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Originally posted at and all 275 (!) photos link back to there.

Lisa and I went to Australia in (northern hemisphere) summer 2008 on an independent tour we arranged with the help of Wilderness Australia - who offer "tailor made safaris" and tailored us this combination of cities, resorts and wilderness.  This was a holiday of a lifetime and I wanted to get these photos and the links up so others can benefit from our experiences if they are planning a trip "down under". Our itinerary was as follows:

  • 25 July: Travel from Tokyo to Sydney overnight.
  • 26-27 July: Sydney sightseeing including catching up with friends Jane Riley and Megan Wakeley, and a visit to Sydney Zoo. Stayed at the Blue Hotel. [Photos 1 to 17]
  • 28 July: Travel to Melbourne, stayed at The Langham Hotel.
  • 29-30 July: Melbourne sightseeing, including catching up with Anna Chua and great dining at The Press Club and at MoVida Melbourne. [Photos 18 to 32]
  • 31 July: Depart Melbourne driving along the Great Ocean Road, viewed the Twelve Apostles, stayed at Oscars Waterfront Boutique Hotel and dined at The Merrijig Inn where we had the best meal of our whole holiday. [Photos 33 to 51]
  • 1 August: Drive from Port Fairy to Robe in some pretty inclement weather, stayed at Ann's Place in Robe.
  • 2 August: Drive from Robe to Adelaide Airport and take a flight to Kingscote on Kangaroo Island, from where we are collected by Mandy Brown from Seascape at Emu Bay where we thoroughly enjoy the next two nights. [Photos 52 and 53]
  • 3 August: Touring Kangaroo Island by Landrover Discovery with Escape Tours of Kangaroo Island. [Photos 54 to 73]
  • 4 August: Touring Kangaroo Island followed by flight back to Adelaide and stayed at the Hyatt Regency Adelaide. [Photos 74 to 96]
  • 5 August: Day tour of the Barossa with Mary Anne Kennedy of Taste of South Australia, including tastings at Henschke and Torbreck, where we had the chance to chat with winemaker David Powell, and lunch at Maggie Beer's. [Photos 97 and 98]
  • 6 August: Depart Adelaide to Yulara via Alice Springs. Collected from Yulara airport by Longitude 131 and taken to Uluru for sunset at Kantju Gorge. [Photos 99 to 111]
  • 7 August: Sunrise tour to Kata Tjuta & Walpa Gorge followed by me taking the optional Kata Tjuta - Valley of the Winds
    hike and Lisa spending some time at the Cultural Centre. We end the day dining under the stars at Table 131. [Photos 112 to 142]
  • 8 August: Sunrise walk around Uluru followed by transfer to Yulara for our flight to Darwin via Alice Springs. Stayed at the Mantra Pandanas in Darwin. [Photos 143 to 147]
  • 9 August: Collected from our hotel by Ben Humphries of NT Immersions (and a member of Savannah Guides) for three days in the Kakadu National Park. We saw our first crocs on the East Alligator River, watched sun set over the landscape and then stayed at the Holiday Inn Resort Gagudju Crocodile. [Photos 148 to 173]
  • 10 August: Start the day with an aerial tour and then further touring with Ben, including Aboriginal rock paintings and a sunset cruise on Yellow Water billabong. [Photos 174 to 229]
  • 11 August: Further touring with Ben, including giant termite mounds and a walk at Maguk / Barramundie Gorge. Return to Darwin and the Mantra Pandanas. [Photos 230 to 245]
  • 12 August: Flight from Darwin to Cairns and transfer to Thala Beach Lodge, an idyllic eco lodge south of Port Douglas.
  • 13 August: Full day tour to the Great Barrier Reef on Calypso. A first experience of snorkelling in the ocean for both Lisa and me. [Photos 246 and 247]
  • 14 August: Full day touring with David Armbrust of Australian Natural History Safari. David is an excellent guide and a genial host. The day, particularly at Thylogale - his private wildlife sanctuary, provided some amazing photo opportunities. [Photos 248 to 265]
  • 15 August: At leisure at Thala Beach Lodge. [Photos 266 to 275]
  • 16 August: Transfer to Cairns airport and return flight to Tokyo.
If you only look at two photos from the whole trip, try this one - a Red-legged Pademelon (Thylogale stigmatica) tucking into a piece of sweet potato - and this one - an innocent (?) crocodile.

May 2009

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