Melbourne, Australia

From South Cross I took a tram to St. Kilda. It was 8 am so I saw people rushing to get to work and many people riding their bikes to work. It was so quiet yet so many people were around.

It was Halloween and at my hostel they had a free BBQ and beer if you dressed up. I put on leggings and a long sleeved shirt and put masking tape on me and wrote street names on it. Boom, I was a map.

I came down with a cold earlier that day, so after I ate I passed out. The next day I slept all day and night. I missed out on a Halloween Party at the Brunswick Mess Hall with my friend James that I met in Malaysia.

The highlight of Melbourne had to be the Great Ocean Road day trip I did. I learned that it is really hard to do in one day, but I was glad I got to see the 12 Apostles.

image

image

At the London Bridge you could see the penguins little foot prints on the beach below. They come in at dusk, so we weren’t able to see them. If I could do it again, I would have rented a car and waited to see them. I would have spent more time in Apollo Bay as well.

image

On the way we stopped by a place where wild koalas are normally spotted. We were lucky and saw 3!

image

The next day, I checked out of Habitat HQ and took a tram and subway to Reservoir, one of Melbourne’s suburbs. My friend Kenny from Highschool lives in a cute little house with his Aussie girlfriend, Daniella. They were so hospitable and it was so nice to have my own room and bed!

We took a drive up to one of the outer suburbs to get a view of the city. The sunset was beautiful and you could see the outline of the buildings in the clouds. Pretty view.

image

image

The next day I took a tram to Smith street to look for a down jacket. I checked out a couple of thrift shops and they didn’t have any, so I bit the bullet and bought a new one at the MacPac outlet. Normally it was 380, but I got it for 150. Not bad.

I walked around Fitzroy. The outside of the buildings are original due to the city code, which were built in the early 1900’s. Really cool.

image

image

Lots of cool street art.

image

image

image

I walked through Carlton Gardens where they have the Royal Exhibition Building. Such a beautiful place to just hang out.

image

image

image

That night we went to Daniella’s friend’s BBQ. Since i had an early flight, Kenny and I went to China town for some food while Daniella and her friends went out to a club for some drum and bass.

image

Advertisements

Sydney, Australia

Hello you massive, gorgeous city you! Sydney was where the British first settled and now I know why. Beautiful harbour with breathtaking beaches and good weather.

The first night, I met up with Chase and Henry (2 Americans I met in Bali). We had drinks at the Beresford hotel. Man, Sydney cops do not mess around. We saw two guys got taken down by cops because one was really drunk in public and the other was asked to leave the bar and he didn’t even seem that drunk. Both resisted and got the pavement in their face and a night in jail.

image

The next day I hopped on the train to Circular Quay (pronounced Circular Key) to take a ferry to Manly. It is such a beautiful spot. You have a great view of the Harbour Bridge and of course the famous Opera House. The ferry ride is ridiculously beautiful! Sail boats race around and views of the surrounding land is incredible.

image

image

Jeff, my Canadian friend I met in Costa Rico a few years back, picked me up at the Manly Wharf.  We had a BBQ for his mom’s bday. His parents, friends and girl friend were all awesome. We played beer pong and flip cup! Then we hit the town!

image

image

Jeff's dad playing beer pong

image

Jeff's adorable mom

Back to mainland Sydney. When I arrived back to the circular quay I walked over to the opera house.

image

While walking back to the train there was a street performer who jumped over a lil boy on a tricycle.

image

image

Uni Pro Show

Early the next morning I went on Kangarific wine,beer, chocolate and cheese tasting tour in Hunter Valley.

First we went to an animal sanctuary. They had koalas, kangaroos, wombats, lorikeet’s, cockatoos and peacocks. In New South Whales, it is illegal to hold koalas. Thank god I got to hold one in Brisbane, which is in Queensland where they will soon change the law as well.

image

Koa-love

image

Lorikeet that licked my arm

image

The Hunter is the oldest wine region in Australia and they produce boutique wines, not massive commercial wines. This region is known for their Shiraz’s, which is my favorite wine.

image

Lamblock

image

Ernest Hill

Hunter Valley Brewery is the only brewery in the hunter. My favorite was the Cranky Pants IPA. They get the barely from Yakama Washington, maybe that’s why I liked it so much. Ya! aMerica (the A is silent)!!

image

Getting photo bombed my my tour guide and the brewery owner lol

The weather was good so my adorable Taiwanese roommie, Junco, and I took the bus to Bondi Beach and did the sculpture by the sea walk.

