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  • Day9

    Today we decided to leave the van in the parkinglot and walk to the Beach and to the centre of Byron Bay. The city is just like we had imagined australia. Many Surfer shops, small boutiques and many places to eat. After we looked around the main roads of the city, we made a stop at the library for free wi-fi. We then spent the day at the wonderful beach sunbathing. In the afternoon we decided to buy some authentic Australien bundaberg (More free wi-fi, yeah!) and hang around in the Hostel and play cards.Read more

  • Day11

    Today morning we went to Brisbane to have a look at the city. We parked our van on the south side of the city, walked along the kangaroo point cliffs Park, crossed the river and walked along the main roads. In total, at least according to our cellphones, 10km. Another beautiful city with many skyscrapers. We were slightly surprised to see so many people both in Brisbane and on the Highway around the town. Until now Australia had always seemed to be kind of empty. After some hours in Brisbane we decided to drive up north and spend the evening and night in Noosa, where we again found a very nice and clean camping place with very friendly owners. As it provided a nice BBQ place aswell, we decided to go buy some food to grill. We decided, amongst other things, to try some kangaroo filets - we did like it! We therefore had a wonderful evening sitting together outside chatting and eating.Read more

  • Day6

    Couldn't have asked for a better day than today. We started to day off with a morning trail ride to the beach. What a gorgeous ride!! We went through forest trails and off to the beach. Never have I had a more beautiful ride. Nothing beats coming up the hill to see the blue blue ocean!

    My beautiful white steed was called Fleur and what a beautiful beast she was... wouldn't mind putting her in my suitcase!! I was followed by Beck on Diesel, yet another gorgeous guy. All the horses were very calm and easy tempered. Although the guy in front of me was having a hard time getting it right. Between his horse not wanting to move, stopping every second to snack and his horse racing off. He didn't have to much in between and much control. We feel it was more him than the horse, and boy did he give his girlfriend heck for riding off to fast in front. It was actually quite comical!

    After our ride we headed off the the winery where we had an amazing lunch! Even the veggie dish was delish! Yes I ate veggies that I can't name or find at the grocery store. We sat for a while and enjoyed the view and relaxed our sore legs.

    After we were full and had let our food settle, we headed off to the hot springs. Think Harrison, but like 8 times the pools and just such a gorgeous place. No photos to show, but not even photos can do it justice. It was like botanical gardens meets water falls meets hot tubs. The perfect way to relax and definitely the best thing for our bums after a 2.5 hour horse ride. Still going to be sore tomorrow, but SO worth it.
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  • Day16

    The last weekend was great! On saturday I went on a trip. We went to a wonderful waterfall, spent some time in a zoo and headed to the small, creepy village named Nimbin. In the zoo I saw a kangaroo for the first time in real life. I was bowled over by its cuteness 😍 I always thought that kangaroos have a fur like a cow. But it feels like one of a bunny, sooooo fluffy! I was so lucky that I had to make a selfie with the kangaroo 😄
    Unfortunately it isn't allowed to hold the koalas in New South Wales, but I think I will catch that up during my east coast trip.
    After the zoo we went to Nimbin. This is a really small village where just hippies live. Most of them live there since the 70ies. I think all the guys there do drugs, without exeption. Selling weed is illegal there as well, but everyone does it and the government don't care at all. There is also a hemp shop in Nimbin, where they "officially" don't sell drugs. Nimbin was nice to see but it is so tiny and I was a bit scared because of the hippies there haha.

    On sunday I had my first surfing lesson & it was absolutely fun! I could stand on the bord on the first try and the teacher meant that I have a good balance 😎 We were surfing for 2 hours without any break and I was done after that. The surfboard was, without joking, nearly as big as two pascale's. So it was really hard for me to go out in the ocean. Sometimes a big wave came and I had no chance. I got carried away from the wave, it dragged me underwater, my surfboard skidded me away and I had no idea where the top or the bottom is. But despite of the fact that it was extremly exhausting for me to controll me and my board while walking in the ocean, surfboarding itself was real fun! I'm sure that wasn't the last time 😊
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  • Day167

    Last night we booked a day trip to Kuranda which is a rainforest village just North of Cairns and is famous for its markets. It was an early start (especially as it's so hard to get any sleep in this hostel as it is so noisy all the time) as the bus was picking us up at 8:30am.

    It took around an hour to get there once we had picked everyone up and the driver gave us lots of information about Kuranda on the way up the long and winding road to the village. When we arrived, we headed to the visitor information to check out what we could do for free. Armed with a map we headed off on a walk through the rainforest and along the river. It was a nice easy walk and we even saw a couple of lizards and a wild turkey. After an hour of walking it was nearly lunchtime so we headed to the Rainforest Market in search of some food. We decided on some cheap and cheerful sushi before exploring the markets. The market was filled with lots of touristy tat, including a variety of things made out of crocodile and kangaroo. After the Rainforest Market, we headed to the Heritage Market for more of the same.

