Joined July 2017 Message
  • Day20

    Back to where we started

    October 19, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌙 13 °C

    And so it ends. Tired and weary but glad to be back home to a stocked fridge (thanks Mum and Dad). Thankfully it was an uneventful flight home via Hong Kong - no further collapsing episodes from H!

    Just need to manoeuvre our bodies into the right time zone again now.

    We loved Australia with our joint highlights being Sydney, Noosa and the Whitsundays. Not sure H would return to Fraser Island in a rush, but we did meet some fun people there and saw some incredible scenery.

    So the next question is: Where to next?

    Mart x
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  • Day18

    Great Barrier Reef

    October 17, 2018 ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    Last full day in Oz today and we spent it on a luxury catamaran out at sea where we did lots of snorkelling. There were 30 of us on board and lots of crew members to ensure we had the best time.

    We stopped off at two snorkelling areas. Michaelmas Bay and Hasting Reef both of which are on the outer areas of the Great Barrier Reef. The water looked so clear and was a pure tropical blue and the sand was so white and silky. Paradise! As we got into the water Mart put his face into the shallow water to check his mask was working and saw a massive Sting Ray just looking right back at him. We saw lots of different fish including colourful Parrot fish and even Nemo! At one point I felt something on the side of my face so I reached up to see what it was and I pulled a jelly fish off my face which had stung my face and then my hand as I pulled it off.

    We had a lovely spread for lunch with lots of different salads and cold meats. After lunch we did more snorkelling and had a little trip in a glass bottom boat.

    We went out for a great meal this evening at a local steak house. The food was incredible. We had little belly pork bites for starter and steak for main course. And of course we had a Schooner...or two.

    One important thing that we learnt today was that it is illegal to cross a road in Australia if the green man isn’t showing (It’s called jay walking). We have wondered for the whole trip why people aren’t just crossing the road when it’s safe and clear but now we know why!

    That’s our last day finished. We are very sad to be coming home and we don’t think any holiday will ever trump this one.

    Flight is at 15:15 tomorrow so we have a nice relaxed morning before heading for the airport.

    See you soon
    H xxx
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  • Day17

    Another thing ticked off the bucket list

    October 16, 2018 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    I’d been wanting to do a sky dive for a while, and what better place than over the rainforest and ocean in Australia. Harriet wasn’t so sure however and we spent most of yesterday talking about the pros and cons of her doing it with me.

    After about 7 hours of deliberation and about 4 final decisions she booked it and immediately regretted it. This morning she was ready to pull out but we checked the T’s and C’s and it would have been an expensive decision!

    At the sky dive centre we were fitted up with harnesses and given a quick briefing about what position we should be in while our plummeting from the sky. Next thing we knew we were taking off from Cairns airport heading for 15,000 feet and being clipped onto our tandem masters. We both got a bit frightened at this point, soaring above the clouds and when the door opened the first two people just tumbled straight out. I was 3rd, Harriet said she saw me jump out and then roll around off into the clouds! I’m sure that didn’t make it any easier for her. It was all over in a flash, but what a rush! It felt like we were floating rather than falling and we didn’t get that sinking feeling we were expecting. It went from mad falling to serenity in an instance when the parachute opened.

    H is scared of heights so for her to even get in the plane was amazing. I spent most of my dive wondering whether H had gone through with it, when my parachute opened, my dive buddy pointed her out - I was so happy she’d done it! I watched her land and we had a big cuddle. Life goal done.

    We celebrated with a lovely beer and then relaxed by the Lagoon for a while. Top dinner at Salt House and then we saw that one of our friends from Fraser Island was in town, so got him out for a few beers. Nice way to end the day!

    Last day tomorrow, heading for the Great Barrier Reef.

    Mart x
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  • Day16

    Chilling out in Cairns

    October 15, 2018 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    Today we had no plans. Needed a bit of a rest after our busy journey so far.

    Did a bit of exploring around Cairns, grabbed some brunch, checked out the harbour and the lagoon and generally stopped for regular drinks. Harriet spent the whole day deciding whether or not to do a sky dive with me tomorrow!

