Location: Surfers Paradise (Gold Coast), Australia
Surfers Paradise (Gold Coast)
'Surfers' as the aussies call it is known as Hollywood in Oz, and it certainly lives up to the name with the highrise resorts, motels, and theme parks of the US.
When we arrived unfortunately it was raining, so we couldn't head to the beach. We just looked around the shops for a couple of hours then back to our cool hostel. This was a converted motel, so even though we were in an 8 bed dorm, we had our seperate kitchen bathroom and tv for those 8 beds. Luckily whilst there we had 2 other people for 3 nights and 4 others for 1.
Next day the wheather was better and the sun had come out a bit so we headed to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. We had a great day here seeing all the native animals of Australia. We got to cuddle a Koala called Do-Da and had our photos taken. As well we got to feed and pet red and grey kangaroos. Also there were crocs, dingoes, wombats, tree kangaroos and loads of snakes and lizards. It was fantastic to get to see all the native wildlife!
On monday we headed to one of the theme parks, Warner Bros, Movie World. This was a good day as we had great wheather and the park wasn't to big so we were able to get around and see and do everything we wanted. There was a fantastic Superman rollercoaster which launched you out from 0-100 km-h in 2 secs!!!! Aswell there was another cool coaster, a log flume, a suprisingly good scooby-doo coaster and a Shrek 4D show. It was great to do something different like the theme park as we both haven't been anywhere like that in ages!
The final day the wheather was good again and so we just spent it chilling on the beach, having a picnic lunch, soaking up the rays and topping up the tans! The beach is amazing and goes as far as the eye can see, unfortunately the sea is to cold to swim so we just spent the time on the sand.
So that was it for Surfers and we enjoyed the time we spent there, and were excited when leaving as the next stop was Brisbane to meet up and stay with friends who we haven't seen for 15 years!
Location: Byron bay, Australia
This was really cool chilled out place with an awesome beach. When we arrived Tuesday morning after a long over night bus trip from Sydney we were greeted by glourious sunshine and couldn't wait to get back into swimmers and thongs and get down the beach.
This is exactly what we did, after getting to hostel and checking in, which was pretty nice, could have been better, but could have been much worse. We spent the whole afternoon just chilling on the beach, soaking up the rays, awesome.
Next day we headed out to walk up to Cape Byron along a beautiful walk. The walk takes you right along the beaches at Byron and up to the lighthouse and the most eastely point in Australia. This was fantastic it took longer than expected and when at the viewpoint you could see dolphins and whales, and it was a beautifully sunny, clear day. The end of the trail was through some bush, this was crazerly steep and we were very glad we went down rather than up.
The last couple of days were overcast and so we didn't get back to the beach as we had hoped to. We did however go snorkelling which we were excited about as they said there was a good chance to see sea turtles. However when out there it was very rough, and difficult to see anything at all. This was a disappointment and we were pretty annoyed we didn't see any turtles.
That was it for Byron and we did enjoy it but I do think we could have stayed one or even two nights less as apart from the beach and the walk to the cape there isn't a whole lot else to do.
Location: Katoomba - Blue Mountains, Australia
Katoomba - Blue Mountains
This was such a beautiful place and we loved it, we stayed in a beautiful YHA hostel in Katoomba for two nights.
We went up and back from Sydney on the train, which provided beautiful views along the way.
When there we headed to ehco point to take in a view of the three sisters rock formation. We also did a short bush walk to get down to the three sisters. We got some beautiful pictures of the rocks and the Jamisson Valley as it was clear blue skys, however it was bloody cold as we were so high up.
The next day we went on a bush walk down into the rainfaorest of the Jamisson Valley. We went down a trail called the Furber Steps, this went past the Katoomba Falls which weren't much as they're in middle of a drought. When at the bottom you go into a place called Scenic World. Here we went along the rainforest boardwalk, then we caught the world's steepest railway to the top of the valley. This was awesome and pretty scary, as it went up so quickly, and you go up backwards. At the top we caught the skyway car across the valley for more fantastic views, then it was back to the hostel to chill out and recover from a long days walking.
