Back to Brissy!

A bit of a delayed Travel Tuesday today! So sorry! I just started a new job, so I’m just getting my routine back together. And of course, it’s that crazy time of year anyway. So fun fun fun!

Anywayyyy, after all the excitement in Port Lincoln, we started to head back up towards our Aussie home that is Brisbane. We originally wanted to sell the van down south and fly back up there, but with limited money and time we decided to was better to make our way back up there to work and try to sell the van there. Rather than stay in Melbourne or Adelaide and potentially run out of money before shifting the mystery machine.

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Roadside Views

The plan was to get back as quickly and cheaply as possible! So we headed off on the long drive. We stopped over on service stations or rest stops to reduce cost, all the money we had left had to pay for fuel to get us back. We did see some gorgeous scenery on the way, and a couple of Australia’s landmarks, such as the dog on a tuck box and another of the ‘Big Things’.

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Dog on a Tucker Box

Once back in Brisbane, we headed for the hostel, where we were well and truly looked after. We were given a room and told we would be back on the working rosta asap. Thank you Nomads! Oh yeah! Since we had been gone, the hostel had changed from Base to Nomads, which was a little odd but we soon got used to it. Most of the old reception crew had moved on, but we got to know the new guys and had a blast.

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Beautiful Brissy Sunset

Now, there weren’t many big adventures while in Brissy. We were flat broke so it was work, work, work! I was determined to make enough money to get us to Cairns, I just had to see the reef. So we were both working all the hours they could throw at us, including any extra jobs that needed doing for a bar tab or free meal in the bar! Every little helps. We did have some great nights out in Down Under Bar.

 

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❤ Love this crazy bunch ❤

 

I did go on one little adventure with fellow receptionist Alicia. We had a nice little date day out of town to the Piggy Back Café in Jindalee. We had to get the bus out of town, and after two failed attempts and a loop around the CBD, we were on the right bus and headed for the café. The bus dropped us right opposite, which was lucky because we had no idea where we were going. We both had a rainbow coffee and a piece of cake 🙂 The rainbow coffee was beautiful 🙂

 

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Rainbow Coffee at the Piggy Back Cafe

 

Other Brisbane adventures included, regular trips to Southbank (some more sober than others), more girly lunch dates, and even Harry Potter special event with Blackmilk Clothing.

 

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A pause from swishing in the BM Invisibility Cloak Kimono

 

Even though we didn’t get up to anything too wild while we were working, I loved being back in Brisbane. Its our Aussie home and we have some awesome friends there. I loved being back, and was pretty sad when it was time to go again. This was our last goodbye.

 

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Goodbye

 

Bye for now
xoxo

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Cheapfrills Christmas Goodies! 

Anyone that knows me, knows I’m a huge magpie! Now that I’m home, I can finally accessorise again ❤ No more backpacker chic 😉 

I love finding absolute gems from smaller independent businesses, and I have been following Cheapfrills for years! I brought the cat ear rings and the rabbit in a hat necklace back in 2012 and fell in love with Georgia’s work. Not only that, but she’s a lovely lady!

One thing I love from Cheapfrills are the goodie bags! So when I made it back on English soil, I decided to treat myself to a Christmas goodie bag. They are such a bargain at £10, for a minimum of four pieces! 

 

Christmas lucky dip

 
I can’t pass up a bargain, hence my love of these goodie bags and have brought many in the past. I even purchased a Halloween one. Although I’m not a huge Halloween fan (too scary for me!), I split the bag up kept a piece for myself and gifted the rest out to friends 🙂 

💀👻 #halloween #cheapfrills #blackmilkclothing #bmtartanredtouchdown #bmuk @blackmilkclothing

A post shared by Amy Davies (@amydavies1) on

This goodie bag was my little post travelling treat to myself, and what a treat it is! I scored 5 (!)  pieces; 3 necklaces and 2 rings. 

 

My festive goodies

 
One thing I love about receiving goodies from Georgia, is the adorable packaging and the personal touches 🙂 All the pieces were individually wrapped and packaged with sparkling snowflake sequins. 

