It recently occurred to me that before moving here, I had vaguely heard of Sydney and Melbourne and maybe Perth, but had no clue about other Australian cities or where any of them were. So if I were still in the United States and reading this blog, I wouldn't have any picture in my mind about where things were, and that would bother me. So here you go; this is Australia 101. I probably should have done this about six months ago!
Australia is about the size of the United States and has six states: Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, and Tasmania. The Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory are the two territories. We live in the smallest state, Victoria, in the lower righthand corner of the map. Melbourne, Victoria's capital, is right on Port Phillip Bay, and Tasmania is an overnight or daylong boat ride away. We can actually see the boat from our windows here in St Kilda. We'll be going to Tassie for the Falls Festival (a music fest) over New Year's Eve, but we'll ride a plane to Hobart (it's cheaper than the boat).
Sydney is in New South Wales, and it's about an hour and a half long plane ride away from Melbourne. I've been there twice and will go again with my family, and Zack has gone several times for work. The capital of the country is Canberra (pronounced "Can-bruh"), but nobody really goes there because it's just government buildings (from what I hear).
When my family comes (in just over two weeks!), we'll fly up to Cairns (pronounced "Cans") and spend some time at the Great Barrier Reef. In preparation for this, Zack and I have rented Finding Nemo. My sister Morgan is staying an extra week, and we'll be going to Uluru to see Ayers Rock, which is in the Outback. I'll write more about that in November. The whole middle of the country is pretty much desert and uninhabitable.
Other major cities in Australia are Brisbane (they've had some bad flooding in recent months), Adelaide (known for good wine), and Perth. We're actually doing a long weekend trip to Perth for Valentine's Day 2012, so you'll hear more about that later. As the weather gets warmer, we're hoping to do some camping around Victoria and get to know our new home even more. Now hopefully you feel like you know a little more about it too!
P.S. Over 10,000 hits on this blog in less than six months...we feel special! :)