Darwin and Litchfield National Park

22nd of September, Cairns back to Darwin
After my adventures at Cape Tribulation and a relaxing morning in Cairns, the time had come to say ‚Good Bye‘ to Queensland. I have to admit, the time had passed by really fast, but on the other hand, the two weeks travelling from Brisbane up to Cairns and Cape Tribulation where full of unforgettable moments. After a last walk around Cairns I finally made my way to the airport. For me, it was the first time checking in and going on a plane after the events of the 11th of September. Even in Cairns, thousands and thousands of miles away from New York or Afghanistan, the security-procedure had change.

Everything with even the little possibility to be used as a weapon had to be removed from hand luggage. But more important, I had changed too. I was certainly much more aware of what was going on around me; I thought about everything in my bag that could be used as a weapon. I also started looking at other travellers that where sitting around me. I felt bad for checking out other people, but on the other hand, I just couldn’t find anything else to think about. There weren’t a lot of people at the airport at all; you might have heard that one of the largest carriers in Australia, Ansett, had collapsed. Some shops and the fast food restaurant were closed and had notes on the door that, due the collapse of Ansett, and the lack of passengers that came along with that, they couldn’t open for business. I was really lucky that I had booked a flight with Quantas in Sydney before Ansett went bankrupt.

The flight wasn’t a non-stop flight; we landed at “Nhulunbuy” or Gove, a little airport in the middle of nowhere. Most of the passengers where highly surprised when the stewardess announced that we would land in “Gove”, a place most of us never heard of before. Nhulunbuy is about half way between Cairns and Darwin. As far as I could find out, an airport founded during the Second World War. The whole airport was a very small building, a shop with souvenirs and two little check-in counters. I saw an old Apple Computer, like from the late 80s, but that was the only piece of technology at the airport. After the short brake in “Gove” we finally continued our flight on to Darwin.

23rd of September, c
I wanted to finish my tour around Australia with something special, something to remember, funny and not too much driving at all (which means, by the way, “only” 350 kilometres that particular day). Something really rare in Australia… Litchfield seemed to offer all that, and, fortunately it kept its promises, lots of waterfalls and the opportunity to swim in crystal clear water. It took me 8 tours in Australia to finally get a female tour guide, and she did a real good job. We started at the Florence Falls, also our first opportunity to swim, but a group of drunken “party-travellers’ kept me away from my first refreshment because they had occupied the whole pool. But the “Wangi Falls”, offered an even better opportunity to swim and it was also less frequented. Next on the tour was an short hiking trip to the Tolmer Falls, closed for swimming because of bats that life in a cave at the bottom of the falls. Our last chance of refreshment was at the Buley Rockholes, a great spot to get an excellent “aqua back massage”. Just sit in one of the holes and let the water ran over your back! The last stop was at the “Magnetic Termite Mounds”, an area with many termite hills, the biggest one more then six meters high (about 21 feet).

After the return to Darwin I decided to visit the weekend market at Mindil Beach. I unfortunately had to watch a quiet nasty scene between two Aboriginal. First I saw a group of Aboriginal, sitting on the street, playing their didgeridoos and singing to make some money. Very peaceful compared to those Aboriginal I had seen downtown in Darwin, Alice Springs and Cairns. When I returned later, one of the Aboriginal men was arguing with a woman about the money, and finally screamed “Give me that f****** money!!! It’s really sad to see that so many Aboriginal have problems with alcohol, or are just sitting around in the city and arguing with each other. I hope they find a way to a new kind of “Aboriginal Culture”. I don’t think they can go back to the old times, but I’m sure they can live their old traditions and at the same time find a new way of life.

24th of September, Sweet home Alabama…
I knew that day would come, but it was hard to finally leave Australia, this wonderful country/continent/island or however you would call it – where I spend almost six weeks, where I travelled more then14.000 kilometres, where I met new and old friends, and most important, wouldn’t have to carry around toilet paper with me all the time (like I had to Thailand).