 

Gorgeous packaging

 
So let’s talk necklaces! Three adorable Christmas themed gems. 

 

Christmas pud, angel wing, & santas hat necklaces

 
The Christmas pudding has to be my favourite. It’s the perfect size to be announced as the cutest little Christmas pud I’ve seen. The vibrant little holly on top is just perfect.

 

Christmas pudding necklace

 
The other two necklaces are slightly more subtle, but still gorgeous. The Santa hat and angel wing are delicate and dainty, perfect to add that little festive touch to an outfit. I love the splash of shiny red on the Santa hat, that’s the magpie in me 😉 

 

Santa necklace

 
The rings were awesome too. Now I struggle with buying rings as I (unfortunately) inherited my fathers fingers *rolls eyes into oblivion*, but these ones fit nicely!

 

Lucky dip rings

 
The sparkly glittery snowflake is sooo pretty. Not only is it cute, but it’s adjustable! I know some people are a bit “urgh” about adjustable rings but I’m all for it. Come on! Practicality people! 

 

Snowflake ring

 
I absolutely love the little reindeer ring! I was secretly hoping this would be in my bag, after seeing it on the Cheapfrills Instagram (@cheapfrills). The adorable little tail is a cute hidden treat. 

 

Reindeer ring

 
The thing I love most about this ring is that it doesn’t have to be seasonal! Stags always seem to be in fashion, and it stacks really nicely with my gold ring that I always wear 🙂 This cutie is going to get some wear. 

 

Cheapfrills ring stacked with my own ring

 
Unfortunately the Christmas goodie bag is now finished, but it’s not too late to get your hands on some other festive pieces. Check out the website, there’s still a couple of days remaining for Christmas delivery! You’ll have to be quick 😉 

I love buying from Georgia because she is always so lovely. When I share my goodies she always comments with a thank you, it’s those kind of personal touches that make buying from independent stores that extra bit special. If you know any hidden gems you want to share, pop them in the comments! 

Bye for now!

Xoxo

Searching for Sharks in the Yorke Peninsula

Saying goodbye to Matt at the airport was a little bit emotional, we had all had such a great time. I was going to miss his in car karaoke entertainment. We couldn’t dwell for too long though, Ryan and I had a long drive ahead of us. We were heading for Port Lincoln, for an activity that had been top of my bucket list for a long time! Diving with Great White sharks!

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Yorke Peninsula

 

 

We set off right away to make as much progress as we could before the sun went down. We found a little car park in St Kilda; where a lady who owned a chip shop / convenience store let us park up for the night for a small fee. She was a lovely lady, who gave us extra chips so we had a good fill for the night. The car park was right by the sea, so the sunset was lovely.

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Some of the views along the way

We set off early the next day. The drive was awesome! One side of the road was endless fields of yellow and green, and huge mountain ranges, but the other was dusty and desert like.  I think we got as near to the outback as we were ever going to see. The sun was shining the whole way, which always puts me in a good mood. It was a long drive, but we made it to Port Lincoln earlier than we expected.

 

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As close to the outback as we will get!

 

Port Lincoln is a tiny place, so it didn’t take us long to find camp. The campsite was right by the sea. We parked up, and the view from our van was beautiful. With the pelicans perched on the rocks and the sound of the sea, it was a gorgeous spot.

 


As we had arrived early, we had a day to kill before the big dive, so we spent much of the day sorting out the van and packing. This was out last stop on the list, we were planning to sell the van and head north, so it had to be ready. After packing, I had a walk along the coast. I always find the sea so refreshing and relaxing. I sat on the huge rocks in the sea and watched some dolphins playing near by. It was incredible. I’ve seen lots of dolphins on this trip, but it never gets less magical.

 

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Sunrise on the day of our dive.

 

We had an early night as we had to be up at the crack of dawn the next day. We were up before the sun on the 27th of August (yes that’s who far behind I am on blogging!!). We waited for the taxi to the marina as the sun rose. The morning glow was even more beautiful as we boarded the boat.  The ride to the sharks took around three hours, and for the first time in my life I was sea sick!! I’ve been going on boat trips on holiday for as long as I can remember, so I was pretty annoyed at my body for letting me down this time, but nothing was going to ruin this day for me!