    By the time we had finished mooching, it wasn't long until the bus was picking us up so we sat in the sunshine (well I actually took a nap) until the bus arrived. In the evening, we cooked up some tuna pasta (oh how I love to be back on a travellers diet) and did a bit of planning for our next week of travelling up to Port Douglas and Cape Tribulation.
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  • Day168

    Today we are making our way up north of Cairns to Port Douglas, so we set of in search of the Jucy office to pick up our hire car. We of course opted for the cheapest car possible so are now the proud owners of a Fiat Punto for the next 8 days! My first car was a Punto and like that one this one doesn't have much oomph about it. Fortunately we are not in a hurry to get anywhere.

    After picking up the car and doing a quick supermarket shop to stock up on some supplies, we were on our way. We took it nice and slow (the cars speed of choice) and stopped off at a few beaches on the way. Our first stop was Yorkeys Knob and our second Ellis Beach were we decided to get out for a stroll along the beach. The beach was huge and went on as far as the eye could see. After Ellis Beach, we made a brief stop at Rex Lookout from which you could see back down along the coast.

    For our 3 nights in Port Douglas we are staying in a retro caravan. It's at the bottom of an older British couples garden (which is more like a rainforest), who moved out to Australia around 8 years ago. Rebecca greeted us and she seems really friendly which is nice. The caravan is also super kitsch so you can imagine how much I love it! It's also pretty big which is lush after spending 4 nights in a prison cell. Unfortunately Rebecca informed us that they are due some rain over the next couple of days which is a bit annoying.

    In the evening we cooked up a veggie stir fry with some rice outside on the gas stove and then played some cards alongside a chorus of rainforest critters. Being in a caravan in the middle of the rainforest, it was inevitable that we would experience our first spider however it wasn't in the caravan that we spotted it! The bathroom is under the main house and I was quite happily having a wee before I went to bed when out of the corner of my eye I saw an enormous spider. Hello huntsman! It was a baby one but it was a big baby. Needless to say I didn't hang around to see it's parents. I'm a bit gutted I didn't have my phone on me to take a picture but I'm sure it won't be long until I find another one!
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  • Day2

    I have finally landed, looking a little ragged, but alive and awake. Small successes. Waiting at Southern Cross Station on platform 9/10. Feeling a little movie referency here.

    What can I say so far. Looks like a mix of Canada and South Africa, they just sound a little funnier!! Even have a little of the same kind of architecture happening, and definitely a few more "exciting" pieces.

    I am loving all the looks I get right now. I am sitting here in 3/4 tights and a t-shirt... although I am wearing shoes., which is not common. The people beside me all look prepared to go to Winnipeg. Okay. Slight exaggeration. But like it's 5C not 20C.

    Boy am I glad I didn't have check on baggage. I was halfway gone by the time I was supposed to land. So let's call that another small success! Got one more hour on a train before catching up with one of my fave Aussies. It's been 5 years, and I can't wait... honestly I am not sure if I am more excited to see her or to sleep. This is a toughie!!
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  • Day14

    This morning was birthday present hunting, morning coffee out and driving lessons in an automatic car around the entertainment centre car park - Trev and I seem to be the youngest there! This car park is used regularly, as it is never too busy, there is a complex of roads that are all one way, with junctions, stop signs, roundabouts and parking places, so it is a good starter place for youngsters to learn the basics of the car with their parents without causing too much stress. We were told by Clare that one of us had to drive the car or we would not get lunch! As it was both of us drove the car - Clare just has to work on Sarah. The only thing we seemed to have difficulty with was signalling - we tended to put the windscreen wipers on instead as the indicators and wiper switches are round the other way - so washing the windscreen to turn left!!
    After lunch we sorted out a trip to Sydney to see my aunt Gwyneth & uncle Graham (Dad's brother and his wife). Gwyneth is the spit image of Hi-de-Hi's, Gladys Pugh - very welsh and similar in looks as well - Graham is quieter, probably because he can't get a word in 'edge ways'; though he does have a very wry sense of humour!
    We took a drive a long to Shorecliff hoping to have afternoon tea at the cafe there, but it was just closing so we settled for afternoon tea/ coffee and cake at The Coffee Club in Sandgate - I am getting used to this relaxed way of living - then we took a walk along the foreshore to dispel the extra calories.
    This evening we have been listening to the geckos outside who 'click' to communicate with each other. We also watched the bats at twilight flying from their roost near the creak over to Moreton island to feed - when I say bats, these are not like the little pippistrels we have at home these are large proper 'flying fox' / Batman symbol bats. The show lasts for a good 30 minutes each evening and if you are lucky enough they will stop to feed on a fruit tree near you on their way out.
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  • Day3

    First day being a full human being, got myself a nice 12 hours of sleep.

