Australia - Xmas 2005 to January 2006

Gail and I made our way back to the land of Ozz, one more time! As usual, our days were full and we got to see more of Australia and to return to a few places we had previously visited. This was probably our hottest trip to the land down under, experiencing temperatures up to 44 deg. C. On the other hand, one might expect that in the dead of summer in the middle of the Australian outback.

Some of the outstanding scenery that we enjoyed.

New Year's Eve 2005 - We spent the evening across the water from the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge for one of the world's most watched celebrations

The famous Uluru or Ayers Rock, a loaf of bread sticking out of the surrounding desert, only it is about 3 kilometers in length and 300 metres high. This sight is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is sacred to the local aboriginals. People climbed this daily while we were there, but the practice is no longer allowed, what with too many heart attacks and deaths by visitors ignoring the heat and dehydration.

Sunrise breakfast with Ayre's Rock just to the right on the horizon. Don't we look enthusiastic? Gail is not an early riser at the best of times but we had to get up at about 4:30 am to board the bus to the picnic area. And so the onslaught of bugs and aunts before daylight did little to enthuse her about her day.

Gail and I in the Blue Mountains, just to the west of Tracy and Paul's home in Warrimoo

Cape Tribulation in Australia's tropical north, Captain James Cook beached his ship here in 1770 to repair damage caused by running into the Great Barrier Reef, just offshore from this location.

King's Canyon, we drove up here from Ayre's Rock for one night, Tracy and Paul took the 3 hour walk in plus 40 degree temperatures to take this photo. Gail and I stayed in the room and drank wine.

Christmas in Australia

We spent the first part of our holiday in the Sydney area, at Warrimoo in the Blue Mountains, Spencer on the Hawkesbury River, and a few days in Jindabyne south of Canberra. Temperatures were for the most part quite hot.

Above Left:  As we prepared for Christmas dinner on the porch of Tracy's Warrimoo home, the Christmas candles kind of melted in the heat. By the end of the evening, and it was evening, they were pools of wax!

Above Right:  Christmas turkey being smoked and cooked in the Webber barbeque.

Above Left:  Gail enters the water of the pool at Warrimoo with a thankful sigh!

Above right:  A shot of Tracy and Paul's backyard at Warrimoo, taken from a gazebo, over the pool up the rock hillside to her first log home.

Above Left:  Late in the evening, Dilan and Jilian watch as Paul, Tracy and Gail relax in the whirlpool hot tub, no heat needed tonight however.

Above Right:  New Year's Eve in Sydney Harbour as we waited for the fire works to start. We enjoyed an evening under the stars which included a gourmet buffet dinner, good music and followed by one of the world's great fireworks displays.

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