 

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Beautiful view from the boat.

 

The ship anchored down, and we waited. Each group were given their wetsuits, and we stood waiting for the sharks to show themselves. Ryan got pooped on by a bird, and the girls on the boat said that was usually a lucky sign which meant we should see some sharks! Low and behold, the first one appeared. Group one hurried into the cage, as we stood around and watched. Even with my sea sick wobbles, seeing the shark come right up to the boat and snatch the bait was incredible. Before we knew it, it was our turn to get in the cage.

 

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My first glimpse of a great white shark.

 

I descended into the cage, the cold water was brisk but refreshing. However, with the cage been just on the surface, it did bob about a lot, which really didn’t help my already churning stomach, but I was determined to see it through. I clung to the cage to try and steady myself, and as soon as I saw my first glimpse of the shark as it swam right beside me, I forgot all about my spinning stomach. The shark we saw was around three meters long, and beautiful. He silently glided through the water. I was blown away. Too soon our groups time was up, so up out of the cage we climbed.

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It was freezing back on the boat, and although there was talk of potential second dives if there was time, we dried off and got ourselves warm in time for lunch. After lunch, the last group were given a second dive because they didn’t see much on their dive. They were so lucky because a big 4.5 meter bad looking fella came by. They offered a second chance to our group too but it had to be quick. So I chucked on my swimsuit, and jumped in without a wetsuit! Man, that was cold! It was so worth it though, this guy was huge! He obviously knew what he was doing as he hit the bait every time, not like the last one. I was filming for a while, and I thought he had left so stopped the film. As I pressed stop, his huge beast swam directly up from the dark beneath and propelled up out of the water as he grabbed the bait. It was incredible.

 

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The second (bigger!!) shark.

 

 

To finish off a magical day, some dolphins and a seal swam alongside the boat as we returned back to Port Lincoln. The whole day was awesome, the crew were so lovely and didn’t stop feeding us all day. If you are ever considering doing a shark dive I would recommend it until I’m blue in the face! It was worth all the driving to get there, it was worth the money. It was honestly one of the best thing I have ever done. To be face to face with a great white shark, it is honestly incredible.

 

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Friendly dolphins to end an amazing day.

 

We were pretty beat that night after such an amazing day, so we soon hit the hay, in preparation for another day of driving.

Bye for now
xoxo

 

 

Adelaide – Wine country!

Adelaide was our last big stop before Matt had to fly home, and what better way to end your time in Australia than in its very own wine capital! We spent the first few days in the centre of Adelaide, at a campsite that was just a short walk from the Botanical gardens.

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Adelaide Botanical Gardens

On our first day, we decided to explore a bit. We had a wonder through the botanical gardens. The gardens were lovely, there was lots to look at, and different green houses to wonder through. One place had a huge lily pond that was beautiful, but being an amazon water lily, it was soooo hot in there!! My glasses steamed up the instant I stepped inside.

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Water Lily

Crossing through the gardens took us to the main town, where we had a wonder around. It was mostly bars and restaurants. Gorgeous looking restaurants at that. It was a quiet little town, not like the other cities we had visited, but it had a nice relaxed vibe to it, and was actually pretty picturesque in places. We had lunch at a schnitzel place that was really nice, and stopped for a glass of wine in a sunny beer garden. It was just a real relaxed time.

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Adelaide town

While we were at our camp, I was going out of my mind because I could hear gibbons. All I could think is ‘why on earth can I hear gibbons, they aren’t native here, this is so bizarre.’ Little did I realise, until we walked back and checked, that Adelaide zoo is right by the botanical gardens, and maybe a 5/10 minute walk from out campsite. Mystery solved! So that’s were we headed the next day.

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Red Panda at Adelaide Zoo

The zoo was pretty awesome, they had lots of native animals (Matt got to see his first echidna), and they had some pretty cool exotics too. They even had a couple of giant pandas; they were asleep the whole day, but still pretty cool! I enjoyed the walk through aviaries, it was nice to get a bit closer to the birds. We had a lot of fun at the zoo!

