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Australia

Oz Part Deux!

Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne.

overcast 18 °C

After seeing one dreary 1950's timewarp town after another we decided to skip small town Oz altogether and just see the cities. Our first port of call was Brisbane which was a nice laid back city. We saw a few sights including Parliament House, Botanical Gardens and of course the shops! We also went to watch a game of 'Aussie Rules', knowing it was our first game the ticket woman rather cruelly put us slap bang behind the goal which meant balls flying at us for half the game! It was rather entertaining tho, especially the Aussies in front us who hurled abuse at the players throughout the game (a favourite being 'piss off ya fanny').4628589069_011c9baf94.jpg
After a few days in Brisbane we hotfooted it on a flight (flashpacker style) to Sydney. Luckily Adam's friend lived right in the centre of the city and we stayed with him for about a week. Once again we saw the usual sights including the Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Bondi Beach and Darling Harbour. We took a ferry over to a place called Manly and came back when it was dark, the plan being to get some great nightime shots of the Opera House. This didn't quite go to plan due to freezing weather and a bout of seasickness. All these sights pale in comparison however with the story I'm going to tell you next...I wanted to go to a 'mind body and soul' exhibition (hippy shit) but Adam really didn't fancy it so I ventured off on my own. I'm walking around the stalls when who should I see but the one and only Richie from 5ive!!! (If you're not sure which one he is, he's the one that always looked like he was wearing make up). I figured as no one was around I could waltz up to him and get his autograph so after stalking him for a few minutes I plucked up the courage to poke him in the arm. I asked him for his autograph and I think he thought I was a genuine fan until I asked him to write 'Keep on Movin' for me. He looked at me with disgust and reluctantly agreed. After shaming myself I had to make a quick getaway and promptly left the building!
The next day we headed up to a place called the Blue Mountains which was a couple of hours from Sydney and was a really nice place with amazing views. There's a blue mist around the trees everywhere due to the eycalyptus trees hence the name! 4630809756_d04482f846.jpg We did a looong walk and then went to a really quaint cafe with an open fireplace, lovely!
Next stop Melbourne. We stayed in a 4 bed dorm with only 3 of us in it most of the time, our roomie was a girl called Una from Ireland. The hostel is pretty nice except for the occasional stripper passing by....A particular highlight of the hostel was a guy from Israel called Yaneth who, when the dvd player stopped working due to a timer being set on it, took it upon himself to cover the security camera, break into the cupboard and reset the dvd player while shouting 'I promised you a movie...I'm gonna give you a movie', what a hero! Anyhoo the first night in melbs we went to a bar which offered free drinks which we never say no to! The next night was Tom Cruise night, coupled with red wine, perfect (maybe not for Adam!). Then on the friday we met up with Adam's friends Charles and Sarah. Sarah very kindly offered to be our host for the next day and took us on a tour of the infamous Ramsey Street, which is actually called Pin Oak Court, we've been conned! It was also pretty small but still good all the same (definately getting back into neighbours when I get home!). We also checked out a place called St Kilda which is a chilled out seaside town which was pretty nice. The next day Adam and I went to the Australian Centre for the Moving Image where Adam got to play old school Nintendo games the whole time, score! We also managed to blag free beauty treatments from a University training up beauticians while in Melbs, I got a pedicure, manicure, facial and massage - pretty much a full body overhaul and all for free!! On the Saturday we went to a Guiness Book of World Records 'Most number of Superheroes' attempt, which involved us getting a free superhero outfit each! I'm also pleased to announce we won the attempt, so I guess we're in the Book of Records now (somewhere!) 4664464363_773f6d1870.jpg On the final night we decided to blow our final $30 at the casino, never really thinking we'd win anything. Little did we realise I was a professional gambler in a previous life. I had tactics (which obviously I'm not going to reveal) and it worked everytime winning us $80!! Overall we liked Australia but it's so expensive to do anything and it's so damn big! We were looking forward to getting to New Zealand where we had more cash and it's a lot smaller!

Posted by palmer830 00:55 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Queensland

via the 'Spaceship'

