106 Days ·
232 Moments ·
4 days ago
We did a 7k run around the town this morning and had breakfast on the balcony with the cheeky Cockatoos before heading to Mission Beach.The weather was pretty gloomy but we were in the car for over 5 hours so we didn't mind. We decided to skip staying in Townsville because we are short on time and feel that Magnetic Island will be just like the other islands we have seen. We still stopped there for lunch and were quite pleased we had chosen not to stay there as it is a bit of a nothing town. After some average reduced sushi with aioli, (no soy sauce provided) we continued our drive past huge fields of sugar cane and banana plantations in search of a dollar coffee. Every river we crossed, I was just imagining all of the salty crocs that could be hiding in there. We passed some models in small towns where they are famous for their fruit. We arrived to a very wet Mission Beach to a very basic hostel and had a chat with some American guys and a chap from Denmark about their trips.
Lunch stop at Townsville. A very humid 28 degrees.
5 days ago
Today we went on ZigZag Whitsundays adventure tour. The boat has four engines totalling 1200 horsepower so it was an exhilaratingly fast ride between all the islands which was really fun! They had some cool music playing throughout the day and the crew were great. First stop was Mantaray bay and sure enough we spotted them. Unfortunately we were not quick enough to snorkel with them but we were still able to watch them feed. We swam with some huge fish called Wrasse which were cool but the coral was really disappointing considering it is the Great Barrier Reef. Just as we expected it was mostly bleached which was sad to see. We didn't bother snorkelling at the next stop because we got quite cold as the wind picked up. We had lunch at Whitehaven Beach which was stunning. The sand genuinely cleaned my earrings it was that fine. We zoomed past the Hamilton islands and stopped for a drink at a luxury resort called Palm Bay before heading back to Airlie Marina. Great day out!
6 days ago
Up at 5.45am to start our 8 hour drive to Airlie Beach. We had a dollar coffee stop on route and made it to Airlie Witsunday Terraces just after 14.00. We checked in and headed to the lagoon for a sunbathe. It was nice to start feeling the warmth again. Airlie is a nice town and we had a lovely view of the harbour from our balcony. I had an average bitters by the pool and caught up on my Journi using the wifi. We cooked stuffed peppers for dinner and I read my book before bed.
7 days ago
Easy 4.5 hour drive from Noosa to Agnes Water today. The morning started with a 6k run along the boardwalk at Noosa in search of Koalas. I still felt a bit rough but knew I would feel better for doing some exercise. The town and beach were buzzing with people surfing and having coffee on their Sunday morning. We had some left over eggs, bacon and sausages for breaky and made our way to Agnes Water. We made a quick stop in Bundaberg for a swap of driver and for Aidan to sample some rum. We checked out the beach at Agnes Water and headed to 1770 headland lookout for sunset. We were recommended to visit 1770 by dads work colleague and I am so glad we made the hour detour. The lookout is one of the few places in Aus where you can watch the sunset in the east. It was magic seeing some dolphins playing in the strip of sun. We stayed in Anges Water for the night and had the place to ourselves. We had dory (sorry mum) and roast veggies for dinner which was yum and finalised Bali plans with K&R
Beautiful sunset at 1770 headland lookout watching dolphins play!
Lovely surf beach at Agnes Water.
Of course Aidan had to make a stop at the rum distillery in Bundaberg!
8 days ago
I drank far too much wine last night! I haven't drank that much since we have been away and felt rough all day. I even had to go back to bed for a bit! After a shower, lovely Lenore made me some marmalde on toast and gave me a carton of apple juice. I felt so sad saying goodbye to them as we have been so well looked after and made us feel so at home. Aidan put a branch of the bush in the car because he loves the smell and reminds him of when he used to live there as a child. It smells like marijuana to me! Unsurprisingly I slept for most of the journey to Noosa and only managed to stomach a bag of Tyrells salt and vinegar crisps. Aidan made me climb Beerburrum mountain which was awful! I thought I was going to die. It was so steep! The view was pretty good though and I felt much better for it. We arrived in Noosa which was a lovely little town and had a coffee. We had a cooked breakfast for dinner and I slumped on the bed watching English TV.
9 days ago
Today was an early start to drive back to the Gold Coast for a whale trip. Each year between April and November Humpback Whales migrate north to sub-tropical waters after a summer of feeding on krill in Antarctic waters. They cover 10 000 kilometres and return with their calves. Unfortunately we didn't see any because it was quite choppy and is still early in the season but the company offer you another trip to guarantee a sighting. I'm so glad I took sea sickness tablets because there was alot of Asians puking off the back! We went to an outlet store in the afternoon and went to Frosty and Rachel's for dinner. I haven't seen them since I was 11 so it was lovely to catch up with them. They gave us lots of tips about our trip up north and have kindly invited us to stay with them in their beach house in a few months. We rang Arthur who was surprised to hear me on the other end of the phone. We drank a lot of wine and ended up crashing at theirs for the night.
10 days ago
Today we visited the Australian Zoo which was owned by Steve Irwin before his tragic death. Each day they feed one of the large salt water crocs in the crocosium and warn everyone about how dangerous they are. It was insane just seeing it swallow a whole chicken with no problem. After the zoo we visited the hospital where we saw a turtle being examined. They were thinking it had ‘floating syndrome’ where a turtle is buoyant at the water’s surface, unable to dive. It is a serious condition as they can’t access food. It is caused by a build up of gas in their body, after ingesting marine debris that blocks its GI tract and prevents food bein digested. After the zoo we went to the Glass House Mountain lookout which was cool to see. I did a 5k run in the evening with Sue and Aidan used her gym. It was part of a social run club and we got free pizza afterwards which was fab! Paul and Lenore had also cooked for us again which was very sweet of them.
Glass House Mountains lookout.
You can't come all the way to Australia and not visit the Steve Irwin Zoo!
5 June 2019
Today we explored Brisbane city. Paul and Lenore kindly dropped us down to where the ferry departs but unfortunately that stop was closed. It was a pleasent day so we just walked onto the next stop and got a free ride to the Southbank. It reminded us both of London Southbank with the wheel and the bridge. We walked over the bridge to the markets and resisted buying the huge brownie slabs. There was a fashion show on where all the models were wearing something recycled. The dresses were amazing, made from plastic straws or lids. We had some lunch on the grass with all the workers and walked over to story bridge. Aidan stopped off in Greshams for a Guiness because its Jamie's second name. We hired a lime scooter to get us over Storybridge which was fun. It was the most we had paid on public transport that day because we managed to get a free bus home too.We caught up with my friend Sue for a coffee and watched the State Of Origins match over dinner with Lenores sister.
4 June 2019
Morning workout in the hotel gym before breakfast with the Asians. Aidan and I were the only couple that were not Asian. The watery scrambled egg wasn't the best but we took some fruit for the day and headed to the beach for a little stroll. It was really windy today and felt quite cold. We brought a ticket which allowed us 3 days access to Dreamworld, the water park and the sky tower which was worth it. The parks had alot of shut down rides and I was scared to go on the big ones but enjoyed seeing the animals. We watched a natural behaviour Tiger show which reminded me of all the animals in captivity but these animals were all at the park to protect them or protect the people from the Crocs. Aidan was adamant we use the water park which was freezing! There was only one other couple in the park. We quickly did a few slides and got a hot shower before heading to Paul and Lenore's in Brisbane. We had a lovely chat over a delicious dinner. Lovely people!
3 June 2019
Alarms set for sunrise for a run up to the lighthouse. It was a fairly big hill to get to top and I was knackered! Lots of people were walking/running up there so its definitely a popular spot. We made our way back along the coastal path and stopped to watch the waves crash against the big rocks. There were surfers and swimmers out so we decided to join them after our sweaty 10k. Quick breakfast and we were on our way to Surfers Paradise (1.5 hour drive). I have heard mixed reviews about SP which has been described as Blackpool (cheap and tacky). One friend told me to avoid it completely but we thought we would experience it. We stayed in a nice hotel looking over the river and had a bbq for lunch in the local park. It really reminded me of Florida with it's big houses, pools and boats backing onto the river. We went up the Sky Tower for sunset which was pretty cool. The beach looked huge! Aidan sampled 2 pints of Guinness In different Irish bars and was fairly impressed with them.
Cape Byron Lighthouse run.
2 June 2019
I was naughty last night and turned off Aidan's alarm becuase we were up late watching the rugby and I didn't want to get up early! We woke up at 10am and Aidan was so confused why his alarm had not gone off. I forgot that we were going to get up for the free yoga at 8.30am. I admitted I switched it off later that evening! We had some breakfast and went to the market which had lots of yummy food stalls. Of course we made the most of the free samples and brought a multi functional peeler. We have been making lots of salad for lunch on the go so this little tool will come in handy for that. We wondered around the town and sat on the beach watching the buskers in the afternoon. Aidan found another Brewery called Stone & Wood just outside of the town and insisted he taste the beer. We had Kangeroo sausages for dinner and watched David Attenborough before bed.
1 June 2019
This morning started with a 7k run along the beach and through the town of Yamba with a horrible hill. Yoghurt, granola and fruit for breaky before a coffee in Caperberry in search of wifi to book the rest of our trip. Unfortunately the wifi was not working so we drank our flat whites and enjoyed the sunshine. There was a huge black cloud approaching so we drove to the Green/Blue pools for a quick look and made our way onto Byron. We arrived in Byron 1.30hours later and checked into our hostel. The hostel is modern and right in the centre of the town which has lots of cute cafes, shops and bars. Turkey rissoles for lunch before happy hour in Main Street bar. I said I would give alcohol a miss for a few weeks but I couldn't resist a $5 prosecco! I had a catch up with Beth and dad over face time and we had home made beans and Kangeroo sausages for dinner. We stayed up to watch the Chiefs who played amazingly but unfortunately lost to Saracens.
