Location: Cairns, Australia
Today I left Varsity Towers and Bond University for the last time and was off to Cairns! I can't believe that I am done school! It was really sad to have to leave the school, and the beautiful Gold Coast. Cairns in a couple hours north by plane and is there the heart of the great barrier reef is! There are about 10 of us who came here, and are staying until SAturday when I will be making the lonnnggg journy back to NH! Tomorrow I am going scuba diving and snorkeling all day so it sould be a good time. I will write again after this week is over for probably the last time! See everyone soon xoxo koriNa
Location: Byron BAy, Australia
This past Friday me and 3 of my friends decided to rent a car to go back to Byron Bay! You have to be 21 to rent one and drive sp my friend Kelli was the one who drove. It is only about an hour away and it is a pretty straight shot from here. We got there and were planning on staying in a hostel but they had to beds availible so we just got a hotel for one night. We had dinner at a Thai place, my first time having Thai food, and then went out after that. The next day we went up to this lighthouse which is at the most easterly point of Australia! There were awesome views of Byron and the ocean. It was so nice to be able to drive around in a car, I am sick of public transportation!!
I can't believe that I will be home in about 3 week! It is so crazy. I am done half my finals, and I have two more, one this Tuesday and on Saturday, and then I am done! I leave here the 20th and then head to Cairns for 6 days. It is going to be so hard to leave Australia! I do miss things at home though. Hopefully the last couple weeks are nice so that I will be able to go to the beach a lot! I have a lot more Whitsunday pics and some others to put up, but my internet is really slow for uploads! xoxo <3 Korina
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD :)
Location: Whitsunday Islands, Australia
Today I just got back from my trip to the Whitsunday Islands...WOW. Most amazing place EVER! We left on Thursday morning and took a train (about an hour) into Brisbane where we flew out of. We flew into Prosperpine (the airport) which is about a half hour from the water. (There were about 20 of us who went together.) I had been most excited about this trip because of how much I love the ocean/boats, and could not stop hoping for good weather! As I have mentioned before, the weather has not been as nice as it usually is here! (Better than the COLD winter you are all having though so its hard to complain :).
Anyways, we landed and then took a bus into Airlie Beach. This is a little town on the water with a HUGE marina. It isn't really on a big beach, but it has this big lagoon like pool all along the water. It was a very cute town, laid back, aimed at tourists who would be staying there and then going out sailing. We stayed at a hostel called Magnums which was right in the center of the little town. Hostels here are really great! 8 of us girls had our own little cabin with a porch. A lot of the hostels I have been to, such as this one, have a big outdoor area where people hang out, they usually have a restaurant or two, and often a bar. I would not recommend a place like this to an adult looking for a vacation, bit it is great, and cheap (about $18 a night this one was!) for backpackers and students. There are backpackers EVERYWHERE! It is so interesting to talk to them about where they are from, where they have been, and where they are going next. Sounds fun to do for a couple months! So we stayed at the hostel for two nights...The first day we got there it was later in the afternoon so we didnt have time for the sun, but the next day we were up really early. We went to the lagoon for a couple hours in the morning but then it became too cloudy to lay out. We checked in at the travel agent to find out the info about our boat. We had to bring these shopping like bags on the boat instead of the ones we had brought. This is because "bedbugs" apparently like to hude out in zippers of duffels. That is absoutely disgusiting. People here have had bedbugs, and I guess they are common at a lot of hostels...before I came here I thought that they were just a myth....I've been safe from them so far so hopefully I remain that way. Had dinner @ Hogsbreath Cafe that night, went out and hoped for good weather!
The next day was the day that we were going to get on the boat! (Friday). We had to check out at 10, and were not getting on the boat until 2:30pm. Katherine and I saw an Ad for jetskis so we decided to kill some time. We went to this place a few minutes away called Coral Bay Resort which is where they rented them out. Me, Katherine and our friend Jason went on them for a little bit. Good time! It started raining though so i got pelted in the face. He said we might see turtles and dolphins but no luck :(
At 2:30 we made our way back down to the marina and waited for everyone that was on our boat to meet. The boat we went on was called the "Atlantic Clipper"..Kind of ironic! It is one of the bigger boats and holds about 50 people. It is aimed towards a "fun, younger crowd" like us. After getting on the boat we started heading off to sea. (or the islands). It was a little rainy so I was getting nervous of course. We cruised for awhile and then stopped at our first spot for the night. It was later in the afternoon, but luckily the sky was clearing. There was an okay sunset but a little too cloudy for a good one! It was pink, red sky at night, sailors delight! So we were hoping that it would be nice (as you can see I was a little obsessed with how the weather was going to be.)