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Red tailed black cockatoo at Adelaide Zoo

After the zoo, we moved on and drove to the Barossa. We arrived pretty late, so just chilled out in the camp kitchen and made some dinner. The next day we headed to the information centre to grab a map of the wineries and plan our attack. Matt had never been on a wine tour before, so he had an interesting day ahead of him 😉

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I do ❤ the Barossa

The first place we went to was called Artisans. It was a gorgeous place that had wines from 6 nearby wineries. We tried all of the different wines, and Matt found he enjoyed the Riesling wine the most, even though he generally prefers red 😛  I found I liked pretty much all of them but hey I’m not fussy 😉 The lady who hosted us, Lucy, was amazing. She knew everything there was to know about each wine, and made sure we enjoyed ourselves.

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Artisans Vineyard

On her advise, we headed to Gibsons vineyard next. This place was much smaller & we were the only people in there. The guy serving us was lovely, and we had a right laugh with him. Like Lucy, he gave us some advice on where to check out, and even told us about a nice little pub to go to for lunch.

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Gibsons Vineyard

After lunch, when we had got some food in the novice to sober him up 😉 , we headed to the next winery. Chateau Dorrien was pretty different to anywhere else we had been. It was a huge place, very grand looking. When we walked inside it had a huge oldey timey looking bar, with a lovely lady who served us. They also made their own honey mead! I had never had mead before, but this was gorgeous. Really sweet and soothing, she served it warm which was really nice too.

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Chateau Dorrien

Once we had had our fill there, we headed back to camp. We wanted to give the designated driver a chance to taste the Barossa. There was a vineyard just 10-15 minute walk from our camp, so we headed up the hill, enjoying the fresh air. Turkey Flat was a nice looking place, once we got inside the young lad serving us told us a bit about the grounds. He told us that the building we were in was once a slaughter house! That made me a little uneasy, but you could tell the whole place had a history to it. The wine there was pretty nice, and Ryan was happy to finally get a glass or two. We headed back to camp after that, we didn’t want Matt to have too much of a wine headache for his flight the next day.

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Turkey Flat Vineyard

 

On our final day in Adelaide, we made one last stop before heading to the airport. We headed to Jacob’s Creek vineyard that morning. It was a huge estate! The biggest I had seen. It had its own  café, bar and shop. It even had a museum as you walked in which told you all about the land, the company, its history and development, and even showcased some of their most famous wines. The wines were really nice, and they had a huge selection. The service wasn’t as personal as the smaller places but it was pleasant enough. Jacob’s Creek had to be one of the most impressive places I had seen.

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Jacob’s Creek

 

That afternoon, we dropped off Matt at the airport. It was sad saying goodbye again, and the van felt a bit empty without him. Ryan and I already had our next adventure in our sights, and it was going to be a long drive to get there!

Bye for now
xoxo

Little Desert National Park, and a Surprise Along the way.

Travel blog Tuesday is officially a go! I am back on home soil, with a solid internet connection, so I’ve got this 😉  Hopefully I can start writing about a few other things too 😀 Stay tuned….

So anyway, we left the Grampians National park and headed to our next stop on the journey to Adelaide.

Little Desert National Park was north-west of the Grampians, so seemed like a good place to stop. The drive was pretty long but we did have a little surprise along the way. We were driving along and all of a sudden I saw a PINK Lake! I was so excited! I shouted to the boys and Ryan quickly pulled over. We headed down to take some photos and I rushed ahead like the huge kid I am! A pink lake! It was so awesome.

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The mystery machine, and a pink lake!

 

I thought there was only one pink lake, in Western Australia, so I couldn’t believe my luck. That pretty much made my day. After I had taken about a million photos (and calmed down a little!), we continued on.

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So pink!!

 

The camp was a nature reserve which a huge electric gate to get in. This put the boys on edge but I was super intrigued. What were they keeping in or out? As we pulled up to the car park we were greeted by an Emu! We later found out his name was George, well King George to be exact.

