It’s a little street in Melbourne that’s so easy to miss – and yet golden to find. In a country so large, yet with a relatively very small population, it’s always exciting to find somewhere genuinely busy! The restaurants are of course overpriced, but for a fancy breakfast or exquisite coffee, take a seat at one of the many tables lining the centre of the road. Continue reading
Melbourne has got to be the trendiest city in Australia. There’s a constantly buzzing atmosphere – from the 7am outdoor bootcamps to the trendy coffee shops and open-mic nights. It’s exceedingly cosmopolitan but with a quirkiness that makes it far more interesting than your average urban jungle. One of our favourite elements of the city was the constant soundtrack; there was music everywhere. You have to squeeze through the compact audiences to get a good view of the street performers, whilst we thought it was particularly impressive to discover pianos scattered across the cities – free to use by confident passers-by (though this didn’t work quite as well when overexcited toddlers deigned to give it a go).
There are nearly 100 hostels spread all over Australia, and if they’re all like the two we sampled, YHA is doing something very right indeed! Both YHA hostels we stayed in were fun and welcoming, with clean rooms, excellent facilities and a laid back atmosphere. Continue reading
A year ago today we left home aboard a one way flight to Bangkok. Since then we’ve travelled through Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Australia. It has been without a doubt, the most incredible, exciting, eye-opening and completely insane year of our lives.
Here’s our year in numbers:
1. Total stamps in passports (together): 31
2. Wonders of the world seen: 3
3. Properties stayed in: 72
4. Skydives: 1 (each)
The coastal town of Newcastle was our last overnight stop before arriving back in Sydney, and although we had heard the beaches were something special, we had still completely underestimated them. Arriving late we checked into the YHA, it being too dark to take in our surroundings. The next morning we were dazzled by the beauty of the coastline!
Australia Zoo is considered to be one of the best in the world. Having originally started out as a crocodile park where Steve Irwin (from as young as 5 years old) and his father would take rescued crocodiles, it is now home to Australia’s traditional, exotic and impressive animals. There is also an Africa branch to the zoo where we were lucky enough to see the first tiger cubs born in the zoo for 43 years. TOO CUTE. The staff adore the animals and the ones that we spoke to had worked there a long time, falling completely in love with their jobs and four-legged colleagues. The entire place is also testament to the Irwin family’s incredible achievements and contribution to wildlife conservation.
Although our budget was tight, we decided we just couldn’t leave Queensland without swimming amongst the only living organism seen from space: the Great Barrier Reef. We went door to door along the numerous tour companies in Airlie Beach negotiating our hardest – and my yells of ‘just book us on any boat’ mixed with Charlotte’s cries of, ‘I just want to see Nemo!’ were fairly successful: we bagged a full day trip out to a snorkelling pontoon for $140 each (cheap by Australia’s standards).
The voyage out to the pontoon was traumatic. The sea was incredibly choppy, and the boat persistently rocked for the best part of two hours. The waves lapping at the side of boat were nothing to the waves we felt internally. It was a scene of total devastation. Crew members were called back and forth to clean up various messes and the sick bags were passed out in towering bundles. We sipped our cups of tea quietly and tried to avoid looking at the poor blue-tinged children behind us. Continue reading