Australia · 38 Days · 47 Moments · September 2017

Anna and Chloe explore Australia


17 October 2017

The sad day has come for us to go our separate ways! Never thought it would actually happen. Enjoyed a lovely breakfast at a cafe by the sea (with the most miserable server who hated his job) before Anna was dropped at Warrnambool train station to go to Melbourne leaving Chloe and her parents to continue on to the Great Ocean Road. Sad to leave after an amazing adventure but more things to go for both of us on this trip and plenty more travels planned for the future ❤❤❤

16 October 2017

First stop Blue Lake, beautiful calm reserve around 5km around. Moving towards our planned night stop of Port Fairy with a few stops on the way, attempted to have fish and chips at the beach but one shop was closed for equipment repairs and the other had no stock left!! Small towns around here. Found a lake for a nice picnic stop and continued on our way. Very agricultural area, lots of green, big farmhouses and cows! Crossed over the border into Victoria, Jumping forward 30mins in time zone and meaning that we have covered 6 Australian states in 6 weeks 😀 Port Fairy was a lovely seaside town, some very expensive houses along the water with boats outside. Enjoyed an evening walk around Griffiths island where we managed to see wild kangaroos and wallabies before the sunset. Anna and Chloe managed to fit in a couple of photo shoots to end the trip. Dinner out under the awning before Shooter and bed.

15 October 2017

Breakfast by the lake before heading to Salt Creek. Enjoyed a nature trail walk around the Creek, tried and failed to spot any snakes or kangaroos. Got attacked by ants at photo stop and had to make sure we didn't bring them all into the campervan. Enjoyed lunch in the camper (at the table, much more civilised than in Shelley). Drove past a giant lobster sculpture, still not really sure what that was about. A look at the lighthouse and a walk along the beach at Cape Jaffa then onto Mount Gambier. Got our pitch at the campsite sorted and drove straight to Umpherston sinkhole which had been restored into a beautiful, peaceful garden. BBQ for dinner and a few games of cards.

14 October 2017

Found a lake side camp site. Lake Albert is beautiful. We walked around and watched the sunset. People fishing caught lots of big carp - the pelicans were hovering and trying their luck at stealing the fish. Anna cooked a bolognese and we sat outside for as long as we could before it got too cold. Set up our night. Our bed is 100x better than Shelley upstairs bed. We even have a safety net!
Introducing Christine and Geoff to camper life where you can stop where ever you fancy and have a cuppa! Watched people playing on their jet skis in the river.
Another exciting day today!! Picking up a campervan!! Picked up from the same place as we got Shelly. We have a huge upgrade. It has a shower and a toilet! Two separate dining areas and even air con! We were recommended to go to a German town called Hahndorf. Pulled up and attempted to park the campervan.... it's quite big for a normal car park. The town was so pretty, and found a nice barn/ restaurant place to have a brockwurst and German beer. Also bought strudel for dessert tonight.

13 October 2017

A rainy morning in Adelaide some some pampering for the ladies, hair dye and face masks. The sun came out for the afternoon so lunch down by the beach. Back into town and a walk round the university campus grounds and river gardens. Holey Moley mini golf and a beer to finish. Geoff won, not that he liked to mention it 😂

12 October 2017

A day of sightseeing in Adelaide, not the warmest day but dry and clear blue skies. A walk along the jetty at the beach before jumping on the tram. Explored the arcades and high streets, enjoying some street coffees and Annas first ever Krispy Kreme. Watched the Dutch winning team from the World Solar Car Challenge across Australia celebrating in the water fountain at Victoria Square. Back to the apartment for an hours rest before walking to the marina for wine at the Sunset Bar. Fajitas at home before bed.

11 October 2017

Last morning in Perth. Slowly got ready and then the Salter's went for a walk around the city. Anna chose to have a relaxing morning in the apartment. Met Alyson at her bar for lunch - very nice and free!! And then Alyson took us to the airport. Quick flight to Adelaide. Strange being back after leaving Adelaide for our road trip a month ago. Got to the apartment. No food around so we treated Chloe's parents to packet noodles and then watched a shooter.

