Saturday, 31 October 2015

Australia: Month 10 recap

 
This month has been hard.
 
Don't get me wrong there's been some highlights - Seeing Robbie Williams and John Bishop, going to the Whitsundays and learning to kayak - but in other ways its been tough.
 
As much as we love travelling and exploring new places we are ready to go home. Living in a hostel is getting us down, all our money goes into our Asia fund and we are missing our families and friends...So yeah, we are definitely ready.
 
Sydney and the Aussie lifestyle are pretty cool and we get paid more here but it just isn't the same. 7 more weeks of working and saving then 3 months travelling Asia before going back to our favourite place in the world.
 
Hope everyone is having an awesome day and Happy Halloween!
 
 

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Tuesday, 27 October 2015

10 things I've learned in 10 months away


Always lower your expectations.
What a morbid note to start on hey? Well it's the truth. Chances are if you go into something thinking it's gunna be the best thing ever, you're probably going to be disappointed by it. The less I've expected of a place, the more I've loved it.

Don't listen to other people's travel recommendations.
You know that saying 'One man's trash is another man's treasure'? Well that can be applied to travelling. Just 'cos someone in your hostel didn't like it, doesn't mean you won't. Do what you want to do and have a good time doing it. Which leads me too...

You should do the touristy things.
Don't miss out just 'cos you think it's not the 'traveller's way'. People try so hard to get off the beaten path these days that they forget just to enjoy where they are. There's a reason that the top 10 things to do on Trip Advisor are the top 10 things to do.

The Brits are a little bit ignorant.
So this doesn't apply to all Brits but it does apply to the majority. I have met a lot of different people, from a lot of different places and they all speak amazing English. I took GCSE French but that's as far as my knowledge of another language goes.

Plan but don't plan too much.
Book you flights in advance, have a hostel booked for the first few days but don't try too hard to squeeze everything in. Plans change.


Talking to people isn't as scary as I used to think.
I'm not half as shy as I thought I was and I can hold a conversation with someone by myself, without Jody there to make it less awkward.

You can't judge a book by it's cover. Seriously.
We met a chavvy looking lad in Queensland who looked like a complete nutter but actually spoke fluent French and turned out to be one of the nicest guys we've met in Australia. Lesson? Don't judge someone on first impressions.

Travelling is different for everybody.
One person's idea of travel might be two weeks in Spain every year, another person's might be 6 months exploring South America - And who are we to say that either of them are wrong? Whatever makes you happy.

It might not change your life, but it will give you a new perspective on it.
I've learned that 1) Yorkshire will always be home, no matter where I go and 2) that living out of a rucksack and sharing a room with 6 other people is NOT for me. I am definitely more of a flash packer. I love exploring new countries but from a base consisting of a nice hotel that has wifi, a pool and room service. Sorry guys.

The world isn't as scary as the news makes out.
The world can be dangerous, but it can also be incredible. Don't be daft, have a plan B and have your wits about you and you will be okay. Probably.


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Saturday, 24 October 2015

5 Awesome Western Australian National Parks

National Parks in Australia aren't like the national parks in England. That's probably because Oz get's a hell of a lot more sunshine than us so a day at a national park is pretty sweet. In Western Australia I went to quite a few and all of these are no more than 6 hours* drive away from the Perth CBD - Enjoy!


Fitzgerald River National Park

How far from Perth? 5 hours 39 minutes away or 495kms South East.
 Why should I go here? Aswell as being home to some gorgeous coast line, during the Winter months whales use this sheltered bay as a nursery for their young. Listen carefully and you will hear them chuffing and spraying water. Don’t be put off by the uneven road surfaces, a 2wd can make it just take it steady.


Stirling Ranges National Park

How far from Perth? 3 hours 39 minutes or 343kms South East.
Why should I go here? The Stirling Range is super dramatic and makes for some awesome photography but it’s main draw is Bluff Knoll, the highest peak it WA. It’s a 3-4km hike but the catch is that it has a lot of steep steps. I loved it but it isn't for everyone - read about my experience here.


John Forrest National Park 
How far from Perth? 40 minutes or 30kms North East.
Why should I go here? John Forrest National Park isn’t that far out of Perth (Bonus!) but as soon as you get out of your car you are transported into the bush. Great for hiking or just an afternoon picnic, it’s easy to spend a whole day here. It's got heaps of history aswell.



