We spent 54 days in Australia, even longer than in China.
The following words are the ones we associate with Australia: barbie, kangaroos, koalas, relax, ‘no worries, mate’, Sydney Opera House, camper, camping, beaches, Poké bowls, surf, New Year Eve (in Sydney), wildlife, road trip (mainly Great Ocean Road), islands, light, sun, Woolies, sunscreen, fish & chips, tattoos, rules (and regulations), aboriginal, (strong) accent.
Our highlights / what we (all) liked the most:
- Lady Elliot Island
- Fraser Island (mainly Champagne Pools for the kids)
- Byron Bay (Airbnb, surf, Christmas, sushi dinner, Tallow Beach)
- In Sydney: Barbie with Bram’s family, Cruise in Sydney Harbour with Alexis’ family, Guided Tour of the Opera House and of course New Year Eve on the Sydney Harbour. It was nice to see Alexis and Bram and their family. The kids also enjoyed a lot!
- The Airbnb in Melbourne
- Kangaroo Island: the Pelicans Feeding, Emu Bay and the beach in Pennington Bay (and also Stokes Bay except for Ludivine)
The following places nearly made it to the top list (short of one “vote”):
- Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary (except me)
- The Twelve Apostles (missing Ludivine’s vote)
- The ice cream at Pidapipo in Melbourne (except Isabelle)
- The Central Market in Adelaide (except me, strangely enough for a market…)
- Poké Me restaurant in Adelaide (missing Isabelle’s vote for a question of lighting)
Isabelle and I enjoyed a lot the Fishbowl Sashimi Bar (our first experience with the Poké bowls) in Sydney, the concert in the Sydney Opera House, Johanna Beach, the Blue Lake in Mount Gambier, the seals at Admirals Arch (on Kangaroo Island), the Western KI Camping on Kangaroo Island (for kangaroos and koalas spotting).
Isabelle liked also very much the walk between Maroubra Beach and Malabar Beach and the Barracks Museum in Sydney, Hyams Beach, the Wilsons Promontory NP, Philip Island (with the Penguins Parade), the (street art) tour in Melbourne, the South Melbourne Night Market, the surf in Torquay, Bells Beach, the Bridgewater Seal Walk, the Remarkable Rocks and Bales Beach (both on Kangaroo Island) and of course the National Wine Center.
I also liked the cool vibe of my walk in Surry Hills and Crown Street, in Sydney.
The kids loved also DreamWorld (obviously) and the Merimbula camping.
The girls liked the Coogee – Bondi walk (with Madeleine) and the Titanic Exhibition in Sydney, the (street art) tour in Melbourne, the surf in Torquay, the Bridgewater Seal Walk, Bales Beach and Little Sahara (both on Kangaroo Island).
Florence and Jules liked the Penguins Parade on Philip Island and Bells Beach.
Ludivine also particularly loved her stay at her friend Lauren in Canberra.
Florence liked the Remarkable Rocks on Kangaroo Island.
Jules loved his first surf lesson (at Rainbow Beach), the camping in Huskisson (the showers and the burgers on the Barbie), the Wilsons Promontory NP, the chillax day in Melbourne and the Blue Lake.
What we liked less:
- Kids didn’t like the one-night stop at the 90-mile Beach (too many flies and mosquitoes) and the (short) visit in Hahndorf (too hot).
- I think that the Australian tend to follow the rules and regulations too strictly, which bothers me (while Isabelle finds it very good).
Our general feeling:
- The trip was great, very well organized by Isabelle (very much diversified). The road trips were a very nice experience (it was our first experience in camper).
- We love the cool approach to life of the Australians; they are so relax…
- We are not the only ones who think that Australia is a great place to live: the population has doubled since 1970. There are still only 25 million inhabitants though, which means a density of hardly 3 people per km² (which is still more than Mongolia with its 1.9 people per km², but 3 times less than Russia and 6 times less than NZ).
- Isabelle would like to live in Australia, Ludivine not (because of the sunscreen).
- For me, it’s much like the US (mainly the houses in the towns and the cars).
- We have the impression that all Australians have a caravan (cliché of course).
- We love Woolies!
To do / visit during next stay:
- BridgeClimb in Sydney (Cedric)
- West Coast and Outback
We’d like to thank Alexis and Bram for all the good advice they gave to us (and the great time that we spent together).