A Travellerspoint blog

Australia

New Year etc....

(sorry no photos at the minute having technical difficulties)

sunny 34 °C

Well after airlie beach we had a LONG drive down to 1770 (yes thats the name of the town) it took us about 9 hours!! where we met up with Cat (my step sister) and her boyfriend tim. We spent the next morning in 1770 but the weather was rubbish and there was no surf...since that is all there is to do there we headed south to Bundaberg. Home to the alcoholic rum drinking polar bear that is the mascott of bundaberg rum! its not a real bear. the weather was still crap and we didn't really want to pay for a tour so we ditched the distillery pretty sharpish and headed to the camp site. Cat and Tim splashed out on a cabin that had a real life oven and tv so me and Jo were set! we made oven chips and played cards and drank beer...good times!
The day after we headed in convoy down to the jump off town for Fraser Island, Hervey Bay. (read about fraser island here FIRST) Cat and Tim had kindly organised a 3day 2 night 4 wheel driving/camping trip to the island for new year! So that afternoon we had our 4wd and fraser preparation video and talk....so boring, ha.
The next day the fun started! we arrived early at the rental place and got hold of "Deloris" the landrover defender (named by Jo because she was akward and tempermental like a woman apparently??!!)SDC10301.jpg we learnt this in the 1st 5mins when we struggled to engage reverse in the stupidly modified automatic gear box....in a 4wd...an automatic...what were they thinking?! anyway we packed her up and headed off to the ferry to the island which took around 40mins.SDC10309.jpg We started well on wildlife with dolphins and turtles swimming near the boat! the 1st road (which we later learned was the best on the island) was VERY bumpy and we started to hope it wasn't all going to be like this...haha! it took us mmmm around an hour before we got stuck in the sand and some 4wd pros behind us kindly pulled us out with their tow.SDC10344.jpg After another hour the ridiculous roads had broken 4 bottles of beer and all 12 of our eggs, ah how naieve were we??!! very! it wasn't much longer before the bbq sauce went and the mangos exploded! our 1st stop was lake birrabeen which was amazing.SDC10330.jpg Crystal clear blue water and bright white sand beaches, so good to swim in after the dramas of the 1st hour! we then headed to another lake then out to 75mile beach (the motorway)SDC10348.jpg where we drove about 20k and found a camp site while it was still light enough to cook! the next day was new years eve and we were all awake around 5am because of the sun on the tents.SDC10354.jpg we drove up the beach to the north of the island before the tide came in and cut us off, stopping once to fill up the water bottles in a resort half way. We reached indian heads, a headland at the top of the island key to the islands formation, and true to form got bogged in the sand. by this time it was 8.30am and around 35 degrees C. Again we asked some pros when we failed to help ourselves and learnt that the hire company had told us to keep our tire pressure far too high to limit us to certain parts of the island! By the time we got out of the sand and to the top of the headland look out it was about 40 degrees where it stayed all day!SDC10372.jpg it was then that Tim asked Cat where his wallet was and she said "oh i left it on the tap where we filled up the water" but by then the tide was in and there was no going back! the view up there was good but hard to enjoy in the heat so we headed straight to the champangne pools, huge rock pools (shark and stinger free) that were SO good to swim in! On the way back Deloris decided she had had enough and pretty much packed in right there on the beach so we had to call out the mechanics! we waited around for them and after deciding it was a gonner we swapped in to their defender "derek" a manual!!SDC10388.jpg he was all about business! we drove down and picked up tims wallet (lucky for cat) and set up camp. We drove up to Eli creek and swam in the brilliant cold fresh water after a hectic day! SDC10383.jpg
We had our new years meal, sausage pasta, and started a few drinks that carried on til 12:05 then we all collapsed in to our tents and slept for at most 5 hours until the sun was on the tents again! Eli creek was our first stop again and then we drove through to lake wabbi and then the famous lake McKensie. Then we headed back to the ferry and back to the mainland for the BEST shower ever!
We left Hervey bay the next day bound for Noosa heads...really nice place but a little upmarket for our travelling budgets so we only stayed the one night, the weather was also rubbish so no beach time either! We went further south again with cat and tim to Caloundra where we were very kindly invited to a family friend of tims' BBQ and we were given a bed for the night aswell!!
We stayed in caloundra at a campsite the next couple of nights and went out to steve irwins australia zoo and the glass house mountains that gave some pretty spectacular views.
After caloundra we travelled to brisbane and stayed a couple of nights with the irish guys we met at christmas...there isn't alot to do in brisbane so we pretty much found the sofa and the dvd player haha! after the mandatory shopping in the centre of town obviously!
Surfers Paradise was the next stop below brisbane on the Gold Coast. It is busy busy there...it's like florida in Australia with loads of theme parks and stuff and the Chavs that go with it haha! we didn't do the parks but had a bit of beach time (surf time for me) and we also drove out to tamborine mountain to the glow worm caves which was cool.
From surfers we came HERE! to Byron Bay...we have been here for 3days just chilling out!SDC10489_JPG.jpgSDC10500_JPG.jpgSDC10476.jpgSDC10495_JPG.jpg we were out last night with some canadian girls staying on the spot next to us in the camp site which was a good laugh, and also got another place to stay in Vancouver!! can't hurt can it!

