February 28, 2020

Syd’s Wild Dayz Tuesday 3 January

The UK Contingent have all safely arrived in Tasmania with the Yorkshire Contingent flying in from Sydney at 11.30 and the Bexleyheath Contingent arriving from Melbourne at 13.00 After a short transfer of around 20 minutes we arrived at Quercus Park, met up with one another and also the Explorers, Duncan, Patrick and Debbie met up with their Expedition Units for the first time as they all camp together as a Unit throughout the Venture.

The Northallerton Explorers had all thoroughly enjoyed their week in Sydney and Syd spotted several of them around the site with their new found Australian friends while Chris, Moose and Duncan met up with friends made at previous Ventures.

After dinner the camp was formally opened by the camp chief and Venture organisers together with local dignatories before entertainment kicked off culminating in an appearance by The Jezebels, a well known Australian band.

Syd’s Wild Dayz Monday 2 January

Temperatures have hit 40 degrees in Melbourne but luckily Syd & Co were off to the Yarra Valley for a wine tasting tour of 4 vineyards. Moose’s directional problems found a new challenge as he confused the red wines ‘La Droite’ and ‘La Gauche’!!

In the evening we took the tram down to the beach resort of St Kilda where people were still swimming and playing on the beach past 11pm.

Tomorrow morning we head off to Tasmania for the start of the Venture.

Syd’s Wild Dayz Saturday 31 December

New Year’s Eve dawned warm and sunny and with the evening’s celebrations in mind Syd & Co planned a shorter journey today with a trip to Puffing Billy, one of Australia’s most famous steam trains where after an hour’s journey by steam from Belgrave we reached Lakeside station after passing some marvellous scenery.

After around an hour walking around the lake and woodland areas we returned to our starting point and then back to Melbourne to prepare for New Year’s Eve.

Syd’s Wild Dayz Friday 30 December

We drove out of Melbourne again today down the freeway to Phillip Island, featured as Penguin Island in the BBC TV series presented by Rolf Harris last year.

To begin with we purchased our tickets for the evening Penguin Parade (a wise move as it turned out as the night’s ‘performance’ was sold out with several thousand people attending and many disappointed people turned away) and then drove up to the Nobbies where boardwalks go from the cliffs down to the ocean. Unfortunately we couldn’t see any seals in the sea but did spot a couple of stray penguins and then a wallaby as well!

After dinner in Cowes we returned to the Penguin Parade where the penguins return to shore after sun down (around 9.10pm this night) and then have to brave the gulls on the beach to return to their burrows in the dunes to feed their young.

Syd’s Wild Dayz Thursday 29 December

Today we drove along the whole Great Ocean Road, a coastal road that follows the Bass Strait to the south of Melbourne for over 200km. In the morning we passed through Torquay and stopped for coffee at Anglesea, both of which were very close to the site of Venture 2000.

We then stopped again at Split Point lighthouse, Apollo Bay and Gibson’s Steps before the highlight of a drive that offered stunning scenery throughout – the viewing platform for the Twelve Apostles, a series of rocks left behind by the sea eroding the cliffs for hundreds of years.

Along the shipwreck coast in the afternoon thankfully both Moose and the driver behind were able to pull off successful emergency stops when finding a stationary car round a blind bend which had halted to help a small minibus that had gone off of the road on the bend. All from the minibus appeared to be unscathed as we passed.

Syd’s Wild Dayz Wednesday 28 December

We started our first full day Down Under with a chilled out day in Melbourne to get over the previous day’s long flights. The day began catching the free City Circle tram from just by our hotel round to Flinders Street station and a visit to the Tourist Information Centre. From there we embarked on a self guided 3km circular walking tour of the city centre and then at the finish of that walked across the Bridge, obtaining a great view of the MCG, to Southbank for lunch.

In the afternoon we took another tram down to the Docklands area and explored this part of the city which has sprung up from the previous industrial area in the past decade or so. Then in the evening, after the surreal sights of a choir singing Christmas Carols on a summer evening and a penguin playing the bagpipes on a street corner, we ended our first day by sharing a delicious ‘tasting menu’ in the Allegro restaurant.

Syd’s Wild Dayz Mon 26 – Tues 27 December 2011

G’Day. The UK Contingent have arrived Down Under!! The Explorers from North Yorkshire are spending the week in Sydney until they fly to Tasmania on 3 January for the Venture.

The major excitement on Syd’s flight to Melbourne was an unspecified ‘incident’ elsewhere on the A380 which led to another passenger being relocated to the vacant seat next to Debbie for landing and the 2 hour stop over in Singapore giving Moose and Chris the opportunity to sample a Singapore Sling each at 8am local time!!

Syd and Co arrived in Melbourne, collected the hire car and once Moose had mastered an automatic had a smooth drive to our base for the next week – the Space Hotel, bang opposite the Old Melbourne Gaol. Moose hasn’t had to tackle the unique Melbourne ‘hook-turn’ yet when turning right but has been threatening to go and practise some ‘handbrake hook-turns’ later!!

Syd’s Wild Dayz 2012

Well it’s hard to believe that Escape was 3 years ago but in around 48 hours time the UK Contingent will be setting off for Australia again for some time in Sydney & Melbourne before all arriving in Tasmania on 3 January for the start of the 15th Australian Venture – Wild Dayz.

Internet connections permitting Syd will try to bring you daily updates from the Venture.

No doubt the site will look a little busier when we arrive…