Angourie Blue Pools.
31 May 2019
We left Cam's for 9am and headed to Yamba which was about a 4 hour drive. We stopped at Port Macquarie on the way and had a little stroll along the beach to Tacking Point Lighthouse. The view was amazing and reminded me of Puttsborough. There was a guy looking for whales as it is the start of their migration to warmer waters up north. He had seen a few but they were too far out for the naked eye to see. In a couple of weeks he said that up to 400 whales pass daily. We also visited the Koala Hospital where they are treated for burns from bush fires, car accidents or chlamydia in their eyes. They were very cute all cuddled up in balls in the trees. There had been a sighting of a dangerous spider in the area so we left promptly! We picked up some dinner in Woolys and watched a beautiful sunset at Foreshore Reserve. We arrived to our air bnb which appeared to be in someone's garage with lush cosmetics and fancy granola but no sink. We went to Maccy D's for a coffee and to use their wifi.
Visit to the Koala Hospital.
Whale spotting at Tacking Point Lighthouse.
30 May 2019
We both had a good nights sleep but woke up with insanely sore legs! Getting up and down the stairs and sitting on the loo was such a struggle! Cam made overnight oats for breakfast which were yummy. We headed out in the car and firstly explored the mansions around the edge of the golf course before heading to Diamond Beach. Next stop was Black Head Beach which had a rock pool that we did consider swimming in but decided it was too chilly. In the sun and out of the wind it felt quite pleasent so we walked up to the lookout. Aidan was laughing at me hobbling up the hill and made me do some squats on the bench to help with blood flow. Next stop was lunch at Bennet's lookout which was amazing. Within 5 mins we had seen dive bombing sea birds, Sting Ray's, fish and a Turtle! We headed to Cape Hawke Lookout for an amazing view of Forster and laid on the beach for a bit out of the wind. Dinner was at Jashan Lounge for a delicious curry which Cam's dad very kindly paid for.
Lunch spot and stroll at Bennetts Head Lookout. The little black dot in the last picture is a turtle!
Black Head Beach.
29 May 2019
Had some great snuggles with Reggie this morning when Aidan got up for the gym to assess Luke's leg. I took Reggie for a run which was a stupid idea as my legs were so sore from the gym. We had a quick breakfast and made tracks for Forster to stay with Aidan's friend Cam. 4 hours later we arrived to a sunny Forster and met Cam from work at the beach. We had a little stroll around the town and popped into Woolys to get food supplies. We went back to Cam's mansion on a huge golf course and had the avacardo coffee which we all first tried in Bali at the coffee plantation. Cam's dad (Dave) cooked beef rissoles on the bbq which I surprisingly enjoyed. The boys spoke to Parker on the phone and he recommended we watch The Thinning which is a film about how in a dying world, population control is dictated by an aptitude test in high school. It was like The Hunger Games and was pretty tense film to watch just before bed.
28 May 2019
I had a lie in this morning as I was knackered from the red eye flight. Aidan woke me up at 5.50am to go to the gym with Luke and turned the light on which I was not impressed about! We spent the morning making plans for our next few months and took Reggie for a walk in the local park. We were warned that there have been snakes spotted in the park but we just stuck to the path and prayed the cold weather would discourage them from saying hello. We packed our clothes into my big bag that will hopefully be enough for the next month. We decided it was easier to just take one bag between us especially when travelling around Indonesia. Aidan did a session with me at the gym as I have piled on the pounds! My legs were dying! Felt good to be working hard though. We went with Kirst and Luke into the city to see the Vivd festival which was really cool. The opera house and bridge looked amazing despite the cold wind as we walked around the city.
27 May 2019
Landed in Sydney at 6.30am feeling pretty groggy after the red eye flight (what the Aussies call the overnight flight from Perth). I felt how I used to after a night shift which I do not miss! We had to wait until 8am for the car rental shuttle to come and collect us from the airport and headed to Luke's work to pick up the keys. We got back to Kirst's parents and were greeted by a very happy Reggie. I thought we would spend the day catching up on sleep but we ended up looking at Visa stuff and taking Reggie for a walk inbetween coffees. We went to the shops to pick up food and ice cream cake for Kirst for her bday which is her fave. We surprised her at Down Town Bar and Grill and she seemed very happy to see us. We ordered so much amazing Lebanse food and decided the diet would start tomorrow! We went back to the house for an icecream cake eating race and more cuddles with Reggie. It is starting to feel very cold so the fire was lit and Kirst made me a hot water bottle for bed.
26 May 2019
An epic shower, curry, cake and catch up with the lovely Fran at her pad in Perth to complete our amazing time in WA. We have had the best month here exploring with Trev and Alyssa and have made some special memories! Red eye flight back to Sydney tonight to surprise Kirst for her birthday tomorrow.
Early start to say goodbye to Alyssa and Trev and catch a 7.30am ferry to Rottness Island. The Rottness Express took 30 mins from Freemantle. We collected our bikes and headed to the information centre before a coffee at Dome Cafe. We had the joy of meeting a Quokka almost instantly as they just wondered around the cafe waiting for someone to drop a piece of food on the floor. They belong to the marsupial family, are about the size of a house cat and are very cute! We decided to do the 22km route around the edge of the island which is beautiful and reminds me off Maria Island in Tas. Blue water and white sandy bays lined the island. We saw some fur seals having a play by the rocks and stopped off for lunch at Rocky Bay for a snooze in the sun. We had a selfie with the Quokkas and headed back to the port for the 16.30pm ferry back. I brought Fran a little treat bag to say thank you for helping with our trip and brought her a cake from the bakery as she cooked a lovely dinner for us.
25 May 2019
This morning Aidan and I went for a little run to Claremont lake. Unfortunately my toe is still sore from when I stubbed it so I didn't last long. We headed to Freemantle and wondered around the market. Everyone recommended that we go to Little Creatures Brewery where Trev and Alyssa visited in 2015. They got a free tasting tray of beer but Trev was driving so Alyssa had the pleasure of drinking them all. This time round Trev wanted to make sure he was able to drink the beer so I offered to drive and Aidan and Trev shared a tasting platter. They didn't get it free this time and they were not a huge fan of the beer either. We spent the afternoon trying to sunbathe away from the wind but it was a bit chilly so decided to go back to sort through bags and off load onto Alyssa and Trev. We dropped our big bags to Fran's so we don't need to carry them around Rottness tomorrow. Dinner was Trevs choice of delicious thai at Mortazilla By Lemongrass.
24 May 2019
Today we explored the beautiful beaches around the city. We grabbed a takeaway coffee and sat on Scarborough beach in the sunshine before heading back to the apartment for left over cheese and biscuits. In the afternoon we walked to Cottesloe beach and sat in the sunshine which was warm enough for a snooze. A gorgeous little Wagtail sat on my sandle very confidently. He then went and posed on another man's shoe for photos and followed him along the beach which was so cute to watch. In the evening we went into the city for a drink where Aidan and I went on our first night in Perth. Trev and Alyssa went to Elizabeth Quay when they visited in 2015 but it was still being built so it was nice for them to see it completed. Of course it was happy hour and they were giving out free pizza which we made the most of. We went to my friend Fran's to pick up Aidan's new bag. It was so great to see her! We headed back for cheesecake, port and cards before bed.
Takeaway coffee and a stroll along Scarborough beach.
23 May 2019
3.5 hour drive back to Perth today for our last few days in the city with Trev and Alyssa. We checked into the last of our accommodation which was described as 'retro' on Air Bnb. The place looked nothing like the pictures online. It is cold, dark and falling apart but at least it is clean and in a good location. We headed out to a place called O'Reilleys so Aidan and Trev could get a Guiness during happy hour. It wasn't the best Aidan has had over here but they ordered another round so it can't have been that bad. Alyssa and I popped to Coles to pick up stuff for a bbq and on the way home we picked up a berry cheesecake from The Cheesecake Shop. We still have so much chocolate left but the Streat's had one years ago and have raved about how good they are ever since. They admitted it wasn't as good as the last one but we all still enjoyed it. It was entertaining to watch Trev, Alyssa and Aidan fight over how much they were having like they do at home at dessert time!
Canal Rocks and Yallingup town where I had a lovely cuddle with a dog called Keeko.
22 May 2019
This morning we returned to Gnarabup beach where I I spotted the Blue Bottle jellies a few weeks ago. The sun was shining and we wanted to show Trev and Alyssa the cafe. We had a coffee and watched a man catch multiple fish off the jetty before a cooked breakfast back at the cottage. I decided to do a workout on the trampoline in the garden and worked up quite a sweat. Aidan made me laugh and I fell over giving my self a whip lash. After breaky we set off around MR visiting yet more wineries and gourmet food companies. I went for a little stroll around the town when we got back and Aidan lit a fire in the early evening which was quite cosy. We went to the local Settlers Tavern for dinner which was another recommendation from Jeremy. Aidan had their famous steak sandwich and I had a selection of lightly fried seafood which was yummy. We fed the chickens the left over rice from last nights curry which they seemed happy about. More port and card games before bed.
