Australia · 70 Days · 63 Moments · January 2017

Stage 5 of Matteo's Travel: Australia

31 March 2017

And so, Australia comes to an end. It was amazing fun all the way through, met some really cool people and made a ton of memories. Before I venture on to the next and final part of my trip I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you to every single person who helped and supported me on this trip. All the way from just the moral support of my friends, telling me that I'll have fun when I missed them, the random strangers encouraging me on my hitchhiking adventures, all the way to the people who let me stay with them for however long, and payed for my meals etc etc. I am forever grateful for each and every one of you and I can say with 100% certainty that this trip wouldn't have been possible without every one of you supporting me in whichever way you did. You know who you are, so feel hugged and loved. You are the best. Goodbye Australia.

28 March 2017

Excuse the lack of updates once again but I've just been relaxing here by the pool and taking the odd trip into town here and there so I don't really have anything too interesting to share. I did meet up with a few friends of my host here which was great, exactly what I was hoping for here. This is the stuff I craved the most, living a not noteworthy life and just laying low for a bit. That what I craved the most after 4 months of straight traveling. Call me boring all you want, I like my peace and quiet. Also, today in a week, yes in 7 days, I'm home. What the hell time, where did you run off to? 10 months gone like nothing, its crazy. Felt like not too long ago I was saying "Damn, this is another 8 months, this'll take forever". I am excited to get home though. But Singapore first.

23 March 2017

Did a good bit of shopping today and thanks to all the outlets here I saved a bunch of money. Bought 2 long sleeved shirts, a T-shirt, 3 pairs of shorts (who can say no to 10$ shorts) and some comfy underwear, cause you can never have enough comfy stuff. Still, no good spots to take a picture of the city so this picture'll have to do for a little.
Another day, another movie. Watched Kong Skull Island yesterday and it was a great movie too. For anyone that just enjoys seeing big monsters fight each other, this'll be another dream come true. Spending the day in city tomorrow, might go on a shopping spree.

20 March 2017

Went to see Logan a few days ago and it's such a fantastic movie, I'd definitely recommend it to everyone and not just the avid comic fanboy. Although it definitely is brutal as hell so be warned. Also went to a spa yesterday with some hot pools, infrared and steam sauna rooms which was fantastic. I felt very Zen. As of today I've only got 15 days left until I'm home, it's crazy how time flies.

16 March 2017

So I tried to get into the school with my friend but the principal didn't quite like me being there, giving my friend this 15 minute speech on how he endangered the safety of every single student in the school because I could've been a potential threat by blowing up the school or carrying a gun with me or something like that. Pure hypocrisy. She would be one of those people to believe every hitchhiker ever is a dangerous person because there was an incident once where a hitchhiker tried to steal the car of the person that picked him up. And bringing a friend from over seas is not even a big deal in Germany or in Canada so I was surprised that I was genuinely kicked out of the school. Kind of funny but kind of an interesting story.

15 March 2017

Just relaxing here at my friends house for the last 2 days and just for fun I will join him in school for a day or maybe two. Will be going into the city on the weekend and do some shopping and some exploring. Really enjoying just relaxing with a friend though.

13 March 2017

As awkward as it is to sit by yourself in a restaurant, I can't care less because I'm gonna have an amazing sleep in my hotel room and the food was great. Some good beer as well which is always a nice touch.
Got to check into my room early and Jesus, its huge.....I feel like I'm in heaven. Queensize, big couch, rainfall shower, Netflix and good WiFi. This is amazing. I don't even want to leave here all day.

12 March 2017

Quick stopover in Canberra. Cause you know, why would you spend more than an hour in a countries capital.
On my way to Melbourne now, will be arriving there at ~7 am and it's currently 6:50pm. Doesn't really matter if I get much sleep since I'll be in a bed all day tomorrow, in a very comfy one at that.
Arrived in Sydney an hour early. Was kinda cool to drive by all the places I've been before. Since I was a cheap little man when I started my trip I didn't go visit a Spider Exhibition when I was here last time and I haven't really seen many big spiders in the wild so the same way you can't leave NZ without seeing a Kiwi, you can't leave Australia without seeing a big ass spider. Hopefully that'll make time go by quick enough for the day to not feel like it goes on forever.

