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Australia

48 Hours in Sydney

Posted by on Sep 6, 2015 | 0 comments

48 Hours in Sydney

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I love Australia.

Kangaroos, koalas, beaches, mountains, reefs; and to top it off, friendly locals with adorable accents. Oh right, and more things that can kill you than any other country and/or continent in the world…but who’s counting? Pythons swallowing crocodiles, dingoes eating sharks (I kid you not, I saw an actual photo of this), yes it’s a virtual predator free-for-all Down Under.

What’s not to love? Everyone likes an adventure.

The magnificent city of Sydney is the shining jewel of the southern hemisphere (and noticeably absent of predators) so I never miss a chance to stop by, even if it’s just for a few days. But since my darling husband had yet to venture to the Land of Oz it was an absolute must-do on our Round-the-World honeymoon journey.

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Two Ways to Whitsunday: Getting Down Under on the Great Barrier Reef

Posted by on Feb 24, 2013 | 0 comments

Two Ways to Whitsunday: Getting Down Under on the Great Barrier Reef

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I started out with a very loose plan for the Great Barrier Reef. In fact, in a rare display of spontaneity, I didn’t firm up a hotel until just a few days before I arrived – unusual for an obsessive planner like myself.

The first thing I learned about the Great Barrier Reef area is that there are a lot of options for where to stay. There’s a reason it’s not called the “small barrier reef” or the “medium-sized barrier reef .”

Stretching more than 1,600 miles along the coast of Queensland, Australia, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system. Composed of more than 2,600 individual reefs and more than 900 islands, the reef is the only world wonder that can be seen from outer space and in 1981 it was designated as a World Heritage Site.

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Sydney & the Blue Mountains, Australia

Posted by on Feb 19, 2013 | 0 comments

Sydney & the Blue Mountains, Australia

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My original plan for Australia was to spend a few days in the Blue Mountains outside Sydney followed by a week in the Great Barrier Reef area. But with my stay coinciding with Valentine’s weekend, I never could quite get the hotels worked out in the Blue Mountains (a popular weekend getaway from Sydney and therefore quite busy over Valentine’s weekend).

So, after meeting such a great group of Aussies from the Sydney area on my Antarctica cruise, I decided to spend my first two nights in Sydney so we could all get together for a BYOP (Bring Your Own Penguin) reunion to rehash our Antarctic adventures and catch up.

Luckily, my new best bud from the cruise, Angela, was able to take the day off from work on Friday and drove down Thursday night from Newcastle (about 2 hours from Sydney) to join me for my two-night stay in the city.

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Save the Date for Round the World #8!

Posted by on Dec 5, 2012 | 7 comments

Save the Date for Round the World #8!

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It’s that time of year again…one month from today I’ll be departing on my 8th annual trip around the world! It’s going to be another whirlwind globetrotting adventure exploring 14 destinations in 10 countries and for the first time on all 7 continents.

Many of you know that Antarctica has been on my list for several years and this year I am finally making it happen. Yes, I’ll be cruising all the way from Argentina to the great white continent with Quark Expeditions and I am impossibly (some would say annoyingly) excited about it! 

This year’s trip will start in Buenos Aires and be the longest yet at a staggering – when you consider the name of the website – 54 days.

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A Devil of a Time in Tasmania

Posted by on Feb 20, 2012 | 0 comments

A Devil of a Time in Tasmania

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After a quick one-hour flight from Melbourne, I touched down on the beautiful island of Tasmania. Just under 200 miles south of the Australian mainland, the country’s only island state – nicknamed “Tassie” – has a unique and compelling history.

For more than 25,000 years, Aboriginal tribes lived here in isolation. The establishment of a British penal colony in 1803 shattered that peaceful isolation. 

In the years that followed, more than 700,000 men, women and children were forced to migrate to Tasmania. In addition to the convicts, hundreds of penal administrators, civil and military officers and their families arrived and made a lasting impact on the island. Tasmania’s settlements prospered from the forced labor of the convicts who suffered brutal conditions at Port Arthur.

