Page 2 of JoelR Travel Blog Posts

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland » Central November 17th 2015

Kia Ora! It's been a crazy couple days. Having so much fun in Tasmania, saying bye to the people I met there, leaving Australia after being there for 10 weeks, the excitement of coming to New Zealand. It's been quite the roller coaster ride, but here I am in Auckland. It's not the capital of NZ (Wellington is), but it's the biggest city. I'm only 4 hours behind Calgary now. Well, I guess technically 20 hours ahead. NZ only has one time zone, so it'll be the same for the rest of my trip. Today I climbed Mount Eden, the biggest hill in Auckland. It actually felt like I was in the shire of lord of the rings. Lots of green, grassy hills. The lookout was pretty nice. I'll attach some pictures. Tomorrow I'm starting my ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Tasmania » Hobart » Howden November 14th 2015

Wow, what a crazy week in Tasmania! Can't believe how incredibly fast it went by. I am back in Melbourne now, but I almost intentionally missed my flight to stay in Tassie some more. It's really too bad I finally met some people I would love to travel with and change my plans with, but I have 2 days left in Australia :(. Even considered changing my New Zealand plans to stick around in Tassie. So, where to begin: I landed in Hobart (capital of Tasmania) on Saturday morning. They have a Saturday market called Salamanca, so I went to wander around and check it out. It's a cool market, they have food, crafts, souvenirs, there were some really nice wooden crafts made into clocks and animals. For lunch I ate a wallaby burrito and it ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne » CBD November 5th 2015

I haven't posted in a while and missed the whole outback and Adelaide. I figured I'd write about Melbourne now because it's a cool city and I have lots to write about. I'll get back to the outback later because it was such an amazing, unique experience that I want to take my time writing about it to do it justice. I've spent the last 3 days in Melbourne and it's unlike any city I've ever been in before. If I had to describe it in one word it would be quirky. There are a ton of little cafes, ice cream shops, bars, shops and they're all in these intricate alleys. It's very confusing and difficult to find your way around. People here are very artistic almost in a San Francisco kind of way. One of ... read more

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney » The Rocks October 16th 2015

Spent the last 4 days in Sydney. The first day was pretty cloudy and rainy, so it wasn't great for site seeing. I walked down George St. (The equivalent of Yonge St.), walked through China Town which wasn't that impressive considering how many Asians there are here, saw the opera house and bridge but the clouds made them look very unspectacular, took a ferry to manly and walked around darling harbour. Day 2 I went to the blue mountains. I was feeling pretty sick and wanted to just sleep on the bus to be honest, but I pushed through, did a couple hikes and got some good pictures. After the blue mountain tour I met an Australian friend from swimming who took me for drinks at the opera bar. The view was certainly worth the $11 ... read more

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Byron Bay October 11th 2015

Byron Bay is the most Easterly point in Australia. Did a really nice hike today to the point (about 3 hours return). The view was great and definitely worth the sunburn. I've already bought 4 bottles of sunscreen since I've been here. The town itself is a really small hippie town known for it's surfing. The waves are good for beginners because they are small, break pretty deep and roll a long way into shore. I was going to rent a surfboard but was too tired and had enough sun for the day after the hike. It's very different from Surfers Paradise - a lot of people here don't wear shoes, there are lots of people with dreadlocks, wearing really loose, bright hippie clothes. Even the backpackers that hang out here have a very chill mindset ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Surfers Paradise October 9th 2015

It's crazy that tomorrow it'll be a month since I left Calgary. Time flies! It feels like just yesterday I got here. I've spent the last 3 days in Surfers Paradise. Another beach town, but it's a really big party town and reminds me of Miami in a way. There are big skyscrapers, fancy clubs and theme parks. It's a lot flashier than Noosa or Mission Beach. Took surfing lessons yesterday. The very first time I tried to stand up probably ended up being my best ride of the day. Conditions weren't great - the waves were really big and not ideal for beginner surfing. There's a poker tournament at my hostel tonight. $5 buy in includes a free beer. Winner gets a $50 bar tab. Other than that, I haven't been doing much lately. It ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Noosa October 6th 2015

After Hervey Bay, I spent one day in Noosa. I'm past the great barrier reef now, so it's white sand beaches and big waves (and of course lots of surfing). Noosa is a really laid back town. Everyone there seems to be content just being a surf bum, living a simple life and not having any stress out ambitions. My hostel was in a great location - right on the beach, so I went for a few good body surfs. I was going to try surf lessons, but they are apparently the most expensive in Noosa and it was a weekend, so the beach was pretty crowded. I'll try in Surfers Paradise (where I'm going tomorrow). Brisbane is the opposite of Noosa. People here are wearing suits, lots of office buildings, people walk like they have ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Fraser Island October 4th 2015

Spent the last 2 days on Fraser Island. It's the largest sand island in the world (160 miles by 10 miles). I was amazed at how much vegetation grows on this island - it is completely covered with rainforest, springs, lakes, swimming holes, etc. The tour I went on was a group of 4 giant 4x4s. On the main beaches of the island you can drive on all of them like highways. They even have speed limits posted on the beaches. The island is called Fraser Island because a lady named Fraser told a story about how her husband got really sick, the crew abandoned ship and she crashed the ship into Fraser Island. Her husband got eaten by cannibals and she got rescued by a park ranger. That was her story. In reality, her ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Airlie Beach September 30th 2015

Alright, well haven't posted in a while! I think my last post was my last day in Cairns (feels like forever ago!) After Cairns, I went to Mission Beach. The hostel I started at is called Jackaroo. It felt more like a tropical resort than a hostel. They had a swimming pool, hammocks, a slip and slide, giant outdoor movie screen, games rooms etc. Everyone was incredibly welcoming and felt like a big family. By the time I left, I knew everyone's names, where they're from and a bit about them. There isn't much to do in mission beach. The first day I checked out the beach and "town" (it's like 10 buildings). The beach was pretty nice and there was absolutely no one there. It goes on as far as the eye can see and ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Cairns » Cairns City September 20th 2015

I'm catching a bus to Mission Beach in about half an hour. For the time being I'm sitting on the patio of this cafe right on the harbour overlooking the marina, mountains and rainforest. Nice little breeze coming through, so it's decently cool. Yesterday I went wakeboarding with a bunch of Hilary's friends. They have this really cool park - it's about the size of a track field. The have almost like a ski lift system set up but instead of getting on the lift, you grab the rope and it pulls you. Kind of like a t-bar I guess, but you're wakeboarding. The first time I didn't really get up, second time I made it about 10 metres and third time I was up and going no problem at all. It was awesome! There were ... read more

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