A Travellerspoint blog

Australia - Winter in Sydney

storm 10 °C

We had just told everyone back home, that the winter in Sydney was not cold at all and that you could still go to the beach in a bikini every day. But soon we were to discover that the 'real winter' was only about to start. At the beginning of June, it suddenly became a lot colder and we had some major storms which spread the sand all over the beach promenade and the hill behind it and made it look as if it had been snowing.


As houses in Australia are not insulated at all and certainly don't come with heating installations, we soon realised that we had to buy an electrical heater. Nevertheless, we always only manage to get one of our four rooms up to a comfortable temperature while the rest of the flat could still serve as a fridge.

By the way, the Aussis don't seem to feel the cold at all - or can anyone explain to us, why they still run around in shorts and thongs or summer dresses and dine outdoors when its only a few degrees above 0 °C!? Probably, they simply ignore it, as it's normally only that cold for 2 months. Anyway, we always thought that we should be used to it and be able to deal with low temperatures a lot better... but basically, in Germany we only don't freeze that much because the houses have a proper heating and everyone's wearing very warm clothes :-)


Another thing that we still have to get used to and which comes with the opposite seasons, is that we are still getting a bit confused about dates and everything. Julia even forgot Frank's birthday this year, as to her it was associated with hot temperatures and bbq parties. So, please don't be too mad at us, if we happen to forget yours, too!

Anyway, we still enjoyed the stormy weather very much and it's just perfect for walks along the beach. Also, Frank finally got his skateboard which since then hasn't been used very much!
Of course, the storms brought some nice winter swells as well.


June - August is also the whale season on the East Coast and one day Julia was lucky to see a Humpback Whale directly in front of Bondi Beach. It was really amazing watching the whale blowing huge streams of spray into the air or jumping out of the water, twirling around and smashing back on the water on his back again. Unfortunately, he moved too fast for getting a good shot with the camera.

When you read all this, some of you might probably think we are still on holidays and only hanging out on the beach all the time. Not really!
Actually, we were pretty busy during the last weeks, we moved to a new apartment. We had already thought about it earlier, but just as it started raining into one of our bedrooms and the entire flat began to mould and smell, we decided to finally leave the place. Luckily, we found another flat soon, which is still only a few hundred meters from the beach and way better as the old one! After a few garage sales and another visit at IKEA, our flat is now fully furnished as well and for the first time, it really feels like home.

Work wise everything seems to be sorted – at least for the next couple of weeks. Julia just started a contract for the next three months, working as event coordinator in a financial services institute and Frank is happily designing away, half way between contract work and signing an employment.

Posted by Frankee 18:43 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Australia - Bondi, Seal Rocks and Royal NP

sunny 20 °C

Yeh, we're still there, so we thought we'd give you at least short update and some fotos we took in the last months.

Until the end of May the weather was still great so we were able to do a few trips and spend some more time on the beach.


The last weekend in April, we went to Seal Rocks with Rob and his friend Gerald. The area is amazingly beautiful and quiet with a camping ground perfectly located just across the dunes from the surf.


The waves were perfect on the first day and we couldn't wait to get into the water the next morning.


As we went down to the beach though, we discovered that there were not only massive schooling fish but also some white pointers (according to the fishermen)which were obviously having a great feast!


Two guys paddelled out anyway, but came back in again very soon, after two of the 3-4 m sharks had come really close. The surf was still up but we decided to spend the rest of the day just watching the spectacle from the beach.


Bondi also got some nice waves, so Julia could go surfing almost every day (here together with our nice neighbour Sterre), while Frank had fun watching the guys in the skatepark (until he could finally skate himself - he had to wait for Julia to bring his board over from Germany).


We also went to the Royal National Park, south of Sydney, which does not only offer stunning nature but also some great surf spots!


Mid-May, Julia went back to Munich for her brother's wedding.
It was great to see all the family and friends again and to spend some time together! Needless to say, that the time went by way too fast and a week is simply too short!

Posted by Frankee 01:57 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Australia - Sydney

DAY 113-...

sunny 27 °C

After another 3 hours drive from Kiama we finally arrived in Sydney!


First of all we met with our estate agent to sort out a flat near Bondi Beach (eastern suburbs). We weren't too impressed with the house in which the first flats were. It was obvious to see, that these flats were mainly used by backpackers who would only live there for 1-2 months and therefore would care more about the next party then the state of the flat.

So we looked at yet another place after agreeing with the guy to give him a call and to let him know where we are intending to stay.
Well, we weren't able to get hold of him for another 2 days and had to stay with friends and in a backpacker instead. In the end we managed to get into the flat and only then noticed that it was full of cockroaches!
The estate agent, who in the meantime turned out to be a real pain, wasn't very helpful with this annoyancy as well, so we had to take care of this problem ourselves. After 3 days of intense cleaning and spraying the entire flat with the worst chemicals you can imagine we got rid of the creatures but Julia had to deal with bad headaches and was feeling sick.

