Australia Travel Stories

Uluru (or formerly Ayers Rock)
Welcome to the Australia Travel Stories. You can read stories about our waterfall hunt "down under." We hope you'll find these stories entertaining and educational. Perhaps you might get a good laugh at our expense, or you might find some nuggets that you can apply to your own travels.

Thumb through the travel stories below. They are arranged chronologically with the most recent escapade at the top. Enjoy :)

The rugged coastline of the Tasman Peninsula (24-November 2017 to 3-December 2017)
Connecting The Dots
: ...just when I was about to check the handheld GPS for reception and to see how close I was to the car park, I saw underneath the rain poncho that only the attached battery cover was in my hip pouch! The rest of the GPS unit was missing! With all the rain, I was worried that the exposed unit and batteries might be shorting out. But I was also cursing at my luck for it was as if somehow the battery lid was detached as the screw was turned the right way and released! Most of the time, I had trouble trying to do that on my own will, but here Murphy decided to let it happen most likely when I was trail running the downhill. So now I had to hike back up the long incline until I found the GPS. And I was dropping F-bombs to no one in particular as I was doing this... [read more]

The Twelve Apostles and sea mist (8-November 2017 to 23-November 2017)
: On our way back up, we spoke with a couple of the locals who started a conversation with us about our experience here. It turned out that one lady was very old and she actually wanted to go down the steps to get closer to the falls. I wasn't sure if she was going to make it or not since we was walking with a stick to help with her balance. The elderly lady told us that she was from Kangaroo Island, which she was excited to hear that we had been there earlier on our trip. She also said that a psychic told her that she was a Native American in a past life, and that a hole scar on her neck was because she was shot there in her past life. Anyways, the conversation ran its course, and so we returned to the car at 2:55pm. Just when Julie was about to get into the car after using the restrooms here, she smelled something burning. At first, I thought it was something with the car. But she said it was more like a fire smell, and when all of the sudden we saw lots of smoke coming out of a house right across the street... [read more]

Great Barrier Reef (15-May 2008 to 21-May 2008)
Nemo Found
: Now my head was really hurting at this point. I didn't want to get out of the water because the scenery down here was as close to the Discovery Channel as I had ever seen in real life. And who knew when we'd return to Australia's Great Barrier Reef? So I was determined to use up our underwater camera shots before retreating to the pontoon. At some points, I felt like I wanted to hurl. I never knew that I could ever be seasick snorkeling... [read more]

Whitsunday Island (10-May 2008 to 14-May 2008)
Disappointing Deja Vu
: Unfortunately, JC Slaughter Falls was bone dry! I knew it was a bad sign when we didn't hear any water in the neighboring creeks. I guess it wasn't meant to be despite there being heavy rains and floods during the Australian summer. Indeed, it was reminiscent of that feeling we got going to a dry waterfall in Victoria two years ago... [read more]

The beach at Coffs Harbour (4-May 2008 to 9-May 2008)
Bad Shortcut
: Julie and I were nervous. Clearly darkness had fallen by now. The kangaroos and wallabies (who knows what else was out there?) seemingly conspired to jump right in front of our vehicle. There was no one else on the unsealed road weaving through this eerie forest. And that sinking feeling of our fear of kangaroos so familiar from the near misses back in Western Australia's Outback two years ago started creeping in. Even though we're committed on our path, I couldn't shake the thought that I had made a mistake and now it might cost us... [read more]

The Tasmanian Peninsula (28-November 2006 to 30-November 2006)
The Home Stretch
: I couldn't tell if I was dreaming or subconsciously hearing the relentless rain from last night. But when we checked out of Queenstown and proceeded to drive further uphill and east out of town, we were excited to see something we didn't expect to see given the unusually dry weather on this trip - a waterfall! Surely I must not have been dreaming last night... [read more]

