A Travellerspoint blog

Melboune to Perth via Adelaide

The trip comes to an end!!

0 °C

This is it folks, the very last blog! But lots to talk about so we're going out with a bang so to speak!! Well the last blog left off the day before we went on our Neighbours trivia night (which along with the tour was our Neighbours geek fest which we had planned before we'd even booked our flights I think). The Neighbours night, as we'd thought, was total cheese but an evening that neither me or Kelly will forget! It started off as it meant to go on with cheesy Neighbours singalongs - then it whipped out the big gun....Mr Karl Kennedy along with Donna (I of course was a very happy boy as the picture of my stupid grinning face shows) and Dylan Timmins (he was Stingray's older brother with all the hair but he aint been in it for years) although he did make a lot of effort and gave us a mimed boyband spectacular so he was pretty good, bless him. They just kinda talked and walked around the crowd being all famous and stuff but of course we lapped it up! We then got to participate in the trivia with random things asked along with Neighbours questions and quite successfully, we managed to come third, but this was nothing compared to the games in between rounds...

As many of you may know, Kelly has been gifted with lots of wonderful skills and talents...one of these is a killer competitive streak and the other is an innate skill at the running man! These came in very handy during the dance off competition where travel prizes were up for stake...Kelly did us both very proud and shook her thing with the best of them, infront of the man that is Dr. Karl and won a trip to Adelaide which came in very handy for us as that was where we were headed! To end the night off the good Dr Karl and (making me very happy)...Paul Robinson and his wooden leg gave us all a sing song and showed that older men with a hint of sleaze in their eyes can still hold a tune and do a little bit better than dad dancing! They definatley deserve to be famous still. This was still only a taste of our Neighbours experience and a few days later we went to the actual street where they actually film actual Neighbours. We were excited to the max and when we got to the street we were not dissapointed just extremely fooled by the size of it...the streets are tiny! Like really small that you could jump from door to door! After running around, pretending to play cricket and getting standard tourist snaps outside the Kennedy's we went to the studios to have a little walk around Lassiters! We saw all the sights, Harolds store, Carpenters Merchanics, Grease Monkeys, the lake, Charlies bar and now we can say we've been there...it was great fun and definatley worth the wait!

Okay so a next big thing that we did was take a little trip to Phillip Island with Clare and the biggest puppy I've ever seen in my life by the name of Gus. It's only a 1 and a 1/2 hour drive from the city but is famous for its penguin parade! Part of the island is a conservation reserve to help protect the little penguins which are the smallest species of penguin in the world who use the grass headland behind the beach to nest. After watching hundreds of penguins come in (and lots get washed back into the sea because they hesitate too much or got scared by seagulls...funny sight) we got to walk around and spot some running about, chasing each other and trying to make sweet love. It was mating season and therefore some penguins were not putting on a PG performance! We did see little furry chicks though which was amazing!

We spent our last weekend in Melbourne going to the Tim Burton exhibition at the Australian Moving Image Centre. It was amzing and as a massive fan I loved every moment of it. Kelly now has lots of movies to watch that she had never heard off but that is never a bad thing! The place was packed though and with lots of people queing to read and look at bits but was totally worth it! We finally got to see more family when we spent a couple of days with the Warrens (my mums cousin for those who may not know) in their new australian house which was lovely. Got to spend some time with their gorgeous little boy Lucas who developed bit of a crush on "Keddy" as she was called. Brilliant to be with family and didn't want to leave! However ofc ourse we had to to begin our final trip in a bus down to Adelaide!

Our trip took us along the Great Ocean Road which is very hard to describe but the pictures will show you! The coast line of South Australia is all limestone and gives these amazing landforms and coastal beaches. We got to look for wildlife on the way and luckily enough saw our first echidna in the wild which was amazing...they are huge and much bigger than we ever thought! By the end of the day we got to the infamous Twelve Apostles. They are stacks of rock which stand in the middle of the ocean and are remains from the headland which has collapsed. Although now there are only 7 due to lots falling down and being washed away. After the G.O.R we went north in to the middle of South Australia and into the Grampian mountain range. We went into a dormant volcano to see if we could spot some wildlife however due to some heavy sstorms and rain there was lots of sections which were closed to the public. We then went towards our accommodation for the night but stopped off and found a field which had hundreds of kangaroos, emus, deer and ducks (Kelly was very excited by the ducks?!?!?) just being wild and playing...it was truly incredible to see. We were lucky enough to get some great shots of boxing kangeroos and joey's sticking out their mum's pouch. The next day we went for a nice brisk morning hike up a mountain which gave us amazing views and was so much fun. We climbed over trees and under caves to get to the top where the wind was trying its hardest to make us fall off! However we did get back down and safe in one piece to get to Adelaide!