10 October 2017

Went on a hop on hop off bus to have a look around Perth. Informative bus ride. Perth has average 8 hours of sun a day - we seem to have missed this average. It was interesting for Chloe to see the changes made since the 2 years she was last on the bus. We stopped off at kings park for a nice view and walk around the botanical gardens however it suddenly poured down with rain and we ended up finding shelter outside a public toilet - only an hour to wait for the next bus! After the bus ride we took a train to Fremantle, the hippy town. Had a craft cider and some chips. And did a bit of shopping. Then went to Alyson's bar for a free glass of wine. Scraps from fridge for dinner tonight and then more board games. Chloe won!

9 October 2017

Change to original plan for the day due to weather and ferry costs, Rottnest will have to wait another year. Headed to a national park area for walks and bbq. Got to see some Koalas in the wild and have an info talk from one of the staff. After a walk around the lake Alyson took us on the long drive to Lancelin sand dunes and beach, it was windy but a beautiful spot. On the way home we stopped at King's Park to get a great view of the city at night before a lovely home cooked cottage pie thanks to Christine. A couple of rounds of Scattergories board game in the apartment.

8 October 2017

Well it's my birthday!!! Had such a great day. Alyson picked us up to go on a ferry to Penguin island. We had a dolphin cruise booked. Saw a mum and calf who interacted with us for a while. Then found a smaller pod who didn't want to interact with us until the skipper said we would make some waves to see if they would surf. All the dolphins swam after the boats, leaping in the wake of the boat - it was amazing! Also saw some lazy sealions, penguins, pelicans and many birds. After this we chased the sunset to Hilary harbour. Walked around and then had a very nice meal in a pub. Came back to the apartment to play some games and drink more wine. Perfect spending it with family and of course my new family / friend Anna! 😘

7 October 2017

Hmmm not the typical Australian weather we have become used to, umbrella in hand for some drizzle and 12°c was a bit of a shock. A morning of exploring the town and Elizabeth Quay, walked through an old English Street based on Tudor type buildings. Caught the free City Cat bus back to the apartment to meet Alyson and headed out to Freemantle. Seemed like a nice town with cool bars and a nice market. Did an escapes tour of Freemantle Prison which closed in 1991 and then rushed back to the city in time to watch the basketball at Perth arena. Perth Wildcats v Brisbane Bullets, Perth won 96-86. Enjoyed some Asian Street food for tea at Old Shanghai. Christine enjoyed her first ever pint of beer.

6 October 2017

First morning in Perth, Anna found the gym yay!! Did some washing and enjoyed the space and luxury of our Air bnb. Headed to Alysons work at Northbridge Brewing Company and enjoyed a glass of wine whilst we made a Welcome to Australia sign for the arrival of Chloes parents. Had a little explore around the local area during the afternoon, jetlag holding out well until after dinner. Chloe and Anna headed out for a couple of drinks with Alyson after work and Chloe got very excited by the free pizza at midnight!!

5 October 2017

After a very noisy night sleep in the hostel we woke up and headed to the waterfront for breakfast. Had a nice crepe. It was very hot again. So we relaxed in the shade for a bit before heading back to the hostel to catch our flight. We weren't sitting next to each other on the plane - a whole 3.5 hours without each other made us both feel a bit uncomfortable! We had lots to catch up on when the flight was over! Waited for a while for Chloe's cousin Alyson to pick us up as Chloe got the time time wrong - whoops! Arrived at our apartment and was met by Scott, a very chatty man. Apartment is luxury!

