United Kingdom, Australia · 52 Days · 41 Moments · February 2017

Amy's Australian Adventure

2 April 2017

Day 7: Mindarie- such a relaxing lovely last day I am so sad to leave! Had a lovely lay in then went to the mall with megan and Lindsay to buy some toiletries so i am all prepared for the next part of my trip. This afternoon I did a run and we had some lunch, then lerina (jays sister) popped round for a catch up which was lovely! We went for a walk along Quinn's dog beach with Touko (Aunty jays dog) she had so much fun! Such a nice walk and it was so prettty! We had smoothies, milkshakes and cake at chippies, a beach cafe, which was perfect! We walked back and watched the sunset then had some dinner. I packed and did my last bit of washing. So sad to leave but so nice to catch up with old friends!

1 April 2017

Day 6: Mindarie- not feeling the greatest today after last night! But Jill and I woke up early and went down to the ocean for a swim to fight the hangovers! Yes, I swam with the sharks!!! It was so refreshing and we felt better so had some breakfast before she dropped me home mid morning. I slept and chilled by the pool for the rest of the day and Aunty jay went to collect megan from the airport, was so nice to see her and we all had dinner together.

31 March 2017

Day 5: Scarborough- today I chilled out this morning and then around 1pm,Jill, a girl from my Nz contiki came to pick me up so we could hang out for the day at her place near Scarborough. We did a beach walk and bought some supplies for strawberry daiquiris- they were so good! We went to pre drinks at marks house (another guy from our contiki who lived near by) and we met brad (also from contiki) at beach bar for dinner and drinks. We went to sandbar and niche and lots of other places- drinks are super expensive but lots of fun to catch up! Finished the night with a Nando's that opens until 3am wahoo!

30 March 2017

Day 4- Mindarie- A day of relaxing for me! I took myself off to the local mall for a browse around, aus has some amazing shops! I spent a few hours there and walked back and went to make the most of the sunshine, I got through most of my book and felt so relaxed by lunch time. Had lunch with Aunty jay and went to soak some more rays. Did another run this evening and then Lindsay and I took a walk up the sand dunes near claytons beach with the dog to watch the sunset- it was so beautiful and relaxing.

29 March 2017

Day 3- Perth City- today Aunty jay, Lindsay and I left around 9 and took the train into Perth. An all day travel card was $12 and Perth city has free 'cat buses' for everyone to use to get around. We stopped at Elizabeth Quay, on the Swan river (north of the river) which is a brand new development still being worked on. It will have pop up bars and shops, offer different activities like mini golf and day excursions, and it is where the bell tower is situated. We spent some time here and then caught the bus up to Kings park for a view over the city- or was so beautiful. We had lunch in the park and the weather was perfect too. We walked around the city for a while before returning home, I went straight to the pool to make the most of the weather and then went for a little run. Great day!

28 March 2017

Day 2- Freemantle- uncle Ian left for his week on at the mine In the early hours so I said goodbye to him last night. This morning Aunty Jay did an orientation tour with me, showing me a cool spot for a beach run, local beach and sunset view point, marina, and orientation to get to the mall or the train station. We drove to Freemantle for the morning and wondered around the beautiful old buildings along the coast like 'the round house', old temporary holding cells for criminals and 'sick lunatics'. The markets were unfortunately closed so we walked down the high street and had a look at the old prison before driving back home to the local mall for a bit of shopping. I sunbathed and spent time in the hot tub this afternoon- weather was actually a bit chilly but it's meant to get better the rest of the week. Also did a bit of laundry and cooked us dinner whilst Aunty jay left for work and began some admin stuff I.e sorting out my student bursary for uni!

27 March 2017

Western Australia- Day 1: Mindarie- Uncle Ian picked me up from the airport at around 3pm and we headed back to his house in Mindarie, about an hour away from the airport. When we arrived we went to the ocean view mall to grab some food, and then we went to visit Aunty Jay at work at 'The Indie' restaurant in Mindarie marina. I was exhausted so this evening helped to cook dinner with Lindsay- so good to have home cooked food. We watched the sunset from the house which was gorgeous and was so good to catch up with everyone.

