February 28, 2017 (day 3,561)
Quick Fix: Muswellbrook, New South Wales

Balancing Boulders
In the middle of a cow field just off the New England Highway and outside the sleepy town of Stonehenge, population 217, rests a cluster of smooth granite boulders that seem entirely out-of-place in the green meadows. At first sight they appear like giant fossilized marbles that have rolled down through the Great Dividing Range and gathered in the Northern Tablelands. We spotted this natural marvel today purely by chance while driving south towards the Blue Mountains, and between tropical rain showers stretched our legs to take a look. One boulder in particular is perched impressively on a narrow base waiting for a strong gust of wind to send it tumbling down the hill after an unfortunate cow like a scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Tomorrow we head further south into Wollemi and Yengo National Parks, and who knows what natural wonders we will discover there.

             


February 28, 2017     |     Deep in the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales.



February 27, 2017     |     Cape Byron Lighthouse - the eastern edge of Australia.






February 27, 2017 (day 3,560)
Quick Fix: Brunswick Heads, New South Wales

A Great Trip So Far
We've only been on the road six days and already we've sighted nine kangaroos and perhaps the world's biggest banana. We've driven up the Pacific Highway to Byron Bay, the most eastern edge of this great continent, and yesterday friends Lewis and Gaye drove us inland to Nimbin, a multi-colored frontier town over 1,300 feet above sea level and tucked away in the folds of the rainbow region - territory of the indigenous Bundjalung people. Nimbin, known as the drug capital of Australia, is the site for the annual MardiGrass Festival where droves of backpackers arrive on the GrassHopper, a tourist bus, and along with free-spirited locals have enthusiastically protested the prohibition of cannabis since the 1970's. Tomorrow our colorful road trip promises to continue as we head south through Bungabbee, Boonoo Boonoo, and finally into the Never Never.

 


February 24, 2017     |     South West Rocks



February 22, 2017     |     We're going walkabout! Join us on our 80-day tour around Australia, from Sydney to Adelaide by car, and Perth to Darwin by camper van.

 

 


 
   
Day 3,553 - Middle Harbour, Australia
21:31hrs - February 20, 2017
Keeping the Dream Clean

Now that we've spent a few months exploring Sydney Harbour it's time to go walkabout. We've got an epic trip planned: a drive up the New South Wales coast to see friends on Lake Macquarie and Byron Bay before swinging south on the Pacific Highway for a month on the road to Adelaide. Then a flight will take us over to Perth in preparation for a cruise up the remote northwestern coastline to Darwin - in a camper van! Yep, that's right, for five weeks we're going to live in a camper with an interior that's roughly half the volume of Dream Time.

As we'll be leaving the boat for a few months we've made the usual preparations - pickling the watermaker, removing sails, flushing engines and pumps, but with an abundance of birds in the neighborhood: seagulls, swallows and screaming flocks of marauding cockatoos, we've had to take additional action to secure the boat.

Locals have warned us of the cockatoos penchant for swinging on and chewing expensive wind instruments, and as bird droppings are usually relative to their size (and these are some pretty big birds) the fallout from three months of continuous cockatoo droppings could be catastrophic.

To discourage our little feathery friends from using Dream Time as a swing set and lavatory perch, I've removed our B&G wind instrument, rigged a few dozen cable-tie spikes, and laced about thirty meters of string over spreaders, sail covers and canopies.

Short of fully covering the boat in an elaborate network of nets, a technique employed by a number of local boat owners, our cable-tie and string method will just have to do.

Now, time to hit the road...

 

 

 


Dream Time anchored with cruising friends in Passe Tumakohua makes the 2017 cover of Ocean Voyager!








February 14, 2017     |     A little culture at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.





 

 


   
Day 3,547 - Rose Bay, Australia
11:52hrs - February 14, 2017
Happy Valentine's Day

I have fallen in love with Sydney. If Earth is the goldilocks planet then I think Sydney may very well be, in my head at least, the goldilocks city. It seems to have exactly the right amount of everything to be just right for a very agreeable human existence. City planners seem to have struck the perfect balance between city, parkland and water, with Sydney Harbour being the shining centerpiece. It is very simply, just right in every way. 

We have been all over the city and the harbor in the last 6 weeks and I'm still not ready to leave. A lovely thing I just read today is that the Royal Botanic Gardens has 3,964 trees, which has made me very happy. The gardens are right on the water's edge beside the Opera House and it has, along with all those trees, acres and acres of soft hilly grass to roll around on. The Botanic Gardens which are right beside the iconic Sydney Bridge which is right beside the magnificent Opera House which is right next to the massive naval base which overlooks the prosperous city overflowing with art and culture makes a very good starting point for any Sydney adventure. And I love that someone thought it important to count the trees.

It's going to be a difficult place to leave.

 

 

 

 

 








February 9, 2017     |     A shady scenic spot in Sydney.




February 6, 2017     |     CLICK HERE to view January's 'Find Dream Time' competition