We were woken up in the morning at 6am for breakfast, and then it was time to get going! We took off toward "Whitsunday Island" which is the biggest of the 74 islands. We stopped in a little bay and took tenders to the shore. We then took a hike up to a look out. The look out looked over Whitehaven beach which is the number two beach IN THE WORLD! It was the best view I have ever seen. REALLY white sand with turquoise water of all different shades. The sand is made up of 98% silicone and is exteremly fine. We then walked down to the beach, gorgeous! There were small sharks and stingrays located in some of the bigger tides pools in the sand but I didn't see any. We stayed here for a couple hours and enjoyed the view as well as the sun. The new movie "Fools Gold" was actually filmed on Whitehaven beach.
We went to a new spot and it was time to go snorkeling. Some people went scuba diving but I am going in Cairns so I didnt want to pay for it. I still saw tons of fish and coral, beautiful colors! The Whitsunday Islands are actually at the more Southern end of the Great Barrier Reef! It was great. It surprised me that it was a lot of peoples first time snorkeling!
We then moved to a spot where we were going to spend the night. On the way there, the sun was setting and we were sitting up on the bow. We looked down and there were two dolphins swimming and jumping along the front of that boat! It was awesome..I got some pitures as well as a video of it. We passed by this resort which pretty much only celebs and billionaires go to considering it ran about $18,000 a night!! Maybe someday! After parking at the spot and watching the sunset, there were dolphins and sharks playing around the boat for most of the night because of the light. The sharks were only reef sharks and were not a threat to the dolphins but it was still cool to see them swimming around. In the morning we were going snorkeling off the boat in that same spot so I was kind of hoping that I would see one while in the water! No luck though. We woke up and went snorkeling like I said, and then had lunch and made our way back to shore.
It was an amazing trip! If one is to go to Australia I would recommend going there over anywhere else that I have been! I am not going to get to make it to the outback because that was not one of my priorities, but I can't imagine that someone would want to go there over the Whitsunday Islands! Absolutely gorgeous. If I went again, (hopefully someday!) I would probably have gone on a smaller sailboat so that I had a little more of a sailing experience, but the boat we went on was nice and go for the group I went with. Miss you all! I'll be home in about 4 weeks! Hard to believe :( I will put up pictures soon when I have chance because I have tons of them. xoxox Love KORINA
Location: Robina, QLD, Australia
Happy Easter! I hope that everyone has a wonderful Easter weekend. Not really doing much here to celebrate it. I can't believe that I only have 5 weeks left! It is pretty crazy. I have had such an amazing time, but have some more trips to go on which I am very excited about. Hopefully the weather stays nice. The weather has been overall pretty bad for the semester I have been here :( But I have made the best of it of course. Thank you for everyone who has responded to this website! I appreciate the comments :)
This week has been pretty low key for me. Just trying to wrap up everything for the end of the semester. I'll write soon when I have some more exciting news. xoxoxo Korina
(Happy St. Patricks Day too!)
Location: Moreton ISland, Australia
This past weekend I went to Moreton Island with Katherine and our friend Ali. It was a 2 day trip that the on campus travel agent offered. We left Saturday morning at about 5am and drove about an hour to Brisbane. There we got on a 4WD vehicle with 5 other kids from Bond, and took an hour ferry ride to the island. It started pouring on the ferry ride there which seemed disappointing but it cleared up as soon as we arrived! There waqs another vehicle of people, some from Spain Germany and Norway who were also with our group. When we first got there we put our stuff down at our beach front campsite and took the 4WDs up to the northern part of the island to a lighthouse. We hiked up a little ways and it was the most AMAZING view I have ever seen! The water was all shades of blues and greens and you could see tons of sea turtles and even a couple sharks swimming because the water was SO CLEAR. It is the 3rd largest sand island in the world so most of the pathways we were walking on were all sand and we were pretty much barefoot the whole time.
After looking out by the lighthouse, we walked a little ways where it was just a huge sand dune over looking the ocean. (In my pictures). We were able to run down the steep sand and then hte guide took us to a rocky area where we saw turtles coming up for air every minute. He then took us to this little hidden beach which was paradise. The water was the clearest ocean water I had ever seen. So gorgeous. It was a little weird to think that we had just seen some sharks and then we were swimming but he assured us it was alright. I am not usually used to thinking there may be a shark swimming off the coast of NH in the freezing Atlantic.
