Friday, 28 May 2010


Today I went for another mooch around Auckland. I got up fairly early and headed to some markets. I had no idea what kind of markets it would be but I figured I didn't have much else to do so I went to nose. Turns out there wasn't much there although there was an old guy on an antiques stall who talked to me about Vauxhall in Luton. Quite a surreal moment.
I then headed into the shopping mall to find myself a pair of jeans (to wear over the long johns - oh yes!) and ended up buying some boots, hat, gloves and fleece top for about 20 quid. Get in!

I did eventually find some jeans which were in a sale for about 9 quid.  I am getting this cheap clothing marlarky down to a tee!
I then went for a wander down to where the ferries go.  It was quite nice down there, but as predicted - not much going on.

I went for another wander but this time to an area which is known for it's cafes and galleries.  Turns out there wasn't much going on there either, haha! 

It's safe to say that I am ready to get on my tour.  I like the feeling of auckland, but when one is stuck with not much to do - it's not the best place to be!

I am leaving for my tour at 7am though so it will be an early night for me tonight!

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Hello New Zealand, How You Going?

Hello from New Zealand!

I am currently in Auckland, writing to you from my hostel. I arrived at about 9pm last night. The journey was fine - no problems at all. I made it in one piece! This makes me a little bit proud since I haven't actually flown anywhere by myself. Success!

Auckland is a city in the north island of New Zealand (in case you were wondering...) and has a very similar feel to Brisbane. Apparently it isn't a big touristy town (which surprised me) and is usually the place where people stop before they set off to other more exciting places. I have to say, I went for a wander this morning and didn't find much. I even asked a local where was good to go and he couldn't really suggest much and just explained that New Zealand starts properly once you have left Auckland!

I decided today would be a good day to sort out my wardrobe. Sounds mental, I should probably be doing more exciting things than that, right? I decided to be practical though. I figured I needed to buy a "sensible coat" (it is getting seriously cold in the south island), so I headed to a Billabong shop. Turns out they had a sale but the ski jackets were only available in the most ridiculous colours and style, I had to turn them down. A rather helpful chap (also a fellow Brit!) who worked in the Billabong shop suggested I go to a factory outlet place just out of town. He even looked it up for me on the internet and told me where to get the bus and when! What a useful bod he turned out to be!

So, I head to the factory outlet and come across a plain (thankfully! I don't know what is wrong with me - any other time I would have gone for the craziest pattern going - maybe it's because I am going solo and don't want to look too mental!) ski jacket. It worked out at about 50 squid, which I think is a bit bargainous for a RipCurl ski jacket. Ker Ching!
I even bought a pair of long johns.


I felt a tad ridiculous buying them but I figured no one will know I am wearing them and I would rather not freeze my ass off (plus all the locals were recommending them)! They will be worn under jeans, thankfully, so no one will be any the wiser.

Tomorrow, I intend on being a tourist and going up the observation tower (if the weather is nice). I might even wear my snazzy new coat, haha!

I will add some photos tomorrow since my cameras (yes, both of them. Good one, Sam) had no battery. Yay for being a tourist!


Wednesday, 26 May 2010


I am currently in Sydney, waiting at Graham's before I get the bus to the airport, before heading to New Zealand!  Claire and Kerry left this morning and it feels like two thirds of me has left for Fiji :-(

I am getting very excited about New Zealand though.  I am doing a 23 day tour.  The itinery is here: New Zealand Tour if you want to have a closer look into what I will be doing.  It should be ace.  I am slightly concerned about the cold though since I don't have tonnes of warm clothes.  I did buy some on the cheap though and sent my old clothes home (there's a big boz heading your way, Mama)! 

Anyway, since I leave Australia in a couple of hours, I should probably write about the last few days in Oz.

We spent a couple of days in Cairns.  Before we got there though, we arrived in a crocodile farm!  I held a tiny 6 week croc, a bigger (but still a baby - I don't fancy holding a fully grown croc, thanks very much) croc and a snake.  It was pretty cool - annoyingly my camera had run out of battery but Claire took some, so they should be online soon.

We got taken around the croc farm, where they had fully grown crocs in pens waiting to be fed.  They were pretty amazing and the tour guides were pretty much as lairy as Steve Irwin - they had their hands pretty much in the crocs mouth when feeding them!  Mental.

Anyway, we made it to Cairns and stayed in a fabulous hostel which was pretty much a hotel.  It was seriously warm in Cairns - when we left it was 29 degrees C (mind you, isn't that like England at the moment?!)

We spent a day snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef.  We got a boat trip and it took us to two dive sites.  I took my camera which worked beautifully in the water - yay!

Right, I have to go get my bus to the airport now, but I will blog when I am in Auckland!

