Long Gone – Remembering Oz

Long Gone – Remembering Oz

Bizarre travel plans are dancing lessons from God.

Wow – four years have passed since I was last in Australia.

With some cash in my pocket (how times have changed!) I took my new bride Down Under to visit my homeland.

It was a long (5 weeks) and expensive trip, but she got to see a fair bit in her first visit.

Our overall itinerary went something like this:

  • Bangkok to Darwin via Singapore.  SQ975 and SQ5203. (Arrived 28 June, 2018). Stayed 2 nights at The Cav and 4 nights at Palm City Resort
  • Darwin to Sydney (3 July, 2014) – Stayed Four Seasons Hotel Sydney (4 nights) and Ibis Budget Airport Hotel (1 night) and with friends for 3 nights
  • Sydney to Launceston (11 July, 2014) Stayed Country Club Villas (3 nights), RACT Appartment Hotel (5 nights) and Leisure Inn Penny Royal (2 nights). Avis car hire from Fri 11/7  until Mon 21/7.
  • Launceston to Brisbane (July 21, 2014). Stayed Airport Hacienda Hotel before catching train to Helensvale
  • Stayed with friends at Mt Tambo and Lismore (XPT from Casino to Sydney on 29 July 2014)
  • Stayed with friends in Sydney (5 nights – Thanks Rozzie!)
  • Sydney to Bangkok (Departed August 3, 2014) – TG472

22 nights in hotels, car hire and flights. And a necklace at Tiffany’s.

You do the math!

Darwin Northern NSW

We flew into Darwin to start our Oz adventure. Great to catch up with my mate Steve and have a few at the The Cav. If memory serves we were there on Territory Day, so the dulcit sounds of fireworks were our soundtrack for the evening.

Did the usual touristy things while in town – visited the Waterfront precinct, had a nice seafood dinner at Stokes Hill wharf and toured the underground WWII oil tunnels.

Met up with my good mate Ron at Mt Tambourine. I recall he cooked us a great turkey leg and we sank a case of Coopers Sparkling Ale – yum!

Work wise, I received my marching orders while staying on the mountain. My old employer had likely run out of patience with funding my bi-monthly trips to Thailand by that stage. Oh well, at least they were kind enough to give me 3 months notice. Well played gang. In hindsight I stayed too long in that job.

Then on to Lismore. Thanks for driving us there, Ronnie.  Much appreciated.

While in Lismore we stayed with an old school friend – ‘The Uteman’. Shared some nice dinners together with his family and toured the surrounding countryside including Ballina and Byron Bay.

Sorry about the parking ticket mate 🙁 Hope the Tassie jams made up for it in some small way 😉

Thanks for teaching us ‘A Castle for All Seasons’, the BBQ and all the beers! Cherish whatever time we get to spend together these days.

Looks like the Mrs cooked ‘Tom Kha Gai’


After catching the XPT from Lismore, we arrived in Sydney in the early evening and were met by an old Chase work colleague, Roz.

It’s a great city to visit. Not so much to live, unless you’re a millionaire.

If memory serves we had sushi for dinner before camping down in her Manly doll house for a few nights. A great house with a terrific view from the living room. Envious!

Lugging shopping back from Woolies on the Corso via the bus, we cooked Roz a nice Thai meal and also scored an invite to her Dad’s birthday, getting to meet some of her family. Nice.

The Opera House, pub crawl around the Rocks, Botanical Gardens, Strand Arcade and the Lindt Cafe all got a look-in.

All smiles as Slick and Slim are together again..

Watering holes? The Lord Nelson, Bankstown Sporties, The Australian Hotel and the Löwenbräu Keller

Also managed to catch up with my good mate Slick (pictured) and his partner Donna.

Enjoyed a steak dinner with them at Kingsleys on the Wharf (Darling Harbour) followed by an outrageously expensive tenpin bowling session at Strike.

Caught up with family friend Krista and her other half Dave who put on a great lunchtime spread. A nice trip there and back on the Rivercat to Canada Bay from The Quay.

Great people. We’ve kinda lost touch over the past few years. Hope the world is treating you all well, my friends.


What’s not to like about the Apple Isle? I lived there for a year and a half so knew the lay of the land well.

Flying in to Launceston we hired a car and visited Lonnie, Hobart and Port Arthur.

The wife enjoying the Holm Oak cellar door experience.

On arrival at Hobart we stayed at the RACT Hobart Apartment Hotel in Collins St. Great base for a few days (we stayed 5 nights)

It’s an easy drive down the Midlands highway and rest breaks at Ross and Oatlands were taken. Stopped in to The Carrington Mill to re-caffinate.

Great to visit MONA – first time for both of us. What a museum should be like, folks.

And Lonnie? City Park, a nice meal at the Jailhouse Grill, and a great afternoon at my fav Tamar winery, Holm Oak.

Got to see my daughter. Miss her terribly. Every. Single. Day. Love you kiddo, I look at those pictures we took all the time. Sending you a big hug.

While in Hobart we were lucky enough to catch a gig by uber jazz man Tom Vincent at the Polish Club. Great night out!

Tom and I went to school together, and another school friend Sasha was also in attendance. I still listen to Tom’s jazz CDs on Sunday afternoons in Bangkok.

We stayed at the Country Club Villas for 3 nights – decent digs. Lost a bit at the casino (as you should!) as Keno was not kind to us at all 🙁

Return to Bangkok

3 August 2014 – when I boarded the flight back to Bangkok that was the last time I was in Oz.

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