8 March 2017

Day 26: Darwin- Last day, Such a sad day! We visited the Darwin history and science museum this morning and saw amazing reptile and marine life displays, also an exhibit on cyclone Tracy which destroyed the city in the 70s. We also went to a coastal lookout and saw the man made lake built for swimming. This afternoon we spent the day at Crocosaurus Cove which was amazing. We saw so many amazing fish, turtles and salt water crocs plus babies. I watched the girls do 'cage of death'- I was too scared! But got some amazing pictures and it was absolutely incredible to watch. Also held a baby salt water croc. These guys, when adults, can get up to 6m long and can weigh up to 900kg. Unlike most other crocs they can survive and travel up and down coastal waters but prefer fresh water. So sad to be at the end of my Australian adventure but flying to Auckland tomorrow at lunch time- bring it on! Accommodation: Travel lodge- cramped damp rooms, good wifi, second night so nice in different rooms.

7 March 2017

Day 25: Kakadu to Darwin- Today we left Kakadu and our first stop was to look at the amazing termite mounds in the national park. The huge tall ones are called cathederal mounds, they can reach 6 foot in height and can be active for 50 years plus. The flat mounds that look like grave stones are called magnetic mounds. They are built like this so the termites can move from one side to the other to avoid the direct sun, depending where it is in the sky. We also stopped at wangi falls and Florence falls which were stunning- no swimming cus of fresh water crocs! We arrived in Darwin around 3pm and did some laundry and chilled until we had free pizza organised by adam at monsoon bar. We had such a fun last night partying together! They loved giving away free drinks so I did well with a cocktail, two ciders, two shots and two glasses of champagne all on the house. We played some games and danced to our tour songs. Awesome night- so sad to see everyone realising it's our last night together!

6 March 2017

Day 24: Kakadu National Park- This morning we visited the visitors centre whilst some people went on scenic flights over Kakadu- weather was stormy! It cleared up though and we did a 1k walk around an aboriginal rock art site in Kakadu which was amazing. We had lunch then went on a 1.5 hour wetlands boat cruise. Our guide was awesome- of aboriginal descent and was telling us about his family lived off these lands and waited for the wet season (December- Feb). They eat turtles, crocodiles and the birds here. As we cruised down the river we were told there is a dominant male saltwater croc (between 5-6m long) every 1k we travelled and more females in between. There were fresh water crocs here too the wetlands are full of them. We spotted a massive 4.5m long croc in the wild and got so close (see pics!). We also saw sea eagles, wild geese, fish, and a massive tropical storm started as we headed back- we got soaked but today was so good! Had a healthy dinner- off to Darwin tomorrow.

5 March 2017

Day 23: Katherine to Kakadu National Park- Today we left Katherine after breakfast and headed to Nitmiluk National park. I did a 9k hike through the bush with Tom and Lauren whilst some of our group had coffee at the visitor centre and some went on an optional gorge cruise. The hike was a bit overgrown in places I was so worried about snakes! We saw some snake poop at least twice as we walked. Also saw a bunch of miniature little frogs and lots of birds. After having lunch we went to Edith falls for a look around, we couldn't swim as crocs had recently been cited in the swimming area. We arrived at Kakadu Aurora lodge which was so pretty- lots of mosquitos here as it's so tropical and humid. This national park is the largest in Australia and is half the size of Switzerland. We had included dinner at the lodge and saw some cane toads on the walk back. Some of the girls spotted a dingo on the grounds earlier too! Accommodation: Aurora Lodge: centre of park, clean, can't drink water.

4 March 2017

Day 22: Tennant Creek to Katherine: We made our way to Katherine today, the biggest travel day of the trip. We stopped at the Daly Waters pub for lunch which was actually really good food ( for the middle of the outback!) it was quirky too- people leave possessions or old photos or cards on the walls and around the bar so I left a passport photo! It started to chuck it down with rain as we arrived to Katherine, definitely could see the wet/ monsoon season in full force. We had pizza and chill by the pool then headed to our rooms. The wet season has been awesome so far as the water falls are in full force and there is lots of wild life about, but the down side today was that the thermal pools were shut due to rain damage. We are heading to Kakadu national park tomorrow. It was Katie's birthday today too so we bought some cake and made a contiki card for her! Accommodation: Ibis styles Katherine- pretty decent, clean, okay wifi, no bugs!