    Not a massive amount of things to do in Cairns it seems, other than to book onto tours which take you out of Cairns. We enjoyed the Whitsundays trip so much that we booked another day trip out of Cairns to do some more snorkelling, but on the Great Barrier Reef this time. Should be great. That is on Wednesday - our last day :(.

    Mart x
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  • Day15

    OFISHially a mermaid

    October 14, 2018 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    Another day out at sea today. We were in our wetsuits with our snorkels on by 07:30am. I got to wear the professional snorkel today as Julia (the deck hand) wasn’t snorkelling so this meant I was all set to have a mist-free mask and a sea water-free snorkel!

    We started off by snorkelling just off Stonehaven Bay. We saw hundreds of different fish which were all very colourful. We saw a massive Parrot fish who just stared at us as we waved at him.

    We then went back on board for a cup of tea and a cookie before setting out on the paddle boards to explore the bay. It was my first time on a paddle board but I got used to it quite quickly (only fell into the ocean once!). Me and Martin followed a massive turtle whilst he swam along underneath us, and we also saw a reef shark!

    Back on board we had a “bombing competition” which involved everyone jumping off the back of the boat and seeing who could make the biggest splash. Next, Mart was challenged to do a backflip off the back, which he did, which meant he won the competition!

    We then started the sail back to Airlie Beach which took a couple of hours. There was enough wind to put the sails out, and Martin steered the boat under the watchful eye of our skipper Dave.

    Very sad to have finished our Whitsundays trip as it was definitely the highlight of our Australia trip so far!

    We picked up the hire car as soon as we got off the boat, and Martin drove us 8 hours to Cairns which is sadly our last destination of our trip. We only stopped once and we spent the whole journey watching out for kangaroos as they tend to jump in-front of cars at dusk. A common problem in Australia apparently! Thankfully none spotted.

    We arrived in Cairns at 10pm and checked into a B&B where we are staying for the next couple of nights.

    H x
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  • Day14

    H's first snorkel

    October 13, 2018 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 23 °C

    Early start (common theme throughout this holiday!). Everyone had a lovely breakfast and then we set sail for Tongue Bay which was the back entrance to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Whitehaven Beach. We had a little dip in the ocean and then walked along the beach spotting sting rays and lemon sharks in the shallows, whilst also looking out for Irukandji jellyfish which could ‘ruin your whole day’.

    After a bit of lunch we started heading for Manta Ray Bay where we could get used to the snorkelling masks. H had never snorkelled before so this was all new territory for her. No Manta Rays but an enormous fish called George (Napoleon Fish), and Spike (Black Trevalley) along with hundreds of other fish were right at the surface. It was like swimming in a fish bowl.

    A further bit of snorkelling at Cockatoo point over a great bit of coral followed, and the new snorkeler was the last out of the ocean!

    Mooring at Stonehaven bay for the evening where after a gorgeous sunset, the English (Me and H) comfortably beat the Dutch, the Germans, a Canadian and some Aussies at Cards against Humanity.

    Last day at sea tomorrow before we head for Cairns.

    Mart x
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  • Day13

    Entering paradise

    October 12, 2018 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Nice little breakfast in the B&B this morning over looking the Marina of Airlie Beach.

    We checked out of our B&B and as we struggled down the hill with our suitcases a local Australian women pulled over and asked if she could help us! She was really interested about us being from the UK so we had a chat and she dropped us into the town.

    Not a lot to see in Airlie Beach so we visited the Marina, did a spot of shopping and had some lunch... and a beer of course.

    We were so excited to start our catamaran trip around the Whitsundays. We boarded the boat at 4pm and started sailing as soon as we got on the boat. We sailed for approx 2 hours and then anchored up between Hook Island and the Whitsundays. We chilled on the deck with our new friends and watched the sun set.

    There’s a skipper and a host on board the catamaran. Dave and Julia. Julia cooked us a superb meal. We had Tasmania salmon with mashed sweet potatoes and green beans. It was so yummy. We sat chilling on deck with a glass of goon.