4 October 2017

Oh my goodness it's soooooo hot!! 38°c and 86% humidity from the moment we wake up. Packed up and cleaned the camper ready to return before we drive to our morning activities. First stop Darwin Gaol, tiny in comparison to our workplace and other jails we have visited and surprisingly good living conditions, apart from a couple of hangings held there. Sweltering in the heat of the day we considered an air conditioned museum but ended up enjoying some cafe culture and then eating our lunch at Mindil Beach before an emotional goodbye to the camper. For 30min wait for the bus sweating without any shade before arriving at Chillis Backpackers (private room, thank god!) Spent an hour being overly impressed by in room fan before treating ourselves to happy hour and a few bars. Phone calls home before Chicken Parmie and wine dinner special at Monsoons. Looking forward to the next installment of our trip tomorrow, Perth!

3 October 2017

Back to Darwin for our last night with Shelly, our campervan and home for the past 3 weeks. Another hot day so we decided we deserved a rest afternoon by the pool, finishing our books and topping up the tans. A bottle of red wine and pasta dish made up of whatever was left in the fridge for dinner. We prepared ourselves for a humid night of difficult sleep after watching a possum rummaging around the bushes and climbing the trees whilst ate dinner.
The day arrived we get to see the saltwater crocs!! We had to drive to the middle of no where and then were instructed to board the boat quickly as a female croc called BBQ lives under the jetty and will lunge if people walk slowly!! It was really good watching crocs appear from no where in the river. The woman fed the crocs little bits of meat - not enough for a meal so they still need to hunt for more food. Our favourite croc was called stumpy. He is estimated to be between 80-100 years old. He only has one leg left as he is so aggressive and likes having the biggest Territory. He has 1km to himself! The gender of the crocs is determined by temperature of the nest. The difference between a female and male is one 1degree. 80% of the crocs in The Adelaide river area were females.

2 October 2017

Drove to national park Litchfield. We stopped at a termite mound. This mound was 50years old!! We stopped at a swimming area but it was too busy so we found our campsite and had lunch instead. It was reaching around 39 degrees with high humidity so we decided to find another swimming area. We found a plunge pool. So spent time in that. Don't worry Dad - it said it was safe to swim with no crocodiles. Something nibbled Chloe's toe and we decided to get out. The rain came back. Then we drove to a waterfall area. The waterfalls were pretty. We had a dip but were a little scared as it said freshwater crocs were in the area. A 100km round trip for wine and then we went back to the campsite. Collected some firewood but the rain came again. Instead we watched a film ready for an early morning to see some saltwater crocs!

1 October 2017

We caught a local bus to Mindel sunset market. The bus was entertaining. It was a strange atmosphere getting on the bus with aboriginal people at the back and white people at the front. For the whole bus journey an elderly aboriginal woman kept shouting at a man. And her favourite saying was "mothafucka" to everything. She started to hit this man and he called out "driver, you need to call the cops, this woman keeps hitting me" the woman was hitting him and calling him a mothafucka repeatedly. We were a little scared when she moved seats to sit behind us!! Anyway after the bus journey drama - including the driver saying he was changing routes to take us to the market, we thought this was a trick but he did! The market was fun, with a didgeridoo and bass playing. A few market stalls and food. The beach was pretty. We didn't have much time as we had to make the NRL final. Watched it on beanbags and treated ourselves to a meal out. Melbourne storm won!
We woke up to a storm. It was heavy rain and refreshing to see it. So as we hadn't even got out of bed we stayed in it and watched a shooter episode as we listened to the rain hammering on the campervan. It was still very hot and we had a dilemma of getting inside the campervan wet or cool air. Once the rain started to ease off we got ready and went on a drive to Fannie Bay. We walked along the beach and watched hermit crabs scuttle around. The sea was pretty but had warnings of jellyfish and saltwater crocodiles that inhabit the water! It was raining but still very hot so we had an iced coffee in a local cafe and a cake. Fannie bay is where the rich people in Darwin live. The houses were stunning. After this we went to east point national park for a drive. Didn't see any animals but it was nice to see the sea.