So the Blue Mountains were beautiful and well worth a visit, and really gald we made the effort to head there.
Location: Sydney, Australia
This is another fantastic city, and we ended up spending two months here.
When we arrived we checked into the cool Wake Up hostel. We ended up spending two weeks here, as we were trying to find work and some budget shared accomadation to live in whilst working. The accomadation was not so much a problem, we found a great place in the suburb of Ultimo, with a company called Sleeping With The Enemy. Whilst here we met some great people and made some good friends.
The work was a little harder to find, because unless you wanted to hand out leaflets or do door to door sales there wasn't much else. To do bar work you have to pay to get a qualification so we didn't bother doing that. In the end we got a jod doing telesales, for a company called Customcall selling Westpac credit cards. This was good for a while as we got hourly paid, the company was cool, the people were nice, however the job itself was just awful!
We stuck the job out for about a month to saved some funds, as we had actually found a job so we thought we better stick it out for a bit. Then we couldn't take any more and left to plan our onward journey up the coast. I tell you I have some sympathy now for those irritating telesale calls as I know what they go through.
Apart from the job and accomadation hunting we did a hell of a lot more and this was fantastic. Now where do I start, we went on a harbour cruise, we saw the opera house, we walked through the botanical gardens, we visted the beautiful beach of Manly, we walked from Coogee beach along the coast to the famous Bondi Beach, we went up the Sydney sky tower to take in fantastice views, we went to the brilliant Sydney Aquarium, various museums including the national museum and gallery, barracks museum and the maritime museum, wandered around the beautiful Darling Harbour, Circular Quay and The Rocks, went and saw an aussie rules match at the SCG, went to the Telstra Stadium to see an NRL game, also we discovered the fantastic paddy's market where we would go for gift shopping as well as the crazy fruit and veg market, as well as having some fantastic nights out to watch all the England world cup matches, including the Paraguay game on a boat cruise around the harbour, awesome!
Two highlights though were firstly a whale watching cruise which Jen won tickets for after sending an e-mail to a backpacker magazine which they chose and published so she won the tickets. The cruise was cool as it was free, we saw a couple of humpback whales, but was quite choppy which ruined it a bit as made us feel slightly queezy. Was good experience though and good to do for free.
The best thing by far we did whilst in Sydney was the Harbour Bridge Climb. We picked a fantasticly clear day and the walk up was great, we took in amazing views, and had a superb guide. We came away with some great pictures and also memories. Deffernatley worth doing if your in Sydney. As well by doing the climb you get free tickets to the pylon lookout on the bridge also which we took advantage of to get more great pictures of the city.
So all in all Sydney was awesome and it was an effort to find a job and not quite as easy as we thought it would be, but was an amazing experience, and now we look forward to moving on up the east coast.
Location: Singapore, Singapore
This was an amazing city, we had the best time and I would highly reccomend it for a short trip no matter what you have heard.
So on the first day we checked into our cool hostel. After we headed out for a days sight seeing. We went down to Boat Quay and went on a river cruise which was great taking in the sites from a different perspective. Then we visited the great asian civilisations museum, this was very interesting and we spent a good few hours going around here in air contioned comfort. We finished the day with a visit to the mental Chinatown where we took in hindu and bhuddist temples, as well as the amazing markets. In the markets Jen got some fab gifts and we also tracked down some exotic fruits. We tryed Jack fruit which was awesome and the infamous Durian. This is the fruit which reeks of rotting meat. We didn't like this, not only was the smell awful, but the taste and slimy texture were pretty herrendous too.
