Whitsundays boat trip day 2

Breakfast on deck, we set off to the famous Whitehaven beach. En route, what we thought were rocks, actually turned out to be two turtles having sex – our first turtle encounter, brilliant!

Another long sweaty hike, lead us to the epic view of Whitehaven, it was absolutely stunning. We had a group photo and made our way to the beach. Having to wear these stinger suits in 40 degree heat wasn’t ideal, but rather that than die from a jelly fish sting!

I couldn’t get over how white sand was, or how clear the sea was. We saw lemon sharks in the shallow waters as well as huge sting rays the size of a breakfast table! I even found a pretty huge starfish that i nearly ended up standing on. We managed pictures of a human pyramid, handstands and us in waves minus the stinger suits, we thought we’d risk the jelllyfish for that all important bikini shot!!

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Back on the boat after another sweaty hike, we had some grub. I spotted a turtle coming up for air, which i was pretty impressed with. We headed on to snorkelling Bay. We got speaking to a Californian girl who had done a yoga course in Bali. Her trip got me inspired to look into courses and retreats over there.

Stinger suits back on, and into the water. We had been told about Big George, the largest fish in those waters, i was hoping we wouldn’t come across him, however there he was, he was absolutely terrifying, he was the size of a small shark!

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Whitsundays boat trip 11/02/17

Having had indulged in another croissant an Nutella breakfast feast, finishing off the jar and a four pack of croissants, we spent the morning at the lagoon.. floating not swimming.

Then the longest, and sweatiest walk so far in oz, lead us to our boat ‘The New Horizon’, for the two night whitsundays trip.

Our room on the boat was tiny, we were sharing with 6 others, including Brighton, and Kelly and I had to share what was pretty much a single bed. We were also informed our wake up would be at 7am each morning to the sound of The Lion King ‘In the Jungle’ tune.

We set off pretty quickly and found a good spot to sit and dangle our legs over the side. Little did i know that it was this position that would in a few hours frazzle my legs.

For our first evening stop, we got a go on the diving board, and paddle boards. We discovered that paddle boarding is harder than it looks. Dinner, sunset and ciders was a good end to the first day at sea.

Lagoon day 10/02/17

We woke up early to make the best of the day. It was down as a chilled day in our itinerary, which felt good as we hadn’t had a day like this yet. Feeling peckish, after just waking up we whacked out the croissants and Nutella, a simple yet delicious breakfast. We sat with the brighton duo, while they ate their breakfast outside. I was craving coffee, so they shared a cup with me – what lovely gals! We met some more people and got talking about life, kelly had the better story of moving to Perth, mine was got a job back home, pretty standard, so i let her have the moment. One girl spoke about the Castaway trip death, which they had to cancel all of the up coming trips, she also told us about the famous Byron lighthouse walk to do at sunrise/sunset. I wrote that down to fit into the schedule.

We did some shopping with the girls, went to Cotton On, and a tye-dye shop where I bought my first piece of tye dye clothing, proper hippie stuff! The afternoon was spent chilling at the lagoon with the Horsham boys. Kelly got the go pro to capture our fun lagoon antics!

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Airlie Beach 09/02/17

Next stop Airlie beach.

Still in our pjs, and in need of a shower we headed to the Treehouse bar for a beer as we couldn’t check in to the hostel until 2pm. It overlooked the lagoon and sea, a beautiful place, felt like we were in paradise. We found out that two of our friends from back home were at Airlie, so we met up with them to catch up.

Our hostel at Airlie was the best so far, it was another Nomads, but with air con and hammocks, absolute luxury. We met two lovely girls from Brighton in our dorm, very near to home, so naturally we went a bit mental. We also found out we were on the same Whitsundays boat trip the next day, again, we went mental. That evening we went out to see the town, it was all very quaint with young backpackers everywhere, a few bars and clubs, we ended up at a kareoke bar, where a woman tore apart the song ‘total eclipse of the heart’ , by that point we’d had enough. A few cocktails down, and selfies taken we headed to the next bar.

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Rainforest and Waterfalls 08/02/17

A lovely 7:15am pick up from our guide on Barefoot Tours, we headed straight to the Daintree Rainforest. A largely protected piece of rainforest, home to many rare plants and animals. It was definitely the day where i thought i’d finally come face to face with a snake or crocodile.

Lake Echam was the first stop, home to a croc..apparently, but that didn’t stop us from jumping into the turquoise blue water. We made friends and had morning tea and cake with beautiful views. I soon picked up on the fact we would be fed well on this trip, our guide had 3 cool boxes stuffed with cake, happy days.

Visiting a 300 year old fig tree made for a quick 3 minute pit stop en route to our next destination. It was massive, like something out of Tarzan! We learnt that fig trees take over a host tree, like a pest, they completely destroy the original tree so they can grow from it.

Our third destination was our first waterfall, it was so surreal, hidden amongst the rainforest, with a large cascading fall over large bouldered rocks into the pool of water below, it was too tempting not to jump in!

