Tom and Courtney Down Under

Week 16

Day 102

Manly, NSW Australia

33.7962° S, 151.2827° E

The morning following Thanksgiving, we woke up to find a ticket on our car.

We had been ticketed for “Freedom Camping.”

As we wrote about before, we assumed we were good as long as there were no “no overnight parking” signs due to our run in with the cops in New Plymouth.  


Our last day in NZ. Rain meant there was snow in the Mountains! 🙂

Apparently there is a freedom camping amendment against sleeping in your car within certain areas of Queenstown–we happened to park in that spot.

The funny thing is apparently we had been parking in that area the past 3 days, but the woman who does the ticketing is lazy and never walks across the field to where we normally park, but Thanksgiving night we parked closer to her office.

Tom and I are fighting this charge as there is a bylaw in The new Freedom Camping Bylaw.

Sunset over Queenstown our last night in town 11/30/13

Sunset over Queenstown our last night in town 11/30/13

Oh well, if we do end up having to pay the fee, the way we see it, our ticket is NZ’s tax for picking the el cheapo route of NZ.  Most people couldn’t have made it out of NZ sticking to a $100 dollar a day budget for 2 people.  (Tom and I were pleasantly surprised to find we kept our budget to $102 a day for the both of us including rental car, accommodations, food, and entertainment once we did the currency conversion at the end!)

Brushing the ticket off, we headed to the yoga studio for me to teach the 8am class.

NZ Chocolates we found for the kids we would be staying with in Australia!

NZ Chocolates we found for the kids we would be staying with in Australia!

Following class, Tom and I headed to town to enjoy our last day in NZ.  It was a rainy day (weird…I’ve learnt sunny days in NZ should be celebrated just as they are in Seattle!) so we enjoyed shopping in the cute shops.

We also spent a good part of the day cleaning our car.

Our miracle vacuum machine!

Our miracle vacuum machine!

You can only imagine what a little Getzya can look like after having 2 people live in it for 2 months.

We luckily found this amazing vacuum machine at the gas station on the way to the airport.

Our final morning in NZ, we hit up Redrocks one last time, making sure everything with our flight was on time and good to go.

Cooking one last meal in the Getzya, we said goodbye to Queenstown and New Zealand.

The last breakfast of NZ....18 was a bit expensive and we didn't finish it, but it was amazing!

The last breakfast of NZ….18 eggs…it was a bit excessive and we didn’t finish it, but it was amazing!

We had met friends the night before who were studying abroad in Australia.  They had so many great stories to tell us about their time in Oz that we were both anxious and excited to move on.

New Zealand had been great to us and we had a blast, but it was time to move onto the land of OZ!

Flying away from New Zealand

Flying away from New Zealand


20131201_11534620131201_11532620131201_120701Goodbye New Zealand:

#NZ #Getzya  #Twincoasthighways #Aucklandsucks #ponsonbystreet #cowsintheroad #taranakivswaikato #middleearth #rotorua #waitomocaves #claudiaandsimon #newplymouth #wellington #wellingtonvscanterbury #hungrylikethewolf #bikramyogalowerhutt #Seals #abeltasman #hashigozaki #freehouse  #nelson #kaikoura #christchurch #Arthurspass #Tanemahuta #getzyabreaksdown #haast #wanaka #milfordsound  #penguins #claudiaandsimonagain  #catlins #dunedin #queenstown #steve #kevin #thanksgiving2013 #tomisnumberone #colbyjack

Goodbye New Zealand

Goodbye New Zealand


Digi player at every seat for free!

We will miss the land of .CO.NZ, OZ here we come!

We rode again on NZ Air.

I have flown quite a bit in my life and often times the experiences aren’t that good, but I do have to say NW Air rocks!

Flying NZ Air is like flying MVP status on other airlines.

We got:

  • A Digi Player loaded with new movies and music
  • Lunch (lamb with mashed potatoes and ice cream)
  • free soft drinks Choice of Tea, Coffee, or Water
  • AUX cord to charge your phone!

Ok we didn’t get that much, but the free entertainment, meal, and place to charge your phone go a long way when you are backpacking!


We touched down in Australia mid afternoon with the mission to make it to Manly.

We had no problems at all because Public transportation is super easy in Sydney!

Public Transportation is so CLEAN!!  We also loved how the seats can flip forward and back so you can have a row or 3 or of 6 seats  with 3 and 3 facing each other.

Public Transportation is so CLEAN!! We also loved how the seats can flip forward and back so you can have a row or 3 or of 6 seats with 3 and 3 facing each other.  Great for holding bags! 🙂

We quickly were on the train to Downtown to catch the Ferry to Manly from the Circular Quay.  

