The fortnightly trip to Australia is something that we are all looking forward to. Qantas seems to be the natural choice for flying to Sydney's Kingsford Smith airport. We can even save on air fare by making use of the Qantas discount for disability travelling . ( This will definitely sound good to the providers of our trip and will probably grant us access to perks which might otherwise be not acceptable due to extra costs ) .
Places and ActivitiesDays 1-3:On day 4, we are off to Adelaide on board the Pacific Express for a long, 2-day trainride where we can really get to know each other, recover and gather energy as a group for the forthcoming adventures.
- Sydney - The Opera House : A look-listen-touch visit to the famous western landmark of the ancestral home of the Daruk tribe which has developed from an anglo-saxon penal colony of predominantly Irish population to the 3.7 million people multicultural metropolis of today.
- Exploration of Millers Point in The Rocks and long branningan visits to the Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel and The Hero of Waterloo , two of Sydney's oldest pubs.
- Mingling with the folk of Sydney: Participation in the city's scheduled cultural events . Joining the fun in Streets Alive , or even the 1999 Carnivale - if we travel there in September.
- Day 3 is reserved for bushwalks in Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park for a first taste of forest wildlife and Aboriginal rock art.
Train RideAfter three glorious days in Sydney we want to relax a bit and really get acquainted. We will do that going by train to our next destination, the Northern Territory, so we'll board the Pacific Express for Adelaide where, unfortunately, we only have a few hours before we enter the Chan for Alice Springs.
The whole train ride will last about 48 hours. There's plenty to do, we will have time to listen to each others' stories, write postcards to all our friends, and memorise what we saw in Sydney. We will have time to study the new Australian bank notes, and I'm sure the lively ones will sneak off to the dining hall and have a glass of Australian red wine and watch the news on TV. They want to find out what sort of news other countries bring. We will sing songs and laugh and cry. We will have time to meet and mingle with people from all over the world who have chosen to travel the same way as us. I am sure we will even have time to study the Greek alphabet and worldview . When we look out of the window we might be lucky enough to see a kangaroo jumping about or an ostrich running at high speed across the desert. Closing up on the Uluru we might catch a glimpse of Topsy.
In the end we will be ready for the adventures waiting for us in the Northern Territory.
*** Space for Helen's contributions ***
Tropical North QueenslandThe largest area of natural rainforest in Australia lies between Cardwell and Cooktown, northeastern Queensland.
We are in Cairns, tropical North Queensland and ready for a hike in the rainforest. On our way we see unique and spectacular wildlife and plants, including rare and restricted species found nowhere else on Earth
" Theirs was a culture with no chiefs or kings. If the senior men and women of each clan had implied status, it was because of their wisdom and the highest attributes a (Ngadjon-jii) could possess was a keen memory and great skill in hunting, gathering and bushcraft." Toohey (1990)