Travels {Melbourne – our final destination}

August 8th, 2011

So after saying goodbye to Karen and leaving Adelaide, we caught an early flight to Melbourne, our final destination. Melbourne is well known for its shopping, so the last two days of our trip were spent meandering around the city picking up any last bits we felt we were missing, and also enjoying good food.

For a city, Melbourne actually felt quite nice and for someone who hates shopping, I found it rather pleasant and not too stressful!

Exploring the city a little further we discovered Union Lane, which is basically Read more »

Travels {Adelaide}

August 1st, 2011

From the rainy city of Auckland we jumped on a plane and headed back to Australia. When we touched down in Adelaide we were met at the airport by my friend Karen who I hadn’t seen for about 16 years. This part of the trip was about catching up with Karen and her family, and as Ian had already heard so much about them, it felt really nice that he would finally get to meet them. She hadn’t changed a bit (apart from the Ozzie twang!), and her smiling face transported me back to being about 10 years old and us running around the streets having water fights.

As we stepped out of the airport and made our way to Karen’s car, it felt so nice to be back in the warmth of the sun; something I had missed so much in New Zealand. That afternoon we headed into Adelaide for a quick tour of the city, as well as to pick up our Green Day tickets for later that week!

People watching at Karen’s sailing club…..

Karen lived about 40 minutes outside of Adelaide in a place called Strathalbyn, and our time here was relaxing. We ate good food, met Karen’s friends and spent time just generally catching up. When we were kids we were inseparable, so it was nice to finally see the life that she had been living in Australia.

A peacock at Adelaide Zoo…..

Everything was so chilled out, it was a completely different way of life; so easy going. It was at this point in our trip that Ian and I started to discuss the changes we would make when we returned home. It made us stop and think about the areas of our life that we were unhappy with.

A meerkat at Adelaide Zoo…..

Heading to a Green Day gig with Karen and her sister Stacey, it was interesting to see how different the gig was in Adelaide, to the one we’d seen in Manchester about five weeks earlier.

On the last night, we were invited to Karen’s parents for tea and it was just so lovely to catch up with them and hear their stories and experiences since moving to Australia. It was a fab end to an overwhelming part of out trip…..

The next day we had to catch an early flight to Melbourne, this would be our last stop before heading back home to the UK…..

Travels – Adventures in Sydney

April 11th, 2011

After being in the rainforest, I thought that Sydney would be slightly cooler, but the first thing that hit me when I got off the plane was the heat! We also figured out pretty soon that driving in Sydney, was worse than driving in London; our taxi driver was going so fast out of the airport that when the bottom of the car hit a speed bump, it actually cut out! As we made our way out into the city, the first thing I noticed was the amount of traffic; it was rammed with cars, ALL of them ignoring traffic lights and queuing across junctions. When we arrived at the hotel, I couldn’t wait to get out of the taxi!

That evening we found ourselves a small vegan café to eat at, and then headed over to the Sydney Harbour Bridge to do the bridge climb. Before I’d even reached the top I was wearing ALL of my layers, including a fleece and a hat – it was freeeeezing!! The view was amazing though; seeing Sydney all lit up in the darkness was a breath taking sight.

The next day we got up bright and early to use the gym before heading off to explore the city. The heat was exhausting. There were Christmas trees and decorations in all of the shop windows and we couldn’t get our head around people celebrating Christmas in the sun! We saw workmen in the street putting up the main Christmas tree and placing a star on top; it just didn’t feel right.

There were so many park areas in Sydney that it didn’t feel like a city, and when we headed into the Botanical Gardens there were cockatoo’s everywhere, rather than the pigeons that we get here in the UK.  Leisurely strolling around the gardens, taking in the sun and the landscape I realised that I really liked Australia but couldn’t believe I was actually there! We’d been planning the trip for quite some time, and now the reality had finally set in. When we reached the Sydney Opera House I wasn’t prepared for how magnificent it would look; it was such an awe inspiring building. We spent two nights down on the harbour taking photographs and the exploring the city by night.

On the last night we found a small Italian restaurant not far from the harbour, and as we ate our evening meal, we toasted to the next part of our journey…….we were leaving Australia and heading off to Queenstown, New Zealand………

Travels – Nocturnal adventures in the rainforest…..

April 7th, 2011

I’ve been a busy little bee over the past few days, so this is a little later than expected this week………

We flew from Brisbane to Cairns, and then from Cairns we drove up to Daintree Rainforest. We had been panicking about getting across the Daintree River. What if we missed the ferry? There’s no other way across the river. People we met along the way laughed at us and just told us not to worry as the ferry was regular and there was no way we would miss it. When we reached the “ferry” we realised why everyone had laughed at us. It was a car ferry. It held about 4 cars, it was on a pulley system, and the journey took about 2 minutes! I was quite grateful really, because the one and only time I’ve been on a ferry from Dover to Calais, I was really sea sick. 

As soon as we left the car ferry and entered the rainforest we had no phone signal. When we checked into our Motel and realised there was no internet access either, it was quite clear our rainforest adventure had begun! It was peaceful. We drove around exploring the walks and beaches that the rainforest had to offer. Luckily just before we arrived, there had been constant rain for a few weeks, so the rainforest was just coming to life; before that it had been dry for months. Apparently, it had been one of the worst droughts for a number of years.

We went out snorkelling to the Great Barrier Reef one day. It was beautiful. As the boat made its way through the clear blue water, I suddenly felt so small; so tiny and insignificant. I looked around, and for miles in every direction there was nothing. Just open water. Luckily I didn’t get sea sick on the boat! We got to see two sea turtles which is quite rare; we had been warned beforehand that we might not get to see any, so it was an amazing sight. As we relaxed on the boat and headed back towards the rainforest, we were greeted with the sight of Cape Tribulation. It was another beautiful sight to put an end to a perfect day.

The night before we left Daintree, we headed out onto a nocturnal walk of the rainforest. Murray, our guide, gave us flashlights each and then we headed out under the cover of darkness. It was amazing just listening to the sounds of the rainforest, trying to figure out which animals were making the noises. When we turned off our torches, we were met with the sight of a group of fireflies circling above us in the night sky. Throughout the walk Murray pointed out all the creatures of the rainforest, some of which only came out at night.

The next day we headed out of Daintree and back to civilisation; we drove down into Cairns to continue onto the next part of our journey; we were flying to the vibrant city of Sydney…….