Categorie archief: Australia

My Australia top 25 pictures 2014

The 25 most beautiful pictures I made. Hand picked. At random. And unretouched! Plus 2 extra. ;)

DSC_2438Sydney beaches beautiful. (Nikon D5100)

Manly harbor beach boats in action. (iPhone 4S)

Sailing on the SV Whitehaven to the Whitsundays. (Nikon D5100)

Foggy on walk in the Blue Mountains. (Nikon D5100)

Sydney Central station. (Nikon D5100)

DSC_1134Sydney Harbour Bridge. (Nikon D5100)

Plane landing on beach Fraser Island. (Nikon D5100)

Champagne Pools on Fraser Island. (iPhone 4S)

Amazing sunset at Rainbow Beach. (iPhone 4S)

Ferry departing near Hamilton Island. (Nikon D5100)

DSC_1423Snorkels on the SV Whitehaven. (Nikon D5100)

Sundown near Whitehaven Beach. (Nikon D5100)

Waterdragon in Manly. (Nikon D5100)

Whitehaven Beach. (Nikon D5100)

Sunset. (Nikon D5100)

Busy sea and lively clouds at Stuart Point. (Nikon D5100)

Still a beautiful busy sea at Stuart Point. (Nikon D5100)

Beach near Byron Bay. (Nikon D5100)

Leafs in the Whitsundays. (Nikon D5100)

Jeeps on Fraser Island. (Nikon D5100)

Great Surfing waves near Yamba. (Nikon D5100)

Walking in Sydney near Maroubra. (Nikon D5100)

A man playing bowls in Sydney. (Nikon D5100)

Dried up waterfalls near Byron Bay. (Nikon D5100)

Sydney beaches walk. (Nikon D5100)

Roadtripping Australia. (iPhone 4S)

Sydney sky. (iPhone 4S)



My days in Sydney

Life cannot offer many places finer to stand at nine thirty on a summery friday morning than Circular Quay in Sydney. It presents one of the world greatest views. To the right stands the famous Opera House with its magnificent roof. To the left, the noble Harbour Bridge. Across the water, shiny and beckoning, is Luna Park, an amusement park with a maniacally grinning head for an entrance. Before you in the water there’s a huge Ocean liner boarding passengers and then there’s also heaps of old-fashioned ferries, taking with them streams of tanned and lightly dressed office workers to fill the glass and concrete towers that are built all around…

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I arrived in Sydney, I left from Sydney, I spent most my 6 weeks whilst in Australia in Sydney, other than a one week planetrip to Airlie Beach and some 2800 kilometers of driving in 15 days along the East coast.
Sydney was so nice. It offers spectacular views, friendly people, and all kinds of entertainment. I’ll show you what I saw through some more of my pictures:

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According to Aboriginal legend, when humans were created and needed a place to live, the mighty god Beiral sent his messenger Yendingie with the goddess K’gari down from heaven to create the land and mountains, rivers and sea. K’gari fell in love with the earth’s beauty and did not want to leave it. So Yendingie changed her into a heavenly island – Fraser Island.

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Fraser Island is about 120 kilometers (75 mi) and its width is approximately 24 kilometersIt was inscribed as a World Heritage site in 1992. The island is considered to be the largest sand island in the world. It is also Australia’s sixth largest island and the largest island on the East Coast of Australia. The eastern beach as a whole is used as a highway for people that visit the island.
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The island is the only place that has rain forests growing on sand (that has been accumulating for approximately 750,000 years on volcanic bedrock).

I booked a 3 day organized Jeep self-drive tour on this island, sleeping in tents. The tour guide turned out te be an awesomely funny guy named Bretto. A weathered adventurer from West-Australia who had seen quite a bit of the world himself. Bretto mainly warned us for the great many dangers of Fraser Island. Often referring to many sights as being the deadliest place on earth. Before enjoying the view from a cliff, he would warn us to not go to the edge: “Nowhere else there have been more people that died than here, not even in World War II.”
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Fraser Island really is a dangerous island though, I believed Bretto mildly. Dingo’s severely injured a German backpacker over the summer. He wandered off alone in the bush… Sharks are swarming the coast, so it’s very dangerous to take a swim in the ocean. Let alone the very rough sea and currents 
would drag you out to open water and you would certainly drown or be eaten by whatever is out there. There’s a bunch of pretty deadly snakes in the jungle and there have been a bunch of people that got killed by falling from cliffs. And there are more than enough accidents that happen with the 4×4′s too, so, happy island!
I liked it anyway. It is adventurous. It is pretty. I made friends. It was fun!