Last wine tasting of the trip at Fermoy Estate.
The Grove Distillery for the men to sample some port and rum.
Wine, nougat and liqueur samples at Bettenay's.
Back to the Margaret River Chocolate Factory for dessert after the cheese. This is my 3rd visit now! Also popped into the Providore to sample their chocolate liqueur, more wine and chutneys. I brought a chocolate Quokka for my friend Fran who lives in Perth. We crossed the road and conveniently stumbled upon another winery called Fishbone where we enjoyed some tasters.
Cheese and yoghurt samples to start the day at the Margaret River Dairy Factory. We brought some lovely creamy apricot yoghurt as it was on special offer!
Candy Cow was the first stop of the day to watch some honey comb being made. We tried some whilst it was still warm which was delicious! I was slightly concerned it may pull my fillings out.
Morning coffee before breakfast at the White Elephant Cafe.
21 May 2019
It was lovely to be back in Margaret River becuase Aidan and I didn't get a chance to visit the winerys when we were here a few weeks ago. It is more spread out than Swan Valley with beautiful forest and vineyards every few 100m. The grape vines are all yellow and dead looking now it's coming up to winter. We popped to the visitor centre and got another helpful lady to point out the best places to go along with Jeremy's recommendations. It was another great day of sampling more food and wine and having a yarn. Alyssa has been amazing driving us around to each winery and whilst we taste she reads her book in the sunshine. Our accomodation is called Peppermint Brook Cottages which are lovely little shacks with everything we need. The owners live next door and have chickens. I walked over to say hello when we arrived and they all came running over to the fence clucking. We walked into town to try out a brewery and distillery before Trev cooked curry for dinner.
Margaret River Brewhouse.
Our favourite wine tasting experience at Xandu. The lady was very informative and gave us very generous samples. She told us that the more we swirl our wine the more free sulphur is released. This means less of a hangover!
First wine tasting in Margaret River was Leeuwin Estate which was recommended by Jeremy (dads friends brother who lives in MR). The grounds were beautiful and the wine was rather nice too. The winery has won many awards for its Chardonnay and has an art gallery next to the cellar.
Mexican Pie for Aidan at Witchy Pies and cookie sampling for us.
20 May 2019
Another very indulgent day of biscuits, chocolate, ice cream, cheese, olives, coffee, spirits, cider, beer and of course wine! I was very happy to return to Margaret River Chocolate Factory for Alyssa to try the samples. We also went to the Providore to sample chutneys, oils, jams and their chocolate baileys equivalent. Today was mainly cider and beer sampling with one winery which was doing some filming for a date show. We shared a pizza for lunch because we were full up on samples. Alyssa and I got carried away at KMart buying cheap clothes.I needed some bigger jeans due to 4 months of indulgent behaviour 🐷. I cooked my healthy chicken base pizza for dinner and we played some cards. We drank more port and I did a foot mask because my feet were so dry.
Popped next door to Funk Cider for a paddle and pizza for €20.
Ironbark Brewery to sample some passionfruit Cyser. Lovely old chap and his daughter gave us extra tastings and Alyssa brought a bottle.
My favourite wines of the day at Lancaster Wines.
Wheatbeer for Trev at German Duckstein Brewery.
Olive picking at Edgecombe Brothers.
Old Youngs Distillery for some vodka and gin. The vodka pavlova was immense!
Yahava Koffeeworks coffee tasting.
First stop of the day was Maison Saint-Honoré Patisserie to pick up some macarons. The passionfruit ones were insanely good!
19 May 2019
Today we drove 4 hours to the picturesque Swan Valley known for its world class wineries, breweries, distilleries, cafes, craft, farmers markets, and top notch restaurants. First stop was the information centre where a helpful lady highlighted the best spots to visit on a map. The valley was beautiful and had a real English country feel to it. We spent the afternoon exploring some of the famous wineries making the most of the free tastings and indulging in free samples of chocolate and cheese. We quite literally drank or ate the samples, had a yarn with the sellers and carried on our trail. We did purchase some port in the first winery and justified that we could drink it all before the end of our trip. I particularly enjoyed sampling the dessert wines. Alyssa was designated driver because she doesn't like wine which is lucky for us. We had a lazy dinner of €5 Dominoes because we missed lunch and prioritised wine tasting. We played some cards before bed with a glass of port.
Finished off the day with some chocolate tasting at Western Australia's oldest chocolate company
The Whistler's Chocolate Company.
2nd cheese tasting at The Cheese Barrel.
Boys first beer paddle at Feral Brewing Company.
3rd wine tasting at Sittella.
2nd wine tasting of the day was Sandleford Wines where I sampled the dessert wine selection.
More free samples at The Mondo Nougat Factory and Morish Nuts.
First sample of wine, cheese and olives, with a purchase of a large bottle of port in Swan Valley at Twin Hill Wines.
18 May 2019
One nights stay in Port Dennison at the Lazy Lobster. Its getting colder so the heater is on!
Alyssa and I went for a chilly run at sunrise and spotted a Kangeroo having a morning graze. I ran to Chinaman's beach lookout and Alyssa checked out the other side of Kalbarri. The water was like a mill pond and I could see the Pelicans rounding up for their breakfast. After a shower and breaky we packed up the car and headed down to the front to watch the Pelicans being fed. The two volunteers were a lovely old couple who had some great banter. The story behind the Pelicans being fed is similar to the Monkey Mia Dolphins. They are only fed a small amount of their daily allowance so they do not become dependant on the daily feed. We started our 4 hour drive to Port Denison and stopped off at Mushroom Rocks where I almost de gloved my toe. It was cold and windy so we got back in the car and went onto Lucky Bay and Hut Lagoon Pink Lake which wasn't really that pink. We had lunch at the port before checking in to the Lazy Lobster and went to Illegal Tender for some rum tasting.
17 May 2019
Up early to make sunrise at Natures Window which was stunning against the red rocks. It was only 10 degrees so we all had our Rabs on. We did a 2.6km walk to the Z bend river which involved climbing rocks and up and down ladders. It said it was level 5 and would take 2 hours but it was pretty easy and took us 45 min return with a banana break. We headed back to the apartment for a cooked breakfast and enjoyed the sunshine by the pool out of the wind. I decided to go for an afternoon swim in the 25m pool and nearly got hypothermia! I swam a mile and was still freezing when I got out. Stupidly I jumped straight into the hot tub and got back in the sunshine. Chicken wraps for lunch before heading out for a stroll along Jake's Beach. I found a beautiful shell at the Blue Holes which are known for good snorkelling.We went to the local for happy hour and wifi and had some average fish and chips at Jettys Sea Food Shack for tea.
1km walk to Natures Window at sunrise and 2.6km Z bend river trail.
16 May 2019
Drink and wifi session at Finlays.
Unfortunately today was another 7 hour drive as we slowly make our way back to Perth. Luckily Trev planned it well so we still had places to visit on the way back instead of doing it all on our journey up north. We left at 7am so we could still have a bit of an evening in Kalbarri but poor Trev realised he left his wallet 45 mins into our journey so we had to turn around. We still managed to get to Kalbarri in good time with a food shop stop along the way in Carnavaron. Forgive me for being racist but I am in no hurry to return to that place. We checked into our nice little apartment close to the beach and had a wonder through the town. Of course the wifi was down again so we went in search of some at a local pub. The sunset over the water was beautiful. We went for a drink at Finlays which was a funky little place with a fire pit and fairy lights. Aidan cooked another epic bbq for dinner and we got an early night for our sunrise walk tomorrow.
15 May 2019
Today was mostly spent relaxing on the beach which is a 2 min walk. Aidan and I went back to the cafe to try the wifi again but annoyingly it was down. We decided it was a good idea to have a break from the 30 degree weather so we stayed for a coffee and I brought a Whale Shark necklace from the shop next door. I am totally obsessed with them now! We went back to the apartment for lunch and Aidan and I went snorkelling in the afternoon. It was about a 10 min walk to where it is recommended for snorkelling where you can enjoy seeing the reef without drifting out to sea. You can follow the edge of the reef and end up back on beach area where people are sunbathing. It was lovely to see such a healthy coral reef with a variety of fish including Cat fish, Blue Spotted Rays and Pipe fish. We watched a beautiful sunset over a still bay and saw the catch of the day being gutted. Alyssa cooked chicken and jacket potato for dinner and of course a Tim Tam Slam followed shortly after.
14 May 2019
I went for a run to the beach this morning just as the sun was rising. It was nice not to have the pressure of leaving early because Coral Bay was only 1.30hr drive away. Coral bay is a lovely little place with a few caravan parks, shops and a beautiful little bay which is perfect for swimming and snorkelling. We checked in to our accomodation and went for a coffee at The Reef Cafe in the hope of finding some wifi. Unfortunately it was very slow so we drank our coffee and headed back for cheese and biscuits. We spent the afternoon sunbathing on the beach and Trev went for a snorkel. We went to Bills Bar for happy hour and Alyssa and I shared a jug of Mojito which to our surprise was not very strong. Trev cooked curry for dinner and we all played some cards.
