6th February 2017 & 7th February 2017:
Over the past two days we have driven 1,100 miles in 21 hours from Cairns to Brisbane stopping overnight in Mackay. A very long car journey, taking it in turns to drive over the vast countryside. It was a strange feeling passing towns and cities that we now have fond memories of such as, one of our favourites, Noosa on the Sunshine Coast. We finally arrived in Brisbane in the late evening and made sure our rental car was ready and clean to return after our expedition across Aussie.
8th February 2017:
This morning we headed to Ace Rental Cars to return our beloved Toyota Corolla which has been a real blessing over the past three months.
Next stop was to Brisbane Domestic airport to catch an hour flight to Sydney. A very short flight but we were able to see the towering skyscrapers in Surfers Paradise on the GoldCoast through our plane window. Arriving in Sydney it was very foggy I was just able to make our the outline of the Harbour Bridge, which was a shame as on a sunny day we would have had amazing birds eye views.
We finally arrived in Sydney and checked into our final of our 19 hotels, Rydges. Our room is beautiful with photos of the Harbour Bridge & Opera House to bring us straight back into the Sydney way.
After a quick refresh we were straight back out on the subway to Darling Harbour where we had our final visit to the Hard Rock Cafe Sydney. The Harbour was lit up with beautiful lights to celebrate Chinese New Year.
9th February 2017:
Today we wanted to make the most of our last day in Australia and I am so glad it was spent in Sydney. Although I love many places in Aus, nothing compares to the Harbour no matter how many times you see it.
Our first stop was to Circular Quay which instantly gives you amazing views of the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. We then visited the Opera House for the final time, walking inside and going as far as we could into the theatre. We stopped for drinks at the Opera Bar which has such beautiful views we stayed here for hours.
Next we headed to The Rocks just below the Harbour Bridge. We past lots of Chinese themed decorations such as the Kung Fu Kangas which are part of the Chinese New Year celebrations, which were a fun photo opportunity.
We climbed up to the bridge and walked along the streets until we reached Martin Place for a quick look around the shops and a visit to our favourite chocolate shop Haighs and then waking on to Darling Harbour for drinks in the bar near our old hotel. Evening was quickly approaching so during sunset we hopped on a ferry from Darling Harbour back to Circular Quay for once last visit to the Bridge & Opera House.
10th February 2017:
Today we are flying home from Sydney Kingford Smith airport to London Heathrow via Singapore. A 23 and a half hour flight & then we will be home!
I can’t quite believe the time has come for us to leave Australia. A beautiful, extraordinary & humongous country. Since November we have had the absolute time of our lives, self driving 5,224 miles across state borders, crossing multiple things off of our bucket lists & getting completely out of our comfort zones.
We have had a few testing moments such as being stuck on a mountain when our car wouldn’t start, losing valuables in the Tasman Sea and Jellyfish stings! But the experiences had and memories made will last an absolute life time. From wine tasting at Jacobs Creek in South Australia, bathing in Hot Springs in Victoria, climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Wild Dolphin Swims & skydives in New South Wales and finally swimming with green turtles & reef sharks in the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland. I hope we are fortunate enough to come back one day because I have truly fallen in love with Australia and its Koalas! Even though I really want to stay longer, I cannot wait to see our families and have our English home comforts again. It’s time to fly home & start our next chapter.