Saving work vacation days for a year, I knew this winter was time to complicate a good time?
The answer came easy. My buddy Matt and his girlfriend Katherine were in Australia under a travel visa and I soon learned that frigid holidays in Sacramento Sydney and came up with a plan of attack: an epic journey through Aussie’s famed Great Ocean Road.
Flying from Sac, we lucked out with a layover in Honolulu with enough time to scale the Diamond Head Crater and discover an eerie temple in the island’s north side. As the plane descended, we got our first taste of Sydney with a clear-skied view of its waterfront botanical gardens and Opera House shining in the summer sun.
We explored the city laneways, learning of Sydney’s beginnings as a prison colony that morphed over time intone as an indication of the inmate who created them.
For our last night we embarked on a journey with Dave’s Pub Tours through the shady alleyways of a district called The Rocks. Here, we learned of four brewpubs vying for the bragging rights to the secret remnants of ancient prison cells.
Next up we flew top bar, drinks in hand.
The Great Ocean Road has earned acclaim not only for prestigious turquoise shores, but for the diversity of environments encountered throughout its trek. Our first stop was Kennett River, a hotspot for one of Australia’s cutest critters: the koala. Driving a dirt road with necks strained out rental car windows, we scanned through miles of Eucalyptus trees stretching endlessly on each side. By the end we spotted several koalas, each tucked away in their 21 hour-a-day snooze.
Back on the highway, our setting began took a trek across the Otway Fly suspension bridges built high in the rainforest trees.
Next on our list was perhaps the Great Ocean Road’s most well-known attraction: The Twelve Apostles. These monumental slabs of sandsto enter its narrow gate.
After a quick sto the crash of kangaroo feet around our campground.
With the conclusion of the Great Ocean Road, it was time to mainland Australia, Tassie is a quiet place with picturesque beaches and abundant wildlife.
We spent our first day on a cruise with Pennicott Wilderness Journeys to idle our boat through.
For the remainder of the cruise we made friends with fur seals, albatross, dolphins, and watched some fearless rock climbers ascend the arduous Totem Pole rock. For our final days we made our way up Tasmania’s East Coast route, encountering stunning vistas like Wineglass Bay, the bright red-turquoise Bay of Fires, and sto say these vacation days were well spent.