13 May 2019
This morning I had a swim in the freezing cold pool at the caravan park before Aidan cooked a mother's day breaky for Alyssa. After scrambled egg and avo on toast we walked into Exmouth town and looked around the shops and IGA for bbq food. We have had real issues with Wifi recently so we went to The Social Society for a coffee to use the free Wifi. We went back to the dive centre to pick up the photos and videos of our Whale Shark swim and headed back to the apartment for cheese and biscuits. We spent the afternoon sunbathing at Town beach and headed to the lighthouse for an epic sunset. We had a stroll on the Jurabi beach in the hope we may see some turtles laying their eggs or them hatching. Unfortunately it is not the right time of year but we were still able to look at the turtle centre and see the large holes on the beach where they lay their eggs. Aidan cooked a bbq feast for dinner and dessert was a Tim Tam Slam.
Spent the afternoon sunbathing at Town beach.
Morning coffee at The Social Society and our first purchase of a Lamington ( An Australian cake, made from squares of butter cake or sponge cake coated in an outer layer of chocolate sauce and rolled in desiccated coconut.)
12 May 2019
Celebrating a very special day with a drink at the Whalebone Brewing Company for Australian Mothers Day and swimming with the biggest fish in the sea!
The crew were so enthusiastic and excited about the amazing conditions we had. We also had a small group of 13 which meant longer swimming time with the sharks. We were spilt into two groups and whilst one group were swimming we were preparing on the boat for our next swim. We hardly had time to have a drink! I struggled to get back into the boat after each swim which Trev and Aidan found very entertaining. We had a photographer who made a film for everyone and took all the photos for the day so we could enjoy our time without a go pro. We were lucky enough to also see a Shuffle Nose Shark, a Ray, Turtle and Sea Cows. The fish and Jellies were amazing darting inbetween the coral. We swam with 3 different Whale Sharks during the day who all put on their own performance for us. One of them swam in circlejjs around us which was very cool! We had a nice lunch provided and celebrated with bubbles at the end. It was a very special day and one we will never forget!
Today was awesome! We swam with the biggest fish in the sea! We got picked up at 7am by a mini bus and headed for the Ningaloo Reef. We were transferred to the main boat via a little metal boat and had a safety briefing from the skipper. We were provided with snorkelling gear and had a snorkel before we went out to the deeper water to make sure we were happy with our kit. Within minutes of being in the water we saw 3 Reef Sharks which initially scared me but as soon as I saw them I didn't feel frightened and ended up swimming after them to get a closer look. The crew went through the systematic process of how we would swim with the sharks safely whilst the spotter plane was up searching for the Whale Sharks. I had just made a coffee and was helping my self to a snack when the boat started to speed up. The first shark was spotted so it was now a race to make sure we were ready and didn't miss it. I will have to start a new Journi entry to share this amazing experience!
11 May 2019
We had another very long drive ahead of us today up to Exmouth so I went on a run before the sun came up which was very pleasant. We did a food shop for the next 3 days in the closest Woolworths and struggled to fit it all in the car! We were literally counting road kill the whole way because there was nothing else to look at other than road, sand and dehydrated trees. We finally made it to Exmouth 7 hours later and checked into our cabin for the next 3 nights. We wanted to book onto the Whale Shark dive before they closed and luckily they had space for us. We had a little stroll down to the beach but realised we would need to walk through some bushes and decided it looked like snake territory so went back to get the car. I cooked Pad Thai for dinner and we booked up some more accomodation for the rest of our travels.
10 May 2019
6.30am start to drive to Monkey Mia to meet the friendly pod of wild bottlenose dolphins that swim to shore to interact with people up to three times a day.
The tradition dates back to the 1960s when a fisherman and his wife began to feed them part of their catch. Slowly but surely, they gained the dolphins trust and they have been swimming up to the shore ever since. There is a designated interaction area which was created to help protect the dolphins who are provided with less than 10% of their daily food requirement to ensure they continue to hunt and remain wild. The first sighting was quite busy with tourists but we spent most of the day on the beach so we were there for all the feeding times and Alyssa got picked to feed one. They had such a sweet personality and would have a good look at you as they swam by. We also spotted a turtle and ray off the pier. We went for a drink at the local in the evening and Aidan cooked a bbq for dinner.
9 May 2019
Woke up to the lovely news of baby Garland number 2 arriving today! After breakfast we were on the road to Denham which was another fairly long boring drive. We stopped off at the stromatolites which are some strange rocks formed of bacteria and had our first helping of flies. They were everywhere! All up in your face and on your back. We had to eat lunch in the car with the aircon on because they were so annoying. We are definitely starting to notice the increase in temperature as we move up north. We had a quick look at Shelly beach but the flies were persistant and we were praying it wasn't going to be like it the whole way up. Last stop before Denham was Eagle Bluff board walk which was a beautiful view of the clear water. We could see a huge ray swimming along and possibly some sharks. We arrived in Denham mid afternoon and had an hour of sunbathing before picking food up from the IGA for dinner. I cooked chorizo frittata and we discussed plans for the rest of the trip before bed.
Eagle Bluff - Shark Bay
Hamelin Pool Stomatolites.
8 May 2019
There was a burst pipe in the place we were meant to stay so we ended up in another room which had everything we needed for the night. We watched some wind surfers at Sunset beach before a food shop.
Stroll along Jurien Bay.
Great first day on tour with the Streats! Aidan and I went for a run before we left and got a bit lost on the way back. We had another yummy breaky of scrambled egg and avo on toast cooked by Aidan. The owner of the accommodation kindly left us eggs, bread, beans, cereals, juice and fruit which was ideal. First stop was the Pinnacles which are limestone formations that protrude out of the sand within Nambung National Park. They were quite fascinating to see close up as we walked around the trail. We had a laugh at the odd shaped ones. We saw a little snake on the path which had a bit of attitude so quickly took a picture. We stopped for lunch at Hangover bay which was a challenge trying to pin everything down as we ate in the wind. We had a stroll along Jurien Bay to stretch our legs before our last stint to Geraldton. Again not much of a town and some strange looking people but we were pleased to see an Aldi. Alyssa cooked dinner tonight and we talked about our plans for Xmas in Aus!
7 May 2019
This morning I had a little me time and wondered down to the beach for a stroll. Lots of people were paddle boarding and sea swimming. I had to avoid stepping on the Blue Bottle Jelly fish which can give you a nasty sting. We had scrambled eggs and avo on toast and made tracks to get back to Perth. We stopped off in Bunbury to buy Alyssa a bright pink Billabong bag for her bday and went shopping at the Perth outlet stores before taking the car back. We emptied one car and crossed the road to pick up the new car. Alyssa and Trev got dropped off by the shuttle and we all headed to our accomodation. The place was a great upstairs flat and walking distance to the beach. We drove to Mullaloo beach for a walk and headed to Woolworths to get food for dinner. Aidan cooked fajitas and we spent the evening catching up and exchanging gifts. Christmas and Easter came at once with belated Xmas/bday cake for Aidan that Alyssa brought all this way in her handbag and chocolate eggs from mummy for me!
6 May 2019
Pesto and chicken pasta for dinner and reduced choccy for pud at Surfers Point. Aidan made the most of the complimentry Espresso coffee pods and Anzac cookies.
Happy hour by the fire at Swings and Roundabouts Taphouse. It felt like winter with the cosy fire.
Sampling more choccy at The Margret River Chocolate Factory.
No Sting Ray's at Hamelin Bay today.
Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse.
Pretty bad sleep for me last night for no reason at all. We left Kath's by 7.30am as we had another jam packed day. Weather was showers on and off all day but we saw some pretty rainbows and the sun always managed to squeeze out for us when we reached our next spot. Denmark was our first stop which was only 40 mins from Albany. We had a little mooch around but like all Australian towns there is nothing much there. We grabbed a coffee at Ravens and headed to William's Bay National Park to see the Green Pools and Elephant Rocks. Next stop was Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse where the Indian and Pacific Oceans meet. We didn't bother paying to go up the lighthouse but we stopped for lunch nearby with a good view. We made a quick stop to Hamelin Bay to see if we could spot any Sting Ray's but it was too rough. We made it to Margret River by 15.30ish and stopped at the chocolate factory and a cosy pub for happy hour. Stayed at Surfers Point for the night which was a fab little place.
5 May 2019
Another early start, quick workout and breaky before 100's of kms of straight roads to Albany. In 5 hours you might pass the odd toilet or fuel garage and a handful of cars. We would have loved to go back to one of the beaches on the GOD as the sun was out but knew we would be seeing more of them. We took turns to drive and ate lunch on the go. We arrived in Albany which is a small town and went for a coffee at Emu Point. We had a stroll along the board walk before sunset which was beautiful. It's a shame we are a little early to spot the whales. We had a drink at the Three Anchors and watched some live music before heading to the IGA. We grabbed a pasty for tea as Aidan had been craving one which Kath (Air B&B host) heated up for us in the oven. Kath had her neighbour over so we all chatted over dinner about our trip and Glastonbury festival. She shared the 'highlight of her life' which was swimming with the Whale Sharks in Exmouth which we will hopefully do in the next few weeks!
4 May 2019
After a 20 min banded workout and left over sausages for breaky we drove 45 mins to Cape Le Grand National Park. Again we were surrounded by stunning white sandy beaches which was so nice to feel between your toes. We pretty much had the beaches to ourselves which we found bizarre considering it was a lovely sunny Saturday. We drove between each beach from Cape Le Grand Beach across to Lucky Bay and had a stroll on each one. If we had longer we would have loved to have done the walks from cove to cove but unfortunately we didn't have the time and the sun sets at 17.00. Lucky Bay is the famous beach within the NP where Kangeroos are seen. We didn't see any until everyone started digging out their lunch boxes. Apparently they recognise the sound of crisp packets being opened! We had a quick dip before it became overcast but the water was freezing! We spent the evening with a drink and cards at Taylor ST Quarters and watched sunset over the Pink Lake. I cooked San Choy Bau for dinner.
