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The "Oz" Australian and New Zealand Odyssey '07/08

Cheers! from Uluru, Dan & Shyla

Cheers! from Uluru
(Ayers Rock) Australia.
In February 2007, after 549 days on the road, Dan and I moved to Australia. We were searching for sunshine and a place to call home... at least for a bit. We picked the Gold Coast and found a wonderful ocean-side flat in Mermaid Beach.

Life in Mermaid Beach revolved around Dan's University. He got a Masters Diploma in Management from CQU. While there he made some wonderful freindships. Dan and I also became friends with our neighbours and some of their friends (like Shane & Lisa). We also found a wonderful New Thought group that centered us each Monday in Mudgeeraba.

While living in the Gold Coast, we thought we would get to see most of Australia. But it is a big country! So during the first year we only saw Sydney (when we first arrived) and Brisbane (where several friends were living so we went many times). As such, when Dan graduated, we decided it was time to see more. We made two trips to New Zealand -- five weeks on the North Island with the highlight being the wedding of our friends Carolyn & Scott. And three weeks on the South Tour as part of the Round Table Mass Tour. Dan also spent a week sailing on the Great Barrier Reef and another week exploring Melbourne.

Still, there was much more to see. So on 21 April 2008, Dan and I turned in our flat keys and began our "AUSTRALIAN ODYSSEY!" We will spend nine weeks driving from the Gold Coast to Perth. We are taking the long way, which means we are going from GC to Adelaide then all the way up the centre to Darwin, before we come down the West Coast. We look forward to seeing such famed places as Coober Pedy, Uluru, Kakadu, and Broome.

We will update this website as we go. So keep checking in to see photos and hear stories. We end our Australian Odyssey in Perth where we will spend some times with Carolyn & Scott (they moved to Perth from Auckland in 2008). Then we are off to Bangkok for a five month Asia Backpacking Bonanza.

Cheers - Dan & Shyla

Where we went

Below is a chart showing places we were able to see while living in this vast country. Our home base is Mermaid Beach -- an area of Gold Coast city. The Gold Coast is on the Queensland / New South Wales border. It boasts year-round sunshine, 35 kilometers (22miles) of sandy beaches, three amusement parks, and a population of 400,000.


