The Best of The Best

Travelling around Australia, Dean and I had the most amazing time, the most incredible adventure and it was, without question, the most extraordinarily exceptional, astonishingly astounding, miraculously marvellous, and wondrously wonderful way to spend our time and our money.

Never in our wildest dreams did we ever believe we’d have the chance to simply drive off into the sunset, and although it would be more than a year before we literally drove directly towards the setting Sun, the position of the Sun had little to do with the enjoyment of where we were heading or where we found ourselves lost.

As our trip officially comes to a close, this remarkable chapter of our lives cannot conclude without a summary of highlights that will remain with us forever.  There is no ‘Photo of the Week’ this week, but there are many wonderful photos included in the following – our Top 10 Moments – a conglomeration of places, activities, and general locations that we consider The Best of The Best from our trip of a lifetime, our amazing adventure travelling around Australia – loving living and laughing all the way.


No 10 – The Caves

From the Jenolan Caves in New South Wales, to the caves in Western Australia’s Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, we were amazed at the age and natural beauty of the limestone crystal formations.  Often the spaces we entered were tight causing my heart rate to quicken, but all in all, this type of caving was easy and I would happily do it again.

Just don’t ask me to go into a cave where you cannot make a hasty retreat.

(You can read more here.)

No 9 – Queensland’s Wet Tropics

This part of our amazing country is where I grew up, where Dean and I met, fell in love and got married and seeing it with older eyes was a treat and we loved visiting parts we’d never seen before.  We especially loved spending time with family and old friends – that felt like a warm hug on a cold winter’s night.

No matter where we roam, this part of Queensland will always be ‘home’.

(You can read more here.)

No 8 – The Grampians

More than just a series of rugged sandstone mountain ranges that rise abruptly from the surrounding Western Plains of Victoria, as I would later find out, the Grampians are the extreme western edge of the Great Dividing Range and a wonderland of walking tracks of all degrees of ease or difficulty.

More so than the bushwalking, the wildflowers were exquisite.

(You can read more here.)

No 7 – Esperance and Cape Le Grand

This part of Western Australia is absolutely beautiful.  The air is clean and crisp, the beaches pristine, the sand so fine and so white, the waters of the Southern Ocean cool and refreshing, and the wildflowers spectacular.  Perhaps this is how it (always) is at the time of year when we were there, but if this is how we perceived the area, are not our perceptions real?

We were so sad the area was devastated by bushfire not 24 hours after we moved on.

(You can read more here.)

No 6 – Nitmiluk and Litchfield National Parks

The wet season in the Northern Territory normally heralds flooding rain and road closures, but even though the rains never came (and all major roads remained open), there had been enough rain that we enjoyed seeing the ‘top end’ blanketed in lush green hues – a rare and precious thing.  Nitmiluk Gorge (Katherine Gorge) and Litchfield National Park were both equally gorgeous.

This is heralded as one of the most spectacular areas of Australia.  I have to say, I agree.

(You can read more here and here.)

No 5 – Cruising Yellow Water Billabong

We were glad we ignored the advice to take a sunset cruise and dragged ourselves out of bed at 4:30 am.  We fumbling our way through the camp ground in the dark, were the first to arrive, and secured front row seats for an amazing two-hour cruise.  Situated in Kakadu National Park, Yellow Water Billabong is Kakadu’s most famous wetland.

I also agree that Kakadu is one of the most spectacular areas of Australia.

(You can read more here.)

No 4 – The Bunda Cliffs

Before crossing the Nullarbor Plain from east to west, we stopped at the Head of the Bight on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsular.  This is where you get your first glimpse of the spectacular Bunda Cliffs.  As you continue west, there are several other viewing areas where you can gaze upon the longest uninterrupted line of sea cliffs in the world.  They are a magnificent, hypnotic, and awe-inspiring sight.

As we stood there I lost count of the number of times we said “Oh WOW!”.

(You can read more here.)

No 3 – Uluru – Kata-Tjuta National Park

After a 30 minute drive to reach the sunrise viewing area near the Kata Tjuta domes, we stood in the weak pre-dawn light waiting for the Sun to arrive and gazed in wide wonder at sandstone and star light together on the horizon.  Despite the flies, despite the rowdy tourists, despite the relentless heat, it was the most wonderful way to start the day that just so happened to be our 29th Wedding Anniversary.

