Melbourne

Our final stop! None of us can believe how quick our final and permanent stop has come!
Canberra to Melbourne turned out to be a veeeery long drive over 10
Hours due to an accident. Arriving late at Fergal’s brothers (where we will be lodging for a while) we ate pizza and HUNG OUR CLOTHES UP!! It wasn’t a late night as we were all shattered and quickly fell into bed.

The following day we were very productive settling up bank accounts, phones, gyms, library and heading into the city which we found extremely confusing! It’s a huge city with so many different suburbs to go and visit! That’s what makes Melbourne so cool and different is the suburbs that are all unique places to go and adventure around.

Those first few days were spent setting things up, looking for jobs and getting a feel for Melbourne. We spent the Easter weekend making friends and having a few drinks. Below is a few snaps of our first few weeks in Melbourne.

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We took our trusty car back!

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Fran and I queued to get into Australia first H&M and the biggest one in the world! …. I’ve now been back at least 6 times and queued at least 5 of those times!

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We also found a cute little tea room and had a delicious afternoon tea!

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Girly night out in the casino!

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A visit to the dreamworks exhibition!

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Shopping trips!

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First AFL game!

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Chinese and a few bottles of wine!

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A rooftop BBQ and more vino!

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Trip to the beach and fun park!

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Parcels from home arriving, including our suitcase of winter clothes!!

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Adventure around the huge markets.

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Cake baking 🍰

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Mexican eating! Mmmmm

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Job hunting, getting, trying, quitting, starting the cycle again!

We 💛 Melbourne … Even if the sunshine has gone!

Canberra

The drive to Canberra wasn’t too bad but we left quite late on in the morning so we arrived about 4 into Canberra… Just as everything was shutting… Yes it might be the capital but a sleepy capital! After a bit of confusion we got into the hostel (last night woooo in a hostel bed!!) and checked into a very very quiet hostel. We then ventured into the centre to meet a friend of Fergals.

We then had a quick wander around a shopping mall before heading up black mountain tower. By this point it was pretty dark outside but the views were still good looking out over the huge spread of the city of night was cool. We all felt like we’d actually seen something in the city after, it was a good achievement for so late on in the day.

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That evening we all bought food we really fancied and cooked a banquet before chilling in the quiet hostel…. I think we were near enough the only quests.

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The next morning we were up and away to do our longest drive yet to our final destination!

Sydney

I know it’s taking me ages to do these last few posts, sorry!
Sydney, it was a long enough drive from port Macquarie to Sydney and on the way we stopped in Newcastle. Newcastle was literally 1 Main Street with a few shops and cafés on and that was it. We ate are picnic in the sunshine before heading to a really cute cafe for coffee and yummy milkshakes.

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We arrived into Sydney late afternoon. It was looking pretty dull but luckily not raining yet. We were staying with a friend of Fergals who lives on the 9th richest street in the world and the richest in Australia! Whilst waiting for him we wandered around the street looking at all the big houses and finding this view…

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After we had dumped our stuff, chatted and orientated ourselves we headed out in the pouring rain to have some tea in china town! It was good but no where near as good as the one in Brisbane. Very tiredly we walked around the Chinese markets after … In the rain until we couldn’t hack it anymore and went to wait for a bus back.

The following morning still looked dull but there wasn’t any rain. We walked round the bay to the boat house where we got a boat across to central Sydney. From the boat you are meant to be able to see fantastic views of the harbour bridge and the skyline… This is what we saw…

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The heavens had opened. Arriving into the central harbour we asked around what to do and made the bad decision of going on the hop on hop off bus tour. To start we were able to sit up top (the rain was holding off) and some of the information was pretty interesting. We hopped off at kings cross and wandered around. By night this area is known for it’s red light district but in the day it’s a place to be seen. This is when the rain came down again and we huddled in some shelter waiting to get back on the bus.

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Our next stop on the tour bus was the opera house! In the pouring rain!

