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Published: December 27th 2015
So, 2 months in!! I am absolutely loving it! Of course I miss my family, friends, and the customers from both of my old jobs. But, life is so good out here! I'll just give you a very quick run down of what I have done so far (which is a lot.. Brace yourself) :
The first day I arrived I was so jetlagged, could've slept anywhere, seriously... A 24 hour flight to get to Sydney... Wow!
I met with my best friend, Rosie from the plane and we were FINALLY reunited. She had been in Australia for 18months. Imagine that. 18months without your best friend, it was an emotional embrace! We chatted for a few hours when we got to our home for a week (my cousin Andys house) but then we both slept as both fairly jetlagged (Rosie came down to meet me from Thursday Island). The next day we got all of my boring stuff sorted so, new bank account, TFN so that I could work and not get taxed, new phone number and also a medicare card because I can be fairly clumsy and injure myself!
We headed to the Botanical Gardens and Sydney Opera
House the next day, I mean, the Opera House is cool but totally different from what I expected it to be like. It's not totally white, it's fairly cream and kind of looked a bit worse for wear.. We then met my friend Alice (whom we were going on a road trip with at a later stage) and caught up!
Next day, Rosie and I headed to the Blue Mountains (Katoomba) and our first walk was 15km..took us a few hours but the views were incredible. We turned into typical tourists with my selfie stick (I usually laugh at people with these, but they are much easier than stretching your arm out and getting a double chin)!! Here we saw the Three Sisters and also completed the 'Giant Stairway' which consisted of 900 steps UPWARDS (totally did this the wrong way round)!!
Next day we took a walk to Wentworth Falls, absolutely beautiful. This took us about 5hours and was an 18km bush walk - swam in the bottom of the falls (I actually just needed the loo)..
Other things we did in Sydney were: swam at the Sydney Olympic Park, Bondi beach sunbathe and saw some of the
Sculptures on the Sea, Australia museum, Darling Harbour, Aquarium, 2-4-1 cocktails in the Hard Rock Cafe.
Met with our other road trip friend, Louise at the airport on our way to Adelaide. Got to the hostel and had a girly evening consisting of hair plaiting and gossip. Also met my now friend, Tom Maslin there (I had terrible hostel etiquette at this stage, I was sat on his bed AND using his phone charger when he walked in) we've been mates ever since!!
After that day, my friend Darian picked us three up and we stayed at his for a couple of days to catch up. Darian and I used to work together at Splashdown some 5years ago when he was travelling around Europe and stayed in the ouch ever since!
Went for a swim at Gawler Pool (outdoor 50m) and that's when I landed my job! We headed to Mount Lofty and was shown around a German town called Hahndorf and ate fudge. There we saw our first wild kangeroos and koalas!Had a couple of days back in the city and just wondered around. I had a job registration at the pool so needed to stay near
there, so I stayed at Darians mums (Tanya) house for one night, ahh they are such a lovely family! The registration went well and I just had to do a couple of online courses to get myself sorted and that's it!
Other things we did in Adelaide: zoo (saw a pregnant panda), Glenelg beach, Fasta Pasta with Brent (Darians cousin) and Kahla (Darians sis), Adelaide Museum, BBQ at Tanya's, Haighs Chocolate Factory for a tour, cycled 26km with Rosie to get to Henley Beach and ran over a brown snake and screamed.
Picked up the campervan, waited about 5houes for it to be fixed, not happy. Passed through Port Pirie to get food, went to Coober Pedy and stayed there (very odd town, everyone lives underground), got to Alice Springs and went to the kangaroo sanctuary and met BBC TV star Brolga, held some joey's. Went to the Northern Territory museum - especially interesting how the whites got to Australia and how they treated the aboriginals! Swam in Alice Springs 50m pool which overlooked onto the Macdonnal Ranges. Next day swam in various water holes Inc Ellery Creek, Glen Helen, Ormiston Gorge.. Taught Louise how to swim!
