Australia 1

Australia - 01

This is the first page of pictures during my trip to Australia. This page consists of my time up to mid-semester break.


Page 1 - Arrival to Holiday - 2009.07.26-2009.09.05

Page 2 - Holiday on the East Coast - 2009.09.18-2009.10.04

Page 3 - After Holiday - 2009.10.31-2009.12.04

I went with the CIS students to the Sydney Tower after arriving in Sydney. It was fun, and CIS footed the bill, although it was a bit cloudy for most photos.

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2009-07-26 Sydney Tower

The CIS students and I went to the Blue Mountains for a day hike. I wish I could have spent more time, although the "medium difficulty" trail was a lot of fun. Our tour guide was named Tim, who seemed to run all forest activities, and he was able to tell us all about the site's history. He says there are more than 300 Eucalyptus species in the park, but I believe that there is only one. Granted, he showed us different trees that smell different pretty scents, however I still think it was all a hoax. We got to walk through some fire regrowth area (sorry, no pictures), which is necessary for the plants in the area to reproduce. Comparing it to the scorched areas of Philmont, New Mexico, it is obvious that Gum trees have evolved to handle frequent fires. -I guess trees out west are also supposed to have frequent fires, but Philmont was badly burnt because of improper fire management? I'm not sure, you can ask someone smarter, like Mike.

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2009-07-27 Blue Mountains

![](Blue Mountains?lightbox&cropResize=600,600) {.center}

2009-07-27 Blue Mountains

![](Blue Mountains?lightbox&cropResize=600,600) {.center}

2009-07-27 Blue Mountains

![](Blue Mountains?lightbox&cropResize=600,600) {.center}

2009-07-27 Wentworth Falls - Because of a lack of rain, all this water is prehistoric, held in sandstone until today. While we walked a lot of the trails had water bleeding out of the rock, similar to these falls.

![](Blue Mountains?lightbox&cropResize=600,600) {.center}

2009-07-27 Blue Mountains

![](Blue Mountains?lightbox&cropResize=600,600) {.center}

2009-07-27 Blue Mountains

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2009-07-27 Blue Mountains - Behind us is an old plaque which says that Charles Darwin visited this spot while travelling on the Beagle. He wrote of the area saying that it went against all of his theories of evolution; leaves have an odour and flowers don't, the trees don't lose their leaves, flowers bloom all year around, yada yada yada. Evolution is the cause for all of these features, he just didn't know the whole story. Eg, The leaves smell because they are heavy with oils, which makes them burn faster and hotter, so a firestorm will rush through the forest too quickly to kill the trees.

![](Blue Mountains?lightbox&cropResize=600,600) {.center}

2009-07-27 Blue Mountains

![](Blue Mountains?lightbox&cropResize=600,600) {.center}

2009-07-27 Blue Mountains

![](Blue Mountains?lightbox&cropResize=600,600) {.center}

2009-07-27 Blue Mountains

My last day of CIS orientation took us to the Taronga Zoo. This involved a ferry ride, which gave a beautiful view of Sydney. It is hard to get good photos at the zoo, with the animals moving behind glass. Something like 90% of native Australian animals are nocturnal, so I couldn't get photos of them. My favourite Australian animal is the Echidna, who was busy sitting in a dark room. We were also disappointed by the Platypus, who we looked for for five minutes until reading the sign that says that the tank is connected to a different room that we couldn't see.

![](Sydney Harbour Bridge?lightbox&cropResize=600,600) {.center}

2009-07-28 Ferry to zoo - Sydney Harbour Bridge

![](Sydney Opera House?lightbox&cropResize=600,600) {.center}

2009-07-28 Ferry to zoo - Sydney Opera House

2009-07-28 Ferry to zoo - Sydney Skyline

2009-07-28 Koala - Boring little buggers, there were three and this was the most active one.

2009-07-28 Oh Noes!!! Someone let an emu in with the kangaroos and wallabies. They seemed to get along fine, despite the emu being one ugly bird.

2009-07-28 Red tailed kangaroo. Unless it is a wallaby. I wasn't paying attention, and neither were they.

2009-07-28 zOMG!!! HOW CUTE!!! A JOEY!!!

2009-07-28 What an idiot. He picked up that leaf from the ground. If he wanted a good photo, he should have gone and bought a cheeseburger.

2009-07-28 Look, the chimp is using a tool. He was the only smart one, all the others were busy being violent, loud, dirty, and horny all at the same time.

2009-07-28 I didn't hear anything, and I found Zebras.

2009-07-28 Don't you feel stupid when someone says "Be sure to check out our world famous baby elephant", and you respond "Oh yes, I heard of that, somewhere, I think, like some months ago"? I don't, I feel well informed.

2009-07-28 I don't trust meerkats. They look all adorable, but they are much too twitchy.

After the zoo we came to the University in a taxi bus with some other students. Which was great, because we dropped them off in their nice apartments before driving to our apartments. These buildings aren't too bad, however they look really worn down, so the initial shock was pretty intense. For the next few days I was getting ready for classes, and trying to contact home; it took me 3 days after moving in before I got reliable internet in my room.

2009-07-29 The central courtyard thing. Almost all of the buildings look similar to these, lots of concrete, and no names, just numbers. I would expect this from an engineering school, however this most definitely not an engineering school. Most buildings are locked, so I just look weird when I try to figure out what each building does. I think these are (left to right) administration, library, common space.

2009-08-02 My half of my room, using the panoramic function of my camera, so nothing looks right. It gets mighty cold at night, hence the heater under my desk and two identical blankets (Rich thought one was enough the first night, my how he was mistaken). The rest of the apartment still looks empty, so I might take some photos when more people move in, or when they don't and I move into the rest of the apartment.

