Sunday, 29 March 2015

Serpentine Falls

Sometimes it's nice just to pick a random place on the internet, pack a picnic and just go.
 
This weekend we Ip-Dip-Sky Blued it and ended up driving an hour South to Serpentine Falls. As it's in the Serpentine National Park the surroundings are pretty much wild bush so we were on edge watching out for creepy crawlies and stuff.
 
The falls themselves are a 400m walk from the car park so they are super easy to reach. (There are also some longer hikes that apparently have some mint views but it was far to hot to do them and let's face it, we are also very lazy).
 
The fall was really pretty and so far it's one of Jody's favourite places we have been to so far. We had a bit of a trek about on the trails before having a wander to the fall itself. It was pretty busy due to it being a Sunday but not busy enough that it felt cramped.
 
Jody went for a swim and said it was super refreshing and not that deep in parts. BUT there are signs warning you everywhere about diving in and how slippy the rocks are so it's definitely somewhere you need to be on alert at - There've even been deaths in the past.
 
On our way back to the car park we found a pretty big lizard and spent about 15 minutes gawking at him trying to get some good pictures (which was really hard cos he was really quick). Apparently there are wild roo's kicking around the park but we didn't see any so BOOOOO.
 
I'd defs recommend taking a picnic - there are benches to sit at and barbecues to cook on - and make sure you take plenty of water and suncream as the falls are pretty exposed to the sunshine. Entry into the park costs $12 per vehicle so load up an esky and get yourself there!
 
The whole picking a place and just going seemed to work out quite well and hopefully the long Easter weekend will bring more of the same.
 
Here's a couple of snaps from the falls!
 


 


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Thursday, 26 March 2015

Time (and not having enough of it)


First I'd like to apologise for not providing proper substantial blog posts - Come the weekend I will be back with a bang!

So why the quiet blog? Why so few tweets? Well guys I started work last Friday - Yep I've got a temp role, granted it's only for two weeks but fingers crossed I get a longer position after! - and juggling work, commuting, spending time with the bf, cooking, cleaning and breathing means not a lot of blogging time.

I had a couple of drafts which I  amended and sent out but they didn't feel like I'd put much love into them. This weekend I'm going to take a few hours out to do some proper posts on some proper subjects and hopefully you guys will enjoy them.

Bare with and keep an eye out!
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Sunday, 22 March 2015

A slightly strange outing

taxidermy museum
 
Have a spare half an hour and fancy doing something a bit weird and wonderful? Then check out the Museum of Natural History in Guildford. Or to call it by it's other name - The Academy of Taxidermy.
 
Okay I will be honest. I'm a bit weird. I like different, I like strange and I like quirky. So when we headed to Guildford (a suburb of Perth that time forgot) and saw that they had this museum I knew I had to visit.

dinosaur model

triceratops model

dinosaur model
 
The museum is only dinky (one room) but it's stuffed full of funky, freaky creatures. For  the bargain price of $5 you can ooh and ahh at all the strangeness surrounding you. Sure it only takes half an hour to look around but it's definitely something you won't forget in a hurry.
 
Some of the creatures are replicas (like the dinosaurs of course) and some are stuffed or created in moulds by the museum owner, curator and taxidermist, Michael Buzza. According to the DVD's playing in the museum he has a waiting list of two (!!) years and charges $1000 to stuff people's pet cats. Wowzers.

stuffed tiger
 
The stuffed tiger was actually a circus tiger who got into a fight with another animal and sadly died. It seemed like a lot of the specimens at the museum were animals that had died and been donated - There was a lot of dogs and there was a tortoise on show that had been found on the beach with a busted shell.  Kind of made me feel better knowing that not all of them were murdered for sport.
 
Besides the mammals and dinosaurs there was insects, bird feet, eggs, taxidermy eyes and books dotted all over the place. There was even a kid's corner!
 
elepahnts
 
After leaving the museum we weren't entirely sure if we loved it or if it was a bit weird but it was worth the $5 entry fee just to sense that feeling of awe. It was really interesting to watch the DVD's and see just how much care and love Buzza puts into his art (Is it art? I suppose it is)
 
The museum was pretty eerie but kind of cool aswell. One of my favourite places in the world is the Natural History Museum in London so why is this little place so different to there? The animals are taxidermied in there right?
 
 
An outtake from the camera reel!
 
If you're into things that are a little bit different you should go check it out. The address is 131 James Street, Guildford, 6055 and it's open 7 days a week. Buzza is normally kicking around so I'm sure if you had any questions he would be willing to answer!
 
You can find the museum website here.
 
A little bit weird? Or wonderful? What do you think?
 

