Not so fast!
In Monday’s post when I was talking about our meal in the West End and deciding whether it was expensive or not, I said “But there is another way of comparing the cost of living between Australia and England. I think it’s better and I’ll explain it in full on Wednesday.”
And with today being Wednesday, I was going to announce my masterplan and new method of comparing the cost of living between England and Australia.
But then I realised that each month since July of this year, I have been reprinting my Australia and New Zealand magazine articles for you to read here for free.
This saves all my loyal readers £3.99 and a trip down to Sainsbury’s or Tesco’s or any other leading newsagents. Although I do understand that some of my readers buy the magazine anyway, after all, it is jampacked with around 130 pages of unmissable information all about emigrating to Australia or New Zealand. Yes, some people do read more than just my page.
Anyway, I’ve not yet printed my fifth article from Novembers magazine, should have done it about three weeks ago. I, err, forgot. Until now. Here it is. My masterplan can wait another week……
Our Australian Road Trip
Before we knew it, we’d been living here a year. It seemed like only yesterday our daughter, Elizabeth, had started ‘kindie’ as the Aussies call pre-school. Now, she was leaving kindie. Next up, real school after the break.
Real school? Hold on, isn’t that five days a week? What were we going to do? We decided to take a holiday first. And with that, me, my wife and our daughter jumped into the car and headed south on a road trip.
On January 6, our trip began and what an adventure it was going to be. You see, I’d started my blog about life in Australia on January 1 and I was going to write about our travels on a daily basis. I had a laptop, a G3 modem, Wi-Fi was all around us and hotels and apartments boasted of easy Internet access everywhere we went. This was going to be so much fun.
And it was. Our first stop was a little seaside town called Yamba. Yamba had it all; cliffs, lighthouse, beach, sea, surf, a lagoon and a river. We loved it! But so did a lot of people; later that year it was voted Australia’s top town. Surely our holiday had peaked too soon? No, it just got better and better.
We kept heading south, coastal route of course, until we got about as south as we could get. Melbourne. Then we headed west for 240 kilometres, along the Great Ocean Road. This was definitely coastal; winding its way between the sea and the bush with spectacular views in every direction. Possibly the best six hours I’ve ever spent in a car.
The trip home was more direct and a long way from the sea. We saw a different side of Australia but one that was no less exciting. By the time we got back to Brisbane, we’d covered 4,774 km. We were gone for around two and half weeks.
We were at our furthest from home when we got to a place called Port Fairy, every bit as charming as its name, some 1,960 odd kilometres away. To put that into perspective, a flight from London to Malaga in southern Spain is 1,678 km.
We’d had an amazing holiday and yet we hadn’t booked any flights, queued at customs or anywhere, or booked any accommodation before we left. In fact our first stop off, Yamba, was a last minute change of destination as we’d travelled further than we thought we would that day.
It was a holiday in which I fell in love with the Australian open roads. Sure, the cities themselves can get quite busy, but the M1 between Brisbane and Sydney was more like a country lane in Cornwall. It had no resemblance whatsoever to the M1 that I knew back in England. In places it was just a single lane, no central reservation, no other cars in sight, just views of the parallel river.
Ask an Australian how long it takes to drive from Brisbane to Sydney and he’ll tell you its 10 hours. He won’t say about 10 hours, and he won’t say it depends on the traffic. The answer is 10 hours. The roads coming back inland were even quieter. Driving the car was fun again.
We’ll be doing more Australian road trips. We’ve still got plenty to see, we’ve hardly scratched a tiny little corner. And with no flight stress, no customs stress, no traffic stress and certainly no weather stress, this really was a different kind of holiday. The only thing that did cause us any kind of stress was trying to get that Internet connection. So we stopped bothering after three days and just enjoyed our holiday instead. The blog could wait.
Fancy a road trip?
Want to take this road trip with me? Well you can, right now, right here, in a virtual kind of way. Come on, let’s hit the road…
- We’re All Going On A (Australian) Summer Holiday
- I Love The M1 – The Australian One
- Where’s My Australian Holiday?
- Your Australia Holiday is About to Begin
- Pit Stop at Port Macquarie
- We Interrupt This Holiday for…erm… A Holiday!
- Back On The Road Again – Heading For Sydney
- Sydney. NOT the Capital of Australia
- The Journey from Sydney to Melbourne
- Taken For a Ride in Melbourne
- Take a Ride Along The Great Ocean Road
- Warrnambool – City By The Sea
- Tracking Down Shearwater at Griffiths Island
- Time to Head Back to Brisbane
There you go, all 4,774 km.