3 March 2017

Day 21: Alice Springs to Tennant Creek: Another travel day! We had a bit of a lie in and departed the Ibis at 9.45. Our first stop was at the Tropic of Capricorn monument, we crossed this in the east coast but flying back to the centre has meant we crossed it again going north again. Construction work happening at the monument so we only stayed for a few minutes. We had lunch Ailron Roadhouse and our next stop was Wycliffe Well- UFO capital of Australia, it was the weirdest place I have ever been it looked like something out of Wolfcreek. We also stopped at the devils marbles conservation reserve to look at the rock formations and did a short walk. We arrived at Eldorado Motor Inn in Tennant Creek- lovely Chinese buffet for dinner but rooms and area was super sketchy. Accommodation: Ibis Styles Alice Springs- clean, comfy, decent wifi, nice pool. Eldorado Motor Inn: best of a bad bunch but bugs and frogs absolutely everywhere, didn't feel safe, temperamental wifi, comfy beds.

2 March 2017

Day 20: Travel day- Uluru to Alice Springs: Today we travelled from Uluru to Alice Springs, which took 7 hours in total and we stopped twice on the way. We played games on the coach and watched mean girls. We saw a dust devil on the way too which was pretty cool. We had food at the rock bar which was cool and cheap but so many bugs everywhere, a huge grasshopper landed on Katie's food! Was not the most pleasant to eat outside! Feeling a little rough today so gonna get some early sleep- another huge travel day tomorrow.

1 March 2017

... there are male sights and female sites around the rock, male aborigines were not allowed to go to or look at the female sites, and likewise for women to male sites. We visited the aboriginal cultural centre before coming back at lunch time. We grabbed lunch in town and chilled by the pool. This afternoon we headed out at 6pm to watch the sunset at Uluru from a different viewpoint, with champagne and nibbles to accompany! It was beautiful! We had a several glasses of champagne and had a bus dance off on the way back which was so much fun! We had some more drinks back at the hotel, I tried crocodile tail which was quite nice- tasted like pork! We went to sleep- looking forward to our 7.30am lie in tomorrow!
Day 19: Uluru/ Ayres Rock- Today we did all things Uluru, starting with a 5.30am departure to watch the sunrise at Uluru. The view was stunning, the sun rose up and bands of light moved across the rock and made it look bright orange. The sky behind the rock was amazing and looked magical. We had breakfast at the sunrise view point, and then headed for an 11k base walk around Uluru. I completed this with Brit and Kirsty, it took us around 2 hours. We were told about the mixed opinions on the 'rock climb' that is available- many tourists do this but we were advised that it is hugely disrespectful in the eyes of the aboriginal people, and takes away from the special cultural sigificance of the site. There are signs around the site indicating places where you cannot take pictures as the specific site is so sensitive and special to the people for various reasons. The aboriginal people tell stories relating to different areas of the rock and evidence these using the features within the rock.

28 February 2017

We saw Uluru in the distance from the Kata Tjuta view point, Uluru is 348m tall, and spans 6k underground, making an iceberg effect. Finally we did a 2k walk through Walpa Gorge at Kata Tjuta which was absolutely stunning but like an oven due to the sun shining down and reflecting up and across from the red rocks. Early dinner and bed for me as we have another 5.30am start! Accommodation: Ayres rock pioneer hotel- basic, clean shared bathrooms, small rooms, bunk beds.
Day 18: Kings Canyon and Uluru- Kata Tjuta National Park- 5.15am early rise was so painful, especially as we had to pack up our swags in the dark! But wow the views today were amazing. We did a 6km undulating walk around the rim of Kings Canyon which was stunning at sunrise (after we climbed heart attack hill!) We then had breakfast back at the station. We stopped at a viewpoint to see the salt lake Amadeus and Mount Conor (often mistaken for Uluru). Mt conor is a rock structure that is 20m higher than the Eiffel Tower and sits on the 48th largest station in Australia (1 million acres, largest is in southern aus, 7 mill acres).