11 March 2017

And so begins the Journey to Sydney. Starting at 2:30 pm and arriving there at 8:10 am. Thankfully the bus isn't full and I got the seat in the far back meaning more legroom and I can stretch my legs sideways without anybody tripping over me to go to the bathroom. I may actually be able to sleep for once who knows. 90% of the pain in my foot has subsided which I am very grateful for (good job body, you're so good to me) now I can walk around pretty normally without barely any pain at all. More to come tomorrow morning.

9 March 2017

Arrived safely back in Brisbane yesterday where I'll be staying once again with Matt and his wife until the 11th. Then I'll be heading to Melbourne via two overnight buses for the remainder of my trip to live and stay with a friend of mine. May or may not ending going to the city tomorrow, I'll have to see.

7 March 2017

Last day of our Fraser Tour is over and it was awesome fun. There's always so many cool people on these trips that I wouldn't bother talking to if I just ran into them normally at the hostel. Saw the heart of Fraser, Lake McKenzie today but the picture just makes it look really bland, partly because it was a little cloudy when I took the picture but also partly because cameras never catch the true viewing pleasure. Beautiful white sand and super clear water just look amazing when the sun does decide to show itself. The whole island is so cool, the fact that this super thick rainforest grows on an island made nearly 100% of sand. You can drive on the beach here for hours on end without hitting the end of the island it's huge. All in all an amazing trip.

6 March 2017

Awesome day today. Woke up early enough to see the sunrise right outside our tents. Then went on to see Eli Creek which is a super clear albeit very cold creek of freshwater that runs down into the ocean. Visited an old ship wreck that was washed ashore here many years ago as well. Also went to see the Champagne Pools, which are super cool, having waves splashing over all the time creating this sort of makeshift bubbly whirlpool. Also ran up to Indian Head for a great outlook where we saw some stingrays and turtles too.

5 March 2017

Awesome first day of three. Completely forgot to take pictures at the first stop which was a lake down a sand dune that we sprinted down into the water which was great fun since we're all still kids at heart. Really awesome group so far, funny how everyone always connects most through drinking alcohol though. Early wake up tomorrow though so hopefully not too long of a night.

4 March 2017

Bit of a lazy day today but what else can you do in a little hole like this when it rains. At least they have a nice little cinema room for when the internet sucks which is basically always. Some preparation for my Fraser Island tour as well which I'll be going on tomorrow morning and I'm very excited. Have a really cool group of people in my car as well. Awesome pictures to come soon. I'm also home one month from today which gets me very excited.

3 March 2017

Just got to Hervey Bay and the Hostel is fairly neat looking and has A/C (thank god) although the WiFi is lacking. I guess you can't have everything. This is my last proper new stop along the east coast after this it's just a short stay in Brisbane again and then all the way to Melbourne with a stopover in Sydney.

2 March 2017

As nice as it might be to have good weather here, the heat and humidity here just totally gets to you and is really not all that much fun when you're sweating 24/7. Sadly this hostel here also doesn't have A/C which is a real bummer. I still feel that this should be a necessity for each and every hostel in Australia since it gets so bloody hot sometimes it's impossible to feel comfortable in your bed. I'll take being cold over being hot anytime since you can always put on another layer but you can't wear less than just shorts.

1 March 2017

Took an overnight bus to Agnes Water and then basically slept all day once I got here. Me and sleeping on a bus just doesn't go hand in hand plus I was out the night before so I just slept from 9 till 5 and it felt amazing. Will probably go to the beach tomorrow and go see the sunset. This town is probably the smallest I've been in with nothing around so there's not much to do.

