Australia, mate

March 3-14 2004


random trip report

NOTE: Some of the photos (the good ones) are by Dave Gedye. Dave's written account (and many additional photos) are here.

Erica and I went to Australia. We stayed for 6 days in Sydney with Dave Gedye, who graciously took time off from work to show us around. Among other things, we:

  • Saw amazing art at the National Art Gallery. High points: incredible aboriginal dot-paintings, and the winners of a national high-school competition; one girl had painted about 20 portraits of her grandfather, in a spectrum of styles, all of them amazing.
  • Had a nice lunch with Dave's parents, and Erica performed selections from The Sound of Music for them.
  • Saw Grace's band concert (quite entertaining).
  • Saw Tracey Newcombe, whom I hadn't seen in 14 years.
  • Did the Sydney Bridge Walk (courtesy of Dave). It's a big production - you have to wear a gray jumpsuit (to blend in with the bridge) and special radio headgear. But the view from the top is worth it, and we were there on a perfect day.
  • Watched rubgy, Australian Rules Football (footy) and cricket on the telly.
  • We had pies with mashed pea garnish from a 24-hour cart.
  • Went to the Australian Center for Computation and Communication, where I gave a talk. This is located in a giant converted railroad machine shop, along with other stuff like a new Media Lab-type place called NICTA.

Notes: 1) Dave owes me a schooner of beer from a bet about the height of Mont Blanc. 2) These pictures make it look like I wore the same Hawaiian shirt the entire time. Almost, but not quite.


A typical Sydney beach



Sandstone has good holds but is slippery



Sweet!









View from North Head



Gedye pays homage to his guru



That's the opera house in the background



National Art Gallery



Australian for food



The columns had speakers and made various sounds



U umlaut?



The dip



Near base of bridge



opera house w/ catwalk



art shot 1



art shot 2



bridge climbers



more of same



On our last day in Sydney it was over 100 degrees - the hottest March day on record. Here's Erica suffering.



super-hot day



the two Daves boldly look to the future



There are some humongous spiders in Sydney. These ones were about 2-3 inches across



a look of concern



big machine



main locomotive room



what a cute guy!


Then Erica and I flew to Adelaide and were there for four days, mostly to attend the arts festival there. We took in a bunch of stuff:
  • 'Parrot Fever', a play about singles chat rooms; pretty good.
  • 3 short plays in which disasters (e.g. deaths of pets) played a part.
  • A piano concert (2 Beethoven sonatas and a modern piece), played on a Aussie 9' piano (Stuart) and followed by a good master class.
  • An aboriginal dance performance, depicting the story of a boy who was swept out to sea on a raft.
  • A mini-circus
  • 'Pluck', a comedic string trio (overhyped)
  • A performance of the musical 'Candide' by Leonard Bernstein. Extremely good, especially the 2-piano accompaniment.
  • A comedy thing by two young guys from Perth, an extended sketch about the grueling experience of the last year of high school.
We took a city bus out to the Cleland Wildlife Preserve. Highly recommended - all sorts of Aussie wildlife in fairly natural settings. Roos, wallabees, tasmanian devils, emus, lots of birds. No crocs. You can buy a bag of kangaroo food and feed them.

Then we walked a couple of kilometers to the summit of Mt. Lofty, the highest point (700 meters) in Australia south of the Flinders Range. I think it was named sarcastically - it's more of a hillock or a knoll.


Our hotel had an enormous marble bathroom with a window to the outside. Kinda weird.



More bathroom



Signpost at Adelaide University



Erica with aboriginal dancers



Gum trees



Tasmanian devil






Momma kangaroo and Joey



Koala



More gum trees



A lorekeet









Erica feeds emu



More lorekeets






David at summit of Mt. Lofty, which towers several dozen meters over the surrounding plains

Copyright 2019 © David P. Anderson