Year of the Kangaroo

8th August 2015

So there it is. 12 Months of travelling around and living in Australia. So much done but so so much more still to do. It only feels like yesterday that we arrived off the plane in Perth in search of adventure and (after 7 months in Asia), wine and cheese!

What started as a loose plan to travel the west before making our way towards Sydney to find work to top up our savings turned into the start of a new life in Sydney…Well until the Visa runs out 🙂

So what did we get up to during our first year…

States\Territories Visited:

Only two to go!

  • New Capital Territory (aka Canberra)
  • New South Wales
  • Northern Territory
  • Queensland
  • South Australia — Trip booked for October 2015
  • Tasmania
  • Victoria
  • Western Australia


It was tough to come up with this list but here is our top 12 places visited in Oz to date.

Top 12 Places:

1. Ningaloo Reef, WA
2. Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays
3. Maria Island, Tasmania
4. Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, WA  -> Meeting place of two Oceans
5. Margaret River, WA
6. Wineglass Bay, Tasmania
7. Blue Mountains, NSW
8. Australian War Memorial, Canberra
9. Monkey Mia, WA
10. All those coastal walking paths, Sydney
11.Shell Beach, W.A
12.Fitzroy, Melbourne

12 New Aussie Words

Although in theory the locals speak the same language as us,  we have had to widen our vocabulary.

1. ‘Avro’- Afternoon
2. ‘Avo’- Avocado
3. ‘Thongs’- flip flops
4. ‘Manchester’- bed linen
5. ‘Stubby’- beer holder
6. ‘Schooner’- small glass of beer
7. ‘Midi’- smaller glass of beer
8. ‘Eski’- cool box
9. ‘Sweet As’ – complimentary comment on ones work or goods , ‘That’s Sweet As Bro’
10. ‘Lollies’ – Sweets
11. ‘Fair Dinkum’ – Genuine
12. ‘Too Right’ – Definitely


Like any adventure, living abroad has brought lots of new experiences, we have agreed (finally) our favourites.

Top 12 Experiences:

1.Bringing in the New Year at the Sydney harbour watching the fireworks over the Bridge and Opera House.
2. Touring Tasmania in our little camper van.
3. Snorkeling in the Ningaloo Reef
4. Sailing around the Whitsundays
5. Having Laura come to visit us in Sydney
6. Celebrating Christmas in July with all our friends
7. Our first Christmas together 🙂
8. Attending our first Aussie Wedding
9. 12 pubs of Christmas
10. Attending the Grand Prix in Melbourne
11. Watching Billy Connelly at the Sydney Opera House
12. Camping at the Basin


12 months in Australia (Photos)


12 things we have learnt as ‘Ex-Pats’ in Australia

As a Scottish Lassie and Irish Lad living in OZ we have learnt a few things being EX-Pat…
1. The Irish stick together
2. You are happy to pay 3 times the price for Robinsons Diluting Orange just to get it
3. You can make bars of real chocolate (posted from home) last for months
4. You will walk for miles in search of an Irish breakfast
5. Avocados taste way better in Oz
6. You can have Christmas twice a year
7. How to calculate ‘Local Time’ back home off the top of your head. (Standard calling home greeting – “What time is it over there?”)
8. There is no really early or late broadcast times that get in the way of watching the footy or rugby
9. People really want Ireland to be a Full Test team at Cricket
10. You have to wear insect repellent indoors.
11. Drop Bears are real 🙂
12. Being Scottish is like the biggest novelty ever and they all know about Club De Mar in Ayr!

Australia is a huge country and we under estimated the distance between places, the Aussies don’t think twice of driving 3 hours to visit somewhere for the afternoon…with that said we have plenty more places still to see. Here is our top 12 hit list.

12 Places next on our Australian Hit List

1. Hunter Valley — Booked
2. Adelaide — Booked
3. Noosa Heads — Planned
4. Uluru
5. Darwin
6. Broome
7. Fraser Island
8. Brisbane
9. Port Douglas
10.Jervis Bay
11. Cairns
12. Mudgee

With this list plus much more to see, we are staying longer than planned. Our initial 417 visas ( Backpacker, Working Holiday Visa) expired yesterday…Don’t worry we are here legally, we were both fortunate enough to be sponsored as ‘skilled’ workers on 457 visas. Sadly blogging is not in the ‘skilled’ list so we have both had to return to 9-5 office jobs, so our time exploring is limited to weekends and holidays. On the plus side we are enjoying life in Sydney and been welcomed by lots of friends- new and old.Our next  big adventure to plan is our wedding back in Scotland next year.

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