Here is the count down:
4-inclusion. I like the use of lines

image

3- flow- made of recycled bottle caps. What’s not to love its colorful and the artist recycled.

image

2- sea breeze – I liked the reflection that showed the ocean.

image

1- Horizon gets number one because it turns the world upside down in a mesmorizing manner.

image

On the way there we ran into Kyle, Chase and Henry. I’m always randomly running into Kyle. Lol.

Off to Melbourne to celebrate Halloween

Byron Bay, Australia

Every traveler that I spoke to raved about Byron Bay, but to me its just another nice beach town with not much to do.

Lacey and I did a hike up to the lighthouse which was a heck of a work out. The views were amazing up there.

image

The beaches do have really pretty sun sets.

image

I went out to Woody’s shack with an Irish guy and his friends that I met at my hostel. One of his friends won a surf board and he doesn’t even surf.

Off to Sydney!

Brisbane, Australia

Absolutely loved Brisbane. Such a great little city.

image

I was happy to meet a dorm roommie, Katrina from Denmark. She’s well traveled and speaks perfect English.  Lacey’s back was hurting so Katrina and I went out. We prepartied at Francisco’s (A Brazilian I met in Whit Sundays) house. Then we walked to the Valley where there are a ton of bars. It kinda had a San Diego gas lamp feel. We met some Kiwis and hung out with them. Next thing we realized was the dawn light was slowly peaking through the sky.

image

Katrina and me

Instead of sleeping I decided to check out the art museums with Lacey. The Galley of Modern Art was a 10 minute walk from the Base Embassy hostel. I absolutely enjoyed it.

I really liked the white forest exhibit. It felt colder in the room because the trees looked like they were covered in snow. Walking through it felt like a Doctor Seuss movie set. 

image

I loved this piece made of road signs. The reflective material really catches the eyes.

image

There was a really good interactive exhibit where there are spiked clubs hanging from the ceiling and notes on the floor from patrons to those who have been lost or who are suffering.

image

Another piece was sectioned off due to the explicit material. It was super disturbing and I was disgusted.  Why would someone paint a mural of child sexual abuse. The artist was trying to bring awareness.  This piece made me realized how much this kind of abuse can be swept under the rug because of the horrible dirty stigma. People don’t want to talk about it. The abused don’t want to come forward and others don’t want to hear it.

After this we went to the kids gallery. Lacey and I colored kangaroo masks and with a computer app put our face on a kangaroo poster.

image

We're being silly

image

We then went to the contemporary museum across the way.  Beautiful set up.

image

I read that in the seventeenth century the Netherlands was a center of art production. Go dutch peeps! I wonder if a Disselkoen ever put down the plow and painted something. I would like to think so.

Here are some paintings I liked:

image

image

image

Next day my lovely Katrina and Lacey left and I stayed to check out Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. I met an Italian, Chilian and a Dutch person on the bus to the sanctuary.

Of course I had to hold a koala and take a picture. Mine was hungry and didn’t want to rest itself on me. Oh well.

image

Koala Bear

Koalas are low metabolism animals and have a diet of eucalyptus tree leaves which have near to no nutrition. They sleep about 18-20 hours per day to be able to save energy on this diet. They only live to about 10 years on average, but the ones in the sanctuary lice longer due to the great care.

image

Feeding the kangaroos was so much fun! They are so sweet.

image

Mum and joey (baby kangaroo)

image

There was an Emu too. I was a little scared of it because I was bit by a huge goose as a child. Lol

image

Emu

We also got to feed domesticated Lorikeets. Watery oatmeal was their meal and it would splash all over you because they are messy eatters. All at once they flew away when they were all done. It scared me.

image

There were also Tasmanian devils, wombats, platypuses, snakes, lizards, cockatoos, and tons of other birds.

My favorite animal has to be the cassowary. It was behind a gate because they can be quite dangerous. They are very territorial and if they feel threatened they can attack. Look at those colors and horn on the head!

image

Noosa, Australia

Noosa was pretty but I was ready to get away from the beach.

Lacey and I did a 16 km hike from Sunshine Beach to the town. We went through the tea tree looking for sleepy koalas. We didn’t see any, but that’s OK.

Of course there were beautiful beaches.

image

I’m really excited for Brisbane!