Adelaide is a city which seems to get a very mixed reaction from backpackers so we had no expectations. However, Adelaide is close to the Barossa valley which is Australia's premium wine growing region so it would be rude not to go on a little tasting tour - so we did.....only 12 hours after we arrived! The valley is about an hour out of Adelaide and is a very nice region with flat land and endless vineyards. Our first stop was Wolf Blass which was very good and as we had actually heard of it, we were therefore looking forward to it! We realised at this time that we were the group who would be taking this most seriously as at every winery, we were the first ones in and last ones out! After many vineyards and wineries and an amazing 3 course lunch (flashpacking to the max that day) we realised that we kinda liked Adelaide (food and wine is ALWAYS the way to Jack's heart). As wine wasn't enough we then made a little trip to Australia's famous Haighs Chocalate factory for a little tour. Unfortunately it was nothing like Roald Dahl described but still got to feed up on chocs and learn about how its all made from a recipe shared by the Lindt family in what was a tiny little factory. Adelaide was pretty chilled out but we were both happy we got there.

So now we are in Perth (again) after our flight and little sleep outside the airport (airports close which we didn't know about so we had to sleep on a cafe bench for 5 hours :() and looking forward to our birthday and coming home to see all your little faces. So until we see you all, thanks for reading our blogs and we look forward to catching up.

Peace and Love for the final time Jack and Kelly xxxxx

Posted by Jackelly 01:49 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Sydney to Melbourne. Snow to boats in 3 days

sunny 20 °C

So we went back to square one in Sydney and had to get our bearings like tourists all over again. The free walking tour always comes in handy and you follow someone for about 3 hours and then pay them on how much you can afford - did you know that the Matrix was filmed partly in Sydney, that Sydneysiders rub a pigs nose to get good luck outside the hospital and there are bats in the Botanical Gardens? Well now you do.

Sydney has some of the most perfect places to watch a sunset with an iconic view and Mrs McQuaries chair didn't disappoint. You go through the botanical gardens full of people running or getting married and get such a view that the Opera House sits perfectly next to the Harbour Bridge as the sun disappears behind. Some other perfect sunsets was at the top of the Sky Tower, watching Sydney lights turn from day to night, and also the ferry back from Manly so you get out of the tourist trap of paying for a sunset cruise with a company and you get it included on the ferry ride home!

The Powerhouse Museum is home to the most random ecletic organisation of coolness. I honestly don''t know how you can classify it as a museum when it is that cool. So you walk in and there are pacmen all over the floor leading you to the 80s exhibition where you get to relive the epicness of the era, listening to music, looking at the clothes, playing the games and testing your knowledge. A good hour spent! Ohterwise exhibitions include behind the scenes at Australian Fashion week, Cyberworlds where you play a game against a robot (and unfortunately lose in Jack's case - oh the power of technology), zero gravity spaceships and fashion photography. Loved it!

A short walk away is Darling Harbour, a beautiful area which contains numerous resturants, boats, the Imax, the aqauarium and scary cannons. It's great place to just wander and lose time but instead we went underwater at the Aquarium! The aquarium is awesome to be honest and has so many fish (obviously!) but has a replica of the largest great white shark ever seen at 7m and is fricking terrifying! They have inside out jellyfish, all the poisonous fishys, dugongs, and all the nemo characters in one area for you to marvel out and shout appropriate character names at! You can touch shark eggs and cower as the mahoosive black rays swoop over you in the tunnel and also fight to see the information boards as every tourist in there seem to get in each others ways.

As previously mention...Manly. Manly is one of the northern beaches located about a 30 minute ferry ride away. It was a perfect cloudless day and we decided to do the Spit to Manly walk, a 10km coastal walk along beaches, harbours and via lighthouses. The coast is perfect and the houses there are mega bucks. It's a hard life but someone would have to do it. There is a really pretty beach and tiny town to wander through and you just time the ferry back into the city to get the sensational views you can hopefully see on our photo section.

