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24 July 2014

GREAT BARRIER REEF






// The Great Barrier Reef //

This week we were finally able to complete another huge tick off our Bucket list - The Great Barrier Reef! We spent the day at the outer ribbon reef off the coast of Port Douglas, north of Cairns. So much colour & variety!

Our tour operator of choice was the Silversonic Quicksilver catamaran. They give you about 5 hours out on the reef, taking you to three different locations. They also gave small introductions to the kinds of life living below & the types of coral to keep an eye out for. We even held a huge sea cucumber! 

One site, Triggerfish City, was badly damaged by a cyclone a few years back. Sadly the destruction is still clear. However Turtle Bay is a must see for diving/snorkelling - While everyone was digging into a hot buffet onboard, me & Andrew jumped back in and managed to see an awesome turtle. It was a totally incredible experience to swim with him in the wild. 

The rest of the day was spent duck diving attempting to catch clear images of the colourful fish, sadly the GoPro couldn't quite capture the beauty but it's not something Im going to forget very quickly. We hunted down most of the living creatures from "Finding Nemo" including swimming with "Bruce" the Shark!

We were a little short of time & money at this stage of the trip, it would have been amazing to experience the inner reef too, I would love to hear from anyone who has done a similar experience - is it worth the extra money for the outer reef tour?

Holly

CAIRNS






Northern Waters // Cairns Life // Circus

You know you have reached Croc territory when there are signs at every single water point - lagoons, the ocean, a river, a bridge, the list goes on! So enjoying the view from a distance, our first night in Cairns was spent with the view above, a morning sunrise over the East Coast. 

In three weeks we explored Cairns & the surrounding area. Taking a trip to Kurranda, which turned out to be a tourist trap filled with little market stalls, sunbathing at the lagoon ( Cairns doesn't have a beach), visiting the Stardust Circus, voted the best circus in Australia & ending a long day wandering the night markets and local restaurants in the evenings!

The scenic road to Port Augustus is incredible & definitely worth a trip. The road runs right along the coast and into rainforest. The little town has loads of shops and cafe's to waste hours in, while the four mile beach is lined with coconut palm trees. Paradise! 

For me, the main highlight of travelling so far North on the East Coast was the Barrier Reef Trip - Post to come! 

Holly

23 July 2014

PACKING GUIDE


Backpacking // Travel // Wish List


Reflecting on my eighth month in Australia, I realised there are a lot of things I wish I knew before I left home. The usual "I packed too much" & "I wish I brought that instead" comes to mind. This post is the perfect way to sum up the important things to think of packing when leaving on a world adventure.  

So here is my "Five Things I Wish I Packed Before I Travelled..." list. 

1# Extension Lead : It might sound like the obvious choice, but I thought the single world plug adapter I brought, would do the job just fine. In hindsight having the extra few spaces for all my english plug technology would be magical. 

2# Notebook : I find blogging a great way to digitally imprint my travels with imagery and writing, however I find that keeping a written diary of the places I have visited, as well as the dates etc is a nice way to look back on the trip in a much more personal way. 

3# Masking Tape: Travelling for a few months isn't just hardwearing on yourself...having a bit of masking tape in your bag has its benefits when a technology cable breaks/comes loose, or you need to stick something back together in the car. It is quite incredible the amount of DIY you get involved in. 

4# Pack less clothes: Seriously. Other travellers may have advised this to you already & you could be thinking but I reallly need this, you don't. Chances are you are going to be wearing the same T-shirt & shorts for a week on end. 1 jumper, 1 pair of jeans, 1 pair of shorts etc  

5# (& Finally!) A Stainless Steal Cooking Pan : Admittedly this item can be bought once arriving... the original cooking pan we purchased was a nice cheap model, however after a few meals the black lining on the inside of the pan started to flake away. We ate bits of pan for a few months before finally giving in & buying a beautiful stainless steel one, which hasn't let us down yet! 

And Of course leave some room for your camera...

Holly

1 July 2014

N QLD






East Coast Adventures


It has been a crazy few days travelling up the Bruce Highway on the East Coast. Finally with some time in the Townsville library I can catch up on some posts & recharge! 

Saturday started off with a slightly bumpy start. We travelled the 40k off the main highway North to Hervey Bay (for some early whale watching)...once we arrived we realised that we had already visited! So after a quick food shop & a break from driving we agreed it was best to double check our planned route so it didn't happen again.

After a few more hours we arrived in the cowboy town of Rockhampton. Famous for being the beef capitol of Australia, the drive into town passed a lot of ranches and very big cattle. The people of Rockhampton reflected this lifestyle, with their large cowboy hats, even larger belt buckles and bootcut jeans. 

With the crazy amount of distance travelled in just a few days, we stopped at Mackay to relax at Eimeo beach. With the weather down south turning colder as we head into winter, the sun warming our skin was a refreshing change. That night we had the pleasure of sleeping right next to a refrigerated road train...the joys of free camping.

Arlie Beach was next on the list. Known as the stepping off point for the Whitsunday Paradise Islands (as well as being a great place for a night out). The beach itself was a disappointment, very gritty & surprising small, but the water was the most beautiful aqua colour. After spending the morning walking around the town & bay, we left to get a decent spot at a popular rest area 15k south of Townsville. Where we slept like the dead. 

Which brings me up to date! Today we have just arrived in Townsville so there is some exploring to be done.

Holly

BERRYPATCH





Sunrise // Strawberries // Working Holiday


After three months working on a strawberry farm in Caboolture, QLD, the time came to pack up our trusted car (Gus) and finally say our goodbyes arrived. With bank balances a little heavier and a longing to chase the warm weather North, we are excited to be back on the road! Beach life is not far away now. 

After catching a warm sunrise over the Glass House Mountains, we began our last day picking. Though scooting around on our karts was a fun way to spend our days... i'm not going to miss random toads popping out of strawberry holes! 

First stop on the road is Hervey Bay, a popular beach side town, particularly for its annual August migration of whales. Pictures to come! 

Holly

WINTER



// First Taste of an Australian Winter //


Something tells me it will be a winter like no other. This week my freckles have all re appeared after a heavy day in the sun. Reflecting on how quickly time passes, Our time in Australia is flying by! With just over two months left in this incredible country, there are some exciting road trip posts to come. 

This week I finally heard back from Canada - my visa has been accepted! The long process begins with getting clearance for police checks etc, attempting not to get carried away while still waiting on my other half's acceptance. Andrew is still 200 places away but I remain optimistic... 

Holly

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