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Friday, 20 March 2015

Getting a Working Holiday Visa

working holiday visa grant
 
This time last year (well a year and a week ago) I as granted my year's working holiday visa for Australia. Scary huh?
 
Applying for a working holiday visa is really straight forward. To be honest you don't need to read a blog post on how to get one because there's a million and it's all explained on the Australian Government website.
 
All you need is your passport, enough money in the bank to pay for your visa (ours were around £230 I think?) and you need to be 100% sure that you want to go to Australia within the next year. If you apply for a WHV then decide you want to put it off it can be a bit tricky getting another visa.
 
My visa took a week to come through but Jody's took a little bit longer because he has previous convictions (nothing serious!). If you do have criminal convictions then be honest. I can't stress that enough. Write an essay of what happened in your own words and it always helps to get a copy of your criminal record so you can attach that aswell.
 
Once you've sent you visa off (it's all electronic) and it's been approved you'll get a confirmation e-mail to let you know your adventure is about to begin!
 
 
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Wednesday, 18 March 2015

You know it rains in Australia right?

karen from mean girls
 
 
Last weekend Perth welcomed the tail end of Cyclone Olwyn - Although it had calmed down a hell of a lot by the time it got to us, we still had a fair old bit of rain on Sunday. Since then the weather hasn't really picked up: There has been no sign of the sun and a lot of on and off showers. I even wore jeans yesterday!

Bar the weather things are looking up. I start a temporary two week role tomorrow and I'm hoping that now I've got my foot in the door the offers will continue to carry on coming in so here's hoping!  A British girl I did some temp work with said it took her four months to get some work so I suppose I've gotten lucky that it's only taken me two and a half.

Now that the weather's taken a turn and we are saving and working, Perth has lost a bit of it's sparkle. We are ready to move on, crack on with our regency work for our second year and go check out the East coast.

At the moment we are thinking of heading over to QLD first and working our way down. What's the best way to do it? Bus, campervan, car, what? Help!
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Monday, 16 March 2015

27 things that happen when you move to Australia


Moving to Australia is kind of a big deal and everyone will do it differently. But chances are a couple of things on this list have definitely happened to you!

1. You stop sniggering when someone says thongs (flip-flops).

2. You constantly find yourself in the British aisle of Woolies or IGA looking for a well know snack from home.

3.You constantly find yourself in the queue at Woolies or IGA paying $3 for a measly 45g Galaxy bar just because it tastes right.

4. You fall out of love with Cadburys because here it's so revolting it hurts.

5. You come to accept the fact that wild koalas aren't that commonly seen so there is no chance of one roaming into your back garden and slowly being domesticated to become your cuddly pet.

6. 'I'm melting' and 'Oh my God it's so hot' become 7 of the most used words in your vocab.

7. You get used to men wearing UGG boots.

8. You hope your boyfriend/brother/dad/neighbour don't ever decide to buy a pair of UGG boots.

9. Using beer as oil when cooking meat becomes the norm.

10. You don't have an appetite to begin with because well, WARM.

11. You soon realise that 30 degrees + every day isn't ideal - especially when it comes to sleep.

12. As soon as you drive out of a built up area and into a tree filled area you panic and worry you're going to break down and run out of water and you might die in the bush.

13. You soon realise that the roads are lethal and it's a dog eat dog world when it comes to the freeway. Jody compares driving on the roads to being in Mad Max.

14. It soon becomes apparent that cricket is more like a religion here.

15. You come to realise that 'Ay' has 73 million different meanings - Yes, Do you agree?, Maybe, Wouldn't you say?

16. Naps during the day cease to exist 'cos it is too bloody hot to sleep at night nevermind during the day.

17. You get used to saying 'How you going' because 'How are you doing' or 'You alright' tend to get a puzzled face as a response.

18. Ice lollies become one of your 5 a day.

19.As the biscuits here are a bit pants (And they are EVERYWHERE), TimTams become an integral part of your life.

20. You forget what socks are and what purpose they serve.

21. You underestimate the sun and get burned the first three times you go to the beach. And in super weird patches.

22. You forget what it's like to sleep in a proper bed that isn't gritty from sand.

23.Chances are you will get hooked on My Kitchen Rules (Kinda like Masterchef).

24. You get asked if you are from Scotland at least once (If you are from Yorkshire anyways).

25. You miss things you didn't expect to miss.

26. People you didn't expect to keep in touch with you. People you thought would keep in touch with you, don't.

27. Sometimes you will wonder if you did the right thing and want to go home but in the long run it's all worth it and it's amazing.

