Australia

MELBOURNE

The Ashes and ODIs @ The MCG

The view for the Boxing Day Test. My first Ashes (and test cricket) outing was an abject failure, but at least I was there for a moment of history, that being England’s worst display of the tour according to some pundits.

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The ODI didn’t buck any trends…

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So in desperate times you turn to the crowd for sources of entertainment…

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The Royal Botanical Gardens

The Bamboo Garden – an extremely meditative place where it’s easy to spend hours just listening to the bamboo squeakin’ and a creakin’.

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The War On Drugs @ Northcote Social Club

I absolutely love this band, not only for giving the world Kurt Vile but for continuing to be who they are today – effortless, riff-laden psych-groove shoegaziness. Dylan and The Boss fans may take a liking. When I saw they were playing Melbourne whilst I was there, well, that’s what they call destiny isn’t it? Find five minutes, stick some headphones on and soak it in.

 

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NYE

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ORBOST & MARLO

Orbost is a quiet town where you encounter Red-Bellied Black Snakes making untimely entrances to the bakery you’re working in. (A like of this page would be most welcome).

Marlo is Victoria’s hidden secret, backing sand dunes onto the ferocious Bass Straight. An amazing coastline.

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SYDNEY

Landmarks by day…

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…and by twilight.

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Hunter Valley Wine Tour

Two out of the five winery visits taking place before midday = sleepy ride home.

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PORT MACQUARIE

A short 386km hop from Sydney is Port Macquarie, a town named after a Scottish army officer who Governed New South Wales in the early 1800s and home to NSW’s bodyboarding community. You’ll find the name Macquarie popping up across the state – many roads and significant locations are named after him and his wife. The photos above of Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House were taken from Macquarie Point.

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MOUNT TAMBORINE

There’s an abundance of quality national parks though, waterfalls to go with them, wildlife to go with the waterfalls (signs advising you not to disturb the snakes and instead just ‘walk around them’) and friendly, local Southern Leaf-tailed geckos lurking on logs. The fact that it’s been a good 5 degrees cooler up here on daily basis is an added bonus too.

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