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Whitsunday Islands

We went on a three day tour on a beautiful sailing boat called the British Defender to the Whitsunday Islands.  The Whitsundays are beautiful, hardly touched islands with amazing forests and beaches.  I could quite happily live there.

We arrived in Airlie Beach harbour, loaded with goon (crap "wine")  to find our boat.  It was a fabulous sailing boat which holds about 30 people (including crew).  Everyone on our boat was fabulous.  There was such a blend of cultures since there were people from all over the world.  It made a nice change from just seeing British backpackers everywhere.

We sailed out to our first anchorage point.  I'm not sure I have ever been sailing, but it was a pretty ace experience.  We all had to sit with our feet over the side as the boat almost tipped vertically.

Anyway, we ended up in a beautiful cove where I went a bit nuts taking sunset photos everywhere.  Was such a beautiful evening though.  We were really lucky with our weather, especially since the day before we were set to sail was disgustingly wet.  That would have ended in major sea-sickness and that wouldn't have been cool.

The next evening we went to Whitehaven Beach which is a beautiful place on one of the islands where you can find stingrays and sandsharks.  The sand is like stepping on caster sugar - yum.

We all had to wear fabulous, yet ridiculous stingsuits to protect us when we are swimming because of the jellyfish.  It seemed like we were the only people on the beach wearing them which made it all the more hilarious.  I don't think it helped that they were pretty much baggy wetsuits (and everyone can guess how attractive that is)!

In the afternoon myself, Claire and Svenja (a new German friend) went scuba diving.  Kerry was meant to join us but due to her having asthma as a kid, she wasn't allowed :-(  We saw a lot of fish but the water was very murky due to the rain so the visibility was only about 2 metres.

We then set sail again before stopping for dinner.  I'll just have to mention here that Mel, the boat cook, was immense and the food was amazing.  After dinner, lots of goon was consumed which resulted in bad line-dancing, drunken attempts at jiving and long, detailed talks about Spongebob Squarepants.  Ace times all round.

The next day we set sail to head home.  Mel decided it would be a good idea to make everyone drink the left over goon so she marched round pouring goon into everyone's open mouths.  This was a pretty low moment considering it was about 9am! Haha.

We then got off the boat very dirty (30 second showers only allowed - why bother) and covered in goon thanks to Brian the deckhand using a waterpistol full of goon to shower us as we were leaving, and headed back to our hostel for a shower and a snooze.

All in all...  Best. Trip. Ever.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

End of Rainbow Beach and On To Airlie!

Yesterday was spent in a cold and now rather boring Rainbow Beach. We were stuck there due to the annoying Oz Experience bus.  We have spent about 800 pounds before leaving for Oz with the belief that the bus systems work in a hop on hop off system.  Turns out this is a bit of a fib.  The buses don't run every day and don't run more than one bus a day which means once a bus is full, its near impossible to get anywhere.  So, to get where we needed to be for our Whitsundays sailing trip, we had to get a premier bus, over night - for 15 hours. Boo.

Well, we are here in Airlie now.  Today we depart for our Whitsunday Islands sailing trip.  It's going to be ace - we are sailing in a 24 person sailing boat.  We are even going to scuba dive tomorrow which is exciting.  We are doing an introductory dive since Kerry hasn't dived before and we want to do it all together.  I'd rather do a simple, not so deep dive anyway since I know I am going to have ear problems.

Should be exciting though.

I will be sure to put up some more photos when I get back from the Whitsundays! xxx

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Fraser Island!

We woke up fairly early to get ready to pack our 4x4. It holds 8 people, so that is us four, with Liz, Tamar, Layla and Amy. There is also another car, so 16 of us convoying together.

We packed up our camping gear in our 4x4 with our food from the hostel and off we went!

                            Me driving!

Fraser Island is the biggest sand island in the world and definitely one of the most recommended spots in Australia.  It was amazing!

We camped the first night in a campsite in a massive forest full of spiders, snakes and probably dingoes!  It was absolutely freezing but we manned up and got on with it.

Fraser Island has lots of lakes which are beautiful and clear.  There is also a ship wreck on the shore.

We had an awesome time, swimming in lakes, camping on the beach, running from dingoes and shark spotting.

All in all, a fab trip and I didn't even need to dig a hole to go to the loo (if we camped on the beach like we were meant to - turns out there were too many dingo attacks so we couldn't!)!  Everyones a winner!

We are heading to Airlie Beach tonight before we head to the Whitsunday Islands! xxx

Rainbow Beach

We arrived in Rainbow Beach to discover a tiny town with a gorgeous beach and... not a whole lot else. We have spent our first day sunbathing and basically being surf bums with a bit of frisbee thrown in there. In the afternoon we had our briefing for our three day camping trip in our very own 4x4 land rover with the threat of dingoes, snakes, spiders and sleeping on the beach. As you can imagine, we had to watch a couple of DVDs about how to drive on sand and general safety. According to said video, you are meant to cross your arms in front of you (like you are about to dance the macarena) and walk backwards away from the dingo. Really, if a dingo is going to attack, is this amusing pose going to help? Hmm.

