Saturday, 30 January 2016

back to Mainland and bye bye Australia

Dec 15th till Jan 26th 2016

I am already in New Zealand but still want to show you some pics from my trip back to the mainland......

I arrived on Dec. 15th,  at 6am at Port Melbourne...   the "Spirit of Tasmania" brought me safely back.

a brekki at the pier, and then 5km by pushbike to the rental car station..   the next 40 days more or less on the car.  it was time for me to stop travelling on a pushbike, for a while...  the distances are soooo long, and Tassie was really tough, especially with the bloody headwind most of the time.
I met some good friends in Melbourne, then back to Adelaide, visiting my grand aunt , who became 101 on Dec. 20th.....    I spend Christmas and New Years Eve in Adelaide, it was a very busy time.. so many invitations.

and I met Stephanie from Germany again.
2014-2015, Steph rode with her former partner around Australia, on a tandem recumbent, and we met each other 8 times !!! and now the 9th time...yes , Australia can be very small.
together we visited the Mclaren Vale, another terrific wine region, south of Adelaide. I am usually no wine drinker, but there are many micro breweries as well.... perfect for me :-)

After New Years Eve I drove to the famous opal-mining town Coober Pedy. "only" 850km , one way, speedlimit 110 km/h... and on this stretch, from Port Augusta to Coober Pedy very expensive, if the police catches you with speeding....  more than 10-15km/h , ca. 350 AUD plus 500 AUD....     oki doki....  cruise control on 102km/h  ;-)

After so many kilometers by bike and by car  I needed some different exercise.
 I did not feel very well anymore...  Steph was volunteering at "Blazeaid". This organisation is awesome ! helping farmers rebuilding after natural desasters ....  there were big cropfires around Adelaide and destroyed so many properties. I joined this basecamp in Roseworthy (50km north of Adelaide) for three days and it was a great experience. very hard work, 6h a day. : our team of 5 was clearing fences on a length of 3 (twice) and removing trees..: a high team spirit and many thankful farmers !!  big fun :-)
it was time heading off to Sydney, my final destination before I fly to Auckland...
Adelaide to Sydney :ca. 1400km...   compared with Germany: Flensburg (North) to Garmisch-Partenkirchen (South) : 1.020km......

again the stretch Adelaide to Melbourne, but not alone...
I gave Stephanie a lift. she wanted to join another camp from "Blazeaid".
fully loaded car: two bikes, 12 bags :-)  I visited my friends in MEL, Steph her friends and then heading off to Canberra, the capital of Australia...  Steph was on board again,  after 350km  it was time to say "Goodbye" to her ...  perhaps we will see other in New Zealand... big pleasure to meet her so many times .
Canberra ( is not as boring as so many people told me.... interesting locations and museums and very good bikepaths.   I only had 1,5 days, enough time to visit the Parliament, War Memorial and National Museum !

on the way to Sydney I stopped at another cyclists home.  he offered me a bikebox and I picked it up.
In Sydney I stayed at my friends home to do cat-sitting for some days. was great to see all of them again !!  I was very busy with preparation , reducing stuff , packing the bike in the box and all my panniers....  on Jan 26th I got up at 4am, brekkie, cleaning my room, caring for the cats, loading the car. I arrived at 6am at the airport, loaded the trolley, dropped of the car and then check-in, problems with my passport again, problems at the security check..  I made a mistake while packing my cabin luggage, put the wrong bag in the cabin luggage..  plier, wrench and multitool taken by the security.... well, I was relaxed, the officer friendly, my mistake ... their laws, their rules... three times x-ray .
my loss: around 60 AUD..  shit happens... could be worse.
but then on board, because I flew business class (cheaper than economy and adding the bike and luggage) : metal fork and metal knife at lunch....  who will understand this ? 

finally : January 26th, 10:30am... flight Sydney-Auckland with Air New Zealand....

bye bye Australia !! 

after 18 months, over 15.000km by pushbike (28000km in total) , over 10.000km by car and campervan . Australia by pushbike is hard work, mentally and physically especially when you do it on your own... the long distances with nothing in between any settlement/roadhouse, is very challenging, and the wind and wind and wind..... ..

due to the fact that I had a special tourist visa, I was allowed to stay until March 2016, but end of January is the time to visit New Zealand. the number of tourists from Europe becomes less and end of April I plan to be in Alaska......  but this is only a plan ... who knows, what will be next week or in three months ?

well, 1,5 years in Down Under......  what an experience.

I met so many nice people in this beautiful country and I would like to say:

Thank you for your kindness and your great hospitality !

hope we will see each other again... whenever, wherever !

wish you all the best and we keep in touch :-)

Melbourne Flinders Station

Grampians are between Melbourne and Adelaide...

in Kingston SE I met Astrid (2nd from left) and Beat (right) from Switzerland again. we already met each other in Halls Creek and Broome, Western Australia.   they are travelling on a pushbike as well. and surprise surprise...  Erica and Ian from Australia.. I met them already in Willare Bridge Roadhouse / Western Australia.. what an awesome reunion !!

bye bye Asti and Beat, see you in New Zealand !

and on the way to Coober Pedy !

no waste bins ! for ventilation :-)

ready to go underground.

when I left Coober Pedy at 6am I noticed two backpackers walking the petrol station. I knew they wanted to hitchhike.  ...   the day before I already have seen them. I gave them a lift back to Port Augusta and they told me , the day before they waited for 8hrs in the heat without any success. lucky the right guy was a german forest worker on the traditional tramp, the other guy from Argentina....

Blazeaid, what a great experience ! 

Bildunterschrift hinzufügen

Steph and me , collecting bushes...  was bloody hot and windy .

Andy in the middly, our teamleader and Steph on left, Shaun on the right, and the farmers providing us with morning tea .

Bryan, my work mate.

Shaun and me: "mission accomplished" :-)

daily muster ...  all perfectly organised, Wendy the manager of the camp and all the others volunteers make an excellent job !! thanks mates, was great to be a part of your team :-)

visit of an old German cemetary in Nain ( ).
Mat the farmer, has the surname "Materne". and he told us some stories about his ancestors. very interesting.

touchdown Melbourne with a fully loaded car

 on the way to Canberra .......

Canberra !

Parliament House




kind of stones used in the building

Great Hall Tapestry (1984 - 88), Arthur Boyd (artist) and Victorian Tapestry Workshop (interpretation and execution), wool, mercerised cotton and linen weft on a seine warp
Parliament House Art Collection

Australian War Memorial 

John our tour guide...   very nice and gave us an excellent overview.

landing boat at Gallipoli

Lancaster bomber, which was used for bombing Dresden/Germany in WWII.

would like to have this for some offroad trips :-)
Geoff, my private guide...  no one else booked a short guided tour. would recommend it !

this stone is between 53000 and 59000 years old. amazing !

bye bye Australia !! I will come back, but no plan, when :-)