I spent five weeks in Australia during April and May 2009 and, in a complete contrast to my visit Down Under in 1997, the weather did not co-operate most of the time, with some of the worst weather that Australia had experienced in 25 years! When I was in Cairns, in tropical north Queensland, the rainy season was lasting longer than usual, despite the fact that the weather should have dried up a month beforehand, and when I was in southern Australia (Victoria and New South Wales) gales and rain were the order of the day, with typhoon conditions during the time I had planned to go on a pelagic trip from Wollongong, which was particularly galling. Southern Queensland and NSW north of Newcastle were underwater and conditions were atrocious. I have to say that, by the time I left, I was thoroughly sick of being rained on although it's not put me off because I am now planning my third trip to the world's biggest island and smallest continent in 2014, albeit a shorter trip of three weeks.
However, with the negatives out of the way, it was a good trip with some good birds seen, most of them ones new to me. The highlight of the five weeks was a trip out to the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns and, for once, the weather was good. The sea was choppy but the sun was hot and nicely tropical.
As it was a five-week trip, I'll split it into pages according to places visited. First up is Melbourne, which is where I flew to from Singapore, then Cairns and finally Sydney and New South Wales.
Cairns (part 1)
Cairns (part 2)
Sydney and NSW