Hervey Bay/ Fraser Island, Australia

When I arrived to Hervey Bay my ankle was super stiff, I could barely walk since the sprain was super swollen. Thankfully the Fraser Roving Hostel shuttle was waiting for me. The driver gave me crutches right when we arrived. They really helped because I needed to get an ice pack and some breakfast. Man, it is such a great workout. My abs, arms, back, shoulders, legs were all getting worked as I hobbled along.

Australians would strike up a funny convo about the crutches and other backpackers just stared at me uncomfortably. It is as if they are thinking, “Damn, I’m glad that’s not me!” I smiled as much as possible yet there were times I wanted to yell, “WTH are you looking at, someone carry me, please!!” Haha jk!!

I postponed my 4wheeling trip on Fraser Island, because I wanted to wait and see if my ankle was really bad or not. I rested for 3 days and was finally able to walk with an ankle brace. I walked around Hervey Bay on the Esplanade.  The strong winds sent a bunch of white cockatoos flying out of control, which made them squawk like crazy. They were being a little dramatic. Then I walked by a tree full of huge fruit bats hanging upside down on the branches. I saw some kite surfers and wind boarders and further down the Esplanade was a bowl for skateboarding.

That night a possum came into the hostel and an Australian fed him almonds. They are much cuter and friendlier than the ones back at home.

Cooldingo Frasher Island Trip 3 days 2 nights

Fraser Island is a World Heritage Park and is the largest sand island in the world. It is incredible that forests were able to grow on sand. Being that the roads were all sand it was a bumpy ride throughout the island. Cooldingo was the tour company I picked. This has been my favorite thing I’ve done in Australia so far! My group was small and they were over booked in the hostel, so we all got upgraded with our own room at the Kingfisher Resort.

Day One
Hopped on the ferry to the island and met a British guy and girl (Lacey and Rob) who were also traveling alone. Our tour guide, Jess, picked us up and took us to Lake McKenzie. Normally this lake has crystal blue clear waters, but about a couple of months ago they received record breaking amounts of rain and the lake engulfed surrounding trees thus the green tint in the water.

image

image

After that we headed to central station where we did a hike through the forest. There’s a creek where you can actually drink the water because the sand purifies it. Aboriginal women used to give birth in this creek and aboriginal men are not allowed to enter this creek to this day.

image

Sip of water 😉

image

Day Two
First we went to a ship wreck on the beach. The Maheno was a cruise liner ship which did the u shape route from Auckland to Sydney. It was used in WW1 in the battle of Gallipoli because it was so fast. Once it was retired they sold it to Japan and on route there was a freak Cyclone and the ship ended up on Frasers shore and it has been there since. A bomb hit it in WW2.

image

image

Next we went to Indian Head to check out the beautiful view of the ocean and to see if we could spot some whales, turtles and sting rays.

image

We did see tons of turtles a sting ray and whales way off in the distance.

Here’s our tour group 🙂

image

Lacey, Federico, Joe squared (2 Canadian sisters with same nickname) Rob, me and two German peeps holding Jess

We then went to the Champagne pools.

image

Then we went to freshwater Eli Creek to going tubing down it.

image

Day Three
Stand up paddle boarding in the morning on Lake Garawongera then 45 minute hike to Lake Wabby, which has a sand dune right next to it. There are nibble fish in the water that will give you a natural pedicure. It tickled.

image

Lake Garawongera

image

Lake Wabby

image

Cat fish in Lake Wabby

On the hike to Lake Wabby we spotted a Goanna, an Australian Monitor Lizard.

image

Goanna

Then we headed back to Hervey Bay on the ferry.

The three of us all headed to Noosa on the greyhound bus which has WiFi!!

Airlie Beach/ Whitsundays, Australia

My first greyhound bus ride was a success. I made it to Airlie Beach at around 8pm. I didn’t see my hostel’s shuttle waiting, so I decided to get some exercise and walk. Nomads had comfortable beds and it was pretty clean. Bush turkeys were wondering around the camp sites. They are super ugly.

image

Bush Turkey on the move

The next morning I sailed on the Camira Catamaran. We went around a lot of islands. Which were pretty, but I’ve seen better! A Welcoming Swallow perched right where I was sitting on the side of the boat. It was there for a good 3 minutes chirping at me. I felt like Snow White.

image

Welcoming Swallow

image

Sail view from net

We stopped at Whitehaven Beach, which has pure white silica sand; the softest I have ever felt.  None of the rocks are made of silica, so it suggested the currents brought the sand there over the past million years. The sand doesn’t retain heat, so you can walk barefoot all day long. 
image

I was told not to go far because it was a long beach and who knows if I’d make it back in time. Rebellion struck and I took off running right after I went for a quick swim in my sweet stinger suit.

image

Stinger suit to prevent stingers, Jelly fish the size of a thumbnail can send you to the hospital

image

It was incredible all the sea life I got to see from the shore. At first I saw a huge school of snappers. They stopped me in my tracks because at first I thought it was something bigger.

image

Snappers going after some other fish

I also saw a big sting ray. I tried to swim out to it, but it was fast and swam away.

image

While I was in the water trying to swim after the ray, I saw a barracuda cruise on by. It was a little one, but it was quite large to see from the shore.

