We arrive in Sydney on 15 December, flying from Mauritius via Kuala Lumpur, meeting Thomas from his London flight there and then the three of us flying into Sydney together. Pre-Christmas we plan to drop down to Kyama, a couple hours south of Sydney, to visit Ian’s aunt and uncle then, for Christmas and New Year, we’ve booked AirBnB places – in south Sydney for Christmas and on Manly beach for New Year.  Natalie and Faye both arrive in Sydney on Christmas Day, on separate flights so, depending on how on-time they are, we should all be spending Christmas Day together.

After New Year all 5 of us are driving up to Noosa Heads, near Brisbane where we have another AirBnB for a couple of nights. At the end of our time in Noosa Heads Thomas, sadly, has to return back to the UK to face his exams so we’ll be dropping him off at Brisbane airport before doing a U-turn and heading back north to yet another AirBnB, this time on Fraser Island.

On the 9th of January it’s Natalie’s turn to go back home so it’ll be another trip to Brisbane airport and then there’ll be three – mum, dad and Faye! After the weekend of 9/10 January staying in Brisbane, where Faye and Ian hope to take part in the Resolution Run, we’ll travel on up the east coast as far as Cairns, arriving on the 15th, just in time for another exciting part of the trip – a 3-day, 2-night Liveaboard trip to the Great Barrier Reef, where we’ll be doing lots of diving and snorkelling and, in the process, ticking off another bucket-list item.

Faye then leaves Cairns on the 19th to begin her flight back to South Korea leaving Jan and Ian to their own devices for a further 12 days or so, until our departure to Costa Rica on 1 February.

We haven’t planned this last bit of our time in Australia yet; although we were only going to stick to the east coast, Ian recently watched a film called Red Dog, which transported him back 35 years in time to the months he spent working in the iron ore mines of the Pilbara. UnknownSo we’re tempted to see how much it would cost to visit Dampier, via Perth, visiting some friends there on the way. Alternatively there would be time to catch the last couple of stages of the Tour Down Under in Adelaide – or maybe even both. tbc!