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My Australia Things Done

Well. Did I do the things I wanted to do? Yes, I did, most of it. Here is some proof!

V – Sniff up Sydney (harbour)

V – Do the Bondi to Coogee walk

V – Drink coffee at the Kiosk Freshwater – Beautiful place…

O – Have a drink at the Orbit Bar – I got all the way up top, but they wanted me to wear pants before I got a drink… I didn’t bring my pants that night…
V – Go to a concert – I saw my old (new) (good) friend Graham play violin in a hotel-bar on St Paddy’s day!

V – Write a postcard to my parents – Believe me. Did.
V – Go see the Yoko Ono exposition in the Museum of Contemporary Art – Fascinating and moving…

V – Write a 100 word story in the Blue Mountains – Did it. Give or take 15 words.

O – Swim with a shark (or 2) – I did see 2 sharks. One I walked a bit alongside with in the surf in the Whitsundays. That was a reefshark 4 metres away from me… Believe it or not. Here my picture of a big one I spotted from off a cliff on Fraser Island.

0 – Learn to dive – I just snorkeled and made dives like that. Great too!
0 – Watch an Australian sporting event – I saw Sydney FC! Not really Australian sport… Ok. Half points.
V – Snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef – There’s a full point!

V – Camp in the wild - ooh, and wild it got, camping on Fraser, I nearly died 4 times. And a half.

0 – Sit quietly on a bench – Nah. Didn’t have time to sit quietly anywhere.
0 – Look for whales – Yea. Wrooong season.
V – Learn to sail – Did that. Had so much fun on the SV Whitehaven!

V – Leave something behind, somewhere – I brought some Dutch gifts to people I met. I also left my toothpaste somewhere. And my 
car charger. And a towel. I could have left even more stuff somewhere, I think.
0 – Chase a kangaroo – I saw 2 kangaroos off of the highway. It would ve been silly to step out of my airconditioned car and start chasing those kangaroos, now wouldn’t it?
V – Order 2 desserts in at least one restaurant – the last night in Sydney. I bought 2 desserts and shared with my new friend Vitor!
V – Wear sunscreen – I did that. I promise.


Friendly Australia

To just come to Australia by myself for 6 weeks and not really have a plan how to go about it, probably sounds pretty brave to a lot of people. To me it sounded as a pretty normal thing. I love to dive in to new situations and let things just happen.

I could have felt alone and lonely. I didn’t. I made new friends practically every day. This didn’t take much work. When in Australia people tend to be really nice. Even most of the travelling foreigners from European countries that are usually not known for being friendly back home. I did meet some (mostly young) German, Swiss and French backpackers that still had to go on a long friendliness course. But I made new and fun friends from all over the world too.

Pretty much every Australian was 2 plusses on my nice-scale. Sometimes it’s small things. The many “how you going’s?” on passing in the street. It’s the “no worries, mate” with a sincere accompanied smile after whenever I said “thank you”. Some people I met let me join in on their dinners, which was too nice. When asking for directions or something like it, an Australian will stop what they’re doing and give a thorough explanation where I’ll have to go. When given the chance many Australians would just start talking to me with genuine interest, asking me where I am from, how I am liking Australia, what I have seen, where I am going and so on. In Yamba I had a random man, 50 years old (or so) walk up to me in the street, saying to me: “great surf this morning!” I could only say: “yes, it looked like good waves” and him continueing the conversation by telling me he had been in the surf at 6 AM that morning. All pleasant and fun. In restaurants you’ll get a free bottle of water everywhere, I am not used to that. A busdriver will patiently explain to you how you need to get to the beach when you totally picked the wrong bus. All this made my journey so much nicer and for sure made me feel less lonely.

When I talked to Australians though, some think they’re not as friendly as they used to be. Things have changed over the years apparently. In the 70′s it was all so different. Australia was a much cheaper place to live. There was plenty work and opportunity. The generations have changed… Also the backpacking tourists supposidly changed. From being givers years ago, now they’re mostly takers.
O, well. I didn’t notice failing friendliness. I liked my trip. People seemed to like me. And I didn’t just take, I think.

