Saturday 8th April 2017
Eden is a very small but rather attractive town on the southernmost end of New South Wales, 300 miles south of Sydney where our cruise ends tomorrow.
Eden came into existence in the 18th century as a whaling centre and is now NSW's largest fishing port. It also depends on tourism, with cruise ships calling here every so often. In fact, when 'Sirena' set off from Sydney tomorrow night its next port of call will be Eden, again, as it heads over to New Zealand.
We took the tender ashore at 9am, after the day's excursions had set off. The town had helpfully laid on shuttle buses to take visitors up the hill to the town centre and we took advantage of that. It seems disrespectful to say that there wasn't much to do here other than wander around for an hour. There's the Killer Whale Museum and the Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre, but neither of these appealed too much on this our last day ashore before we leave the ship.
So, after a look in a few shops and taking a few photos we ambled back down the hill past immaculately-maintained gardens. At the quay we stopped for fresh fruit juices in glorious sunshine before taking a tender back to the ship. This afternoon we took advantage of our last chance to sprawl in the sun, reading.
Spending so long at sea has made us wonder whether we will find cruises of a week or less even tolerable in future. It's hard to believe that we leave the ship in the morning – we've been on board for five weeks and travelled over 10,000 miles. We've not only seen every Australian state but also called in on Papua New Guinea and Bali. We've become rather too accustomed to nightly fine dining and a free choice of fine wines, and we'll definitely have to break that habit when we return! We've managed a day a week without alcohol while we've been away, but we'll need to step that up now.
Now for the agony of the long hike home by air. We arrive at Heathrow at about midday on Monday, and it's going to take us ages to adjust, we're sure! We've had an utterly wonderful time, and have this 20,000 word journal and over 2,000 photos to look back on, so that it will all be unforgettable.
[Sydney] [Brisbane] [Whitsunday] [Cairns] [Alotau] [Port Moresby]
[Darwin] [Komodo] [Bali] [Broome] [Exmouth] [Fremantle]
[Penneshaw] [Portland] [Melbourne] [Geelong] [Hobart] [Eden]