So you must be sick of reading! ill try and sort the pics out soon!!!

Lots of love Rob + JO xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Posted by rob_harvs 02:24 Archived in Australia Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Whitsunday isands

sunny 34 °C
View Rob and Jo's Adventures on rob_harvs's travel map.

So after a day at Mossman gorge and another day of R+R in port douglas we headed back down to cairns for a few hours while jo got he hair cut nice and cheap at the hairdressing academy! She was lucky though and it turned out well unlike the girl next to her who was screaming at the woman for ruining her hair haha. I parked up at the stinger free lagoon they have built in the middle of the city and had a swim for a couple of hours. We left cairns late afternoon and made it to a little village called Babinda just before dusk and the suicidal kangaroos that like to ruin your car in the process! Babinda…interesting little place, it consisted of a derelict factory a hotel/pub and a Spa mini mart that closed at 5pm…we arrived at 5.15. we managed a rubbish meal in the rubbish free campsiteSDC10011.jpg and went to bed so we could escape early doors!

A five hour drive and we arrived in the capital of north queensland, Townsville. If we thought that heading further south would mean it was cooler we were wrong! It was BOILING! We spent 2 nights and 1 day there and during the heat of the day we went to the reef HQ aquarium SDC10054.jpgSDC10060.jpg and imax cinema which was a good laugh!

The day after and another 4 hour drive brought us to Airlie beach, the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands. We got straight on and booked a 2 day 2 night adventure sailing trip to the islands from the 22 to 24th. The boat was called the British Defender, a 84ft racing yacht with a 115ft mast.SDC10228.jpg The British Army raced it round the world in 1990 and now the old bird is retired up here. 28 of us were packed in but it wasn’t that bad in terms of space!SDC10237.jpg The 1st day the wind was the strongest its been for months and we were almost perpendicular to the water!SDC10091.jpgSDC10120.jpg Jo looked very unsure what I had got her into but the wind died down and it was nice and relaxed and much easier for us grinding up the main sail!!SDC10258.jpg After a bbq and a night on the boat we woke early for a sail and breakfast in tonge bay while green sea turtles surfaced all around the boat.SDC10151.jpg We then jetted over to the shore and walked up to the Whitehaven beach lookout!SDC10155.jpg The beach is recognized as 1 of the top 10 beaches in the world with it being 99% silica sand!SDC10173.jpgSDC10166.jpgSDC10189.jpg We got a few hours on the beach before getting back on the boat for lunch.SDC10182.jpgSDC10184.jpg (the food was excellent by the way haha). After eating and more sailing we arrived at one of the reefs for snorkeling for as long as you wanted really.SDC10194.jpgSDC10223.jpg We then went for more sailing and afternoon nibbles on 3foot spit (3 foot out of the water at high tide) and watched the sunset with a few beers/wines.SDC10239.jpg We did more snorkeling in the morning and then sailed back to port for lunchtime!

Christmas Day was good! Up far too early to open a few little prezzies and in the afternoon we had the typical aussie barbecue with some irish people and a couple of aussie boys we met on the camp site!SDC10291.jpgSDC10292.jpgSDC10293.jpg A good day was had by all but of course we missed you all at home!

Thank you for all your presents and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!!!

Love Rob and Jo xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Posted by rob_harvs 18:36 Archived in Australia Tagged boating Comments (0)

Islands onwards...

sunny 34 °C

Well guys I believe we left you in Langkawi!

