A Travellerspoint blog

Goodbye Australia

Gerringong, NSW, Australia to San Diego, CA, USA

rain 65 °F

"What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from."

DUSTY TRAILS [BY THE NUMBERS]:
Over the last 9 weeks, we have traveled 13,000 kms (8000 plus miles) across 4 Australian states and 2 countries - Australia and Indonesia. We traveled 7 different ways throughout our trip, including Big T (Lukin's truck), Little P (scooter ride of our life), Zig Zag (our Whitsunday Catalina sailboat), the Prodive catamaran (our scuba dive live aboard boat through the Great Barrier Reef), Vintage bikes in Port Douglas, Airplanes between the islands of Indonesia, and of course, by foot and surfboard. We have conquered 2 natural wonders of the world - Uluru (Ayers Rock) and the Great Barrier Reef, and seen more species of bird that you can imagine. We slept in a 2 man tent for 5 weeks, 2 boats over 10 days and the remaining 2.5 weeks in hotels - sometimes great, sometimes dodgy - all part of the adventure! We passed hundreds of Roadtrains and Roos, and possibly thousands of road kill (none done by us - except for the nightly bug squash). But the most impressive number for us was the amount of wonderful people we met along the way. If you have read our blogs along the way, thank you, it has been a lot of fun sharing this experience with you.

We have spent the last week back in Sydney and Gerringong, NSW visiting our good friends and neighbors. We are sorry we have been MIA, but perhaps this is the best lesson Australia has taught us - to stop what you are doing, put your computer down, and take time out for people you care about no matter how busy you feel. So this is what we did - making a stop first in Northern Sydney to visit the Gerrans - Ben, Tom, Kathy and Chris - and then to Gerringong to stay with the Bridgestock/Worral gang - Kate, Paul, Lola and Poppy. Both families were our cherished neighbors at 10 Fern Street in Gerringong - our very first home together. We enjoyed some final days on the beach, a trip to the Jamberoo Action Park (think waterslides!!), a Thanksgiving feast with the Gerringong Gang, last night dinner and beers with Nicko, a lot of laughs and a few final tears.

We say goodbye today to Australia - and the 3 years we have spent here. We have been so lucky to have the opportunity to explore this beautiful country, but more importantly, build a home and a life here. We will never forget Big Brekkies at the Deli after morning beach and surf time, late night dancing at the Kiama Hotel, trivia night with One Man Wolf Pack, sparkling shiraz, howling windstorms in winter, watching the Olympics in PJs next door with Unit 9, Thanksgiving footie and feast, Christmas in shorts, Friday night Zoobs, dingos, roos and wombats, beers at the King Street Brewery, surfing (and the journeys to find waves), skiing AUS and NZ, running the hills to Gerroa and back, sea shelling the back of Black Head Point, the Kiama Coastal Walk (10 times!), and the view from our home as the sun rises over Werri Beach and sets over Saddle Back Mountain - and how often, our neighbors were also on their porches admiring the same colors. Thank you to all of our dear friends, who took the time to show their country to a few curious Yanks. You have a special place in our hearts, and while our hearts are heavy now saying goodbye, we promise we will be back one day...NO WORRIES! Our home is your home, so please do not hesitate to come knocking...

p.s. Poppy - our #1 blog fan - we know you are reading this - we love you and miss you already! Keep smiling your beautiful smile.

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Posted by lukinktlain 13:52 Archived in Australia Tagged australia traveling thanksgiving Comments (3)

Operation Wild Turkey(s)

Byron Bay, NSW

sunny 80 °F

Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends and family in the U.S. as well as those who now celebrate in Australia! It is only too fitting that we have spent the last four nights in Byron Bay with wild turkeys roaming the Broken Head camp ground. It must be said, that there is no sweeter time of the year to be an Aussie-born turkey rather than a U.S. native gobbler. Just the thought of leftover turkey sandwiches almost had Lukin stringing up a bow and sharpening his arrow tips for a mid-night Operation Wild Turkey hunt. But we left them alone - for the most part.

While we miss our family and friends back home, and the traditions that we have practiced our whole lives during this time of year (aka stuffing our faces with delicious grub, spending time together and watching football on the tube), the REAL point of this day is to obviously give thanks, which we did a lot of. Whether it was Thanksgiving, the thought of our last true hot Australian beach day, or the number of topless bathers on the beach, we had a blast today filled with heaps of laughter. Lukin snagged a sunrise surf sesh and Katie enjoyed a late morning run donning sneaks, bikini, and ipod (can't beat that!). The rest of the day was spent chasing crazy mohawked seagulls around the beach, practicing our cartwheels, somersaults, and handstands, wave riding and diving and a bit of reading, though not much for us rambunctious Yanks today.

No turkey for us - instead we opted for a Byron Bay "BayGer" burger - the best we could do to substitute for our mom's best cooking. Turns out both meals make you equally tired - probably not the best choice to kick off a 6+ hour drive this evening. Big T is on the road again, heading 500 km south to Port Stephens for a 2 night stay in the Tea Gardens near Nelson Bay.

