Two weeks in east Australia by Judie Yamamoto...
Feb 25 - Mar 8, 2020
Two weeks in east Australia by Judie Yamamoto and Charley Mullally
Overall, our trip to Australia, arranged by Jasmine through KimKim, was excellent. The accommodations were comfortable and for the most part spacious, modern, and conveniently located, quite more luxurious than we’d expected on the “mid-level” plan we had requested. Transportation (airport and hotel ground pickups as well as our three flights in Australia) went very smoothly, spoiling us for the return home when we had to drive ourselves! And even though we were always based in the city centers, there were enough excursions into the countryside to provide both urban and rural experiences.
Our most memorable day was probably our trip to the Mornington Peninsula, made so by our driver/guide Juliet. She was absolutely delightful and clued us in on local specialties: where to eat in Sorrento, vanilla slices, a little known “secret” oceanside cliff walk in front of million dollar homes. The upbeat music she played enroute didn’t hurt the day, either.
· Watching wild kangaroos and koalas at the Conservation Ecology Centre in Great Otway National Park (the B&B there looks worth coming back to spend a few days!);
· Views along the Great Ocean Road;
· Up close opportunities to see the remarkable beginnings of recovery from the extensive bush fires that had occurred only a short time before our visit.
· Sydney Harbor cruise and strolling through Sydney’s Chinatown (all those Asian restaurants!);
· Tour of Sydney Opera House followed by dinner and front row tickets for “Six!”
· Swimming in a mountain stream in the Daintree Rainforest
The major downside to our trip was that there wasn’t enough downtime – days with little or no planned activity. At age 78, both of us needed more time to kick back and relax, fewer early morning pickups, less bus travel. We didn’t know that when we OKed Jasmine’s arrangements, but we will be sure to be cognizant of it on our next journey.