27 February 2017

We had dinner cooked by the chef and after dinner roasted marshmallows, and listen to Alistair (the owner) play songs on his guitar around the campfire. The best thing about the whole night was the amazing starry sky. Adam (our trip manager) gave us some information about the star formations, he talked about how people in the Southern Hemisphere looked for he southern cross, and pointed out how to spot other galaxies which looked like clouds, and finally, we looked at the entire Milky Way stretching clearly across the sky and he explained how this was the end of our galaxy. I saw two shooting stars! Was nervous getting into bed but slept with my 'lid' off. Slept quite well and it had cooled off so nicely, and it was just incredible falling asleep looking at millions of stars and the Milky Way! Best night ever-5.15am departure tomorrow!
We were shown aboriginal weapons and given a chance to throw a non- returning boomerang. We had a surprise stop at a camel farm and rode an Australian camel- which highly sought after around the world as they have maintained a pure blood line. They were bought over first from Pakistan/ Afghanistan many years ago. We had lunch at Erldunda roadhouse, which is the closest building to the most central point of Australia (which is still 12km away through the bush). We pressed on and arrived at Kings Creek Station around 4pm. The station is a cattle and camel farm- and is the largest exporter of camels in Australia. We went on a short walk around the station and the swam in the pool. We set up our 'Swags' which are effectively fancy canvas sleeping bags with a thin foam mattress. We then had to put a sleeping bag inside the swag and finally a 'condom' effectionately named as it's a tight fitted body sheet/ cacoon.
Day 17: Alice Springs and Kings Creek Station Camping: Today I had one of the most incredible evenings of my life! We left Alice Springs at 7am and arrived for a 'Bush Tucker Breakfast' and an Aboriginal Culture Talk. We were told about the aboriginal kinship system, punishment system, nomadic existence and how the aboriginal culture is changing with younger generations. We learnt aborigines live in small families of 10-12 and historically were nomads who scavenged and hunted off a small patch of land within their territory and moved to the next area. Males hunted, females scavenged and the females arranged marriages for their daughters. Once partnered you stayed together for life or faced terrible punishment. Each family lived on a seperate patch. We sampled some quamdom (the outside layer of a nut which tastes like dried cranberries), we were shown bush banana, tomato, beans, oranges and widgidy grub as well as a cooked kangaroo tail which tastes and smells like pork.

26 February 2017

Day 16: We left our old contiki crew, and mark and gaz our guides and flew to Alice Springs this morning and arrived at around 9.20am. We met with a new bunch of people who joined our group to do the Northern Territory. After checking in to our hotel we headed out to the West Macdonell mountain ranges. We walked to Simpsons gap and were told about the importance of a place like this in the desert as there was water here. We went to Anzac point, a war memorial, and look out that looks out over Alice Springs. We also stopped for supplies for camping tomorrow and went to a reptile centre where I held a bearded dragon, blue tailed skink, and a huge Python, see the terror in my face! We saw crocodiles and the most poisonous snake in the world! Such a good day- included dinner at the hotel!

25 February 2017

Day 15: Cairns- Today we had a free day (some people chose to bungee jump or sky dive) so we had a bit of a lie in then had some breakfast at the hotel. I used the gym this morning then we had an 'admin' day. We did all our laundry ready for the next part of our trip- the Northern Territory. We went to the mall in town to grab some lunch and had planned to sit by the lagoon, the weather turned stormy and windy so we came back to the hotel and had a chilled afternoon sitting and talking and packing. We had a meeting with Mark about what to expect for the next part of our trip, and how different NT would be compared to the East Coast. We had a pizza party in one of the rooms and made calls to our families back home and we will probably be out of wifi zones for a while! Roll on NT! Flight is at 7.40am tomorrow with 1/2 hour time zone change backwards when arriving in alice springs.

24 February 2017

Day 14: The Great Barrier Reef: Another wow moment! We left the hotel at 7.30 and headed for cairns harbour, we boarded a boat called ocean freedom. On our journey out to the Reef it was pouring with rain and looked like a huge tropical storm would hang over us all day. Thankfully at the Reef we had glorious sunshine and perfect light to snorkelling and see the coral and marine life. I snorkelled for around 20 minutes, we saw turtles, all sorts of fish, giant clams, beautiful coral and a barracuda! No Reef sharks (thankfully!) even though they are harmless apparently. I felt slightly sea sick with the turbulent waves so went back on board for a drink and a chill out. We went on a glass bottom boat, had lunch and snorkelled at a second spot off a sand island in the middle of the Reef. The guided snorkelling tours were fab. Amazing day! Dinner at Gilligans and no pub crawl for me, I was so ready for an early night!

