Postcards from Abroad

Whether your dream is to stay in a colonial-era bungalow in the middle of a tea plantation, an Indian princely palace, or to cruise in luxury the Irrawaddy to Mandalay, we never tire of searching for your next great travel destination. This is the place to share with us your most recent adventures.

A journey of discovery to Australia by John and Sylvia Smith

Glen Helen, near Alice Springs, Australia Read all about John and Sylvia's self drive Journey of Discovery to Australia.

 From Sydney to the Blue Mountains, Tassie's National Parks, the Great Ocean Road, followed by a        memorable journey on The Ghan.  Explore the Red Centre and marvel at the sunsets and sunrises.

 Top it off with a visit to Western Australia and sample the delights of Albany and Margaret River. 

 

27 Jan - Great flight with Singapore Airlines. Arrived safely.

29 Jan - Another wonderful flight with Singapore Airlines. Harbour Rocks checked us in early which was great. Weather glorious. Just deciding on where to eat tonight.

02 Feb - Great stay in Sydney. Loved the hotel. Drove up to the Blue Mountains this morning and spent the afternoon walking along the cliff line in glorious weather visiting various sights. More planned for tomorrow.

04 Feb - Arrived safely in Tasmania. Car rental and hotel all worked out fine. It's the first time when I have hired a car that I have been given instructions on what to do if I hit a kangaroo! Currently planning tomorrow's activities before setting out for Cradle Mountain.

06 Feb - Today we drove from Launceston to Cradle Mountain. Imagine Swiss Alpine meets Australian bush on roads where you only see cars one at a time. We walked trails in the temperate rainforest among the King Billy Pines some of which are 1500 years old and saw our first wallaby and a spiny echidna.

07 Feb - Just finished two days of serious walking around lakes, passed waterfalls, up to the tops of hills with wonderful views. Off to Strahan in the morning.

Cradle Mountain, Tasmania

08 Feb - Thank you for your Chinese New Year wishes. Oops. Nearly had an issue with our accommodation in Strahan. But all sorted out and we got a very nice bottle of fizz as an apology. Tonight's dinner is at Risby Cove. Strahan was brilliant.

09 Feb - Today we went on a 6 hour cruise around Macquarie Harbour, a mass of water twice the size of Sydney Harbour. We went out onto the Southern Ocean through Hells Gate, not named after the weather which can be ferocious but by the convicts on their way to the notorious Sarah Island penal colony. After an entertaining tour of Sarah Island, the boat took us up the Gordon River into the temperate rainforest. Part of the UNESCO World Heritage wilderness. We are finishing the day going to see a short play called the Ship that never was. About the escape of convicts who made their way to Chile.

14 Feb - Spent a wonderful day going around Port Arthur convict settlement. Fascinating stuff. Have been hiking many miles uphill and down dale in Freycinet National Park. Spectacular views and glorious bays and white sandy beaches. Last day in Tassie tomorrow.

15 Feb - Just arrived into Melbourne and the Langham Hotel has obliged us with a very early check in. Ferry crossing was interesting with rough seas and waves hitting our cabin windows on the 7th deck.

18 Feb - Great stay in Melbourne. Lovely hotel perfectly situated. Heading west tomorrow on the Great Ocean Road which we are really looking forward to.

23 Feb - Our time going along the coast was superb. Whilst the Twelve Apostles is the best known, we thought that the Bay of Islands was even better. Now in our log cabin up in the Grampians waiting for our dinner to cook and watching out for kangaroos and emus.

The Twelve Apostles

29 Feb - Sorry for lack of updates but internet access has been limited. Enjoyed Adelaide and the hills, beaches and the wineries in Maclaren Vale. Had a seven course lunch overlooking the vale to the hills in the distance. The Ghan was wonderful. The size of the train awesome and the scenery magnificent. Now in Alice Springs.

The Ghan

4 Mar - Arrived at Ayer's Rock. The West MacDonnell ranges and all the walks and sights were just a warm up for Kings Canyon. The morning walk around the whole canyon was magnificent. Also thoroughly enjoyed the drive along the dirt roads from Glen Helen to Kings Canyon. Just arrived at Ayer's Rock Resort and sorted out our timetables for sunsets and sunrises.

the drive to Glen Helen

05 Mar - Sunrise with rainbow over the Olgas.

Sunrise over the Olgas

06 Mar - Arrived in Perth. The dog leg flights via Sydney actually worked very well. Virgin Australia is a good carrier. Oh one niggle in Alice Springs. Do let Australia One know that Hertz has not been at Stott Terrace for over 12 months which was a tad annoying as we had decided to walk there as it was on our side of town. Apart from that, everything running smoothly and having a wonderful time. The Richardson gave us a rather nice upgrade too. 

Thank God for being an independent traveller. The sight of hundreds of people being herded from coach to coach is depressing.

08 Mar - Great stay in Perth. The Richardson is the best hotel we have stayed in. Cycled around Rottnest Island today. It was too good to do in one day. For future travellers you might like to offer an overnight stay to get the most out of the many swimming and snorkelling beaches. Off to Albany tomorrow.

A bay on Rottnest Island

09 Mar - Arrived in Albany. Long drive but easy enough. Settled in and looking forward to some interesting walking and sightseeing in an area we know little about.

11 Mar - Just finished two days looking around Albany. The beaches and hills around these vast bays are all very spectacular. Our favourite must be the oddly named Misery Beach! Especially when you have it all to yourself. The National ANZAC centre is an excellent museum and memorial on the hill overlooking Albany.

John at Misery Beach

14 Mar- The visit to the Tree Top Walk in the valley of The giants was great. Pemberton is a charming town nestling in the forests. The Gloucester Tree is also worth a visit. A near miss yesterday as four emus ran across the road in front of us. Slammed on the brakes and missed them by inches!

We've also visited Cape Leeuwin and climbed the lighthouse, wandered along some more deserted beaches and toured a cave with just a hard hat and a torch.

Sunset at Prevelly near Margaret River.

Sunset at Prevelly near Margaret River

 

15 Mar - Back in Perth for our final night after what has been a near perfect holiday. A big thank you to you and all the team at Eastravel. 

 

 

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