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King George himself

 

 

We decided to book on to a nocturnal bush walk with the manager who was awesome. He was super chatty and very informative. On the walk we saw and fed some Brushtail Betongs and Rufus Betongs. The Brushtails are very rare and not many Australians will ever see on. The park are trying to breed them for reintroduction.

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Cute noisy little betongs

 

We watched them eating and squeaking before he showed us some more critters. He also had some curlews. He described them as Australia’s freaky bird, but I liked them. They made strange crying sounds, and were much shyer than the betongs. We also saw a couple of sugar gliders, who were super cute and inquisitive. I’ve only ever saw one before at the RSPCA but he wasn’t a happy chappy, these ones were much friendlier.

It was a great tour and I’d really recommend staying at the Little Desert National Park Nature Lodge. The guys who work there are awesome and we had a great time. In the morning we set off after breakfast (after a brief stand off with George over my avo on toast), to our next stop, Adelaide!

Bye for now

xoxo

Grampians National Park

Ok, first off before I start this, I am SUPER behind! We are almost at the end of our travels now, so we are cramming in the activities; hence the delay. I’m going to try and write a few posts at a time to keep them more frequent, so stay tuned! I’m thinking “Travel Tuesdays” and post every week 🙂 There’s lots more to come. 

So we left Port Fairy, and drove all the way to the Grampians National Park. It was the prefect journey to exercise our vocal cords 😉 (mainly cause there was no one around to hear us wailing!) On the way we stopped at a couple of lookouts to see Mt Surgeon and Mt Abrupt. It was impressive to see all of the lush green covering the mountains, after being by the coast for so long. 

 

Mt surgeon & Mt Abrupt

 
We arrived at the campsite in the afternoon, and after some deliberation (and a snack!), we headed to a couple of the scenic lookouts. First of all we went to Borkoa lookout. 

 

Checking out the view from Borkoa lookout

 
It is absolutely breathtaking, and an awesome “scare your mom” selfie spot 😉 The weather was glorious too so the view was incredible. 

  
We then headed to Reeds lookout, and walked along the balconies. It was an interesting walk with some beautiful scenery. 

 

On the walk to Reeds lookout

 
There were some oddly stacked rocks along the way. Like loads! It was a bit peculiar, but I recently found out it’s a thing the locals get tourists to do! (Not anything spiritual that could give you bad juju if you knock them down like I thought!) 

   

Matt and Ryan doing their version of titanic 😉

 After that we headed back to camp to be greeted by a mob of kangaroos. One of which was very curious and interested in our dinner! They were adorable. 

  
The next day we were up bright and early to make the most of our time in the national park. 

Firstly we walked along the Wonderland loop to splinter falls. It was a pretty cool walk, we had to do a lot of climbing and jumping along rocks. The weather was on our side again so that made it even better 🙂 

  
Once we got back to the van (and caught our breathe!) we continued to Mckenzie falls. The walk down to the falls wasn’t too far but just sooooo many steps (getting back up was a challenge). 

  
The falls were awesome though, one of the biggest I had seen so far. The sound was equally as impressive. If it hadn’t been so chilly I would have been tempted by a swim. 

Once we made it back to the van, we cranked up the music and continued to our next campsite! 

Bye for now

Xoxo

Great Ocean Road – Day 2

Day two of our Great Ocean road adventure involved more sightseeing. Our first stop was Gibson’s Steps; and the first sightseeing stop in Port Campbell National Park. After taking in the view from the top of the cliff, we walked down the narrow steps, all the way down to the beach. It was a long way down that’s for sure! We walked along the stretch of beach and enjoyed the sunshine, before heading back up the steep staircase. We took a few minutes to take in the view (and catch our breath!) before heading off again.

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The beach at Gibson’s Steps

It was a short drive to the 12 Apostles. We parked at the tourist information centre and headed over to the walkways. The 12 Apostles are a collection of limestone stacks just off the shore, only 8 are now visible due to erosion and collapsing. From the end of the walk way you could see the stacks either side, and a gorgeous view of the coastline. Although the stacks were pretty impressive, it was kind of sad to think that they too are susceptible to erosion, and so the view would be somewhat different in time.