The next day was spent at the fantastic Singapore Zoo and Night Safarai. This was a fantastic day, and it litterally took up the whole day. We spent from 12-6 going around the Zoo. The highlight having to be seeing the white tigers being fed, also Jen being picked out the crowd by an aboriginal to stand in front of the audience and fire blow darts at ballons, and then dance around, chanting also. This was so funny and Jen got so embarrassed.
In the evening we watched fire dancers before heading into the Night Safarai (the only one in the world), this was cool we saw nocturnal animals, a cool show, and went on a tram ride to see all the big animals in the night time environment. One of the most enjoyable days we have had since we have been away.
The next day we decided to head to Sentosa Island. This is a cheesy resort island used for weekends away by locals. We thought we would go and check out the Aquarium as it was reccomended by Lonely PLanet but it was a big disappointment. However we did get free tickets to a pink dolphin show, and during this I was picked out to go in the water with the dolphins and I fed them and got a kiss, this was a fantastic experience.
Our final evening we went to the famous Raffles hotel, to the Long Bar. I had a Singapore Sling and Jen had a Tiger Lily, both lovely, we then headed to Hooters which was good fun. Got the photos and the t-shirt, was quite expensive though!
Final day we had hours to kill as flight wasn't until 12.30am. We killed time having lunch at a hawker stall, as well as wondering through the shops down the famous Orchard Road. Then it was off to the airport all ready for the land of OZ!
Location: Melaka, Malaysia
We arrived after very smooth bus ride from Jerantut, and then checked into Tony's Guesthouse, our accomadation. This was a lovely place and Tony was a legend, and it was dirt cheap, 10 ringit a night, approx 1.50pounds. As well he had l'il cafe which he cooked lovely food in.
The first afternoon we just apent settling in and had dinner in Tony's cafe and had nice chat with him.
On friday we went out to explore Melaka. First we headed to the historic town square. Here we saw the sights of the old clock tower and christ church, 253 years old. They are both distinctively bright red in colour, which is from the dutch who once colonised this historic town. As well in the town square we visted the Stadhuys, the old town hall, which now houses several museums. Next we headed up to a ruined church, and the ruins of an old Portuguese fort. The Portuguese also colonised the town at a time in it's history, so there are also many Portuguese influences. Then we headed for shopping mall to get away from heat and get some lunch.
After we headed to the Chinatown district to explore. We checked out a couple of temples and it happened to be a Chinese holiday. Not sure what it was celebrating but it meant the temples were extremely active.
For the evening we headed back to Chinatown on the acvice of Tony as there was the night market. This was fantastic we found some where to get some grub and browsed through the market. What cane next though we did not expect!
At the end of the street on which the night market was taking place there was a stage, and it has a banner up saying Arm Wrestling Tournament, 8pm. It was 8 so we thought we'll hang around and watch it. Whilst waiting guy named Kim came across and started chatting and said we should take a seat and that he was competing. The event got under way and before we saw any arm wrestling there was line dancing, dancing girls and Mr Asia, bodybuilder who did a l'il dance and flexed his muscles. The tournament got going and Kim actually got to the final and won, I think it was us cheering him all the way. As well during the event one of the competeitors dislocated his wrist, this was horrid we saw it go and heard the pop, ouch!
One final thing was during the event there was a camera crew filming a travel show, globe trekker, with the presenter Ian Wright, not the footballer. This show is big in Malaysia and they were doing a show on Melaka. We got spotted in the crowd by the producers and as travellers we got asked if we wouldn't mind giving l'il interview on what we thought of Melaka. This was so surreal, and we couldn't believe how the evening turned out. So try and look on we think Discovery channel and you may see Jen and me on it!
Melaka was really good then, and I think one full day was enough to to take in the sights. The next morning we told our story to Tony before heading to the bus terminal to catch our bus to Singapore!!!