3 May 2019
Lucky Bay Brewery.
The Great Ocean Loop.
Another early start for a 7 hr drive to Esperance. The roads are flat through bush land so it was a long slog with few places to stop. Lunch was chicken wraps on the move so we could make the most of the sunshine in Esperance. We checked into our Air B&B and bashed out the Great Ocean Drive (GOD) due to our tight schedule in each place. First stop was the Pink Lake which is no longer pink due to salt levels. A quick stop in Lucky Bay Brewery and then after that it was just coast line of spectacular white sandy beaches and the bluest water back to Esperance. It was strange being back in my Rab since I was perminantly sweating for the last 3 weeks in Bali. The beaches were empty and so utterly beautiful. The GOD is only 40k so we made it to Rotary Lookout for sunset and headed to Woolworths to buy food for dinner. We had Kangeroo bangers and mash because we have had a lot of rice and noodles recently. For the first time since leaving the UK we had to turn the heater on for the evening.
2 May 2019
Early start to get our taxi at 5am to the airport. The hotel had made us a pack lunch breakfast of banana and chocolate pancakes with various other pastries which was sweet. Going through immigration and check in was a breeze since we were one of the first flights out. 6 hours later we landed in sunny Perth to a pleasant 18 degrees. We got a shuttle to the car rental place and only realised when we got there that we were not able to take it as far as Exmouth without additional charges. We made a quick call to Trev and decided that Aidan and I would just have it for our trip to Esperance and find another car for our trip up north. We headed to our hotel and went for a walk through the city down to the harbour. It felt quite quiet for a city on a Friday afternoon but they do call it an isolated city. Aidan brought 2 $5 pizzas from Dominoes for lunch and dinner because he just felt like pizza. We had a drink on the harbour and got an early night after sharing a roast chicken for dinner.
14 April 2019
This morning we all went to Evan's parents house for a bbq breakfast. There were quite a few people there from the wedding and was plenty of food for everyone as Alison always puts on a wonderful spread. Of course more bottles of bubbles and OJ were drank and Gina's lovely cake was finished off. Aidan, Dan, Kayleigh and I all caught the train back to Sydney for the night so we were close to the airport for our onward journeys tomorrow. We went for a drink near the harbour bridge which was buzzing with a beautiful sunset. We joined a free walking tour for a bit but got hungry so went for pizza in a lovely Italian restaurant by The Rocks. We stayed the night in an Ibis hotel which was cheap and cheerful.
13 April 2019
Charlotte and Evan's wedding day! The girls spent the morning getting glammed up by the hair and makeup ladies whilst I took photos of them and popped some bottles of bubbles. I cooked us all scrambled eggs and avo on toast before getting myself ready. Paul and I dropped the cake down to the venue before we headed off to the ceremony. I quickly made the icing bikes for the 3rd time because they kept breaking and I knew how much Gina wanted them to feature on the cake. I delivered the button holes to the grooms family and everyone took a seat.The ceremony was beautiful on the Minnamurra headlands with a stunning back drop. I was an emotional wreck as Charlotte and Kayleigh walked down the isle both looking amazing! After the ceremony Gina and I quickly assembled the cake. Evan's head fell off during this process which was a bit of a nightmare but blue tac saved us! The wedding breakfast and dancing were brill. I caught the brides bouquet and Aidan sprinted out of the venue! 😂
12 April 2019
Coffee and a pie post surf at Weri Beach.
This morning Evan took myself and the lads to 7 Mile Beach for a surf which was good fun. After a surf we got a coffee and a pie and sat by Weri Beach in the sunshine. Evan dropped me at the wedding venue so I could help with the decorations and setting up the tables. We all played lawn bowls and had dinner at the club in the evening with some of Charlotte and Evan's friends. When we got home I painted the girls nails and we all went through the plan for the big day. Everyone had assigned jobs to do so we wanted to make sure everyone knew where they should be at the right time. Everyone got an early night so we were all fresh faced for the wedding.
11 April 2019
This morning everyone had jobs to do in prep for the wedding. The boys had to go and check out the venue, Kay had a spray tan and Gina was baking the cake. I decided to have a bit of me time and ran down to the rock pool for a swim. There were quite a few locals down there including Evan's dad Tony. We had a little chat and he kindly dropped me home. Kayleigh and I helped Gina make some icing decorations for the cake in the afternoon. I was quite impressed with my hand made Rose's which we added some gold glitter to. Kay and I went to the shops to pick up alcohol, snacks and games for a mini hen do for Charlotte with her friends from home. We had great fun playing games and even got the lads to participate when they got back from the pub.
10 April 2019
This morning we walked to the rock pool in Kiama along the costal path stopping via the little blow hole. We also passed Charlotte and Evans venue for the wedding which is right in front of the beach. We had a swim in the rock pool which was very refreshing. The water was so clear and blue. We all had a coffee in town after a swim and headed home for lunch. In the afternoon we played rounders on the beach with a stick because we had no bat which was quite a laugh. We saw some Sting Ray's in the water which freaked me out so I didn't stay in long. We all had red snapper for tea and played some cards.
9 April 2019
Started off the morning with a great yoga class from Simon on the deck. We had a giggle getting into some tricky positions before the heavens opened and we had to run inside. The boys went off on an adventure of the area and found some waterfalls whilst us girls had a little shopping trip. There are lots of lovely little shops in Kiama so we had a successful trip and a smoothie. I picked up Aidan an entire new outfit for the wedding as we decided shorts were not suitable after all. Gina made the wedding cake in the afternoon whilst Kay and I sorted table place settings. We had Alison's left over lasagne and brownies for tea and spent the evening listening to music and chilling.
8 April 2019
Last night we arrived in Kiama after a 3 hour train journey from Sydney which only cost us $2.70!! We got to the holiday rental that the Roberts are staying in for the week just in time for pizza for tea. We got an early night and woke up to a beautiful view of the beach in the sunshine. I went for a run and a swim before breakfast and we wrote an itinerary for the week to make sure everything is sorted for the wedding on Saturday. Kayleigh and I spent the afternoon sunbathing and the boys went to the local gym to bag another free weeks pass. In the evening we went to Evans parents house (Alison and Tony) for drinks and nibbles. We all tucked into the snacks and didn't realise Alison had cooked a huge dinner for everyone including lasagne, beef stew, filo pastry tart, a range of salads and chocolate brownies and muffins for pud! We were all stuffed by the time the chocolates game out with tea and coffee! Aidan and Dan stayed home and made fajitas as Dan had course work to do.
7 April 2019
Sunbathe and swim at Andrew (boy) Charlton Pool.
Great view of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House at Mrs Macquarie's Chair.
6 April 2019
Aqua Dining for Charlotte's Hen do!
This morning we went to Maroubra to drop our big bags to where the Robert's were staying so they can take them down to Kiama for us. They very kindly invited us for breakfast which was lovely on the verander in the sunshine. Aidan and I fancied a swim in the nearby rock pool which was so lovely and refreshing. The boys left for a day of drinking and Aussie Rules for Evan's second stag/bucks do and we got ready for Charlottes hen do. Firstly we went flower crown making which was really lovely. Charlotte's friend provided bubbles and an amazing platter of nibbles which we ate whilst making our crowns. We sat in the park in the sunshine after crown making before heading to Aqua Dining for dinner. It was a delish 4 course dinner with an amazing view of the Harbour Bridge. Some fireworks went off behind us which was really cool. Gina, Charlotte, Kay and I walked across the bridge after dinner and went and met the boys in Kings Cross so they could all get a taxi home together.
Beautiful morning swim at Mohan rock pool.
5 April 2019
All you can eat Brazillian food at CHAR nd CO.
Another great start to the day with Body Pump which I found so hard because I have not been in years. After breakfast we met Kay and Dan in Coogee and walked along the coastal path to Bondi Beach for a swim. We had a drink at Barvarian Bier Cafe and left the Roberts to make the most of Happy hour. We met Kurst and Luke for dinner at an all you can eat Brazillian bar called Char and Co. We found a voucher on groupon and had a lovely meal of different cooked meats and salad. After dinner we met their friend Parker from camp in Newtown and had a few drinks. Parker dropped us home and because it was a Friday night it was buzzing in Kings Cross. I put my ear plugs in and luckily fell asleep. We had to complain about our bathroom smelling of cigarette smoke but it seemed to be that we were unfortunately positioned on top of a bars smoking area. Less than ideal but never mind!
Coogee to Bondi Beach coastal path walk.
4 April 2019
Roosters/Bronchos - Rugby League. (A rubbish version of Rugby 😂)
Happy hour and complimentry bar snacks at the Argyle before the game!
Royal Botanical Gardens in the rain.
Started the day with a much needed stretch after my whole body was still suffering from Wake boarding. I went to a body balance class which I really enjoyed. It was a mixture between Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi which really helped to loosen me up. After scrambled eggs and smoked salmon for breaky we walked through the Botanical Gardens towards Circular Quay to meet Kay and Dan. They had trouble parking so Aidan and I sat and had a coffee whilst we waited for them. A Lorikeet jumped onto our table, knicked a packet of sugar and sat on the umbrella eating it which was quite amusing. When the Robert's arrived we all walked over to The Rocks which is a neighbourhood of historic laneways by the Harbour Bridge. Dale showed us the hotel he had stayed at with Gina and friends when he came over for the Rugby and a photo of the street at the World cup in 2003. We had a drink at Fortune of War before walking across the bridge.
