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Old 22 Feb 09, 05:30 PM  
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Cannavar
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The long trip down under part 7

Today we travel down from Surfers paradise. We start with another full breakfast buffet at the hotel and go out for a quick walk along the shops and the obligatory game of mini golf. We can't go anywhere without the boys asking to play.

Back to the hotel and after a quick check out we pile into our 7 seater and start down the coast. Its driving down this way that you realise just why New South Wales got its name! Sometimes you could have been 12,000 miles away. Its quite weird being so far from home (and you never ever realise how far it is until to travel there) and yet without looking closely at the plants you're driving past you could be driving through the British countryside.

We stop at Bryron bay which the surfers amongst you will know is the place to be for the "hippy" type. There is not much to it and we didn't really take any pictures worth putting up here but it certainly seemed to be the home of about 25% of the worlds remaining VW campers

Next up and further down the the coast is Ballina. Now this is the type of place I would choose to live if we moved over. Its a beautiful seaside town with river beaches and good surf. We stopped at a local motel that was surprisingly spacious and clean with ultra fast broadband! The reason for the night in Ballina was to visit my BILs family who were based here. In the afternoon we went swimming in the river and the boys were animal and fish hunting amongst the rocks.



DS2 finds a crab..



We spent the evening at an RSL club enjoying probably our best meal of the trip. RSL clubs are like ex servicemen clubs in the UK but they are HUGE and very modern. The one in Ballina was recently done up and for very cheap prices they have a great menu. Think Mythos at Islands of adventure and you'll get an idea of the style of food presentation. The dessert area had far too many choices! If you wanted profiteroles you have 16 different fillings to choose from! lol

The next day we went for a long walk out to the head land at the rivers exit. On the way we saw a dolphin heading in towards a beach that had a few bathers and swimmers on. My Sister rushed off in the hope of him still being there but despite slowly swimming along she wasn't quick enough. It was really nice seeing them in the wild and Ballina is a popular and easy place to see them coming inland.

As we reached the surfers out by the headland we saw a teddy bear and a broken surfboard by the side of the path. Turns out that a 15 year old was swimming with his friends just a few months earlier and was taken by a shark. Normally with dolphins around they don't attack but due to certain reasons the dolphins were not in the area and the shark got brave.



The boys with the surfers in the background...









That afternoon after an hour at a local play area that would put ones in the uk to shame we took a JetStar flight back down to Sydney. On arrival I tried to hire a car but found out that every car in the whole of Sydney was hired out. There was nothing at all available. I was given a tip off by one of the main guys that a small local outfit might have one available and they had one left... the most expensive one they hire out obviously! So we headed back to my sisters in a 3.8ltr V6 performance saloon.

Tomorrow its Xmas eve!
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The short hop over the pond trip report
The Long Trip Down Under trip report

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Old 22 Feb 09, 06:23 PM  
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simba
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it looks wonderful, lovely blue water
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Old 22 Feb 09, 09:00 PM  
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Another great report with lovely photos.
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Old 23 Feb 09, 03:34 PM  
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Guest
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Ballina looks lovely, i love the beachside towns and suburbs in OZ. Wish i was back there, reading your report is motivating me to keep saving for my trip back end of this year!
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Old 4 Aug 09, 10:13 PM  
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Fairy+4
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Another fabulous day with amazing photos.
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Old 5 Aug 09, 06:39 PM  
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Tartan Tigger
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Another great report.
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Old 10 Aug 09, 03:02 AM  
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More super photos
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Old 12 Aug 09, 01:14 PM  
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Strommie
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Lovely photos, it sounds like a great place.
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Old 4 Sep 09, 10:54 AM  
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cartoonp
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great report seems you where haveing fun
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Old 4 Sep 09, 06:35 PM  
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roonlou
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All that blue skies and seas, and sunshine - must of been terrible!
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