Did the King's Canyon walk (6km hike across the tops). That evening we drove to Uluru (Ayers Rock) and saw the sunset. Next day saw the sunrise over Uluru at 5am and completed the 10.6km Base walk around the whole rock!
Drove to the Great Ocean Road, saw the 12 Apostles, Razorback, Thunder Cave etc.. And ended in Melbourne.
Dropped Rosie off at the airport, hated saying goodbye!! Then dropped the van off, only to be told they're taking it off the road as it's very unsafe to drive... BRILL. Myself, Alice and Lou headed to St.Kilda to sunbathe until the wind picked up.. Went and did the free walking tour and learned a lot about the city. Free State Library tour which included Ned Kelly history and has his armour and gun there too! Flew to Perth which we decided to do only a couple of days before.
Stayed at a friend of Lous. It was Lous birthday so went for tea and cake in the city in a place called Dome. We booked a Monkey Mia tour which started the day after!
So the tour was amazing... Seriously, the best time ever! We
met 8 other people (including our tour guide, Sarah) and the 10 of us sort of formed into a big family. We firstly saw the Pinnacles (limestone rocks, there are 100s of them coming out of the ground), we had lunch at the beach and in the evening we had a bottle of wine each and chatted and properly got to know each other, here there was myself, lou, cait, dom, Barbara, Danielle and Jeremy. The next day we saw the stromatalites (we actually came from them, they're our ancestors). Saw an echidna at the side of the road, alive. We headed to Murchison Gorge and people could choose whether to abseil down 25m...i didn't as I'm scared of heights and I've done it before. Went to Kalbarri National Park and saw Nature's Window (a huge hole in a rock which looks through to a river). Ended up in Monkey Mia resort, had dinner and late at night we all headed down to the jetty and sang our hearts out to coax the dolphins in. It didn't work, but we saw a few turtles and a big seahorse! The morning after, myself, Dom, Danielle and Lou saw the sunrise at
5.20am sat on the beach wrapped in blankets, it was beautiful! A couple of hours later we went down the beach again to see the wild dolphins come in, there were 9 altogether! Cait, Barbara and I went to SUP and it was so windy!! It was so hard to get back to where we started!! We were then taken to Eagles Bluff lookout which is where we could shark spot! We saw 5 of them altogether, amazing! Got back to Kalbarri and went to see the sunset, attempted headstands etc and got our famous jumping pics! We went to the bottleo and acquired some drinks and played a Swiss game called Gemsch.. So much fun! We got told off at 1230am as we were too loud and then sent to bed! Oops!
Our last day on tour was spent seeing the pink lakes, platter on the beach, and at a wildlife Park where I held a baby joey and a python, loved it! The day ended with sandboarding at Lancelin which was so much fun!!
Bumped into Callum Sweet in Fremantle (high school friend)! So spent the day walking and catching up, had a drink in the famous 'Little Creatures pub'. Saw the sunset with Callum and Lou at cottlesloe beach.
Headed to Rottnest Island with Dom, Cait and Lou and cycled half of it (It's actually a bigger island than I thought)! Took some quokka selfies and ate a sorbet.
The next day, us four went to Kings Park and chilled, went through the Botanical Gardens. That evening, headed to Perth terminal to go back to Adelaide, alone! I can tell you now, I was so excited to be by myself for a while, and boy, was it great!!
Brent picked me up from Elizabeth (I hadn't slept anytime between weds 8am until Friday 5pm...i was absolutely knackered)!! The morning after I went for a swim at the Aquadome in Gawler then myself, Brent, Kahla, Ashlee, James and their baby went to the Tenafe Valley to have pizza and wine, lovely afternoon! Then, Brent and I watched a whole season of Orphan Black!
