December in Australia

December 2013 Australia RouteI’m happy to report that I’ll be spending most of the month of December in Australia!

Starting in early December I’ll be embarking on a 3-week long tour of Australia with G Adventures. This tour will be the 5th continent I will have traveled to with G Adventures and my longest trip with them to date.

I’ve been to Australia six times now, but my first and biggest trip to Australia was back in 2008 when I spent almost 5 months in the country and visited every state and capital city. I drove from Melbourne to Cairns and from Darwin to Perth. I even took a bus from Adelaide to Alice Springs.

I’m often asked if I revisit places I’ve been before, and the answer is a resounding YES! Most of the stops on this trip are places I visited in 2008, but it was under different circumstances. My photos from 2008 were OK, but I have a much better idea of what I’m doing now. Also, after years of daily photos, I’ve pretty much run out of decent photos of Australia to post on my site. So if nothing else, I’ll be able to restock my portfolio with Australia images.

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Sydney’s Second Chance and How You Are Never “Done” With A Place

Sydney Opera House at NightIn February of this year I was invited by New South Wales tourism to attend the Australian Open of Surfing in Sydney, Australia. I’m not a surfer and I had been to Sydney several times before, so I wasn’t really that interested in attending and suffering through a 16 hour flight. However, having read my list of my 13 Most Wanted Destinations, they sweetened the pot by throwing in a trip to Lord Howe Island.

This, however, is not a story about Lord Howe Island.

This story is about Sydney and about how no matter the number of times you visit a place, you can never assume you have it all figured out.

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Thoughts on Australia

Over the course of the last five years, I’ve been able to explore more of Australia than most Australians have. I’ve been to every Australian state and territory and have driven over 20,000km throughout the country. My recent trips to New South Wales and Victoria this year have given me a new opportunity to see Australia and reflect on some of the changes I’ve seen over the last 4 years since my first visit.

Here are some of my thoughts:

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The Rugby World Cup

I am writing this on the Sunday Morning of the finals of the Rugby World Cup in Auckland, New Zealand. Tonight’s final match will be the New Zealand All Blacks vs Les Bleus of France.

I was last in New Zealand in 2007. I spent 3 weeks driving around the country and the one thing I came away with was that the three biggest sports in New Zealand were rugby, rugby and rugby. I see rugby fields in parks and at schools. I’ve seen kids throwing and kicking rugby balls at the beach. Yesterday I went to a horse track in Auckland and the announcers were taling about….rugby.

In all my travels I’ve never seen an entire country so singularly focused on one team as New Zealand is on the All Blacks. Yes, they have a national soccer and cricket team, but they seem to take a very distant back seat to the All Blacks.

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8 Interesting Facts About New Zealand

When this is posted, I should be arriving in New Zealand via Qantas Airlines for the first time in over 4 years. I’ll be spending the next 10 days driving around with Aussies who are there for the Rugby World Cup. Because I never did it last time, I think it is time for another installment of “8 Facts You Might Not Have Known…”

1) New Zealand was the first country to give women the vote. Women were granted the right to vote on September 19, 1893 and voted in the first election on November 28, 1893. Universal suggrage did not occur in the UK until 1928 and in the United States until 1920.

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Travel and Tragedy

If you’ve paid attention to the news in the last several days, you’ve probably heard about the brushfires in Australia. I’ve been paying closer attention to that story than I normally would have because I’ve been to many of the places which have been damaged by the fire. I’ve driven through country Victoria, I’ve seen …

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The Seven Wonders of New Zealand

Ladies, gentlemen and Kiwis of all ages. With the assistance of New Zealand native son Craig Martin, author of the Travelling Europe ebook, I present to you the Seven Wonders of New Zealand! White Island Known as Whakaari in the local Maori dialect, the name “White Island” came from Captain Cook who thought it was …

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The Seven Wonders of Australia

Planning a trip to Australia and have no idea what to see while you’re there? For your entertainment and information, I present to you the Seven Wonders of Australia. Kakadu National Park Kakadu is the premier national park in Australia and offers some of the most stunning displays of wildlife you can find on the …

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