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The problem with the tour bus and rain is that when you sit downstairs you can’t see anything! So we were finding the tour pretty rubbish. At one point we did try to sit upstairs but the umbrella got blown broken and we were getting drenched! We hopped off again at The Rocks. Here there was a really cool unique market amongst the cobble streets. We ate lots of delicious food and looked around.

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After we headed out to the shopping area as Fran and I were dying to look around some shops. It was really good shopping but our rucksacks couldn’t take much more!

That evening we got dressed up and headed out. Fran and I went to meet a friend of mine that took us to some really cool places in the city. Fergal went to a Irish bar.. Typical. On our way home we found him wandering the streets alone, crazy!

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The next day we headed out to a rainy bondi beach to meet some friends. We dined in a lovely restaurant right next to Gerard butler! (Not that I know who that is… Ps I love you guy I think). After we walked along the beach. We all admitted we weren’t as impressed with bondi as we thought we would be but the weather might have had something to do with it!

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We then went round to watsons bay. It was lovely here very picturesque. We walked along the gap. It’s called this because there is a hugeeee drop on one side and people used to come here to take their lives. The views were breath taking and very dramatic.

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When we finally got home we were shattered and all slept for last few hours of the afternoon. That evening we chilled out with food and a TELLY!! On a sofa, something Fergal and I had really missed.

We enjoyed Sydney but have all said we need to come back when the weather is much better.

Port Macquarie

This was used as a stop over on the way to Sydney as Byron bay to Sydney is a huge journey!

We arrived mid afternoon and it was drizzling but as we were only there for a night we soldiered on and went to find the arboretum. There were koala bears, snakes and hundreds of bats residing along the board walk.

We then walked down to the beach. There are some really cool painted rocks here which random people who have visited the area have painted… Sadly we didn’t have the time or the resources to paint one ourselves.

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After we jumped onto the free tour to see the kangaroos that the hostel offered. For some reason every night at dusk lots of kangaroos jump on over to a local golf course to feed. Sadly we got there just after the sun had gone down and we could just about see the outline of the roos!

To cheer us up little France treated us all the dominoes (which is amazing and so much better than England!) and we got some other naughty treats of cookies and chocolate.

After eating pizza we lounged in the hostels TV room making friends with people from all over the world… That’s been one of the best things about traveling, the people you meet and the stories and advice you share. Without realising we managed to stay chatting for about 4 hours, waaay past my bedtime.

The following morning we were packed up and away early to head to Sydney… In the rain!

Byron bay

The whole way along the coast people had been raving about Byron Bay and how laid back it was. We arrived late with the rain and the gloomiest looking clouds. However, after our terrible experience at bunk we had made sure we had lovely, private accommodation! Well worth the extra money.

After doing our expert unpacking routine (that Fran, probably, rightly so doesn’t participate in as we’re always leaving again in a couple of days but it makes Fergal and I feel better) we headed out to look at the huge stretch of beach. It looked pretty dramatic with the weather.

After we ventured into the small but really cute town to do a shop before heading back and cooking a feast! We had been warned that Byron bay was quite a hippy chilled place but I wasn’t prepared to see so many people in net flared trousers and no shoes! No one wore shoes anywhere, very strange.

We had the luxury of our own telly in our room so after our feast we headed back with cookies and feasted in front of the telly… I know not a very traveler thing to do but it’s the small luxuries you need sometimes. We also spent sometime this night trying to sort out CV’s and looking up jobs as Melbourne and the prospect of working was looming ever closer!

The following morning we were up early for breakfast and a big long walk along the huge beach. As we were up early we were able to take out the free bikes! We cycled through the town to the coastal path where we dismounted our bikes and hiked up to the most easterly point on the east coast and the lighthouse. It was a beautiful walk but not at a leisurely pace as the bikes had to be back within 2 hours of riding them off! Along the walk Fran was lucky enough to see a dolphin! I was very jealous. The views from along the walk we’re stunning as much of the east coast scenery is.

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After returning the bikes from our mammoth cycle hike up, hike down and cycle back we chilled out on the beach. It was a great surfer beach with huge waves! We then had a wander around the cute town.

