Thursday, August 28, 2008

Changing Plans.....Again

I changed our Australia plans again.

This is not the first time I've done this.

I guess it's hard for me to make up my mind about things! There are too many places I want to see in Australia and too many places I want to go back to.

I started doing research and realized/remembered it's a five hour drive from where we wanted to go in the Snowy Mountains to Sydney. But we have to remember for us....people who are not used to driving on the left side of the road....five hours might be more like six or seven hours.

It's not just that. It's also that we're going out of the way. We'd be going to Canberra first because I want to get there on weekdays and not the weekends (so the zoos and museums aren't overcrowded). So, we'd be going to Canberra and having to drive more south to get to the Snowy Mountains. Then we'd have to go up again to Sydney.

I don't have any real emotional attachment or intellectual attachment to the Snowy Mountains. It's not exactly calling to me. So, I thought maybe it would make sense to go somewhere between Canberra and Sydney.

Save us some driving time.

I came up with two ideas and asked Tim what he preferred to do.

1. Stay at a sheep farm in Goulburn, which is between Canberra and Sydney. We'd stay for the weekend and then go to Manly as planned.

I liked the sheep farm idea because it's so Mcleod's Daughters. This place seems to be a real working farm, and not just some bed & breakfast place that has a few animals so people can pet a cow.

Being a vegetarian though...... Will I fit in? Will they hate me because I'm a vegetarian? Will I be too sensitive to how they treat the animals? It's not a factory farm and I'm glad about that. I don't really have that much against regular farms. But I can get sensitive when people yell at animals. Even though I love Tess, Claire, Becky, Jodi, and Meg.....I get a little on edge when they act so cold to the animals. Why can't they ever throw their arms around a sheep and give it a warm hug? Huh?

McLeod's Daughters is the other issue. Would we be total couch potato losers--trying to find our TV show fantasy in real life? Would the people at the sheep station pick up on this fact and laugh at us behind our backs?

2. Spend some time on the coast between Canberra and Sydney. I'm thinking about Wollongong or Shellharbor. If we do this though, it wouldn't make much sense to stay in Manly when we get back. I think it's too much beach time. On our last trip, Jack actually got burned out on the whole beach thing, before we got to Port Stephens, because we had spent so much time at Manly.

I was having second thoughts about Manly anyway. It's still part of Sydney and we've already spend a lot of time there. Do we really need to stay there for five nights? We can always take the ferry when we're staying in Darling Harbor. We can go everyday if we want to.

Tim picked the second option. I guess the sheep station didn't appeal to him--probably because he expects me to open all the gates and let the animals go free. Something like that.

Well, here is what we have so far for our planned holiday.

Two nights in Sydney
Three nights in Tasmania
One night in Sydney.
Four nights in Canberra
Four nights somewhere on the south coast
Seventeen nights in Sydney

Seventeen nights in Sydney. Yeah. There'll be plenty of time to go to Manly.

21 comments:

Mim said...

Have you ever tried to hug a sheep? They so don't do cuddly LOL

We've holidayed in Canberra and done the Snowy Mountains as a day-trip, left after an early breakfast, took the kids down for a day in the snow and were back in time for a not-too-late dinner. It's really quite a quick and easy drive, even easier without the snow on the roads to worry about :)

I'm hoping to book us in for a 2 week camping holiday in January at Merry Beach, the south coast has some lovely places to stay.

Lightening said...

What about somewhere like Bowral (in between Canberra and Sydney). There are a few quaint little towns in that area. Bowral (hope I'm spelling it right) is where Donald Bradman (cricketer) was born.

We did a bit of touring in that area a number of years back and there were some nice historical places as well as some lovely coffee shops etc.

Dina said...

Mim: So, have YOU hugged a sheep before?????? Maybe that will be my new life quest--trying to hug a sheep. My sign will not say "Free Hugs" It will say "Free hugs for sheep only."

How long was the drive for you from Canberra to Snowy Mountains. I just worry because we thought Sydney to Port Stephens would take us 2-3 hours and it ended up taking us MUCH longer than that.

Although a lot of that was trying to navigate Sydney.

Lightening: I'll look into Bowral. It might be somewhere we could stop off on our ride from Sydney to Canberra. Maybe have lunch there. See some historical sites. That would be awesome.

Jack said...

Why Are You Changing Are Plans????

Mim said...

I've had various close encounters with sheep in my time ;-) I studied agriculture at high school and for a while one of our school farm residents was Randy the Ram. He was bloody terrifying, used to charge at anyone who came into his pen. Goats are nicer, they'll even stand still while being milked...sometimes.

Actually hand-raised sheep are perfectly friendly and cuddly, but the ones out in the paddocks on a sheep farm are ornery buggers.

Which brings to mind a very silly film from New Zealand - Black Sheep - it's a zombie sheep romantic comedy and it's hysterically funny.

Mim said...

Oops, missed answering the other question. I can't remember exactly how long the drive from Canberra to the snow took, I think it was almost 3 hours and we had to stop off in Jindabyne to pick up hired snow gear. We arrived in Smiggin Holes (where there was a tobboganing area) at about 11am. So yes, it was a lot of driving to do in one day, but we're a bit crazy like that. Once you've done Sydney to Melbourne or Brisbane in one day a few times a 3 hour trip seems trivial.

Dina said...

Mim,

I will have to see this Black Sheep movie.

Okay, if they can't HUG a sheep, how about a friendly little wave? Blow them a kiss?

