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June 1st - July 1st 2002        July 1st - August 1st 2002

June 1st 2002 - July 1st 2002

After rising early and I mean early.   Like 12.30am June 1st Pierrette Steve and I set off for the Auckland Airport.   I think we left home about 1.30am or 2 am and had a bit to eat at the BP service Station on the top of the Bombays before heading for the Auckland Airport.   On arrival I checked in my backpack and waited.   Heather and Rosemary turned up after we had been
there about an hour.   It was lovely to have 2 of my sistersí in-law there and so did Trevor Dolman (The Land Agent who sold my house) He was travelling on the same plane as me to attend a Ray White Real Estate Function in Surfers.   When it came time to leave it was very hard to say goodbye to Pierrette and everyone but I expected that.   It had been just as hard
saying goodbye to my family and great friends.

I was seated with 2 guys from Ireland who were on their way to Brisbane then to a job up country.   They were dressed in the Soccer colours of Ireland because Ireland was playing a game in the World Cup. that day.   One came from Dublin the other Galway.
On arrival in Brisbane and going through customs etc I met up with Trevor again and he helped me find out how to get to my Hotel.   Itís quite easy really and now I know what to do on arrival at any airport .   Got the free bus that delivers folk to Hotels around the city.

I HAD ARRIVED My first day and it was only 8.30am on 1st June.
I had an interesting 1st day.   Went into town to get a sim card for my phone.   On the way I was walking along the street and there was a Chinese Man walking just in front of me.   H stumbled and fell.   What  did I do? I helped him up asked if he was okay.   He said yes and thank you and I
carried on.   Him as well but he was limping quite badly.   I asked him again if he was okay and WHOOPS!!!!!! he said He would be a lot better if someone would give him a massage.   Would I.  Well I walked right into that one didnít I.  I then said.  You have asked the wrong person and took off.    Whew what an experience after just 1 hour in Australia.

I did my shopping and was returning back to my Hotel and stopped to let a Lady take a photograph.   We got talking.  She was from England on a 2 month holiday and when I told her I was going to England she gave me her address and phone no and said. When you get to Cumbria give me a ring and I will give you a bed and show you around.   Had a good 3 days in Brisbane.    Bought back memories Happy and sad.

I booked my bus to Sydney with a 1st stop at Byron Bay.
I was picked up at the bus depot by a girl from the Youth Hostel Thus started my first night in a YHA and Dorm life (Not bad).   Was in a room with 3 others.   I spent a lot of time with a young Japanese girl 'Satoko'  We met at reception the day I arrived and she asked if she could come
around with me because she was learning English and all the girls from her own country spoke just Japanese while tog.   We saw the sights and went out for tea a couple of nights.  I think we both enjoyed one anotherís company.   She was 23. She travelled to Sydney the night before I went to Coffs Harbour.
Once again I was picked up by someone at the hostel at Coffs Harbour.   It is bigger than I had expected and a bit like Tauranga being a beach resort, so to speak.   I spent the first day orienteering myself.   The next day visited the Botanical gardens.   They were beautiful with many different aspects to appreciate. also had a long walk to the beach where I met up with a Japanese girl who was staying at the YHA too and we travelled back there by bus together.

The last morning I visited a local Museum.  I nearly didnít but am glad I did.   The elderly gentleman who was looking after it was so informative and it was really worth while.   Just as I was leaving the hostel for the bus depot an older man drove up on a motor bike.   Had half
and hour to kill and we got talking.   He was from Switzerland and was travelling round Australia on his motor bike and camping but the nights were getting colder and he thought a couple of nights in doors would be good.   He told me quite a lot about Switzerland and the areas where my contacts live.