The weekends are markets days, so we didn't disappoint and visit the Glebe and Rocks markets (with the best meatball wraps you will ever have) and to buy the complementary toot to take home to share with the appropriate people. We even bought our first christmas bauble (bit early but it's a great souvenir!) The we became proper Aussies. We went to the AFL!!!!! AFL is a thousands times better than football in my opinion and although we are actually Collingwood supporters, we went to see the Sydney Swans dominate the Western Bulldogs at the Sydney Cricket Ground. We got the necessary Sydney Swans baseball caps, beers and pies, and sat down to immerse fully in the game. Best part for me was possibly seeing 8 year old boys in front of us copying their Dads and shouting 'come on you maggot, you were crap in the 08 season, pull your weight' - I mean....seriously?!?!?!?! Oh also a little bit of celeb spotting and we saw the baddie from the film Australia (planned Neil Flynn if that helps?) but yeh...celeb....cool! Also we donned the togas the same night to party the night away.

The following couple of days were wrapping up anything involved in Sydney. So we went to the Sydney Wildlife park and got a great 2 minute video of a persistent male kangeroo trying to have some fun, went to Central Station and saw the real life Thomas the Tank engine, ran through the Olympic competitors tunnel to a rapturous applause and stood on the medal podiums. We went for a tour round the Olympic stadium, played crazy golf Olympic style and invaded the corporate suits to pretend we were posh, failing miserably in the process.On our last day we went to Bondi for classic fish and chips, watch the surfers and lie back on a perfect day. We were both really sad to leave Sydney because we met a great bunch of people, it's a brilliant city and it just counts down to us moving on and eventually home.

Leaving Sydney for Melbourne on another overland tour was something different because we did something that was completely unexpected in Australia. We went Skiing. Yes we're in Australia. Yes it snows. Yes it's August. Weird I know. After a quick trip around the Parliament in Canberra, we headed to Jindabyne, at the bottom of the Snowy Mountains. When we woke up in the morning, although we were down at 900m in Jindabyne and there is never snow that low, we woke up to a sleet of it. A small 30minute trek up the mountain meant we had to put the snow chains on and go to Smiggles, a small ski resort in the shadows of Mount Kozciousko (the highest mountain in Oz at 2228m). While I went off skiing, finding my feet after a 7 year break, Jack got a snowboarding lesson and found yet ANOTHER Australiam sport that he has a natural talent at. Me...jealous????Nooooooooooooo

We finally crossed into our second to last Australia state by coming into Victoria via the Snowy Mountain, with lovely scenery and a lorra lorra driving. We went to Wilsons Promontory and went for a little walk where we saw a herd of 30 emus and some kangeroos, one with a baby joey poking out her pouch - unbelievably cute and something that we can tick off the nature list of Oz.

Now Melbourne....that's where good neighbours become gooooooodddd friends. Yes a bit obsessed with Neighbours, and we've booked onto the quiz night tonight to see Dr Karl Kennedy, Donna Freeman, Steve Parker and Dyland Timmons. AWESOME!! We have also been very lucky because one of my neighbours has moved out here a couple of years ago and now is set up in Melbourne. So yesterday Clare took us out on her boat (not something that typical tourists do!) and went out on the bay about 40minutes away from the city. It was a fantastic day and we got to see a seal baking itself, jelliyfish surrounding the boat, and a pod of dolphins decided to come along for the ride. Jack also caugh his first fish but because it was so big and probably bigger than the boat, and too big to put on the bbq, we had to release it back into the wild before it engulfed us for a snack. We then got treated to a video call home, a roast dinner includinng aunt bessie's yorkshire puds, and a casual spa with a glass of wine. Seriously.....can I change my flight home?!?!

There you go, an updated life and I may wet myself with excitement to see the Neighbours crew tonight. We'll let you know how the quiz night goes!!

Jack and Kelly - love you all!xxx

Posted by Jackelly 17:03 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

New Zealand!

A nice little change from the land of OZ

all seasons in one day 16 °C

After 3 months of bumming around a massive island in the middle of an ocean we jumped on a plane to a little island in the middle of an ocean! To say that New Zealand is a bit different is an understatement but it has been an amazing place. As we've only had two weeks here and didnt want to rush anything (we've now realised we need to put our skates on a wee bit) we stuck with the North Island so we jumped on to another amazing tour bus and started our way down, across and back up!