Location: Taman Negara, Malaysia
Taman Negara - The World's Oldest Rainforest
This was an amazing experience and we had such a fantastic time. Upon our arrival in KL we went to a travel agents who specialise in trips to the rainforest. We booked a 3 day, 2 night package for 350 ringit, approx 55 quid! This included transport to and from the park, accomadation in a fan dorm, all meals, the service of local guide, activities including trek, canopy walk, night walk, visit to aboriginees and boat ride through the rapids. Oh yes and how could I forget a free T-Shirt.
It started when we left KL by coach to head for Jerantut. This is a horrid l'il place where we got all vouchers for trip and lunch. Then transfer to jetty to get cmall omg tail boat to village of Kuala Tahan, the entrance to rainforest. This boat ride took 3 hours, and was so but numbing! Upon arrival we headed for our guesthouse, this was such a trek. We had to head along the riverbank and then up the steepest hill I have ever seen, and we arrived at the hostel dripping with sweat!
For the evening we headed to our floating restaurant on the riverbank who served us all our meals. They were brill and always gave us loads, and it was noodles and rice brekkie, lunch & dinner. We met our guide Mr Ayob who was a legend and were then taken to see film about the park, & then on a short night walk to a local viewing hide. There was nothing to see as moon was shining brightly, however Ayob tryed to point out as much as poss, we saw a stick insect, lady bug and moth, woooh!
Next day it was an early start to head out on the jungle trek. We trekked for 2 and half hours to Bukit Terresek for fantastic views over the whole rainforest. The journey up was amazing, very sweaty and Ayob was explaining all the way about the flora and forna. We then went to the longest canopy walk in the world, this is 25m off the ground and 500m long. Unfortunately my camera decided to stop working & Jen's ran out of batteries, can you believe it. The views were fantastic though and the bridges were great fun to walk across, r.wobbly!
After break in middle of day we headed down river in boat to visit aboriginees, the Orang Asli. Here we were shown how to start fire with just wood and friction. As well we got to use a blowpipe and fire blow darts at target, Jen was deadly with these the locals gasped as her 2 efforts flew right through the target! Then it was back in boat and down through the rapids, which got us really wet. We then stopped beyond the rapids and were allowed to get out the boat and swim in the river. I never thought I would swim in a river in the rainforest, it was amazing!!!
That evening we had to pack and left early the next morning and we headed back to Jerantut. We had to stay here for one awful night, there is nothing to do and it's a horrible place!!! The only good thing was the night's accom and our bus to Melaka the next day were included in the package.
Thanks if you read this whole entry, I know it's a long one, but I really wanted to let you all know how fantastic it all was.
Click on any of the headings above to see some photos.
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Response: Thanks for the message. The bungee was mental, but it was an amazing experience. Hope all is well with you and school is going well. Will change the picture, cheers christine.
Missing you loads, love Michael xxxxxxxxxxxx
Thanks for the message. Really impressed that you are hooked up to the net now.
Haven't sent any e-mails home recently but when I do you will deffernately being receiving it.
Take care, love Mike & Jennie xxxxxxx
Thanks for Message. Forgot to mention about package glad you got your pressies and like them.
Really good to hear Grandma Lucy and Grandad are doing well, and Jen and Me cannot wait for the Roast Beef and Rice Pudding.
Having great time in Melbourne at moment, really like the city. Next is Tassie which should be awesome.
Speak more soon, take care, miss you loads, all my love,
Response: Thanks, will do! But who are you?
Sorry no pics yet of the ted, but will get onto that and you should see some in the near future, I promise.
Can't believe how hot it is over there. Glad you've seen the pics. I have so many more fab one's to put on I just can't seem to get the time. Also I need to update the diary entries, we have just been so busy doing all sorts of things.
You two are cheeky, however makes it easy now for me buying you presents. The football was disappointing but soon got over it..
Will speak to you tomorrow birthday girl, I will probably call around 10.30 your time.
Miss you loads, loads of love,
Mum mentioned the fashion show, sounds like it was good fun. They are so mean to you!
You silly billy getting burnt, can't believe the weather you are having.
