A Travellerspoint blog

Australia

Feb. 8 & 9 - SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

sunny 90 °F

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Like last year, we anchored in Sydney Harbor, again during the Lunar Festival. This year is the Year of the Pig.

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When pigs fly 😊

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Saturday morning lights (thanks to our stateroom TV screen and the ship’s bow camera)

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Two ferry rides later we arrived at Cockatoo Island.

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The largest island in Sydney Harbor, this was home to Australia’s first Naval Dockyard for the Royal Australian Navy (1913-1921) and continued to support and build ships until it’s closure in 1991.

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The tents? Yeah, you can camp overnight here – they call it “Glamping” (Glamour Camping). Really?

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Slipways were used to build and launch ships

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In 1839, before ship-building began, Cockatoo Island was established as a new penal colony, home for the “worst of the worst”.

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The military guardhouse and barracks

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Here’s our location – the inner harbor side of beautiful Harbor Bridge.

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Full-scale templates for the fabrication of steel ship components were laid out in huge warehouses. Oh, there is so much more I could tell you- if you are interested, look up Cockatoo Island- great stories.

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Dog-Leg Tunnel was used as an air raid shelter and storage area.

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The sandstone from the island was quarried for use in walls and buildings.

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Back on the mainland scattered raindrops caused a wedding couple to abandon their photo shoot and seek shelter

Posted by Swenigale 21:04 Archived in Australia

Feb. 11 & 12 – HOBART, TAZMANIA, AUSTRALIA

OUR OVERNIGHT VISIT

semi-overcast 70 °F
View Serenity 10 on Swenigale's travel map.

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We crossed some tumultuous seas before our calm arrival on Monday morning. Today in Hobart is a Wooden Boat holiday. Keep in mind – it’s summer here!

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In a rental car with good friends, we headed off for a 1 ½ hour drive to the Tasman Peninsula -

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Stopping on the way to pick up some Australian meat pies and dessert (of course).

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Our destination was Port Arthur, a penal station established in 1830. Many countries were part of a global phenomenon of forced migration, punishment and reform, trying to deal with crime. This also provided free labor as countries established their colonies.

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The historical site is now a major tourist draw, with more than 30 buildings and ruins.

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Our guide’s information was full of interesting details – all of which I will tell you right now! Heh, heh 😊

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Thanks to the officers and wives and their meticulous journals of the day, much is known about people and events.

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Stories of individual prisoner’s lives have been preserved and are on display at the excellent interactive Visitors Center.

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The grounds now a days, also provide a place for a family outing.

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From a boat tour we looked to the harbor – imaging it being seen by convicts as they sailed to their prison home. Transportation of convicts here ended in 1853.

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Back at our ship, on Tuesday morning we walked into Hobart Town with its impressive colonial buildings.

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The tower of St. David’s Anglican Cathedral
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The windows are beautiful! Most moving, however, was a plaque along a side wall – it is a tribute to Alec William Campbell “The Last Australian ANZAC*”, 1899-2002. And “to the memory of all who have served this country in the Armed Forces and Paid the Supreme Sacrifice. Lest We Forget”.

*Australian and New Zealand Army Corps

Posted by Swenigale 18:40 Archived in Australia

Feb. 14 – KANGAROO ISLAND, AUSTRALIA

semi-overcast 68 °F
View Serenity 10 on Swenigale's travel map.

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Yes, there be Kangaroos on Kangaroo Island! Here, just off the Southern coast of Australia, residents attach “roo” bars to the fronts of their vehicles because the kangaroos and wallabies are so numerous!

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This guy was lucky, but we passed quite a few by the side of the road that weren’t quite so quick.

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K.I. is Australia’s third largest island and we drove to the absolute other end of where we were anchored (about 2 hours away).

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Flinders Chase National Park was our destination. It is one of many protected places on the island.

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“Remarkable Rocks” were formed 500 million years ago. The granite was exposed by erosion over hundreds of thousands of years and they are still being changed by exposure to the natural elements of wind, rain and salt from the relentless Southern Ocean.

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A short drive and a long walk away, still in Flinders Chase, is the approach to spectacular “Admiral’s Arch”.

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Seals steal the show away from rock formations – this area is protected in order to provide fur seals a place to feed, breed, haul-out and rest.

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Eager to explore!

