So the last couple of days in Oz we drove up to the blue mountains where we went to the Jenolan caves which were massive and so pretty, a cheeky little car picnic before heading to the three sisters. Again amazing views definitely worth the 6 hour round trip. I got a new ear piercing, and AD played at being in a band again. AD found his new favourite bar Frankies with rock band karaoke, AC/DC pinball and pizza by the slice! A great way to end our time in Australia. We will definitely be back 🇦🇺
1 January 2017
So our New Year's Eve started at approximately 7am!! A bus ride later and we were in the city centre where we casually queued for 2 hours until we were allowed in to the botanical gardens, as soon as people were allowed in all queuing went out the window and a mad rush to the gate ensued. After another hour we finally made it to Mrs Macquarie's point where we set up camp for the remaining 18 hours until the fireworks! A few drinks, plenty of games of cards and one hell of a numb bum later we got to watch the most amazing fireworks. The whole atmosphere was electric definitely one of the best nights. New Year's Day was spend eating amazing tapas from a little place called El Toro and watching crap TV. A great way to start the new year!
29 December 2016
Finally we arrived in Sydney the last stop in Australia and we have loved it and the giant glasses of wine. The first day we went into the city and saw the opera house and the harbour bridge (later we would become very familiar with the bridge after driving over it a million times in one day when we got lost!) we did the Bondi to Coogee walk which was really pretty and crazy busy with people all having the same idea. One evening we met up with Ian and Ruth to go watch Sydney FC Vs Brisbane Roar, this little outing made AD very happy!
25 December 2016
So our Christmas started with a Christmas Eve surfing lesson, where both of us managed to stand up how ever briefly! After an exhausting morning of activity we retired to the bar for the evening.
Christmas Day started with rain ☔️ not what we expected. We cooked Christmas dinner for Kris and Kris, they provided a very yummy pavlova and Christmas hats. Dinner was followed by an intense game of guess who and a trip to the beach even though it was raining. It was definitely a Christmas to remember 🎄🍾☀️
23 December 2016
Two days in surfers paradise, we didn't get up to too much, a day on the beach and by the pool, a new hair do! And a night out with Kris and Kris, the slight hangover helped by a yummy breakfast in the morning before we headed to Byron bay for Christmas.
20 December 2016
Our last day in Brisbane we visited Mount Coot-tha which had some nice walks through the forest. Part of that was an aboriginal art trail however we only spotted 3 things and none of them were very impressive, I'm not sure what we were expecting! The lookout at the summit had a great view over the city, but rather annoyingly the last bus back down went about 15 minutes before we got there so we had to get an Uber!
We spent the evening in Brisbane around South Bank, starting with an outdoor showing of A Muppets' Christmas Carol whilst sitting on the artificial beach that is part of the open air pool next to the river, it was a bit different. We checked out the Christmas Market and I had a go at lighting the bicycle-powered tree (successfully I might add), we then found a tequila bar for dinner and NUTELLA tequila - needless to say that was pretty damn good!!
We started in Brisbane with a walk round the Botanic Gardens, getting some more photography practise in. We think we're getting some particularly good shots of things that don't move very quick/at all, including the very rare striped traffic cone. Laura also did some modelling for the very popular 'Coolbag Monthly' magazine, grab the January edition to see the full article!
18 December 2016
A day in Noosa which is a lovely seaside town, we could've spent a lot more time (and money) there! We walked the coastal route through the national park up to a spot called Hell's Gates, not an undertaker in sight.. then headed down to the beach for some rest in the sunshine, it was busy given it was the Saturday before Christmas. We ate at the surf club overlooking the beach - Laura had the Barramundi which was nice because it wasn't too fishy, apparently 😊. The following day we took a walk round Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve where we saw the pademelons, as well as some of the colourful (and pretty noisy) birds and huge trees that live there. On the way back we stopped to look over the Glasshouse Mountains, apparently named by Captain Cook as they reminded him of Yorkshire's glass furnaces. Before we bid farewell to our hosts we stopped at a little town called Maleny, which had all sorts of arts and crafts shops, it had a real old school feel to it.
17 December 2016
Australia Zoo was brilliant, we saw the crocodile show, including an amazing performance from the birds, as well as a whole host of local and not so local animals. Laura got some photography practise in and got some great snaps, and I rolled back the years with a koala (earlier photo taken 23 yeas ago in Perth). Awesome day with our friends Steve and Lin.