    That’s it for now. Busy day tomorrow!

    H x
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  • Day12

    Travel day

    October 11, 2018 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    After a last cuppa and a chat with our B&B hosts in Noosa we started our journey to Airlie Beach - the gateway to the Whitsunday islands.

    This involved a bus back south to Brisbane to jump on a flight up to Proserpine, followed by a bus ride into Airlie Beach. This was nothing compared to how long it would have taken to drive direct from Noosa - 11 hours. Almost 1,000 kilometres. Australia is proper massive.

    We left torrential rain in Brisbane and landed in temperatures of 30’c in Proserpine. The further you go up the East Coast, the warmer it gets. Proserpine only had 4 flights a day or so arriving - but we were still surprised to see that the terminal was an actual porta-cabin.

    Checked into another lovely room in Airlie Beach for one night only, and went to a local recommended restaurant for a beer and some food.

    Excited to start our boat tour of the Whitsunday islands tomorrow. Itinerary and weather both look great!

    Speak soon

    Mart x
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  • Day11

    Lake Mckenzie

    October 10, 2018 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    Another early but exciting start for Day 3 on Fraser Island. We woke to crashing waves again so no need for an alarm clock on the island.

    To start the day we headed out to Lake McKenzie in the 4x4’s by going down some very bumpy and sandy paths.

    Lake McKenzie is a beautiful clear fresh water lake. The locals are very protective about it which means you can’t put suncream on before going in as they’re very protective about the eco-system. We had a little swim and chilled on the sand for a while with our new friends.

    We then headed down some more bumpy paths to the rain forest where we saw lots of Funnel Web spider holes. They’re very venomous apparently so I left Martin to look whilst I covered my eyes as I was very scared. Thankfully he didn’t see any!

    Our time on Fraser Island came to an end and all in all we had a great time... just really missed a functional bathroom! We met some great friends. One guy called Scott was from Portsmouth and as mad about football as Mart so they had a lot to chat about! His nickname is John as on the first day I called him John thinking that was his name! His sister, Katie, was great fun too as-well as another English couple called Scott and Helen (see the pic of all from last night!).

    We headed back to the B&B in Noosa that we stayed in before. The hosts (Diana and John) were so welcoming there. They’re hoping to come to the UK in 2020 so we gave them our contact details as well as a good recommendation for a very nice B&B Farmhouse in Saltash. We very much enjoyed our first shower in 3 days as-well as a fully flushing toilet! It was also a blessing not to have to brush sand off our feet before getting into bed. We only camped on the island for 3 days but it felt like pure luxury to be back at the B&B!

    Martin cooked us a little BBQ so we enjoyed some sausages and cheese for dinner. Also a glass of goon.

    See you later
    H x
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  • Day10

    Indian Head and Champagne pools

    October 9, 2018 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    Day 2 on Fraser Island, and we slept surprisingly well considering we were in a tent on the beach with the waves crashing behind us, but we did pay a little bit extra for a bed rather than a camping mat. This was a good decision!

    Thankfully one of the guides had managed to find me a spare right foot flip flop after my one had broken immediately on our arrival and I was left with no other footwear!

    After breakfast, we jumped back in the 4x4s again and went to a lake which used to be massive that had almost been fully covered by a sand drift, and were taught how to throw a boomerang the Aussie way. During our drives the guide would radio in to tell us to look out to sea to see whales breaching, or to give us the shout that a Dingo was up ahead.

    We stopped at a place called Champagne Pools which is an area on the north coast of the island known for its pools of bubbling water caused by waves crashing over volcanic rock. No bubbles today though but crystal clear water to swim in and some lovely little fish swimming about with us. Finally, before heading back to camp, we climbed up a near cliff face to get to Indian Head, a great lookout over Fraser Island.

    After dinner we shared our Goon with some of the guys and went to bed with a huge thunderstorm lashing over our tents. Thankfully they were fully waterproof.

    Last day tomorrow before heading back to Noosa in the eve! X
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