A Tasmanian Devil (26-November 2006 to 27-November 2006)
A Devil of a Time at Cradle Valley
: Since Julie and I had some time to kill, we thought we could check out the Devils at Cradle refuge facility. I was anxious to see these endangered creatures as was Julie. Both of us knew they would look nothing like the WB's whirling dervish Tasmanian Devil. And when we paid our tour fee to enter the facility, our hearts instantly opened up at the first sight of them... [read more]

The Cataract Gorge at twilight (24-November 2006 to 25-November 2006)
Unforgettable Twilight Sight
: Remembering what the waitress told us about something going on in the Cataract Gorge, this got both Julie and I interested in exploring the gorge further. Besides, we had to work off the food we had just eaten. So as we proceeded to cross the King's Bridge and entered the entirely paved walk, we basked in the fading light of the day. The incredible views of the gorge with houses perched high above easily made this the most scenic developed river/gorge walk I had ever been a part of, I reckoned. The steep gorge and developed track really seemed like a strange combination, but it added to the mystique of the place. We could certainly feel something was going on this night. Families were walking back and forth in both directions - not at all concerned about the coming darkness nor any safety or potential for crime. Julie and I heard music echoing faintly in the background. It beckoned us closer as if everyone was heading towards some spooky outdoor gathering. Of course we were curious to see what the source of the music was so we kept on walking further into the gorge... [read more]

Hobart (22-November 2006 to 23-November 2006)
A Thanksgiving Leeching
: Julie and I were relieved at seeing the car. After strong winds throughout the excursion threatened to fell more trees, I was relieved to at least see our car was still in one piece and our path out of here wasn't blocked at least as far as I can see. There was still another matter of getting back to the Hastings Caves at least, but we'd worry about that when we started driving out of here. So with our aching bodies surviving at least this grueling 4.5-hour muddy scramble and hike, we took off our wet and smelly boots and proceeded to unzip the lower leg portions of our pants which were colored with dark mud. Just as I unzipped the first leg, a black splotch landed on the pants and a pair of entry wounds on my shin were slowly bleeding. "Honey! Look at this!" I said with half amazement and half fear... [read more]

The Adelaide CBD (20-November 2006 to 21-November 2006)
: As Julie and I were about to take our seats on the Qantas flight to Adelaide, I proceeded to put our day packs into the overhead locker when something didn't feel right when it came time to take my last piece of equipment. "Where's my camera?" I said startingly to Julie. She gasped. "Oh no! Did you leave it at the security checkpoint?" she asked. "That's quite possible." I said. So I wasted no time to squeeze my way back to the front of the plane when I was stopped by one of the flight attendants welcoming the passengers on board... [read more]

Looking down the Yarra in the Melbourne CBD at night (18-November 2006 to 19-November 2006)
Disappointment, Protests, and Family
: Both of us hadn't eaten all morning and we were eager to try some Singapore food for lunch at a restaurant we had noticed on Bourke Street earlier on the trip. But the moment we left the hotel, there were hordes of people parading before us on Swanson Street before turning left onto Bourke Street. There were people with bull horns and signs denouncing the G20 summit (a gathering of some of the richest and most influential world figures driving world economic policies) and demanding an end to poverty. We were still hungry and the Singapore restaurant Julie wanted to try out was on the other side of the parade. So both of us waited and wandered as we looked for a way to get across... [read more]

The Twelve Apostles with sun beams shining towards them (15-November 2006 to 17-November 2006)
Wild Weather in November
: Julie wasn't too crazy about the weather as she had hoped to see the long awaited Twelve Apostles without this cold, Antarctic storm being blasted our way. As a matter of fact, when we passed through some of the dark menacing squalls, the rain was so intense that it produced hail. The fallen ice managed to chip the windshield of our rental car. I sure hoped we weren't going to get charged for this. Triple J Radio also mentioned that there was snow in Queensland. "Wasn't that state supposed to be tropical like Florida?" I asked myself. This was like saying there was snow in Florida in the month of May... [read more]

