Day 171: From New Zealand To Australia

Thurs. 31st January 2013

Goodbye NZIt is now time to sensibly repack our backpacks ready to fly. For the last month we have been firstly spread out in the campervan and then in the car. All food needs to be eaten as it cannot be taken into Australia and everything else needs to be packed in the backpacks or hand baggage. We squeezed it all in but the scales at the airport registered over 20kg for each of our bags and heavy stickers were duly attached. Once we get to Australia the two bottles of wine will go as they are gifts for Myf who is kindly letting us stay with her. We also intend sending our next stash of fridge magnets and Spanish books to my sister (sorry Sheila – just add them to our box of post!)

Hello AustraliaWe are again grateful for our decision to purchase business class RTW tickets and allow ourselves a bit of luxury and tuck into the fizz in the Qantas lounge and on the plane. No time for the film on the plane (cannot remember what it was so we did not miss much) as we are behind with the blog after the enjoyable evening in Auckland with Dan and Naell yesterday. It seemed in no time at all we were crossing the coast of Australia – straight for as far as we could see. The clouds soon obscured our view as the predicted rain seemed on its way.

On checking arrival time it showed we were due to land early, putting Myf into a panic, but she was there in time to meet us coming through the bio check at Melbourne airport. We had to declare that we had been walking in the wilderness and on a farm – well is that not what NZ is? and Hobbiton is certainly set on a farm. Luckily our confirmation that we had washed our walking boots was enough to get us through without unpacking our bags. I could have also told them that NZ had checked to confirm I was not carrying any explosives!

View from Myf's balconyThe drive into Melbourne was like most city approaches with multilane motorways. The views were impressive as we approached the Docklands area and the views from Myf’s apartment over the water are spectacular. We sat out with a cup of tea admiring the view and watching the grey weather front move closer, and were only forced inside when the rain started to be blow onto the sheltered balcony. We did feel sorry for the Dragonboats out on the water practicing in the pouring rain.

Cow in a tree sculptureThe weather did not let up all evening as we dashed to a local bar and sit by a fire having a bite to eat and trying out the local beer. Our route took us past the first of many odd sculptures which are scattered around the city and wait for it, it is called Cow In A Tree! The city life of Melbourne is a complete contrast of the laid back life in rural New Zealand. However, the rain does seem to be following us around as apparently it was a lovely hot sunny evening 24 hours earlier.

The date today does remind me that every year for longer than I care to remember it has been governed by the Tax Return submission deadline and I do have a thought for those back home still battling with it and hope that they can sleep easy tonight with all returns done for those who wish them done.

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