I have to say that I adored Australia. From the initial views as we approached Sydney airport, through to the sweaty days and nights in Cairns. It was accessible, warm and friendly. It’s certainly the easiest place we’ve been to on this trip, totally westernised and fully set-up for tourists.
Sydney’s harbour is such an iconic place, it’s really quite tough to explain. I really can’t think of any other location in any other city in the world that so sums up the spirit of the city on its own. Maybe the Eiffel tower. Maybe. The walk from Bondi to Coogee is stunning and is one of the few places on this trip that I immediately fantasised about living in. The glorious weather helps of course, but what a difference to be able to build everything around outdoors living. Our Northern Hemisphere visits suffer too much from being too cold in the winter to, and the tropical locations are too hot, driving everyone to air-conditioning. But Sydney seems to have a perfect balance for beach visits, outdoor swimming pools, city centre parks and running tracks. The sailboats tacking across the harbour don’t hurt either.
Melbourne has definitely got a couple of cool, funky neighbourhoods – Kilroy and St Kilda being the obvious contenders. I didn’t find the city centre as engaging though, and it doesn’t have the stunning harbour of Sydney. It can get pretty chilly when breezy too. Brisbane was lovely and hot, but getting towards the ‘too hot’ occasionally. Cairns took us back to the tropical climate of South-East Asia – too sweaty at night!
It’s another example though of a country that we barely saw. Staying within 5km of the coast at all times doesn’t really give you a view of the scale of the enormous country. Perth and Western Australia are definitely a missed location, and one that we’ll need to head back to at some point!