08. March 2014 · 2 comments · Categories: Guest post · Tags: ,

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When our friends Phil and Rhiannon visited, we came up with a new idea – guest blog posts! Rather than us doing all the work, we figured we could get our guests to write a bit about their trips to Australia and stays with us. Not only does it save us a job, it adds some variety for you and promotes tourism!

So, here is our first guest blog post from Phil and Rhainnon

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Name(s): Phil and Rhiannon

Home: Godalming, England

How do you know Matt and Elly: Originally from the University of Surrey Canoe Club

When did you visit and how long for:  We visited Australia from the 16th Nov 2013 but we arrived at Matt and Ellys on the 26th. We stayed in Sydney for 3.5 days and then Matt and Elly joined us for a further 4.5 days exploring Melbourne, the Grampians and the Great Ocean Road.

Have you been to Sydney before? No

Have you been to Australia before? No

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We were already planning to go to Australia when we found out that Matt and Elly were considering the move, so we may have been one of the few people looking forwards to them heading out there.  We quickly arranged our visit once their jobs and leaving date had been sorted.

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As this trip wasn’t solely to see Matt and Elly, we started off in Port Douglas where we visited the Great Barrier Reef (amazing) and Daintree, the world oldest Rainforest (also very very good, and we got to see a wild crocodile). We then got the train to Airlie Beach for the Whitsunday Islands and whilst no cheaper than flying and slower the break from the airport was nice and the opportunity to see the scenery meant we got to see, albeit briefly, a lot more of Oz. Airlie Beach and Hamilton Island were lovely. Firstly we went sea kayaking and came back engaged(!), then we had a failed sailing trip when the other clients found their sea legs were really rather nonexistent (but did briefly see ex canoe club member Tris) and then had a couple of lovely days at a resort, enjoying the facilities, exploring and going out to visit Whitehaven beach. 98% silica, very clean, white, uniform, 7km long and squeaky – definitely worth a visit!

 

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Next we arrived in Sydney. We found a very reasonable tour and host rate of two large jars of Marmite and lots of Dairy Milk. Unsurprisingly we did a number of the main attractions starting with the harbor bar, eating some kangaroo and emu pizza, getting a ferry to Watsons bay, walking over (although not up) the Harbour Bridge, visiting Hyde Park, eating some Nitrogen Gelato, visiting Bondi and going walking in the Blue Mountains.

Melbourne followed Sydney but we arrived there in a very roundabout way travelling first along the Great Ocean Road and through/around the Grampians. I don’t want to go into too greater detail to our Melbourne travels as I want to leave Elly and Matt something to blog about but I thought that Koalas were easier to spot than I imagined, ‘The Grotto’ on the GOR was unexpectedly good, the Grampians were very hot, Crazy Golf was not to be and that the King Kong puppet (in the theatre story of the same name) was outstanding but the story needed a happy ending!

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Verdict:  8/10   Definitely go and visit – there is something for everyone and of course, Matt and Elly to see, – but when people tell you that food is expensive, imagine it as expensive and multiply it by another 1.5! It would be almost perfect if it was British Countryside sort of green and also a little bit closer to get to…

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