Friday, April 23, 2010
Wow if anyone were to be voted worst blogger ever I'm guessing it would be me. 6 months and not a single word... yes, I suck. But I like to think I have a good excuse... I've been in Australia!! Good reason? I think so. Anyways I've decided to revamp my blog, delete most of the old posts and start all over again... yaayyyy? But first let's talk Australia....
I flew from Canada on November 9, 2009 and arrived in Australia on November 11, 2009(I've lost November 10, 2009 forever) My flight route... Vancouver to LA, with a nice 6 hour layover in LA and then from LA to Sydney (16 hours of my life I'll never get back) and then Sydney to Melbourne. We arrived in Melbourne around 1pm that day and all I remember is thinking, "god it's bloody hot here!" And it was. +37 degrees to be exact. Turns out I flew into Melbourne when they were having one of their warmest springs ever. Lucky me... hot and sunny everyday and when I say hot I mean HOT (+39 degrees!!) Why Melbourne first and not Sydney? Easy.... the Australian Masters Golf tournament was on in Melbourne and my boy Adam Scott was playing... no chance I was going to miss it. So my first days were consumed by the Australian Masters and I loved every minute of it. Although I could have done without the circus that was Tiger Woods. The rest of my days in Melbourne were spent exploring Southbank (my favorite part of Melbourne), the CBD ("downtown"), St.Kilda, the Docklands, the Queen Victoria market among other areas. Sadly I think I spent a total of 1 days at the beach while in Melbourne but I knew I had plenty of other beach days to come.
After 10 fantastic days in Melb I headed to Sydney. I was excited because I had friends who live in Manly and was going to stay with them instead of roughing it in the hostel. (My hostel experience in Melbourne left me at a loss for words) So I get off the plane in Sydney and Jess is there to pick me up (yayyy a friendly Canadian face!) and he drives me his place in Manly and all I can say is WOW. Manly might be one of my most favorite places on earth. Great Beaches- Check. Surf- Check. Cool cafes and restaurants- Check. Hot surfer boys- Check, check and check! The atmosphere in Manly is unbelievably relaxing and laid back. And the fact that it's only a 15 minute ferry ride from downtown Sydney makes it a million times awesome. As soon as we got to Manly I was told we were going out for a friends birthday so I was going to have to suck up my tiredness (in all fairness you still have no idea what my hostel life was like in Melb) and get ready. So I sucked it up and went out and lasted until ohhh about 11pm haha. I was k-nackered to say the least! So I headed back to the flat without the others and crashed hard... and by hard I mean HARD... for the next 17 hours. Which wasn't so bad because when I woke up it was +42 degrees out! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? I thought I was going to die. I'm from Canada... we don't experience weather like this... or giant spiders for that fact. Did I forget to mention that a day before I arrived in manly Jess and Fran found a ginormous huntsmen spider in their flat? And Jess felt the need to show me pictures... needless to stay I had troubles sleeping at their places with the fear of spiders and cockroaches crawling all over my face. I had decided that I was going to wait until it was a nice blue sky to take the ferry over to Sydney as I wanted my first time to be picture perfect. Literally. And so I waited... for 4 days. When it storms in Manly, it STORMS. We're talking hurricane material here. So anyways finally I hopped on the ferry to Sydney not knowing what to expect... and my god when the ferry came around the corner and the city, the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge came into view I pretty much peed myself. It was B-E-A-UTIFUL!!! Being an architecture fanatic I had always thought the Opera House was pretty amazing but to see it up close in person left me at loss for words. I swear I took a million and two pictures of it... from every angle possible. Then I got to Darling Harbour and everything just got better... definitely one of my favorite parts of Sydney. And let me tell you, Bondi Beach is a life changing experience haha. And the Coastal Walk from Bondi to Coogee Beach is a must do!!! The best part of Sydney for me though was definitely watching Adam Scott win the Australian Open. It's one thing to watch your favorite golfer play but to watch him win a tournament in his home country was flat out AWESOME. I don't think I have ever been so excited for someone in my life. It was unreal. While in Manly, November 27th creeped upon us and so did my birthday. And what a great birthday it was... a bbq on the beach with great people and 2 birthday cakes.. it was amazing (Thanks Jess!!!)
After 2 weeks in Manly and Sydney (I did a lot but this is a condensed version) it was time to be on my way... New Zealand here I come. What can I say about New Zealand? It's green, very green. And well honestly, it's a little version of Canada. The scenery was breath taking, the weather was hot and cold, the outdoor activities were countless and the people I met were amazing (give or take a few) I started on the North Island in Auckland making my way north to the Bay of Islands where the only thing I had on my mind was to swim with dolphins. It didn't happen... apparently you can't swim with dolphins when there's babies in the pod... mom dolphin might eat you. I then made my way to Raglan (New Zealands best surf), to Rotorua (worst smelling city ever), to Taupo (home of one of the nicest day hikes you'll ever do), to Mount Managui (NZ's own personal Surfers paradise) and then made my way to the South Island... Queenstown (definitely good times), Mount Cook (one of the most beautiful mountains in the world) and a whole lot more. I could go on and on about New Zealand but I'll spare you.