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That night we treated ourselves to tea out in a cute local restaurant… Though being off chips for lent narrowed my decision down to one choice! We then walked round the very quiet and closed up town… Or so we thought until we bumped into a group of hippie people having a party/dance off on the corner of the street.

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Surfers paradise

Along the coast we had only heard bad things about surfers paradise so we decided that we would only stay the 1 night. The drive from Brisbane was only short luckily but on the way we stopped off at the huge water park!

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The clouds parted and the sun did come out. We had lots of fun and went on all the rides after having a picnic in the sun.

We continued our journey onto surfers paradise.

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Wearily we had booked into a hostel but we didn’t need to worry as it was lovely (Gold Coast backpackers). After leaving our bags we went to explore around surfers paradise.

It was high raised like people had said but it was brilliant! So clean, big and bright!

After wandering around we went back cooked tea and took a “short” walk around the bay to another resort. The walk seemed to go on for miles and miles… And after a quick drink in a very quiet bay we got a taxi home.

The next morning we were up early to look around before heading on a cruise around surfers paradise looking at the millionaires houses!

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The cruise was really good with lovely mid morning cake and tea.

After we ventured to the beach… Until it got cloudy we then headed off to our next stop byron bay!

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Brisbane

It was only a short drive Noosa to Brisbane but on the way we stopped at Australia zoo. This is the zoo Steve Irwin and family set up. It was a huge zoo but brilliant we saw lots of animals…

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A crocodile show…

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We got to feed the kangaroos…

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And cuddle (stroke) kuala bears.

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Fantastic day out and worth the $60 bucks. From here we drove into Brisbane our first big city. We were all excited to be in a city and nothing prepared us for what awaited us when we arrived at our hostel.

A rude lady checked us into the hostel come CLUB. A very loud already buzzing club at 4pm. She curtly told us there was no parking and to go and find some. Which we did after dumping our stuff in a smelly 8 dorm room. We were sharing this dorm with 3 boys who currently lived in the hostel and weren’t expecting to have to share their room.

After finding parking we reluctantly went back to the hostel to shower…. In the wee ridden shower… Homely to the boys living there.

As we didn’t overly like the hostel we headed to china town for a huge feed. It was a BYO so it would have been rude not too and since the club was in full flow back at the hostel we decided to stay out and try some of the very unique bars in Brisbane.
There was a rock come hunters bars and an upper class something bar…

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We then tried to get into another bar but our card ran out of juice and we decided it was a alternative/gay bar and headed “home” instead. The boys were back… When snoring like a bear, another had brought someone home with him… Alongside the music pumping until 6am I don’t think we slept very well.

We slept in late and at about midday finally made it into the city. South bank was in the glorious sunshine with lots of to do people and families enjoying it. There was lots of restaurants to choice from, a huge lagoon to swim in and a unique market going along the river side. It was a brilliant afternoon and it soon changed are negative opinion of Brisbane.

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That evening we cooked yummy teas and wandered the streets of Brisbane in search of milkshakes and cakes!

Noosa – Sunshine Coast

Arriving late and tired into Noosa we more or less unpacked and went to bed.

Waking up fresh the next morning we had breakfast, made a pack lunch and headed off in search of the National park. Much to Fran’s dismay we chose the longest route taking us all the way around the coast then heading back through the rainforest.

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It was a lovely walk with many different view spots.

We sat on another deserted beach and ate lunch… This turned out to be a nudist beach… Luckily we were all pretty tired and slept through the naked people.

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Once back at the car in the mid afternoon sun we decided to have a walk around Noosa town. Hands down one of the most beautiful towns we’ve seen but very well off. We had drinks and cakes watching a wedding before going back to base.

After cooking that evening we went back into Noosa to see it at night. There was a very lively bar full of your older and much richer people having a wild time with a pianist. The little town was just as lovely at night as in the day.