3 April 2019
Today we left Luke and Kurst and checked into our accomodation for the next 4 nights in the city centre. We didn't realise Kings Cross was one of the party areas in Sydney when we booked it so we were surrounded by bars and strip clubs! We did a quick food shop for the necessities and passed a personal trainer who was giving out free Fitness First passes for the week. This was ideal because we had enjoyed getting back in the gym with Luke. In the afternoon we went and met Dan and Kayleigh at Watsons Bay for a drink and a catch up. It was so great to see them and felt so strange being so far away from home. Gina, Dale and uncle Paul joined us after our swim at Parsley Bay and we had a little stroll around the bays. We went back to the Beach Club for Aperol Spritz and fish and chips whilst watching a gorgeous sunset over the bay. The city looked so cool against the orange sky. Great first day with the Roberts!
2 April 2019
Club Marconi - Is the most cosmopolitan club in Australia and is located on 31 acres of parkland containing facilities for almost every sport.
Another morning session at the gym followed by a cooked breakfast. We went Wake boarding in the afternoon using a groupon voucher that cost $30 for 2 hours.We started off knee boarding because that is easier to pick up. You hold onto a handle attached to a cable wire that takes you around the lake. On each corner you get a huge pull which feels like your arms are going to come out of their sockets. Wake boarding was so much harder. It took us several attempts to stand up but the boys managed a few circuits. I couldn't get the hang of steering and kept going towards the ramps. We were all knackered after 2 hours and every muscle hurt from the full body workout I did at the gym. Our wrist band had an offer on it for a dozen Krispy Kremes for €12 so we rewarded ourselves with them. Luke cooked pie for dinner which was delish and we all went to their local club for a drink. We brought wine and treats as a thank you for letting us stay.
1 April 2019
This morning was sunny so we decided to head to Deewhy Beach which is about an hours drive. By the time we got there it was pouring it down. We drove to Freshwater Beach and walked to Manly Beach from there. I found an umbrella in Luke's car so I didn't get too wet. We stopped at the pub for a drink and then walked through the town. Both beaches were quite nice but none of us fancied a swim at that point. We drove via Macaquri shopping centre so I could get my toenails repainted as they turned a funny colour. They were happy to redo them for me so I had a little me time whilst the boys grabbed a coffee. Aidan and I cooked gnocchi with pesto and chicken for tea. We played netball again and I felt much more confident this time. I got to play for the whole game as WD so I was knackered by the end of it. We also played 5 aside with the boys which I was reluctant to do at first as I had no idea how to play. I actually enjoyed it more than netball as there are less rules.
31 March 2019
Bit of an unsuccessful morning today! We had blue skys and sunshine so cycled down to the waterfront to take the Kayaks out. Unfortunately the wind was too strong so we would have just drifted. The sun was deceiving because it was not that warm either. We drove to the other bay for a swim but we saw people struggling to lay their towels down due to the wind so gave up on that idea quickly. We went via the sports club to play some lawn bowls but the atmosphere was rubbish and there were some professionals taking it very seriously. After a poorly made coffee we decided to leave and have some lunch back at the apartment. Luke rang his friends who live in Newcastle to see if they wanted to play bowls at a bowling club near them. When we arrived people were playing in bare foot and drinking pints so we decided it was more our scene. After bowls the boys went for a swim and we drove back home for a late dinner of beans on toast!
Today we woke up to Kookaburra who were in the tree next to the balcony. They are quite cute and look a bit like a fluffy penguin. We also saw Rainbow Lorikeet in the pink flower trees on our walk to Yacaaba viewpoint. The apartment is only 600 steps to Bennets Beach which we walked along trying to dodge the Blue Bottle Jellyfish. As we approached the path to the viewpoint we could see that people had left sticks next to a sign saying steep sections. We only had flip flops on but decided to go for it anyway and I took a stick to warn off any Snakes. Kirsts dad had warned us to stick to the path because there are lots of snakes in the bushes. Kirst also refuses to swim in the sea here because of Great White Sharks. You can imagine I was full of anxiety all day until I had a Mojito. We watched some dolphins play by the bridge where we will Kayak tomorrow. We had a bbq and made the most of happy hour at the club. I was very happy paying £2 for a glass of bubbles!
29 March 2019
Today we got up early again for the gym and decided not to plan too much for the day because we were driving up to Hawks Nest in the afternoon. We packed our bags for the weekend and the boys had a swim in the pool with the dogs. I cooked us some nice lunch and caught up on my Journi. We picked Kirst up from work and drove for about 2.5 hours to get to Hawks Nest where Kirsts parents have a holiday home. We went straight to the pub (Aussies call it the club) because the football was on. I couldn't have cared less about the footy but I was quite happy sitting there drinking G&T. Kirsts dad was at the apartment so we all had a beer on the balcony and played some cards before bed.
28 March 2019
Cali burgers, Oreo milkshake and Monopoly Empire!
Today we got up with Kirst and dropped her at work on the way to the gym. We drove for an hour to Crunella beach and grabbed a coffee whilst we walked round the town. The town had lots of cute little cafes and independent clothes shops with yummy mummys everywhere! We had a swim because it was getting quite hot which was good fun messing about in the waves. We drove to La Perouse to meet the boys mate Brookey from camp for a drink at The Boatshed before we picked Kirst up from work. Kirst and I went to get our nails done and speak about engagements and weddings whilst the boys picked up Cali Burgers for dinner which were awesome!
Takeaway coffee from Next Door Cronulla cafe and a swim at Cronulla beach.
Morning workout at Crunch Fitness.
27 March 2019
A double scoop for an extra $1 of Ferrero Roche and Devils Chocolate (oreo) icecream at Gellatissimo Circular Quay.
Today we caught a train into the city centre. It was overcast but was so cool to see the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. We had a coffee at the Opera House before catching the ferry to Rose Bay where we started our walk towards Hornby Lighthouse. It was a lovely costal route passing through some very wealthy areas with ginormous houses overlooking the beaches with the city in the distance. We walked past bays with shark nets which freaked me out. Luke signed into an app which told him about shark sightings that day. There were also huge spiders within the bushes which Aidan hated. We had a drink in Watsons bay whilst watching the big boat race before catching the ferry back. We didn't have time to go to Cockatoo island as planned but we will have time next week. We had an amazing icecream at Circular Quay Gelatissimo before the train home. Aidan and I shared a Ferrero Roche and chocolate Oreo one which I managed to spill down my white T- shirt! Classic Amy!
Coffee at the Opera Kitchen.
26 March 2019
Today we drove for an hour to the Blue Mountains National Park stopping in a cute little town called Leura for coffee. The views were amazing and looked like the Grand Canyon carpeted with forest. There was a waterfall with a rainbow running through the middle from the spray which was so magical. We walked down really steep steps to reach the Three Sisters which are basically 3 large rocks. We drove for another hour to the Jenolan Caves which are made of limestone and have individual tours running throughout the day. We chose to explore the Imperial Diamond Cave which is pure crystal tinted with every shade of pink and apricot. I thought I would feel claustrophobic because we had to walk through some really narrow pathways but I was so mesmerised by the surroundings. We reached the 'Crystal Palace' and the 'Gem of the West' which were like huge chandeliers. We didn't manage to spot the family of platypus in the blue river but did see lots of lizards bathing in the sun.
Blue Mountains and The Three Sisters.
25 March 2019
Today was a much needed chill and sort day. You think you will have so much time when your travelling but your constantly on the move seeing as possible. My wash bag was expanding so we put a few loads on and went to the supermarket to do a food shop for the week. It rained all day so it was a chance to catch up on my Journi and watch a bit of Netflix. In the evening we went to play netball. Kirst and Luke play every week and they needed us for one of their last games. I have not played since secondary school so I had pretty much forgotten all of the rules and was so nervous I would let them down. I had to Google how to play the rules and was frantically asking everyone which area I was allowed to be in when they threw another bib at me. It was actually quite fun and was a great bit of exercise. Aidan was stuck in attack position the whole time and had no clue either! He was gutted football was called off as he is actually good at that! We walked Reggie and Lottie when we got home.
24 March 2019
Walk and cuddles with Reggie and Lottie after donut cake!
Yummy walnut and poached pear salad at Icebergs restaurant.
Today we woke up to 28 degree weather which was a change from the English temperatures we were experiencing in Tasmania. We drove for about an hour to Bronte beach and walked to Bondi beach along the coast path. It was so nice to be in the sunshine again. The beach was busy and full of tanned surfers which was very different to the secluded beaches we had visited in Tasmania. We had lunch at Icebergs which overlooked the Bondi Icebergs swimming pool. It was very entertaining to watch all the girls take their Instagram pics. After lunch the boys went for a swim and we all drove back to Kirsts parents house where we will be staying for the next week. Kirsts dad cooked us a lovely bbq in the pouring rain and we celebrated Lukes bday with a crispy creme donut cake. Over dinner Kirsts parents asked us about our trip and told us all the places to avoid due to Sharks, Spiders, Snakes, Crocodiles and Jelly fish. Basically everything wants to kill you around here and now I am terrified!
