Sydney, Newcastle, Brisbane and Rainbow Beach

Vagabonding Week 24 and 25

This blog is about a journey. It covers our travels from Albury to Hervey Bay and all most some points in between.

Sydney

Newcastle

Leaving Albury we drove the short 6 hour drive to Sydney. We’re now accustomed to 6 hour drives. 6 hour drives are a commute. We can do them in our sleep, I often do. This will have been the third Sydney stop over we have had since commencing our Vagabonding adventure in February. You can’t stop in Sydney without having to do some work and this trip was no different. We had clients we had to see but we were also there to meet family and friends.

The train back to our Airbnb left from Circular Quay so after one of the client meetings in the Sydney CBD we had lunch there before catching the train. There’s a lot of construction going on around this part of town, well all over Sydney actually. But this part had some interesting old archive pictures on the partitions surrounding the construction work, this one was particularly interesting.

The Rocks Sydney
The Rocks Sydney
Hungry Parakeet
Hungry Parakeet

At lunch by the river we were visited by some very friendly parakeets. The waitress said they visit same time every day, they think they come from the Botanic Gardens where they have a sanctuary.

Have you finished with those chips?
Have you finished with those chips?
Table for one please
Table for one please

I guess we were just lucky we were there at their visiting time. About 10 minutes later they disappeared, the restaurant we were in specialises in seafood, I bet they were off for an Italian.

That night we went for a walk for some exercise and explored Rozelle, the district we were staying in. There was an old derelict power house which was very photogenic.

Power Station
Power Station
Power Station
Power Station

I wish I’d had more time to explore, it would make a grand subject.

It’s thirsty work exploring so pretty soon a beer was in order, across the road we saw this pub with a typical Aussie no nonsense sign, No Crap On Tap.

No Crap on  Tap
No Crap on Tap

Concerned that might mean no Craft Beer we ended up in the Merton Hotel next door and I’m glad we did. It was one of the friendliest pubs with the best decor and had the best pub menu we’ve seen for a long time. Apparently their Goat Curry is worth travelling to taste. We were meeting friends for dinner so skipped the temptation that night but I know we will be back.

The cosy Merton Hotel
The cosy Merton Hotel
The Merton  Hotel Pub Menu
The Merton Hotel Pub Menu

The following day we had an hour off to spend some time with Jenni’s nephew and niece who are visiting from Chile.

We went to the Sky Zone trampoline and rock climbing park in Sydney. The kids had great fun.

At Sky Zone
At Sky Zone

Newcastle

All too soon our Sydney trip was over. We’d be meeting up with the kids again in Byron Bay on our way north in a couple of days. Our next stop was Newcastle where we had a couple of client meetings. Again we stayed in an Airbnb, it was in the same complex as the last time we were here but this one was at the back of the building, not as good a view.

Port of Newcastle
Port of Newcastle

Each day we took a short break from working to go for a walk around Newcastle. It’s fascinating place with some great architecture and features.

Newcastle
Newcastle
Newcastle Baths
Newcastle Baths
Newcastle Baths
Newcastle Baths

The coastline has some great surf spots.

Surfing in Newcastle
Surfing in Newcastle

A short distance along the beach they were setting up the location for a beach wedding.

This was the first time I’d seen the Newcastle outdoor swimming pool drained.

Jenni in a windy Newcastle
Jenni in a windy Newcastle

The sea however, did it’s best to try and refill it.

Newcastle Outdoor Swimming Pool
Newcastle Outdoor Swimming Pool

There’s always something interesting to see if you keep your eyes open. The Dalek picture in this car window caught my eye, clearly the owner has a sense of humour.

Zombies and Daleks
Zombies and Daleks

And this enterprising young fella taking his dog for a walk. The dog dragged him the full length of the Esplanade on his skateboard.

Newcastle Dog Sled
Newcastle Dog Sled
"That! That over there! Take a picture of that!"
“That! That over there! Take a picture of that!”

It was whale watching season while we were there and the tourist boats were out. They looked like they spotted something so I stopped and zoomed in as far as I could hoping to get a snap of one. We didn’t see a whale as such but saw the blow from the blow hole shoot up a few times. Here’s an artists expression of the what it would look like if you could see the whale as well as the blow. I think the artist made it very realistic.

Whale Watching
Whale Watching

We did see dolphins though.

Dolphins having fun
Dolphins having fun

 

This beautiful bird was hovering around in the strong on shore breezes looking to catch some dinner.

Bird of Prey
Bird of Prey

Surfing and fishing are really popular in Newcastle, we saw these guys just at the end of our walk. Rock fishing is one of the most dangerous activities in Australia.  There have been 158 deaths in the last 13 years, that’s more than 10 a year. Usually strong waves dragged the fishermen into the sea. None of the people who died were wearing life jackets. This is the sort of conditions where deaths can happen.