There is definitely something very beautiful and spiritual about visiting the red centre.

(You can read more by starting with The Long Road to Uluru and moving forward.)

No 2 – The Blue Mountains

As a child, Dean had visited the Blue Mountains in New South Wales, but I had only ever dreamed of doing so.  Being there, finally seeing the Three Sisters, was such a wonderful treat.  We stayed in Katoomba and walked up, down, in, around, over and through ever track we could – ok, every track I could physically handle – and over a period of six days Dean almost walked my feet off.

Without question, I’d do it all again in half a heart beat.

(You can read more here.)

No 1 – Everything Tasmanian

I’ve been in love with Tasmania for a very long time.  Long before I booked our passage across Bass Strait, long before we disembarked the ferry, and long before I’d even seen it with my own eyes.  Tasmania is a national treasure – Period!

The parks, the wildlife, the people, the weather, the food, the wine, the raw beauty, the seafood, the – well to be perfectly honest – everything.  Tasmania is every bit as beautiful and spectacular as any Taswegian – person, politician, or paperwork – boasts it is.

I now know we won’t be calling Tasmania home, but one day we’ll go back, retrace our steps, and fall in love all over again.

(You can read more here.)

Our adventure may well be over, but I’m far from finished taking about it.  There are so many photos and moments that never made it to ‘print’ so to speak.  I merely hope you’re not done hearing about it as I continue to share my thoughts on what we did and where we found ourselves lost.

20 Comments

  1. I couldn’t help being amazed as I read through those real quick at how many different climates you visited. What an education! You need to write one of those books like Bill Bryson. Heaven knows you’ve got enough subject matter for one!

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    1. We just kept going Calen – rain, hail or shine. Or perhaps I should say: “Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall!” (Now that sounds like a line from a very good song.) I’ll have to see where my blog takes me and perhaps look into publishing something.

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  2. You certainly packed a lot of wonderful experiences into what will turn out to be a relatively short time in your lives. I think your photos probably more than anything else will help you relive those experiences and remind both of you of little moments you’d otherwise forget…. Don’t sell the van!

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    1. We did Sue and loved every minute of our time away from our ordinary everyday existence. I have so many photos, each one linked to a specific memory of where we were and what we were doing. Treasured snapshots every one. As for not selling the van – we are going to so we can downsize to something that will fit into our new garage – the adventures will continue, just on a smaller scale.

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  3. In the good old days, I would expect you to ask everyone round for a slide night now that the majority of the trip is over (nearly) – with technology being so wonderful it’s right here at out fingertips! So glad we have the opportunity to share such lovely memories – almost instantaneously- thanks for keeping us all in the picture!! So to speak…… D.

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    1. Oh, a good ol’ fashioned slide night – now there’s a thought. Thank you Denise for coming along for the ride and enjoying our journey as much as we did.

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  4. If I could choose only one photo from the set above, it would be Hellfire Bay. Something special about it… Wow! You’re trip is done! It’s been so fun to catch bits and pieces over the last year +. By the way, did you combine your two sites??

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    1. Thank you Hilary, and yes an no. I have decided on one site moving forward – hence Clare’s Cosmos – but I haven’t merged the two together yet. Fun times ahead for me. Helfire Bay was spectacular, and I guess all the more so because we were the only people there.

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        1. When we were there, there were no school holidays, the temperature was still a little cool, and obviously at a time of year when no one else was interested. The peace and tranquillity was amazing. And yes, it is a little isolated.

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  5. Such blissful views, so breathtaking they’re nearly unbelievable, Clare. Congratulations on making it home after this magnificent adventure most of us can only dream of doing. You are my hero.
    My fingers are crossed that you make a new adventure blog of “Building Home Sweet Home.”
    xx

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    1. Thank you for your lovely kind words Shelley. Our adventure around Australia was incredible and we are excited about an our next adventure – building a new home. We hope to be signing a contract with our builder soon and then I’ll be blogging the heck out of it right here for everyone to follow along. 🙂

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    1. Thank you Christy. We loved every minute of our trip and, considering the epic nature of it, I couldn’t resist the urge to share the highlights. Glad you enjoyed reading about the ten highlights that made it to this list.

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