A Travellerspoint blog

New Zealand

Auckland

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Having arrived in Auckland early evening on Saturday I walked into my dorm to find a girl I went to school with at Droitwich. Spooky or what, of all the hostels in Auckland and all the hundreds of rooms in this hostel! We were both a bit shocked but headed out for dinner to catch up. Auckland is also called the City of Sails and I really have never seen so many boats in one place before. Auckland festival was also on that week and they held a huge firework display in The Domain with music and men wearing fireworks. but it was the most spectacular display I've ever seen. We then stopped off for a couple of pints on Lion Red in the local!

Sunday was spent sorting out my onward travels as I hadn't arranged a thing in New Zealand other than my flight home. I then headed to Mission Beach for a traditional fish'n' chips in brown paper on the sea front. The snapper was delicious. Mmmm. Orientated myself in the Town and went to a posh hotel bar for a drink with the best view of the city at night.

Posted by emmahannon 00:54 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Sydney

Oh the opera house!

all seasons in one day
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Arriving in Sydney driving in over the harbour bridge with the opera house to my left was no doubt the most overwhelming moment of my trip so far. Just absolultely breathtaking. That was saturday and since then I have taken hundreds of photos of the opera house from every angle possible - so be prepared to be bored guys! So I headed off down to Darling Harbour and soaked up the atmosphere. Saturday was also Mardi Gras parade, so I headed down to Hyde Park and Oxford street early to get a good view. The atmosphere was amazing there, I watched the parade with a 81 year old lady who moved out her 50 years ago and comes to the parade every year! (Nanny Rose: how do you fancy it?) I also seen some sites that shouldn't have been let out as you can well imagine and the Ikea Kitchen float was very interesting.
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On Sunday I went down to The Rocks, again took lots of pictures of the opera house went to the markets and botanical gardens. In the afternoon the sun came out and I hopped on a ferry to Manley across the harbour for a lazy afternoon on the beach. Sunday night I caught up with a friend from Byron and we headed to the Opera House bar situated under the opera house. Just as we arrived the thunderstorms began and we got a fantastic view of the harbour. We then soon made some more friends who showed us the delights of Oxford Street until the wee hours of the morning. Monday the weather was awful and I felt awful so just spent some time shopping...I had to purchase some shoes as its a bit difficult getting in places with flips flops on (oh well! ;-) )DSCF0699.jpg

On Tuesday I'd booked a trip to the Blue Mountains, so called because of all the Eucalyptus trees and the oil evaporates off giving a blue haze - unfortunatley i didn't really get to see the haze as it was a cloudy day. But it was a worthwhile trip and somewhere I would like to go back to and spend some more time. DSCF0756.jpgDSCF0752.jpgAs part of trip you take a scenic railway down teh valley where the Three Sisters are situated. these are the most famous rock fomraction in the Blue Mountains and there is an old aborginal tale about a father converting his daughters to stone to protect them, then he died and never got a chance to turn them back. But anyway the scenic railway - not so scenic because its the steepest railway in the world with a 52 degree incline and at one point I thought it was going to turn into Oblivion at Alton Towers! On the way back from the Mountains wes topped at the Sydney Olympic Park which was well worth the visit to have a look round, although it did remind me of Milton Keynes road lay out!

Wednesday saw me heading up to the Rocks again to Climb the Harbour Bridge - another excellent experience really well organised and not as tough as I imagined, the summit of the bridge is 174m above sea level and it is 75 years old on March 19th. You will have to wait for me to come home to see the photos of that, as you can't take anything up with you. DSCF0787.jpg

Thursday I headed over to Bondi Beach which is a bit of a struggle to get to but worth the effort and I did the well covered coastal walk from Bondi to Coogee which had some spectacular views of the coast. Then I headed off to watch the Muscial Priscilla - Queen of the Desert! ABSOLUTLEY FANTASTIC, lots of singing and dancing, and that was from me. I managed to end up on stage doing some country dancing (the practice at Suzy and James's wedding set me in good stead for my stage performance!).

Friday was my last day In Sydney but I had a great day. I had a guided tour around the Opera House which I highly reccommed, I got to see the two concert halls, both of which are separate building to the outside sails. Some of the Opera House is situated below harbour level and there are over 1000 rooms! I then took a Harbour Cruise and found a lovely place to live called Middleharbour but think i'll need to start playing the lottery!

I'm now at the airport about to depart to Auckland, i'll definaltley be coming back to Australia at some point! x

Posted by emmahannon 23:07 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Coff's Harbour

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A few hours drive south of Byron is Coffs harbour - i'd heard really mixed reviews about this place so didn't really know what to expect. I was staying in one of only four hostels in the town, which excelled at organsing anything form parties to activities. After only a few hours of chatting to people it became apparant that Coff's harbour has the abilty to charm people to stay for a week even if they only intended on a couple of night. I think it is the lack of tourism here that makes the place so appealing and that i could lie on the most gorgeous beach all day with maybe seeing 10 people - a vast contrast to Byron.