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Back on board that evening, we saw that the crew had been busy decorating. Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

Posted by Swenigale 15:44 Archived in Australia

Feb. 15 – ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA

sunny 77 °F
View Serenity 10 on Swenigale's travel map.

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If we had known we would be returning to the Adelaide Zoo, maybe we would have taken out a membership!

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Animals never disappoint.

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The following are just a few of our many pictures: the Yellow-footed Rock-Wallaby,

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a Red Kangaroo,

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Patagonian Cavy,

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My favorites – the Meerkats, and there were many babies this time.

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Keeping watch

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Laughing Kookaburra

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Koalas, awake and munching their favorite food

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Photo-op, on our way to visit Adelaide’s Pandas……

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The real ones (Wang Wang, the male, is full after his morning of eating bamboo)

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Monster Pelican

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African lions resting in the shade

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Ring-tailed Lemur – we’re hoping to see many more of them when we get to Madagascar in a couple of weeks!

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Cotton-top Tamarin

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Treats (imported from the USA) for Ruth and Ed)

Posted by Swenigale 19:25 Archived in Australia

Feb. 18 – ALBANY, AUSTRALIA

sunny 72 °F
View Serenity 10 on Swenigale's travel map.

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Many different elements to our day – first stop in the morning – was at a memorial “Erected by comrades and the governments of Australia and New Zealand in memory of the members of the Australian Light Horse, the New Zealand Mounted Rifles, the Imperial Camel Corps and the Australian Flying Corps who lost their lives in Egypt, Palestine and Syria 1916-1918”.
The first Australian and New Zealand convoy left from Albany to fight in World War One on November 1, 1914.

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Next, a walk in the wild to view “The Gap”, a cliff formation – from a cantilevered platform!

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Vegetation here is similar to that in the Antarctic.

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Looking way, way down under our feet

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In the same area – an amazing Natural Bridge

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A short drive and a long walk later – we hoped to see Blowholes if the sea was right

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It was tricky walking – and no sightings today, but we sure heard the blows!

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Another stop: The Whaling Museum. Whaling stopped here in 1978 – the museum is very well done, describing the hunt and eventual processing here of every bit of the whale.

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Ahoy!

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The whales were winched ashore on these rocks.

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In an animal park nearby – a cuddly Koala …..

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An Albino Wallaby…….

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And a Bush-Stone-curlew

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Our final stop – the beautiful white sands and walking trail of Middleton Beach. It was a wonderful day spent with good friends and amazing sights!

Posted by Swenigale 03:54 Archived in Australia

Feb. 19 – BUSSELTON, AUSTRALIA

sunny 90 °F
View Serenity 10 on Swenigale's travel map.

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Here we are in the back of beyond, so to speak! Almost the very southwest tip of Australia in the Margaret River region. The little train is a symbol of the town – it runs along their mile-long wooden pier, the famous Busselton Jetty.

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Farther south along the coast are numerous caves that are open to the public. We walked down many, many steps

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More down (remember – what goes down….)

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Our young guide was passionate

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In the Lake Cave is a very, very slow-moving river that eventually empties into the ocean.

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Crystal “straws” – the hollow beginnings of stalactites

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Columns formed eons ago and the rock beneath eventually broke up and drifted away – leaving them “floating” in air!

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The Lake Dragon 😊

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These formations are “shawls”.

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Magical, yes?

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Nearing the top (puff, puff) and the magnificent Karri trees

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Nearby a drive in the Karri forest

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The Margaret River region is famous for its wines, but look what else we found!

Posted by Swenigale 03:26 Archived in Australia

Feb. 20 – FREEMANTLE/PERTH, AUSTRALIA

sunny 90 °F
View Serenity 10 on Swenigale's travel map.

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We’re taking our time posting about our final port in Australia since we have seven consecutive sea days to cross the Indian Ocean! This final port was also the first in the 3rd segment on the World Cruise.

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Ed and I both escorted tours in the afternoon which started by taking a ferry up the Swan River from the port city of Freemantle to Perth, the capital of Western Australia.

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King’s Park in Perth is almost 1,000 acres of protected land and Botanical Gardens.

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It is also the site of the State War Memorial.

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In the park gallery/gift shop we were introduced to the Gum Nut Babies – a series of children’s books by May Gibbs.

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Driving along the river through the affluent suburbs

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And back to Freemantle

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Freemantle’s beautiful colonial buildings are well preserved.

Posted by Swenigale 01:02 Archived in Australia

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