27 February 2017

This entire trip was such a blast, met so many cool people on the boat, it was just absolutely amazing. While snorkeling we were also surrounded by a huge school of fish, almost like they were circling you, it was so cool. Got a fair amount of tan too, which is inevitable on a boat unless you're under deck but that'll just make you wanna puke if you can't see land/water. Super excited for my Fraser Island trip soon too.

26 February 2017

What a day. On our way out to the Great Barrier Reef we had a group of Dolphins swimming right next to us, showing of their moves, moving from right to left, jumping through waves it was awesome. Then I dove in the Great Barrier Reef (Bucket list: Check) and 'pet' a big turtle while down their. It's gorgeous. Then also went snorkeling and basically met the entire Finding Nemo cast. We found Nemo, Dory and another turtle. It was a perfect day, everything that I imagined. The dolphins also came back in the night and we could watch them catch squid from the back if our boat which was super cool. Even had a baby dolphin along with them too.

25 February 2017

Ok, Whitehaven deserves it's own post. This is probably the closest thing to heaven we'll get. Supposedly within the Top 3 Beaches in the World. Sand is white, clear water, sun is out, what more could you want. Sand is so fine and clean that you can wash your hair with it or brush your teeth. Just amazing.
From sunrise to sundown, fantastic day. It's exactly like when someone says "imagine idyllic beaches"....... The Whitsundays would be what I imagine, it's gorgeous. Really cool people on board as well, I'm in a room with 2 other Canadians. Also had a dive today which was beautiful with the fish just swimming alongside you as if you're a fish too. They're not a scared at all. Hopefully we go to the Outer Great Barrier Reef tomorrow so I can get another dive in.

24 February 2017

And off we go to the Whitsundays. Walked right into the sunset and saw a nice big spider on the way there too, about the size of Donald Trump's hands, so not quite super big but it's alright. Super excited for the trip, expect some glorious pictures if the weather holds up.

23 February 2017

I was attempting to relax at the lagoon today but the on and off rain was saying no to those plans. Really excited for the tour tomorrow, actually met some people in my room who are going on the same tour as me which is always nice. Hopefully it doesn't rain for the duration of our tour cause this is the kind of thing where weather makes all the difference.

22 February 2017

Finally got to Airlie Beach, after a long day of just waiting it out. Hostel looks super nice, it's gigantic with tons of cabins spread throughout an almost foresty looking area, it's quite unique. Also, own fridge, which is always a bonus. Got a nice and varied room with Dutch, Danish, German, British and of course Canadian. Not too mich longer until I'm off on my sailing trip which I'm really excited about. Less than 48 hours in fact. Just hopeful that it doesn't rain tomorrow. Actually, it can rain all it wants, as long as my sailing trip is dry, I'm ok.

20 February 2017

Quick and easy hike up Castle Hill. Totally wasn't drenched in sweat when I got to the top, so easy. The fact that it's still around 30°C at sunset doesn't really help either. Thank god for a good breeze up here though. Sadly it's too cloudy to see a good sunset but the view is still quite nice.

19 February 2017

Walked along "The Strand" today, all the way to the so called "Kissing Point".....sounds romantic right? Well it's a war memorial. Also called the Jezzine Barracks, there was an attack here by the Japanese in 1942, which they commemorate with a memorial place here that has a great view over Magnetic Island and Castle Hill, that I will most likely walk up tomorrow. A few netted beaches along the way which I'll definitely come back to while I'm still here.

17 February 2017

Got to Townsville safe and sound where I'll be staying for 5 nights. Hostel looks alright, not many people, which I personally like, especially for making food. Have a good amount of stuff to do here as well which is always nice. Still contemplating whether or not to go to Magnetic Island, many recommend it, some have told me it's alright and you could skip out on it, it's really mostly to see wildlife which I'm going to see plenty of on Fraser Island already.