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12 Apostles

After our walk, and taking some pictures, we continued on to the next spot; Loch Ard Gorge. The gorge is named after a ship that wrecked there in 1878. The signage there tells a story about two survivors of the wreck, Tom Pearce and Eva Carmichael. Tom was washed ashore, but rushed back to the water to rescue Eva after hearing her cries for help.

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Caves at Loch Ard Gorge

We headed down the stairs to the gorge, where we admired the surrounding caves and the gorgeous beach. There are a couple of large boulders on the beach, which of course the boys had to climb. Admittedly, I did join in the adventuring too! 🙂

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Loch Ard Gorge

On the way to our next stop, which should have been London Arch, we saw signs for the Thunder Cave. Intrigued by the name, we decided to make a quick stop. The cave was aptly named! As the waves from the sea crashed into the cave the sound that echoed back was incredible. It was a good stop off, that wasn’t in any of the guides we had. I would recommend it, as it is really impressive to hear the power of the waves.

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Thunder Cave

We continued on to London Arch. The offshore natural arch was formerly known as London Bridge until the span connecting to the shoreline collapsed unexpectedly in 1990. When it collapsed, two tourists were stranded on the arch, until they were rescued by helicopter. The arch is pretty impressive, and viewable from several different platforms.

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London Arch

After the arch, we made our way to another lesser known spot. I had seen The Grotto on a few travel Instagram accounts, but had no information about it in my guide book. The photos I had seen were beautiful so I added it to our trip anyway. When we arrived, I was not disappointed. The Grotto is a naturally carved cave which stands about half way up the cliff from sea level, containing several rock pools. It looks so magical, like I could imagine mermaids or fairies living there. It is gorgeous, and probably my favourite stop of the day.

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The Grotto

Finally, we made our last stop of the day at The Bay of Islands. We had a walk along some of the hidden beaches, and along the cliffs, taking in the views. It had been a long day, which many stop offs, and beautiful views. After the Bay of Islands, we made our way to our campsite at Port Fairy.

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A beach at the Bay of Islands

The Great Ocean Road is beautiful and there is so much to see. We had plenty of time to stop and enjoy the sights, it is the perfect road trip!

Bye for now

xoxo

 

 

 

Great Ocean Road – Day 1

We left Melbourne, after getting a couple of new tires for the van, we headed towards the Great Ocean Road!! I was so excited for this part of the trip. I’d seen so many beautiful pictures on various destination accounts on Instagram. Our first campsite was near Torquay, Matt had booked a skydive and so we had to be up early the next day, so didn’t venture far. The campsite was a little bit creepy, it had a very hill-billy type vibe to it. It wasn’t particularly friendly and we were the only campers there. Fortunately, it was only for one night!

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First stop on the Great Ocean Road.

 

The next day we were up bright and early so Matt could go for his skydive. The weather was really good so it was all over in a couple of hours, putting us ahead of schedule, so we decided to hit the road. We started our trip down the Great Ocean road, driving to Kennett River first. We stopped at a few look outs along the way. The road was beautiful, we were driving right alongside the ocean, around cliffs and over connecting rivers.

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Great Ocean Road Views

 

Along the way, we passed under the, Great Ocean memorial arch. The arch is actually the third one, as the first two were destroyed by bush fires. The arch was built as tribute to veterans of world war one. It was pretty impressive to pass through.   

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Great Ocean Road Memorial Arch

 

Once we reached Kennett River, we made a stop for some lunch. It was a small place, that you probably wouldn’t notice if you weren’t looking for it. We had a snack from the café there, the people were lovely and very funny, it was obviously a little family run business.

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Feeding the rosella parrots at Kennett River

 

Once we had finished our food, we had a little walk over the road to the nearby caravan park, as I had heard that there were wild koalas around. There were lots of wild birds around, and they were super friendly! We brought a bag of bird feed from the café and had a great time feeding them! The king parrots and rosella parrots landed on our arms and heads to take some of the feed. The cockatoos were a little more cautious, and some were a little more bossy!

