Australia 1992

This was my first big trip abroad on my own and my first solo flight.

I had resolutely saved up all of my holiday job money working as a care assistant and data inputter over the course of the last few school holidays, and the glory of the really long holiday between my A Levels and the start of University.

The first excitment was chatting along to a lady called Margaret on the plane, who took me under her wing as a nervous passenger. One of the stewards found out she was from Durban, as was our pilot, and this being long before the days of locked cockpits, she was invited to up to meet the captain and the co pilot, and I was happily dragged along with no complaint!

Margaret got off the plane at Singapore, where I managed to offend the ladies of the Changi Airport shops by asking if their swiping machines would copy my credit card (with a grand total of £400 credit)...

Our Durbanite captain on the left, having a break...

Here are a couple more photos from the flight. The first, on the left, was flighing over the foothills of the Himylayas; the second our approach towards Sydney, flying along the NSW coast at dawn.
Upon arrival at Sydney airport, my uncle was waiting for me. But first, I had to negotiate customs! I got chatting to a girl on the last stage of the flight, who had been on a farm during the last year, and I had had some sweets on me (you're not allowed to bring food into Australia.) We felt that this was a reasonable excuse to go through the red channel, and manged to get through customs in about 15 minutes rather than the 40 minute queue for all the green channel passengers.
Before I left the UK, my cousin Claire called to say that the family was going to the Gold Coast for a week for half term and would I like to go with them?(Like this is a hard question to answer... :D) So we flew up to Surfer's Paradise, and went to Seaworld, Movieworld, Jetlag world (ok, I'm kidding about the last one - only I visited there.) We did have a great time though.
I can't go any further without putting in a couple of Sydney pics::
The Rocks area
The Opera House and part of the harbour
After a few weeks floating around in Sydney, I went down to Canberra by bus to meet up with another set of cousins. Canberra in the Australian winter is cold, wet and miserable - but it does have the best science museum I've been to (and I include the London Science Museum and the San Francisco Expolratorium in that comparison, although this was 12 years ago.) Canberra is also the home of the Australian Mint. I bought a coin. Exciting 'eh! Actually I suspect that Canberra is a very nice place to live when the sun shines.
Then we headed on to Tumut, my home for the next 3 weeks. My cousins have since moved up to the Gold Coast, but previously they resided in the small timber town of Tumut, home to 6,000 logging families, a doctor, optometrist (cousin Brian) and dentist. It's also home to about 10 pubs lined up along the main street, regularly dotted along each side of the road. Tumut is on the edge of the Snowy Mountains, near Batlow (another small town famous for growing a large percentage of the nation's apples) and about 45 minutes from Wagga Wagga, where I was privileged to see the graduating class of the Royal Australian Ballet. "I saw the Ballet at Wagga Wagga" - now not a lot of people can say that!
More to come...