23 March 2019
Hobart to Sydney :)
This morning we headed to Hobart market which had lots of stalls selling everything you could imagine. We wondered round trying all the samples and then sat on the grass watching the entertainment. We headed back to the campervan to pack our bags and make lunch with what was left in the fridge. We took the Bertha back to her home and all made our way to the airport. Ross and Kate began their 24+ hour journey to the Philippines whilst Aidan and I flew to Sydney in 1.30 hours. Luke and kirst (Aidans friend from camp) picked us up at the airport and drove us to their friends house where we stayed for the night. It was Lukes birthday so we all went out for food and drinks to the Fiddler which is an Irish pub. We played beer pong when we got back and were entertained by Bronnie and Duke who was a darling little Australian bull dog full of energy. I tried Ferrero Roche eggs for the first time which were insanely good!
This morning we decided to go back to the safari track to try and spot another albino Wallaby but were unfortunateley unsuccessful. We drove back to the ferry after a little stroll and arrived in Hobart around lunch time. We have found it so difficult to park in the city because Bertha is just so huge! We managed to find a spot just outside and walked in for a coffee. Kate and Ross needed Wi-Fi to book their next trip so they went to a different coffee shop whilst Aidan and I mooched around the city. We headed down to the harbour which was starting to get busy with people finishing work. By the evening it was buzzing in all of the bars and restaurants. There were lots of seafood restaurants to choose from but we were reccommended Fish Frenzy which we mutually decided was average. We decided to go for a drink first and ended up getting takeaway to make it back in time to check into our powered site. Of course we made time to stop at the bottle shop along the way!
22 March 2019
Fish Frenzy take away!
9Our last night in Tasmania with Kate and Ross! Cheers to an awesome trip with a whiskey cocktail!
Aidan sampling more Guiness at Irish Murphy's 👎.
Journi update at Vilicia Cafe.
21 March 2019
Today we drove back towards Hobart and decided to spent a night in Bruny Island because it was reccomened by a friend. It was about a 5 hour drive in total but we took a scenic route which led us past The Great Lake which was indeed huge. We boarded a ferry from Kettering which gave us time to make a sandwich on the 15 min journey to the North of the island. We drove down to Adventure Bay which is the only place you can spot albino Wallabies. We drove down a track which is suggested on Google as the perfect place to spot them. It was like our own little safari. Kate managed to spot one on our drive there and we saw another one in the distance but not close up unfortunately. We had a little stroll on the beach and headed to our freedom camp spot for the night on the isthmus neck of the island. At dusk you can spot fairy penguins returning from a day at sea so we got a little torch and walked along the beach in search for them but had no luck!
20 March 2019
A powered site for the night in Ulverstone to recharge Bertha's batteries and have a nice hot shower without worrying about how many bars of water we had left. This is where I discovered my love for Tim Tam Raspberry slams! Good god they are heavenly! You bite each corner off and suck the coffee through the biscuit so that it all melts inside. The tricky bit is to make sure you get it in your mouth fast enough before it drops into your cup. It made me so happy I did it about 3 times and didn't even care because we had climbed 15k! Aidan went to the shop to get some bits for dinner and I put a request in for another packet! 🐷 I had a little me time on the beach and watched the sunset.
An early start so we could get to Cradle Mountain National Park to climb the summit. The National Parks Pass allows us to use a shuttle bus for free that took us to Dove Lake which is the starting point of the walk. Unfortunately it was thick with fog and due to rain but we decided to go for it anyway. The lake was like a huge mirror and the fog made it look really eery. We got very sweaty on the first ascend but it was worth it for the view of the lake from Little Horn rock. We reached the spilt path that takes you to the summit. We asked some people who had just walked it whether it was worth it who said it was cool if you like climbing but that you couldn't see any views. We decided to go for it! Mount Amos was nothing compared to this climb! We were scrambling over huge rocks and just as you thought you had reached the top another huge rock face appeared. We reached the summit, wolfed down some sweets and headed back down as it was starting to rain and the rocks were very slippery!
19 March 2019
Woke up again to the beautiful sound of the sea. The weather was pretty grim but we expected it and we have been really lucky with the weather so far. I allocated today for driving because we had to get to Cradle Mountain National Park which was 4 hours.We drove to Eddystone Lighthouse after breakfast which is the end point of the Bay of Fires. I suggested we stop at Launceston to fuel up, do a food shop and break up the driving. It took us 2 hours to get to Launceston which was a bit of a grim town but we had a really good coffee in Amelia's Cafe. It took us another 2 hours to get to the free camp spot 15 mins from the national park. I read reviews about it being a big empty space next to a lake where you can spot platypus at dusk. Apart from one other campervan we were the only ones there which was amazing. We pulled up next to Lake Lea in Vale of Belvoir NP which was so still and peaceful. There was a beautiful sunset with Wombats and Wallabies surrounding us as we arrived.
Delicious coffee at Amelia Coffee.
18 March 2019
Was so lovely to wake up to the sound of the sea this morning. The boys decided today was RoAidan day where they would drink a beer every hour and eat what they want which appears to be everyday! They made a bacon and cheese sandwich washed down with a beer at 10am. We drove back to St Helens to empty the toilet and fill up on water again which was a bit of a pain considering we only did it at the paid campsite yesterday morning. We drove back to The Gardens for lunch which is essentially another beautiful beach. The boys cooked a dirty burger and we all went for a swim. After lunch I wanted a beer because I was the only one able to drive today. We drove for about 50 mins down a very rough road which led us further up The Bay of Fires to Policemans Point. It is another beautiful stretch of white sand and sea and looked beautiful when the sun came out. There was a group of 3 Pelicans catching their tea which was lovely to see. Cheese and wine night tonight!
17 March 2019
We have been waiting for the day we can buy a freshly baked loaf to make a crispy bacon sandwich with the maple and toffee cheese we bought from Cheese World! Today was the day! Soft white bread, still warm from the campsite bakery that left white flour marks around my chops. After breaky we drove to Bicheno to stock up on booze and see the blow hole. We then drove to Douglas- Apsley National Park and walked to the Waterhole where the boys practiced their scimming. It was so peaceful just sitting and listening to the birds. We drove to Scamander Beach for lunch and the boys went for a swim before heading to St Helens for a food shop. We arrived to Bingalong Bay late afternoon which is the start of The Bay of Fires. We stopped for the night at Swimcart Beach and realised there was a problem with the water we filled up this morning. It doesn't seem to be working so we are going to have to rely on the sea to clean us. Good job we are planning to be on the beach for the next 2 days!
Douglas- Apsley National Park Waterhole.
Bicheno Blow Hole.
16 March 2019
BIG4 ILuka on Freycinet Holiday Park.
Back to beautiful Freycinet NP today to do the Hazards Bay - Wineglass Bay circuit. It was a lovely 13km walk starting in the woodlands towards Hazards Beach where we stopped for lunch. We then walked across to Wineglass bay for a swim in the afternoon . It was sunny for most of the day but there was still a chill in the air. It was quite cool to look up from the beach to the top of Mount Amos where we had been the previous day. It was a bit of a climb after Wineglass Bay but it was only 3km back to the car park. We then drove 10 mins up the road to BIG4 Lluka Park where we paid for a powered site for the night. It feels nice to be connected up to power and fresh water again to recharge our batteries for the next few days. We watched the beautiful sunset and had a nice hot shower whilst Ross cooked us a delish BBQ for dinner.
15 March 2019
Another amazing day in Tassy! We drove to Freycinet National Park and did the Mount Amos walk. It was a difficult climb up really steep rocks but was worth it for the views along the way. Behind us was Coles Bay and at the top we had an amazing view of Wineglass Bay. We were the only ones up there so we sat on a rock in the sun and had our lunch. The walk down was scary at points and I honestly thought I was going to fall down a hole and die at points! Aidan took a tumble but luckily it was near the end where it wasn't steep. After our walk we drove to Friendly Beaches in hope of a space to park up for the night. The free camp spot was right next to a beautiful white sandy beach with some toilets. We found a space but there was a tent tucked away in the corner. We asked the ranger if it was ok to park there and he didn't think it would be a problem. Turned out the campers weren't so happy with us being their neighbours so we had to move next door! I had a nice swim before dinner.
Mount Amos climb in Freycinet National Park.
Dump point and water refill in Swansea 😂
14 March 2019
It was a pretty cosy first nights sleep in the wagon but we woke up pretty chilly. It was a sunny day but had a cool breeze. We had a cooked breakfast and got the 10.30am ferry to Maria Island and collected 4 bikes. The island was so unbelievably beautiful! Within 5 mins we were stopping to take photos of the aqua blue water and white sand. We stopped off at the iconic fossil painted cliffs which were facinating and looked like marble paint. We cycled past wild Wombats which were so cute! I wanted to steal one for a cuddle! Kangeroos and Wallabies darted infront of us as we cycled through the forest. We stopped off at a beach for lunch and then cycled to a secret cove where no one was. It was so nice to not be surrounded by cars or tourists for a change. We had a very refreshing swim on our private beach and lay there listening to the calming waves. We returned on the 17.00pm ferry and sat outside big Bertha playing cards and drinking beer whilst the sun set behind us.