The fire-scarred landscape of the Grampians (13-November 2006 to 14-November 2006)
A Victoria Bitter Experience
: The day had begun with a disappointing Trentham Falls as it barely had any flow over its impressive basalt cliff. Then, we had difficulty finding Sailors Falls because it had been bone dry and silent. When we got to the Grampians, we couldn't see Kalymna Falls (not that we expected it to flow anyways given how brown and barren everything was) due to closure as well as other Grampians waterfalls such as Splitters, Clematis, and Turret Falls. These two days in Western Victoria were indeed turning out to be a bitter experience indeed. But as we continued south towards the town of Hamilton, I had my sights set on seeing both Wannon and Nigretta Falls as they were on the Wannon River. Surely they must be flowing since they're on rivers, right? [read more]

Agnes Falls (10-November 2006 to 12-November 2006)
Christmas in November
: As we drove towards the Melbourne CBD looking for our hotel amidst the heavy traffic, we were dismayed to find that the street we were supposed to take had closed. But that was ok, we thought. We could take the next street. But when the next street came around, it too was closed. Then the next street and the next. What was going on? Eventually we were able to make a right turn but not before we were back outside the CBD. Eventually, I found street parking a couple of blocks away from where our hotel was supposed to be. At that point, I waited in the car to avoid having to pay for the parking while Julie walked alone to find the hotel... [read more]

The Parliament House in Canberra (7-November 2006 to 9-November 2006)
Waterfall Surprises and the Melbourne Cup
: As Julie and I strolled around the CBD of Canberra looking for a place to eat, we couldn't quite figure out why so many people were dressed to impress. Complicating the scene was the menacing skies relentlessly dumping its rain. I was amused watching people either taking shelter or allowing their clothes to get drenched. Julie policed me as she kept pinching me painfully every time some attractive well-dressed lady in stilettos would walk by as if to ensure I didn't have wandering eyes... [read more]

The Sydney Opera House (3-November 2006 to 6-November 2006)
Feeling Blue in the Blue Mountains
: Sometimes you get a little more than what you've bargained for. And it appeared to be the case here. While I welcomed the rain to enhance our waterfall viewing in the face of Australia's worst drought, the bitter cold and low clouds reduced the expansive Blue Mountains vistas to nothing more than an oppressive blanket of fog. And so we were certainly feeling blue as it seemed the weather wouldn't let up as long as we were there... [read more]

Sunset at Cottesloe Beach in Perth, WA (17-June 2006 to 22-June 2006)
A Roo'd Encounter
: After being passed by another driver and with the sun finally uncovering the veil of the winter darkness, I decided that perhaps we were getting close enough to Perth that I could go a little faster than the 20-below-the-speed-limit rate we were going. While my thoughts were on the task ahead as we had planned to see at least three waterfalls around the city's suburbs, I increased the cruise control to 100km/h, which was still less than the 110km/h. Suddenly... [read more]

Sunset at Coral Bay (10-June 2006 to 16-June 2006)
Something in the Middle of Nothing
: Still, we didn't know what it was nor did we know if it was life threatening. So once we got into the visitor center, Julie asked the Aboriginal woman behind the cashier if she had ever seen this before. Julie then had me lift up my shirt and I turned my back towards them. Their soured faces and surprised reaction was not exactly reassuring...[read more]

The Bungle Bungles in Purnululu National Park, WA (8-June 2006 to 9-June 2006)
The Bungle Bungle Bumble
: As the helicopter landed, Julie and I gave each other a very confused and puzzled look. We weren't sure what had happened, but the sinking feeling of being ripped off and not being able to see what we intended to see was foremost on my mind... [read more]

Sunset at Mindile Beach (3-June 2006 to 7-June 2006)
No 4WD Access
: As we checked into the Gagadju Cooinda Lodge, the first thing on my mind was the condition of the road leading to Jim Jim Falls. So we had the receptionist call Lords Safaris and sure enough, they confirmed that the road was closed. The receptionist then told us that they would substitute the Jim Jim Falls/Twin Falls excursion with a trip out to Gunlom Falls. Julie and I knew this was unacceptable since we had just driven there ourselves... [read more]

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