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Summarising New South Wales

So, it's been quite a long time since my last post. I guess when you're living in a van finding wi-fi comes second to finding a shower. Anyway, we've spent the last fortnight making our way through New South Wales and have been to more places than I can count, some more memorable than others. So instead of boring you with all the details, this is going to be a 'Match-of-the-Day' post; just the highlights.

First on the list is, of course, Sydney. We continued our quest to not pay for camping by sleeping on streets in Bondi Beach, and aside from getting woken up by the council telling us to move on our last day, it wasn't a bad choice. The beach is beautiful, there are parks everywhere and the sun never seems to stop shining.

We spent our first night at the ANZ Stadium for one of my personal highlights; South Sydney Roosters vs. Melbourne Storm playing some good ol' rugby league. Since Storm beat the Rhinos in the World Club Challenge I was supporting Sydney, but they lost out to a more powerful Melbourne.

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The following day we hit Sydney's must-see tourist spots; the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. The Opera House is truly stunning in its design, although is much smaller that it looks in pictures! Suitably impressed, we made our way to the Botanical Gardens, where we joined the locals picnicking on the grass.

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Another impressive area was Darling Harbour, which lacks character but not distractions. If you're looking for shops, a cinema, food or even a fairground, it's all there. After a quick wander through Chinatown, we caught the bus back to Bondi and for tea had the best fish and chips outside of England! We then left Sydney and drove to the Blue Mountains, where we made the lovely walk to the Three Sisters at Echo Point. The only downside of the Blue Mountains is that it has been obviously exploited for its tourist earning potential; we preferred Wilsons Promontory.

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We finished off our time in the Sydney region with a day sampling the wineries in Hunter Valley. The countryside is beautiful, and there are so many wineries we were spoilt for choice. Plus with free tastings on offer wherever you go, who could resist?

After visiting a few more small towns along the coast and dropping in at the Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie, we finished our time in New South Wales with a couple of days in Byron Bay. Byron is a hippy haven filled with backpackers, beaches and individual clothing stores, and I loved it. We walked up to Byron's lighthouse, famous as the most easterly point on the Australian mainland, and from the top were lucky enough to see dolphins riding the waves below.

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Our last stop was a short detour inland to Nimbin, a small town with a big reputation. If Byron's residents are hippies, this is where the militants hang out; the main attractions include a 'Hemp Embassy', focusing on the legalisation of cannabis, and Nimbin Museum, which has a painted VW bus in the entrance.

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And so ended our time in New South Wales; the next day saw us crossing the border and driving into the forest of skyscrapers that is the Gold Coast. 'Til next time...

Posted by kate1401 11:52 Archived in Australia Tagged sydney new_south_wales byron_bay blue_mountains hunter_valley Comments (0)

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