I eventually made it back to Australia on December 23rd and decided to make my way up the East Coast from Sydney right away after a fun filled night on the floor in the Sydney airport where they literally lock you all up in a room with no comfy chairs and a bathroom. First stop Byron Bay... everything you hear about Byron Bay is true. It's laid back, full of hippies, has a great beach and there's not a McDonalds to be found. Christmas was spent in Byron Bay and nothing says Christmas like a BBQ by the pool, thousands of people at the beach and +34 degree weather... ahhhh. Next stop Surfers Paradise. I had kept hearing from people how much they disliked Surfers Paradise but still felt the need to check it out for myself. So I did... and I LOVED it. How could anyone not love Surfers?! Awesome beach, amazing surf and great shopping! My time in Surfers was well spent and I'd go back in a heart beat. After Surfers Paradise it was time to hit Brisbane.... and I was soooo looking forward to Brisbane because again I had a Canadian friend to stay with which meant no hostel living for a bit. Days when you can shower without your flipflops on are short lived when you're traveling in Australia... I swear they're pretty much glued to your feet from start to finish. Not a whole lot happening in Brisbane but I still loved it... it's a city of bridges... yes many bridges but not one bridge looking like another. The weather was shit (hello sideways rain) but the people were uber nice. And it's about this time I had my first fruit loops craving and a big craving at that.... I managed to finish off a family size box of fruit loops in ohhh about 3 days give or take a day. It was unbelievable but so, so goooood. Another great thing was the World Junior Hockey Championships were on while I was in Brisbane and my Canadian friend Jay happens to be a hockey fanatic.
After staying in Brisbane longer than expected it was time to say Goodbye and Hello to Noosa and the Australia Zoo. When the travel girl told me that the bus to the zoo drops you off at 9 and picks you up at 4 I was thinking "oh great what the hell am I going to do at a zoo for 7 hours!?" Well let me tell you, I cold have spent days at that zoo with the kangaroos alone! My god they were such fun and friendly creatures! And the Koalas were to die for!! If you're traveling Australia the Australia Zoo is a must see! And Noosa was a beautiful little beach resort.
When I left Noosa I headed to Rainbow Beach where my Fraser Island trip was suppose to depart from. Well when i got there it was blowing hurricanes outside and everyone who was coming back from Fraser Island told me they would go back out there in that weather if you paid them so I said "raincheck please!" and headed off to the Outback. Now I'm going to skip on my Outback experience because my mother always said if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all. :)
The next part of my trip ended up being the best part of the East Coast for me by far.... the Whitsundays!!! If you come to Australia and you don't experience the Whitsundays you are an idiot. The Whitsundays were what I would expect heaven to be like haha. The sailing trip was amazing and fun, Whitehaven Beach was BREATHTAKING, the sharks were frightening, the dolphins were adorable, the sea turtles were huge, the stingrays were terrifying and the water was perfect. Words can`t even describe how much I loved the Whitsundays... I would go back again and again and I plan on it for sure.
After Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays I headed to Magnetic Island... a short ferry ride from Townsville. What can I say about Magnetic Island? It was brutally hot, the bugs were annoying, the pool water felt like you were sitting in piss, and you basically felt like you were in the middle of nowhere. Oh maybe cause you were in the middle of nowhere. Let`s just say I wasn`t sad when it was time to leave that Island. Next up... Cairns! After over a month I had finally made it up North to Cairns. And what better way to spend your first few days in Cairns then on Hurricane Alert. And on alert we were, the rain was coming down sideways, people and objects were blowing all over the place... it was phenomenal! When the rain finally did clear it was time to dive the Great Barrier Reef! Besides the Whitsundays another must do on the East Coast is diving in the Great Barrier Reef. It was stunning!! As was Cape Tribulation and the Daintree Rainforest... there is so much to see and do around Cairns you definitely need at least a week there.
Finally it was time to leave the humidity and annoying bugs of the East Coast and make my way back down to Melbourne for the Australian Open Tennis and Great Ocean Road. 5 hours and I was back in Melbourne and safe from the humidity and my own frizzy hair. Life was good. The Australian Open Tennis was even better. I ended up lucking out and getting tickets to one of the semi-finals and the final and it was one of the best sporting events I have ever witnessed. Even if you don't like tennis, guaranteed you'd love watching these guys play. The next day I did the Great Ocean Road and again was praying for picture perfect weather and picture perfect weather was exactly what I got. Bells Beach was full of hot surfers and great surf... no complaints. The Twelve Apostles (ok, so there's only 8 left) were breathtaking and something everyone needs to go experience. And well the story of the London Bridge collapsing is alone worth the trip to get there.
When I was done in Melbourne for the second time I flew back up to Sydney thinking I would find a job there and live happily ever after. But that so wasn't the case. I got to Sydney and although there are parts of it that I absolutely love (Manly, Darling Harbour, the Opera House, the Coastal Walk) I couldn't help but miss Melbourne and knew that Melbourne was were I wanted to be. 2 months later and here I am still in Melbourne... loving every second of it. (Minus the falling out of bed and breaking my arm part) Still looking for that perfect job and perfect flat but nonetheless loving it and not wanting to be anywhere else in the world.