Our first stop was Matamata...a tiny one street town which until a few years ago would have been ignored by the masses of tourists but because some man called Peter decided it looks ideal for Hobbits to roam around in, it is now better known as HOBBITON! Not much there but a sign and a statue of Gollum although it was cool and everything on this trip has been Lord of the Rings related somehow! (I skydived over Mount Doom but thats another story).

Our first overnight stop was a very wet and windy Mercury Bay. The place is lovely and there is a view from the beach where you can see the top of a mountain that got blown off by a volcanic eruption and it ended up 50Km away! I was fascinated and have been by all the volcano stuff here that we've been told about and seen, but luckily we haven't been in any disaster movie like action. This day was bit of a wash out so we stayed in our lovely hostel beeing looked after by Ron and Jean (they just turned the house into a hostel and look after young travellers (a bit like Fagin without the pickpocketing and singalongs really).

We then went on to our first town which was the stinky Rotorua (its the sulphur from all those pesky volcanoes again because this is one of 3 places in the world where the Earth's crust is only about 16km thick rather than the usual 30km so lots more activity occurs). This day was nice and sunny and the first place where we got to try some NZ extreme sports. While Kelly tried to stretch out her legs from sitting on a bus by going for a run round the smelly lake, I went up a big hill and went luging with the bus crew. Now luging is like downhill go karts where you just let gravity decide whether or not you crash or speed down to glory! The ongoing races were hilarious but our bus driver Zippy had defo done it too many times and left us all for smoke!

That night we went to an "authentic" Maori village called 'Tamaki' to see how they would have lived back in the 1600s. We got to see the haka, hear some songs, see some dancing, learn how they carved amazing pieces of art from wood and a highlight of the evening learning how they make feasts (called hangi) and letting us have one! We were all stuffed on food that had been cooked underground (apart from the pavlova - let's be honest, that wouldn't work)

Oh then when we left Rotorua we went to Agroventures (basically a themepark on a farm). This is where me and Kelly let our competitive side out and had a cycling race. However this was no Tour de France as the bikes were suspended from a monorail above our heads! I won for a change however Kelly, was like the 4th fastest woman from the UK so that's a little victory there woop!

Leaving the smelly eggs behind we went to Waitomo (meaning water caves in Maori) which has a population of 40 people with one pub and one backpackers hostels for those who flock here to see the caves and the glowworms. The caves are hosts to millions on glowworms that are attached to the caves ceiling and are luminescent to attract their prey out of the water to gobble up. It is pretty incredible and when the cave is pitch black, the worms light up large clusters and I can only compare it to the most perfect night sky you have ever seen. Amazing. We decided to embrace the inner daredevils while we were here and decend down into the caves for the Black Abyss....scary names eek! The Black Abyss allowed us to go down into the caves for about 4 and half hours by abseiling 37m down an hour glass shaped hole, going on a fly fox (zip wire) down into the cave, jumping into freezing cold water from a 3m ledge and getting geology lessons about rock formations, crawling through caves on our hands and knees and also climbing up cascading waterfalls. I would quite happily say that this is one of the best (if not the best) experience that we have paid for on this trip and really only rivals Karijini and the Great Barrier Reef.

Leaving the caves behind we headed to Taupo, adventure capital of the North Island where the extreme activities are extremely cheap. However the weather decided to hate us on another occasion and stopped us from doing the Tongariro crossing (voted one of the top 10 one day walks in the world and you get to go across the mountains on Mount Doom!). We were lucky enough to visit Huka (foam) falls which is a thunderous 9m high waterfall that (I think this fact is right), has so much water going over it every 3 seconds that it could fill 5 Olympic sized swimming pools in that time - crazy! Anyway Taupo was cool, we all got into the spirit of NZ where there has been a trinations rugby tournament going on and it was the final match of New Zealand vs Australia. We got in the spirit by painting our faces with silver ferns and NZ logos and headed down to the nearest pub where we spent more time playing rock, paper scissors with the bar men to try and get money off our drinks than watching the rugby.

We went via a nice little town where more filming for LOTR was done and we visited Gollum's pool on the way to River Valley. River Valley was nice, but when we tried to get on the white water rafting to be told that is was cancelled because of flooding, it seems a bit strange. It was the middle fo nowhere and all we had for fun for the rest of the night were marshamllows by a fire, strange singings from a very VERY strange person on our trip and the beds that joined as one on a shelf. We got out of there pronto the next morning.