30 September 2017

Arrived at Darwin after what felt like a very long drive. Had to rush from the campsite to a bar as the game had already started!! Ordered a Aperol spritz and felt a little overwhelmed by lots of people and air conditioning after being in the outback for so long. Richmond won the game. The atmosphere wasn't very big but we went for a wander around the waterfront. It's beautiful in Darwin.
Woke up early so that we could do a walk in the local national park. We hiked around Katherine gorge. There were loads of red flying foxes in the trees. To Anna's annoyance she was pooped on by a flying fox within the first 5 minutes of the walk. I kept telling her that it was Northern Territory good luck! Hike was nice but again very hot. Sadly we did not see any crocs but there were warning signs around. Changed our plans of staying in a national park tonight as it's the AFL final so we are heading straight to Darwin.

29 September 2017

A trip to Mataranka for hot springs. The landscape changed totally from desert to some tropical trees. On our way to the hot spring there was a crocodile warning sign and a couple told us another hot spring had been closed this morning as a croc was sighted! The hot spring was surrounded by trees and there were hundreds of bats above us. The water was a nice 34degrees. We spent hours in it. Also attempted to get a few selfies under water. The town was famous for the book Never Never. We then drove to Katherine and have set up camp. The locals have invited us to karaoke tonight so might give that a go. Also currently watching the park owner walk around with two twigs telling the cockatoos off for stripping the bark off the trees... quite comical as he isn't getting very far.

28 September 2017

Arrived at Daly Waters. This was highly recommended by the grey nomads (Australian name for retired travelling people!) we met the previous night. We drove into Daly Waters and stopped to view an important tourist stop - it was a cut down tree! But the great explorer Stuart might have carved an 'S' into it! A bit of a disappointment! We pulled up to our campsite which was attached to the historical pub - established in 1930. Nice vibe with a lovely Irish bar lady. It was very hot so spent the afternoon in the pool and drinking cider. Much needed. At 6pm there was entertainment from Sam's one man band. He was actually really good. And we listened during happy hour. Later cooked on the BBQ and met a nice couple, the guy had moved from Cardiff to Melbourne. Then a nice 20 year old Aussie asked if he could join, he was travelling up to Darwin where he would be based in the army for the next 4 years. Woke up to so many birds singing or screeching!

27 September 2017

First stop on the way to Tennant Creek - Devils Marbles, large rock formations left from the breakdown of granite where Aboriginal people used to perform women ceremonies but they stopped when young children were being taken by the spirits that lived in the rocks. Starting to see Darwin on the road signs as we get closer. We drove through the UFO Capital of Australia where the petrol station was decorated with aliens! Our hottest day so far, reaching 40°c!!! Drove through Tennant Creek and decided not to stay as it didn't seem like the most welcoming of towns and nothing seemed open. Found Lake Mary Ann and went for a swim and some time relaxing reading our books, a lake in the middle of the desert seemed weird but was much needed! Drove to our next free camp and spent the evening chatting with a retired couple who had been travelling Australia in their huge RV since April, gave us some maternal advice and tips for Darwin.

26 September 2017

Feeling drained from the heat this morning, slow start and planning for the day. Headed to town drove past the Women's Museum and the Old Gaol before visiting the Royal Flying Doctors Museum, interesting to learn how the idea was formed by a priest John Flynn and what it has become today, planes are needed to be intensive care units in the sky, usually with only 1 nurse present, lots of responsibility. Tried to find somewhere to fill out gas but a kind men informed we didn't need a refill yet. Drove out of town headed closer to Devils Marbles ready for the morning and slept at a roadside free camp, fajitas for treat, felt like a real dinner! Made sure to share the driving in the heat today. Some helpful Aussie trip advise found in one of the roadside toilets!

25 September 2017

Arrived at Alice Springs early evening hot and tired! Our main hope for the evening finding WiFi to download more Shooter! Did a food shop and found a Maccas for WiFi. Heading back to camp and had our first Aussie BBQ finally!! Birthday phone call to Barnsey too. In the middle of Australia exactly today 1500km to both Darwin and back to Adelaide!!