23 February 2017

Day 13: Travel day + Cairns: Very reluctantly departed our beautiful hotel in airlie beach at 7.30 this morning to start a long day of travel up to cairns. We had lunch in Townsville and continued to drive alongside the great dividing range (huge mountain range. At 7.45 we went for included dinner at Ochre, a restaurant specialising in Australia food. We all had Wattle Seed Damper Loaf macadamia oil and native dukka for starters, was okay but not the best, and I tried the kangaroo for main- Char Grilled Kangaroo Sirloin quandong chilli glaze, sweet potato fritter, bok choy. It was so delicious tasted just like a good beef steak! Mark told us some places can over cook it and make it taste rubbery and too gamey but this place did a perfect job! Would definitely recommend it. We walked around the night markets after dinner on the way back to the hotel. Accommodation: Rydges Esplonage, Cairns- clean, comfortable, small room for 4 sharing, bad check in process but nice spa, gym and swim.

22 February 2017

Day 12: The Whitsundays. Early start again for a day at sea, sailing the Whitsundays! We departed from airlie beach harbour and we were on a sailing boat called the Camira. We led on the 'trampoline' nets at the front of the boat and soaked up the sun whilst we made our way through the islands. We stopped for a snorkel for 45 minutes- coral and fish were just so beautiful, we had to wear hilarious 'stinger suits' and looked like power rangers as it's high season for very dangerous jelly fish! We then made our way to the famous and most gorgeous beach in the world, Whitehaven beach. We built sandcastles and explored some of the beach. We had about 2 minutes of tropical rain then back to glorious sun. Back on the boat we had a BBQ lunch cooked for us, and had some more drinks. Ben, a member of the crew made us alll little woven bracelets and we were given some information about Hamilton island- the only Island you can live on permentantly (if very very rich!) amazing day!

21 February 2017

Day 11: Travel Day and Airlie Beach: Today we left the farm at 7am after breakfast. We passed through Rockhampton, the beef capital of Australia which sits on the Tropic of Capricorn. As we passed Mark told us we would start to feel more humid heading north, and that there was more chance of afternoon showers. We stopped for lunch in Mackay, the sugar cane capital of Australia. We finally arrived at Airlie beach, the gateway to the Whitsunday islands. The whitsundays are made up of 74 beautiful islands, I am on a day sailing trip tomorrow to visited some of them including the famous Whitehaven beach. Half of the group have gone on a two night sailing trip instead of being at the hotel, no regrets here though because this hotel is absolutely amazing we are being so spoilt! (See pictures). Kirsty and I have had a jacuzzi bath, and we are thoroughly enjoying the luxury! Early night- very excited for tomorrow!!! Accommodation: Peppers hotel-absolutely amazing!

20 February 2017

Day 10: Farm stay: We left Noosa at 8am this morning and stopped three times during our travel day. Our lunch stop was in Childers, a quiet town but nice enough. We also stopped in a smaller town and saw lots of trees of fruit bats/ flying foxes. When we arrived at the Creed family farm 'The old station farm', we were given a tractor ride around the farm and Helen, one of the owners gave us a talk. They own 26000 acres, yes, acres!! of land and they are cattle farmers. We fed her pet cow, 'sausage', and she told us about managing the farm and their border collies, how they branched into tourism, how they host a charity event and air show every year etc, what a life they lead! We walked up to a viewpoint to watch the sunset over the farm. In the evening we had home cooked roast dinner and apple crumble, did some whip cracking, line dancing and karaoke- for me the best night of the whole trip! Very sad to leave! Accommodation: Creed family, Old station farm. Well run, basic, unique.

