Category Archives: Australia

Cooberrie Animal Sanctuary

By popular demand, we bring you a day at the Cooberrie Animal Sanctuary. Highly recommended by locals and receiving a brief mention with a “but it’s nothing fancy” attachment by the tourist information people, we knew it was the place for us.
All of the animals here had been rescued, some get rehabilitated and re-released into the wild or if necessary are able to permanently reside in the sanctuary. Each animal had a name and a story posted by their homes making the whole day welcoming and personal. When F called from across the clearing, “It’s hot and fuzzy inside Gloria’s (the kangaroo) pouch!”, we knew just what was going on and with which animal friend.
We must also mention the important (but slightly weird) fact that there was a swimming pool- right smack dab in the middle of kangaroo land. (At this point in the trip we were keenly aware that wet kids are happy kids, making their parents lives much much easier after a daily dip.)

One really, really, long day

It was raining when we left Sydney, making it a tiny bit easier (super teeny tiny) to pile into the taxi to the airport.

With a 12 hour flight from Sydney to LA (it was 15 hrs. on the way over) the kids made use of the personal TV and extensive movie menu by each watching about 5 movies. But, every now and again, you just gotta crash- glasses and all…

F anticipating the cold…

Sydney, we love you…

We spent our last day wandering around Sydney, picking up souvenirs, taking plenty of pictures, people watching. When we came to this monument in Hyde Park we felt moved to take some parting shots.

Everyone held up their treats and smiled…

then made sad faces… when a little note taped to the stone caught our eye.

Ladies, I feel the same way.
When I am here I want to throw my arms out like Mary Tyler Moore and spin around. We’ll miss you Sydney, heck, we’ll miss this whole darn country.

Nambucca Heads Public Art

Driving through the town of Nambucca Heads we were stopped in our tracks by the mosiac street art/ bus stop in the center of this sleepy coastal town. We all piled out of the RV in amazement and started exploring.

The best part was that the mosaic wasn’t haphazardly constructed- it tells a story all the way through. We learned later that the mosaic is called “Fish & Chips” and was constructed by local artist Guy Crosley and a team of volunteers, school children and art students, started in 1996 and completed in 2000.

One Mile Beach

One of our last beach days was spent at One Mile Beach in Anna Bay, Port Stephens. The surf was flat everywhere else, but on this beach the waves were perfect, tiny kid-style waves. We’ve seen some stormy, choppy surf on this trip, so- we all fell in love- surfing and boogie boarding until the sun went down.
The boards we had were 5’5″ soft boards (borrowed from the RV rental company) and not easy to surf. The kids were all used to at least a 9′ board (what they learned on in California). I was very impressed when they were all able to surf the shorter boards.

Byron Bay

Everyone we’ve asked for advice has recommended Byron Bay, looking at this picture you can see why. The beaches are beautiful, the town is cute, Steve O calls it “Moab of the Sea” because it’s trendy, hip, lots of funky surf shops and art galleries, dreadlocks and backpacks.

The kids are disturbed that “Australien” is spelled wrong, I keep telling them, I didn’t make it- it’s poached art, I just came across it while walking. I’m not quite sure what language spells it this way…

The water was so clear. Not as warm as Queensland but refreshingly delicious.

safety first

One of the things we love about this place is the openness with which they refer to the possible consequences of playing in a specific area, usually, but not always, having to do with water.

This giant sign is posted at the trailhead of Cedar Creek Falls in Mount Tamborine.

This guy must be illiterate, poor fella. Dude, BTW, there are eels in that water. We learned about the eel situation after we went for a swim. (Cedar Creek Falls, Mount Tamborine) Oh yes, of course we stayed to watch him jump (just to make sure he surfaced safely).

Lychee, Passionfruit and Mangos

The fruit in OZ is snack-tacular. Here is looking up into a mango tree, the trees are everywhere and the best mangos I’ve ever eaten. C and F are big fans too, begging them as snacks.

It took a young gal working at a fruit stand offering me a lychee (one of these little red fruits) to get them figured out. I have seen them in the grocery stores but had no idea what they were or what to do with them- so I left them alone. Finally, fruit gal showed me how to peel it and eat it, and I fell in love.

Lady Musgrave Island, Great Barrier Reef

Here we all are on Lady Musgrave Island, 90 miles off the coast of Australia. The island is completely surrounded by reef and lagoon and is extraordinarily beautiful. The beach we landed on is big chunks of coral and sounded like glasses being clinked together when you walked across it. The other side of the island is where about 30 sea turtles lay their eggs every night.