|On the way back to Sydney we took a more northerly route than on the way out. It crossed through a lot of country "towns" and the sites were less than remarkable. There was a giant red gum tree and a "magnetic" hill that was supposed to be able to pull your car uphill. Maybe it did, but we had opposing opinions on which way was uphill at the spot where we supposed to stop the car. Needless to say it was not a mindblowing experiment. One notable thing we noticed on this journey was that the stereotype of Australians and the "barbie", ie, the cooking method, not the doll, is absolutely true. At every campground there are at least two of them and even at random roadside rest areas there are free gas grills. Another pleasant aspect of travelling in Australia is the plethora of wine regions. North of Sydney we stopped in the Hunter Valley, which is home to Rosemount Estates and hundreds of other famous and not famous wineries. Charlie got to join in on the tasting and we had a very full array of tasty stuff at Briar Ridge. A very tall guy of Vietnamese descent was in charge there and was very informative as well as funny. If we could have afforded to actually buy a bottle there we would have. Before returning to Sydney we stopped on the North Coast at Newcastle. It has some nice beaches, however, our favorite thing there was a nearby reserve. They have a koala/bird exhibit there where they have a daily feeding time for the koalas and also let you pet one. This was what I wanted to do for the whole trip so I was very excited. I considered trying to run off with "Suzy", but didn't think she could run fast enough. By the way, Suzy never heard that koalas only eat eucalyptus leaves because she was happily munching on an apple as I, and all the little kids, lined up to pet her.