After shopping at IKEA we made ourselves a bit more at home and by now we really enjoy our flat which is actually quite cool (especially after the party gang that tried to break the house down every single night moved out a week ago : ) )

Also, the location is hard to beat: The beach and surf is in less than ten minutes walking distance and we have even got one room with view to the ocean. The area is hilly and green and there are quite a few nice restaurants, bars and shops just around the corner.


Slowly normal life kicks back in, we both started job hunting 2 weeks ago and it looks like we are going to be busy soon.

So, this is it folks! We hope we have entertained you well during the past couple of months – we enjoyed it very much!

Please email us about how you are doing and what is going on in Munich, London, Rotterdam or wherever you may be!

Take care and see you soon!

Julia and Frank

Posted by Frankee 18:01 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Australia - On the road to Sydney

DAY 110-112

sunny 24 °C

After another cold night on Phillip Island (this time we have been sleeping in the car, which was at least a little bit warmer), we packed our stuff and hit the road to Sydney. The further East / North we went, the greener and nicer the landscape got. This is a remote area with lots of national parks, but no special attractions. In fact it reminded us a lot of good old Bavaria only a lot bigger! On the way, we just stopped in a few small towns to buy food and some more camping gear.


The following night we slept in our car again near the fishing village Marlo in East Gippsland. We had found a really nice spot on a riverside to park our car. The river though did not only attract us, but also lots of massive mosquitos which were trying to devour us.


On the next day we moved on to Batemans Bay. Finally, we found a shop selling foam matresses and got one, that fits exactly in the rear of our car. The destination for this night was a beach in Murramarang National Park. The beautiful bay was separated from the main road by a few kilometers of gum and rain forest and surrounded bei Rocks and Hills.
The best thing however was that the camp site was full of animals:
At the nearby beach the were lots of kangaroos and on the way to the beach we had to get passed a bunch of very noisy parakeets.


Dinner time was then not only a thing Frank looked forward to but also all the animal surrounding us! As it was already dark by the time we started cooking, we weren't always able to see the creatures sneaking up to us. Sometimes a kangaroo, possum or the like gave us a well shock when it suddenly appeared in the light of our torch, only a meter away (frequently on our dinner table).


In the morning we left this lovely spot and hit the road for our final destination – Sydney!
On our way there we went through Kiama, a fishing village about 150 km South of Sydney. We had some delicious fish 'n chips before we headed to the famous blowhole. This is a kind of cave in which ocean water is pressed in by the waves and is sprayed out on the other side in a fountain that can reach a height of up to 60m when the sea is rough!
Kiama is a nice place which gave us some rest before entering the city.


Posted by Frankee 21:13 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Australia - Phillip Island

DAY 108-110

sunny 15 °C

The first stop on our way up to Sydney was Phillip Island, south-east of Melbourne. Halfway there, we had to drive back to Melbourne again as Frank had forgotten his photo camera in the hostel. Once we arrived on Philipp Island, we built up our tent for the first time – noticing only now, that a few pieces of it were missing (which we replaced with items from our second tent).


We still went to the beach for sunset and got to see our first kangaroos jumping around in the bush. The wind was already quite cold and got even colder until we had dinner in front of our tent. As we tried to sleep later on we found out that our sleeping bags we definitely not made for chilly nights. The fact that our inflatable matress went flat again and we basically had to sleep on the ground didn't make the situation any better.

Anyway, there's a new morning after every long, cold night. The next day we went to a wildlife park and had a lot of fun with the animals there.


In the afternoon, we did a costal walk to see the 'Nobbies' – some rocky islands just off the coast. Philipp Island also has some great surfing beaches to offer, but again it was far too cold to go into the water without a wetsuit.


For the evening, we had planned to see the island's biggest tourist attraction: The Penguin Parade! For only about 20 Dollars you're allowed to sit on the beach, together with a few hundred other tourists, to see the penguins coming out of the sea after sunset, waddeling to their breeding places. If you're able or willing to invest 3 times the ordinary entrance fee, you can sit on the VIP platform, which is also protected from the icy wind. However, as we saw all the people flocking to the beach and queuing at the entrance we decided not take part in this action.
Instead we spent the evening in the local pub to escape the cold.

Maybe Julia wasn't used to the strong Australian beer yet. When we left the pub she got confused with the gears (our deluxe car is automatic) and hopped right into the wall in front of us. Luckily there wasn't too much damage, only the front bumper which now looks a bit more aerodynamic then before.

Posted by Frankee 19:01 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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