Selling the car

Following Byron Bay we drove back down to Sydney, mainly for the purpose of selling our Mazda Tribute. We advertised it on Gumtree (a webpage where you can sell all sort of stuff), and printed out ads which we put up in fifteen hostels in our neighbourhood here in Sydney. That was our way of marketing it, cheap and pretty good reach.

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When we were in Melbourne, we gave it an oil change. As we went up the coast we started noticing that the car was jerking a bit. This made us a little worried that there could be something wrong with the transmission, but after googling the symptoms we decided it might be related to the spark plugs. So we went ahead and bought six new ones, a toolkit, and replaced them ourselves in a parking lot. The result was striking, not only did the car start again, it instantly ran smooth. Success! 🙂

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When buying and selling a car in Australia, there are quite a few forms, rules, and regulations to deal with. What’s more, the rules from one state to another varies a great deal. Our car has license plates from Western Australia, which means that you must have a residential address and a garaging address in Western Australia. The postal address can be in a different state though. So what we had to do, like most backpackers, is to use the address of a hostel we stayed at in Western Australia to complete the form. It seems to be an accepted loophole.

Furthermore, when buying a car, it’s common to ask for a “Pink Slip”. This is a form that states that the vehicle is in good condition. The Pink Slip for a Western Australian car can only be obtained at certain mechanics here in New South Wales, but we found one close to Bondi Junction. So we booked it in, and it turned out we needed to replace the brake pipes in the front to get it approved, plus a faulty parking light. Selling a car with such defects would not be easy, so we had no choice, we had to make the repairs. It cost us $472 including the Pink Slip itself, pictured below:

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The first to have a look at our car was a group of French guys and an American girl. They were definitely interested, but ended up going for a different one. Bummer, as we were running out of time here! At home we could hold the car for a couple of months without selling it, it’d be no worries, but here we only have a couple of weeks to sell it, so we started to get a little concerned we might have to dump the price.

Then this German girl came along, a backpacker like ourselves. After a short inspection and a test drive she took it off our hands for the asking price, $4.000,-

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As you might remember, we bought the car for $5.000,- at a dealer in Perth, which was good as he helped us with the necessary paperwork back then. Nevertheless, we dropped the price by 20% which is a bit, so I reckon the new owner got a pretty good deal. And adding the repair costs we came out with about $1600 in total loss, so $800 each. However, it’s been a comfortable car to drive, and we’ve put almost 12.000 km on it in two and a half month. Besides, things could have been a lot worse, it didn’t break down and we didn’t crash it 🙂 In addition, the currency-rate worked in our favour, we bought the car when the Australian dollar was worth 6 Norwegian kr, and sold it again when the dollar was worth 6,2 Norwegian kr. So we benefitted with a few hundred kr that way.

Compared to renting a similar car for the same period of time would have cost us more than $6.000,- So buying instead of renting a car in Australia is a no-brainer, if you’re going to be here for a while.

Feels mighty good to have completed the sale at an acceptable price!

Byron Bay

Now we’ve spent like a week in Byron Bay. Not exactly counting the days, just going with the flow here 😉 Anyway, it’s been such good times here at the easternmost part of Australia. Here’s a photo of Cape Byron with heaps of surfers lined up next to it.

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The surf here has been pretty great. As the swell wraps around the cape it creates a point break over the sandy bottom. This makes for fairly long rides, and even though it can be crowded at this popular spot, the strong current automatically spread people out a bit, especially when the swell picks up a bit. Here are a couple of films from fun times out in the water 🙂

There’s also an old shipwreck close to the beach here, which is fun to climb on and jump off of. Here’s Eivind having a go at it 🙂

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One accommodation I can highly recommend here in Byron is the Arts Factory. Great atmosphere at this hostel with heaps of activitites going on. I made a bracelet from a plant when I was there, played trivia, enjoyed live music from some of the other guests, and went on a bushwalk with quite a character who thought us a bit about the nature around us. Here he’s going at it, making a basket from a leaf.

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And here are just a few of more photos of the Arts Factory. If you’re ever in Byron, check it out! 🙂

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Travelling up the east coast

After having spent nearly three fantastic weeks in and around Melbourne, it was time to travel up the east coast. Here’s the route we’ve been travelling along for the past week with our main stops marked off.

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Canberra was all right, we had just a night there and checked out the nightlife a bit. Not too shabby at all. But the next stop was better, as I got to visit Angus, an Australian friend of mine. So we spent a couple of days at his place, and had such good times. Here’s Angus, cooking up a feast 🙂

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Following Kiama we made a stop in Manly right north of Sydney. Pretty posh part of town, but that’s not really what attracted us. Manly beach on the other hand caught our attention, so we went for a session out there. Here’s Eivind inspecting the conditions an early morning.

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Driving further north we had an overnight stop in Coffs Harbour. I can’t really report much from that stay as we were only there for the night. But the next day we went to this place called Angourie, which has an awesome rock pool! A great place to spend some time and keep the child in you alive. A bit of a kick in the pants to jump off that cliff 🙂

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Now we’ve made our way up to Byron Bay. No wonder it’s a tourist hotspot, it’s beautiful up here. And as we’ve been going north we’ve really found the Australian summer, got temperatures above 30 degrees up here. And being able to surf in just boardshorts and a rashguard again is no hazzle either 😉

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A walk through Melbourne

We’ve been holding the ground here in Melbourne until today, now we’re heading north in the direction of Kiama. There’s so much to see and do in Melbourne, and the city has a great vibe to it, so it was definitely worth spending some time here. Certain parts of Melbourne I would title as “hipster-paradise”. Not that I would classify myself as a hipster through and through, but I certainly appreciate some aspects of that subculture. One such area is Fitzroy, an old working-class area which is now shaped into a trendy neighbourhood, with lots of live music scenes, specialty shops, and groovy bars. There are even designated areas for murials and grafitti in the city (not only in Fitzroy), and some of the pieces are true works of art. Here are a few samples:

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Another great thing about Melbourne is the vast amount of parks and green pockets throughout the city. Whoever planned out Melbourne has done a great job at breaking up the concrete jungle with areas of beautiful nature. One of the larger ones is the Royal Botanical Gardens, a lovely place to spend an afternoon.

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Even found a statue of a hammer thrower in the park, called “the Pathfinder”. If the park wasn’t nice enough already, this really gives it a score of ten out of ten! Having thrown the hammer for a good fourteen years myself, I might find the statue a little more exciting than most people though 😉

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Finally, just to stir up your curiosity a bit, I’ll wrap up this post with the following picture… 🙂

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Visitors from the homeland

Happy new year! May 2015 be amazing for all of you, and bring heaps of peace and sunshine.

We celebrated new years eve here in Melbourne with dinner and drinks, jolly good times. A contribution to making it especially good is the fact that we’ve got another set of visitors here now! The two Norwegians who found their way all the way to Australia this time is Halvor and Svein. Among the many shenanigans we’ve been up to the last days is a trip to Jan Juc. Here we are posing on the beach; Svein, me, and Halvor.

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Jan Juc Beach is a classic beachbreak. Sand all over the place and a great place for beginners when the conditions are moderate. We chose a day that was super warm to get out of the city, we’re talking 35 degrees celsius. What I’ve noticed about Melbourne so far is that the weather changes a lot. Sun, rain, wind – you can easily have it all in one day, coupled with pretty quick changes in temperature. Kind of reminds me of a Norwegian summer, although it’s generally a bit warmer here.

I’ll just wrap up this post with a picture from Jan Juc Beach and a little Go Pro action from out in the water 🙂

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