So as most of you know early morning flights are not mine and Jo’s strong point so maybe booking on to the 9.30am flight to KL from langkawi was never a great idea. We decided (only because we didn’t want to leave our friends on the island without a send off) to go out in style the night before the flight…brilliant I know! We did have a really good night and made it back to the room around 5am. With promises to meet Jackie and Awie for breakfast at 7. HA! We woke up at 8.30 with 15mins to pack, flag a taxi and make it to the airport! (Jo, in true Jo fashion, had decided to turn off the alarm when it went off because it was too noisy! I didn’t even hear it!!) Anyway we MADE IT!! God knows how! As soon as we got on that plane the hangover kicked in hahah…good old karma again!

The first impressions of KL were pretty daunting…It is HUGE and it took us about 2hrs on the bus from the airport to get to the hostel we had booked! We got in to the room and spent a good hour checking the beds for the notorius bed bugs that are everywhere in KL apparently…even though we couldn’t find any we still felt like things were crawling on us…but maybe they were?! Haha. We then got directions to the malls that Jackie had kindly recommended to Jo (thanks Jackie) and had a walk around the Pavillion.100_2068.jpg100_2042.jpg It was a pretty amazing place…think of medowhall x 2 in size and x 100 in class! I think aside from all the designer shops overall the food court was the best bit!! Actually 1 of the cheapest places to eat in KL! We also booked tickets for the cinema a went to see the new 1 with Russell Crowe and Di caprio, can’t remember the name, in English!

I think the next day we went back to the mall for “real shopping” this time not just looking! So Jo bought a few things while I didn’t haha. The day after we thought we should actually get up early for the first time in a week or so and go down to the Patronas towers. You have to go early because they have limited tickets for the day so you have to que to get your ticket for the time slots available. We got 2.45 but that was ok because guess what…theres a big mall right underneath the towers!! Haha.100_2050.jpg There is also a really nice park outside of the mall with some pretty good views of the towers! We went back at our time and had a short film about the buildings and then a ride up to the sky bridge between the two towers in a lift that goes 42 floors in 40 seconds…ear popping stuff. The view of KL was brilliant.100_2060.jpg100_2066.jpg

After KL we headed right to the very bottom of south east asia and our last stop…Singapore! The Bus we got was 1st class haha!!100_2069.jpg We decided only 1 night was needed there because it is SO expensive. Theres not a whole lot to do there either. We even had to book dorm rooms to save on the cost so Jo was in the female and me in the male dorm.100_2079.jpg The evening we got there we headed straight out the highly rated night safari which is a zoo full of nocturnal animals (no cages) just natural barriers like water etc. We went round on a safari tram seeing everything from hyenas and rhinos to lots of different deer. We got home around midnight to go to our separate dorms where I nearly got in to bed with an indian man who while I was out had decided my bed was better than his and moved all my stuff to a different bed. Needless to say I didn’t apologise for my hand squashing his face in the dark!

The day after we were up early because of the noise in the dorms and headed out to the city to see various parts, using the handy MTR underground!100_2087.jpg And that night we boarded our 8hour EASY JET flight to Cairns! Infact I’d say it was worse than easy jet, Jet star is the airline.

We arrived in Cairns at 8am local time and had a full on MARE trying to get the camper van…with bonds they hadn’t told us about that we couldn’t afford…resulting in us waking respective parents who had access to a scanner in the middle of the night (Sorry guys and Thanks!) So after a couple of hours and still no sleep we got the van and headed to find a camp site with showers ASAP. We just crashed out after that in our BOILING HOT tin can! 100_2094.jpg100_2095.jpg

We made the trip up here to Port Douglas the day after100_2098.jpg and organised our trip out to the reef! We went out on quite a big boat but with only 40 people on, some of which were diving. It took an hour to get us to the Agincourt outer reef site where we snorkelled 3 different reefs. It was AMAZING!! We both rated it as the best thing we have done so far!! F1000001.jpgF1000010.jpgF1000011.jpgF1000021.jpgF1000023.jpgF1000025.jpg

Yesterday we drove further up the coast to Daintree to go croc spotting…and we were successful!! Look hard on the pic haha!100_2102.jpg And further still to cape tribulation where rainforest meets the reef!100_2109.jpg100_2114.jpg100_2118.jpg

That’s pretty much everything up to now!

Keep watching for more updates! Love Rob and Jo!!! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Posted by rob_harvs 17:54 Archived in Australia Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

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