24 September 2017

0630 alarm ready for the canyon Rim hike as they close the trail at 9am on days that the forecast is 36°c or higher. A steep start to the climb with a defibrillator located handily at the top but luckily it was mostly flat from there with beautiful views for miles over the national park. Another big journey back towards Uluru to head up to Alice Springs over 500km because we couldn't take the unsealed 4WD shortcut.
A slow start to the day after our unlimited wine dining experience but back to Ayers Rock Base to take a walk and get an up close look at the caves and areas where aboriginal people lived, hunted for food and held ceremonies. In one of the caves meant for the elders you could the see the stains from the camp fires and also drawings on the walls. All around Uluru there are messages that the rock is sacred and they don't want people to climb however at the moment it is still possible and many people choose to do it despite requests for respect of the aboriginal people's wishes. It was very steep and apparently 35 people have died attempting it, presumably from poor physical condition and due to the heat! After this we made the long long long drive to Kings Canyon, at camp we saw our first dingos of the trip, scouting out the open campers for food. Sunset over the canyon and an early night after episode 3 of Shooter. 50% of the group excited for our Ridge Hike of the canyon in the morning

23 September 2017

5am alarm to catch the sunrise at Kata Tjuta "The Olgas", not much conversation in the camper on the way 2 tired tourists! Sunrise was beautiful but not peaceful with 2 coach loads of school kids also there. Back in bed by 7.30 for a nap before breakfast. A relaxing day of tanning in the 36°c heat and some laundry before getting ready and excited for our evening dinner plans. Sparkling wine and canapés watching the sunset over Ayers Rock listening to a didgeridoo and then a passionate and slightly aggressive lecture from the musician. Walked down to our dinner spot in the desert with unlimited wine and buffet BBQ then as all the lights went out we were given a tour of the stars and constellations, the clearest night sky we've ever seen. Other than the slightly racist and opinionated Finnish man on our table a lovely group to eat with. We were given the opportunity to taste Crocodile, Kangaroo and Barramundi, some of us tried more than others 😂

22 September 2017

Arrived at Ayers Rock Resort!! Most people we have seen in weeks. Settled in and then headed out to enjoy the free activities. Started with a Bush food talk learning about the plants used for food, medicine and shampoos, also very interested in the appetite suppressant berries that can be found everywhere, aboriginal diet pills 😂 Next a mix of video and interpretive dance to tell the story of an Eagle that married a crow to make a son but she only agreed so that he would bring her food, he then fell in love with a cockatoo who became pregnant but the crow ate all her food and she died, true story. An Aboriginal dance show that Anna was dragged up to join in! Ending the day watching the sunset at Ayers Rock, beautiful seeing the colours change. A healthy dinner back at camp in the dark before Shooter Episode 2 and early night ready for sunrise.

21 September 2017

It was a long and hot drive up to the border of Northern Territory. Don't think it helped that we were feeling a little fragile from the night before. We were very excited to see the border sign, stopped to take some pictures. We then continued the trip, amazing how the landscape changed. There was more green shrubs. Dusk and dawn are when kangaroos and other animals are most active so it was a nerve racking drive to get to the next campsite. Luckily none ran out into the road. The campsite was free - great! It had so many cockatoos flying around. A beautiful sunset with cows making some very strange noises. Noodles for tea and then we put our bed together and watched our first episode of shooter - already hooked!!
Change of direction after the Sat Nav warned of us of a $300 for using the road we were on, so 250km to Marla a roadhouse and the last stop before Northern Territory. Only 1 other camper when we arrived 32c and a pool so an afternoon of tanning until the families and screaming kids arrived. Spaghetti Bolognese for dinner and beers by the camper before we braved the bar, the only girls in there and a strong smell of truckers! We soon made ourselves at home offered sweets by one of the staff on their evening off and soon we had ourselves an after party in the staff quarters. Sharing travel stories and hearing what life in the middle of nowhere is like, pretty boring most of the time apparently. 2 boys from Chile working and travelling Australia, plans to catch up with them in Perth in a few weeks. Matthew the funny Aussie and the crazy day time nurse and night time psychotic Steven chatting away to himself all night! Only in the Outback!