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Marvelous Melbourne: Australia’s Second City

Posted by on Feb 16, 2012 | 0 comments

Marvelous Melbourne: Australia’s Second City

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For the trip from Hong Kong to Melbourne, Australia I was back on my official Skyteam Round the World ticket for the first time since landing in Abu Dhabi two weeks ago. Which also meant I was back in business class…yippee!

My flight was on Delta partner China Southern and it was my first experience flying with them. After a quick 30-minute flight from Hong Kong, we landed in Guangzhou where I had a one hour layover before boarding my 10-hour redeye to Melbourne.

The short flight wasn’t much to speak of but the overnight flight was pretty good. And the Guangzhou airport and China Southern Lounge were both very nice. I managed a little sleep on the flight before landing in Melbourne around 9am.

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Brisbane & the Gold Coast, Australia

Posted by on Aug 23, 2010 | 1 comment

Brisbane & the Gold Coast, Australia

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I was sad to leave the beautiful beaches of Fiji behind but also looking forward to a few days in the city of Brisbane Australia. After 11 days on remote islands, getting back to a big city sounded better than you’d think. Like Sydney, Brisbane is pretty expensive but I’d found an apartment hotel called the Adina Apartment Hotel for my 3-night stay. Located right next to the Story Bridge, reviewers on Trip Advisor gave the hotel high marks for its views of the bridge and the skyline. And, as you know, I’m a sucker for a great view.

When I arrived at the Adina and checked into my one-bedroom apartment, I was pleasantly surprised – it was everything I’d read it would be and more. The best part was the large deck with sweeping views of downtown across the Brisbane River. The second best part was the washer and dryer in the bathroom (may not sound like that big a deal but if you’d been living out of a carry-on suitcase for a month, you’d understand).

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Summering in Sydney

Posted by on Aug 3, 2010 | 1 comment

Summering in Sydney

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Today, as I was harmlessly enjoying my vacation, an alert reader pointed out to me that I have been severely slacking off in the website-update department.  A quick check of the website revealed that – lo and behold – this appears to be true. 

In my defense #1)  I am really bad at keeping up with the website when I’m travelling with someone else, and #2) I am on vacation.  But, my friend Shannon headed home today so I’ll try to do better from here on out. Now, on with the Sydney update!

First of all, getting to Sydney from Atlanta is the hard part.  For us, it involved a flight to San Diego, then to Los Angeles and finally a 15-hour marathon flight over the Pacific. (Could have gone direct to LA, of course, but the ticket was almost $200 cheaper thru San Diego. Go figure.)

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RTW 5 ½ – The Oceania Edition

Posted by on Jul 17, 2010 | 0 comments

RTW 5 ½ – The Oceania Edition

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I remember when travelling around the world once a year was enough to satisfy my wanderlust. Those were simpler times…and certainly less expensive ones. But last year’s mid-summer European adventure was enough to convince me that maybe there’s room in my schedule – and my travel budget – for two, month-long trips each year.

My first choice for this summer’s trip was actually Europe. A week in Greece with the girls and then perhaps an apartment in Paris for a few weeks before heading back to the hectic football season schedule that awaits in September. But with summer fares to Europe holding fast in the $1,200 neighborhood and Greek protests threatening to spoil my fun even if I did splurge for a flight, dreams of Europe quickly faded. 

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Australia Day in Sydney

Posted by on Jan 26, 2007 | 0 comments

Australia Day in Sydney

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I’m happy to report that by the time I got from Shanghai to Seoul I was feeling much better. On my flight from Seoul to Sydney, the girl sitting next to me was from Atlanta. In fact, she just bought a house in Vinings – about 3 miles from mine…small world! Her name was Katie and she was on her way to Melbourne to meet her brother at the Australian Open. They were planning to spend a few days in Sydney on the way back and she told me about the Sydney Harbor Bridge Climb they were planning to do. Apparently, they have recently started doing guided climbs up the Harbour Bridge. It’s fairly expensive and though I was skeptical about whether it was something I wanted to do, Katie convinced me that it was a must-do while in Sydney so I checked it out when I got to the hotel. She was obviously right about its popularity because when the concierge called to book it for me, it was completely booked up for all 3 days of my stay. Oh well. (Katie – just for the record, I tried!)  I guess the next time I come back to Sydney I’ll have to book it in advance.

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