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My Year Travelling Australia and South East Asia

So ive already been in Australia for almost 11 months and failed miserably to even write one entry into the blog i promised to keep, as my trip has now been extended to include parts of South East Asia and im nearly ready to set off for my last month of travel in Aus i thought id give blogging another go!
Enjoy ...

Diary Entries

Friday, 28 January 2011

Location: Alice Springs, Australia

I just returned from my trip to Alice Springs and The Red Centre, it was so much fun probably the highlight of my year long trip to Australia.

I caught the Ghan train from Adelaide up to Alice Springs, its meant to be one of the great train journeys of the not sure about that but it certainly is different, it takes 24hours and the chairs are big and spaciuos and recline a long way and you have about 4 times more leg room than a plane, but looking out the window isnt as entertaining as you think, Australia is so huge and this train trip makes you realise this more than ever, between Port Augusta and Alice Springs you dont see a single house and you travel more than the entire length of England, but none the less the time flew by and i did really enjoy the trip despite waking up with a cricked neck from some awkward sleeping posistion.

I got off the train at Alice, it was 44 degrees which for my pale English skin (yes i havent tanned in a whole year, despite my mum assuring me i would before i left) the heat was just too much. i knew that my hostel was near by but i had no map and was knackered so i queued up for a taxi, but the que was huge, so i decided to walk, i knew the name of the street the hostel was on and had been told it only took 5 mins.

My backpack weighs around 18Kg's and in 40 degree heat it feels a lot heavier, i found myself lost and effing and blinding outloud to myself before a man stopped me in the street and asked me if i was ok..all i could manage to say was 'i think im going to die' anyway he asked if he could carry my backpack for me, but i declined as it would be unfair, i shouldnt be carrying so much junk anyway, but i did ask him for directions, turned out i was actually right by the hostel. I checked in and showered.

I walked into Alice, its really small kind of like Darwin but i liked it a lot more, theres a hell of a lot of aborignals there, i kind of felt like it was there town, they seemed quite polite even if they did ask me for cigerettes everytime i walked past...i considered buying a pack of cigs just so everytime they asked i could give them one instead of them having to say sorry i dont smoke.

The next day i went on my tour to Uluru and Kata Tjuta it was really great but it takes like 5 hours to get there from Alice which makes for a really long day, we did some hikes around the rocks but it was around 47 degrees and i just wasnt coping with the heat. When it was sunset we sat near uluru and watched the rock changing colours whilst sipping 'champagne' that tasted just like goon, so i quickly opted for OJ instead.

I spent another day in Alice before getting onboard the Ghan again where this time i befriended a woman who had a spare pillow (Thank God) meaning i got a slightly better sleep than i did on the way up. Ash met be at the station in Adelaide and we went for iced coffee at a lovely cafe in some upmarket district.

Ive got another day in Adelaide tomorrow where im heading to the beach at Glenelg. I then get on the Indian Pacific train at embark on a 48 hour train journey to Perth.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Location: Adelaide, Australia

I arrived in Melbourne nice and early with only 1 hour sleep from the flight down from Darwin, Ashley bless her had come to meet me, and we rode the tram to the suburb of Fitzroy where we were going to stay with some friends of friends for a couple nights.

We spent the day walking around a freezing cold Melbourne...most people really seem to love Melbourne, but i just didnt get it, im not sure why, Ashley was loving it but i think im definately more of a Sydney girl...maybe the weather didnt help.

The next day we spent in St.Kilda, which has a nice beach and is a loty cleaner than the actual city center, our main reason for visiting was to see the tiny 30cm fairy penguins that live in the rocks at the pier, we saw them and they were so cute, after fighting off the chinese tourists we managed to get heaps of pics too.

The next day we got up early to pick up our relocation car, which actually turned out to be a massive 4 wheel drive camper thingy, anyway it was a beasttt! We headed down towards Geelong where we joined the Great Ocean Road, the weather was perfect and stopping at places like the 12 apostles and the London Bridge was Great.

We pulled up in a quiet town quite late where we slept in the camper, it was really comfy to be honest. In the morning i decided not to get out of the car to get in the front seat but to draw back the little curtain and climb over the seat (very lady like), i looked up and to our surprise we were being watched by a whole restaurant of people eating there breakfast just 2 meters in front of us, we decided to make a speedy exit and waved as we left (just about everyone waved back) it was funny.

We made it to Adelaide mid afternoon and its about 36 degrees!

Friday, 14 January 2011

Location: Australia

Counting down the days to Melbourne.

