronga Zoo

I feel so pretty.... oh so pretty.

As a final act in Sydney, I took in the Featherdale Wildlife Park, located about 45 minutes northwest of the city, which allowed me with close up encounters with several of Australia's creatures. I got to pet a koala and feed the kangaroos.. I was also offered the chance to hold some kind of snake, which I quickly declined and ran away from. What a wonderful experience!!!

Feeding the Roos grasscones at Featherdale Wildlife Park

From Sydney, I was soon flying on to Alice Springs, which sits almost in the center of the country; known famously as "the Red Center". Though somewhat of a misnomer these days as there are actually a lot of trees & grasses that have been put into place to help with the sandstorms; though, with the heat and lightning storms that occur, also there are lots of fires that occur.

Red Center - In Flight Entertainment aboard Qantas' flight from Melbourne to Alice Springs

From Alice Springs it was a very LONG day to see Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock. Of of, if not THE largest monolith in the world. It is a sacred site to the Aboriginal people and was quite beautiful to see. There was a sunset dinner planned, the the sunset itself proved to be a tad bit disappointing over Uluru - however, was gorgeous over Kata Tjuta (the Olga's), which I could see off in the distance bathed in a golden glow.

Uluru (Ayers Rock)

Rock Painting At Uluru

Kata Tjuta bathed in a sea of orange hues at sunset

From Alice Springs, I took in a 3 day overland journey to the northern territory capital of Darwin. Not so much a tour, but rather a road trip. It was myself and 7 other individuals, who set off on a camping trip through one of the most boring places on earth. Not a lot to see other than trees, sand, grass & termite mounds. We stopped at a number of roadhouses along the way and a place called Devils Marbles, which are these gigantic stones that look like marbles. The story of how they got their names comes about when two explorers came upon the valley of the stones, as they came up over the valley the first explorer said "Hey, what the devil" and the second explorer, exasperated, said "Shit, they look like marbles" and thus came forth the name "Devils Marbles". The second night, I attempted some night photography of the stars. It didn't work out as I would have liked, as my lens focal length is not wide enough to capture enough of the sky. But I did get a couple of relatively nice images, none of the Southern Cross (sorry, Greg, by the time it''s dark enough to do anything the bottom part of it has already set). The final day was the best, though. We came to Katherine Gorge, which is a very beautiful gorge system (13 gorges in total) which were carved out by the Katherine River. Most of the group decided upon a kayak adventure up through the first gorge, where we hopped to spot the freshies (fresh water crocodiles) -- sadly we saw none ;-( They're the docile members of the crocodile family, and very timid & shy. On the opposite end of the spectrum are the salties (salt water crocodiles), which will seek & kill... there are all sorts of sordid tales told about the salties in the northern territory. For my final act in the northern territory, myself and 2 others took to the skies in a helicopter ride over the gorge. The pilot was very nice to us, as you have 3 options to choose from -- you can fly 3 gorges, 8 gorges, or all 13 gorges. We only paid for the 8 gorges, but he took us to all 13.

A Southern Sky

Sadly, the Australian adventure was about to come to an end. My assessment after visiting was that I would go again. I would not recommend doing the 3 day overland adventure, but rather next time I would fly from Alice Springs to Darwin and visit Kakadu National Park - which is what I had originally planned to do, but then didn't want to fly -- already having 15 flight segments planned for this trip.. as they say, "ah, what's one more, right mate?"

Now I currently sit in Queenstown, New Zealand and ready to enjoy the next leg of the adventure. Am supposed to go to Milford Sound tomorrow, if the road is opened again. Apparently (in preparation for my arrival) Mother Nature has dumped about 60 cm of snow in the past 2 days and thus the road became closed. So, with fingers crossed they will open it again today and I'll be good to go tomorrow. From Queenstown, who knows where I'll head too... other than north.

To see other photos of Australia, you can visit: Facebook: Australia 2012 you don't need Facebook account to view these photos




About  

I am very passionate about traveling. My goal is to visit as many places and experience as many things as I can during my short journey on this earth.