The night before our flight from Christchurch to Sydney we experienced our first earthquake. We were lying in our sleeping bags, half asleep, when suddenly we felt a strange movement under our mats. It felt a bit like when you travel on a car and you roll over a bump. It was only 4,2 in magnitude, but strong enough to make us certain, that it was time to leave New Zealand.
It was a nice feeling to be back in Australia!
We could again enjoy good coffee and pretty much unrestrained access to nature. It was easy (and free) to find good camping spots, there were no tourists on the roads and the landscape, to our surprise, was as breathtaking as in New Zealand.
We took a road leading to the Blu Mountains National Park, just out of Sydney. It turned out to be way more hilly than we anticipated! The Summer was gone, and we had to find the right balance between summer clothes and wind stopping garment. The weather was surprisingly cold, during many nights we were freezing! In the mornings we used to stay in our sleeping bags until the sun made our tent warm again, so we were not making that much progress after all.
One thing we missed in New Zealand was the wildlife. There were some birds here and there, but it could not be compared to Australia! Mammals and reptiles on every step, birds of all kind!
Me managed to find some fascinating unpaved roads in both New South Wales and Victoria!
We also found ourselves in some pretty impressive lime caves.
And visited the capital of Australia, Canberra.
We were happy to find honesty stalls on small roads, with all sort of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Being Polish we could not resist wild mushrooms growing everywhere! Aussies do not really trust their mushroom-picking skills, so we had them all to ourselves! They tasted great when we fried them!
After a visit to Mount Kosciuszko National Park we took a stunning road leading from Jindabyne to Buchan, called Barry Way.
The road winds through some of the most spectacular, bush covered hills, and passes the border between New South Wales and Victoria.
With almost no cars on the rough but stunning road we felt at home again.
We passed through some old, almost forgotten hamlets and stayed on great (free) campsites, where we could share fire with friendly Aussies. In New Zealand, places like that would be full of young backpackers listening to loud music in their cars! There it was only us and other nature-lovers.
Right before entering Melbourne, we visited the coast. We went with some friends to the Mornington Peninsula, to have a look at old forts scattered along the ocean.
We rolled into Melbourne which we had left 4 months before, with fresh heads and an appetite for some urban life. We needed a break! We decided to look for a place to rent for 2 months, to recover from our adventures and plan our future.