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Trip to Australia

Jenny and Charlie visited Australia January 18-29, 2001

Charlie had to attend a meeting in Australia (one out of 6 meetings is in the Pacific Rim, because roughly 1/6 of the members are from there). Jenny had to go along to be sure he ate well, and to be sure we didn't save too many frequent flyer miles.

The meeting was in Wollongong, New South Wales, a coastal and University town about 90 minutes south of Sydney. Wollongong is pronounced "Wool 'n GONG." After saying it wrong through all the travel preparations, it was hard to learn to say it right. To get a good airfare, we arrived several days early. After the primary meeting, the group moved to Sydney, where Charlie gave a talk. We then spent four more days in in Sydney, until we could get a good airfare home. It was really tough making such a sacrifice to get a good airfare.


Woolongong Beach

After a non-stop 14 hour Qantus flight from Los Angeles to Sydney and a 90 minute train ride, we arrived at Wollongong. The time was Saturday Morning, even though we left Austin on Thursday morning (the international date line contributed, but it still was a long trip).

Wollongong is small, but still the 6th largest city in Australia. The harbor is pretty, as well as the beaches. You can walk to almost anywhere in town, or take a taxi for under US$5.00

Wollongong harbor
Rocks on Wollongong coast

The coast along Wollongong alternated between wide beaches and interesting rocks. It was great walking, but if we had known that the water temperature, in the middle of summer (January south of the equator), was only 70, we wouldn't have bothered to bring our swim suits, beach towels, or snorkel gear.

The geology was very interesting - these rock structures were along the path cut through the stone wall in the previous picture. They were "routine" in the sense that there were lots of unique formations in Australia. It was also nice that they hadn't been spoiled by vandals.

Rock Texture at Wollongong
Minnamurra Rainforest

We took a train and bus to a small section of rain forest a couple hours from Wollongong. It was on a hill, so required substantial hiking to get to the three distinct types of rain forest there.

Click here for More pictures from Wollongong and the Rainforest


After the meeting in Wollongong, we went to Sydney, where Charlie gave a talk in the Darling Harbor area.

After the talk, there was a reception. Layna Fischer, in the picture to the right, is the Secretariat (manager) of the Workflow Management Coalition.

Reception overlooking the Darling Harbor
The Sydney Opera House from our room in the Renaissance Hotel

We stayed at the Renaissance Hotel (say "Ra-NAY-cents") on Circle Quay. Our room looked out over the Sydney Harbor and the famous opera house; you could see the harbor bridge (where the Olympic and Y2K fireworks were staged) from the executive lounge on the other side of the hotel.

Our first full day in Sydney was "Australia Day", the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of modern Australia. It was similar to our 4th of July, with Ferry races, tall ships, antique car show, air show, and fireworks.

Tall Ships in Sydney Harbor
Sydney Harbor Bridge

The Harbor bridge was huge and pretty. For about US$50 and an advance reservation, you can climb to the top of the bridge.

Climbers on the Sydney Harbor Bridge

There were over 1,000 antique cars on display from all over the world. Charlie found a 1950 Chevrolet like his first car, but in much better condition. Remember that he had to have roofing metal in the floor of the car to keep from being splashed through the rust holes, and a 2x4 piece of lumber to support the rocker panel under his door.

1950 Chevy
Kangaroo with baby (Joey) in pouch

We visited the Sydney zoo. Look closely at the baby kangaroo (called a Joey) in the mother's pouch.

Click here for more pictures of the zoo.

A globe at the zoo allowed us to move the continents back together again, to see how they had drifted apart millions of years ago.

Globe showing continental drift
Opera House, from the Sydney Harbor

And finally, a picture of the opera house from the Sydney Harbor. Australia and the people of Australia were great - we would go back there in a minute ... er... in 21 1/2 hours.

Click here for More pictures from Sydney.

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©2001 by Charles A. Plesums, Austin, Texas USA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. If you would like to make or distribute copies of this document, or incorporate all or part in another web page or site, contact Charlie@Plesums.com