back from honeymoon downunder

Oct 21st, 2002, 11:50 AM
  #1  
shannon
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back from honeymoon downunder

IT was awesome...both of us would move there in a heartbeat!

WE loved TASMANIA! SO beautiful. Easy to get around (we rented a car!). Port Arthur ghost tour was incredible. The restaurant there was quite good as well--I recommend the Wallaby! mmmmm

Mures at the wharf was quite tasty too! We stayed at the Old Woolstore...very nice, friendly, helpful, clean...cheap internet access...

Mt Field was awesome---did the hike around the waterfalls and took the long way back...saw Wallabies in the wild there!

Did Bonorong Wildlife Park--it was our favorite wildlife park out of the 3 we visited in Australia.

First 4 days in Sydney, stayed at the Hilton near Town Hall area...great location, used the subway a lot. However, it is closing down for remodeling in November for 18 months.

CANBERRA--was AWESOME...could have used 2 full days. BUT with the limited time we had--did the best we could. The WAR MEMORIAL/MUSEUM was the best we have EVER seen compared to the ones in Washington DC.

HIGHLY recommend ECO ADRENALINE Boat tours from MANLY BEACH --better than the fast boats in the harbor. Cheaper and can go out of the harbor area. and it is longer!

take the ferry from Circular Quay to Manly beach and follow along the walk way to your right towards the Manly Yacht Club (it is down below in the garage looking door). Contact me if you want more info...I don't have it on me at the moment!

Bridge Climb was incredible--we started getting ready at 5:45pm.

ONLY had 1 day of rain since the darn country is in a major drought..of course it was in TASMANIA the day we wandered around Mt Field...but with all the tree covering it was quite mild.

Palm Cove (in between Cairns/Port Douglas) was beautiful. We really enjoyed our train ride/Kurand/sky rail trip and Tjapakai was great! IF you are interested at all in Aboriginal culture--it is a must see!

We also did the NIGHT ZOO--that was a ton of fun...all you could eat and drink -beer/wine and wild critters for $69 AUD (if you drive yourself--a bit more if you take the shuttle service).

REALLY didn't like CAIRNS AT ALL...except for some of the shopping downtown. OTHERWISE, I would NEVER tell anyone to step foot in that place.

OUR Poseidon excursion to the reef was awesome!!! HIGHLY RECOMMEND (out of Port Douglas)..they were very gentle with me on my Intro Dives!!!!

ummmm what else....4wd to Blue Mts was nice but I wouldn't say it is a must see attraction.

I had a very disappointing experience with Australian Opals (I believe downtown on Pitt St --near the Hilton). Got what I wanted but their SERVICE was HORRIBLE. Also bought an opal from Flame Opals in the Rocks--they were much better.

Ate at Doyle's at Circular Quay--very good!
Philip's Foote was good and different in the Rocks.

REALLY enjoyed our Didjeridoo buying at Didj Beat in the Rocks...very helpful, best prices on Didjeridoo's--we looked all over the place and different cities.

Enjoyed our Upstairs seats on our Qantas flights (business class). Food choices were a bit to be desired. Flight to oz had upgraded video games larger screens than flight home--small screens, no video....

but what is up with cheese that has NO flavor and bacon that isn't fried....I think our only real complaints were the bland food! Thank goodness for all of the asian immigrants and the oriental food choices!!!

 
Oct 21st, 2002, 07:15 PM
  #2  
margo
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Shannon
Great trip report. Cairns is only worth a visit because it's the airport for GBR. Best to fly in and stay elsewhere.

I'm surprised about the food - I would never consider the food here as bland. Not fried as much as you expect, but bland,??? And we have some fantastic cheeses. You must be eating at the wrong places. ;-)
I am glad you enjoyed your visit - come back soon.
 
Oct 21st, 2002, 07:57 PM
  #3  
Daisy
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Yes, I agree, I wouldn't bother to send anyone to Cairns; only as a launching point to somewhere else.

Glad you enjoyed the rest of your trip.

And I also am puzzled about the "bland food". Where did you eat? There are some wonderful cheeses in TAssie. Did you get to taste any of those?
 
Oct 22nd, 2002, 12:31 AM
  #4  
pat
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We noticed the bacon to be limp in Australia. Not the crispy kind we have here in the states. I guess it`s whatever you are used to.
 
Oct 22nd, 2002, 04:44 AM
  #5  
Debbie
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Hi,
The food in Australia was tasty--beautiful fresh fish, outstanding Asian choices...the one thing I missed was a tasty bagel in the morning--but certainly didn't go all that way for that!

Debbie

And does anyone miss Tim Tams? That's one yummy packaged cookie...
 
Oct 22nd, 2002, 11:08 AM
  #6  
shannon
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I am IN LOVE with TIM TAMS!!!! had to bring some home....wish I had brought more but we were OVERPACKED as it was! Bought a whole package while we were in Palm Cove and at them between the two of us in 3 days--good for breakfast!

I wonder if we can get them here in the USA?

hard to explain my bland description...for example the steaks/burgers were lacking seasoning perhaps?

I totally loved all of the asian food! My husband loved the fish and chips....but all the cheese that was on the sandwiches/burgers/breakfast muffins --had no flavor.

Unfortunately didn't get to try any Tassie cheese

I would give up BAGELS for a SCONE any ol day! We ate at the Honey House? in Kuranda---had pumpkin scones....mmmmmm the best!

 
Oct 22nd, 2002, 12:04 PM
  #7  
margo
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Aha! That cheese. Of course it's bland - it's deliberatly dumbed down for those without taste. How sad not to have tasted the cheeses in Tasmania - there are some beauties there. I have a great King Island cheddar just waiting in the fridge for some investigation with a good red on the weekend!