Sometimes my leg would sink in to mid calve when I would run. It was such a nice day on the beach.

After Whitehaven Beach we had a pretty good BBQ on the boat. Then we sailed to a snorkeling spot. There were tons of fish, I’ve never seen so many fish while snorkeling. I saw tons of parrot fish. I even saw an angel fish. I teamed up with a lovely French girl I had met on the boat. We stayed away from the crowd, so I think we saw the most!

With champagne in my hand once I got back on the boat, we headed back to Airlie Beach.

That night, I went out with some girls that were in my dorm, we pre-partied at another dorm. We had some Goon, a cheap box wine that’s popular among backpackers because it is the cheapest alcohol you can find. One of the girls was from Minniesoda and of course she was a sweet heart and super easy to talk to.

The next day I went to the book store and traded in my illegal copy of The Beach that I purchased in Malaysia. The lady still gave me $2 to exchange for it. I laid out by the lagoon and saw a bat ray jump out of the water. I was lucky to see it because it was for a split second. I went to eat with my friend Kyle that I met in Bali.

image

image

A flubber

Worst part of that day was I sprained my ankle. I kicked a croc in the head too hard. No no, that’d be too cool of a story. I was rushing to catch my bus and I had my big backpack with wet flip flops on because I just took a quick shower.  Not smart I know. Anyways, a friend grabbed my arm as I was stepping down the steps and I turned in mid air to see who it was and I landed wrong and slipped a little.

image

Waiting for my bus with a swollen ankle

Good part was I caught my bus to Hervey Bay and there was a shuttle available, so I didn’t have to walk.  In fact, they haven’t had a shuttle for months, but that night they had the first one in a long time.

Off to Hervey Bay to go check out Fraser Island. I can’t wait because everyone was telling me how much better it was compared to the Whitsundays. Hope my ankle heals quickly!!

Cairns, Australia part 2

After cold, rainy Perth, I decided to head back to Cairns on the east coast and get my endless summer back in order.

My hostel dorm had two sweeds that were super nice. The only thing is their bags smelled like poop and sweat.  Once they brought them in I tried not puking. Oh the joys of sharing a room with a couple of strangers. 

Last time I was in Cairns, I made friends with my diving guide, Casey. He’s Australian, yet sounds British. We went for a swim at a waterfall in the Wooroonooran National Park. On the way there and back we checked out the pyramid.

image

image

1st level of the water fall

image

Climbing up to jump

Casey had a birthday get together at a local hangout, the Green Ant Cantina, so I crashed it. Jk I was invited. They had street artist tagging out front and a really good DJ. It is a cool local hangout. We also got drinks during the day.

image
image
Oh, forgot to mention Snoop Dogg was there. He was painted on the wall. Yeeeee!

image

We also took a trip up to the Daintree Rainforest in Cape Tribulation. We stayed at the Cape Trib Beach House, which was located on the beach side. It was super nice and what made it even better they double booked our dorm beds so we got upgraded to the best room at the resort, which was super close to the beach.

image

image

image

We went for a walk on the beach early in the morning. The beaches have a beautiful mangroves on the shores. At one area of the mangroves we spotted 3 baby reef sharks, little fish and a sting ray in super shallow water. I scared the sharks away when I whipped my head around forcing my ponytail to swing around. At least we got to see them while they were there.

Since we were in the rainforest we thought it be a good idea to go in a bush walk (hike). We chose Mt. Sorrow trail because it was near by and we read it had a great view. Now I understand why its called Mount Sorrow, because you are in a world of sorrow during and after. It is the gnarliest hike I’ve ever done. It knocks Laguna Beach’s top of the world hike off the charts.  Not only was steep the trail was loose and you had to use woody vines and trees to help you scale the mountain. At one point it was so steep there was a rope.

image

I'm crying it was so gnarly

image

Rope was very useful!

image

Mushrooms

680 meters high (2,230 ft) revealed an excellent view.

image

If I did it again, I’d do the following:
1. Bring more water
2. Wear pants and long sleeves
3. Prepare myself mentally
4. Go early in the morning when it is cooler.

