AUSTRALIA

THE LAND OF THE UNDISCOVERED, AMAZING 4 WHEEL DRIVE COUNTRYSIDE AND LOTS OF DEADLY ANIMALS

- Route in Beast

- Route in Mini Beast

Welcome to Australia...

The Australian numberplate. Each state has its own number plate.

Northern Territory (Darwin)

Queensland (Cairns and Brisbane)

Victoria (Melbourne)

South Australia (Adelaide)

Tasmania (Hobart)

Australian money, the Dollar. At 2005 exchanges A$2.45 = £1

ANZAC DAY

Anzac day, 25th April, stands for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps and is celebrated as the day that the two countries fought in international wars as their own countries (not under colonial rule)

It is declared as a national holiday and there are marches with big bands and all the local army, navy and air force personnel.

The Deckchair Cinema in Darwin - an outdoor cinema where you can watch arthouse and current films under the stars and on a deckchair

BEAST RELEASE

Perkins shipped the Beast in on the Arafura Endeavour..

.. a 10 day crossing from Singapore into Darwin port.

Getting the Beast into Australia involved 4 visits to customs, organising for quarantine to visit and then when the Beast was finally released to roam down under we had to pay a visit ...

...to the motor vehicle registry office for our MVR test. The test is to ensure that your vehicle is road safe.

The Beauty and the Beast in the Outback

The Beast released we rampaged across the outback across stunning red baked earth roads with irridescent eucalyptus and blue skies

We hit Daly Waters for Alexis's birthday. A substantial meal of pie and beer saw her 29th birthday in.

The Daly Waters pub 520 miles from Darwin with Jono, who introduced himself as a proper Australian

The outback roads stretch on and on off into the distance

A puncture on the road to nowhere

Signs at the side of creeks warn you about the crocodiles lurking in the depths... you then drive through the creeks... just don't stall otherwise you will all be pulling straws to see who wants to wade across the river!

A layer of dust settles on everything from driving on the dusty Australian roads

It is essential that you flush the toilet before you sit down as you never know what lurks beneath the rim....

The Hells Gate Roadhouse has it's own runway, an essential element of rounding up cattle in the outback

Petrol stations are located in towns and roadhouses and in the outback and there is a long way between towns and roadhouses. Jerrycans are an essential part to not getting stranded in the middle of nowhere

Cooking up a storm in the outback

The lads and Bill the owner of the Burke and Wills Roadhouse. Burke and Wills were some ill fated explorers who got very very lost and nearly died crossing Australia. We were quite well revived after our mini tour across the Barkly Tablelands

During the dry season, forest fires are sadly a feature of the northern outback and smoke can be seen rising up into the sky for miles around

The Big Mango.

The Big Prawn. All across Australia there are giant fruits, giant insects, giant crustaceans at the side of the road - a strange antipodean feature!

The Undara Lava tubes - a strange geological anomaly that occured when rivers were flooded with larva and the water evaporated leaving a tube down the middle.

The Atherton Tablelands - the northern part of the Great Dividing Range on the eastern coast, a cool, green, agricultural area with stunning, slightly english looking, scenery rolling off into the distance.

Drive in off licenses with 4 litre boxes of wine costing a mere £4

ROAD TRAINS

Road Trains are an essential connection for the outback to the outside world. They carry everything from petrol to pens, food to animal fodder, cattle to chocolate.

They can be upto 53.5 metres and upto 5 trailers in length and they take over the road when you drive down roads in the outback. If you want to overtake them you need to allow at least 1km just to get past them. They cannot slow down easily so Kangaroos and Emus don't stand a chance. You certainly get out of the way to let them pass!

Jellyfish banish all human life from Australian seashores from November to May. There are six types of jellyfish that can cause agonising pain that float in the waters, teasing surfers. Vinegar is a temporary relief and bottle are located along the beaches. If you are daring enough to swim or dive during that season (summer) then it is advisable to wear a stinger suit

Alexis and Greg went diving off the Whitsunday Islands, the southern part of the Great Barrier Reef. Adriano spent several days sailing around the Islands

MORETON ISLAND

Moreton Island is a strictly 4 wheel drive island as it is only made from deposited sand and is the third largest sand island in the world

We drove straight off the boat and embedded ourselves in the sand with a fast incoming tide.

The Tangalooma Wild Dolphin Resort has encouraged some wild dolphins to pop in every evening for a snack. They also have Kookaburra feeding, Pelican feeding, bush walks and trips to see the Dugongs who laze around munching sea grass off the coast.

Adrian - never one to blow his own trumpet (or didgeridoo) but he is 31!

There have been 15 boats purposefully sunk just off shore to create an artificial reef with fantastically coloured fish darting around along some turtles.

An 1850s ship sunk off Moreton Bay

The guys at M.R. Automotive who helped us out in resolving some more mechanical issues!

Koala bridges dangle over the road to allow these furry marsupials to cross from one section of eucalyptus to another.

Byron Bay a chilled out surfer's paradise

SYDNEY

The Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Opera House

Jenny, Alexis's second cousin and her husband Jim by the Sydney Opera House who very kindly looked after Alexis and Greg during their stay in Sydney.

Georgia and Rosie, Alexis's third cousins

The infamous Bondi Beach (a lot smaller than envisaged)

Australia has a very good litter campaign!

JIMMY STUART

Jim makes unique, individual and Australian shirts. He caters for the larger men of the world with shirts up to size 9XL.

Jim at work in his Jimmy Stuart offices

MELBOURNE

Melbourne has the fourth largest tram network in the world, making the city really easy to negotiate

Federation Square housing bars, cafes and art galleries

Captain James Cook's family home relocated from Great Ayton on the Teeside/Yorkshire border all the way back in old blighty to Fitzroy Gardens. It was moved brick by brick in 1934 and dates from the 1740s.

Captain Cook - responsible for Australians speaking English!

The Fairies Tree with Australian native species decorated on the bark of a 300 year old red gum tree

AUSTRALIAN WILDLIFE

Australian wildlife has developed separately from other continents with marsupials and monotremes only found in Australiasia. Many species were accicentally or intentionally released.

Introduced Cane toads which are slowly taking over everywhere and eating everything in their path and the native tree frogs

Tree frogs and an Ibis

Rainbow Lorikeet

The laid back Australian marsupial, the Kangaroo

The Koala, a furry little marsupial that only eats eucalyptus leaves and then spends the following day trying to recover from the toxins in the eucalyptus with a nice hangover. Never talk to a Koala in the morning!

Wild Cockatoos and the laughing Kookaburras

The saltwater croc - a silent and deadly killer that can swim 3km out to sea or just take you out as you stand at the side of a creek or on the beach

A slumbering wombat. Australia has the top 3 deadliest snakes in the world - the Inland Taipan, the Coastal Taipan and the Common Brown

The Galah - or to you Neighbours watchers - the flaming Galah

A puffer fish (sadly a dead one) washed up on the shore

The Australian Pelican, a strange looking pelican with yellow goggles around its eyes

A possum, tame enough to take bananas from your hand

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