G’day from Australia! – or: The reverse cultural shock

When coming to mainland Australia, we had three major attractions to look forward to: Catching up with an old school friend, cruising on the Great Ocean Road and tramping in the Grampians. But first, we had to get over our initial cultural shock. After four month traveling in Asia, we seemed to have forgotten about the things most familiar to us. The prices for pretty much everything seemed to be ridiculously high and the roads exceptionally quiet and organised. Initially, we were honestly missing the charming chaos and craziness which Asia offers. But not for too long. In particular the girls got excited quite quickly about the fact that lots of things in the Melbourne area looked and worked pretty much like home. And quite quickly, we also realised that it was pretty ambitious to only plan two weeks in this attractive neck of the woods.

IMG_1760
Melbourne

IMG_1771IMG_1781IMG_1801IMG_1792.jpg

IMG_1816
Picking some very juicy blueberries.

IMG_1829

IMG_1830
Picnic with Rob, Esther and their kids. Best wedges ever!
IMG_1852
Having fun in the garden.

IMG_1875

IMG_1895
A proper Sunday barbecue.
IMG_1897
Great Ocean Road – let’s go!

IMG_1903IMG_1905IMG_1915IMG_1918IMG_1933IMG_1934IMG_1937IMG_1940

IMG_1953
Kenneth River

IMG_1963IMG_1977IMG_2014

IMG_2032
An evening on the beach.

IMG_2047IMG_2169

IMG_2053
Our shabby (chic) backpackers.

IMG_2109

IMG_2136
Tree impressions.
IMG_2182
Love at first sight.

IMG_2186

IMG_2214
Twelve Apostles, here we are.

IMG_2220

IMG_2282
Fascinated by the power of the sea.

IMG_23021IMG_2292

IMG_2321
A picture of the snake… after we got over the initial shock.

IMG_2323IMG_2349IMG_2351IMG_2388IMG_2441IMG_2459IMG_2550IMG_2565IMG_2577-2

IMG_2595
Hunting for treasures at Port Fairy.
IMG_2604-2
A wallaby!
IMG_2616-2
Out for the sunset.

IMG_2622

IMG_2634-2
Flying fox fun in Warnnambool.

IMG_2637

IMG_2653-2
Spotting our first echidna.
IMG_2682
Kangaroos!
IMG_2692
In the Grampians.

IMG_2749

IMG_2771
MacKenzie Falls

IMG_2813

IMG_2819
Sunrise at Boroka Lookout. Stunning!;-)
IMG_2829
This guy was sitting on our balcony.
IMG_2841
The kookaburras tend to laugh at you at all times.

IMG_2877

IMG_2891
Another echidna.
IMG_2914
Sunset at the Balconies.

IMG_2934IMG_2950

IMG_2970
Sunrise at Boroka Lookout.

IMG_3060IMG_3079

IMG_3121
At the pink salt lake.

IMG_3088

Some of our highlights:

  • Enjoying the hospitality of Esther, Rob (who went to primary school with John an eternity ago) and their kids Will and Isla. They made us feel very welcome in their house, showed us the tastiest spots in the Yarra Valley (chocolate factory, blueberry field and winery) and introduced us to their friends by setting up a proper Aussie barbie.
  • The Great Ocean Road: We especially loved the beaches with the white sand and turquoise water and the impressive rock formations.
  • Watching the massive waves hitting the rocks at Broken Head like a giant geyser. We must have watched the spectacle for over an hour.
  • Three of us thought it to be a highlight to pass by a venomous snake. Not hard to guess who was horrified by this face-to-face encounter.
  • Feeding the birds and spotting some koalas at Kenneth River. More koalas we found on the plot of our backpackers in Apollo Bay and on the Otway peninsula. They look so cute, all you want is cuddle them.
  • Coming across “dead” white trees along the Cape Otway road. They looked quite surreal.
  • Playground hopping around Lake Pertobe in Warnambool. The flying fox was the jewel in the crown.
  • Searching for kangaroos and koalas in the Tower Hill reserve. We found one kangaroo, two koalas, a handful of emus, a wallaby and lots of black swans.
  • Staying at the Halls Gap YHA. Probably the best hostel we have ever stayed at with some wild kangaroos grassing in the back garden.
  • Observing a baby kangaroo feeding and an echidna trying to hide from us on the loop around the Brambuk Cultural Center (Halls Gap).
  • Sunset at the balconies (Grampians). Breathtaking!
  • Sunrise at Boroka lookout (Grampians). Well, John witnessed a stunning sunset. The rest of us got up early the day before to see nothing but thick fog. Which was so absurd, it was kind of a highlight, too.

The learning curve:

  • Parking in Melbourne can cost AU$85 for just three hours!!!
  • Not every recommendation is worth the detour. Two traveling girls convinced John to drive to the “pink lake” which added an extra three hours to the trip. When we got there at lunchtime, it was so hot that we didn’t even want to leave the car. And standing on the slushy pink-looking salt didn’t feel very special after all.
  • Even Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars get on your nerves after a while when that’s all you have on your phone!
  • Every Aussie asks “ how’s it goin’…?” Still not sure how to reply.

3 thoughts on “G’day from Australia! – or: The reverse cultural shock

  1. More azure skies and seas. Jealous, moi?!
    Less so of Boroka Sunrise – just like here.
    And Yarra Valley has to be one of my favourite places I’ve never been to.
    Never heard of echidnas; the younger girls can educate us.
    Superb picture of J watching the Balconies Sunset.
    Proprietor of The FroHotel is away taking pictures of tigers in India.
    Happy travels.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a wonderful place! I ask myself if it si so beautiful … or the travelers make it so special!
    The sunsets, the waterfalls with a raimbow, that wants to appear. But it keeps hidden!
    The Great Ocean Road.. with the twelve apóstoles, dancing with the sea… i can imagine, the sound of the water when it goes against them… it must a symphonic concert !!
    I ve been in Oregón, al the coast… and it seems, there are some apóstoles going to find those that come from Australia…. the world is a spectacular surprise!!
    The sunset al the Balconies, show up, how small We aré!!! In front of such a big forest !
    Great pictures, of the sea.. so dark blue, and when it finds the coast !!
    and the birds like you show it s beauty, they seam to know, they aré with their best clothes
    For the special momento!!
    Thank for sharing it!

    Like

  3. I am back from Tiger country!!! just enjoying this trip around Australia at the moment… easy from the confineds of my desk.. Stunning pics..

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s