Traveler’s Tip:  Transportation from the Airport to Manly in total cost $37, but for $44- $61 you can get a pass for the week that serves a broad area around Sydney.

Ride to Manly

Ride to Manly

20131201_171733The ferry ride was gorgeous!  It was the perfect thing to do in Sydney because you got to ride by the Sydney Bridge and the Opera House on the way.  

We touched down at the Manly Corso and quickly found a bar in the heart of the Corso Center Free Wi-Fi zone to wait for our ride.

We found the beers to be pretty expensive ($11), but for a couple moments didn’t care because we had just finished calculating the conversion between what we spent in NZ$ to US$ and realized we had been pretty close to budget while in NZ!.

Until this moment we had been doing our budget under NZ prices and only realized then that the conversion might make a huge difference and it did!

Travel Tip: If keeping a Budget, do it in the other currency, (assuming your currency has a higher value.)  If you lie to yourself on what your spending…You’ll spend less and be happy later!

Tom hanging with the 2 youngest girlies!

Tom hanging with the 2 youngest girlies!

We spent our first couple nights with Andrew and his family.  Andrew is a work colleague of my mom.

Andrew, Thank you and your family SO MUCH for welcoming us into Australia!  Tom


Catherine the youngest Barton wanting to learn scorpion.

and I couldn’t have imagined a better welcome into a new country!  You guys have made the transition so easy and wonderful…Night and Day from our welcome to NZ!

I passed out early our first night, exhausted from all the travel and so happy to sleep in a bed!

Monday morning we woke up semi early–early that is was 7am, but late given the 2 hours we had gain…we must have still be exhausted–And loving the BED we had to sleep in!

‘Tommy got some work in mid morning before we ventured out around mid day to explore Manly.

Manly Beach

Manly Beach

We took off running toward the beach.

20131202_11562420131202_120322The Coastline was gorgeous and it was nice to not be cold by the water!  NZ was gorgeous, but cold!

Australia in fact is the exact opposite as cold.

Here you actually want to lay in the sun!

Tommy chilling by the ocean

Tommy chilling by the ocean

20131202_134602We also learned a couple things walking through Manly.

Beer is really expensive!

20131202_134539However, you can find wine for cheap!–I just might not recommend it to any of my friends who actually like good wine! 😉

Tuesday we headed up to the Hunter.

The Hunter is a wine region 2 hours north of Sydney.

The winery we stayed at

The winery we stayed at.


Except for a bike ride into town to pick up dinner, Tuesday was a super chill day.

Tom did some work while I mucked around and worked on arm balances, followed by dinner and a Star Wars marathon!

I did make an awesome Steak and Veggie dinner on the BBQ!

Yummy Steak Dinner!

Yummy Steak Dinner!

It’s been so nice to have a kitchen and Andrew has a massive herb and pepper garden so I’ve been in heaven with spicy peppers and fresh herbs!

Wednesday we spent the morning working, but headed out in the afternoon to do some wine tasting!

Travelers Tip: Tasting in Australia so far is much better than tasting in NZ because every winery is free!  In fact when I asked which wineries have the cheaper tasting fees, I was laughed at.

“Haven’t done much tasting in Australia hav ya?  Tasting in Aussie is free!” -Tourist Shop Employee


Following our wine tasting, we went for a long walk throughout the property in search for Kangeroos.



We unfortunately didn’t see them.  The woman at Kelman led us astray…apparently if we had left the property we would have had a hard time not seeing them, but since the property has a fence all away around they hardly venture in.

We did see an amazing sunset though so it was definitely worth the walk!

20131205_134838Thursday was quite similar to Wednesday, except before heading to the wineries Tom and I took advantage of the grass tennis courts on the Kelman property!

A little wine and a little tennis!  Not a bad afternoon, but I did learn that I’m going to have to sharpen up my tennis skills in this marriage, because Tommy kick my booty 6-1!

Wine tasting at Savannah.  They serve their dessert wines in these fun glasses!

Wine tasting at Savannah. They serve their dessert wines in these fun glasses!

We finished up the afternoon wine tasting, coming back in time to meet Andrew who had driven up from Sydney for the night!

Andrew made a yummy Indian feast!

We ate up before settling in to watch Django Unchained–or I should say I fell asleep while the boys watched the movie.

Our stay in Sydney is quickly wrapping up.  It’s time to hit the road.

Today Tom and I pick up our Jucy Campa and begin our drive north!

We can’t wait to see what next week brings–Hopefully a kangaroo spotting at least!



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