Milla Milla falls was the one everyone was excited for. Famous for the Peter Andre’s ‘mysterious girl’ music video, and the location of the Herbal essences advert, where everyone lined up to do the famous hair flick for the obligatory Instagram photo, which we absolutely nailed fyi…

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Our last stop was Josephine falls, a few drunk people on the bus at this stage, we ended up naming the loudest kid on the tour ‘goon’ as he just wouldn’t stop raving about it. Mr Brightside and Red Hot Chilli’s made for a great playlist en route.

As we started walking to the fall, it started chucking it down, classic rainforest! We had our towels over our heads, but this was pointless. More coffee, cake and snacks to keep us going for the long, wet ride home. Goon was still pressing the chat.

Back to the hostel after dropping everyone off, we had to gather our things to then head back to main town at midnight to get our first grey hound bus.

It was 1am and chucking it down. I had left the food bag in a puddle. I had left my travel cushion in a puddle. I had dropped my phone and smashed the screen – I was also sun burnt. Ah, travelling!! Couldn’t wait to get on the bus and sleep.

Cairns 06/02/17

Cairns was our first official stop where we spent three nights, at another Nomads. Thankfully this one was better kept. We spent that evening eating pizza from Woolworths, so hungry that we ate it in the street, whilst surround by giant bats that were flying above our heads!

I was so excited to do The Great Barrier Reef, although i wasn’t quite sure what to expect as i’d heard about the coral bleaching, and tourism that has driven a lot of the life from the coral waters.  We went to two different reefs, where we ended up snorkling instead of scuba diving as we found out that you can’t dive if you have asthma…great, thanks lungs!

The reef wasn’t  as overwhelming as i thought would be. I expected it be so bright, and full of life, just like in finding Nemo. In fact, as i was a little shocked we asked a member of the crew, and they did say that unfortunately due to coral bleaching they are only allowed to take the boats to the less dense reefs so that the  best parts of the reef are left a lone to flourish. I actually thought this was a very good thing to see happening, and we still got to see some incredible fish and coral. Although it was a beautiful experience, it was also a difficult one, when one doesn’t know how to use flippers!

Having spent most of the day on the top deck of the boat, and in the water, i got severely sun burnt, a classic start to any holiday!

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Australia – East coast 02/17

It was a trip of a lifetime. Finally reunited with my best friend after she moved to oz last year after getting a job to au pair for a family in Perth.

We planned the trip from Cairns all the way back down to Sydney, it was a challenge to cram everything we wanted into our itinerary as we only had three weeks! It would be easy to right a book about our adventure. We did so much, met so many people, and had a lot of laughs along the way, so i’m going to jot down our highlights of the trip in the locations we visited down the East coast.

We both met at Sydney airport. Kelly had made me a ‘Welcome to Oz’ sign with weird drawings and  N-Dubz quotes, no shame in mentioning here that it’s both one of our favourite bands, with many fond memories of playing the Love, Live, Life CD on full whack while cruising around in the Honda Jazz. So after the hug that lasted a lifetime, we got a taxi to our hostel  – $51. Cheated!

We arrived at the Nomads Hostel in the heart of Sydney. Undoubtedly the worst place i have ever stayed in my life. We discovered or beds had been slept in, and found a sleeping Russian in one of them! A Cockroach discovery and a curtain separating the bathroom from the main six bedroom dorm added to the delights of the stay. Anyway, despite this, our roomies turned out not to be so bad, so we made friends, who the next morning took us to one of the best coffee places in Sydney. We got them to sign my ‘welcome to Oz’ sign before heading to the airport to catch our flight to Cairns.

Thank you for being my bridesmaid

This Summer I was honoured to be bridesmaid to my no1 best friend. That’s 23 years of friendship- a lifetime of beautiful memories. There’s not many people in this world that can say that they’ve known someone their whole life, and when i mean whole life i mean since we were bumps in our mums tums! So that explains the emotion that arrived on this day, it was overwhelming, I was so happy for her.

It’s days like these that you wish you could live every day, and thats why they are so important to cherish. You must reminisce of the fun times and special memories we experience, after all there are so that enter our lives, and then they are then gone, its important to capture them and to talk about the stories, to keep the memories alive.

The wedding photos truly reflect how magical that day was. I wanted to share them on my blog, so i wouldn’t forget them, and to express how thankful i was to be part of such as special day,  as i have never felt so blessed to be apart of such a wonderful group of girls, standing together as the bridesmaids for the beautiful bride.

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Admiration

In response to the Daily Post weekly photo challenge: Admiration

When I saw this weeks photo challenge there was only one person that came to mind, and that was my mum. I have always admired her ability to look at life positively, with grace and with love. She reminds me that there is only a short amount of time that we get on this planet, and so she plans to live happily every day by doing the things she loves. Whether it’s just taking the dogs down to the river to watch them play, or planting new flowers in the garden, log hunting for fire wood, or doing a bit of DIY. It’s these small things that she enjoys which makes every day feel worth living. The big experiences are important to, and she says these can shape and define you as a person, whether it’s a career change, traveling or taking on a different hobby. My favourite saying of hers is ‘It’s important to have a little bit of everything’ and I definitely think this is true. I will always see my mum as the most amazing person, having brought up four children who all turned out pretty ok, she’s inspiring, encouraging and always there to help deal with life’s ups and downs, so thank you mum!

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