I knew the Airport in Darwin, I had been there twice, but this time it was like hell on earth for me. I was waiting at the check-in counter, when a old men passed by, stopped, turned around, looked at me and said: “Where ever you go, you’re not gona make it” How would you feel about something like that? I was confused, a bit scared, thought about the possibility to not go on the plane, looked at my right site and realised that three guys from Pakistan where standing beside me. I didn’t knew anything about those people, just that that they had passports from Pakistan, but it increased my fears a lot. I have nothing against people from Pakistan or any other country in the world (including Iraq and Afghanistan), but it was just not the right time to see them checking in for the same flight. To make this situation even worse, I switched on my CD player and the first song to start was “Sweet Home Alabama” (singer died during an air crash). But, as I’m typing this, sitting in the youth hostel in Bangkok, you should already know that everything went fine. I don’t believe in fate (but I was relieved when the plane finally landed in Bangkok), I don’t trust in old stupid men, I had a nice chat with the guys from Pakistan and I switched of my CD player.

Magnetic Island, Cairs and Cape Tribulaton

Australian Kangeroo
Australian Kangeroo

18th of August to 20th of September, Magnetic Island
Three days on the island next to Townsville. Almost every place in this area was named by James Cook (or after him) and so was Magnetic Island… When ‚good old James‘ sailed by this island the ship’s compass went funny… anything else you need to know? By the way, highest mountain on the island is – Mount Cook – I’m wondering where that came from…

I also met Jane again, for all of you who haven’t followed my trip so far, I met Jane first on the tour to the Kakadu National Park. Magentic Island offers a lot of cheap hostels for backpackers, I stayed at Geoff’s place at Horshoe Bay, (fifty dollars for two nights and return ferry ticket).

Unfortunately it was very cloudy during my stay on the island, and instead of spending my time on the beach I did some hiking. Magnetic Island offers some very interesting hiking trips.

My favourite was ‚Arcadia Walk‘ which is about five kilometres, once you made it up to the top of the hills you get rewarded with a scenic few over the island.
My last bus ride in Australia, from Townsville to Cairns, took me trough an amazing rainforest and some very interesting villages, such as “Mission Beach”. Mission Beach is a very famous place for backpackers among the east coast. Unfortunately I was in a hurry and couldn’t spend some time there so I just got of the bus for a short walk and to look around. Five people where already waiting to pick up backpackers, one of them dressed like Bob Marley, wearing a fancy hat and hairs like he had never washed or cut them in his life.

I arrived in Cairns in the early evening, similar to Mission Beach, a lot of people where already waiting at the bus station to offer accommodation. Unfortunately I had already booked at the Central YHA and it seemed that the YHA was the only hostel to not offer a courtesy bus, so I had to walk there. Even on the way to the hostel cars would stop by and ask me where I was going to stay and offered me a lift to other backpacker hostels.

I finally arrived at the YHA after a 20-minute walk. It was quit hot that day and I was already a bit upset that the hostel didn’t offered a lift, but to make the whole thing even worse, the stuff was quit unfriendly. This is the only time I’m going to do this, but I do not recommend staying at the Central YHA in Cairns. The atmosphere was very impersonal, the stuff in a bad mood during my whole stay and every time I wanted a mug for a cup of coffee or a fork or spoon, I had to go to the reception to borrow it from them.

I mostly stayed in YHA in Australia during my trip, and the stuff was most of the friendly, especially in Darwin, Adelaide, Sydney and Alice Spring, but I regret that I stayed at the Central YHA in Cairns.

I better change the subject before I go and phone the hostel in Cairns… There is also a very funny story I want to share!

21. September, Cape Tribulation
One-day tour to the world heritage rainforest… Air-conditioned 4wd vehicle, swim in crystal clear water, delicious lunch including tropical fruit, just to name a few specifications in the brochure about the tour I was doing that day. A small coloured brochure and the cheapest tour to Cape Tribulation, I was looking forward to a day with fellow backpackers and perhaps, some nice girls. Oh boy, I was sooo wrong! First of all, I was the only backpacker on the tour, all other tour members got picked up at cheap places such as Courtyard by Marriot… But there is more to come! Eight of them (four couples by the way) where in their late 60s or even early 70s, dressed nicely and wearing shoes like they where going to a party. Sounds like fun? What about a gay and lesbian couple? Unbelievable?

