Showing posts from May, 2014

Exploring Port Macquarie

A couple weeks ago we went to Port Macquarie for Phil's 4th Ironman triathlon.  I am always looking for an excuse to explore, so this was the perfect opportunity to check out the area.  We flew into Newcastle.  No, scratch that.  I flew into Newcastle.  And then I picked up the camper van and drove the 2.5 hours by myself to Port Macquarie.  Because, you see, we missed our flight that morning.  We got to the counter 4 minutes after check in closed, and that was that.  We booked ourselves on the next flight, and then realised that with it arriving in Newcastle at 1:30, everything would have to line up perfectly to get Phil checked into the race by 5 pm.  Then we realised we would have to wait for his bike at baggage claim and catch a cab to get the camper van and the writing was on the wall, he wasn't going to make it.  Considering the entry fees, the plane tickets, camper van rental, and vacation time, we had to find a way to get him checked in for that race.  I finally realis…

Guest Book - Mom and Dad Volume 3

April 27, 2014

It is time to leave you again - we've enjoyed our adventures.  Kangaroo Island was amazing - such beautiful harbours and natural wonders.  We had good times with Janice/Ted and Karen/Harry also.  I can't imagine many tourists getting to see the things and meet the locals that we did this time.

Australia is an interesting place and we are pleased that you're taking the time to explore it and the surrounding areas.  It's a chance most people don't have.  Come and see us sometime!

Thanks for the nice birthday party!  I've never had a birthday in Australia before!

Love, Mom and Dad

Hopping Around Kangaroo Island Part 2. Or is it 3?

Seeing the Remarkables was the main thing I wanted to do on Kangaroo Island, so after that we just played it by ear and wandered about.  The next morning Phil went for a long run while my parents and I went to Hanson Bay and then went on a tour of the Kelly Hill Caves.  The bay was gorgeous, the water was nice and clear and the clouds had formed a linear pattern in the sky making it hard to take a bad picture.  On the way back to the car we even saw a bunch of kangaroo prints pointed toward a pool of fresh water. The Kelly Hill Caves were a neat stop, there was a steep staircase leading us down into the cavern filled with lots of little formations.
We then headed to the Marron Farm for lunch and enjoyed tasty local seafood platters.
Marron Montage -----

Then to end the day Phil and I went sand boarding at Little Sahara.  We just got one board to share, and it took a lot of energy climbing up the dunes so we were happy for the breaks in between.  It was tricky to get the hang of, and I eve…

Truly Remarkables

The one thing I had to see while on Kangaroo Island was the Remarkables rock formation in the southwest corner of the island, but an unexpected surprise on the way was the beautiful Admiral's Arch.  We walked down a boardwalk and enjoyed the views of the pristine coastline while seals splashed in the tide pools below.
 We turned the corner of the boardwalk and were almost inside a giant sea arch.  It was huge, and the waves crashed loudly against the rocks made a wonderful soundtrack.  Pictures don't do it justice, so I feel lucky that I was able to experience it in person.
After spending way too long at the Arch we drove down the road to The Remarkables.  They are an amazing volcanic rock formation completely on their own amongst the landscape.
As we explored the rocks it struck me how different a place like this was because it was in Australia rather than the US.  In the US, it would have to be roped off because so many people would visit that they would wear paths down into th…

Hopping Around Kangaroo Island (Part 1)

Easter morning we took the ferry over to Kangaroo Island from the mainland.  In less than an hour we were on the third largest island in Australia ready for a few days of relaxation.  Our first stop was American River, where of course I had to check out the pelicans hanging about.
Next we headed to the grocery store to stock up on supplies for the week.  We stayed in Vivonne Bay on the south coast of the island, away from all the tourists, but also away from all of the cafes, restaurants, and food stores.  After an hour drive to Vivonne Bay, it became clear to me that this island was a lot bigger than it looked on paper.
Phil was in the midst of Ironman training so while he went for a bike ride my parents and I went to visit the Seal Beach Conservation Area.  We took a guided tour onto the beach and got to watch a mother seal surf in and call out to her baby until the baby joined her.  We were able to walk really close to the seals because the tide was in.  These creatures are funny to…