19 September 2017

Best sleep in ages! Full day to explore above and underground after deciding to stay another night in Coober Pedy, The Opal Capital of the world providing 80% of the market. Started with some window shopping before feeding the Kangaroos at the sanctuary. Run as a charity by a couple who take on injured Kangaroos and Joeys from South Australia and NT, feed with wasabi peas and bananas chips whilst baby Charlie was bottle fed in a homemade pouch. We donated to buy a bottle of formula milk for the joeys. Next we checked out the underground book shop and cafe before educating ourselves at the museum. Afternoon snack at the waffle shop chatting to the owners and a man from Scotland who moved there for opal mining. Went to Crocodile Harry's house where backpackers partied at his underground cave in 70s 80s and 90s he has a big rep as a ladies man, tourists left bras in the cave. Evening tour of the mines, learning how to get into the Opal business and did a workout in underground TV room.

18 September 2017

Only one wake up through the night to pee - Chloe was a spotter for Anna in case there were any lurking animals. Woke up early, Anna managed to see sunrise, Chloe saw a bit of it. Had breakfast and left for a long drive to Coober Pedy. There were lots of photo opportunities along the way. Our favourite was the huge salt lake in the middle of the desert. There was a little panic at one stage that we were low on fuel as we did not see any buildings for 100's of kilometres. Got to Coober Pedy. It took us all day to get there but it was so worth it. Our room was amazing in a dug out cave. We bought some beers and watched the sunset. For food we went to an outback steak cafe, it was great food. Then enjoyed our room in the cave. Even watched some TV - really treated ourselves.

17 September 2017

Leaving our campsite after a shower and classy avocado 🥑 on toast breakfast we drove further into the Mount Remarkable National Park to Alligator Gorge for a hike. Some light complaining from Chloe! Spotted a wild Kangaroo and Joey which we later learned was a Euro from the Kanga family, luckily no sign of any snakes. Stopped for a fruit stop to see 2 Emus and a Lace Monitor reptile. Advised by locals that a big stick is advised for any hike! Back on the road for Port Augusta, not much happening there in Sundays! Found a nice road side rest stop for a sleepover just in time for sunset. Some rustles in dark shrubs we headed inside after dinner to our new double bed that we created on the bottom bunk, much more comfortable and less claustrophobic, fast asleep by 10pm.

16 September 2017

We drove to a national park and decided to stay the night. We wanted to see some animals. Set up camp and then went for a walk through the bush. We saw lots of pretty birds and then our first wild kangaroo of the trip. It was actually quite intimidating to walk past them at first. Tried out the one local pub in the town, had a very cheap glass of time - we are used to the good Jacobs Creek now. Then decided it wasn't the place for us and went back to have dinner. Spent the night in the campervan and then went to the fire. The stars were so bright! Our neighbours asked where we were from and when we said Wales, he brought out his address book and asked us to pronounce an address - it was Rhiwbina!! So strange being around the corner from where Chloe grew up! Decided to make the bed on the two seats downstairs to see if it's more comfortable.
After an uncomfortable night sleep - mainly for Anna as the bed is so small. We woke up and had to walk out of the camper in our pjs to all the excited AFL supporters at the sports ground. We left early so they could have the car park back for the sports event. Drove for a little and then parked up for breakfast. Made tea and cereal. Then back on the road we stopped at a little town called Germin. It had the longest wooden jetty so we walked along it.