Kalbarri National Park
How far from Perth? 5 hours 39 or 530(ish) kms North.

Why should I go here? Kalbarri is best experienced in the colder months or early in the morning before 1) the sun gets out and 2) the flies wake up. Catch the sun rising over the river through Nature’s Window then have a climb in the gorges. For the braver crew members check out Kalbarri Abseil (Jody approved!).


Yanchep National Park

How far from Perth? 45 minutes or 55kms North.
Why should I go here? Yanchep is great because it's so close to Perth! Aswell as having a variety of bushwalks (Do you dare to try the ghost walk?), there's aboriginal experiences, caves, koalas and a tonne of kangaroos! Awesome for families, couples or solo explorers, there is something for everyone.

Things to Remember:

- Most parks have a $12 fee per car but for the full day you get to spend there this is nothing really.

- A lot of the land in the national parks is sacred ground for the indigenous people of Australia so be respectful!

 -The main aim of the National parks is to preserve and protect the native flora and fauna there so take your rubbish home with you and tread carefully.

*Sadly I didn't make it to the far North so none from that area are included.

Any nice national parks I should go to in NSW? Comment below!
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Friday, 23 October 2015

Happy Saturday!

 
Hi all!
 
Jody and I are back in Sydney after four days in Brisbane and three days in the Whitsunday region of Queensland. We've come back to clear blue skies and two bottom bunks in our hostel. Hope everyone is having a nice weekend!
 
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Sunday, 18 October 2015

Robbie Williams in Brisbane

 
Howdy from Brisbane!
 
On Saturday night Jody and I went to see the legend that is Robbie Williams at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre. After being a fan for many, many years now it was awesome to see him on his greatest hits tour, especially while we are in Oz.
 
Robbie was a great entertainer and I didn't think he would be as good live as he is on the radio but he was actually better.
 
Next up, John Bishop.
 
Such fun!

 
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Friday, 16 October 2015

The Cloud 9 Chocolate Cafe.

 
Cloud 9 Chocolate Café, Newtown - 199 King Street, Newtown, 2042.
 
A 15 minute drive from the Sydney CBD and easily accessed by public transport lies Newtown: A fun and quirky suburb with a lot of awesome places to eat and drink. On the main road is Cloud 9 chocolate café which sells a variety of cakes, ice cream, waffles, cookies and drinks.

Perhaps most intriguing of all is their $7 gelato slider - Your choice of ice cream sandwiched between 2 cookies (again of your choosing) and a drizzle of chocolate sauce. Yes it's as good as it sounds.

I went for a a classic not overly exciting but definitely amazing mix of chocolate ice cream, vanilla and chocolate chip cookies and milk chocolate sauce - As you can see from the picture, it was pretty epic.

The ice cream is rich, the cookies are soft and together they make an awesome combo that will have you itching to go back. It's a pretty messy affair though so definitely don't wear white!


 
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Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Australia Zoo Pt 1 - Photo Diary

Have you ever been somewhere that made you feel ridiculously excited but kinda sad and nostalgic at the same time? Well that's how I felt about Australia Zoo.
 
Growing up I was animal mad and watching Steve Irwin's various shows were always on my Saturday to do list. Going to Australia Zoo was one of those places we both wanted to go to purely because we had seen it on TV as kids and cos we obvs LOVED Steve Irwin.
 
The zoo is a beautiful tribute to him with loads of different creatures living in pretty sweet enclosures. The main aim of the zoo is to educate and to conserve and I think they do just that.
 
Below are some of the pictures I took of the various tributes to Steve Irwin aswell as pictures of the Wildlife Warriors show featuring one of his beloved crocs.
 
Enjoy.
 
steve irwin
 
australia zoo
 
australia zoo
 
australia zoo
 
australia zoo crocodile
 
australia zoo crocodile
 
australia zoo crocodile

australia zoo crocodile
 
australia zoo



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Monday, 12 October 2015

9 reasons NOT to travel solo.


The benefits of travelling solo seem to be a big feature on blogs at the moment but what about those who actually LIKE travelling with a buddy? Be it a BFFa girl/boyfriend or even a family member, what are the benefits of travelling with a partner?

