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Living in Australia

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Leaving Bloemfontein, South Africa, in February 2003, we arrived in Sydney, Australia, by taking the "scenic route" via Kuala Lumpur. With approximately five South African Rand to one Australian Dollar, we had a somewhat limited budget on which to survive for the first few weeks until our first Australian salaries were received. We had decided to camp at the conveniently located Lane Cove River Tourist Park near Chatswood. Despite the drought "breaking" on our arrival, this proved to be a great decision as we were able to mingle with the many foreign tourists and also got a chance to see and hear the local birdlife.

Having already purchased a new vehicle while in South Africa, we were able to get around the city and try and find permanent accommodation to rent. Our household goods were travelling by container ship and would take about eight weeks to eventually arrive. Our focus tended towards Hornsby which is on the Upper North Shore of Sydney, and approximately 50 minutes by train to the CBD. It is conveniently located with regards to public transport (three train lines converge), and is good for getting out of the city (F3 freeway running north) for weekends. We were fortunate to find a great unit to rent, but it was only available three weeks after signing the contract which meant a fair bit of camping in between.

Hornsby is also well situated for various NSW National Parks (NPs) and reserves. Of particular interest is Ku-ring-gai NP, the Berowra Valley Regional Park and the Crosslands Reserve, which is probably the best kept secret of the area. Road cycling enthusiasts can make use of the Old Pacific Highway which offers great, almost uninterrupted, cycling from Hornsby to Gosford, with great scenery along the way and a few hills to raise the heart rate.

Sydney CBD viewed from the Harbour
 Sydney Opera House and Bridge

Having tired of the hussle and bussle of a city which has over 4.0 Million people, it was time to request a transfer to the City of Perth, Western Australia (WA), which has a population of only about 1.3 Million. Despite having the option of flying across the land Down Under, who would pass up the opportunity to drive the 4,100 km across the Country, which includes outback NSW, South Australia and the Nullarbor, and WA. Furniture was again loaded into a shipping container and railed to our new home in Perth. Luckily, this move only took a week.

Perth CBD Viewed from Kings Park
 Perth CBD Viewed from Kings Park

Red Bull Air Race in Perth
 The Red Bull Air Race in Perth

Click on the link to see the places we have camped in Australia (link).