First things first…What a wonderful country Australia is! Despite the 18 page visa application and required x-rays and fees, once you do what they ask it is an incredible easy country to enter.
Even though on the eve of setting off for Australia things looked a little bleak, i.e. we were informed by our budget airline, Jetstar, that our flight out of Honolulu was going to be at least five hours late. That was the last negative whisper we heard on our trip to down under. The five hour delay allowed us to be able to get up at a reasonable hour. Though I was admittedly nervous about our upcoming nine and a half hour flight on a “budget” airline, our travel luck continued to hold. We ended up boarding a beautiful Dreamliner aircraft where I was able to enjoy four full length feature movies in a surprisingly comfortable seat. The flight attendants could have used an injection of personality and happiness; I am sure they had their reasons to be so mute. Perhaps it was the bleak quality of the food they were serving us that we had pre ordered for the flight. But really, in the overall scope of things we had paid $750US ($950CDN) with no grief whatsoever for luggage weights as opposed to paying $1600US for a seat on other airlines. As an added bonus, for whatever reason the pilots laid on the gas and managed to cut an entire hour off of our travel time to Brisbane. I have no complaints with our flight with Jetstar.
Admittedly arriving in a new country can be a little stressful, not for us. We were incredibly fortunate to have an excellent Canadian friend who now lives in Aus pick us up at the airport and deliver us to our other long time friends who now live in the same area. Small world.
I would like to reiterate again, I love this country!
In our first few days here we have had the honour of being toured around some of the local sights on the outskirts of Brisbane by our friends.
Not being a big music fan I had no idea that the community of Redcliffe has the coolest lane just off the waterfront where you can learn as much as you would like about the Bee Gees. Apparently their family moved to Redcliffe when they were very young and they spent their formative years there.
Learning this bit of modern history and basking in the incredibly wonderful hot Australian sun was the perfect way to overcome whatever small amount of jet lag we may have been suffering.
We also have already had a chance to see some of the interesting wildlife we had heard so much about. The White Ibis below did not seem to be bothered in the least to be surrounded by hundreds of Flying Fox bats in a nearby public park.
Within days of our arrival Karen and I started our first house sitting job in Australia. We are comfortably set up with our charge, Bentley, enjoying the idyllic life of leisure along the coast of Brisbane.
Between the first class pathways, incredible free shore front facilities and fantastic transit system we are having to shake our heads that things can actually be this good somewhere.
I look forward in the coming posts to sharing some of our experiences of starting to fit in and settle into life in this amazing country. The locals in the markets and businesses have been nothing but wonderfully helpful and welcoming of us and we look forward to continue meeting more interesting people here.
G’Day Australia, and thank you for having us.