I visited a wildlife park here which claims to be the most interactive in the world. I got to feed penguins and touch dolphin and seals. I was mesmorised my the dolphins I had expected them to be really hard but they are actually quite soft to touch, the trained also encourage me to rub Bucko the dolphins tongue as apparantly he likes it - I was dubious! DSCF0574.jpgI also went caneoing up the creek to the Botonical gardens and got to see flying fish. Also a walk around Muttonbird Island so names as mutton birds come to breed there. The other time was spent on the beach just lapping up the sun as New Zealand is fast approaching and I don't think i'll be doing much sunbathing there!

I then travelled down the coast to Port Macquarie for a quick stop. Very quaint place and glad it was only for one night. As it was one of the tamest hostels i'd stayed in. Went on a river cruise, coastal walk and Koala hospital. On to sydney now!!

Posted by emmahannon 00:14 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Byron Bay

What a fantastic place!

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Well what can I say.. I LOVED THIS PLACE. It just had such a fantastic party feel, great beach, great views and I finally got some sunshine and only a few showers.

Curly and I travelled down forn Hervey Bay together on the night bus! Curly spent the day sorting out the bed bugs from Airlie Beach and I fell asleep on the beach and scorched the back of my legs! Too much sun and too many late nights led to a very early night for me. But we made up for it on Friday night. After a slow start and quiet alot of morning rain we made it up to the Light house overlooking Byron Bay for sunset. En route we saw Dolphins jumping in the breaking waves with the surfers. It was pretty spectacular. We then spent our last night together in Cocomangers drinking too much of our new favourite drink, Bundy and coke, (Bundy aka Bundaberg rum is a local rum produced south of cairns which goes down a bit to easily at any time of night).

On Saturday I said goodbye to Curly as she set of for a night in Brisbane and then Sydney. Again the weather was great so spent the day on the beach before making new friends and having a fantastic night out at The Beach Hotel with a live reggae band.DSCF0541.jpg

On Sunday I took a recommended day trip to Nimbin, which is the pot capital of australia which came about after the aquarius festival in the 70's. This place lives on tourism and I can't count the number of time I was offered cookies or pot. There are loads of old guys with white beards walking around shoeless completely stoned! There is an 'interesting' museum but I don't think it makes the slightest bit of sense unless you are stoned. All in all a very odd day! Monday meant saying goodbye to a much loved Byron Bay.

Posted by emmahannon 03:45 Archived in Australia Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Fraser Island

Awesome!

all seasons in one day
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I took the bus up the coast to the sleepy gateway to Fraser Island which is Hervey Bay. Curly arrived in the night so on sunday we just chilled out and prepared ourselves for the early morning and trip. For those of you that don't know. Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world it is 120km long and 15km wide the only way to get around is in a four wheel drive vehicle. It is World Heritage listed due to the amazing diversity of ecology from fresh water lakes to tropical rainforests.

So we set off on our 3 day trip, 2 night camping with 8 strangers and crammed in a land rover and lots of food and beer to keep us going for three days! We catched the barge over and head to Cental Station which is the main rainforest in Fraser and end up getting lost and on a 2 hour hike! Bad Start. 10km on this island through tracks takes about 30 minutes being lucky to do 20km/hr so we were all pleased to get on the beach! Where it was my turn to drive for the afternoon and I only manged to get us stuck three times which I think was pretty good going, lets just say it was a good job there were plenty of boys in the group to push the land rover.DSCF0429.jpg

We head up to Eli Creek, Maheno ship wreck (japanese cruise ship which got beached in a cyclone), and the coloured sands before arriving at camp to put up the tents and settle down for BBQ dinner and get to know the other groups. We had three Chillean guys in our group who managed to polish off nearly 1.5 litre of Vodka between them, it was a drunken night.

Day 2 was meant getting up at 5.30am as Fraser is tidal there are only certain times you can drive on the beach. We set off north up seventy five mile beach to Indian Heads with the majority of people feeling slighty hungover. Indian Heads is a huge rock on the coast from there we managed to see huge turtles and manta rays swimming in the ocean. It was breathtaking and one of the highlights of my trip so far. We then walked over to the Champagne pools which were disappointing as the tide was so high they were not really pools. And another night of card and drinking games.

Day Three we got to see all the lakes Lake Mackenzie, Lake Boomanjin and Lake Birrabeen and the sun finally came out for us inbetween the showers. The lakes were crystal clear water and the whitest sand you have ever seen.DSCF0492.jpg

Posted by emmahannon 18:12 Archived in Australia Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

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