I promise this is absolutely true! I have to confess they didn’t tell me that they where gay or lesbian, but the behaviour of both couples were just too obvious. Especially the gay couple… I don’t want to share too many details, but the whispering of the older people and their strange views nearly got me to the point where I wanted burst out loud. Somehow I managed to resist this temptation. But back to the tour, I do saw some very interesting stuff that day, not only on the bus! Our first stop was at the Daintree River, were we had a guided tour about the wildlife in and around the river. The tour guide was very funny, and kept making jokes all the time. I saw some crocodiles and birds, and, for the first time in Australia, snakes that where actually alive – but not poison at all. I was always told that the most dangerous animals live in Australia, but I have to admit, haven’t even seen one of those animals (beside the crocodiles).

We continued our tour with a visit at the Mossman Gorge and an interesting rainforest walk. After lunch we finally arrived at Cape Tribulation. Cape Tribulation was actually named by an old friend of mine, – James Cook, who had some serious troubles with his ship in this area (it ran onto the Endeavor Reef). He got really upset and decided to name a few more spots, such as Mt Sorrow, Weary Bay and the island Hope (he thought he could fix his ship at the island).

After a very nice walk at the beach of Cape Tribulation we finally headed south, back to Cairns.. On the way back we stopped at the “Daintree Ice-cream Company”, which sells excellent ice-cream made from fruits that grown in the area, our last stop was at a sugar cane factory. Before the tourists arrived in this area it’s major income was the manufactory of sugar. Nowadays it’s still a very important part of the economy in the region and there are plenty of sugar cane fields along the road. between Cairns and Cape Tribulation.

Sailing the Whitsunday Islands

13th of September to 14th of September
It’s hard to describe what I did between the 13th and the 14th of September, the two days I had to wait in Airlie Beach, before I could go on the boat for the sailing trip. How do you describe doing nothing, and at the same try to make it sound interesting?
But here is the true story: I spend most of the time at the beach or walking around. That’s about all I did those two days. It’s hard to go for a swim, from October until May its simply forbidden because of the jelly boxfish, a very deadly animal. Most of the people just spend there time on the beach, catching up a tan, or, if they spend to much time on the beach, a sunburn.

Friday night was finally the night I got on the boat, together with eight other travellers and 7 crew members. Yep, SEVEN crew members to take care of nine people. The reason for such a big crew was because two of them were in training and the skipper (captain) was with his wife. A very funny and nice crew, Daniel, a very funny bloke (Aussie for guy) , was our dive instructor, Clyde, the master diver, Hanna and Helen, who spend most of the time in the kitchen, Mike, who was training to be a skipper, and finally Peter, the skipper and his wife Nelly. To name the other travellers on the boat: Phillip and Christian (from Germany), Sarah, John and David (from Sidney), Steven (from USA), and finally Matt and Julian (from the UK). The name of the boat was „Romance“, ironically, eight of us nine were male…

15th of September
The 15th of September, which we most spent at the Bait Reef, started with some swimming around the boat, watching and feeding huge fishes. I was able to catch the fin of a big black fish, but the fish went mad and was able to get rid of me. Later Nelly told me that those fishes do attempt to bite people who disturb them. Lucky me…

I don’t have a diving license (yet), so the only things I could do on this tour was to snorkel and do a resort dive. Daniel took me out to the reef and I snorkelled around for about 1,5 hours. The underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef is just amazing, very colourful corals all over and an uncountable amount of fishes and other animals. We where also lucky to see a „bad tide“ a natural phenomenon that happens about 5 times a year. A very strong low tide makes the top of the reef become visibly upon the water surface.