Rock Fishing
Rock Fishing

Coffs Harbour

We drove through Coffs Harbour on our way to Byron Bay. We didn’t stop. It has a Big Banana to symbolise the fact a lot of bananas are grown in this region. I took this out of the window on the way past at 60 kph.

Big Banana Coffs Harbour
Big Banana Coffs Harbour

Byron Bay

Next stop Byron Bay. Our Airbnb was a small converted garage in Suffolk Park not far from Byron Bay and near Broken Heads where Matt Damon and Chris Helsmworth live. Of course we didn’t see them. We did get a chance to go for a walk along the excellent Tallows Beach.

Broken Head Tallow's Beach
Broken Head Tallow’s Beach

Cafe on the Beach

The Lady from Byron Bay
The Lady from Byron Bay

We caught up with Jenni’s family again as planned. The statue is from the cafe on the beach we had breakfast at.

Breakfast by the beach
Breakfast by the beach

The weather is getting noticeably warmer the farther north we go. Too soon we left Byron bay for Brisbane.

Brisbane

Storey Bridge Brisbane
Storey Bridge Brisbane

Brisbane, where we started our journey 172 days and 15,000 kms ago. We’re only back here for 2 nights before driving farther north. I decided I should try and take pictures of Brisbane as if we were tourists visiting for the first time.

We had lunch at Reef in the Gasworks, I’ve always been fascinated by the shape of these partitions.

Reef
Reef

Our daily dander took us along the river through Teneriffe.

Gloria Ewe -  Teneriffe
Gloria Ewe – Teneriffe

Gloria the Ewe stands forever watching the walkers and joggers who use the river walk. She was commissioned to celebrate the great history that wool exports have in this area.

River pigeons
River pigeons

It was a beautiful day to go for a walk along the river but we had to get back to work. We’d go out again tomorrow.

Blood Moon

That night was the night of the Blood Moon. I got up at 5:00am to take this picture of the Blood Moon over Brisbane.

Blood Moon over Brisbane
Blood Moon over Brisbane

The next day we went for another walk with some friends through Teneriffe Park and along the river again.  In the small but beautiful Teneriffe Park stands this old Musical Theatre building

Old Musical Theatre
Old Musical Theatre

Hardly used at the weekends but the City Cylces are well used by commuters during the week.

Brisbane City Cycles
Brisbane City Cycles

 

We were going for breakfast at the Markets at the Powerhouse. It’s always buzzing there on a Saturday morning.

Powerhouse Markets Busker
Powerhouse Markets Busker

We had breakfast bagels and sat in the sun chatting before walking back along the river to pack our car and drive off again. We did see some sights on our walk back though.

It's 1980 again
It’s 1980 again

Rainbow Beach

That afternoon we drove farther north to Rainbow Beach were we had planned a short one night break. We’ve been here a couple of time now and there’s a reason we keep coming back, it is one of the nicest beaches I’ve seen. Called Rainbow Beach after the multi coloured sand that runs the 23 km length of this beach. Its also a popular spot for hang gliders.

Rainbow Beach, Faraway in Time, To the tune of Echo Beach
Rainbow Beach, Faraway in Time, to the tune of Echo Beach

The beach was busy when we got there, adventure tours and fishermen and other assorted people milled around and overhead.

Hang Glider
Hang Glider

Sunday morning was different. We were on the beach about 9am and we had it to ourselves until we left at midday. The weather was glorious. It really is one of the most exquisite beaches in the world.

Exquisite Rainbow Beach
Exquisite Rainbow Beach

If you have good eyes you’ll spot Jenni in the picture above. After about 12pm we started to see some other humans. The Beach Horse trail turned up in the distance and gave us this photo opportunity before disappearing into the mist.

Horses on  Rainbow Beach
Horses on Rainbow Beach

We left the beach and had lunch at the eclectic Silky Oak Tea Gardens on our way to Hervey Bay. Its a brewery disguised as a Tea Room. I didn’t really question it. I had an excellent brown ale, Jenni had their Aussie Bloke Lager as they called it and we both had some tasty grilled fish for lunch. We consumed this in a most relaxed and verdant outdoor garden resplendent with some interesting decor.

Silky Oak Tea Gardens
Silky Oak Tea Gardens
Silky Oak Tea Gardens
Silky Oak Tea Gardens

 

Hervey Bay

Our next port of call is Hervey Bay. That’s for the next blog, meanwhile here’s a taster of one of the things we got up to.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Till next time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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