I dreamed of going to Australia since I was 11 years old. I managed 31 other countries before finally setting off to my dream destination. I would’ve never thought that I would be cycling through the country that I imagined in my head for 20 years, but I did. After Tasmania, I got the worst flu of my life putting me out for at least two weeks in Melbourne. Once I was healed I was on the road heading east with the final destination being in Brisbane, which is not what anyone would say is a short distance.
Going through the small towns of Australia was a bit of a joy while meeting interesting and cool people couch surfing and staying in pub accommodations. That was a bit short-lived after stopping off in a small town called Lakes Entrance to rest for a couple weeks and get my bearings in my mind straight. I had the opportunity of staying in a somewhat abandon hostile for as long as I need it for no charge by a fellow cyclist that also owned property, but after and unfortunate accident well cooking, giving myself second and third-degree burns on my hand I was forced to stay there for a little longer than planned. That was not at all a bad thing thinking back at the situation. I managed to meet and hang out with some of the best people in the world and hear their stories of how they got to the small town by the water. They all pitched in to help me out while I was healing my hand. There is three owners of the pub in the town which were all very different, but all had a very laid-back attitude about everything. One of them was named Kev and insisted on taking me on late night 4×4 trips in the bush looking for deer and other animals around the area and even let me drive majority of the time. The locals that enjoyed a beverage from time to time there were also very kind and caring. I managed to make a lot of lifelong friends while my hand went back to normal.
After about a month I finally set off once again, now heading north towards Sidney. It took me a bit and a quick bus ride through some very sketchy parts of the highway. I finally made it to the southern part of Sidney called Cronulla. That’s why I stayed in the messiest, yet friendliest hostile I have ever stepped foot in. One of the employees there even took me out to dinner and a Shisha bar with her girlfriend. The day came where I jumped on the tram i’m headed off to downtown Sidney where I lived out my dream of seeing the opera house in person. I managed to stay in Sydney for as long as I could afford before heading north to Newcastle and unfortunately peddling myself into the brushfires.
I stopped in a town called Port Macquarie where I went into a bike shop to fix a broken spoke. The mechanic wouldn’t let me leave and insisted that I would stay with him and his family because he had a fear if I continued on, I would get caught right in the middle of the red zone. I stayed with them for the night and in the morning it seemed that everything settled enough so I could head on my way. I didn’t get far before the fires were becoming an issue again. A kid that was working at the campsite I stayed at managed to get me a ride to the train station and I took that as far north as I could go. I ended up in a famous town called Byron Bay.
Unfortunately Byron Bay was not somewhere I enjoyed and I left soon after arriving towards my final destination in Brisbane. I stayed in Brisbane for two weeks and even manage to take a bus to a town called Noosa which was a fairly nice beach town north of where I was staying. In that time I managed to get the bike in a box and ready for my next destination to Southeast Asia.
Australia was everything I could’ve imagined and more, but I did manage to go through some highs and lows which is typical on a trip like this. There’s a lot to learn about the people I met on this portion of the journey. Australians are naturally laid back and nothing really seems to bother them including the ones that lost their homes in the brushfires. Once at a campsite I talked with a family that got news that they just lost their home that morning from the fires but it didn’t seem to faze them at all, telling me that it’s all material stuff and everything except our lives can be replaced.
It took me a little over five months to finish this portion of my trip and I was really looking forward to going somewhere different being that Australia is so much like home but with a different accent.