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Hervey Bay

It was a long drive Airlie to Hervey bay so we had a one night stop over in Rockhampton but as we didn’t see much I’ll just add the picture below.

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Arriving mid afternoon in Hervey Bay we checked into our dorm (it was nice woo!) then we headed off to do a quick shop before exploring the beach.

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It was very quiet along the shops and restaurants. Fran and I decided to try somewhere yummy for tea instead of cooking.

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The following day we chilled out on the deserted beach.

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Then had a picnic lunch before walking along the beach to the pier. The longest pier on the east coast at 800m long. The sunset from the pier was gorgeous.

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On the way back we decided to detour to see the botanical gardens, however as it was getting dark we couldn’t really see much past the entrance and were afraid of standing on the mass of frogs hopping around. This turned out to be a long detour and walking back to the hostel we were all tired and hungry. Tea was a mix up of whatever we had left over. Then we chilled out/fell asleep in the movie area.

We were up early the following day to go over to Fraser Island for the day. Possible my favouritist outting of Australia. This beast picked us up at 7:15am and took us over to the ferry.

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Fraser Island is a national park, the whole island is made of sand, one of, if not the, biggest natural sand island. To get around it you have to travel on a huge bus/truck thing or 4×4. For some miraculous reason many trees and plants have been able to grow in the sand. Our first stop on our day tour of Fraser Island was the natural lake made from rain water. It was pretty chilly but absolutely gorgeous…

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From here we drove across the island to central station. This use to be the area where they would mine the trees before the island was protected. Here we walked through a jungle vegetation…

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After was an amazing spread for lunch before touring up and down the 75 mile beach! Here we saw coloured sand …

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A ship wreck…

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Another creek, which we walked all the way down…

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And we even went in a tiny TINY plane and flew over the island seeing hidden lakes, butterfly lakes, Hervey Bay coast line, the ship wreck, sharks, rays and the trip previous to us had even saw a whale.

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I have to admit that I hardly saw any of this as I am terrified of flying and felt it was such an achievement just to sit in a tiny plane for 15 minutes.

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By the end of the day we were all shattered but our day didn’t end there as we were straight on the road to Noosa a little bit further south.

Airlie – Whitsundays

This was to be a weekend of drinking as Fergals friends were heading up to stay with us in a gorgeous fully kitted out apartment!

It was another 4 hour journey from Townsville to Airlie beach but completely worth it once we saw the beauty of the little town and the amazing apartment (wooooo no dorms for 2 nights) we were staying in.

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Whilst Fergal was picking his friends up from the airport Fran and I were domestic goddesses putting washes on, putting everything away and then lounging by the pool.

Once everyone was assembled we headed into the town to book a cruise to see some of the 74 islands that make up the Whitsundays with a stop off at Whitehaven beach (one of the worlds top 5 beaches!). After booking we did a shop to feed the 5 thousand for the weekend and enough alcohol for a party of 10 (not complaining as we got to take the leftovers with us!).

The rest of the afternoon was spent chatting, drinking and eating until it got into the late evening when we all got ready and drank even more before heading off to see what Airlie had to offer.

Being with 2 Irish boys meant that the first stop was to an Irish bar that had cheap drinks and a really good live band on. We then headed to mama Africa’s which is a club with statues of wild animals about the place. The night ended with a not needed but had to be done stop at the pie shop and McDonald’s.

Feeling strangely refreshed the next morning we headed for our trip to the Whitsundays and Whitehaven beach. The beach was gorgeous different to any of the beaches we had been to and the island was completely uninhibited making it quiet and feel special. The sand was so fine it was like walking in flour and it squeaked when you walked over it. It was on this beach that my favourite photo of the trip was very cleverly taken…

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After wading waist height through the clear water back on to the boat they fed us a yummy cream tea. We were all pretty silent for the trip home trying not to fall asleep.

A huge dominoes order was bought in for tea and our second night out was cancelled due to all of us being close to sleeping on the table.

Before heading off on our 7 hour journey to Rockhampton the next day we chilled out by the pool soaking up some last rays.