16 February 2017

I can imagine just how beautiful Mission Beach might be if the weather is good but it's been overcast and patches of rain all day yesterday and today so I probably won't be able to witness the full glory of Mission Beach. Nonetheless, still a very clean looking beach that looks really cool especially with the treeline being right by the shore.

15 February 2017

Just arrived in Mission Beach and it's absolutely pouring rain. And I came here only to see a beautiful beach. Let's hope there's at least a few clear hours in the next two days, it'd be a shame if it only rained the entire time.

13 February 2017

Spent another day at the lagoon today and booked my next two busrides as well as my hostel for Mission Beach. Most of the stuff here (a.k.a all the Beaches) are up north of here and usually require a tour or two and since the best of the best is still to come for me, I see no need to pay for another tour when I'm going to see Whitehaven and Fraser Island soon enough. Also, as of today, I have exactly 50 days left before I'm home which, if recent times have been anything to go by, should be over in a heartbeat.

12 February 2017

Talked to all my roommates today and as it turns out, 6 out of 8 are actually Canadians which is a welcome change for once. Usually its always packed with Germans. I've also started introducing myself as being from Canada and not from Germany, just so I can pretend like I don't understand German. Plus people almost seem annoyed by the amount of Germans in some of the hostels oddly enough. Which I really couldn't care less about. It was just funny cause one of my roommates in Yamba started talking smack about Germans after I introduced myself as Canadian which I found quite entertaining. Visited he lagoon for a few hours although it's pretty full. Will probably come back here tomorrow cause it'll be a lot emptier.

11 February 2017

Arrived safely in Cairns yesterday, Humidity is off the charts. Hostel is nice, the rooms are thankfully 'cold' for once and I'm not waking up in a puddle of sweat. Dinner here is free which is super nice for a change. There were also tons of flying foxes yesterday on the drive which are basically just big ass bats that can have a wingspan of more than a meter across.
Great last day. Met up with my friends, and as short as it was, it was great seeing a familiar face again and realizing that we all didn't change at all. We're still the same, childish "adults" that left school a year ago. Now onto another flight to Cairns. Got an Exit seat as well which is always a big bonus in my book. I have 4 nights in Cairns and then I'm off to Townsville. A lot of people already told me that the humidity up in Cairns absolutely kills.....and supposedly feels hotter than the 39°C here in nice as it is to be in a warm climate, this is just a touch too hot. If you're sweating when you sit down doing nothing, then you know its too hot.

10 February 2017

Since it was such a hot day today I decided to go to Bondi Beach. Was originally gonna go alone but I started talking with some guys just before I headed out and they joined in so I wasn't all by myself. Thank god for the wind or else we would have suffered. It's a strong 39°C today and that's without the son blasting down and adding another 5 degrees on top. Sadly my friends flight was canceled which is why he won't arrive till tomorrow morning. I'll still be able to see him and hang out a little which is great.

9 February 2017

Since the weather is super nice today I decided to go visit the Opera House today and take a stroll through some parts of the city. Harbor Bridge is....well a bridge, nothing special here really, I feel like every city has big bridges so I'm rather unimpressed by bridges at this point. Opera house on the other hand is a really cool lookin building and much bigger than I expected. Also saw a good old friend of ours again from the Caribbean: the Ovation of the Seas, one of those gigantic Cruise ships that basically a floating city. Botanic garden is also very nice. As much as I'd also love to just blast through money in the city shopping mall, I need to conserve. Tomorrow I'll be meeting up with a friend of mine and we'll be going to Bondi Beach together.
Sadly it was pouring rain all day yesterday so I couldn't really go see any of the attractions I wanted to see originally. But today is a nice day, 28°C, So I'll use today to go see the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, maybe even go to the beach because it's gonna be a deadly hot 38°C here tomorrow so I'm not sure if I'll wanna burn outside tomorrow.