Turns out Darwinis not a place you should spend more than say 4 days in... Im here for 8

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Location: Darwin, Australia

Ok so Ash finally arrived in Sydney and we had a great time wandering around.
It was her Birthday on the 5th and we had booked to do the Sydney Harbour bridge climb, it was amazing and the weather turned out perfect after the bridge climb we headed up to bondi beach, naturally taking the long route as i refused to pay for a bus when the beach surely is 'just down the road' anyway an hours walk later we finally arrived at Bondi and well it really wasnt worth the hours walk it really just looked like Weston or somewhere in England, we sat on the beach for about 20 minutes, got surrounded by angry hungry seagulls, then decided to head back, we had had a great day and had no real plans for the evening, when we got back everyone was pre-drinking in our room for Ash's birthday, we had no idea that we were heading to a bar but we ended up having the best night and staggered home through Kings Cross at 4am.
We were supposed to be heading upto the Blue Mountains at 8 that morning. We decided that this wouldnt be a good idea and instead we had a lie in and later took the ferry up to Manly where we nursed our hangovers on the beach.
If ever given the choice between bondi and must choose Manly, the beach itself is heaps better and the actual area isnt run down like bondi.
The next day we got up early and headed to a place called Katoomba a two hour train ride out of SYdney ( The blue mountains). It is meant to be one of the best views in Australia and a massive canyon with a blue haze given off from euycalyptus trees. We were faced with thick white mist which didnt subside for the two hours we stayed there, we laughed about it anyway and took some pictures, then had lunch and decided to head back into Sydney.
I spent the next day wandering around Darling Harbour before getting on a 17 hour Coach journey to Melbourne where i was catching a flight to Darwin.
Im now in Darwin and experiencing the heaviest rain ive ever seen as well as the loudest thunder and its not going to clear up anytime soon.
But i really like Darwin, its very similar to Cairns, i have nothing planned here and am just enjoying a week to myself before i meet Ash down in Melbourne.

Monday, 03 January 2011

Location: Sydney, Australia

So I spent New Year on the beach in Byron with Thousands of people...actaully mainly just peruvians....but anyway it was great and i now have a place to stay if i ever end up in Peru!

After a 14 hour journey on the bus i have finally arrived in Sydney! its so great, heaps better than i ever thought it would be.
Ive spent the last 2 days wondering around the city, and taking countless pictures of the bridge and opera house, the weather is abit overcast but its not raining too much!

Theres so many people here like its actually heaving....i was stood down in the harbour in a place called the Rocks and noticed a chinese man staring at me so i smiled, before i knew it he and 5 of his well dressed friends starting waving at me...i had my headphones in and just thought it was a bit strange and carried on looking at my map and then one approched me so i said hi then he asked if he could have his photo with me so i was like sure (bit strange) then all 5 proceeded to have their pics with me, then a German couple, i have no idea who they thought i was but im sure when they go home and realise im just a normal girl they will feel slightly silly!

I have so much planned for my week in Sydney. Ash is getting here tomorrow morning, and we are going to climb the Harbour bridge, take a ferry up to Manly, go to Bondi and heaps more. I just hope the weather gets better.

Cant beleive my time is neraly over in Aus, although i am flat broke, so looking forwarded to heading to Asia where i can eat again!

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Location: Byron Bay, Australia

MERRY CHRISTMAS :) so christmas day was actually a lot of fun, i spent it with Ashley my flat mate, we got up late morning and we opened presents, Ashley got me heaps of nice things like a necklace and shot glasses. Ashleys mum and dad also sent me over some presents which was lovely of them! We cooked a roast pork dinner then went for a stroll into town to get a starbucks! The day ended nicely with a bottle of vodka and lots of singing, i slept very well that night.

We are now both relaxing in Byron Bay and relieving ourselves of the stress the man who ran off with our flat deposit caused :( (Long story)
I came to Byron once before about 6 months back to visit a friend, its much better this time around, its heaving with people and the weather is perfect. Were staying in a hostel right on the beach and have just got back from a stroll up to the lighthouse...actually we only made it halfway...but we tried :)
An over excited Aussie guy staying in our room, was desperate to teach us a new card game as apparently snap just isnt cool anymore and so we spent a while learning a game neither of us really get but hey .

Naptime is calling me, so for now that is all, im sure there will be much more to tell from Sydney, cant wait!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Location: Brisbane, Australia

I figured i should let you all know ...if you dont already know...what ive been up to since i left England.

I flew into Cairns, way up in the far North of Queensland, at the beginning of February 2010.

Nothing can prepare you for the heat and humidity up there.

After getting my bearings and sleeping off the jet lag i ended up staying in Cairns for around 6 weeks, working briefly as a hostel receptionist/tour agent in return for free food and accomodation. This turned out to be a good job with lots of perks including a free skydive, bunjy jump, white water rafting, and a dive on the great barrier reef all for free, you should definately try to get a job like this when youre a broke backpacker, it saves a lot of money and is a lot of fun :)

Cairns is a great place to start your backpacking in Australia, make a trip to the Woolshed and you will meet heaps of people just like you, to be honest i dont think i really met many Australians during my time in Cairns.