But the snorkelling wasn’t the major event of that day, it was my first „resort dive“. After some instructions from David about how to use the diving gear, the time has come for my very first real underwater experience. I learned how to get rid of water in the mask while diving and how to breath. We first started with some breathing exercises and then made our way down to the ground by using the rope of the anchor. I always had to equalise the pressure in my ears, which was not such a big problem then I thought. We went down about ten meters and I was able to see an amazing „wood“ of corals for the first time of my life. The whole diving trip lasted for about forty minutes, and I have to admit, one of the best forty minutes in my life! If you go on a sailing trip at the Great Barrier Reef, do at least a resort dive! You don’t need any experience in diving but it would be handy if you are able to swim 😉 !The day continued with some sailing to a place called Mantaray Bay, where the diving team went for a night dive. On the way to Mantaray Bay I was able to see dolphins as they swam along the boat and jumped out from time to time, just like in Titanic.

16th of September, Whitsunday Island
Captain Cook himself named the island after he sailed through them on Whit Sunday. It wasn’t actually Whit Sunday when he sailed through them, because he didn’t thought about the fact that he had crossed the international Date line. We stopped at the island and hiked up to „Tongue Point“ (I wonder where that name came from…) to get the best view for „Whiteheaven Beach“. Whiteheaven Beach is about six kilometres long, white sand and blue water, as far as you can see. Unfortunately we had only two hours there, not enough time to enjoy the full beauty of the beach. The reason why this beach did not became my „perfect beach“ was the fact that it was the only beach in this area where people got killed by sharks (two shark attacks within one week). The rest of the day was again sailing as we wanted to reach South Molle Island before it would get dark. The day ended with some drinking games, such as „Captain Cook took his first drink“, I’ve never ever…, I kiss the ping little pig on… etc.

17th of September, South Molle Island
My last day on the boat – unfortunately… We stopped at the South Molle Island before we sailed back to Airlie Beach. South Molle Island, which lies in the heart of the 74 Wthitsunday Island has it’s own golf course, some very nice walking tracks and a huge swimming pool. Most of the crew stayed on the „Romance“ while we (the travellers) enjoyed half of the day, relaxing at the swimming pool and exploring the island. It was really hard to leave this pacific paradise to sail back to the „real world“. The day ended as many tours ended before, the crew went out to a bar with us and we chatted about the days we had spent together, changed email addresses and had a few beers together.

11th of September, 2001

11th of September, Brisbane to Hervey Bay

Half of the day on the bus, listening to Travis – The invisible band, my favourit CD on this trip… I guess most of the people don’t know Hervey Bay, but if I mention Fraser Island, probably everyone will say „Ahhhh – biggest sand-island of the world! “ Right, and Hervey Bay is the place you arrive at if you want to explore Fraser Island. Hervey Bay itself doesn’t offer a lot, a bit of beach, a bit of nightlife, but nothing real important. The real impressive happening in Hervey Bay takes place between about 6:00 and 8:30 pm. Thousands of „fruit bats“ huge and scary-looking animals occupy the sky.

12th of September,
I don’t feel in the mood to write about what happened in Brisbane, instead I decided to share my day at Harvey Bay, Fraser Island. The day started very early, at 4:00 am. I didn’t had a clue at this time about what had happened just a couple of hours before on the other side of the world. I first got the news on the boat, and thought the tour guide made a very sick joke. But I wasn’t sure… He was too serious, too much details, so I took my binoculars and looked at the TV-screen of another boat across the pier. I saw a fire-fighters and started to believe the story of our tour guide. Yet, it was hard to believe.

We then started our tour to watch one of the most beautiful and peaceful creatures in the world, whales, to be exact ‚hunchback whales, the fifth largest animal in the world. The first whale I saw was jumping out of the water, a very powerful moment. We later watched a group of four whales and followed them about 2 hours before we had to go back.

The five hours on the boat went by very fast, we all talked about the possibility of the story the tour guide told us, if this could be true.

All my fears came true when we finally got back to the harbour and I first walked into a restaurant which had the TV set switched on. I had planed to rent a bike that day, to go around Hervey Bay, but that was impossible for me. Instead I spend the whole day at the hostel, following the shocking news from New York. I have a relative in New York, and of course the whole Worldsurface crew, which I knew work at Wall Street.

