Hill Inlet from helicopter

July 2005

Australia has always been on “Shelley’s Bucket List.” It’s a long flight from the states and requires spending at least a few weeks to do it justice. Then Clifton decided to spend his Junior Year Abroad at UNSW in Sydney. Perfect! He had an incredible experience. And so did we. We decided to “pick him up” at the end of his term. Allan and I flew to Australia via New Zealand. We met Clifton in Cairns. He had just finished a tour of Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks. We stayed at the Sheraton on Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas, the closest mainland point to the amazing Great Barrier Reef, the largest natural wonder on earth, stretching 2,300 kilometers along the Queensland Coast.

We hired a private guide and visited Cape Tribulation, the only place on earth where two UNESCO World Heritage sites meet, Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. We also dove the Great Barrier Reef.

Then we flew to Hamilton Island in the Whitsunday Islands, were we did another dive in the GBR and took a helicopter to Whitehaven Beach.

Next, we flew to Sydney. We checked into the Westin. We spent several days exploring Sydney and Coogee Beach where Clifton lived.

After a several days in Sydney, not nearly enough, we stored our bags at the Westin, and flew to Melbourne to visit Allan’s long lost, but now found, friend, Denny Schwarzs. Amazing story.

Our final destination before returning to Sydney to catch our flight home was Uluru, Ayers Rock. Awe inspiring.

A few favorite photos.

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