My arrival in Newcastle was around 7.30pm and it was dark.   I had been told that the hostel was just 200 mtrs from the bus depot, so decided (unfortunately) to just put my day pack on my back and carry my backpack (notice I said Unfortunately) The Hostel was more like 500 mtrs and up
hill.   I learnt from that (Donít believe all you are told and in future wear the backpack regardless.   Even though my introduction n to Newcastle was not the best I would say that Newcastle YHA (to date) has been the best.   Itís the most beautiful building.   It used to be a nurseís home.
Has highly polished floors with lovely large rugs on the floors and a great sweeping staircase upstairs.   2 very large fireplaces with a lit fire in the grate all thew time and most luxurious leather armchairs in the lounge and TV room.   The Hostel has 2 nights a week with a Trivia evening at a
local Irish pub and a free meal and on Wed they have a $4 pizza night all you can eat.   I had 3 very enjoyable days in Newcastle.   Met a guy from Aberdeen Scotland aged about 40 His name William Graham.   We spent a couple of days seeing the sights and talked most nights watched soccer and he took me to the bus depot in his car when I left Newcastle to go to Sydney.   He was going to Tamworth for a cou0ple of months work then going home.   He gave me his address phone and e-mail address and said get in touch when I am in Aberdeen and he will show me around and take me to visit his mum.

I was again told that the hostel was just 200mtrs from bus depot but after my last experience I decided to undo my harness and wear my backpack and day pack and Guess What the hostel was only 150mtrs  Oh well You are not going to believe this but just as we were coming into Sydney I was looking round for the Harbour Bridge.   It had to be somewhere.  Never
been to Sydney before.  I didnít know what to expect.   I couldnít see it anywhere.   I was feeling quite disappointed.   I really thought it would be visible from anywhere.  THEN guess what the bus was going over it WOW.
I really think I spent all my time in Sydney with my head in the air looking at all the high rise buildings.   Went for a trip on a ferry round the Harbour went up the Sydney Tower.   Went for a 1/2 day trip all round Sydney and Bondi Beach and went on a most enjoyable day trip to the Blue mountains.

Saw Kangaroos in the wild, drank billy tea, saw 2 waterfalls visited the 3 sisters went on the steepest railway and a sky rail, was taught how to throw a boomerang so it came back and visited the Olympic Complex and ended the day with a river and harbour cruise.   That left me at the Quay on the street by myself at night but it wasnít too bad I got a bus back to the Hostel.    Next day I travelled to Canberra by bus.   Another lass and myself were going to the YHA and were told to get a taxi and the YHA would reimburse us most of it.   That was okay but we couldnít find a taxi and believe it or not there were no people around I couldnít believe it after all the people in Sydney.   We event8ually found a taxi and were taken to the hostel.   I didnít see much of Canberra because I had the flue and spent all my time in bed.   I must say that Canberra is a very cold place in winter.

I guess I will just have to visit it again some time when I get back home. My trip to Melbourne was very good but didnít arrive till 9.30 pm.   I did find a taxi but believe it or not he didnít know where to go (Just like the last time I was in Melbourne 10 years ago) But after a phone call and a look at a map we eventually arrive at the Hostel.    I had a couple of very pleasant days in Melbourne seeing things that bought back memories of my previous visit there.   I left Melbourne by train to go to Bendigo June 24th.   I arrive about 1.15 pm at the hostel to find things all looked up and
no one there.   After ringing the phone number I was given I was told by (Buzzer) Graham that the back door was unlocked and I could go and make myself at home and make a cuppa and he would be back at 4pm. Unfortunately the back door was locked and I ended up sitting on the back porch for 3 hours till he turned up.   Never mind after spending a week there I found every one there staff and guests alike were very nice.
On June 26 th I hired a car.   I was having withdrawal symptoms not being able to drive.   Bendigo has the most fabulous old buildings.   Itís an old gold town.   They still mine gold there.   I went down one of their mines then went on the Talking Tram, which takes you around Bendigo and the driver tells all the history of the city.   At the weekend I drove myself to St Arnaud.   What a lovely little place.  A bit like Bendigo but smaller.   I stayed in a motel there.
Saw all the sights then drove back to Bendigo to spend another week there.

Well thatís my first month.   Canít wait to see what the next has in store for me.
This is great and I really am enjoying myself.   I know I havenít sent too many e-mails to all my great friends out there but hope that this will keep you up to date with my where abouts and what I am doing.

New newsletter next month.


July1st - August 1st 2002

Well here I am again.   Wow what a month I have had.

