Monthly Archives: December 2009

Monkey Beach, Great Keppel Island

The rain let up a little today so we jumped on a ferry to Great Keppel Island to do some snorkeling. Away from the mainland and the murky crashing waves, the water calmed and underwater visibility improved.

We hiked to Monkey Beach a few beaches over from the main beach and were rewarded by having the beach almost to ourselves. Sorry neighbors- we are pretty loud. We run up and down the beach drawing pictures with sticks in the pristine sand and having sand throwing wars.
The dingy here belongs to a Aussie couple who came ashore from their yacht. They live on their yacht and sail all around the world. Sounds like a dream come true, until you factor in the true nature of the open sea and the misery that is feeling seasick (experienced firsthand by most of us on the rough ferry ride today). Not all sandy beaches folks…(but still awesome I’m sure)

Contest #1

Aussies like to give their dogs first and last names, I just met a lady who was walking Charlie Brown, anyway this is Teddy Olsen’s dog tag. Noelle wonders if you had to wear a dog tag like this what would your dog tag say?
Please reply the winner of the best dog tag will recieve a thoughful gift ftom down under.

Yeppoon, Queensland, Australia

We busted a move and drove nearly 12 hours straight, about 1000 kms to reach the lower Great Barrier Reef, actually where the reef comes the closest to the shore.
Taking all of the variables into consideration, we decided to get as far north as we wanted to go in one shot, then start working our way back down to Sydney – get all the northerly driving done in a day, partly while the kids slept.
This time of year is tricky on the East Coast of Australia. The further north you go the heat and humidity get unbearable AND then there is the jellyfish problem. Blue bottles are tiny jellyfish (like the size of a tangerine) with bright blue tentacles (we’ve actually only seen them dried up on the beach), that roll in every now and again. It hurts when you get stung but the sting won’t kill you. Above Rockhampton you run into serious “stinger” problems. You can’t swim in the ocean by Cairns because of the “stingers”- this meaning Box Jellyfish, and these can kill you. So, based on this very important fact we’ve halted our journey north at Rockhampton and are very pleased with our decision so far. We ‘ve played in the warm ocean water for hours on end with no worries… and I really like that.
Blue Bottle jellyfish, washed up on the beach. Thankfully, none of us have met up with one in the water.

I saw 3 kangaroos on Christmas Day

The kids and Steve O took about 1000 pictures with the string of christmas lights and flashlights, I love the abstract eye candy aspect of all of them, but for the sake of internet connect time, I’ll just share this festive shot.
Santa found us in a land down under, down a dirt road, in a national park without electricity, surrounded by kangaroos…

The view down the beach on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and don’t forget Boxing Day (Dec. 26) , Split Rock at Diamond Head.

Fingal Bay, Port Stephens, NSW, Australia

Baby Jesus and family, enjoying the view of Fingal Bay

Tim, this beetle photo is for you.

C has become quite a snorkeler since receiving and early Christmas present (thanks Grandma and Grandpa!) Here he is practicing in the pool, just biding his time-ready for the big water.

The sand spit, Fingal Bay

Q, getting ready for bed in the RV- our cozy dwelling place, (depending on how clean it is at any given moment). It can be trashed in 2 minutes flat, it’s that small. But also cleaned up pretty quickly too. Gotta go make some supper for my people…

Terry and Alma

Here are our neighbors while we were in Sydney, Terry and Alma from the UK. Sweet folks that are traveling Australia for 5 weeks. They gave us great advice and also bags of stuff they could not take on the plane like food, water, trash bags, soap, sunglasses, wrapping paper and a HAT and a LANTERN.

night lights

All over Sydney for the month before Christmas historical buildings are light up. The lights change on each building, about 4 different patterns per building, that follow the architecture of each facade. We wandered all over the city marveling, snapping photos, eating ice cream family style (this is when you stop into a market as you’re walking around the city and buy a 6 pack of ice cream bars, skipping the fancy ice cream shops and saving yourself a bundle).

we couldn’t take our eyes off St. Marys Cathedral

This building has the 12 days of Christmas projected.