1. You have someone else to blame when google maps takes you in the complete opposite direction to where you need to be.

2. Splitting costs. Boring stuff like food and washing powder soon adds up so having someone to go halvsies on the shopping with is always a plus for budgeting travellers.

3. Your travel buddy can help you carry some of your stuff and vice versa. Unless you are both serial over packers then unlucky.

4. You always have someone to drag around a museum, go hiking with or even just go to the cinema with.

5. Putting suncream on is a lot less awkward when your buddy can do it. It's either do it yourself and miss bits or ask a total stranger to do it.

6. Long journeys are a lot easier when you have someone there to play games with and talk rubbish with.

7. It's a lot easier to keep homesickness away if you're with a buddy.

8. You will have a bazillion awesome memories and stories that you will always share ...Provided you don't fall out/split up of course.

9. You always have a photographer on hand to take stupid pictures of you.

 
 
 
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Friday, 9 October 2015

Sydney.

I've been so wrapped up in my previous travels that I haven't shown you any pictures from Sydney. These were taken on our first weekend in the city and as you can see it started out pretty grim.
 
 
The iconic Sydney Opera House from Cahill Walk
 

Some cool art visible from the Cahill Walk

 
The Sydney Harbour Bridge

 
The Opera House from the side - The illusion is ruined

 
The Sydney Botanic Gardens

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Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Why I didn't like Surfers Paradise

A photo posted by @jessdrury9 on

I didn't know whether to post this or not because I didn't want any Gold Coast locals/die hard GC lovers to get offended but then I thought 'Meh everyone has their opinions and this is mine'.
 
So yeah sorry, if this offends.
 
Let's cut to the chase, I didn't like anything about Surfers Paradise.
 
Our hostel was ok - Yeah it was clean and all but it felt like we were in Big Brother (no windows in the living room and rooms surrounding) and everyone was really clicky. So there's the first negative.
 
Then whilst we were waiting to check in to said hostel we went looking for a Woolworths 'cos we were STARVING and got ambushed by some backpacker trying to sell us cheap nightclub tickets.
 
We are not nightclub people.
 
We did the polite thing and tried shaking him off but after a while it seemed easier to go with it - Until he started writing up tickets and offering to accompany us to an ATM so we could get cash to pay - ERM when did we say we wanted to buy tickets??  No sir.
 
In the end Jody been Jody told him where to stick it and left Jody in a pissed off kinda mood for the rest of the afternoon. Awesome.
 
The next day was spent at Movie World and if you've been to any of the big theme parks in the USA, I personally wouldn't bother going as it is dinky in comparison. It's okay but from what I've heard Dream World is much better.  Plus it rained which didn't exactly add to the experience.
 
So yeah, Surfers Paradise is definitely not one of my favourite places in Australia and after 2 days we booked our Greyhound tickets to Byron Bay.
 
Maybe I didn't give GC chance, maybe we should have stayed a bit longer but the vibe of the place didn't make me want to stay. Maybe one day I could go back and give it another chance..
 
But maybe not.
 
Is there anywhere you've been and really hated the vibe of the place?
 
 

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Sunday, 4 October 2015

The Ten people you always get in hostels*

 
Backpacks + Bunkbeds - Storage = A whole lot of mess.

1. Some guy with a guitar. Sorry guys, but I'm all about travelling light. Guitars don't equal travelling light in my opinion.

2. The quiet loner who is glued to his/her laptop. Speaks when spoken to but otherwise quite happy to be left alone.

3. The party animal who wakes you up stumbling in at ridiculously early AM.

4. The loud skypers. Come on we have all heard one and/or are one.

5. The couple who think they are being sneaky with their love making but in reality? We all heard, you sound like a moose dying.

6. The giggling 18 year olds who love to go out and move around in groups of 4 and over.

7. The person/people who obviously hate sharing a room and having to speak to you but what backpacker can afford a private room in a hostel?

8. The hippy who spent the last year creating dreadlocks and has managed to turn their normal soft feet into leathery Hobbit feet from constantly walking around barefoot since leaving home.

9. The person who has 'done' every country and always has a story that can top yours.

10. The snorer. Everyone gets a snorer.

*Please take these with a pinch of salt, it's not all bad!
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