Page 4 of HannahLewis Travel Blog Posts

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch February 14th 2011

Leaving Sydney had been hard. Not just emotionally but physically too, with the airline giving us a lot of hassle about our onward flight details. So by the time we'd explained our intentions to leave New Zealand, and dashed all over the airport looking for a printer to provide paper evidence of this fact, we were both rather tired and slept for most of the three hour flight. Immigration and Customs on the other side were consistently over thorough and it was gone 1am before we stepped into the arrivals hall. At this late hour there seemed little point in catching a taxi into the city or to pay for a hostel bed we would hardly sleep in, so we followed the lead of others around us and cosied up on a patch of airport floor. ... read more
Picnic at Pigeon Bay
Coming down into Akaroa

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney » Neutral Bay February 14th 2011

Steadily panning east from west, changing cultures coupled with growing distances have taken us further from home. But, at our furthest point away (so far), Sydney feels closer to the western world of our past. The buzzing culture capital of Australia is home to my brother Justin and his wife Freya, and with distances dividing Christmas' it felt good to be connected with family on the other side of the world. We happily greeted each other as they welcomed us into their Neutral Bay home. It had been two years since I had seen them and they had some exciting news...Ricky Ponting had just been bowled LBW. No, Freya was three months pregnant! It was great to be there to congratulate them and not only was Freya pregnant but her sister Lucy was expecting a baby ... read more
together again...this time in Sydney
Christmas lunch on the beach
Me and Nik at G'ma's

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney February 2nd 2011

When you think of Sydney, the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge immediately spring to mind. These iconic works of architecture, positioned just across the harbour from each other, are as Australian as TimTams or Rolf Harris. So what better way for the three of us to view this amazing city together, than from the top of the wrought iron arch of the Harbour Bridge. It was early on the morning of the seventeenth and we were sitting outside BridgeClimb's offices waiting for them to open. Located just around the corner from the cool area of 'The Rocks', we were reminded of the tasty brews we had sampled at Sydney's oldest (and quite possibly best) pub 'The Lord Nelson' last night. It had been a very nice evening with real ales and pub grub aplenty to ... read more
Climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge
A "real" Pint at the Lord Nelson Pub
The Famous Opera House and the Manly ferry

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Hunter Valley February 2nd 2011

The Hunter Valley, in New South Wales (NSW), is an internationally recognised wine producing region. The hot days and cool nights enable the perfect growing conditions, whilst the inviting cellar doors provide a platform for its consumption. With over fifty wineries offering free tastings, the car practically drove itself there. The police have done little to endear themselves to me since being in Australia but I have to commend those of the NSW branch. Sat waiting on the edge of this wine tasting utopia they decided to breathalise those on the way in to the region and not out. Genius! Not that we were over the limit when leaving the next day, but it was nicer to be be breathalised before the tastings than the morning after. A breakfast plate filled with everything from sausages to ... read more
The walking tour
Wine in the distance
The end of our tour with the self proclaimed 'Santa'

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Brisbane February 2nd 2011

It's almost a month since we visited Brisbane and looking back at our experiences it's hard to imagine they took place in the same city that plasters the news today. For us the river was a beautiful sight, a transport link and a place to sit beside for sunset drinks. Now, that same river has swollen to such huge amounts that it has engulfed the riverside paths and pontoons, with hundred of thousands of homes and businesses ruined by rampaging flood waters. Queensland is suffering in the wake of this natural disaster which shows no signs of letting up, and now the monsoonal rains are spreading south toward the state of Victoria too. As we drove from Rainbow Beach to Brisbane we encountered an atrocious rainstorm, so heavy was this downpour that it made driving unsafe, ... read more
Planning our day
Surfers Paradise
Sugarloaf lighthouse

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Fraser Island January 26th 2011

The owner of the 4WD Adventure Centre explained the insurance details for the second time. "You are liable for any damage caused to the vehicle...and I will have to freeze $1,500 from your credit card". Our knuckles were turning whiter at every eventuality she painstakingly went over. "But you'll be fine...most people are" she said, as we looked down at the front desk to see two pictures of 4WD jeeps smashed on the beaches of Fraser Island. The journey had already begun. Stuck in the sand, as the chain ferry beckoned us, not knowing whether to put it in Hi-4, Lo-4 or just get out on all fours, you could smell the whiff of anxiety. We had left the adventure centre with very little instruction on how to manoeuvre between 2WD and 4WD (Hi-4 and Lo-4) ... read more
Lake Mackenzie
Rusty Wrecks and Shiny 4WD's

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Bundaberg January 26th 2011

For most Australians the name Bundaberg is almost always closely followed by Rum or Ginger beer. But this small east coast town has other attractions beyond it's famous beverages, the best being the Mon Repos Turtle Rookery. We bought our tickets from Arthur, the old chap at the Info centre, and then dashed about town finding dinner and a place to rest our heads. When we pulled into a jam packed carpark half an hour later and saw hoards of people queuing at the entrance we weren't sure what to expect from this experience. But we shouldn't have doubted the slick operation of this long running conservation project. The crowd was divided into manageable groups, and we read and watched informative media while researchers patrolled the beach. Once a turtle was sighted and she had begun ... read more
Mary poppins
The Heritage centre
Blown away by the sun at Carlo Sandblow

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Airlie Beach January 26th 2011

You know your in Australia when you turn up at a hotel called 'The Croc Club' and find the lady at reception is doing battle with a roaming snake behind the desk. "Ah it's only a brown snake, they won't harm ya" she said as she recovered from her fluster to check us in. The Croc Club had all the makings of a very nice place with well appointed rooms, a large bar and a swimming pool. However, as we picked up our bags and headed for the room the snake charmer behind reception remembered "oh and you can't swim in the pool today...there's a snake in there!". We were in Airlie Beach on the Whitsunday coast. This small, yet lively town, much like Cairns, has grown around it's harbour and burgeoning tourist scene. The boisterous ... read more
Bali Hai Island
Dinner at the Sidewalk Cafe
Up atop the view point

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Cape Tribulation January 17th 2011

When Captain Cook sailed by this stretch of coastline in 1770 he named it Cape Tribulation, looking at it from a non seafaring perspective in all it's tranquil beauty it's the last name you'd give it. Far more jubilation than tribulation. To be fair to Captain Cook he had sailed thousands of miles around the globe to reach a perilously rocky shoreline with no safe harbours and was greeted by very hostile locals. The story was very different for us. We meandered up the Captain Cook highway calling in at the rather swanky town of Port Douglas for brunch. The dramatically beautiful coastal drive from here up to Mosman gave us stunning panoramas along the coral coast. A sidetrack to Mosman Gorge gave Dad his first taste of the tropical rainforest, a surging river cutting through ... read more
The Daintree ferry
The Cape Trib beach
A Church Spider...

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Cairns January 17th 2011

We had made it out of the top end unscathed, on time (Han's dad was arriving in two days) and with enough mental capacity left, to still believe that a fly mesh hat just isn't cool. It's a tough one though, if you have it you look like a madman. If you don't you just act like one. With a few days to spare before Cairns we had entered the fresh, blissfully fly free, Atherton Tablelands. The rolling hills and cloudy skies were a welcome change to the arid landscape we had just passed through. Here the air-con came from opening the windows and smelling the country air. It was green and lush, cows roamed freely and waterfalls poured deeply off the jagged cliffs. Things seemed remarkably English so we continued the theme by going to ... read more
View down to Cairns....
THE Espatada!

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