2009-08-02 Everyone likes cockatoos, except the people who realise they are really loud.

2009-08-03 Here is a picture of my apartment building. Actually, this is two down from me, but mine is covered by trees (they are identical). The size of those trees lets you know that these buildings are kinda old.

The cost of living is pretty high in Sydney, so I try to cook for myself.

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2009-08-03 I made stir fry, all by myself. Which is fairly obvious, because this was pretty bad. I blame it's quality on my refusal and inability to purchase all of the ingredients I'm used to in America.

![](Hot Sauce?lightbox&cropResize=600,600) {.center}

2009-08-03 Completely inferior.

![](Kanga Steak?lightbox&cropResize=600,600) {.center}

2009-08-11 Kangaroo is one of the cheapest meats in the market (other differences are lamb is more popular, and turkey is much more expensive). Plus this one is Special, so it must be good.

![](Kanga Steak?lightbox&cropResize=600,600) {.center}

2009-08-11 Alright, finished! Cooking always takes too long, I thought I'd be waiting on the rice and not the Kangaroo. Look, I also took the time to make up some onions.

![](Kanga Steak?lightbox&cropResize=600,600) {.center}

2009-08-11 Sorry vegetarians, but the moral of this story is once again Rich can't cook. As delicious as this looks, anything labelled Special shouldn't be this red.

![](Kanga Steak?lightbox&cropResize=600,600) {.center}

2009-08-11 Aren't I creative, I'm telling a story with pictures! Who thinks I'll burn it?

![](Kanga Steak?lightbox&cropResize=600,600) {.center}

2009-08-11 So it turns out that I can microwave successfully; the mystery of how I make food is solved. I found out the hard way that Kangaroo is pretty tasty. Mine tasted a lot like olive oil. Now I need to find another exotic loveable creature to try.

I went to the beach with friends. Well, people I've met and will still talk to me. We started at Bondi and went south along a coastal path.

2009-08-15 This is an advert for Coke in Australia. Struck me odd at first, and yea, it still does. However, it is a great transition into me telling Americans that high fructose corn syrup is awesome; all the soda in Australia uses sugar, and it tastes different. It is really depressing to get an ice cold coke from a vending machine, and for it to not be that flavour that you have come to love over the years.

2009-08-15 Hungry Jack is Burger King. They have very similar menus, just different names.

2009-08-15 This van, this bridge, they were made for each other. The dumpster is a bit of a third wheel, though.

2009-08-15 So I finally get to Bondi Beach. You have to swim between the flags. Or don't swim between the flags? I don't remember, someone told me, mentioning flags, currents, surfers, and stupid tourists getting sucked to sea to drown.

2009-08-15 More Bondi. I posed in a similar photo, but I blinked. Actually I never made it to Australia, suckers.

2009-08-15 Leaving Bondi (forgot my kite). That is George looking over the railing.

2009-08-15 Bondi is behind that far corner. This is the path we walked along, connecting a bunch of beaches.

2009-08-15 Guess what? The most American truck I could find is made in Japan.

2009-08-15 A small beach. We passed multiple beaches, however they all have white sand, people surfing, and a curve to them. So I never took pictures besides this one (IT HAS BOATS!) and Bondi.

2009-08-15 My archnemisis, Mpkin the Pumpkin bus. This bus passed us something like four times over the course of the trip, and every time I tried to take a photo, and couldn't. Luckily the train station and the bus depot are the same building, so I got this.

This weekend I thought I would go camping, so I found the first town on the other side of the Blue Mountains on a map, which is Lethgow. Unfortunately, the town seems to shut down on the weekend, but it was still a fun trip.

2009-08-29 Lethgow is an old mining town, and this is the old blast furnace they used. Who doesn't like old buildings?

2009-08-29 I don't know what this big iron thing is. But if I had a spare big iron thing, I'd probably leave it here too.

2009-08-29 So they had this one sign, to make sure people who like to walk to the right of a building don't enter. If you go left, like me, you see this sign on your way out. Not that I entered, I'm a safe person.

2009-08-29 So there is a number of attractions around Lethgow, and one of the bigger ones is the Zig Zag railway. It is fancy because it had to zig and zag to get up the mountain. After this mind blowing fact is revealed to you, you realise that there really isn't much there, but I did get a picture of a coal fired steam train.

2009-08-30 After the Zig Zag railway, we drove a bit into the mountains to camp for the night. However it is winter time, so when it got dark at six there wasn't much to do, so we got up early to see the Glow Worm Tunnel. This tunnel was made to let trains through the mountain, but the Newens oil shale mine shut down long ago. Now there are glow worms living in this tunnel, which is a lot less exciting than it sounds. They are just a bunch of little dots on the wall, which is cool, but even with a flash light you can't see what they actually look like, and the tunnel floor was pretty hazardous. So to best visualise the tunnel concept, I took a picture of the light at the end of the tunnel.

2009-08-30 Driving back down from the glow worm hike, we stopped to take a picture at this outlook, showing how weird ironstone erodes.

2009-08-30 So this is in the middle of a forest. I thought it looked cool.

I didn't have much in the way of plans for this weekend, so we walked to the old Olympic Park. It took two hours, and was kinda fun, we saw a bunch of suburbs of Sydney in the process. However, if you are in Sydney, taking the train to Rhodes, eating at Ikea, then walking to the Olympic Park is a lot more fun.

2009-09-05 So I only have maybe 3 photos from this day, because almost everywhere was locked. But the track and field field was open, and I like taking pictures of me winning.

2009-09-05 Totally happened.

2009-09-05 Pretty panoramic shot of the field.

Page 2 - Holiday on the East Coast - 2009.09.18-2009.10.04

Page 3 - After Holiday - 2009.10.31-2009.12.04

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