Start Date



Seattle, WA U.S.A. 28 Jan 07 --- The Starting Point
Kona, Hawaii (the Big Island) 29 Jan 07 4 days A flight stopover as we await our Australian visas
Hilo, Hawaii (the Big Island) 02 Feb 07 4 days We stay with my fab Uncle Don
Mid-Air 06 Feb 07 Completely lost this day We cross the international date line
Sydney, Australia 07 Feb 07 6 days Stayed with ATC member Jocelyn while car shopping
Port MacQuarie, New South Wales 13 Feb 07 2 days Coastal town mid-way Sydney to Queensland
Broadbeach Waters, The Gold Coast 15 Feb 07 15 days Stayed with ATC member Vickey while apartment shopping
Mermaid Beach, The Gold Coast 02 Mar 07 We get a regular address We move into a beach side flat!!
Lamington National Park, Queensland 16 Apr 07 3 days A wee camping trip
Brisbane, Queensland 25 Jun 07 7 days Checking out the "big city"
Byron Bay, New South Wales 14 Jun 07 2 days Beachside camping with friends Shane & Lisa
Brisbane, Queensland 01 Sep 07 1 day Back to Brissie, this time for an Aussie Rules Football Match
Brisbane, Queensland 04 Dec 07 1 day Due to an early morning flight needed to be in the city -- a good excuse to have dinner with Mel!
Wellington, New Zealand 05 Dec 07 2 days What a wonderful city; the Te Papa museum was amazing and the Macs beer was tasty.
Blenheim, New Zealand 07 Dec 07 3 days Blenheim Ladies Circle hosted us and treated us to several lovely wines
Wanganui, New Zealand 10 Dec 07 3 days We canoed down the Wanganui river -- it was just like Lord of the Rings!
National Park, New Zealand 13 Dec 07 4 days We did the Tongoriro Crossing -- a 17.5km hike
Otorohanga, New Zealand 17 Dec 07 2 days Here we rappelled, rafted, and rock-climbed
Rotorua, New Zealand 19 Dec 07 4 days Dan Chief of the Tourists
Auckland, New Zealand 23 Dec 07 to 07 Jan 08 15 days With the Lesser Clan we celebrated Carolyn's & Scott's wedding, Christmas & New Years
Arlie Beach, Queensland 31 Jan 08 9 days Dan went sailing in the Whitsundays and scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef
Byron Bay, New South Wales 16 Feb 08 2 days Another camping trip with our friends Shane & Lisa
Melbourne, Victoria 20 Feb 08 5 days Dan loved this cosmopolitan city in the south of Oz
Christchurch, New Zealand 04 Mar 08 3 days The Round Table Mass tour began here
Blenheim, New Zealand 07 Mar 08 2 days We went back to Blenheim this time to do the Queen Charlotte Track
Nelson, New Zealand 09 Mar 08 2 days Sheep shearing, caving, salmon fishing and more. Our time here was busy
Franz Joseph Village, New Zealand 11 Mar 08 1 day We saw Shantytown, the Franz Joseph glacier and Mount Cook
Clyde, New Zealand 12 Mar 08 2 Days The Tablers showed us around this wee town and that made our stay quite fun
Queenstown, New Zealand 14 Mar 08 3 days Bungy Jumping and Jet Boating in Lord of the Rings country. Amazing!
Te Anau, New Zealand 17 Mar 08 1 day From here we did a cruise on the Milford Sound
Balclutha, New Zealand 18 Mar 08 1 day We stopped in Gore on the way to try some moonshine then the Balclutha Tablers taught us party games
Oamaru, New Zealand 19 Mar 08 1 day Here we saw blue (fairy) penguins come ashore. It was wonderfully adorable
Timaru, New Zealand 20 Mar 08 1 day We took the long way to get here but the local Tablers really showed us a good time
Christchurch, New Zealand 21 Mar 08 4 days A hangi in Ashburton followed by Easter weekend in Christchurch wrapped up the mass tour
Brisbane, Queensland 29 Mar 08 2 days We returned to Brisbane to say good bye to the friends we had made there
Mudgeeraba, Queensland 20 Apr 08 3 days Have turned in our flat keys and are staying with friends Barry & Shirley. Goodbye Gold Coast
Gunnedah, New South Wales 23 Apr 08 1 day Gunnedah is the "koala capital of the world" although, we only saw one on the motorway
Nyngan, New South Wales 24 Apr 08 1 day Nice campsite and free internet at the town library
Broken Hill, New South Wales 25 Apr 08 2 days Old mining town in the NSW Outback. Went for a nice walk in the desert
Adelaide, South Australia 27 Apr 08 2 days Wine tasting in the Barossa Valley and a walk around town
Port Pirie, South Australia 29 Apr 08 1 day Wine tasting in the Claire Valley then headed North
Coober Pedy, South Australia 30 Apr 08 3 days Opal capital of the world in the desert outback of South Australia. We are camping underground to avoid heat and flies!
Northern Territory Border 03 May 08 1 day Stayed at the lay-by for the Northern Territory / South Australia border
Yulara, Northern Territory 04 May 08 3 days Stayed at the Ayers Rock Resort Campsite and walked around Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas)
Stuart's Well, Northern Territory 07 May 08 1 day Stayed at Jim's Place at the Stuart Well Roadhouse so we could see and hear Dinky the Singing Dingo!
Alice Springs, Northern Territory 08 May 08 3 Days Explored the centre of Australia
Banka Banka, Northern Territory 11 May 08 1 day Today saw the Devil's Marbles
Katerine, Northern Territory 12 May 08 2 days Hiked and canoed the gorge
Kakadu, Northern Territory 14 May 08 1 day Aboriginal art, glorious sunset, hungry crocs, but miserable mozzies
Batchelor, Northern Territory 15 May 08 2 days Litchfield National Park
Darwin, Northern Territory 17 May 08 4 days Lovely city and social Servas hosts
Leliyn, Northern Territory 21 May 08 2 days Edith Falls plunge pools and nice campground
Timber Creek, Northern Territory 23 May 08 1 day Victoria River Cruise (we saw about 15 Salties!)
Halls Creek, Western Australia 24 May 08 1 day Stayed here to break up the long drive across WA
Broome, Western Australia 25 May 08 5 days Beautiful white sand beaches and a campsite overlooking the bay
Bidydanga, Western Australi 30 May 08 4 days We stayed with a lovely teacher in an Aboriginal community
Robe River Lay-by, Western Australia 03 Jun 08 1 day Nice roadside rest area despite the red sand
Coral Bay, Western Australia 04 Jun 08 2 days Snorkeling and fishing right from the beach
Monkey Mia, Western Australia 06 Jun 08 1 day We fed wild dolphins!!
Fowlers Road Camp, Western Australia 07 Jun 08 1 day A secluded campsite on a bay with a zillion stars overhead
Geraldton, Western Australia 08 Jun 08 2 days On the way we visited the COUNTRY of Hutt River Principality, then we took refuge at a hostel during the rains
New Norcia, Western Australia 10 Jun 08 1 day Serenely beautiful Monastic grounds with their own beer & wine, talking to a Benedictine Monk was great fun
Perth, Western Australia 11 Jun 08 13 days We stayed with our friends Carolyn, Scott & Reily Norris

Update thru 23 Jun 08

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