19 February 2017

.... We drove along '75 mile beach' sand highway, we moved south coast to east coast then west for the lake. We stopped on the beach for morning tea to explore, drank some of the stream water which supposedly tasted like tea because of the tea trees on the island. We were told not to dip a toe into the tea because it's one of the most dangerous beaches in Australia as it's surrounded by hungry sharks and invisible box jelly fish! Also spotted a dingo! Our next stop was lake mckenzie. The ride there was so bumpy but lots of fun, we could definitely appreciate the need for a 4wd. Lake mckenzie's fresh water good for swimming and the sand good for exfoliating skin. Because it's world heritage listed tourists are only allowed to spend an hour at the lake. We swam halfway across the lake and ran back on the hot sand! We saw a rare baby turtle near the shore which was such a highlight. Headed for a rainforest walk after lunch and we went to noosa surf lodge for dinner. Best day ever!
Day 9- Fraser Island: Wow! My favourite day of the trip so far! We were picked up at 6am by two huge 'tourist tanks', special 4WD trucks that were equipped for driving on sand. We stopped at rainbow beach after an hour and a half of driving through the noosa Everglades, so the driver could reduce the tyre pressure ready for the sand. We caught the ferry across to Fraser Island (approx 30 mins away in total from rainbow beach). Fraser Island the largest sand island in the world, and so unique as it is the only place rainforest grows on sand. It's ecosystem is extremely stable as the island is protected from weather extremities (for example, if there is drought on the mainland, the island would remain green and prosperous). The driver told us this because the sand particles behave differently to other deserts, storing the rain water instead of repelling it down to the soil ( which sometimes cannot be accessed by greenery, hense deserts). Such a unique place- see next post continued

18 February 2017

Day 8: After breakfast (tried some vegemite- delicious!) we set off at 8am for Brisbane, the capital of Queensland and third most populated city in aus behind Syd and Melb.We walked across Victoria bridge to southbank and had a picture with the Brisbane sign, then sat in the shade around the free lagoon and pool.We then caught the free red line city hopper river boat 3 stops to eagle street pier, grabbed lunch and walked back to the bus. Free wifi all over the city was great! From here we arrived in Noosa, we were taken to Noosa beach and the main town which was about 15 minutes away. From here we walked along the coast to the national park. So beautiful, we saw a koala in the wild and a turtle in the sea, as well as lots of wild turkey and more spiders! We grabbed a burger for dinner and came back for an early night- big day tomorrow! Accommodation: Noosa lakes resort, quirky little villas, communal pool,no restaurant and bad wifi!
Day 7: Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast: I was awake by 6.30 so I hit the gym with Britnny! We had a inclusive breakfast at the hotel then headed out exploring along the coast. Walking along the beach was absolutely stunning. We spotted different jelly fish that had been washed up on the beach and loads in the shallows of the water ( with people still swimming and taking their chances!?)The larger one in the picture is a blue jelly fish, and the other sandy picture with strings that look blue are actually blue bottle jelly fish, really common in summer and they wrap around you giving a nasty sting, apparently like a really bad bee sting that lasts a good 20 minutes. Some girls and guys from our group were already stung. We sunbathed at the hotel this afternoon, then went on a night time jungle walk. We saw and walked under three orb weaver spiders in webs, huntsmans, a trap door spider, a python, eels, glow worms, frogs, ants, termites, geckos, a water dragon (hard to get good pictures!)

16 February 2017

Day 6- Byron Bay + Surfers paradise: After all inclusive breakfast at 'earth and sea', Sam, Lauren, Katie, Lottie, Britnny, Melanie and I did a walk from the town up to the most easterly point of mainland Australia. Steep incline and very sweaty but so worth it- the views were beautiful. After a frozen yogurt for lunch we got back on the coach and headed for Currumbin Wildlife Sanctury. We moved our times from 11 hours ahead to 10 hour ahead of Uk as we crossed the border from New South Wales to Queensland. The wildlife sanctuary was amazing!!! So many gorgeous native animals and more, could have happily spent days and days there. Easily one of my favourite days ever! When we arrived in surfers paradise (main suburb in the Gold Coast) we realised we are staying in such a fancy huge hotel! We relaxed and then had vapianos for dinner, having another early night for more business tomorrow! Accommodation: Alpha sovereign hotel- so clean, spacious, helpful staff, gym, spa and swim.