This list was a combined effort from myself and the mister, Jody. Any additions you can think of?
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Thursday, 12 March 2015

19 reasons why being a girl sucks sometimes

foundation, nail varnish, pill


There's loads of good things about being a girl, but first up let's deal with the negative (Dad you might wanna look away now).*

1. Aunt Irma visiting.The red river flowing. Mother Nature. Regardless of how you put it, that time of the month sucks. All the food, all the spots and all the cramp.

2. Having to be responsible and take the pill everyday. Is there not a pill that dudes can take? Then again maybe a guy remembering to take a pill every day isn't the best idea.

3. If you sleep around you're a slut, if you keep it to yourself you're frigid. Can't win.

4. Then there's the mean girls. If you wear a tight dress you're a whore, if you wear jeans and a jumper you're a dyke.

5. Mean Girls full stop. (And yes I'm looking at you, remember calling me pizza face? Well guess what, MY SKIN IS GLORIOUS NOW AND I LOOK MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN CINDERELLA...So yeah).

6. Armpit hair. Leg hair. Sometimes even facial hair. Ergh all the effort. Can I not give up and become a bear yet?

7. Having to wear make-up everyday because society tends to make women feel like shit if they don't look like a supermodel (Hey Jess are you okay you look ill? NO I'M JUST NOT WEARING MAKE UP, BACK THE EFF OFF).

8. Eyebrows. It's hard to keep up with the current eyebrow game of the world and I'm happy with my slugs.

9. Catcalling. Why?

10. People telling us 'Are you sure you wanna eat all of that?' YES THAT'S WHY IT'S ON MY PLATE.

11. Not being taken seriously if you wear too much make-up and have nice hair.

12. Not being taken seriously if you wear no make up and have wild hair.

13. Being told to 'Get in the kitchen where we belong and make a sandwich'. This is one of my most hated phrases in the world. (DISCLAIMER: Jody has never told me to do this, he's one of the good guys).

14. All the responsibilities of having to remember stuff - dates, times, occasions.

15. Boys who think it's okay to mess you around. Or if you are that way inclined, girls who think it's okay to mess you around.

16. People who think a woman's sole purpose in life is to get knocked up and run a home. NAH. My womb is off limits, soz. And I'm crap at cleaning and cooking so good luck there.

17. Having to get your roots done in fear of looking scruffy or someone seeing your grey hairs.

18. Having a bit of bite and not taking anybody's crap can make you any of the following: Mean. A bitch. Scary. Intimidating. A guy who doesn't take any crap? A legend. Tough. Someone to look up to. Brave.

19. Having to worry about walking home late at night just incase a would be attacker is on the prowl. Having to worry about getting in a taxi incase it's one of those dodgy ones. Having to worry about personal safety full stop.

*Today's post is a little different to my usual Friday post. Hopefully it's good different! Don't worry the travel posts aren't going anywhere!
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Tuesday, 10 March 2015

9 things that confuse me in Australia

quokka
 
Don't get me wrong, Australia is awesome - Quokkas, sunshine, beaches, koalas, Crust pizza, cool street art - but some of it just confuses my blonde brain.

1. The roads. The freeway's are a bit confusing because the left lane tends to merge into the middle after a junction. Sometimes when there is an exit the left lane leads straight off the freeway and other times you have to indicate. It's a bit of a free for all.
 
2. The road signs...Well the lack of them anyways. You will be going somewhere following the signs then the signs just vanish...Awesome.
 
3. Supermarkets shut at 5pm on weekends. What about the late night chocolate runs!!!
 
4. Beef hotdogs/sausages. Don't get me wrong they are nice and all but what happened to pork? WHERE IS THE PORK?!?!
 
5. Proper takeaway garlic mayo doesn't exist. They have aioli but it pales in comparison to the takeaway mayo we get back home.
 
6. How some stuff can be so cheap but some stuff is so expensive. To fill our car up with petrol is $32 (around £16) but a crate, sorry *carton*, of beer costs $45 (£24). Huh? At home it's the opposite.
 
7. Everybody seems to go running. In the afternoon. When the sun is at it's hottest. HOW DO THEY NOT DIE FROM THE HEAT?!?!
 
8. 'O' gets added to everything. Bottle-o (alcohol shop), serv-o (service station) smoke-o (work break), arvo (afternoon)...I know it's abbreviation but still it doesn't make sense!
 
9. The birds. The damn birds. You knows crows back home are pretty loud when they caw? Well the crows here are a zillion times louder and have aussie accents - They sound more like 'MARRRRCCC'. They enjoy waking up early. Feathery pricks.

Are you living in another country at the moment? What do you find different to back home?
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Sunday, 8 March 2015

Important things you should do when you arrive in Oz

tan comparison
 
When I first arrived vs 2 months later...Look at that tan!
 
