We landed in Australia as the warm sun was rising over Sydney Harbour. It was Wednesday 18th June and this was the first time we had touched down on Aussie soil in 771 days, or 2 years, 1 month and 10 days.
It was also the morning of the second State of Origin game of 2014, a game that Daniel was attending for a friend’s bucks’ night. After we were able to check into our airport hotel early, we slept off the 22 hour flight from London to Sydney.
That afternoon, while Dan went out with the boys, I wandered around Sydney city and caught up with a good friend we met in London and was now living in Sydney. In my bias for all things Queensland, I had forgotten how beautiful Sydney is, soI was grateful for the opportunity to photograph the beautiful harbour and its surrounds during the sunset.
Sadly, the Queensland Maroons lost to the New South Wales Blues in spectacular fashion, but our time in Sydney was not hampered. After a very late night (or an early morning, in Dan’s case) we flew to Brisbane to be greeted at the airport by four very happy parents.
As per my request many weeks before, Daniel’s parents took us out to one of the best steak restaurant’s in Brisbane – Gambaro’s Black Hide. That first bite of Australian Angus steak was incredible!
We had kept our exact arrival date in Brisbane on the down low so that we could spend some much needed catch up time with our families and surprise a very good friend at his place of work. It was a great surprise and we were treated to some delicious coffee and amazing hot chocolate at what is now my favourite coffee joint.
Our three weeks in Brisbane have been truly special.
We caught up with Daniel’s family at Caloundra on the sunshine coast where I had a dip in the cold Queensland water and Dan went fishing. We have caught up on TV and eaten our way through every flavour of Arnott’s Shapes (an Aussie delicacy that is not easily sourced in the UK).
Most recently, we “went bush” for a weekend in northern NSW.
Going bush reminds me of all of the camping holidays that I had with my parents and brothers while I was growing up. Though this time we were “glamping” (glamour camping) with a kitchen, beds and indoor fire at a friend’s property just south of Rathdowney.
So far, the culture shock that I feared has not been too bad… but perhaps it would be worse if I knew we were staying in Australia…
During these past weeks we also completed our visa paperwork that will allow us to live and work in the UK for the next three years.
It is official – London just can’t get rid of us!