Anyway, after the video we went on a guided walk up to the sand plains. There was a fairly big group of us and it was a good chance for us to meet the people who we would be adventuring with us on Fraser. We learnt how to throw boomerangs (unsuprisingly, I still throw like a girl and failed miserably) and went sand surfing. There were many photo opportunities for us with the sun setting in the back ground and a nice storm a-brewing. Our guide was a young bloke who tried to hurry us along as it was getting dark. He also dared us to follow him down the sand cliffs to get home. It turns out, that the tide was coming in a little sooner than he inticipated since we ended up climbing cliffs in the dark and rain, being mucky, tired and I'll be honest, a bit scared before we were safely home. Scary, yet amazing time!

The next morning, we set of for our adventures for Fraser Island!

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Australia Zoo

Since being in Brisbane, we spent one day in Australia Zoo. We knew about it because of the legend that was Steve Irwin: The Crocodile Hunter. This zoo was practically a memorial to his life. It was pretty awesome though. Much, much better than Woburn, haha!

As soon as we got there, it was hands on! Steve Irwin's idea was that if you get to touch and interact with animals, that's when you fall in love with them. Once you have fallen in love with those animals, you want to protect them - hence the whole reason behind the zoo. There was a lot of information on illegal animal trade, the fur and ivory trades, in all of the shows. It really impacted on me as educating the visitors of the zoo is such a key way to start a stop to these terrible industries that are causing animal extinction and cruelty.

Within ten minutes of being there we had a 3 month old possum named Georgia on our laps, had stoked a lizard and had a parrot talk to us!

We then decided to line up and feed an elephant (as you do!) It was awesome to get so close to those animals and its safe to say, I haven't felt that small in a long time! I have a photo of this, but I don't have means of getting to a scanner, so sadly, I can't put it up here.

We saw the main show which had the exciting bit that we were all waiting for: The Crocodile Demonstration! They basically inticed a salt water croc out in the water with a bucket and some meat to show us the speed that these crocs can move. It was pretty cool although I didn't get many good photos since it is difficult to guess when a croc is going to strike (I sound like Steve Irwin myself a bit!).
We saw all sorts of animals and got to pet most of them.

Anyway, it was an ace day and I have to rush since I am getting ushered out of the internet cafe as we speak, so I will blog in our new location of Rainbow Beach in the very near future! xxxxxxxxxxxxxx


We have spent about four days (I am losing track already) in sunny Brisbane. It's a lovely spot - completely different feel to Byron Bay and Surfer's Paradise. It's a nice change to be in a big city compared to little towns devoted to the easy life. It's not near the coast, but it has a river running through it. There is a man-made beach here for those Aussie's who miss the coast. We didn't feel the need to sunbathe though since we still have plenty of that to come. Well, surfing anyway!

We have spent most of our time in Brisbane exploring. I love Brisbane but I get the feeling there isn't a massive amount of culture (there probably is - I just missed it). We walked over to South Bank where we walked around a park with lovely gardens. It also has a man made beach but we just munched an icecream instead of swimming. Now is the time for sightseeing and not sunbathing! Haha!

Our room mates in our hostel are two girls (Tina and Elana from Finland and Switzerland) and they are pretty awesome. They have been travelling together for about a year. We all went out last night, just to the local bar, for a bit of a knees up and it was great to meet new people.

We took a trip up the river on a ferry to see a lovely park where everyone seemed to be having BBQ parties. We were tempted to steal someone's BBQ food but settled for fish and chips instead. Yum.

We have found a couple of cute markets where people sell vintage clothes and jewellery. It's quite refreshing because I am used to boring High Street shops at home so this makes for a nice change. I have purchased a ring made out of a shell which is lovely. I will put a photo up on here once I've downloaded the photos from my camera.
There is more to come from Brisbane, so once I stop being a numpty and start remembering to bring my camera down from the room, I will write more! Hope everything is good with all of you xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Photos from Sea-Kayaking

"Team Twat"

Here are the shots taken whilst we were sea-kayaking:

 Dolphin Bush

You can't actually see how MASSIVE the waves are on these photos so it looks like we were being wimps. Trust me, when you are bobbing around in a tiny kayak in a storm, the waves look like they are going to swallow you up. Give me a surf board any day.

I am a numpty and brought my camera lead but not my camera.  D'oh!

We are currently in Brisbane and I have taken some lovely shots of the city which I will put up, with more details, soon!

And I spoke to my Daddy and Donia on Skype today! Yay!