Sooo you've arrived in Australia. But what next?

Arriving in Australia was a complete rollercoaster of emotions for me including tiredness, excitement and a whole bag of nerves. Obviously when I first landed all I wanted to do was sleep...and sleep...and sleep but the best thing to do is try and adjust to the time difference.
 
 We arrived at 2 in the afternoon and *just* managed to stay awake until 8pm - meaning we woke up at a decent ish time the next day. If you land at 9am then staying awake til a decent time is probably a no-no but it's super important you try sort your body clock as soon as possible!
 
When you are re-energized, memorise your address and try to get your bearings. Find out where the local shops are, petrol stations, ATM's, the bus/train stations  (and the beach of course)...Anything that can be of importance somewhere along the line. We got a car pretty much as soon as we arrived so we borrowed a sat nav which made everything much easier. Just remember to carry water if you're walking anywhere!
 
Set up a bank account. This is pretty easy and where I live there are banks everywhere. I bank with NAB and the lady who helped us was just wonderful. To set up an account you'll need your passport and your visa so don't forget them!
 
Sign up for a medicare card. Having a medicare card means that doctors who 'bulk bill' will see you for free - Basically Medicare will pay the costs. Jody got some coral stuck in his hand and needed some antibiotics and without the card the doctors visit would have cost him $70 - instead he only had to pay the $19 for his tablets. So big help. Again you will need your passport, visa and bank account details.
 
If you have a youthful face you should definitely invest in a proof of age card. Here in WA, a UK driver's license isn't acceptable ID and obviously you don't want to be carrying your passport around with you. It isn't free but if you loose your passport whilst you're out, you are in heaps of trouble1

When you start applying for jobs, make sure you apply for a Tax File Number. You will need this when you get a job as it helps the government administer the right tax etc to you. Boring but essential! It takes seconds and arrives in no time at all.
 
Another important thing is to remember you are in Australia - Keep your suncream topped up and carry a bottle of water with you so you don't get dehydrated. Even though we knew it was gunna be hot, we weren't fully prepared for just HOW warm it is.

But most of all: Remember to have fun!

It's the trip of a lifetime and maybe even a once in a lifetime opportunity. Make the most of every chance you have and enjoy it!

Links:
Proof Of Age Card Application
Medicare Application Form
Tax file number

Anyone planning an Australian trip any time soon?


 

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Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Rottnest Island

 Just a heads up guys this post is pretty photo heavy!
 
After two months living in Perth, Jody and I finally made it to Rottnest Island yesterday. For those of you that don't know, Rottnest is 22km south of Perth, accessible by boat or plane. It's 11km long and at it's widest point it is 4.5 km wide. It was originally home to the aboriginal people but as sea levels began to rise it became unhabited before being re-discovered by europeans in the 17th century.
 
When the explorers landed on the island they noticed a lot of 'bush rats' (Actually cute little quokkas) and they named the island Rottnest (Rats nest) island. Over the last 400 years it has been used as a farm, prison, a reformatory and an army barracks before finally being given A class reserve status to protect it's beauty.
 
Jody and I got the ferry over for $68 each via Rottnest fast ferries and we also rented bikes and snorkel gear from them for an additional $55. Bike is the easiest way to get around as you can discover a lot more this way - And it's a fun way to squeeze some fitness into your day.  
 
quokka selfie
  
 quokka
 
They biggest USP of the island is easily the quokkas. These super cute marsupial's are only found on Rottnest due to the lack of predators and they are uber tame. They are used to a constant stream of people on the island and love to come up to you and check you out.. You can see by the pics just how friendly the little dude's are and as they come up to you, you don't feel like you are pestering them. Just a lil tip, they love a scratch/quokka massage behind the ears!

view of rottnest

view ofrottnest
 
beach view
 
Rottnest Island truly is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been and Jody agreed (And he has been ALL OVER THE WORLD).  It's so relaxed and the ocean is that perfect turquoise blue that you see in travel brochures.
 
bay at rottnest

view of rottnest
 
Thanks to the crystal clear water this means Rottnest is ideal for snorkelling. As I'm not the best swimmer I tend to paddle rather than snorkel, but Jody said that he saw some of the prettiest fish he has ever seen when he was in the sea aswell as a massive stingray doing his thang.
 
 
 
We got about 5 hours at Rottnest and barely scratched the surface of the island due to stopping to make friends with quokkas and enjoy the snorkelling on offer. We are already planning to go back and camp over so we can explore the entire island at a more leisurely pace.
 
Perth just keeps growing and growing on me and I can't wait for our next adventure!
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