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Making friends with the king parrots.

 

There were also some wild koalas snoozing in the trees. This was the first time I had seen wild koalas so I was super excited.

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Cockatoos at Kennett River

 

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Sleepy Koala at Kennett River

Once the bird seed had run out, we carried on to our campsite in Apollo Bay. This camp was much fancier than the last. It had a nice kitchen and even a games room. We treated ourselves to a decent cooked meal (curry yum!) and a few glasses of wine, while we chilled out ready for the next day.

 

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Beach views on the Great Ocean Road

 

Bye for now
xoxo

Melbourne

We arrived at Nomads Melbourne late in the afternoon of the 9th of August. Once we were all checked in and settled, we decided to have a wonder around the city, go grab some dinner and a few beers. Matt really wanted to try some native Aussie meat, so, thanks to good old Google, I found a bar that would do just nicely. The Crafty Squire, served crocodile, kangaroo, emu and more; not only that, but it was also a brewery for James Squire, and so had plenty of different beers on tap.

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I had some Morten Bay Bug bites for starters, and a less exotic mac ‘n’ cheese for my main. Matt got himself a croc starter and kangaroo steak as his main. Ryan went for chicken wings, and a good old Aussie chicken parmi. We were all pretty happy with the food, and we even tried a few of the exclusive beers on tap. I had a dark ale, that tasted like Jaffa Cakes! It was sooo good, but it was like a meal in itself haha. After dinner we headed back to the hostel and had a few drinks at the bar for the rest of the evening.

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The next day we explored a little further and headed down to the south bank. We walked along the river and popped into the Crown casino.  It was HUGE! It wasn’t just the casino either, the building went on and on, there were fancy restaurants, expensive looking shops, and more. It was fun to walk around and see everyone playing all the different games. I wasn’t feeling too lucky, but Matt won himself $20. He didn’t chance himself though, so we left shortly after that!

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We continued on to the Eureka Sky Tower, just down the road. We went up to the 88th floor and saw some spectacular views of Melbourne. I got a bit wobbly legged up there for some reason. I don’t dislike heights or anything, for some reason I just seem to lose all sense of balance, but it was good fun. We even went out on THE EDGE. The Edge, is an extra which you pay to go on. It’s a small glass box, which hangs 3 meters out of the side of the building. That I wasn’t too happy with, it’s the glass bottom…eeekk. We survived though. The Sky deck is the highest tower on the southern hemisphere too, which I thought was pretty cool.

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After all that excitement, I needed a beverage to calm myself! I mean, to reward my bravery 😉 We stopped at a cool little bar that is right in the middle of the river. It had a really quirky vibe, and was in a great location, if only it hadn’t been so windy. We had a couple there, then explored the city some more.

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On Thursday, myself and Matt woke with a little bit of a hangover head ache, so we went on a long walk to clear the cobwebs. We walked to the botanical gardens which were beautiful! It’s a huge place though. I really liked the Guilfoyle Volcano display. It is a gorgeous array of flora and a sustainable water feature. We also visited the Shrine of Remembrance, which was a particularly impressive building to commemorate those who fought during various wars.

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Friday, was to be our last day in Melbourne, so we booked ourselves on a day tour to Philip Island, to see the tiny penguins! We set off from Federation Square, in the early afternoon, and made our way to our first stop at Maru koala and animal park. The little wildlife park is home to a range of Australian native animals. While we were there we got to feed some of the free ranging roos and wallabies. Ryan and myself have fed kangaroos before at Lone Pine Koala sanctuary, so weren’t phased, Matt however, took a little convincing! It was good fun, and a nice little stop off along the way.

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After that we continued on to Philip Island. We arrived a few hours before sunset, so the driver took us on a little drive along the coast to see the penguin nests and wildlife around the island. As the evening drew in, we made our way to the viewing area on the beach and waited for the sun to go down, and the penguins to arrive. The penguins began to arrive not long after sun down. They leave the water after the sun goes down, so as to avoid predators. They head back to sea in the morning just before sunrise, for the same reason, so this penguin parade is a nightly ritual.