semi-overcast 27 °C

Blowpipe survived!!! I bloody told her it would. *Wanker* that's what the Ozzies say to everything. We got to Cairns and found out that we had been upgraded from a 10 bed dorm to an 8 bed dorm (which was also populated by Swedish girls) Score!! Unfortunately they all moved out the next day and were replaced by guys. Anna was pleased. We decided on travelling around Oz via a Spaceship Campervan4545122837_94b36df0e2.jpg. Each one has a name so you can recognise it, ours was Ground Control so from now on I will refer to it as Bowie!! Bowie was bright orange as you can see and a bit smaller than we imagined but it turned out to be a very good way of getting around. Our first stop was to be a loooong drive into the outback to see the Lava Tubes in Undara. On our way there we stayed in a free campsite (there are quite a few around and saved us a lot of money) but they have little in the way of amenities. It was also raining when we arrived so we had to cook our nice $3 steaks holding an umbrella. A little later on a lady came over, there were only 2 other vans here and it was pitch black, to introduce herself. "Whats a Spaceship" were her first words in an Ozzie accent. I wish I had replied "greetings earthling". She then went on to call us Pommes and when Anna asked her how to start a fire she came out with "What do you mean how do you start a fire?? You light a bit of bloody paper!!" All respect for us was gone and she went off to talk to the other van. Very funny indeed. (Anna does a great impression of all of these lines). The lava tubes were very interesting and one of our highlights of Queensland. Set in the outback we got to not only see the caves but lots of wildlife (our first Roo's) and did a few treks around. They also had a free night surfari which was good and we got to see a snake. We left the next day only for me to hit a Roo with the van. Couldn't believe it, came out of nowhere. I wasn't going fast though so hopefully it was ok (the van was fine). When then made our way slowly down to Airlie Beach which is quite a way from Cairns. Anna and I had originally thought, on first starting our journey, that OZ wasn't as big as everyone was making out. This was a mistake that I learned from a few long days driving. When we got to Airlie beach the weather was awful, so our plan of sailing the Whitsundays looked a no go. So we stayed a night to see if the weather would clear up, which it didn't and had decided to leave and miss it all together!! Fortunately we had a change of heart whilst driving and headed back to book our trip. We booked ourselves onto "Summertime"4570061949_7e10b8136c.jpg, which was a lovely old boat which we managed to get a lot cheaper than it was advertised for. The boat itself was wicked, it could hold upto 16 passengers, however only 12 turned up. This meant lots of left over food for me and Anna to gorge on. I swear i have never eaten so much in my life, they literally begged me to take 2nds and 3rds (i didn't need to be asked twice after Anna's tight budget). So back to the weather... as I said it was raining quite a lot, which was a reason for us nearly not doing it, and the day we left it rained quite a lot. After a 2 hour boat ride out to the Islands, we then went Kayaking (after a massive lunch I might add) and saw stingrays and Anna managed to spot a massive turtle swimming under our Kayak. (I was doing all the paddling as usual, she was on the look out for Animals!!!). It rained the whole time, although it didn't spoil it as it would have been too hot in the sun and def too much hard work for me lol. The next day the Captain (Cookie, no idea why) had planned to head to Whitehaven beach on account of the weather turning nicer. We were all hopefully and it turned out to be a gloriously sunny day and the beach looked amazing4570014667_96013a69db.jpg (although a little battered as a cyclone had hit it a few weeks prior). The morning over breakfast we all sat around the boat and watched sea turtles come to the surface for air. An amazing sight. That day I also did my first dive. It was a try dive so I didn't get any qualifications, but still got to see lots of fish, Nemo included. All in all it was an amazing trip and we had both eaten enough for us not to worry about food the whole trip. The boat was full of really nice people, oh and I was the only one to see a Dolphin (albeit from a distance).
After the Whitsundays we decided that we wanted to get down to south of Brisbane to Byron bay and Surfers paradise for some sun, then head back to Brisbane for a few days. Byron bay was really nice and we ended up staying a day extra. When we first got there we stumbled across a cool weekend market and we quickly found that this place was a hippie town. Really cool, laid back place. It also has some nice walks and we went to the most easterly point in the whole of Australia. After Byron bay we headed to Surfers Paradise. This place is Cheeeeeeesey. Lots of places for drunken westerners to hang out, shop, drink and eat. The beaches were nice but the waves here were amazing. Absolutely massive and I got "washboarded" by a few of them a couple of times. All good fun. Anna would only go out to knee deep and I don't blame her after Nha Trang!! Here we decided to stay at a proper campsite as well because it was our last few nights in the van and we needed a nice HOT shower (we had just been showering in cold ones by the sea, not fun!!) and a good BBQ.4558707073_5216b82c8e.jpg It turned out to be a little masterchef campsite, where everyone competed to cook the most extravagant meal. First off a girl cooked a measly soup out of a can, next we had 2 guys cooking steak and potatoes ("bah i cooked that on my first night") then Anna and i came in with Super Burgers with all the toppings and Sweetcorn, and whatever else we could find. The in came this couple who were waiting for everyone else to finish. God knows what they cooked but it looked good!! All very funny with only Anna and I knowing it was a competition!!!! (basically we were mocking everyone...it wasn't actually a competition!!). The next day we headed back up to Brisbane via a Koala sanctuary, which only had 2 Koala's, to hand back "Bowie". This was a very emotional day and we will miss him greatly, but for now it is back to dorms. Camper van......DONE!!

Posted by palmer830 18:24 Archived in Australia Tagged automotive Comments (0)

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