It was a big relive to read that the whole worldsurface team was doing well, and I feel very sorry for all those, who where on the planes, in the World Trade Centre or at the Pentagon. Thanks for updating the page and sharing your thoughts, even during such a horrible event!

Hervey Bay was a very quiet and strange place that day, everybody was talking about what had happened that day, and a taxidriver told me it was the most quiet day for him ever since. It’s hard to believe what happened, I know that the world has changed that morning, it’s never going to be the same again.

Sydney to Brisbane

8th of September, Botanical Gardens, Arriving in Brisbane
My last day in Sydney, which I spend mostly at the Royal Botanical Gardens. It was a sunny day and walking around in a green surrounding was, for my opinion, the best thing I could possibly do.

One of my favourite spots in the park was a walk that explains the history of Sydney.It showed the history of the white people in Sydney and on the other hand the Aboriginal point of few. For example: James Cook discovered Australia in 1770, the Aboriginal comment related to this note:
They (white people) say he discovered Australia, but we never lost it!
By the way, did you know that more then 700 convicts where among the first settlers which arrived in Sydney? I finally left Sydney at 6:30 p.m. to go to Brisbane, after eight wonderful days, with lots of great impressions.

9th of September, Brisbane
Days in Bris-Vegas, or the story ofhow I saved some bucks in accommodation, thanks to my mate Severin who currently studies in Brisbane. I arrived in Brisbane on the 8th of August, and after my first night, which I spent at a Irish pub in ‚Garden City'(a shopping and entertainment centre). Brisbane got it’s second name (Bris-Vegas) because of it’s active nightlife. Active nightlife…

On the 9th of August, my friend showed me around Brisbane and it’s most important sights which included a the city hall and a ferry ride on the Brisbane river. If you have some time in Brisbane, visit the New Farm Park , a very nice spot to relax and have BBQ or something like that. Later that day we visited the final ceremonies of the Goodwill Games, a major sport event in Brisbane. This included a INXS concert (the rest of the group with a new singer) and a huge fireworks. Good fun and best of all, for free.

10th of September, Campus
I spend a couple of hours in front of a PC University, to keep up with my writing for Worldsurface and to send some emails to my friends, which hadn’t heard from me for a while.

Sydney for a couple of days…

5th of September, Harbour Bridge Walk, Darling Harbour
My day started with a walk on the infamous Harbour Bridge. I guess there is no way to escape from it if you want to claim that you “have been” to Sydney. I didn’t climbed the Harbour Bridge, which is a 150 Dollar experience, instead I paid 5 bucks to walk up the stairs of the observation tower, which is just as nice.

Next was Darling Harbour, home of the IMAX Cinema, Sydney Aquarium, Chinese Gardens, the National Maritime Museum, the casino and some other major attractions. I spend about 3,5 hours in the Aquarium, walking around and watching the amazing and very colourful examples of Australian Marine life. They got some amazing underwater tunnels there and the sharks do really look very scary. Since the casino was very close to the Aquarium, I just walked over and tried some of the slot machines. Fortuna seemed to like me that day, I won 20 Dollar, walked out of the casino and had a nice dinner.

6th of September, Yoga lessons in Avalon
Wondering about the topic? To enlighten you: Avalon is a beautiful suburb of Sydney and a friend (the one I met in Bangkok) is currently living there. It’s also a nice trip by bus (or ferry) along the coast. My friend showed me around Avalon and we had a nice walk down to the beach.

I had a terrible cold that day, and needed tons of tissues, but after some yoga practice (my friend is a superb Yoga teacher) I felt much better. It was by the way my first experience in Yoga, and I recommend it to everyone who spends too much time in front of the computer (or TV).

For those who’ve never heard about Yoga: Through controlled breathing, prescribed postures (called asanas), and meditation, Yoga seeks to enhance the prana, the so called life force, that resides in the body and achieve a state of balance and harmony between body and mind.