7 February 2017

That was quite the night. Slept about 2 hours on the bus before being thrown off at the Central Station at 1 am. Than I had to sit there for about 7 hours before I could make my way towards the hostel. To rub salt in the wound it was absolutely pouring rain and it still has been all day. Reasonable temperature today but supposedly I just missed a weekend of 39°C which is just mind boggling. Now I just feel like sleeping all day.

6 February 2017

I can confirm that long busrides aren't the most fun thing to do here. Thankfully the bus is empty so that I have a fair amount of room. I just hope I can close my eyes for a few hours before I hit Sydney tonight.

5 February 2017

Woke up early yesterday and went to one of the beaches here for an early morning swim. Water here is much colder than in Byron Bay but with the heat of the sun, it's still very manageable. Got back, ate some lunch and then went to another beach with a big group of people, introduced me to bodysurfing which is loads of fun if the waves are high enough. Everyone looked very sunburned when we came back and I also had a few red spots but they're all good this morning.
Got to Yamba safe and sound yesterday. Pretty sure our driver was German too cause he had a pretty rough accent. Met some really nice guys here as well and since the bar is right beneath us and they have specials on each night for cheap meals, we decided to go out to eat which is the first time for me going to an actual restaurant since San Francisco. And the first time actually buying food since Queenstown. Will probably go explore the beaches a little bit, might even rent a surfboard if I'm feeling up for it.

3 February 2017

Excuse the apparent lack of pictures in the last few days, here are some Blue Bottles a.k.a Portuguese Man 'o Wars, that were spread out along the beach, a very nice train track crossing that leads to the beach and of course the beach itself which is right outside the hostel. Kind of scary to not only see how long the stingers of the blue bottle are (see picture) but also to go swimming with tons of them laying on the beach. Didn't get stung though (yet). Also met up with a friend from back home and we talked for quite a while, exchanging experience and tips for our ways to come. Great day all in all.

2 February 2017

Planned all the rest of my trip today, set dates for both of my tours, calculated roughly how many days I'm where so I have a pretty good guess of when I'm where for however long. Feels great to finally have all the planning stuff off my chest, now I'll only have to book my hostels which'll be a breeze. Will be meeting up with someone from home tomorrow which is awesome, by chance we're just both in Byron Bay at the same time, no planning involved. Excited for what's to come.

1 February 2017

Awesome surfing lesson today. Thankfully all the blue bottles were on the other beach so even though many people told me about how they were stung, we didn't see any and as an added bonus, there was a group of dolphins about 100m away, playing in the waters and seemed to be enjoying it almost more than us, jumping through the big waves and chasing some fish. Also booked my flight from Sydney to Cairns so I'll be in Cairns on the 11th of February, giving me plenty of time for the rest of the east coast.

31 January 2017

Sorry Byron, but your sunset let me down a little. I have yet to see a place that has a better sunset than Fairy Lake. Anyways, I have a surf lesson today which I'm really excited about. Although many people have been talking about jellyfish things which I'm not very excited about.....but at least they're not deadly.
Beautiful sunrise at the Lighthouse today. Had to get up at 5 but it was for sure worth it. Will also be heading here again tonight for sunset. And since I was here anyway, I visited the most easterly point of the Australian mainland which is windy as hell but has great views. Might go here or to another lookout for the sunset tonight, we'll see. It's crazy how warm it is so early in the morning, it's nearly 25° degrees already.

30 January 2017

Arrived in Byron Bay safe and sound. Hostel looks great, had a few complications with my credit card, which scared me shitless for a moment when it kept saying card denied for payment, but it all worked out fine in the end. Will be going to the Lighthouse tomorrow morning to see sunrise as well as sundown so prepare for some beautiful pictures.

29 January 2017

Went to a small lookout called Snapper Rocks today which has a few rock pools close by that people like to relax in. And then just sat at the beach for the rest of the day and met some cool people in the hostel. Water is fantastically warm and the beach is not even that crowded. Weather is fantastic too and I'm off to Byron Bay tomorrow.