15 February 2017

Day 5- Surf Camp and Bryon Bay: what a day! Had a 7am surf lesson this morning. My first time surfing and I absolutely loved it! Managed to stand up and ride a wave at least 4 times whilst doing SHAKA 🤙🏽 it was the best feeling ever. Sadly no pictures as of yet (waiting to download them). We then made our way to Bryon bay, a 3 hour bus journey. We stopped at the cape Byron lighthouse, then we grabbed a chicken burger at Belaportos as recommended, so good! We spend the afternoon on the beautiful beach of Byron bay, chatting and sunbathing and then got ready for a night out at cheeky monkies. We had a smoothie for dinner and headed out. Cheeky monkies is such a good back packer bar, lots of dancing on tables, face painting, free champagne and drinks! Such a good night! Accommodation: Spot X surf camp ( basic but does the job, clean, eco friendly, functional, scary little insect friends everywhere!), nomads hostel (Byron)- really nice spot, central, clean basic, does the job.

14 February 2017

Day 4- Travel day+ Surf Camp: Another early start! We left the travel lodge at 7.30 and headed for our next stop, Coffs Harbour. We were going to spend tonight in a surf camp called 'Spot X'. We stopped at Port Macquarie on the way up for some lunch and Mark, our tour leader, bought us all a lamington, traditional Australian sponge cake with chocolate and coconut-see pic!) and arrived at the surf camp around 16.30. We had a simple surfers dinner (see pic) and were shown around the camp. The accommodation here was so quirky! We stayed in old eco friendly shipping containers (see pic) which were basic but so original. Also had my first taste of Aussie wine 'Goon' which is essentially headachey wine in a box but actually very tastey! Also spotted a couple of iguanas who joined us for dinner! After a minor incident with a rather large spidery friend in our bathroom, we headed to sleep early ready for our surf lesson in the morning! SHAKA!!!! 🤙🏽

13 February 2017

Day3: Bondi- Coogee beach walk: This afternoon we decided to do a walk along the coast, probably the best decision I've made all trip! Miles of the most stunning beaches I've ever seen, beautiful fresh sea air and perfect blue sky. We visited Bondi, Tamarama, Bronte, and Clovelly beach (didn't quite make it to Coogee!) highly highly recommended!!! Plus public buses are super easy to navigate. ps- lots of suncream needed!
Day 3: Sydney Beaches: Today we left early to visit Mrs Macquaries point, a view point with amazing views of the Opera house and Sydney Harbour Bridge. We then were driven to Manly beach, and we walked to Shelley beach- both beautiful! We had delicious $1 7/11 slushies on the beach and sunbathed which went down a treat. After catching a ferry back to circular quay, Brittny and I made our way to bondi beach and did an incredible coastal walk- (see next post). An amazing day topped off with a gym session, lazy dominos and an early night ready for our travel day tomorrow!

12 February 2017

Day 2: AMAZING dinner included with our tour this evening at Stacks Taverna 😍 cooked and seasoned our own steaks on the barbie, served with home made chips and salad. And apple crumple pizza for dessert 🥂🐄 I am one satisfied ladyyyyyy 😌
Day 2- Start date of my contiki tour- Blue Mountians and more Sydney: Today we had an early start, and drove up to the blue mountain national park- so stunning! We trekked the wentworth falls trail and finally visited echo point and the three sisters rock formation. Legend has it 3 beautiful sisters were turned to stone to prevent them being stolen by greedy men who couldn't take a hint! We are now heading back to Sydney for more sight seeing and #secretproject, all I'm saying is it has a valentines theme! We also get to cook our own steak on a barbie tonight, at a restaurant in Darling harbour! Bring it on! X
Day 1: Sydney- After a rocky start (misplacing my bank cards, idiot!!!!), I managed to sort things ( with muma and Michael on standbye), and had the most amazing day. Sydney is such a beautiful city. It's s clean and varied city with sights to see round every corner. I started with a little trip to Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. So beautiful- and looked even more impressive in the glorious sunshine. Around the harbour there were 12 huge paper lantern statues to celebrate Chinese New Year, the whole of Pitt street (Main Street in Sydney) was decorated with lanterns, dragons and colour. I walked up to the Royal Botanical Gardens and sat on the lawns reading my book until I spotted a massive spider in a web nearby- that was my cue to leave! I had a much needed cold drink and some lunch after this, and soon it would be time for the pre tour 'meet and greet'. Met my tour buddies for drinks at the opera house! Accommodation: West end backpackers (not great), Travel lodge.

9 February 2017

Australia here I come! 🇦🇺