13 March 2019
7.30am flight to Hobart which was an easy hour and we didn't need to worry about passports or liquids. We picked up our huge home on wheels and went to do a food shop. We had to stock up for a few days because it could be a while before we pass another store. First stop was Devil Unzoo which was the first Unzoo in the world to be created by removing cages and allowing wildlife to enter freely. The Tassy devils were kind of cute until they were eating. They made a weird noise and looked very vicious. We had a very pleasant experience feeding the Kangeroos and watching the wild bird show. The parakeet landed on my head which was entertaining! We then made tracks for Triabunna and I was designated driver. I surprised myself at how confident I felt steering such a big wagon. Half of the journey was off road but we made it to Spring Bay free campsite which is exactly what we were told to avoid! We found a spot at the back of the hotel, had a drink at the pub and played some darts.
12 March 2019
Started the day with a run to Lorne Pier whilst Aidan went to the gym. It was raining but it was a pleasant run along the beach. We had a buffet breakfast included with our stay where Aidan helped himself to one of each pastry! First stop was Teddy's lookout which was a nice view of Lorne. Next stop was Split Point light house followed by The Chocolatier and Ice Creamery. I quite literally ran into the chocolate factory which I had been so excited for the whole trip! When you first go in you can just take a spoon and take a scoop from each bowl of chocolate! Even better, we arrived in time for the tasting session. It was only $3 pp and you had at least 10 samples whilst learning how it was made. We stopped off at the Ripcurl pro beach where they run all the surf comps before heading to the outlet store. Aidan dropped the car back and I delivered chocolate to Matthew and Casey's office. We had a drink at the secret bar Loch & Key with Kate and Ross to chat about our Tassy adventure!
The very reason I do not enjoy hostels!
Drinky at Loch and Key with Kate and Ross!
Chocolate Tasting at The Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery.
Split Point Lighthouse at Aireys Inlet.
11 March 2019
Delish burgers at The Bottle of Milk in Lorne.
Arrived in Lorne which was a lovely little beach side town with some quirky shops and bars. We checked into our lovely hotel for the night which was right on the beach. It was so nice to have a bit of luxury for a night after being in hostels for a few days. It was only $10 more than a hostel and we had some money off through a booking website so thought why not. The sun had came out for 10 mins which I was so excited about! I had been a bit grumpy during the day after I had to dig out a 3rd layer because I was so cold! We haven't had the best luck with the weather along the GOR unfortunately. We had a quick work out in the gym and headed out for dinner at a burger restaurant Aidan's mate had recommended. It was so yum! Aidan swiftly removed me from the sister ice cream parlour and we had a walk on the beach which was nice.
Parakeet and Koala spotting on Grey River Road.
Marriners lookout where Aidan slipped over on timed camera mode! 😂
Coffee stop and Tassy plan at Hello Coffee.
Maits Rest Rainforest Walk. Saw a carnivorous Otway black snail.
10 March 2019
After breaky we continued our journey along the GOR making our first stop at Cheese World because we heard about free samples. We brought some maple and toffee cheese which was recommended to accompany a bacon sandwich. Next stops were The Grotto, London Bridge and The Arch. These tourists attractions are all geological sinkholes and arches formed by the waves and weather over a number of years. It was quite cool that one was called London Bridge! As expected they were packed with tourists so we took a quick pic and escaped again. We drove past the 12 Apostles because we planned to do them at sunset. It was a pretty grey day but we hoped it would brighten up. We checked into our hostel in Princetown which was a tiny little town. We decided to take ourselves on a little gourmet sample trail making stops at the chocolate shop for me and the brewery for Aidan. Of course the weather got worse but we still made it to the Apostles for a pic at sunset in the rain and wind!
Sampling the beer at Sow and Piglets Brewery.
A dark hot chocolate at Gorge Chocolates.
Loch Ard Gorge.
Lunch stop and a discovery walk at Port Cambell.
Forage on the Foreshore coffee shop.
Quick stop at Cheese World!
9 March 2019
Great start to the morning having breakfast with a Kangeroo and a Cockatoo! They absolutely loved the banana. We stopped off at a waterfall and a viewing point before heading for the GOR. It was a sunny day so we made the most of it and had a relaxing afternoon in Port Fairy. It was just about warm enough to sunbathe and have a swim in Pea Soup bay which was really pretty. There was a cute little market going on so we wondered round and sat and listened to the live music for a while. We checked in to our hostel in Warrnambool and fancied a bbq for dinner so had a little drive around the town and found a Woolworths. We had our first try of a Kangeroo burger which felt a bit wrong considering we were feeding them that morning. It was quite tasty though and very healthy. I did some planning for Tasmania before bed. We were in a room of 6 bunk beds but had our own little area behind a curtain which was nice.
Nice relaxing afternoon on Pea Soup Beach in Port Fairy.
Bay of Islands.
8 March 2019
After breakfast at Matt's we made tracks with a 15 min drive to Salt Water Lake. It was bright pink and looked like a pond of teletubby custard! It certainly didn't smell nice though, it was like rotten eggs! The science behind it is something to do with the over growth of algae. We then headed for the Grampians where we did the Pinnacle walk which took a couple of hours. We wanted to do it before it got busy for the long weekend. It was quite muggy so we got quite hot climbing the rocks. I was terrified a snake would jump out on me but we only saw a cute little lizard and some huge ants. The view from the top was pretty cool and we could see our motel with the kangaroos hopping about. Our motel was basic but we were surrounded by Kangaroos which was amazing! We cooked rice, veg and chicken curry in the microwave for tea and had honeycomb Maltesers for pud. Aidan put the spare blanket by the door because there was a huge gap where spiders may want to join us for the night!
The Grampians - Pinnacle Lookout
A very pink and smelly Salt Water Lake.
7 March 2019
Final swim and gym before we checked out of our air bnb. We got an uber to Chapel Street where my friend Matthew works with his boyfriend Casey. He kindly let us store our big bags there for the day and gave us a tour around his flashy office. We met a lovely big dog called Benny and Casey made us a lovely coffee from an expensive machine. There were fridges full of food and alcohol which they can help them selves to! We got a Tram to Fitzroy for a Lune croissant. The bakery is famous for its pastries and often closes early because they run out! I was preparing myself for the worst but we were in luck and could smell them as we walked up the street. It was so cool watching them prepare them whilst we tucked into a fresh croissant. We also stopped at a cafe where my friend Mitch used to work in Collingwood. We picked up our hire car in St Kilder and were very happy with our flash golf! We had a delish dinner at Matt and Casey's lovely flat who had left Tim Tams on our bed!
Refreshing soda at Terror Twilight where Mitch used to work.
The most delish croissants I have ever eaten at the raved about bakery Lune!
6 March 2019
It's final week as Cherry Bar on AC/DC lane way.
Yummy grub for dinner at Queen Victoria night market!
Coffee stop in little Italy at Doc Espresso!
Another gym and swim session this morning before shopping at the DFO since it was raining. We had a few bday presents to buy and Aidan needed some new shorts. It was an outlet store which was great because everything was much cheaper. We had a successful shop and by the time we had finished the sun was shining again. We walked back via the Southbank and decided we much prefer London Southbank. After lunch we wondered via China town and little Italy where we stopped for a coffee to try the Italian bean. Aidan realised he could get complimentry tasters with a drink so ordered a beer as well. We walked to Queen Victoria's night market for dinner and were spoilt for choice with the variation of food. We watched some live music whilst we ate dinner and I brought some funky post cards. We headed to Cherry Bar to meet my friend Kate because it's the last week on AC/DC lane which we passed on the walking tour. Had one to many G&T's and Aidan enjoyed a few cans of Guiness.
5 March 2019
Sunset at St Kilder Pier to watch the little penguins returning from a day feeding at sea. 🐧
Beautiful beach huts at Brighton Beach.
Made the most of the free access to the gym, pool and sauna this morning before heading out for a walking tour. The tour was really good and is called walks 101 which are run by volunteers in many different cities. At the end of the tour you tip your guide depending on how good you think they were. The tour was 2.5 hours long and covered a big part of the city. We learnt all about the Gold Rush in the 19th Century that brought thousands of people to the city which was originally going to be called Batmania. We were taken through lane ways which had some really cool bars and street art. We stopped via a lovely coffee shop as Melbourne is known for its good coffee. In 1800 women put a ban on men drinking past 6pm after a days work in the mines so they resorted to drinking coffee! After the tour we got a Tram to Brighton beach and saw the beautiful huts. We then headed up to ST Kilder for sunset to watch the penguins return from a day feeding at sea. They were adorable!
4 March 2019
Early start today because we got a lift into the city with Sam where he works. We left our big bags in his car and headed into the city for an explore. Our first stop was a walk via the docklands where we had our first coffee. We had a few things to book up for the next few weeks so it gave us a chance to do that. After coffee we met my friend Kate for brunch who we last saw on the Tongariro crossing. We got a message saying that our accommodation was ready so we met the care taker and went and checked it out. It has a great view of the city and sea and has everything we need. We picked up our bags from Sam and did a food shop before heading to the botanical gardens. It was so nice to just chill In the sunshine and see the war memorial with a great view of the city. After dinner we went to a free comedy night which was really good and had some great acts! We both really like the city vibe of Melbourne but admit we don't miss London and much prefer to be in the countryside.
Great free comedy night at Spleen Bar.
First alcoholic bev in the city at Good Heavens rooftop bar.
Snooze in the sunshine at the beautiful botanical gardens.
Lovely catch up over brunch with Kate at Grain Store.
First coffee in Melbourne city at Little Bean.
3 March 2019
Of course we had to make a stop at the chocolate factory!