28 January 2017

I was the only one here in Coolangatta who got off the bus everyone else was headed to Byron Bay where I will be as of the 30th. I think most of the towns/cities along the gold coast are really just about beaches and partying and I can't afford to party everywhere. That money can't be spent on food and I need that more than an evening buzz. Byron Bay will have much more to do though, I've looked up quite a few things there so I'm excited to go there.
Always fun to wake up to some naked dude in the hostel snoring away. Like who the hell would decide to sleep naked in a hostel? Anyway, I'm off to Coolangatta in two hours and the weather is lookin fantastic.

27 January 2017

Nice little day at the Beach today. Sadly there's overcast today but that also means that the temperature is survivable. Supposedly better weather tomorrow in Coolangatta, so I'm definitely excited for that. One thing that I'm not excited about is my trip to Sydney (which is still quite a few days away) because I arrive in Sydney at 12:30 I'm not quite sure what my plan there is going to be but I'll probably figure something out.
Ok, I lied. I actually did end up going up for a few hours just cause some people started talking and they seemed really nice and not creepy. It was fun, but I could've done with a bit more sleep.

26 January 2017

Arrived safely in Surfers Paradise. Buses are very comfortable and even have WiFi in them. I'd almost rather stay in them and not the Hostels. Anyway, everyone's in partying mood but I'm just very tired and I don't feel like partying, not only because they're huge but also because I don't know anyone. And sure, it would be easy to get to know people there but it's just like that step before going to the gym....that's the hardest part and once you get there it's usually good. But not tonight for me I'm afraid.

25 January 2017

Stayed home today but got a ton of planning done for my further trip. Will be heading to Surfers Paradise tomorrow which I'm really excited about. Prepare for tons of beaches.
Took another stroll through town yesterday and ended up booking both my bus tickets (one from Brisbane to Sydney, one from Cairns to Melbourne) and two tours for the Whitsundays and Fraser Island. It's always a little worrying to spend a lot of money in one day but then again, the money I spent yesterday is the money I won't spend along the way. I also got a discount of roughly 200$ for booking it in a package which is nice. Also found out that I will be traveling roughly 7000km while I'm here which is crazy to think about. And I'm only on the east coast!

23 January 2017

Had a nice little stroll through the city yesterday. Once again, it seems like it's packed with Germans. Weather is perfect right now, any hotter and you wouldn't want to move away from the A/C. Grocery shopping is crazy expensive here, even worse than canadian prices. Will be heading towards Surfer's Paradise in the next few days.
Currently relaxing at Streets Beach in Brisbane which is a man made beach with water right in downtown Australia doesn't already have enough beaches. I'm not complaining though.

22 January 2017

Went to see the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary today which is basically a gigantic Zoo with native animals and a lot of them are free to roam around the Zoo as much as they want. They had a really neat Bird & Croc Show which was cool to watch because the Birds fly right over your head including a gigantic Eagle. Tons of very laid back Kangaroos just lounging around everywhere. Also went to the beach afterwards which was basically like paradise, not too hot, not too cold, basically no one there and warm water.

21 January 2017

Helped mow the lawn here today (and holy shit, do you start sweating in 30°C+ with the sun blasting down) and jumped right in their pool here. Then took a little drive to a small lookout over the city and it remind me a little of Calgary with the way the residential areas are spread out over a huge area but the city itself and the skyscrapers are confined to a small area right in the center. Looks a little gloomy because it rained shortly afterwards. Also got some Dr Pepper at the grocery store today.....just like Tim Horton's, can't have it without thinking of being in Canada.

21 January 2017

Arrived in Brisbane safe and sound and made my way to Matt's place without a hassle. Really fun family, super nice and we might even go to a big Zoo with free roaming Kangaroos on Sunday if the weather holds up. It's super hot and humid here, and without AC you would probably die because even in the night it only goes down to 22°C. Was already warned to not worry about the big spiders that run around because they aren't harmful here....but I'll probably still shit my pants if I see one.