I’ve had some problems with posting our blogs on the website…sorry about that. All seems to be okay now.
We have since returned from Fiji to Australia and we rented a Camper Van (High Top) to do some land travel. Think VW Bus with a sink, fridge, stove top and bed. I like to think of it as a Fort on wheels! Mind you this rig has the driver seat on the right, stick shift on your left and they drive on the left. Lookout, High Top coming through!
First let me tell you a little about Australia. This is a very large country divided into 6 States; Northern Territory, South Australia, Western Australia, Victoria, New South Whales and Queensland. The majority of the population lives along the Eastern and Southern coastal areas as there is limited water supplies, especially in the Outback (the inside). Books about Australia will tell you this country has “more things that can kill you on land and in the sea”, like sharks, spiders, snakes, gators, jellyfish….than any other place on earth. The locals joke that if the jellies don’t’ get you the crocs will and if the crocs don’t the sharks will  Aussie humor!
The major industry here is mining; iron ore, coal, gold, opals etc…Farming of Sugar Cane and Tourism is also a big industry however the Australian Dollar is quite high the last year or so as is the cost of living, this is keeping tourism way down the last two years.
The Australian culture does not tip so service is generally awful. There is a lot to be said about being a service oriented and hospitable culture as in America. While we have met lots of wonderful and lovely people, in general we have found the Australian people to be unfriendly and somewhat rude. When you go to a store or restaurant, hotel etc…you are not greeted with warmth but rather as though you are putting them out. It can be frustrating. Not to mention being from America usually prompts an attitude from locals too…..Everywhere we have been, they all really don’t like Americans….yet they all want to be us, go figure!
We are in southern Queensland and travelled North along the East coast and came back down through the Outback. They warn you to be be self sufficient when you travel here, meaning have extra fuel, tires, food, water etc…the highways are small, two lane roads…more of a country road than highway. They throw in an occasional shoulder should you have car trouble. They also advise you not to drive at night as the kangaroos (affectionately referred to as Roos by the locals) are plentiful and cause many accidents. We believe it because you wouldn’t believe the Roo Roadkill! It is nothing for us to see 50+ dead Roos in a travel day! We generally drive 4-5 hours in a day then stop somewhere for 3 days and explore that area. The further away from the city (Brisbane) you get, the fewer and farther away the towns get. There are usually plenty of places to stop for camping. Most places offer nice, clean accommodations.
That’s it for the moment…stay tuned…Life is Good!

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