    Breakfast was an adventure in working on my "what to eat list" courtesy of Dale.
    Milo ✔
    Vegemite toast ✔
    Tim tams ✔

    Then we decided to work off the calories we ate by climbing up the 1000 steps, and off to the look out at Mount Dandenong.

    The afternoon was then spent with a walk around Lilydale Lake. Reminds me a bit of Rice Lake but not surrounded by a forest. We then acted like the adults we are and played on the playground... sorry, I acted like I was an adult, Beck just watched me. And it turns out it's swooping season which means that the magpies are laying eggs and apparently they attack you when you get close. So that was a fun experience getting swooped by a bird... literally a cm above my head. But apparently this is lucky as they are known to draw blood. So your questions are answered.... yes everything in Australia is trying to kill you!

    Being attacked by my first Aussie animal ✔

    After our near death adventure we went out for dinner at Hunter and Barrel, kind of a less expensive Keg I want to say. Either way. I got me a nice steak, so good way to end a day.
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  • Day5

    I think I can get used to 12 hour sleeps! Woke up to try another morning of vegemite and Milo! I may need to alter my day to day Canadian life!

    Beck and I then hopped in the car and ventured down the gorgeous drive to Steavenson falls!! These falls drop about 84m and these photos do not do it justice. Definitely in my happy place. Such a gorgeous and scenic drive, reminds me a little of the Sunshine coast. We then walked to the bottom of the falls, and then "hiked" to the top. Imagine a very easy Quarry rock! With a view just as spectacular.

    On the way back through Marysville we decided to stop for a bit. After a summer like we have had in BC this town hit home. In 2009 it burned down due to wild fires, and there were many fatalities(look up black saturday), and they are slowely bringing the town back to life. A very inspirational and sad story.

    So we thought we would support the local economy and since I have been told "there is no meat pie like an Aussie meat pie", we stopped at the local bakery and had an Aussie meat pie. And I was not disappointed. Yet another diet change? Hahaha

    Aussie meat pie ✔

    On the way from the bakery, we decided dessert was a must. So we stopped off at the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie. Yes that photo is all chocolate. Sorry Charlie's Chocolate Factory... But this place puts you to shame!! I said it 🙊

    To end the day with a nice afternoon nap is a must!
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Commonwealth of Australia, Australien, Australia, Australië, Ɔstrelia, አውስትሬሊያ, استراليا, ܐܘܣܛܪܠܝܐ, Avstraliya, Аўстралія, Австралия, Ositirali, অস্ট্রেলিয়া, ཨསྟྲེ་ལི་ཡ།, Aostralia, Australija, Austràlia, Awstralya, Austrálie, Awstralia, އޮސްޓަރުލިޔާ, ཨས་ཊེཡེ་ལི་ཡ, Australia nutome, Αυστραλία, Aŭstralio, Austraalia, استرالیا, Ostaraalii, Avstralia, Australie, An Astráil, ઑસ્ટ્રેલિયા, Ostareliya, אוסטרליה, ऑस्ट्रेलिया, Awstralska, Ausztrália, Ավստրալիա, Ástralía, オーストラリア, sralygu'e, ავსტრალია, អូស្ត្រាលី, ಆಸ್ಟ್ರೇಲಿಯ, 호주, ئۆسترالیا, Ostrali, Awusitureliya, Ositáli, ອົອດສະຕາລີ, Ositali, Austrālija, Ò-tāi-lī-a, Австралија, ഓസ്ട്രേലിയ, Awstralja, ဩစတြေးလျှား, अष्ट्रेलिया, Avstrualii, ଅଷ୍ଟ୍ରେଲିଆ, Австрали, آسټراليا, Austrália, Ositaraliya, Ostralïi, Sotralïi, ඕස්ට්‍රේලියාව, Avstralija, Awstaraaliya, Australi, Аустралија, ஆஸ்திரேலியா, ఆస్ట్రేలియా, ออสเตรเลีย, Australya, ʻAositelēlia, Ostrelia, Avustralya, Autereraria, ئاۋستىرالىيە, Австралія, آسٹریلیا, Australia (Úc), 澳大利亚, אױסטראַליע, Orílẹ́ède Ástràlìá, i-Australia

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