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
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