Jan 16, 2011:
Contiki begins! To be more precise, the Contiki “Beaches and Reefs” tour began exactly one months ago.
After the everyday morning things (showers, clothing,…) I went to the lobby and saw already a large group of people standing at a small table.
However, I went first to the front desk to check out. Back to the small table. There was young woman wearing a Contiki polo shirt. After another friendly “Good morning” from me, I handed her my voucher for the Contiki “Beaches and Reefs” tour. Then I had to write my insurance details and emergency contact name on a list.
Wait a few minutes and a coffee from the breakfast room later we went to the bus to let our baggage be stored.
Then we started. First, We went to the Mrs Macquaries Chair, on the way our tour guide Justine explained us, what we have to expect for the next few hours:
Group photo, then 2 hours drive, short break, continue our ride to Port Stephens.
Group photo and the straggler
We arrived at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair and first we ran around a bit, while the photographer set up his equipment. Then we all did (all ?;-)) our first group photo (+ some variants) with the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background.
We had the choice between different sizes, and whether one wanted the “normal” or crazy version. While the photographer was preparing the prints , the tour mates including me took photos of the area. And I realized that someone was also from Germany. We quickly came in touch. A few moments later, someone came up to us and realized, oh, there are also two other german speaking people. In short: three German-speaking people including me, are on the tour.
I decided to go for the “normal” photo in the larger variant. $ 20 AUD. Yeah! but it is worth to me 🙂
While we are moved back to the bus, we heard , that Justine talked to someone on the phone. Someone had already missed us at the hotel.
She gave him 7 minutes, otherwise he would have to find his own way to catch up with us. A taxi came roaring up, the Texan made it and sat down next to me.
My first Australian rest stop station
After about 2 hours it was time, our first stop for 30 minutes. The first rest stop, that I visited in Australia. 😀
The sun was already very active again. To begin the tour calmly, I opted for the Dolphin tour, as an alternative, they usually offer sand surfing. Sadly, we could see a dolphin only very briefly. Too bad. But it was still a very good opportunity to get used to the Australian sun.
Shoal Bay Resort and Spa
The Shoal Bay Resort and Spa is a real find.
Our room had a double bed, and another room with two single beds separated by a sliding door and a bathroom.
We had a room facing the back yard of the kitchen, although it was quiet, but some other tour mates were lucky enough to get a room overlooking the pool.
Der Pool ist chillig, rund um den Pool sind Liegen und einige Sonnenschirme. Man kann hier ebenfalls an einem kleinen Stand nicht alkoholische und alkoholische Getränke kaufen. The pool is and some sun nice, deck chairs and sun umbrellas are lying around the pool. There’s also a small stand to buy non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages. For the room party is a bottle shop only a few hundred meters away. 😉
The breakfast buffet was excellent, there is a huge selection of sweets and a coffee / hot drink machine.
On our first night we had actually a room party, with some other tour mates. Perfect make some new friends 🙂