We're busy working now, and have decided to stick it out for 4 weeks, it's so boring. Then we will carry on up the east coast.
Take care, miss you loads, all my love
Response: Hiya Jo,
Sorry for the lack of entires but have been so busy finding work, and a place to stay. We found work doing crappy tele-sales as Foils Aus could only offer couple days a week and it's quite a long commute.
So you have moved to production, does that mean there is someone else in customer service, how is Belinda, bet she is heavily preggers again. Couldn't believe that when Julie told me amazing news.
Thanks for staying it contact will try to up date soon and will be getting more piccies on.
Take care and have fun in Leatherhead!
Response: Hi Louise,
Thanks for the message. We are having a fantastic time and are taking lots of pics. Hopefully while in oz we will get some on the site. Keep checking it out, take care xx
Oz is brill, and we had the coldest day on tues, however it's no where near as bad as the weather back home, the sun always shines.
Glad work experience is going well. Talking of work we are trying to find some at the mo so pretty hectic, but fingers crossed hopefully something soon.
Speak 2 u soon.
Missing you loads, all my love
You don't need to thank us, we want to share it with everyone, as much as you want to know what we're up to.
It is deffernetly cooler, but last couple of days have had sun, however today is overcast. It is nice though and a relief to get away from the humidity.
That is really cool you bumped into Daws like that. Gonna have to get used to the fact he has retired when I return, next season!
Missing you loads too, loads of love.
I know it's fantastic isn't it ;) Hope your exams went well? I bet you have fab time with the work experience!
Cannot believe we made it from Bangkok to Singapore! Land of Oz here we come
Missin you loads too!!!
All my love
Response: Hiya buddy!
Thanks for checking out the site.
Things are going fantastic, and we fly to Sydney tomorrow, I cannot wait to got to the land of Oz!
Hope you are well, are you still selling houses?
Miss ya too! xx
Response: Hiya Vicky
How you doin? Hope ur keepin well, of course I'm missing you. We are having absolutely fab time!
Jen sends her love.
Response: Hey Jo,
Nice to hear form you, thanks for still checking the site. It has been so amazing and today we head to KL, really looking forward to it!
Your bro must be having fab time also, cannot wait till we reach Fiji, but musn't wish it away!
Good to hear job's still keeping you busy, how's it going in there now? How's Jules and Pat getting on? Is Julie still working there and having her weekly breakdown?
Speak soon, take care.
Response: Hello naughty!
Make sure you don't get caught out.
Thanks for checking the page. We are having a fantastic time and Langkawi where we are now is so beautiful.
Take care, and get on with your work like a good girl ;)
Miss you loads
Response: Hiya Mate
Long time no speak!
Thanks for checking out the site, hope all is well with you.
Keep checking the site and I'll also try to send the odd e-mail when poss.
cheers for the message. Nice to know your still working hard. I bet it's not as warm as here still!
Today I am starting the next diving course of PADI advanced open water. I wll be diving to 30m max, and am also doing a wreck dive. Should be really fantastic!
Send my love to all, and good luck with those exams.
Miss you loads, love,
Thanks for checking the site, I went on a bit with these two entries, but there was so much to tell!
We have just got to Phuket today. Staying in lovely little place in beach area called Karon.
Enjoy school, and send my love to all
Miss you loads,
Response: NO! What a liberty you can't use that ;)
Take Care, Love
Get John out of bed, he sleeps too much!!!
We are having a fantastic time and are really starting to get used to the moving around.
Jen's going to buy a disposable underwater camera, so hopefully we can get some sort of underwater photos!
Glad you're getting some sun too. Send my love to Grandma Lucy & Grandad & HAPPY EASTER to you all.
All my love, miss you loads, take care,
Thanks for checking out the site. Sounds like your bro had a great send off. Samui was amazing now in Ko Tao to do diving!
Keep checking the site will update again soon, Say hi to all in the office!