Page 2 of Gemma and Stephen Travel Blog Posts


Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waitomo September 30th 2010

Once we left Auckland we had a good idea of the route we would take to Wellington and a list of must see places and activities to do. We started with a visit Waitomo. Here there is a massive system of underground caves, waterfalls and passages and we were keen to explore. After kitting up in our wetsuits, helmets and lights, our day here was spent abseiling down a waterfalls, climbing up rock faces and crawling in and under passageways filled with water, all this a total of 400ft underground. The entire cave system is littered with stalagmites, stalactites, columns not to mention the millions of glow-worms that light up even the darkest of chambers. This was the perfect start to our many New Zealand adventures. We loved it and were sorry when our day trip ... read more
Roturua
Roturua
Roturua

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland September 25th 2010

The next chapter of our trip started with a few problems getting out of Australia. We found ourselves standing at the check-in desk listening to the lady behind the counter tell us that she could not check us in until we had our visa sorted to return into Australia, even though the Australian immigration services state that we could not apply for our return visa until we are out of the country (so for us we would have to apply in NZ). A Catch-22 for us as we then faced the very desperate possibility of not making it into New Zealand at all. If we didn't get on this flight we would have had to wait another week for the next available flight. So, we only had one option and an expensive one at that. The ... read more
Auckland
Whananaki
Whananaki

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Byron Bay September 5th 2010

Brisbane was our next major stop over where we met up with Tony & Joy (another second cousin of Stephen's) for a night. We went out for a lovely meal and drinks in an amazing bar (they don’t have them like this at home) The following morning after sleeping in the TV room at Tony & Joy’s house which is in the Windsor suburb of inner Brisbane we headed south across the border in to New South Wales and on to Nimbin and Byron Bay. We had a little trouble getting the van out of Tony and Joy’s steep yard, it needed the effort of everyone to push the van uphill and with Stephen going heavy on the accelerator but we made it to the edge of the drive way. We had a real oh no ... read more
On the Road
Byron Bay
Nimbin

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Hervey Bay August 30th 2010

Still making our way south, and after two nights in Bundaberg with friends from home, we made our way to Hervey Bay, the gateway to Fraser Island. We were staying in a YHA which also had a campground and it was through them that we booked out Fraser island trip and a day trip out on a Catamaran to go whale watching. We were hoping this time our whale watching expedition would be more fruitful that our trip back in October of the coast of Western Australia. And wow! what a day we had. The whales we saw here were just amazing. They are such curious creatures coming right up to our boat, all around it and underneath it; and they do like to put on a good show. We had a lot of tail waving, ... read more
Fraser Island
Fraser Island
Fraser Island

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Whitsundays August 17th 2010

From Cairns to Sydney our east coast adventure would take just five weeks, we were on a time watch as we had to get to Sydney and sell our van before our flight left for New Zealand on the 25th September. With this in mind we picked out a few highlights of what we really wanted to do on the east coast. You could spend three months alone travelling the length and breadth of this vibrant and jam packed stretch of coast line, there is so much to see and do. If we come back here we would definitely have another to do list. Our next stop after leaving Cape tribulation was much further down the coast, parked up at Airlie beach which is the getaway for the Whitsunday Islands, and we decided to quite literally ... read more
Our Island
Planton Island
Planton Island

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Cairns August 10th 2010

We finished work in Augathella and after giving our van a good clean inside and out, stocking it up again with all our belongings and thanking our lucky stars that it the engine started after sitting idle for 3 months we were off. To get to Cairns we could either drive east to Brisbane and then up the coast or drive the road less travelled through the outback and rural Queensland which is what we did. So we went from Augathella to Townsville and the followed the coast north to Cairns. The first day was spent getting to Emerald and after advice from locals we decided to take a short cut which would save us about 300 kilometres. What we weren’t told though was that the shortcut wasn’t a bitumen road but rough track. And rough ... read more
Great Barrier Reef
Great Barrier Reef
Great Barrier Reef

Oceania » Australia » Queensland May 19th 2010

Well, it's been quite a few busy weeks for us. After Christine and Simon left us we stayed in Sydney for a further week job hunting. This wasn't as fruitful as we had hoped mainly due to the competition from other backpackers for short term work but also it was late autumn and the main tourist season in Sydney was over. We decided that over a long weekend to make our way up to Brisbane via Byron Bay and Nimbin. All the jobs we have seen seem to be in Queensland so we thought we would have better luck if we were actually in Queensland. Over two days we made the 800km journey north to Byron bay getting there on the Saturday afternoon. Things were pretty busy here with it being a long weekend and we ... read more
Mardi Grass parade in Nimbin
Mardi Grass parade in Nimbin
Mardi Grass parade in Nimbin

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney April 17th 2010

After our restful stay in Mollymook (We had a proper bed for three whole nights, a luxury for us) we travelled just a little further north to Jervis Bay where we settled into a campsite right on the shoreline. We had some more great weather and for only $35 each we took a cruise around the bay dolphin watching. An entire pod (of 10-12 dolphins) swam with our boat for some time, coming so close that they were only a few feet away. We even saw a mum and baby, which was amazing. After Jervis bay our next stop was Kangaroo Valley which was a recommendation from John and we were not disappointed. It’s a beautiful valley with a village almost lost in time, many wooden buildings date back to the late 1800's. We took a ... read more
Sydney
Jervis Bay
Jervis Bay

Oceania » Australia » Victoria April 17th 2010

We were very excited for Christine and Simon’s arrival and we were like children in the airport arrivals hall. As soon as we saw them it didn’t feel like we last saw them 10 months ago, it was so good to see them. They stayed at Simon’s uncle’s house (who lives in south Melbourne) for their first night before picking up a little britz campervan the following day. We had a few days to explore Melbourne before starting our journey along the coast to Sydney. We tackled most of the main things we wanted to do in the city on one day starting with the Melbourne Aquarium. We saw a huge range of sea life from sharks to stingrays, and even a penguin enclosure. We really enjoyed watching the penguins; they had their weekly weigh in, ... read more
Mallacoota
Melbourne
Mollymook

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne March 20th 2010

Christine and Simon are flying in from Ireland to join us in their own little rented campervan and we plan to travel to Sydney together but first we had a few days in Melbourne to ourselves. Melbourne is by far the biggest city we have been in in months and navigating its roads and highways took a bit of getting used to. We made our way to St Kilda where it seems all the backpackers migrate to. As it happened it was St Patrick’s Day (the main event in our pre-Christine and Simon time in Melbourne) and we caught up with two friends of Stephen’s, Rob who he studied architecture with and Steven (Peasey) who he worked with in Leixlip. We really took part in the Irish/English expat backpacker lifestyle while were were in St Kilda, ... read more
Paddys Day
Paddys Day
Paddys Day




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