One of the famous 12 Apostles landmarks on the Australian coast in Victoria collapsed into the sea yesterday, leaving only a pile of limestone rubble. Actually, there’s only ever been nine of the apostles, but now they’ve been reduced to eight:

12 Apostles before and after

12 Apostles before and after

I visited and photographed the spectacular limestone cliffs twice in 2001, while studying in Melbourne, so it’s strange to think of one of them being gone. Also, rumors have surfaced that the new Superman movie is to blame 🙂

It’s taken a while to get the pictures from Budapest online, but now they’re available in the Gallery. I had some problems with moving pictures from the camera using the USB cable, and the software supplied from Canon was, to say it bluntly, shite, but after purchasing an USB card-reader the job was a piece of cake.

In a couple of days, I’m off to Hungary for a week, visiting my sister in Budapest, just to relax and see the sights of the city. This is my first time out of Norway since returning from down under, so I think it’s about time I got to be a tourist again. Update: Just added a live webcam image from Budapest, just click the image below to get a larger version:

Webcam of Budapest

Also, last week I purchased a Canon IXUS 500 digital camera, which I can’t wait to try out properly… It’s my first digital camera. Hopefully I’ll manage to post some photos online during the trip as well…

I’ve added the final batch of pix from my holiday to the gallery, this time Brisbane, Australia Zoo and Whale Watching. Some of the pictures have sadly been a bit damaged by light, just another sign that I really need to get myself a new (and preferably digital) camera.

Also, I took about 2 rolls of film on the whale watching trip, but only a few came out any good, the rest were too far away, or showed just water… The price of not having a camera with zoom. The ones that were good still made it worthwhile!

Cape Byron Lighthouse Stradbroke Island Whale Watching

No captions yet of course… have patience. Not many days left now, and I have better things to do than put captions on photos on a saturday evening.

We arrived in Brisbane this evening at about seven, after four days driving from Sydney. Our route was Sydney – Tamworth – Grafton – Byron Bay – Rathdowney – Brisbane.

Australian roads are generally very good, and the driving went without any major trouble, except for when we decided to drive all the way to Rathdowney yesterday, and had to drive in the dark on a narrow road through the Border Ranges national park, with huge trailers coming the other way. It was a bit scary, but we took it slowly. We stopped at a nice little motel in Rathdowney, and had a wonderful steak-dinner there.

This morning we went for a walk in the Mt. Barney national park, to a site called the ‘Lower Portals’. It was a nice path through the forest, and I used the opportunity to have a short dip in a beautiful rocky pool. The water was very cold, but it was worth it, and I quickly got warm again going back down in the sunshine.

The next couple days we’ll spend in Brisbane, getting to know the city, and maybe book a whale watching trip. We are also planning to take a daytrip to Steve ‘Crocodile Hunter’ Irwin’s Australia Zoo.

Kurt and I have booked a car from Saturday afternoon, to go north to Brisbane in five days, which is plenty of time to see stuff on the way. We’re picking up the car after we’ve been to the Sydney Airport Tarmac Tour. I’m not looking forward to driving the car in downtown Sydney, but as soon as we get over the harbour bridge and onto the freeway the going should get easier.

Tomorrow we’re heading out to the Blue Mountains on a day trip. It’s supposed to be beautiful out there, and I didn’t get a chance to see it last time I was here. The tour also includes a chance to see some of the venues from the 2000 olympics.

Arrived in Sydney this evening at 7:30, and checked in to the YHA for the night. I’m moving to another hostel tomorrow after Kurt arrives sometime in the afternoon. After 11 hours on the bus it’s great to be able to stretch the legs again. I’ll get some food and walk a bit around the city I think, before taking an early night.

The Aussie Big Brother just finished, looks like Pete is the winner… not that I ever followed it, but seems like a hell of a lot of people did though.

My friend Kurt and I are going away from rainy and cold Melbourne to (hopefully) warmer climates for a couple of weeks. I’m starting monday (01/07) with the Firefly bus to Sydney, and will meet up with Kurt on the 2nd, after he’s been to Alice Springs. I skipped going to Alice because the trip would cost me about NOK 5000, which is way too much for me at the moment…

The trip will last about 3 weeks; first we’re spending some days in Sydney, then making our way along the coast to Brisbane. We’ll take the train or bus, or if we’re feeling very adventurous – renting a car. In Brissy we’ll meet up with Fredrik, who’s moving down under for studies. We’ll have plenty of time there, and will probably head out of town a a couple of days, maybe into the Great Dividing Range.

I’m really looking forward to this trip, as it’ll be my last chance to see more of this great country for a while, before heading back home in august, and it’ll be great to get away from the southern winter and get some sunshine and warmth. I can’t be coming back to Norway without a tan after staying 1½ years in Australia!

I’ve been on a five day road trip around Victoria together with Atle and Pål. The route we followed was roughly: Melbourne – Philip Island – Wilsons Promontory – Bairnsdale – The Great Alpine Rd to Bright, then down to Healesville through the Yarra Ranges national park.

We spent two nights in beautiful Bright, using a day in the Mt. Buffalo national park. Before coming back to Melbourne today, we went to the Healesville Sancturay, which is highly recommended. We saw platypuses and tasmanian devils, which I’ve never seen before, along with all the usual big aussie animals – like the Koala, Kangaroo and Wallabies, and lots of colorful birds.

Pål went home to the cold in Norway this afternoon, and it’s a bit strange to think that I should also be on my way back home at this moment, if it had not been for one bad exam at uni. Ah well – the weather is pretty good, and I don’t mind staying back for another semester really … as long as the money lasts …