Love to you all - see you soon Fam and even sooner Gerringong Gang.

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Posted by lukinktlain 23:30 Archived in Australia Tagged beach turkey wild surfing bay thanksgiving byron turkeys Comments (0)

The Storm Dodgers

Noosa, Queensland to Byron Bay, NSW

sunny 80 °F

As the title of this blog suggests, the "big storm" we were expecting somehow never touched Big T. We had 2 amazing days in Noosa, where we hiked the coastal trail form the main beach to "Hell's Gate" (Uncle Richard you know this walk well - I believe you did it carrying Thomson on your shoulders). Noosa was swarming with people as it was the annual Christmas Kayak celebration. We were lucky to snake the 2nd to last tent spot at the Noosa Caravan Park - it felt a bit like Tent City but did the trick. We decided on a hotel room the next night...away from kayakers rigging their boats at 4am!

Once we started driving south from Noosa on Sunday, we passed Brisbane & ignored the Gold Coast exits, pulling into Byron Bay for the evening. A bit chillier here then what we are used to (which has been pretty hot), but still beautiful sunny days. We love it so much we are still here and plan to be here until Thursday! As one restaurant name suggests, "Why Not Byron." Lukin has found a bit of a swell here and I am enjoying the beautiful 7 Mile Beach - perfect for low tide runs and swims in the sea. The town of Byron Bay is a hippie surf town, full of musicians on every corner, cool beachy shops, ice cream and craft "Stone & Wood" beer. We stumbled upon a few live performances and have already bought some new CDs for the remainder of our trip home. We are reminded how much we love this scene - how music somehow makes everything better - and look forward to something similar in San Diego.

  • **ANIMAL UPDATE*** As I was typing this blog, a giant Chrissie Beetle flew into the car through the slightest crack in the window and attacked me - they love me and never Lukin for some reason. Yesterday we laughed throughout our entire dinner watching people walk into the Thai restaurant with beetles all over their backs. In addition, we wake every morning to Turkeys scratching the outside of our tent in hopes to get some scraps of food. Turkeys and Christmas Beetles...tis the season!!

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Posted by lukinktlain 13:34 Archived in Australia Tagged australia bay noosa byron Comments (0)

Baggin' Rays in Bargara

Agnes Waters to Bargara, Queensland

sunny 85 °F

After our quite glamourous sailing adventure, we are back to the simple, camping life. We spent our time in Bargara in Australian fashion - on the beach! We have had the most amazing clear sky weather and found a great seaside campsite with hot showers- what more do you need!!?? Found a used book store and traded some oldies for newbies, and woke up early to the birds and went on runs through Mon Repos conservation park to work off the previous night's campside feast. Like teenagers,body surfed mini waves, sipped on mid-afternoon slushies, and made an 8pm cookie run to Wollies last night - then sat in the T mobile under the stars listening to music.

2 weeks to the day and we are headed on a plane back to the States. It's amazing how fast - and at times - how slow 3 years have gone. A lot of mixed feelings right now - sad, happy, nostalgic - we move on to Noosa tonight to hit our FAVORITE pizza joint on the Sunshine Coast (we were last there in July with Momma Lucy - great memories).

A big storm is headed our way - looks like we finally get to put that rain fly to use. On that note - any movie suggestions? We've been far removed from TVs and might just catch a flick in Noosa - leave a comment if you've seen a good one lately, any genre will do.

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Posted by lukinktlain 22:40 Archived in Australia Tagged trees birds turtles australia palm bargara Comments (1)

1770

Airlie Beach to Agnes Waters, Queensland

sunny 80 °F

After our sailing expedition, we are down to less than 2 weeks left in our Dusty Trail Adventures. Dang - time sure flies when you're having fun! So we have decided to beach bum our way back to NSW, driving a few hours every couple of days to maximize fun in the sun. We have spent the last few days holed up in a small beach town called Agnes Waters. We found a gem of a beachfront campsite, and explored both Agnes Waters and the adjoining town of Seventeen Seventy (named in honor of Captain Cook's brief landing here during his journey up the coast). As Lukin coined it on our way out of town, this small town had "everything you really need" - an IGA, a laundrette, some cafes, a bottle shop and of course, the local surf lifesaving club. Of note, we have entered possible surf areas as Agnes Waters is the northern most Queensland surf beach. Lukin is now living the search!

After a day on the beach, we are driving just a few hours south to Bargara this afternoon, another small beach town just east of famous Bundaberg (Bundy Rum anyone?!?). Lukin has stayed here briefly while working out of Bundaberg and has promised to show me the sites. We will most likely have to try a "dark and stormy" as well as the Bundy Rum & Coke on tap!! Jimmy Scott, Pugs, Nathan and Pete - I know you're mouth is watering...we'll cheers to you while we enjoy :)

  • *ANIMAL UPDATE*** While camping at Agnes Waters, our most frequent visitors were inquisitive bush turkeys. This close to Thanksgiving, those turkeys looked ripe for the taking!

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Posted by lukinktlain 22:06 Archived in Australia Tagged waters agnes 1770 Comments (0)

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