I purchased a Greyhound mini traveler pass that will take me anywhere I want south down till Melbourne for the next 90 days. I can’t back track, so I will be full steam ahead. I planed my stops and found that I’ll save about $ 150 with the pass rather than purchasing individual tickets. Hopefully I will make more stops than anticipated to get more bang for my buck.

The train was another option, but it is too difficult to book your tickets and it takes longer than the bus.

Next stop is Airlie Beach, which is one of the gateways to the Whitsundays. I booked a day sailing trip with Camera to Whitehaven Beach the next day because the bus ride will be all day.

Yallingup, Dunsborough, Lancelin, Cervantes and Jurien Bay, Australia

Due to the weather we decided to head back up north and not to pursue  Permberton. 

Yallingup had beautiful beaches. From Yallingup we did the Cape to Cape hiking trail which is 135 km located in the Leewin-Naturaliste National Park. We didn’t do the whole thing because we weren’t prepared.

image

image

image

Wild asparagus

image

Super green and lush

image

We stayed in Dunsborough after checking that yet again there was no surf. There was this fat dog that kept wanting to play fetch. Of course we humored her she needs exercise.

image

Kick the ball, kick the ball!!


Then we decided to go up north past Perth to Cervantes to see the pinnacles. We were getting tired so we stopped off in Lancelin to stay the night. They had a nice kitchen where we made a really good meal.

In the morning, I went for a walk on the beach in Lancelin after the storm and there were all sorts of things washed up on shore. Check out these purple blue something’s:

image

image
The pinnacles were probably the highlight of the trip. They are limestone formations from crushed up shell that were blown from local sand dunes. We were lucky to see some cockatoos.

image

Cockatoo hanging out on a pinnacle


image
image
image
Before heading back to Perth we checked out Jurien Bay as the clouds rolled in.
image

Meelup and Margaret River, Western Australia

We headed south from Perth and our first stop was Meelup Beach. It was dusk when we arrived and this is where I saw my first wild kangaroo. There was first just one then 3 hopped across the road. I got super excited and unfortunately I wasn’t fast enough to get them on camera.

This place was so beautiful. We realized we couldn’t camp here and the nearest campsite was about 30 minutes away and cost was $15 per person, which was not in our budget! We decided to stay at the end of a secluded road in the bush away from the tourist attractions. We made garlic onion  chicken and steamed potatoes and carrots. It was pretty good! The next morning we went to the beach to have breakfast.

image

The morning after

image

Australian Magpie

I think Dr. Seuss’s illustrations were inspired by Australia flora. Check out this weird pine cone:

image

The next morning we woke early and headed south to Margarete River. On the way we made several stops. First we stopped at the Ngilgi Caves and walked around the hiking trails. There were beautiful wild spring flowers. I really loved the Calla Lilies

image

Ant hill

image

Wild Calla Lilies

Next stop: Yallingup. There are several beautiful beaches here. It was super windy and cold.

image

Then we went to the Cullen winery and had a free wine tasting. there are several beautiful wineries on the way to Margarette River. We saw tons of fields with lambs, sheep’s and cows. I even saw a huge field of about 50 kangaroos.

image

image

Our last stop was in Cowaramup Bay, which was super windy and it started pouring rain. Artur was checking out the waves at North and South Point. The waves were closing out and it was super choppy, so he decided not to go in.

Grace town was a quick stop. There’s a memorial to a surfer who died while surfing at this beach. People put shells here to commemorate him. Artur took the biggest shell, but I put it back once we realized it was a memorial. Our conscience was better after I did that.

We stayed at a Top Tourist Parks camp ground for $27. They have good amenities. At night we walked around a little bit and it was completely dead. Artur plans to live here because the surf is good. Lol. I would never be able to live in such a small quite town, but there are really beautiful beaches. There were tons of ring necks (also called 28s because some say their chirp sounds like they say 28, I don’t hear it) that looked kinda like parrots, that have a long green tail and a yellow ring around its neck.

image

Ring Neck note-I got this pic from google

Next we stayed at Peverly Park in Peverly Beach. I had to take advantage of the sunny weather, so I went for a run on the Beach there all the way to the river and back. I went into the sand dunes as well. 

image

image

image

River that goes into the ocean


Rain started up again. Man does it make the beach look so dramatic!

image