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Australia

Ventana arrived in Australia or Oz as it's often referred to, in late October of 2003.  Over the next several years we explored by car south to Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and the offshore Island of Tasmania.  From Canberra we rented a small plane and Rob piloted us into the Snowy river country and out to Adelaide where we picked up friends who live there.  With Mark as our guide we flew into the Outback and visited Wilpena Pound and Arkaroola before returning along the Murray River to Canberra.  We climbed Mt. Kosciusko, the highest mountain on the continent and rode horses near the Snowy River Mountains. 

When not traveling Rob spent his time fixing the boat or flying gyroplanes and Dee made visits to a local Buddhist teaching center.  We also enjoyed the zoos and wildlife sanctuaries and several music festivals.

During the cruising season we sailed north to the Whitsunday Islands where we were visited by Rob's nephew Jon and his friend Max as well as friends from Sydney, Harley and his son Jake.  Later in the year our friend's Frank and Tina made their 3rd visit to join us but this time rather than staying on Ventana they brought their family and chartered a Catamaran of their own.  A week after they departed their sister- in-law Vanessa visited us for a short stay on Ventana as well.  

In May of 2006 we began the loooong sailing trip north from near Brisbane to Darwin on top of the Australian continent.  From here we will depart for Indonesia with the Pacific Ocean behind us and the Indian Ocean ahead.

For one last land trip in Australia we decided to head to Ayers Rock in the Red Center of Australia.  Australia is roughly the size of the U.S. but imagine if you can that there is only 1 medium size town between L.A. and NY.  That would be Alice Springs and nearby is famous Ayers Rock- a giant sandstone monolith that looks like a giant loaf of bread rising from the flat Australian plain. 

For several years Rob had been in email touch with an Australian gyro pilot  who uses his gyro to herd cattle on his cattle station (ranch) and since he was only a few hundred kilometers from Alice a visit there seemed a natural add on to our trip.  Our visit to his 11,000 sq. mile cattle station was to provide our most "dinkie die"  (authentic Australian) experience of our 3 years here. 

Indiana station would be a gigantic ranch anywhere in the U.S. but here in Oz where the big ones are larger than Great Britain at over 300,000 sq. miles, his is average but he has the very good fortune of being only a 4 hour drive to a town, while some stations are 12 hours or more from anywhere. 

After watching Birdy's impressive gyro flying we returned to Alice Springs where Rob had rented a Cessna 172 from the local flying club for our trip to Ayers Rock.  Seeing the Rock and the nearby Olgas from the air and then next day hiking around them was a perfect way to conclude our time in the land down under.

 

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Webmaster- Rob Dubin                             copyright 2003-2006   Rob  Dubin               Page Last updated 05/13/2006