Australia and New Zealand 2011

Jacana

Jacana

Debbe Feeding a shy wallaby

Debbe Duffy with the Kangaroos

Karl Koala sitting in a gum tree

Karl Koala

Croc

Croc

Flying Foxes (Fruit bats)

See our Photo Gallery for more pictures

Boomerangs at Sydney
The Boomerangs at Sydney Harbor with the Sydney Opera House and the Harbor Bridge in the background
Front, L-R: Maxine LaRoux, Phil LaRoux, Debbe Duffy, Beth Fordenwalt, Valerie Hubbard, Joyce Perlstein, Barbara Hanigsberg, Helen Seaton, Marge Anderson
Back L-R: Bill Bush, Mary Farre, Jim Fordenwalt, Bill Stasi, Kathy Haywood, Jim Farre, Paul Hunnard, Walt Seaton, Gary Anderson

Eighteen ASURA Boomerangs spent about 24 days exploring Australia and New Zealand, covering nearly 25,000 air miles as we moved from Melbourne and Adelaide in the south to Alice Springs in the center and Cairns and Cape Tribulation in the north, finishing at Sydney in the east. It was then on to New Zealand with visits to Christchurch, Queenstown and Auckland.

We figure we could make it as shearers and drovers, if really put to the test, but it was good to come back. Just like a boomerang. We learned about Australian and New Zealand history, geography, culture and wildlife. Some snorkeled in the waters of the Great Barrier Reef, zip-lined in the jungle rain forest, slept under the squawking flying foxes, petted kangas, and cuddled koalas. And, we learned how to throw boomerangs! Visits to the iconic Uluru (Ayers Rock) in the desolate Outback and the very cosmopolitan Sydney landmarks of the Opera House, the Quay, the Rocks and Bondi Beach stretched the mind. One Boomerang, after extensive research, claims to have discovered Australia’s finest beer: Carlton Lager.

One hiccup occurred when weather prevented a flight out of Queenstown, NZ, but all turned out very well, actually extending the trip by one day.

It was a great trip, and all the Boomerangs came back.

Australia has wildlife like no other continent and the Boomerangs had lots of opportunity to see it up close. Every day's a school day. So much learning, so many adventures, so much enjoyment with colleagues and travel friends. So much to talk about: an echidna? the flying foxes? the fruit bats? a cassowary? a salt water croc?

The flying foxes, or fruit bats, spend the day hanging and squawking in the trees above our heads and then fly out each evening at sunset to feed on fruit they find in nearby trees.

The Boomerangs had a wonderful last several days in Australia visiting the very cosmopolitan, clean and friendly city of Sydney. Tour experiences included a cruise on Sydney Harbor, a visit to the Opera House, a walk on Bondi Beach, shopping and lunch in The Rocks, site of one of the original penal colonies, and a walk around the Royal Botanical Gardens.

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Submitted by Gary Anderson, trip leader.