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 They are so cute! One comes up out of the sea to check out the situation, jumps back in, then brings all the others. The make their way on to the beach, then start the long trek up the hills to their nests. They are so adorable, and actually tiny! To think how far they have to go to make it to some on the nests, with their tiny legs, is just amazing. We watched them for a while, then headed up the board walk to watch them continue their journey on the island. They are so noisy too!

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I really enjoyed watching the tiny penguins. We weren’t allowed to take photos because they found that the flash was damaging their eyes. It was nice to just watch and enjoy the experience, even if some people didn’t listen to the rules (which really annoyed me, but the rangers soon got to them). I would highly recommend anyone visiting Melbourne, to take the time to visit Philip Island and see they little guys because they are fabulous. The trip was a really nice way to round off our time in Melbourne, and on Saturday morning, we hit the road again.

Bye for now

Xoxo

 

 

Canberra to Melbourne

So after sightseeing in Canberra, we set off to our next camp in Eden. It was a fair drive, down a very long secluded road. You never fully understand how big Australia, but when you are driving down a single road, with nothing but land, mountains, and your one road, for as far as the eye can see, only then can you truly begin to fathom the size of this country.  Much of the drive to Eden was just one secluded road through the countryside.

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Once we arrived at our camp in Eden, we were assigned our spot, way down in the back of beyond. Although we were a fair way from almost everyone else, we did have a few little friends, a couple of kangaroos with joeys in their pouches. I was super excited as they were real close to our van, and weren’t particularly shy. The joeys were getting on a bit too, the one poked his head out and ate the grass as his mom fed too. The camp kitchen at Eden was pretty cosy, so we treated ourselves to a Chinese (although it wasn’t much of a treat ), and a few beers I’d been saving from Black Duck Brewery.

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The next day we headed down to the beach, to walk the whale watching board walk. Along the walk were stories of ships that had passed through the bay, and how fisher men once worked with the orcas to catch whales, and shared the bounty with their fellow hunters. It was a beautiful walk along the beach. Once we made it back to the van we continued to our next stop in Bairnsdale.

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The drive to Bairnsdale would take us from New South Wales to Victoria, a new state, which was pretty exciting for us. Little did we realise, crossing the border would be more eventful than we bargained for. Not long after we made our way into Victoria, the drive got considerably more bumpy and then something was obviously up with the van. We pulled over, and just as Ryan had said, the driver’s side tire had blown. Not as tragic as it could have been, the boys changed the tire on the side of the road, and we were soon on our way again. What is an Australia road trip, without a minor tragedy 😉

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Not long after, we reached our camp in Bairnsdale, and the boys, pumped with testosterone, decided it was beer o’clock. We got the camp chairs out, and enjoyed the last few hours of sunlight.

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The next day we decided to take Matt to his first winery, Nelsons River Winery. Upon arrival, we were greeted by a lovely lady who showed Matt and myself, through the wines available. She was incredibly informative, and very chatty. Once we had decided on our favourite, we had a little walk around the grounds. Nelsons River winery is beautiful, they have a gorgeous garden area, some delightful wildlife and beautiful scenery.

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Once we had had our fill there, we carried on to the next campsite at 90 mile beach. The campsite in Seaspray was lovely. The lady at reception, Kim, was so lovely, super chatty, and really helpful. We wondered down a small portion of the vast beach in search of some lunch. The only store around, had already closed their kitchen, and the weather began to look a little bleak, so we made our way back to camp. As we made it back, we popped in to see Kim who had recommended the store for some food. Once we told her it was closed she told us she had some bacon, eggs and beans available! This was a massive luxury for us, so we brought them, and had a super indulgent dinner and chilled out in the camp kitchen for a while.

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I really enjoyed Seaspray, not sure if it was the full belly or the lovely Kim, but it really put a smile on our faces. The next morning, we were up nice and early to make our way to Melbourne! Where we would be staying for a few days.

Bye for now

xoxo