Before leaving Bendigo on the 9th July I went to the Bendigo Brass Band practice. They are a "C" grade band too and it was great to have a practice with them.   We played about 4 pieces that TCSB were playing before I left Tauranga and about 4 pieces I didnít know (a bit of sight
reading) It was great.   I was really quite sad to leave Bendigo.   I made some really nice friends there and I also got 2 more contacts. One in Poland and one in Ireland.   My first hair cut in Australia was something to remember too. Also in Bendigo. When she took me to the basin to wash my hair the chair was reclined and became a vibrating massage chair from top to
toe while my hair was being washed WOW.

When I arrived back in Melbourne I rang my first contact in Australia (a friend of a friend of mine) She asked me to her place for lunch on my last day in Melbourne before getting the bus to Mildura that night, but the day before I went on a tour to the 12 Apostles and met 3 lovely girls. Debbs
from American, Judy from Korea and Cath a Nurse who was on holiday from Brisbane .   All great company.   I had a 4-hour with in the Melbourne depot for my bus to take me to Mildura.  What a cold place.   It didnít leave till 9.45pm and arrived there around 7am next morning.   It was a marvellous trip on other tourists just locals and when they found out that I was from NZ they just all became friendly (told me the best places to go what to see just made me feel so special) On reaching Mildura I had another 3 hours bus ride to Broken Hill but with a 2 hour break in between and one girl just took it for granted that I was going to have breakfast with her because she was going on the bus to Broken Hill too.   After breakfast she showed me round Mildura then when she boarded the bus, introduced me to all 6 people on board and the bus driver Tom Evans.   She knew them all.   Wow what a trip that was.

Broken Hill .... I donít think I will ever forget my time there partly because of the friendly folk and partly because of the Outback Mail run I went on in a 4WDrive.   That was just fantastic.   I ended up delivering mail op0ening and shutting gates. Wow.   We had morning tea at a Station
and lunch on the banks of the Darling River miles from anywhere and did approx 550 kms all on outback dirt roads.   Saw Kangaroos Emus, Hawks.
It was just mighty.   I spent 5 days in Broken Hill then travelled by bus to Adelaide.
Gosh I just met so many fabulous people in Broken Hill.    The girl at the Internet. Margaret the sister of Australiaís famous artist Pro Hart, who invited me to lunch with her, Graham and his family, a Young guy called Dwight from Canada, the lady at the Travel agents booking a trip to
Brisbane and after telling her that I was travelling by myself too she said I had given her inspiration and she gave me a Hug and kiss (not something she ever does) but just had to. And the German girl I shared my room with left me a lovely note before leaving and of course Megan a young American working for a Travel Company and interviewed me. and the first NZr I have met so far Evan and not forgetting Conne who was so helpful on the bus from Melbourne and Mildura and her Dad who proposed to me . Wow Wow
I had been to Adelaide before and thought it was a lovely City and my thoughts havenít changed.   Went on a wine tasting trip in the Barossa Valley and really enjoyed myself, The place on the Indian Pacific for my trip to Perth was 1st class sleeper because I wanted to pamper myself and I got a very nice discount as well with my YHA card.   It was money well spent.   I met a NZ girl who was relief nursing at a mine for a while (Kerry) an English Lady who now lives in Australia who had travelled all the world (Jill) and Australian Lady from Canberra (Judy) We all had the
same table at meal times and they were such fun.   They had to put a reserve sign on our table because other people wanted to join us we were having so much fun.
We arrived in Perth around 9.30 am and I went on a bus tour round Perth before going to the YHA.   I went to Fremantle by ferry. That was a lovely trip.  While waiting from my lunch at a cafe there I was looking at a map of Ireland (sort of pre planing for when I get there) and the lass who bought my coffee and sandwich to my table was Irish and very surprised to find someone looking at an Irish map.   She ended up telling me all the best places to go in Ireland.    I had a great day.
Oh I have worn out my first pair of shoes too and had to buy another pair.

I leave Perth on Tuesday 30th July for Bunbury then on to Albany.   Am getting another Hire car for that part of my trip.
Will see you all again next month

Stay safe and Happy.