Tourist in Australia: One


The Harbour Bridge from Circular Quay by Michael Ridler

This is the first in a series of reflections on my recent trip to Australia. If I had to sum it all up in one line it would be this: Australia is amazing!

The reason our family travelled from Canada to Australia was for hockey of all things. I know, it sounds crazy. My son took part in The International Pee Wee Friendship Tournament in Newcastle. Of course we put in some time to do a whole bunch of tourist things along the way.

We started by spending a few days in Sydney and doing a climb before moving on to Newcastle for the hockey and then finally heading up to Cairns to finish things up with a swim.

Clockwise from top left: Bronze kangaroo at Taronga Zoo; Koala Bear at Taronga Zoo; Opera House seen from ferry; Hyde Park trees at night; Hyde Park pathway at night;

The first thing I noticed after getting out of the airport was the heat and the humidity. When we flew out of Canada it was about 5°C and we landed in Australia to around 20°C. Now that’s certainly not a high temperature for us but the real kicker was the humidity which was somewhere between holy crap and what the hell. We were completely drenched with sweat by the end of our train escapade to the hotel.

It was interesting just how quickly I acclimated to the temperatures. Even on the second day in Sydney I was pretty comfortable however it was about day ten that I really became aware of it. While walking to the rink in the morning I thought it was cold out for a change. It was refreshing actually. Then I checked the temperature and it was 19°C. What? I thought it was pretty funny but I guess it shows how quickly we adapt.

Canadian and Australian hockey players

In Sydney our hotel was right next to Hyde park so we did a lot of walking around, eating of food and visits to the waterfront where we saw the Harbour Bridge and took a ferry to Taronga Zoo.

Newcastle brought us a lot of great hockey action with teams from Canada, America, Japan, New Zealand and Australia taking part. All the kids seemed to have a great time skating both against and alongside kids from other countries. My son stayed in a billet house with another Canadian and four Australians and they all had a blast.

Finally we headed up to Cairns where we encountered more great food, boomerangs, a gondola ride, many bats and of course The Great Barrier Reef.

Clockwise from top left: Chalk art on Cairns Esplanade; Tree on Cairns Esplanade; Swimmers at The Great Barrior Reef; Waterfall beside Kuranda railway;

Over the next few days or more likely weeks I’ll be posting a few stories and photos of our exploits.

Until next time…

Where is your favourite place to travel? Leave me a comment below.

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