Smellington and Jack in Wellington! (That's a little joke for Laura!) We finally made it to the capital and we weren't disappointed. There's not a million things going on but was a great break during our trip and we got to spend 3 night there. With Hayley, Becky and Stuart from our trip the following day was Brits on a mission to be cultured in the capital. We spent ages in the Te Papa museum (a 6 story building that, in my opinion, rivals the Natural History Museum for coolness) where we were treated to a giant collosal squid, crawling inside the man-made sized equivalent of a blue whale's heart and also learning all about NZ life. We then went out into the daylight and sunshine of Wellington and got a old-fashioned cable car to the top of the botanical gardens where we had a delightful feast of backpacker foods such as popcorn, carrots, hams and breads while we overlooked the city. Twas gorgeous to be honest! The following day we got further cultured by visiting the Parliament Houses of NZ and got a guided tour to see where all the politics of the country takes place (note to self - maybe do this in your OWN country before you try and learn the politics on another because it's VERY confusing!). We also indulged Kelly by going to an Olympic museum with artefects and accounts of past and present Olympians.

The journey back up included a lot of doubling back on ourselves, needing to visit Taupo and Auckland once more before we can head back to Sydney. Taupo, true to form was rainy and miserable apart from the one singular hour that stayed clear for Jack to do his epic 15,000 foot skydive!!! Yes you heard right, he ascended and then fell very rapidly in the space of 5 minutes and lives to tell the tale! Unfortunately because of the height Jack did temporarily lose hearing in one ear because he couldn't equalise (pop your ears like when you're on a plane) but now it's back to
normal and hopefully it will stay that way for the flight this afternoon. We also decided to visit the hot springs in the freezing rain to warm us up but unfortunately there were no said changing rooms or lockers by the natural hot springs (duh!) so when we got out of the warm water we has wet clothes to trudge back in to the hostel so colds in the imminent future are very likely.

Now, last day of Auckland, much nicer the second time around and we got a free day tour yesterday and got to climb a part of the Auckland Harbour dridge, go to Davenport and play with Chihuahua puppies, climb Mt Victoria to Auckland city views and have a FREE day out! Also went to our worst performing pub quiz ever too. We unfortunately came last by a large margin but....leaving you with some interesting facts that we learnt AFTER we handed the questions in....

1. Skepticisms is the longest word on the keyboard that you can type with alternating hands.
2. Snails move so slowly that in their lifetime that they may never meet another snail (if you see one, please keep it with you to help this not be the case and there can be snail love)
3. The quickest time for a fireman, complete in full fireman suitage, to do the London marathon is 5hours and 35m (only 15mins slower than when Kelly did the Edinburgh marathon - negative!)
4. More collect calls are made on Father's day than on any other day of the year
5. Fingernails grow 3 times as fast a toenails....LOVELY!

Hope you enjoyed the account of NZ, there are some pics but too lazy to the rest!

Peace and love from New Zealand....Auckland....Nomads Fusion....this seat :)

Jack and Kelly

Posted by Jackelly 16:03 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Surfing hippies and opera houses!

Byron bay to Sydney!!

It's been a long time since I wrote a blog (mainly because I've been told I'm not detailed enough and therefore the blogs are a waste of time, so here I am giving it a new shot) but here is some tales from Byron Bay to Sydney and boy are there some tales! Our last day in Brisbane was an amazing day for many reasons. 1 - a free food festival where people kept forcing us to eat free cheese (it's a hard life), 2 - The greatest tea shop we have ever found where a little old lady served us great tea and made us feel all lovely and warm, 3 - WE SAW INCEPTION! It was amazing and Brisbane is the cheapest place in Australia to go to the movies (that's a free travel tip for you there) So the next day we left Brisbane for our last leg down to Sydney.

A few hours south from Brisbane put us in Byron Bay, a coastal town that's known for its free loving hippy nature and it definatly lives up to that. We stayed in a resort called the Arts Factory which was built as a kind of arts community by hippies back in the 1970s and is now run as a hostel. To say it was something totally new to us is an understatement (when we asked if there were tvs so we could watch the Masterchef finale the man looked at us as if we just asked him to rub his face in burgers and burn his dreadlocks off before replying with the bluntest "No, we don't need tvs". What they do need though for a good time is african drums which you can hear all day long if you'd like to! We stayed in an amazing little island of huts though that was built around a lake and was well worth putting up with drumming and endless Bob Marley songs (pretty sure that the CD was stuck on Buffalo Soldiers).