My balance and harmony between my body and mind is now in a perfect condition and my cold was gone the very next day! 🙂

7th of September, Newtown
It was time for some changes, and I already had visited the important sights of Sydney so I wanted to get a closer look at one of the suburbs of Sydney, I decided to walk to ‚Newtown‘, which is situated about 30 minutes north-east of the youth hostel. The suburb is very nice and not as expensive then the downtown area. The buildings look quiet old (like from the 70ties) and you can buy nearly everything you can imagine. I found a cool second-hand book shop with an huge selection of great novels and non fiction as well just on the main street.

Blue Mountains

I had booked an Eco tour to the Blue Mountains, and after a 1,5 hour drive in the early morning, we arrived at the entrance of our walking trail. The Blue Mountains are a part of the Great Dividing Range, and a nice break from the city if you feel the need for some fresh air and wild nature.The blue haze, which gave the mountains their name, is the result of the fine mist of the oil, given off by eucalyptus. We started with a 3-hour hiking tour, which was a great chance to see lots of different birds and animals.

The temperature differences between the top and the bottom of the canyon is impressive and the vegetation changes dramatically as we where walking deeper into the canyon. After the hike we were rewarded with a great outlook of the “Grand Canyon“. Our next stop was at the Echo Point, where we were able to see the marvellous “Three Sisters”. After lunch I took the “Scenic railway” to the bottom of the valley, more a fast ride then a usual railway… We finished the day with kangaroo watching. My first closes encounter with those animals since I arrived in Australia.

Exploring Sydney

1st of September, Wallabies VS All Blacks
If you travel Australia, you pretty soon will find out, that everybody else is doing the same stuff, at the same time. When I woke up that morning in Sydney I met Uwe (a guy from Germany) again. We where staying in the same room – in one of the biggest hostels in the world! For explanation,I first met Uwe in Darwin, later again in Alice Springs and Adelaide and finally in Sydney, thousands of kilometres away from where we first met.

But we never planed to meet at all those places! We spent the rest of the day together, exploring the city. Our walking tour started at Circular Quay, which is kind of centre for transportation. You can catch ferries, trains and busses going to every direction at this place.

There are also plenty of restaurants and little shops around and plenty of street artists, which creates a very relaxed and funny atmosphere.

Next was a walk to the “Opera House”, which took us about 5 to 10 minutes from Circular Quay. We continued our tour with a quick walk through the “Royal Botanical Gardens”, passing by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, before we did some shopping at Martin’s Place. St. Mary’ Cathedral and Hyde Park were the two major spots on our way to Oxford street. We actually bumped into a wedding at St. Mary’s Cathedral but in order not to make the whole thing a “Two funerals and a wedding” we headed on to the “Australian Museum”.

The Museum looked kind of interesting, but six dollars admission and not being in the mood for natural history and cultural diversity, we just had a quick look at the lobby and the museum shop, those parts where free of charge. Finally, we experienced Oxford street, but compared to the description in the guidebook I thought it’s quiet boring and not worth to be visited during the daytime.

At night I watched the rugby game Australians (Wallabies) VS New Zealand (All Blacks) at a pub next to the hostel. The atmosphere there was gorgeous since both nationalities where represented in the pub and every time one of the teams scored one of the groups in the pub would jump up and scream and clap their hands. Australia finally won the game, 26/23, after an amazing turnover in the last fifteen minutes.

I finished the day with a walk to the Opera House and a short visit at “Kings Cross”. Lot’s of Australians where celebrating their victory on the streets and it was kind a fun to watch them. My visit at Kings Cross at 11:00 p.m. at night was pretty scary, after five minutes, walking around I already got the offer to try Cannabis, which was a sign for me to take the next train back to hostel…

2nd of September, Manly
Following an invitation of Karen to visit her, I took a ferry to Manly in the morning. It was a very sunny day and I enjoyed sitting on the outside of the boat, looking at the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Lots of people from Sydney come over to Manly on weekends to relax at the beach. Karen showed me around and also forced me to try my first “meat pie” an Australian speciality you must not miss if you spend some time “Down Under”.

