My Favourite Times in Australia
Country: Australia by Lisette
I’ve been asked quite a few times about my favourite places and tours in Australia, so I figured ending my blogging about Australia should be about my fav places. To me, these places hold something special because of a triangle of personal interests: nature, history and the people.
Though I’m pretty clumsy when it comes to heights (I suffer from a ridiculous bout of vertigo as you can read in my blog about ballooning over the Atherton Tableland and my envisions of death in Springbrook National Park), I kept looking for amazing nature and so I ran into this irrational fear all over Australia. No matter in what part of the country I found myself, sudden drops kept appearing to me.
Not so surprisingly, you won’t find my conquests of heights in my top 3 of fabulous places. Instead, I adore the places where I was able to let myself go and just love the nature with all my heart. At this moment, it is almost seven years later that I am rewriting my original Dutch emails to English blog posts while living in Mozambique for 9 months in 2012-13, and I have no problem visualizing Australia’s amazing nature.
My second interest is history, and Australia has abundant legends, stories and horrifying tales to satisfy my hunger. Not only was I curious about its recent history with emphasis on the colonial time and the penal settlements, I was constantly pulled towards its ancient history. The Aboriginal stories, learnings, paintings, legends, and traditions fascinated me (and continue to have an attraction to me). Many natural phenomenona were explained through stories, traditions and laws. You can find the legends about Flinders Ranges and Uluru as well as some information about the Dreamtime Era here.
It saddened me greatly to learn that much knowledge has not been passed on because, like in so many places all over the world, people were told that in modern era, ancient beliefs and practices are no longer relevant. People in Canada and Australia had to deal with an imposed interruption of teaching when younger children were forced to move to residential schools. In my blog post about Tasmania, I spoke about the killings of Aborigines and the penal settlement.
The last element of my fun travels in Australia is the people. I met some wonderful people, especially Barry and Avis who took great care of me and invited me to spend Christmas with them and explore their town and its surroundings. I find that traveling recharges my batteries, although sometimes you do get tired of being asked the same questions by fellow travelers. But mostly, I had fun meeting new folks from all over the world. With some, I am still in touch!So okay, if you read this far into the article, it’s only fair I share with you my top three. Surprise… It’s actually a top 4!
Two areas that I found fantastic to see and experience take the first place:
The amazing bush camping tour to Alice Springs in the desert and Kakadu National Park in the north (see pictures above). All three elements of my interests came together here as I walked through nature, learned about its people and history and had a great time with really nice peeps.
Second place is taken up by another bush camping tour: driving through Ozzie’s northeast corner to get to Cape York was splendid at the very least. If memory serves me well, it was especially the rich flora and fauna this area offers that took my breath away.
So which tour is then on the third place? It isn’t the Great Ocean Road or discovering the Nullarbor Desert. In fact, this spot is taken by a city. Not cosmopolitan Sydney, certainly not boring Canberra or isolated Broken Hill. Brisbane is the one that stole my heart. After a lot of bush camping and bum beaching, I enjoyed having amenities in a town that is large enough to have it all and still have a provincial feel to it. It doesn’t hurt that the town is close to gorgeous sites such as Springbrook National Park, the Gold Coast and smashing Fraser Island with its coloured sand cliffs.
Seven years later, in 2013, I dream of returning to Australia. Whether that is to work with Aboriginal communities, support grassroots organizations fighting to end violence against women and children or to travel once more and show Marlowe the country. There is still plenty to discover! Trekking for 5 months wasn’t enough to show me all of this magnificent country, like 6 months traveling in Canada didn’t show me all its hidden beauties and ugly truths in 1999.
If I go, will you come with me?