I then got picked up by Gabrielle and she took me to the Barossa Valley, tried and tested lots of foods and wines! That evening we just chatted about our lives and our travels. The day after, I met Tom Maslin in the city and also went for a swim in the Gawler Pool! Potted about in the garden and the house. I had a medical for work I'm Elizabeth so Nick dropped me off to that and had a proper in depth medical, seriously, why they tested some of the stuff they did beats me! I was then shown Nicks aquaponic system and his ancestral history and showed me their previous farms. The next day we went to the beach and i met 3 of their grandchildren, which was great fun as the crabs kept nibbling our feet and the waves were pretty good. I then went to STARplex the following day and did a course which transferred my UK NPLQ And FAW to the aussie qualifications! After that, we headed to the beach again, it was a scorching day and had fish and chips at West Beach and played in the water again with more grandchildren! There were 7 altogether, such great fun! I then flew to Sydney after an amazing few days with my host family! I cannot wait to see them all again!
Went to the city and got my Pandora finally replaced!! I'd 'accidently' worn mine in the shower, pool, sea and it was ruined. The bracelet properly came apart which I wasn't happy with as I'd only had it one month after my parents gave it to me as a leaving gift!! Went to Bondi with Ben Sharp and met up with other backpackers, Taylor, Chris, Sophie and Kellie. Some drunk aussies gave us free cider, so we drank it.
The next day was Sydney backpackers day (a load of backpackers meet up to meet each other and hang out at the beach) -i put on the Australia backpackers group to see if anyone was heading to the beach from central station, and Rebecca and Shak replied and met me there, we all got along so well straight away! Got to the beach and it was packed! Met with another girl Katie who also replied to me. Got there and played in the water and chatted to half the group... The group was that big it was hard to meet everyone! Myself and Deb got onto Channel 7 news, on purpose we walked behind the 'stars' ha!! That evening, becky and I made a cheap but nice pasta as we were staying in the same hostel! We watched a film with free popcorn in the hostel cinema!
I went onto the walking tour by myself around Sydney the following morning and made friends with a German girl called Anna. After that, I showed her the opera house and also went into the contemporary art museum. After that, becky and I decided to go for a swim at the Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre, we got so lost on the way there! We had some pasta after and went to Scubar and had a couple of jugs of cider between us along with 3 Germans, Max, Steve and Johanas.
The next and last day in Sydney consisted of seeing a very old school/family friend, Nikki! We caught up as we walked around and had lunch in a cool cafe! It then started raining really hard so becky and I met up and decided to walk into the city, one guy obviously thought we were hookers as he gave Becky his number, absolutely hilarious!!
I flew from Sydney to Auckland and met Charlotte at the airport when I arrived!! We were both so excited and exhausted from travelling! Duncan, a couchsurfing host, picked us up and showed us around some popular spots around Auckland and we also had dinner out. We then dyed our hair (finally..my roots were horrendous), and then slept!
Christmas eve... We got picked up on our intercity coach and headed to Whitianga, it was raining so we chilled and then went to The Lost Springs, various hot pools and then got some food ready for Xmas day!
Xmas day, we went on a 10km hike in the rain after opening our pressies on the floor of our hostel room! So nice to know your family are still thinking about you all the time! Although, I chat to mine on WhatsApp most days so feels like I'm almost there with them! So we went on the hike, along cliffs, through forests... Made a sandman (scary and evil looking one) at Lonely Bay. Made it to a place called Cooks Beach. When we got back to the hostel we cooked ourselves a roast dinner! The only thing we missed were Yorkshire puds... But it was too hot anyway!
After that, we packed a little, then the sun came out and we sunbathed. First time for everything! Then watched a film and skyped the family as they were then opening my pressies, which I think they liked!
Boxing day... We went onto a boat tour which went around the Coromandel Peninsula and showed us various places including Shakespeare cliff (It's in the shape of his face), Cathedral Cove (famous anyway, but also Narnia was filmed there), Front Beach, Gemstone Bay, saw some snapper fish...the tour was just great! We then got picked up by the intercity bus, we checked out of our awesome hostel 'Turtle Cove Accommodation' and headed to Taraunga. The sun is shining!!!
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