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Summary

To summarise on our Australian Holiday.  We have had a fantastic time, driven in total 8847 kilometres during our stay in Australia which is 5529 miles but we didn’t feel as though we had driven that much because it’s all so easy.  We have been on a fishing boat, ferry, river cruiser plus crocodile cruise, helicopter, white water raft, diesel and steam train, plane, cable car, mono rail, swam in the sea, swan in water holes, barbecued on the beach, had a sunset dinner in the desert, climbed mountains, clambered over rocks in chasms, walked up creeks and gorges, visited a vineyard,  an Art Gallery and Aboriginal Art Sites, watched the Fairy Penguins come back to their nests, driven along gravel roads and around Ayers Rock, driven the Great Ocean Road, climbed Sydney Bridge and done Hot Air Ballooning; and of course lots of shopping and drinking wine!!!  My final photo album is a selection of memories.

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Update 12th March Leaving Australia

 Our last day, so sad.  We have really enjoyed ourselves, but not yet finished, we went to the shops, I bought a book and Julia bought some shoes.   A last visit to the Internet Café and then we went to a café beside the sea at  Mooloolaba as I particularly wanted a Smoothie, it was absolutely delicious.  A leisurely drive to Brisbane to return the car and onwards to check in hoping we were not too overweight with our luggage.   

Left Brisbane without any fuss and stopped at Singapore for an hour and then on to Dubai.  Then the problems started – whilst waiting for our flight to Heathrow we had three hours to spare so popped into the Duty Free, kept looking at the Departure Board but no sign of our flight, for which we had boarding cards.  Eventually an hour and a half before the flight enquired and was told that it has been cancelled.  Just couldn’t believe it, no information, no cancellation details or notices etc.  Unknown to us there had been problems at the airport, a plane had crashed on the runway and the airport was closed for 6 hours.  This caused chaos and several flights were cancelled.  We were told to go to the Transfer Desk but getting there discovered that there were literally hundreds of people in a mass trying to get tickets changed.  I queued for a couple of hours to no avail, we were told that people had been queuing for 10 hours to get a ticket.  Just not good enough we thought and Julia and a few other people eventually pounced on an Emirate employee she wasn’t any help. Went to the Business Lounge and was told we could upgrade but that there were no seats available until the next day.   Julia then asked a customs/security guard what to do and gave a good sob story, she was directed to another Emirate office and queued for an hour to finally get a ticket for the next plane out of Dubai 6 hours later, an absolute relief and so lucky because other passengers were still queuing and I have no idea how a whole plane load got back to England, we could see we would have to be at the Airport for at least 3 days if we hadn’t persevered.  When we arrived at Heathrow our luggage wasn’t on the conveyer belt but discovered a stack of at least 200 bags and found our luggage amongst them.

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Update 11th March Maroochydore to Wurtulla

Went to see our cousin Vera and Norman at Wurtulla and stayed for lunch.  Looked over old photographs.  We then went back to Mooloolaba, did a little shopping and sunbathed on the beach.  Went out in the evening to the Maroochydore Surf Club. 
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Update 10th March Leslie Dam Family Get Together

Left Yarran with Cousin Prim, Stuart and Stephanie to meet more cousins at Leslie Dam mid morning.  We met second cousins Heather and Jim plus Geoff and Helen.  We all had a picnic and caught up on family history – a very pleasant time and it was good to meet long lost cousins for the first time.  We eventually disbanded mid afternoon and set off for Maroochydore via a scenic route through glorious and wonderful countryside. All in all we had a very pleasant two days with our cousins, well worth the trip and it was certainly good to see a taste of Australian outback.  We were made very welcome.
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Update 9th March Yarran Inglewood Area

We were taken to see the grave of our Aunt and Uncle on land nearby, where Prim used to live, having to go over a creek in a Ute to get to it. A pleasant drive and nice to see the area where our Aunt and Uncle lived.  Back to Yarran for lunch and then we took a walk around the property, to the Grave of Prim’s husband and the sheep shearing shed.  We also took the dogs for a walk to the Dam, which is the water supply for the garden.  Rain water tanks supply all the water for the property.  Stuart and Stephanie came over for supper.  Had a very relaxing day catching up on family history, Prim who is 80 this year is a delightful lady and is still a judge for Horse Dressage.
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Update 8th March Maroochydore to Yarran

Left our apartment for our trip to see our cousins at Inglewood, West of Brisbane right into the outback.  A long trip taking about 6 hours, making a few stops on the way.  Met Stuart, cousin Prim’s son and Stephanie at “Langley”, a sheep station, who took us to Cousin Prim’s property which is up a 16k dirt track.  Her property stands on 5,000 acres of ground, which used to run sheep, and has glorious views, very quiet and peaceful.  Her nearest neighbour being 5kms away.  A delightful property with a very well cared for garden. 
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