I was still spending more than i should be so in the end i was forced to find a proper job, this led me to a 9 week stint on a banana farm in a funny little town called Innisfail about an hour South of Cairns, with my friend Claire (met whilst in Cairns) i cant particularly say i enjoyed my time there, wake up at 3.30am, hour bus journey to the farm, 9 hours stood in the same posistion sorting good bananas from bad bananas, an hour journey home, cook tea, watch neighbours, go to bed, although i had a great bunch of people living in the hostel with me and in the end i was glad i managed to stay so long....
Innisfail is a very boring place, and has a hell of a lot of rainfall, hence why there are so many bananas...or in my case...not so many bananas...
one day i went into the farm to find out i no longer had a job as there was a banana shortage. I thought this wasnt an issue, but when i checked my bank account i realised this clearly was an issue and therefore was forced into a desperate internet search to find another job,.

I got one the very same day, working in an outback pub down near the border of QLD and NSW. By the end of the week i had my bags packed and was on a flight down to Brisbane. I caught the Greyhound out to a place called Toowoomba where my new family picked me up and drove the long drive to a little 'town' called cecil plains, with only 200 residents, largely male farmers who work at the cotton gin, and being named one of the most haunted towns in QLD i was a little apprehensive about the next 6 weeks.
Theres not really much to tell you about my 6 weeks in the outback mainly because there was very little to do, i worked in the bar 6 days a week, on my day off i often kept one of the lonely local farmers company at his farm where i helped muster cattle, and feed the animals.
One of the locals called Phil, took me out on his Harely a couple of times. I did end up managing to save a decent amount of money.

Before i new it i was flying back upto Innisfail to meet the girls i used to live with, we then went on a 2 week trip in our camper down the coast, back to Brisbane.
First stop was Townsville and Magnetic island, we stayed in Townsville for just one night, we were all meant to be sleeping in the camper, but funnily enough we couldnt fit three of us and all our bags in there, anyway we managed to blag a free night in a hostel, we grabbed a pizza and had an early night ready for the trip to magnetic island.
The weather was really overcast but i still really enjoyed magnetic island. Its a tiny island full of koalas, we rented a moke (a mini car thing) and checked out the island. definately worth the visit!

Next we were to head down to Airlie Berach, the camper broke down 40Km's away in a place called proserpine, i thought we had probably just ran out of oil or water again and was hopeful that we would be on the road again soon...about 2 hours later the RACQ van was towing us to airlie beach and charging us a lot of i didnt have. We left the van in a repair shop and said we would collect it when we had finished our sailing trip around the whitsundays.
Airlie Beach has been one of my favourite places so far, it has a real buzz to it and a lovely lagoon to sit by :)
We headed off on our Whitsundays trip, which was breathtaking especially whitehaven beach and apart from sea sickness and a bit of rain we all had a jolly good time!
When we got back, i went to pick up the van and pay the $300 they wanted and off we went.

our next stop was Hervey Bay, a place reserved for retired people, from Hervey Bay we went on a 3 day tour of Fraser Island, the worlds largest sand island (I think) this was a lot of fun, such a beautiful island, theres lots of wild dingos there too.

On the way down to our final destination, Brisbane, the van broke down yet again in Noosa, about an hour away from brissy, at this point it was pitch black and i was completly drained of money and we had no idea what was wrong with the car we had just paid a lot of money to fix, we knocked on the nearest houses door to find a lovely family who tried hard to get the van running, they couldnt and so they offered to let us stay for the night and they would drop us in Brisbane the next day!
The plan was that i would get a job and in 3 or 4 weeks i would return to get the car fixed, i did return, only to find out it was going to cost me another $300-500, i went back to Brisbane to work some more, and never did return again.....meanwhile the van has probably been sold for scrap.

After a few days in Brisbane, Janine, my lovely German friend headed down to Byron Bay. I was left all alone in a big city, i kinda felt like i did on my first day when i arrived in Cairns...a little bit lost and scared. Luckily my parents had some friends who live in one of Brisbanes Northern Suburbs, as i had become flat broke yet broke that i could not even afford a night in a hostel or any food, they kindly offered to let me stay for a few days, anyway a few days actually turned into a few weeks, maybe a month or so. And i cant thank them enough for taking me in and feeding me and being so hospitable. They even found me a job, which was number one on my list of things to find.
The job was working in a busy Bar/Hotel in the city, over time it became apparent i was going to have to move back into a hostel in the city as the journey back to the burbs took too long.
So this is what i did, i worked in that bar for 3 months and had a great time. I got bored and ended up working in a different bar, and during my time in Brisbane think i worked for 5 or 6 different restaurants and bars.

I am still in brisbane at the moment, only for a few more weeks. Currently unemployed and just chilling in my apartment with my flatmate Ashley.

Sorry thats so brief there are so many more things i could write but for now hats a good start.....

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