So, but, if this would still have been the 70′s I would for sure have filed an application at the emigration office. This country is almost too friendly to keep me from staying out!



De Airlie Bush

Er zijn een aantal compleet verschillende werelden in Australie. Naast de beach en de outback is er bijvoorbeeld ook de bush. Nou, die bush mag er wezen, het is hier heus niet allemaal woestijn. Honderdduizenden vierkante meters tropisch en ongerept regenwoud. De meest uiteenlopende dieren zijn er te vinden. In Airlie Beach, waar ik 7 dagen verblijf, is er een fameus pad van 5 kilometer naar de top van een berg door een ‘coastal rainforrest’. Ik besluit deze te gaan bewandelen op een goede ochtend. Dat ik 3 dagen daarvoor de onderkant van mijn voet aan het rif had opengesneden en ik tot de dag nog niet bijster normaal kon lopen hield me niet tegen.

Er waren nog wel een paar waarschuwingen voor ik op pad ging. Ten eerste was het verboden dit pad in het regenseizoen te bewandelen. Het regenseizoen is februari en maart. Mijn bewuste wandeldag was eind februari. Hmm. Ten tweede werd het streng afgeraden het pad alleen te bewandelen. Ik kon niemand zo gek krijgen om mee te gaan wandelen om 8 uur s ochtends, niet dat ik heb geprobeerd iemand zo gek te krijgen. Naast dit alles werd ook geadviseerd om een ‘first aid kit’ en meer dan genoeg proviand mee te nemen. Nou, ach, een flesje water. Genoeg voor mij. En ik had een pleister op mijn voetzool.

Het begin van het pad bleek al wel moeilijk te vinden. Geen enkel bordje om de richting te vinden ook. Het werd een zoektocht in de brandende zon, die zelfs s ochtends al uiterst fel bleek. Zwetend van geluk vind ik midden in een woonwijk aan de rand van Airlie Beach het begin van het pad.

Het pad is steil en kronkelend. Een fijne klim. Binnen no time bevind ik me midden in een dicht woud. Het blijkt een pittige wandeling omhoog. Ik vind een goede wandelstok die mijn zwakke voet wat ondersteunt. Na een goede 15 minuten schrik ik me het apenzuur (of enig ander zuur). Een enorme spin ter grootte van een forse mensenhand in een enorm web precies op het pad recht voor mij. Hij is bezig 1 of ander groot insect te mummificeren. Ik schraap mijn moed bij elkaar en duik gebukt onder het web door. Ik kijk om. De spin zit nog waar hij zat. Dit hebben we overleefd… Door de schrik ben ik mijn wandelstok vergeten mee te nemen, deze laat ik toch maar liggen en ik wandel verder. Niet veel later merk ik dat de lucht betrekt. En al snel tikt de regen op het gebladerte. Ik heb het behoorlijk warm dus de eerste paar verkoelende druppels zijn zeer welkom. Intussen weten een aantal muggen mij te vinden. Ok, denk ik, dat moet niet erger worden. Ik loop een half uur gestaag en tevreden omhoog. Tot het begint te stortregenen…

Een kwartiertje regen was leuk. 2 uur regen werd toch een beetje te veel van het goede. Schuilen kon wel een beetje, maar meteen stortten de muggen zich op mij. Teruggaan was geen optie. En uiteindelijk wist ik ook niet hoe lang het zou regenen en de paden werden meer en meer onbegaanbaar. Er bleef niks voor mij over dan doormarcheren. Na tweeeneenhalf uur kwam ik eindelijk (en tot op het bot doorweekt) op de top aan.

Hier bleek het uitzicht een grote witte soep te zijn. Net als in de Blue Mountains was het enorm mistig en kon ik alleen maar wachten tot de flarden wegtrokken en ik een paar fatsoenlijke foto’s kon maken…

De weg terug was makkelijker. Het was wel glibberen en menig Salamandertje of ander gedierte schoot voor mijn voeten langs de rimboe in. Ook de spin hing nog waar hij hing. Na een totale tocht van viereneenhalf uur was ik weer veilig in Airlie Beach waar het gewoon weer stralend zonnig en warm was. Het was lunchtijd. Het stadje deed wat het altijd al deed. Ik ging me in ieder geval eerst even koud douchen.