14 December 2016
Next stop was Hervey Bay - pronounced Harvey Bay, as we were told by some locals we met on the castaway island after we'd said Hervey about 20 times! From here we had a trip out to Fraser Island, the worlds largest sand island, and visited the wreck of the SS Maheno which was a real beast back in the early 1900s, we stopped at Eli Creek which is a bit of a draw for locals coming to cool off with the kids and also at Lake McKenzie which was pretty stunning - a freshwater lake with an almost pure silica beach. Back in Hervey Bay we met up with some friends for a pint of Guinness or two at the local Irish pub, the following day we walked a long walk down a very long pier, followed by a bit of indulgence with a couple of glasses of wine and a selection of the 72 ice cream flavours that were on offer!
9 December 2016
So the next three days we were to be shipped off to a desert 🌵 island. It started well, while waiting for the pick up I got attacked by a massive stick insect. The trip over to the island was amazing we went in a 4 seater propeller plane. Bruce our pilot enjoyed terrifying us (AD was especially scared) with some aerobatics. The next few days entailed spear fishing and normal fishing 🎣 , sandboarding, kayaking, getting stuck on the island opposite ours on our visit to the light house, being rescued by Serg and Randy, rock climbing and rock oyster picking!! So many new activities, some to definitely try again, others not so much!!
7 December 2016
Three days two night aboard the whitsundays adventurer, was pretty awesome. We visited Whitehaven beach which was just gorgeous, saw a little lizard along the way, ended up on a secluded bit of the beach so there was just the 12 of us from the boat away from all the 'tourists'.
Later we did a bit more snorkelling, we are definitely at professional level now!! Saw the most brilliant blue star fish along with other crazy coloured fish. We saw dolphins and turtles swim by our boat, and on the first night aboard we sat out and watched the stars, even spotting our first shooting star! 💫
We also tried our hand at paddle boarding which was way harder than it looked but we both managed to stand up, eventually!! We had an amazing time and made some good friends from this trip!!
2 December 2016
In Cairns we spent some time at the beautiful Botanic Gardens, testing our butterfly photography skills! We also had lunch with some wild turkeys (thankfully not with any crocodiles). The next day we headed out on one of the best parts of the trip so far, snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef - absolutely amazing and colourful coral, loads of different fish (I think our favourite was the parrotfish) and even a white tipped reef shark who we may have woken up from it's afternoon nap! On the way back we enjoyed a cold beer and the stunning views. Definitely a trip to remember.
30 November 2016
First day in Cairns we arrived early so we took a morning cycle down onto the Esplanade before we headed up to Kuranda, which is a small rainforest town. The skyrail up there was beautiful, rainforest as far as the eye could see, stopping at the rather dry Barron Falls waterfall (wrong time of year). We didn't have much time up there, the journey was spectacular enough really, but we strolled round the local markets where we tried some kangaroo and crocodile biltong (like jerky) - Laura wasn't keen!! The journey back to Cairns was aboard the Kuranda Scenic Railway, the operators pointed out the sights along the way and gave a bit of history about the area which was interesting. Unfortunately I missed some of this as I fell asleep for the last part of the journey... it had been a long day! In the evening we went to the turning on of the Christmas lights in town, it wasn't much to write home about, they didn't even have a local celebrity to turn them on!
28 November 2016
A brilliant few days catching up with family in Perth, it was like a home away from home. We had a day down in Swan Valley checking out the breweries, wineries, chocolate factories and coffee makers - a really cool little place to have on your doorstep!
23 November 2016
A day in Fremantle started with a tour round the old prison that was used as recently as 1991. Really interesting to learn how the convicts built different parts of it, the stories of prison life, and in some cases the stories of prisoners going to the gallows. After we escaped we had a beer at the Little Creatures brewery down on the harbour, then we went to see the Bon Scott statue. We wandered round town seeing the old buildings - much different to Perth - and the round house where I tried to sink a few ships, missed every time though. We finished with a make-your-own sundae on Cappuccino Strip, unfortunately they brought 2 spoons so I had to share!
21 November 2016
Landed in Perth to be greeted by gorgeous blue skies. We had a relaxing first day exploring Mandurah and visiting sharkys for some fish and chips to see how they did it Ozzie style. The next day we headed into Perth and visited Kings Park which was massive we only made it round half of it but with stunning views across the city it was definitely too good to be missed. After the long walk we stopped at the Perth institute of contemporary art for a cuppa and a look round the candy coloured exhibition. Next we visited the harbour and the bell tower where AD made friends with a local cow!!