I don't know--just some kind of friendly gesture. Maybe even wink at them?

Hey, I'm impressed with your driving! I'm the type of person who complains if the drive is over twenty minutes.

If I'm going to go on a long drive (which for me is anything over 20 minutes) it better be worth it!!!

I also have this thing about daytrips....rarely anything over an hour. Maybe 2, but that's stretching it for me. Over two and it has to be an overnight thing.

What would be worth it? Maybe some affectionate sheep!!!!!!

traceyleigh said...

Ha..I just emailed you about your plans. :-)

You know that night in Sydney after Tassie? I reckon..you should go to Melbourne for that night and then go to Canberra from there either driving or flying...hmmm..I wonder if you could drive to the Snowy from Melbourne and then go on to Canberra? I just think going back to Sydney is pointless for only one night when you could do something else for an additional night down south like wonderful Melbourne!!!!

Lee said...

Lightening is right. Bowral is cool. The whole of the Southern Highlands is worth cruising around. It's bucolic but civilised.

There are loads of good beaches on the South Coast. One memorable one is Pebbly Beach. Kangaroos and wallabies on the beach itself, last time I was there. Weird, but cool weird.

And Manly is definitely day trip stuff, in my opinion.

Dina said...

Tracey,

I think the staying in Sydney one extra night is more about maybe not wanting to drive right after getting off a plane. But we might just do that--go to Canberra a day early.

I thought it might be better to rest a night and then then drive. But that's probably more of a hassle.

I wouldn't mind an extra day in Canberra. Or maybe we can stay in one of those small towns on the way to Canberra.

I'd love to go to Melbourne one day....but not for one day ; ) Maybe spend a week there.

Dina said...

Lee,

Bucolic? I'm going to have to google the definition of that.

Pebbly beach sounds awesome. I think this holiday I need to see some wild kangaroos and/or wallabies. That would be cool.

Tors said...

Why not take a train down to Canberra? I've always wanted to do that... then you wouldn't have to worry about driving on the left and getting lost, etc.

The sheep farm sounds interesting, though.

Dina said...

Tors,

The train might be a good idea. The only problem is then it might be hard to get to the places we want to get to.

I guess it depends on the public transportation in Canberra, and whether we'll be staying close to the attractions or outside of town somewhere.

Are you in Sydney??

Tors said...

No, I live all the way up in Darwin. :) But my husband is from Sydney. Whenever we visit his family, we always make these elaborate plans to take the train down to Canberra and see the sights, but never comes to fruition :(

I know that there are public buses in Canberra. Here's a link to their homepage - they're called ACTION, LOL. :)

Dina said...

Tors,

Thank you for the bus link! Awesome.

We'll look into it. We're probably going to stay at some Holiday Parks. We'll see if the buses stop there.

Darwin...I've heard really bad things about the place (from Bill Bryson) and VERY good things.

Do you like it?

Do you ever go to the Kakadu National Park?

Tors said...

LOL... yeah, Darwin is a place that you either really love or really hate. I love it. :) We lived in Sydney before and it's so very different. You should visit this end of Australia too!

I've only been to Kakadu once. It's HUGE... you really have to stay awhile or take a couple of trips to see it all. And you gotta like camping too. (but my idea of camping is 5-star resort, hehe)

Dina said...

Tors,

I would love to go to Darwin someday!

I've never really been camping before--well, not since childhood. I've been to camps. I can't pee in the woods so I need a toilet.

I don't really like 5 star resorts though either. I need something in the middle : )

Redness said...

Hey Dina, As you know I only just found you. Why not fly into Melbourne, then do Tasmania back to Melbourne, then Canberra (nothing much happens in Canberra plus it's a mongrel to get round down there) and do the 2.5 hour drive to Sydney and finish your trip in Sydney ... you only need a day trip to Manly, everything else is on the eastern Sydney side of the harbour!!
Hope I'm not putting a spanner in your works ... I did 10 days in Tasmania and still didn't see everything it is so beautiful down there!

Dina said...

Redness,

I was about to say that's a great idea. And actually what I forgot is that I had the same idea this weekend and shared it with my mom. She then pointed out to me that we've already bought our airplane tickets and we fly into Sydney.

Can you fly into Melbourne from the United States?? Maybe we'll do that next time. It would have been better. We could have done Melbourne than Tasmania and then maybe fly back to Sydney.

Oh and just to spite you, I'm going to go to Manly EVERY day.

Redness said...

From a girl born and bred in Bondi Beach Manly is a hole seriously ... ask anyone on the Sydney side of the bridge. There's nothing near Manly it doesn't lead to anywhere, when the sea is rough you can't get there by ferry so it takes hours to get across the Harbour Bridge and if the Spit Bridge is open you can add another thirty minutes and at peak time, well forget it ... it's the pits! This is so funny ;) but all TRUE!

Your Melbourne, Tasmania, Sydney idea is a plan ... I'm not sure about US to Melbourne. Flights to Melbourne out of Sydney often start around $50. Qantas, Virgin and International airlines offer 'special' prices, so why not check with your travel agent?? or just do the Google search - did you know you can search Google Australia?

What on earth are you going to do every day in Manly ??? and Please, tell us what is your obsession with the dump ;)

Have you compared Manly sand to Bondi sand ;)

Dina said...

Redness,

LOL. We went to Bondi twice and didn't like it!!!!!

Do you hate me now??