15 September 2017

We've been on the road a total of 1 hour before we make our first cultural tourist stop at Jacobs Creek Vineyard and Winery at Barossa Valley. Loved driving through the region seeing the vineyards and recognising brands like Wolf Blass. Parked up the camper and off we went, it was free to taste 4 different wines but seems we made a friend at the bar as we tasted around 7 wines including ones exclusive to the region and best sellers. Our favourite was the Double Barrell Red Wine so we took a bottle away with us also like the sparkling red which we were told you can buy in Tesco! Handy breathalyser on the wall told us that Anna was driving next!! Back on the road for our first food shop and a takeaway. Found a free camping spot in a car park next to a sports ground in Mallala and hit the only pub to watch the AFL Semi Final Geelong Cats v Sydney Swans just like locals. Cats won, we don't understand why or any of the rules!! Managed to put the bed together but it's made for tiny people!!
Up early ish to get our free breakfast (ignored the man shaving his legs in the sink in our dorm room) but turns out everyone had eaten it already, gutted. Walked into town and found Luigi Delicatessen and had an amazing Italian breakfast platter and chatted with the owner who had lots of stories and tips for our journey "up the guts" of Australia. Collected our bags and headed off to collect out campervan for the next phase of our Australian adventure. Nervous started to kick watching the cheesy info video and trying to remember which button and lead did what. We named her Shelly and we were good to go (a little bit wishing our dads were here so that we didn't have to be the grown ups).

14 September 2017

After the day at the zoo we had went back to the apartment, cooked food and had a bottle of wine. Also went in the hot tub for a bit. This morning we had a little walk and stopped for a coffee then caught a flight to Adelaide. Looking forward to picking up our campervan tomorrow and starting our outback journey!! Stayed at our last hostel of the trip, Backpack Oz, had a walk around town and then picked up a $5 dominos and had an early night.

13 September 2017

Early morning was worth it! We went to Steve Irwin's zoo! Had a great day, we saw all the shows including otter, koala, bird and of course 2 croc shows. Loved how Steve was still very much respected and appreciated for the conservation work he did for the crocodiles. We spoke to one of the crocodile keepers for a while and learnt that the keepers would have to go up levels of croc they could feed. The highest level they had was Agro at a level 7 - he was the famous croc in Steve's shows that used to attack the lawn mower.

12 September 2017

We tried to get a tour around a historical prison today but unfortunately the tour had sold out. Instead we decided to have a relaxed morning and caught a free boat to have a look around the Brisbane suburbs. Then walked to Southbank. We had some sushi for lunch and then spent some time relaxing on at the man made Beach. Cooked a stir fry and then headed out to the Brisbane festival. Watched some buskers and then a burlesque dance. Chloe then took Anna to a chocolate cafe before heading home. Australia is voting for gay marriage rights. Feels strange that they are behind the time - on the news they were also saying girls need to keep wearing skirts to school.

11 September 2017

Road trip!! Picked up Susan our ride and headed out of the city to Byron Bay. Arrived in the hippy town and went straight to the beach, beautiful weather 26°c although big cold waves in the sea. Enjoyed some tanning and a paddle before indulging in some health food snacks listening to a busker next to the beach. Explored the town a little and had a glass of wine in the sun, soon joined by a local AFL team all in fancy dress celebrating their end of season win. Dragged ourselves away to head back to the beach in time for sunset. An evening meal on the beach front before driving back to the city, wishing we had longer to stay, seems to have been a recurring theme from a lot of places where we have had a whistle-stop tour.

10 September 2017

A day exploring the city. Started with an aussie avocado and egg on toast breakfast before a morning of shopping, readjusting our wardrobe back to summer mode. Wandered around South Bank seeing the set up of Brisbane festival, Brisbane sign and market, lunch in the sunshine before an afternoon of tanning and napping on the man made beach at South Bank. Continued our healthy eating campaign with a chicken salad and glass of wine in the apartment before heading out the West End to meet Annas friend from uni who has moved out to Brisbane. Intended to catch the end of the festival but turns out it was an early finish. Back to the apartment to plan the next adventure.

9 September 2017

So the time has come to leave New Zealand and start our Australian adventure. Got to head to the airport for 3am so decided not to get a hostel for the night and try and stay out. Best place for that Christchurch Casino, rugby is on and the jugs of beer are out......needless to say we were exhausted. Feel asleep at the airport and for every second of the flight. Arrived in sunny Brisbane 24°c and went to check out our apartment, complete with kitchen, lounge, bath and balcony. Luxury after a month of dorms. A quick walk along a river, a healthy home cooked dinner and film before we passed out for the night.