Laurene in the South Pacific


Laurene in the South Pacific

I'm a 29 year old Canadian traveling around the South Pacific for a couple of years. I started my adventure off in Hawaii, then headed off to New Zealand. After traveling around NZ and spending some time working there I headed off to Thailand for a month. My adventure continues in Australia. Living, traveling and working there! Enjoy following my adventures!


North America » Canada » Alberta » Calgary October 27th 2011

Well, my "living the dream" backpacking trip is finally coming to an end. I've had such an amazing time on this trip. Good times and bad times and scary times. I've met some of the most amazing people and am so lucky to have them in my life. I've said way too many goodbyes on this trip but i'm happy to have met everyone I have. I've had such an amazing experience, living in a city which I fell in love with which was struck with not one but two tragic earthquakes. Luckily I wasn't there when they happened. I've packed my bags and I'm ready to come HOME. After 26 months on the road it will be so nice to finally have a true resting spot at home with my friends and family around me. ... read more
the building on the left is where i'm staying
my apartment building
packed up and ready to go

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland » Central October 24th 2011

I was up early and hopped on a bus back to Auckland. I booked this ticket ahead of time as it was the cheapest but it worked out perfect because the All Blacks will be having a parade through the city not long after this bus gets to Auckland. Perfect! I took my stuff over to the apartment building I would be staying for my last 3 nights and dropped it off as I couldn't check in yet. I headed back to Queen street and grabbed some lunch and waited with all the other people on the street. At 2:30pm the parade began. It started with some maori calling out to the all blacks with their horns. Then a dancing marching band which were really good! Then the All blacks started coming through. 2 or 3 ... read more
waiting for parade

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Rotorua October 23rd 2011

Well this has been a bit of a rough week for me. I couldn't stay in Auckland for my final weekend in NZ because of the rugby world cup final games. Originally Pete and I planned to go to Rotorua for the weekend which would have worked out perfect as it was also a long weekend in NZ. But, apparently it being my final weekend in NZ didn't meant much to a certain kiwi and I was told to go alone. So, with sadness, hurt and a bit of a broken heart the relationship and friendship I had with Pete has come to an unhappy end. I wish things had ended differently but things happen. And no, it wasn't just because he suddenly decided he didn't want to spend my last weekend with me, it was ... read more
black swans
lake rotorua
lake rotorua

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Hamilton October 15th 2011

I was able to find a place to stay on the friday night in Auckland luckily. But paying $50 for a dorm bed is ridiculous!!! This rugby world cup had skyrocketed prices for accommodation. Pete and I went on a nice date on the friday night and went for a lovely italian dinner before going to a movie. Pete is really into car and drifting and things and on Saturday there was a drift day. His car is in pieces at the moment as he is tinkering with it but his friend Joe was taking his car out. So we headed down to the racetrack. We spent the day watching these guys skidding all over the track. Was pretty fun. One guy even drifted his go cart. Pete is fast at changing tires! It doesn’t take ... read more
go cart is going to have go

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch October 12th 2011

I’ve been in Christchurch a few days now and it’s so sad to see the city I love so much like this. There is a fence closing off almost all of the city center from anyone as they work to stabilize and demolish buildings. So many of the places I used to walk to and around and buildings I used to go into all the time are either completely gone or cordoned off. I couldn’t see the cathedral but I did get a glimpse of the area where it once stood from behind a fence. The arts center which is another neo-gothic type building was damaged extensively and is also cordoned off. I hope they will be able to save it and rebuild. I went inside the Christchurch museum. It’s the only neo-gothic building to survive ... read more
buildings gone by OCH
this street by OCH looks so different
empty lots

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch October 9th 2011

Pete dropped me off at the airport in the afternoon and after a quick one hour flight I was down in Christchurch. If flying in this part of the world I highly recommend Air New Zealand. They are fantastic! They often have cheap deals with their grabaseat website. I hopped on a shuttle to the Old Countryhouse where I used to work. Unfortunately the owners Andy and Gerti were in Germany and I would miss seeing them. There were a few small differences but mainly it was the same as I left it. Only a little bit of visual damage in a few spots from the earthquakes. Many of the double rooms have been converted to dorms to accommodate more backpackers as many of the hostels in the city center were destroyed. I had a quick ... read more
fallen over pillar
brick wall being braced
half a house

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland » Ponsonby October 6th 2011

Happy birthday to Petey! I spent most of the week just getting back into being in Auckland. I walked into town and had a peak around the fanzone again now that it was quieter. They big inflatable rugby ball they have set up was sent all over the world over the last 4 years promoting this world cup and New Zealand. You can go inside and watch a bit of a promotion for NZ. I had a wander inside. The show they put on is quite cool. They show videos and stuff all over NZ and a guy does commentary and then he does a haka for everyone. Really cool. Pete didn’t want to do much for his birthday so I gave him his present tonight. I think he really liked it. Not sure when he’ll ... read more
big screens
The cloud

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland » Central October 2nd 2011

Today is the big game!!! Canada versus New Zealand in the Rugby world cup!!! I met a guy in my room who was also from Canada and Pete invited him to come down to the fanzone on the waterfront with us to watch the game. I bought a Canada hockey jersey in Australia at the Queen Vic Market for Pete’s birthday but just had to wear it on this occasion first! There were heaps of Canadians around which was awesome. The fanzone they have set up is huge and has heaps of big screen tvs to watch the games. The weather didn’t cooperate and was raining of course. So everyone crammed into the two buildings they have set up. It’s a cool set up. Had a couple of beers and got into watching the game with ... read more
Richie McCaw on the big screens
He's so pretty
Intense Canadian

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne » St Kilda October 1st 2011

Leahanne dropped me off at the airport in the morning. We were checking me in when the girl behind the desk asked me for a copy of my flight out of NZ. I didn’t have a paper copy of it but I did have a copy of it on my ipod touch. But no, they refused to let me on the plane unless I had a paper copy of it. So frantically running around Melbourne airport looking for a printer. Finally found one and sent the document to the printer where the girl behind the desk tells me it will cost $21 and it’s 7 pages. I said “Excuse me?!” The sign says $3 per item. She then says it’s $3 per page. I said thats ridiculous! Anyways I only needed the first 3 pages to ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne » St Kilda September 30th 2011

My last few days in Australia were mostly spent at the Queen Vic Market having a look around and visiting with Leahanne. I've had a really good time in Australia but I've also had some scary times in Australia! I am very lucky to have survived the fall I had in such a beautiful surrounding. I was also lucky enough to swim with a Whale shark. It was one of the things on my bucket list! I can truly say that I've been all over Australia, east, west, top and bottom. It's a beautiful place in it's own unique way. Each part of the country is so different from the next. I know that Western Australia and the top end are my favorite spots. It's just got a different feel to it and the people are ... read more

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