How did you manage to make an opened pack of TimTams last 3 days? Must be some sort of record!

Bagels are a bit in short supply here. On Abuzz, the NYTimes forum, about a year ago, there was a very funny discussion where assorted Americans, including Canadians, tried to convince me of the wondrous thing that was a bagel. I couldn't see that chopped liver would improve anything!!

I finally found one here - and I still don't understand the fuss! It was a bit like eating a football!
 
Oct 22nd, 2002, 12:37 PM
  #8  
Debbie
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Hi!
Good news, American Fodorites! I just googled 'tim tams' and found we can order them online through http://www.simplyoz.com!!

My piggish friends wolfed down the 3 bags of minis that I brought back in just a couple of days (ok, so I helped myself to one or two--do you blame me?!). I may just have to quietly order some more and keep them to myself.

Debbie

PS Marg--Come visit New York and I will personally treat you to a REAL bagel. In most places outside NYC, what's advertised as a bagel is just a tasteless roll w/a hole. The perfect bagel is a bit crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. If after trying a genuine traditional NY bagel, you still feel the same way, I'll let you be! I'm guessing you haven't had the real deal.
 
Oct 22nd, 2002, 12:38 PM
  #9  
Debbie
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Oops, sorry Margo for the typo!
 
Oct 22nd, 2002, 01:31 PM
  #10  
Mina
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Nice report Shannon...I'm so glad you had a great time! I think it's great you went on an intro dive...lots of people end up chickening out. Good for you...I'm sure it's an experience you will remember.

This Tim Tams discussion is cracking me up. I love them too...and I brought 10 packages back home in my carry-on (for gifts to friends and family). They searched my bag at the airport and looked at me like I was porky pig.

Debbie, thanks for the research...might have to order a few!
 
Oct 22nd, 2002, 02:01 PM
  #11  
melissa
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ok, now I am curious & I have to ask. What are Tim Tams? What are they made from? You guys are making me want some, and I don't even know what they are!
 
Oct 22nd, 2002, 02:17 PM
  #12  
Mina
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They are cookies/biscuits/whatever you want to call them.

There are different flavors, but most have a chocolate coating. I've had mocha, dark chocolate, and of course, the original! I think I've had even more varieties, but I can't remember all of them.

They're just really good. I have no idea why though...American cookies are good too, but everyone raves about Tim Tams!
 
Oct 22nd, 2002, 07:02 PM
  #13  
Daisy
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Speaking of Tim Tams, the ultimate experience of course is to get a Tim Tam, bite off each end, then just use it like a straw with a cup of coffee - just dip the end into the coffee, then sip your coffee up through the Tim Tam. It's a kind of Tim Tam O/D!
 
Oct 22nd, 2002, 07:18 PM
  #14  
Kay
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Can't help myself - I have to butt in!
It's called a Tim Tam Slam! Tim Tams are chocolate biscuits, very rich and very yummy, chocolate coated with choccy cream stuff inside and choc biscuit. A chocoholic's dream. For years and years there was only one type but now there are about 6 varieties.
Did anyone try Mint Slice - now they're my favourite!
Kay
 
Oct 23rd, 2002, 10:48 AM
  #15  
shannon
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Ok...I have to also mention that I am having LEMON LIFT or as a lot of places know it Squash withdrawals...My new favorite soda of choice.

We have a higher up connection with Coca Cola in Atlanta and I put in my personal appeal for local USA distribution. BUT alas, it is not available in the states.

oh well....

I should have bought many more TIM TAMS but with a $30 bag of Cadbury's it was hard to convince the honey I needed more. He liked them but didn't think they were all that!

As for the DIVE--almost all our group chickened out at one point either on their 1st or 2nd dive if they even attempted a 2nd. I was the only one to complete 2. I am quite prooud of myself!

OK...off to check on the prices for ordering Tim Tams.
 
Oct 23rd, 2002, 11:01 AM
  #16  
shannon
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ok...checked out simply oz...

they can get 2 of the 4 items I really like...

Cadbury Nut Caramel wasn't on the list
and you AUSSIES help me out here--my husband really liked these LIME and PEPPER flavored potato chips. They don't have them either BUT if I can get enough info (name brand) they can put it on their wish list and they get regular shipments!

The chips were available at most convenience stores and the bag was green. I also had some that were sweet chili flavored by the same manufacturer.

I thought it would be nice to try and get them for an XMAS stocking stuffer for the husband!
 
Oct 23rd, 2002, 11:40 AM
  #17  
WMR
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What I really miss is the prawn crisps.

(That's a joke, for all of you who haven't never tried a prawn crisp).
 
Oct 23rd, 2002, 12:22 PM
  #18  
Mina
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You guys are making me hungry (except what's this prawn crisp stuff?)

I usually like dark beers, but I miss Crown Lager. I have a lot of good memories of Crown, even though Crown tried to take a lot of memories from me!
 
Oct 23rd, 2002, 03:21 PM
  #19  
Debbie
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Hi!
Crown was really nice but did you try Cascade?! Mmmmm. It was tasty, and as my pal Annie says, it's non-bloating....From my experience, that means I could just drink myself silly!

Debbie

Shannon--Are you in Atlanta too? Maybe we could just put one giant order together! Did you see Tim Tams are just $3.50?
 
Oct 23rd, 2002, 04:26 PM
  #20  
Mina
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No, I didn't try the cascade. Guess I'll have to go back to sample it. <G>

Non bloating, hah! I thought Guinness was non-bloating too, until I drank way too many pints. Then I couldn't fit out the door.
 

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