Byron Bay is a quirky cool little town that is lovely in the summer, unforunately it's the middle of winter and the weather acted accordingly. On a little walk up to the lighthouse and the most easterly point in Australia (which was NOT a 20 minute walk as we had been told but more like an hour and a half uphill trek) the heavens decided to open and those heavens did not close doors for the next 48 hours so walking home both of us got drenched. It reached the point that no dryness whatsoever was possible so the walk home quickly deteriated into a kicking puddles at each other game....oh the fun! The result is now a developing cold which I have and Kelly will probably have very soon. So the next day was spent drying our clothes and staying away from the weather...luckily the hippy lodge we stayed at had its own brewery and cinema (total planning genius) so we spent the day trying home made ales and watching films.

The next day we left Byron Bay and was the same day the sun finally came out, but was one of my favourite days of the whole trip. It's common knowledge that my sporting ability is strictly limited but it may seem that's because I was born to play Australian sports (it may be something in the water but I'm surprising both me and Kelly alot here), First I was good at lawn bowls, and now I can surf!! I loved it (once I finally put the wetsuit on the right way round I was rocking). Spot X was our surf camp stop which is a really cool little caravan park type place where people do nothing but surf, chill and drink (and in our case make fuss of a border collie which we loved and try to avoid a fat angry pigeon which lives at the surf camp). Our surf lesson was amazing but basically consisted of 20 minutes of "how to stand up and how to fall off correctly" and "how to look cool 'cause as long as you look cool it doesn't really matter what you're doing" then 3 hours of paddling out, standing up, falling off and repeat cycle until you couldn't go anymore. Both me and Kelly were pretty good, no major injuries just tired limbs but can't wait to do it again. We only spent one day there which was a bummer, but we had to jump on our bus and get comfy for a 10 hour journey down to the capital of New South Wales..Sydney.

For me, finally getting to Sydney is amazing and the smile on my face was HUGE when I came over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and saw the skyline and the iconic Opera house It was quite strange though mainly because we had to drive through the 'burbs which was just like coming through Sidcup and therefore a bit underwhelming, nothing like on TV. Our first night here was spent just settling in and exploring the neighbourhood. We've stayed in an incredible hostel called the Blue Parrot which is more like a homely B&B than a hostel so would recommend to stay here (that's another free travel tip for you there, wow, this is almost as imformative as a proper travel blog now ha) Our first walk through Sydney took us into Kings Xross. For those who don't know, Kings Cross was once a seedy underbelly red light district. It's still the red light district, just a bit less seedy. Although the presence of a prostitute outside a shop caught Kelly a bit by surprise which meant she had to stifle a dirty little giggle when she saw lots of breast and leg! Was funny! Our main time here has been spent getting to know the area because we will spend some more time here when we come back from NZ. We went on a open bus tour yesterday and saw most of Sydney. Our favourite area was the Rocks, which was the old town where all the ladies of the night, baddies, thieves, sailers, drunks and drunk sailors lived. We loved it though as its now a really nice dockside area with amazing markets and food. We then walked across the Sydney Harbour Bridge which gave us incredible views and Kelly took some great photo on the way to Luna Park. It's a fun fair which was built in 1935 along the harbour and is really cool and feels like you've gone back in time to atypical British seaside wholesome fun. There's still so much to see in Sydney...we still want to go into the Opera House as we've only seen the outside and get into the full flow of Sydney life as we are both falling in love with it as a city a bit.

I've just been informed by Kelly that I've (for once) written loads and just noticed the time and the fact we've gotta leave for the airport soon as we are going to NZ today. NZ wasn't quite planned into our original trip but we have to leave so we don't get in trouble with Australian border force for outstaying our visas like naughty travellers (otherwise you will probably see us on BRAVO tv back in the UK in about 18months time pleading for our dignity). So will next be on here to tell you of our NZ tales when we have time away from Hobbiton and Mount Doom to tell you all about it.


Posted by Jackelly 21:03 Comments (0)

Fraser Island, Dingos and a whole lorra lakes

sunny 23 °C

Ok so we've been getting worse and worse on writing this blog but maybe that's a good sign that we're being good travellers and getting involved with the culture and going out to explore each city?? Here's hoping!