We then had to hike up a really big, steep hill through the woods which was pretty intense with no shoes on! Made our way to this beach where we hung out for a few hours and went to some rock pools and explored and relaxed. We stopped in the "town" on the way back which was only about 6 little houses or so. The island only has 100 permenant residents. We stopped to get some beer and you would not even believe how expensive it is! Not just on the island, but in Australia in general. A 6-pack is probably about $18-20, ridiculous. Anyway. We went back to the camp to watch the sunset which was awesome! It was nice to just relax on the beach and then walk back to camp and have dinner and a fire. I was creeped out sleeping because the night before the guy had seen the 6th deadliest snake under one of the tents. EW. I tried to ignore that thought. It POURED that night. The tents were really thick so we didn't get wet at all.
In the morning the sun was shining and we went to this place called "The Desert" and went sandboarding...sledding on huge sanddunes face first REALLY steep. It was fun but the walk back up the hill was so tiring most of us only went a couple times. We then went snorkeling around these shipwrecks right off shore. Tons of colorful fish and we even saw a shark. One of the coolest things was that there was a Commerant (spelling?) which was more like a little pelican because we could watch it underwater catch a fish, and then go above water and watch it swallow it whole, 3 times! After snorkeling we went to a freshwater lake where we relaxed and I fell asleep in the sun for awhile. Then it was time to catch the ferry back and then went back and went to sleeep! Miss you alll xoxoxo Korina
Location: Fraser Island, Australia
This weekend I went to Fraser Island. Fraser is one of the biggest sand islands in the world and is about a 4 hour drive north, and then a 45 min ferry ride to the island. On the way there we stopped in Noosa which is a beach town. Very cute. I would like to go back there because you can ride camels on the beach!
Anways... About 15 of us went, and we stayed at the Kingfisher Bay Resort. It wasn't like a resort you may think. We stayed in these lodges that had a kitchen, a couple bathrooms and about 6 bedrooms. These were mainly for "backpackers" or students like me. They also had villas where people went on vacation. The whole place was very woodsey and campy, had a couple restaurants and bars outside and was right on the water. The first day, Friday we arrived a little late. We had a good dinner there and then went to sleep pretty early. The next morning we met our tour guide and got on a four wheel drive bus. There were other people besides us on the tour, but we were pretty much the only Americans. First we went to Basin Lake which was a very clear circular lake in which seems like the middle of nowhere. The sand is so fine and the water looks so pretty! I swam across it and after playing there for an hour or so, we went on a hike through the rainforest. We hiked through some of the many paths on the island and then had a picnic lunch. After that we did some more hiking along Eel creek which does have eels, ew. Im not taking serious hiking considering I was wearing a beach cover up and flip flops (thongs as they call them here) but it was still nice to talk a walk through the rainforest. AFter that, we went to Lake McKenzie which was beautiful! The sand was so fine and the water was an awesome turquoise color. The water is so pure in the lakes because it comes from the water table under the ground and is filtered through the fine sand. The guide said that he canoes out there and night and even when it is about 30 feet deep if you shine a light down you can see the water. It kind of reminded me of the beach in Punta Cana a little because of the great color. We stayed there for awhile and relaxed and swam. People were complaining about the "cold" water but clearly they haven't grown up in NH swimming in the freezing Atlantic all the time!
After a long day we came back and went out to the dock to watch the sunset. We were facing the mainland so we got a GREAT view of the sunset! It was awesome. We went out that night just to the resort bar and had to get up really early on Sunday. Sunday was the day where we took the bus along the beach! The tide was pretty high so there were literally waves crashing into the bus! Pretty cool. The weather was on and off all day but it was still warm. Our first stop was Eli Creek where you walked up a boardwalk and then drifted down the freshwater creek into the ocean. We then saw a really old shipwreck and "colored" sands where there were cliffs or bright orange and pink. Our next stop was the "Champagne Pools" which were pools at the bottom of a cliff where you could swim in and as the waves crashed down it made bubbles to look like champagne. Adventurous me sat on the rocks close to where the waves were breaking and kind of got taken over my a wave and cut my hand. I decided that wasnt a good idea and let me boys be the adventurous ones. One broke his toe and another got cut up as well! No worries though, we all still had a great time.
NExt we went to Indian Head look out and hiked to the top where there was a great view of the ocean( this was all on the east side). He guide said a lot of times you can see dolphins and sharks but we had no such luck. We were all very tired at this point and slept on the REALLY bumpy ride back. We had already checked out and made it just in time for the 5pm ferry. Overall it was a great weekend. I had a lot of fun and would recommend anyone who comes to Aussie to take a trip there! Miss you all xoxox