Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Australia in Bite Size form

This trip will mean that I have visited all Australian states and territories. Realising that prompted me to cast my mind back to earlier holidays and excursions, although I'm conscious my memories are patchy and my photos patchier.

If you can excuse the patchiness, I welcome you to a Bite-Sized tour of Australia...

Western Australia

This is where I grew up. We moved to Australia when I was 2, and I have been based in WA ever since. I haven't seen all of it, by a long shot, and the northern most corner is yet to be explored. I think that's probably understandable though. WA is Australia's biggest state, and it's the second largest subnational entity in the world (behind a large slice of Russia).

My early Perth years

I have been south (cooler weather, forests, green fields)

and a little way north (warmer weather, beaches, red dust)

and a little way inland when I visited a working mine as an optional school excursion

but still hope to make it to the far north, including Broome and surrounds, one day.

South-western WA, near Walpole


This is the state I have visited most outside of WA. My Dad grew up there and I have visited for a few conferences, in addition to family trips.

Dandenong ranges, outside of Melbourne, Victoria

My first visit was at the age of 4, when we had Christmas with family and celebrated my brother's christening at Phillip Island.

My main memories are of a new backpack purchased for the trip...

Note the change in hair colour from above!

...and a mini box of rice bubbles at a hotel in Melbourne.

Those who know me now know that memories for food and clothing have persisted to this day. I'm sure I'd be better off recalling facts or dates, but there you have it.

More recently, trips to Melbourne have made me realise what a beautiful city it is. There is so much on offer not available in Perth, and the coffee shops and laneways of the city are wonderful to explore.


After Victoria comes Queensland. Several family reunions, a conference in Port Douglas (an amazing conference location!), and a holiday with my sister for her 18th birthday. I love the rainforests and scenery, and have found Brisbane quite appealing with its river location and southbank development.

Gold Coast pool and beach

Rainforest from below

I would like to make it to far north Queensland one day, but will admit that the wild weather of recent years has put me off slightly.

Australian Capital Territory

I have been here twice, which is once more than New South Wales and the same as South Australia - but one South Australia visit was for 2 days, so I'm placing ACT ahead!

I visited Canberra as a 16-year-old and covered the main tourist sights: parliament house, the war memorial, Lake Burley Griffin, the Australian Institute of Sport, and a museum whose name has now (embarrasingly) faded from memory.

Australian war memorial (source)

I then came back a few years ago for a week long statistics course at Australian National University. You'll forgive me if my experience of Canberra on that particular trip was nothing to write home about. I love statistics, but a week at a computer was pushing it even for me!

South Australia

We had Christmas in Adelaide a few years back with extended family, and I was taken by how similar the city is to Perth. Adelaide is more neatly laid out, but the feel of the town is the same. Some might say sleepy :P It was an attractive city though, and greener than I had expected.

Central Adelaide

My second visit was last year, when I made a 2-day trip for work that was mostly based at the Qantas Club at the airport. Not the most exciting of excursions, but at least the airport was newly renovated.

New South Wales

I have been through Sydney airport a number of times, but been to Sydney itself just once. Given that I was 15 at the time, I don't feel like I've done the city justice at all - something I am hoping to rectify when I make it across in August for a work trip.

My memories include sunshine, despite it being winter, and the renowned opera house and harbour bridge. 

We stayed in Manly and the ferry trips back and forth to the city are also embedded in memory. It really is a beautiful harbour.

Opera House in pink (source)

Northern Territory

My visit to NT was fleeting: I flew to Port Douglas via Ayers Rock airport (which is still called Ayers Rock, despite the rock now being acknowledged as Uluru). However, we disembarked from the plane on red dust and walked across to the (tiny) terminal, and I waited for a few hours before doing the same thing in reverse. So I'll count it as a visit!

Uluru from above...my view was from rather higher, being plane based, but was nonetheless impressive (source)

And there we are - Australia in brief. Not in its entirety, but in most of its corners.

Have you visited the far flung parts of Australia? Or have a favourite state?

As this goes out, we should, hopefully, be more than half way around Australia's final state (for me), and leaving Hobart to visit Port Arthur and then Tasmania's Eastern coast.


  1. Oh I love this post - what a great reflection. I have been to all states and territories in Australia but like you I just feel some are so diverse that I have only seen a small part of them. But now I want to write a similar post - if only I had the time. Meanwhile we are heading into NSW soon so I am looking forward to seeing more of Australia in the near future!

    The only state I have really spent a lot of time outside the cities is my home state of Victoria but like you I have found that work trips have helped me see a bit more of the country.

  2. @Johanna GGG
    Work trips certainly have some advantages :) Enjoy your travels into NSW - that's a state I really would like to see more of.

  3. If you came back to the ACT now, I promise I'd make sure you had happier non-statistics-based memories to keep hold of! Have you ever been to the Bungle Bungles? I so want to go there one day!

  4. @Hannah
    I certainly need to give Canberra another chance I think :) Statistics really isn't a fair way to characterise a city or state.

    I haven't been to the Bungle Bungles but also want to go - to the north of WA in general really. It's a pity it's so far away!

  5. I've yet to set foot in Oz, but I'm impressed with your national travel. Admittedly, Canada is freaking huge, but I've lived in four provinces, visited 3 others, flown through one more, and that means that there are 2 provinces and all 3 territories that I've yet to set foot in. It's embarrassing---I've seen more of Germany and feel more at home there than in most parts of my own country!

    I love travel recaps. And you covered all of Oz without mentioning snakes once, which has just increased the likelihood that I'll go there someday. :D

  6. @Stephanie @ extremebalance.net/blog
    Canada is pretty big, so I think you've got a good excuse :) I do sometimes feel the same though, in that I've covered a greater proportion of the UK than I have of Australia. Canada is somewhere I'm keen to get back to too though, having only seen a tiny corner near Toronto.

    Snakes in Australia are over-rated, in my humble opinion :P So yes, come visit!

  7. Visit? DONE! ;) And when you come to Canada, avoid Toronto. I highly recommend the West, and the Montreal and points eastward.


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