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On the move again!

Yep. The Batchelor's made another inter-state move. The only difference was the country and with no cat. While we loved living in Brisbane and the Sunshine State, Rob's work situation required a change, and that change turned out to be in Melbourne. We are thrilled that we get to spend more time in Australia. We miss family, friends, and the good ol' USA and welcome the opportunity to see them but are not quite ready to leave. There is still so much we haven't been able to see and do, not just in Australia but also in South East Asia. COVID has certainly put a damper on the freedom of travel and exploration, but hopefully, we'll still be here when the Australian borders open up. So, our Australian adventure continues...


We did the coastal route rather than the inland route to stop in Newcastle to see Roxaan and her family on the way. We did 18 hours of driving over 4 days to cover the 1800km (1200 miles) distance. It was equivalent to driving from Seattle to Los Angeles.


Moving from one furnished apartment to another, we didn't have that much stuff. In fact, Rob had this delusional idea that we could throw all of our stuff into our little Hyundai i30 hatchback and drive the 1800 km. No problem, right?...


I finally convinced him that we do have A LOT more than he thinks, even though we weren't taking any furniture. So we shipped (trucked) our little car down to Melbourne and rented an SUV-type vehicle to haul all of our stuff from Brisbane to Melbourne.


It turns out that the Renault Koleos came very close to not being big enough either. As we shoved our overnight bags in and quickly closed the car door every morning to resume the trip, Rob would jokingly say, "I still think we could have fit it all in our little hatchback" while I rolled my eyes and shook my head. We had it stuffed to the brim with no rearview mirror visibility, but we made it work!


Moving Day #1: Brisbane, QLD to Ballina, NSW


We didn't want to go all the way to Newcastle the first day, and we wanted a shorter drive to give us more time to finish loading (shoving things into) the car and getting out of town.


We originally thought about stopping over in Byron Bay, but it is costly and touristy. We decided to stay in Ballina instead. I had to give up my dream of possibly seeing any of the Hemsworth brothers or my Hollywood crush, Matt Damon. Big sigh!


We did get to see the giant shrimp. Actually, there are no shrimp in Australia; they are called prawns. Did you know that the phrase 'shrimp on the barbie' was used in an American TV advertisement for the Australian tourism commission? They replaced prawn with shrimp just for the American audience.


Moving Day #2: Ballina, NSW to Newcastle, NSW


Yes, we did the coastal route, but most of the drive was slightly inland amongst rural farmland.





Moving Day #3: Newcastle, NSW to Albury, NSW


This was our longest day of driving. The areas around Sydney really remind us of Western Oregon and Washington. Then, as we traveled southwest from Sydney to Albury (a border town with Victoria), we witnessed a striking resemblance to Eastern Washington and the Columbia River Gorge Region. Perhaps it was the massive windmills. Regardless, it looked and felt a lot like home and the PNW.


There were regular roadside service areas with petrol stations and several delis and fast food options. Other service areas were a bit more rural or rugged. We were reminded that we weren't in the city anymore when we stopped at a rest area, and just outside the restrooms was a warning for snakes. Yikes! I think I will hold it!


Southeast New South Wales


Moving Day #4: Albury, NSW to Melbourne, VIC


Yay! The last leg of the trip. We left Albury early since we needed to get to Melbourne during business hours to pick up the keys to our new apartment. We were also a bit excited to get there already. We also knew, being under strict lockdown rules, that we had to go straight to our destination as soon as we crossed the border into Victoria. No passing Go or collecting $200, unfortunately. They let us in, but we couldn't leave! No turning back now!


It was weird moving into a new area and apartment during a hard lockdown. Fortunately, food shops were open, and we moved into a furnished apartment. So, we had everything we needed. The only hiccup was that we had to have our little car delivered to our apartment building instead of picking it up at the terminal. But it all worked out.

Northeast Victoria


The fabulous view of Melbourne from our apartment.

Our new suburb, Parkville, VIC 3052. I decided that I didn't need to change the title of my blog, "From the Queen City to Queensland," even though we're not living in QLD anymore. Because...does it really matter? I figured y'all wouldn't care. Right!?







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