Belated Happy New Year greetings. Hope you had a good holiday.
It’s great to be back home after six weeks travelling across Australia. Our goal was to drive from Perth to Brisbane while avoiding any city over 50,000 population – and it proved a good plan.
Highlights were the southern West Australia wine country and forests, crossing the Nullarbor with its 1500km of subtly-changing scenery and glimpses of the Great Australian Bight, four days piloting a houseboat on the River Murray, and a couple of weeks relaxing in the gorgeous Barossa Valley, Fleurieu Peninsula, Kangaroo Island and Blue Mountains.
The only misadventure was driving full-on into a swarm of locusts in Western Australia. The petrol station down the road helpfully supplied a $25 dollar screen for the car’s grille (estimated cost of materials $2) after which we saw no more of the insects (apart from the several thousand carcasses plastered across the front of the car and embedded in the radiator which I was still discovering as we prepared to sell the car in Brisbane).
While away, I had hoped to do the occasional blog posting but internet access wasn’t easy. Hotels typically charged around $25 a day for broadband and it wasn’t very fast. Wi-Fi saved the day in some cases (I can recommend the tourist office on Kangaroo Island, south of Adelaide, which provides FREE wireless broadband with good coverage of its carpark for after-hours use) and Jimojo was good in Brisbane, certainly cheaper than the hotel’s rate.
Cellphone coverage was also disappointing. Our Vodaphone mobile was almost always out of range as we travelled in Western Australia and South Australia. If you’re travelling in Oz, best to check out which companies cover the areas you’ll be visiting.
There’s now a heap of things to catch up on, including major changes to the appearance of two of the most popular websites in the country, stuff and nzherald (although the nzherald changes obviously weren’t a surprise to me). So normal blogging will resume as soon as I get caught up a wee bit. Talk soon.