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Australia Trip

Sandy’s  Amazing Aussie Adventure- A Taste of Australia-- September 15-25, 2013 (Spring time).

Off to “Down Under” on Qantas’ Airbus 380- double decker nonstop service from Los Angeles to Sydney, Australia.  I’m 5’8” and found coach to be quite comfortable.  I call it a “flight of 2 meals, 2 movies and a nap”.  The personal entertainment system had at least 30 movies selections; as many TV shows and music stations.  First class was also on the lower level consisting of 14 closed suites; while upstairs was Premium Economy with a couples inches wider seats and more leg room; business class seating of 64 flatbed seats and the private, small business class lounge.
Arriving the morning (2 calendar days later) in Sydney we hopped another 3 ½ hour flight on virgin Australia to Uluru/Ayers Rock – “The Outback”.  The Town Square is the only developed are for miles where the 3 star Desert Gardens Hotel; 4 star Sails in the Desert (where I stayed) and nearby basic lodging cabins and camping.  A short ride away experience the luxury 5 star tent cabins at Longitude 131 if you want quiet, great service with an unobstructed view of amazing Uluru/Ayers Rock.  There are so many special ways to experience Uluru/Ayers Rock. At sunset at the Sounds of Silence Dinner where you can taste kangaroo, crocodile, emu and star gazing.  Arrive at the viewing stations to watch the sunrise at Uluru.  then breakfast at the Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Center to meet and learn from an indigenous/aboriginal guide for an interpretive walk at the base of the ancient monolith.
Then take a 4 hour AAT & Kings comfortable motor coach throughout the Outback to Alice Springs.  A few “stations” (ranches) provide limited roadside services out where kangaroos and camels run wild (didn’t see any camels but a lot of kangaroos).
Alice Springs is the main city of the Outback but still very small in size and populations.
Welcome to the food and wine capital of Australia.  Adelaide, South Australia’s capital city of 1.2 million residents.  This very “English” settlement is now a beautiful city setting beside the Murray River; surrounded by parklands and the cool culture of a capital city.  Everything from award-winning sports to world-class art, amazing restaurants and the fascinating Central Markets (a must-do open Tuesday-Saturday).  Known as the “20 minute city” since you can walk, trolley or bus to all.  Very easy from our modern, city central stay at the Rendezvous Grand Hotel Adelaide.  I even tried my hand at tagging/spray painting our “art” at the “Free Wall”.  A wonderful base since day trips to enjoy for Adelaide-
Just a two hour flight on Virgin Australia to arrive in amazing Sydney, New South Wales! This city is a must!  How about doing the –
-“Bridge Climb” of the famous Sydney Harbor Bridge.  From the summit of the bridge are the most beautiful views of the harbor, the famous Opera House and all of downtown Sydney; plus across to Darling Harbor.
-Sydney Opera House where you can learn and see so much with a guided tour.  Many performances to enjoy in the evenings.
-Sunday’s a wonderful time in Sydney with the stalls of the street markets under the Sydney Bridge in the Rock’s District to exploring by using any of Sydney’s public transportation – train, bus and ferries for about 2AUD for the day.
-Wildlife Sydney is the animal adventure in the heart of the city.
-Sea Life Sydney Aquarium also downtown.
-Fish Markets are fun to watch and get a really good, fresh and inexpensive meal.
-Stay at the most luxurious – The Shangri-La Hotel in the fun and historic Rocks District.  If not staying in one of their spacious rooms with amazing views of the Sydney Harbor; go and have a drink at their lounge on the top floor for really one of the best views in Sydney (if you are not up to climbing to the summit of the bridge).  From here walk to the many restaurants, pubs and lounge making The Rocks the bet fun for nightlife.
-Circular Quay is nearby and fronts the harbor from downtown Sydney. Enjoy walking along the harbor by the ferry docks, by indoor and outdoor restaurants; entertainment and shops to the Opera House.
-Opal shopping at Altmann & Cherney to see the “Biggest Opal in the World”; learn about opals and maybe purchase one of their beautiful opals to bring home.
How about a wonderful morning letting “Let’s Go Surfing” teach you to surf off Bondi Beach- only 15 minutes by cab from downtown Sydney.
Also beyond Sydney are many more wonderful wine valleys.
Really Sydney is a wonderful starting point to start seeing a country so vast in experiences, culture and geography. Australia is as large as the United States- so much to experience.  the “Taste of Australia” shows its differences but you really need to come back to visit more, like-
Gold Coast
Great Barrier Reef
Perth . . .
and more!
Sandy Walmsley
Travel Shoppe
7461 N First Street, STE 102
Fresno CA 93720