Anyway Fraser Island was AWESOME! Managed to get our last minute stand by deal which let us get about $130 off each a normal rate excursion so we were pretty happy with that. We ended up changing companies at the last minute too but that let us go with the infamous Palace backpackers which let us stay in proper campsites with no facilities and only a 10 second walk to the beach where there would be dingos galore! So we were in a group of six named as the Sandy Crack Six so everyone would know who we were over the radio and had less than 3 days to get the hang of proper 4WD driving on beach and through woodland which is pretty terrifying! We only had a few instances where we almost got stranded but the funniest time was when there was a massive hold up on the beach because the lead vehicle (aka the person in charge) on another tour didn't take the angle right on a sand bank and got himself stuck causing a massive traffic jam (if you can imagine it) on the world's lasrgest sand bank.

I didn't know what to expect from Fraser Island but it truely was gorgeous. There are hundreds of naturally formed lakes, each with their own little plus points and also rock pools that acted like champagne bubbling and a lookout that let us see the migrating whales cross out in the ocean. My favourite places on the island was Lake Wabby - a sand dune that will finally encroach and engulf the lake within the next 20 years but where you could run down a sand bank, dive into the lake, feel the catfish nipping at your leg and swim over to the other side where there was a hidden bank underneath the water where you could rest and stand up. Was pretty awesome and to watch Jack being egged on by the group to try and catch a catfish for $20 bet was funny.

Champagne Pools was another highlight. Essentially as the waves at high tide crash over some rocks, landing in the rocks pools our side of the beach, they produce the bubbling water that looks and feels like you're swimming in champagne (doesn't quite taste the same but a great experience nevertheless). There were strong currents so we had to be careful but we had glorious weather the entire time we will there and everything was just so picturesque.

Obviously there were the infamous dingos on the island which provided entertainment in the evenings trying to guide your food and making sure that we put away the esky (the ice box) because the dingos are so clever they can open them and your food and alcohol that is contained inside. Not sure if I've mentioned it before but goon is a potent box of wine that incurs the most horrific hangovers and the fact we had to be careful to stop the dingos getting said drink and devouring it gave us pretty funny images (in fact at all the travel places around the island you can buy tshirts saying 'the dingo stole me goon' and a picture of a drunk dog next to it).

Other bits went on, such as me trying to get really artistic photos of a shipwreck and then the tide coming in suddenly that meant me getting soaked up to my waist, and also the tent pole crashing down on me one night as we were trying to go to bed but anywhooooossse.

So then after Fraser and epic times we went onto Noosa. Noosa is a little hidden gem on the east coast on the way down to Brisbane that has million dollar houses, gorgeous beaches and a close proximity to Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo. It was a fantastic day out from the moment we got picked up by buses with 'Crikey' written all down the side and watching Steve Irwin films all the way there. When we arrived we got to see otters, dragins, crocodiles in their hundreds, feed elephants, feed kangeroos, see a baby koala and even seeing a particular koala move (normally they sleep for 23 hours a day so to see it moving for more than food is quite a feat). It is the best zoo we have ever been to and the management of it is incredible. There is a animal hospital adjacent and although it currently takes up 70 acres, it is looking at expanding to over 500acres in the next ten years, hopefully being comparable to an animal Disneyland. The enclosures of humungous and the animals have a lot of space and everyone is so enthusiatic about carrying on Irwin's memory.

So now we are Brisvegas aka Brisbane and it's the first proper city with skyscrapers and city people csince Perth nearly 3 months ago. I really like the feel of it and they have basically copied London's entire structure and setup and made it miniture to put it here. They have the South Bank and the Brisbane wheel, Fortitude Valley which is supposed to be like Camden and even have their very own West End. There's some great museums here and we did a cultural city walk yesterday and a XXXX brewery tour today.

We're going to Byron Bay in the next couple of days and then onto Sydney so we have been stocking up on our winter wear which is a massively depressing fact but it is great to have an excuse to go into a chocolate fondue shop because it's a little bit cold outside. Best excuse I ever had for that.

Going to try and do this a bit more often because I lose track of eevrything after a while but hope the pictures are entertaining!

Kelly and Jack xxxxx

Posted by Jackelly 00:57 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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