Last weekend on Saturday we ordered our sofa (woo) and went to Balmoral (Beach), which is a fairly short bus ride from the flat. The Queen wasn’t there.

Then, on Sunday, we took a trip down south to Wollongong. We met up with my friend from Uni, Toby, and his girlfriend Kendall. They took us on an excellent guided tour of the area, mainly around the countryside as we were keen to get out of the city. The train trip was 1.5 hours, and only cost $11 each – bargain!

First off we went in the soft top (grin) up a wiggly mountain road. The temperature dropped from about 25 to a relatively chilly 16-17 (don’t worry, I don’t expect any sympathy). The area is known as the Southern Highlands, and looked a fair bit like South Wales – lots of rolling hills, forests and cows.

Fitzroy Panorama

Fitzroy Panorama

We parked up and did a walk around an area called Fitzroy Falls. The view was stunning. There was a cliff ridge / break (I’m not sure of the proper technical word) which we walked around the top of. The falls went over the end, down a loooong way, surrounding by trees and bush as far as you can see. We were pretty sure there were Hobbit’s down the bottom – but it would have been pretty hard to go and check. I guess the scale of the bush is even more impressive when you get properly out into the remote bits of the country, so I’m looking forward to seeing that.

Fitzroy Falls

Fitzroy Falls

After the walk we went for a drive back down into the valley (it warmed up again) and had a good pub lunch in a place called Jamberoo. Being St Patrick’s day we had some pretty traditional Irish food, listened to a band in the sunshine in the beer garden. I had pie – yum. Matt got a pint of Guinness. Over here beer mainly comes in schooners (285ml), which are less than a pint, so getting an actual pint is pretty exciting!

In Australia there is a bit of a trend for ‘big stuff’. Some towns and cities have big things as landmarks. We went past Robertson, which is home of the giant …..potato! It’s a pretty weird landmark, and gets more points for obscurity and humour than historical interest. There’s no detailed explanatory sign, just a tourist sign with some actual potatoes stuck on it, that people have drawn faces on. We guess Robertson used to be home to lots of potato farms. It would have made me crave a baked potato (as I miss them here), but luckily for my stomach it was still full of pie!

The Robertson Giant Potato

The Robertson Giant Potato

After the excitement of the potato, we went down to the coast to a place called Kiama. It was incredibly windy which made for good (if slightly damp and salty) viewing conditions at the Blow Hole. It made a pretty cool boomy noise too. None of my pictures do it justice I’m afraid.

After the blow hole we got ice creams (mango plus double chocolate for me, white chocolate and raspberry plus old English toffee for Matt). They were goooood. We ate them so quickly I didn’t even think about a picture. Next, we went to a place with 360 degree views around the area, with beaches that went on for miles – but not quite the 10,500 miles to London. To round off the trip we went for a walk in Woolongong by the Harbour and along some of the beach. Its a lot quieter than the Sydney beaches and looked pretty nice if it wasn’t for the wind!

It was an excellent day out – we need to save up for a car so we can go on lots of other mini adventures out of the city too!

Thanks Toby 🙂


  1. No worries, anytime! Great photos. You might want to check the spelling of errrm Wollongong though 😀

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