3rd of September, The Rocks, Sydney Olympic Centre
Another day of exploring Sydney, this time with a friend I first met in Bangkok on a bus. We started at “The Rocks”, Sydney’s first European settlement. Former a place for convicts, whalers, prostitutes and street gangs, today a charming place with lot’s of old colonial buildings.

After our tour trough the early history of Sydney we went straight to a very futuristic place of Sydney, the Olympic Centre. The Olympic Summer Games where held in Sydney last September. You might remember the reports about the games, millions of people and more then 20.000 athletes. When we got there, the whole area was nearly deserted, a few people here and there and I felt like an little ant, compared to the massive stadiums and the huge parks.


29th and 30th of August
The second largest city of Australia is on the one hand a very modern city but on the other hand still keeps a very special European flair. In the year 1835, John Bartman bought the area from Aboriginal people. He died soon after his deal, and John Pascoe Fawkner was the driving force behind the new settlement, nowadays well know as Melbourne.

Australian city’s have such a short history, for example my home village in Austria (Ulrichsberg) – It was founded in 1325, more then 675 years ago by a priest named Ulrich and it’s current population is about 4000 people. Melbourne was founded about 175 years ago, now it’s a city three time’s bigger then Vienna (capitol of Austria), which has a history that goes back to the Roman Empire.

But back to my short visit in Melbourne… Of course I spend some time at the Crown Casino, the biggest of it’s kind in the Southern Hemisphere. Altogether I lost a whole dollar at a slot machine, shame on me… If you are on a short budget (or lost all your money at the casino) and don’t want to walk, there is a free tram operating from 10:00 am to 03:00 p.m. It operates around downtown and you get an explanation of the most important sights.

A visit at St Kilda beach was also on my list of “Must Do’s” and I ended up as an photo model for a bunch of girls, (they where working on a school project). I was on a pier when one of the girls walked over to me and asked if they can do pictures of me… Nothing else to do I agreed so the girl hugged me and the other girls made a bunch of photos. I wonder what this school project was about…

The Royal Botanical Gardens were my last major sight of Melbourne. I enjoyed a cup of tea in the cafeteria and explored the huge park, which took me nearly three hours.

31st of August, Melbourne to Sydney
Trip to Sydney on a Firefly bus (40 Dollars). There is nothing much to say about the time on the bus, expect that we once stopped at the biggest Merino of the world (Wow…) and that one of the guys was constantly fighting with the bus driver.

Adelaide and the Barossa Valley

25th of August, Arrival in Adelaide

My first day in the “city of churches” started with a tram ride and a visit at the beach. Adelaide got it’s second name because it was the first city where everyone had free choice of religion. In the evening I met Gerry (I met him first in Bangkok) again, who showed me around the city.

26th and 27th of August, Adelaide
Adelaide has a lot to offer, if you have enough time… For me, being short on time, it was my first break after travelling almost 5000 kilometre in 10 days (It’s about 3000 kilometres from Darwin to Adelaide, and about 1000 kilometres per trip I did) . I originally planed to stay just two nights there, but, plans change frequently… I visited the beach a few times, which is a nice trip by tram and enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere of Adelaide during the night as I explored some pub’s and bars with fellow traveler’s I met in the youth hostel.

28th of August, Barossa Valley
If you like wine as I do, there is no way to skip Barossa Valley if you have a day or two in Adelaide. The Barossa Valley is about 55 km north east of Adelaide. Many agencies’ offer day-tours leaving Adelaide in the early morning, I booked a tour with Groovy Grape, but I guess they are all pretty similar. Our first stop was the “Whispering Wall”, a concrete dam wall with an unbelievable acoustics, normal conversations held at one end can be heard clearly at the other end, more then 140 Meters away. Our next stop was Orlando, one of the oldest wineries in the valley, established 1847. Next was a lunch break and we continued with two more wineries and a distillery. I ended up with 26 different wines and 3 cocktails. My favourite was a Port Wine named “Choc a Bloc”, (or something like that), but I unfortunately forgot the name of the wineries. I wonder why… Later that day I found out that being “tipsy” doesn’t mean to be able to sleep on a bus, as I travelled from Adelaide to Melbourne.