A Travellerspoint blog

Kangaroo Island

sunny

Kangaroo Island, wow, my expectations of lots and lots of Kangaroo's everywhere was very much let down!! Apparently the Island is not called Kangaroo Island because they have lots of roo's unfortunately!! Instead, I found out later, it is because the founder, Matthew Flinder, killed 20 roo's to eat whilst on the Island!! Bit disppointing but the experience was definately not!! As I had previously mentioned, Kangaroo Island was a definate on my list to visit.. This was one of my more fun trips due to the fact we had an amazing group and such a great tour guide. Bob, or Bobby as I called him, was the the head tour guide of the company which was a positive and he was very confident, funny and made everything run smoothly..

The first day we saw Remarkable Rocks which where very convient for arty-farty photos and the group of 4 of us shared similar ideas on photography and were able to help each other out and get lots of photos luckily.. We also saw some New Zealand fur seals on the rocks around Admirals Arch which also gave a great photo through the arch looking at the ocean.. After those two points of interest we went for a bush walk to find some Kangaroos which was when I found out the terrible truth of the Islands name!! I had definately seen more roo's at National Parks Kate and I had stopped off at on our roadtrip!! That night we went Penguin searching in the dark and Bobby told us lots about the constellations we could see clearly (not that I remember much of it unfortunately!).. Our drive back to the camp saw us my first possum and a koala which, out of character, ran rather fast across the road.. A bonfire at camp was lit where we all had a go at didgeridoos and the German guy was very good at playing songs on the guitar that we all knew and sung along to.. People slowly drifted off to bed and towards the end we got some good, not to be repeated, camp fire stories out of Bobby!! hehe..

The next day was truly AMAZING!! Bobby made us all as many pancakes as we could possibly eat before heading to Seal Bay where we are taken down by a guide, onto the beach where all these seals are chillaxin :o) We had to be careful as to not to get too close as they are wild animals but we sat down and watched.. We were so luckily to witness a mother seal coming out of the sea after 3days of hunting and call out for her baby who came running (or flopping!) out from the bushes behind us and down towards her!! Apparently it was one of the best mornings the guide had even ever seen!! The fun didn't stop there, next we then headed out to Little Sahara where we went sand boarding!! This was the highlight of the tour for me.. We had to first make it to the top of the sand dune which wasn't easy especially with the boards, but we all made it and after the explanation by Bobby the two guys on the tour were the first to step up and they had to be all macho and try standing up on their first goes.. The first guy did it well actually but the second managed to stumble, fall off, and twist his knee rather badly!! Luckily they only carried him to the shade and left him there for the next couple hours!!! My first attempt wasn't too good either I supose, I went down with someone else but I wanted to stand at the back which found me ripping her t-shirt and on my arse have way down the dune with sand in every place you can imagine!! haha.. It was a good laugh though.. We spent the next two hours having fun and clambering back up this dune!! It was rather hot but that didn't stop me from being one of the ones who never stopped!! It was just way too fun!! Again we got some funky photos of all of us of the sand dune and another of Daniela, Charlotte, Tanja and I jumping!!
After lunch we did a final walk along the coast which was a nice finisher to the tour.. We all added an 'interesting' rock to Bobby's pile where I wrote my name on it to be different as always and so he would never forget me :o) We got some very interesting science lessons on the walk about aboriginies and how Uluru was formed and much more!! We caught the ferry and made it back Adelaide that evening..

A great, fun tour to say the least!!

Posted by kfeaster 22:14 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Wicked Camper Experience

25 day trip from Sydney to Adelaide!

Wow, what a trip.. Such a long way to drive, just under 4000km we did all in all!! We, Kate and I, a girl I meet in Sydney, did so much in these 25days that I couldn't possibly write it all here without boring you all.. I will try and keep it short and sweet with the interesting points..

Day 1: Firstly I must mention that when picking the van up from the depot we were given no maps what-so-ever nor any petrol!! We had to find our way to the petrol station and buy some maps to even get us out of Sydney!! The van was a pink and purple van with 'Von Dutch' written along the side and on the back was some Dutch writing.. We headed that day towards Canberra..

Day 2: We caught the bus into the Capital City of Australia thinking this was much more sensible but as it turns out it is actually not that busy at all and we should have driven considering they have rubbish public transport!! We visited the AIS (Australian Institute of Sport) and then went to the Australian Mint, the other side of the city to discover it had shut for the day.. We had terrible trouble then trying to visit Parliament as we missed the bus stop and got taken miles past it!! We did however eventually make it, fortunately it was open late as they were in session.. They were talking about binge drinking and alcho-pops when we were there and I must add, they do need some younger influence on this subject!!

Day 3: Drove in to Canberra this time.. Visited the Telstra Tower with its' Panaramic views of the City and its cirrcular design.. We then learnt about Australian coins at the Mint and had our very own Canberra Dollar made before driving around all the Embassy's which are built and designed in their countries specific manor (if that makes sense!!).. The Chinese and the USA buildings were particularly reflective of the countries.. We had a quick look at the War Memorial before heading towards the coast again to Batehaven..

Day 4: Played some crazy golf in Batemans Bay before seeking out some beaches.. We came across, what is still to this day, one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen, Mossy Beach.. It was so spectacular with the clear blue water, golden sand and know one around!! It was so beautiful but unfortunately, with our excitment of exploring, we carried on in a rush after writing in the sand.. We stopped off for lunch at a cafe in Moruya where I felt for a Jacket Potato but they didn't have any baked beans included in any choices.. I naturally asked and it seems that to have a Spud with cheese and beans is unheard of!! They very kindly made me one though, were unsure what to charge me and said they were going to add it on the menu as an 'English Spud' :o) .. I'm an inspiration to all it seems!! hehe.. A few more stops on the way, even to Potato Head to find the Potato which we couldn't see and later informed it's a tourist trap!! Drove to Narooma where we had a lovely camp spot on the very edge, over looking the beach..

Day 5: Chillaxed on the bech in the morning and then off to find internet with no luck in the arvo.. We decided to go on a Tourist Drive, Number 4 to be precise.. This turned out to be an extremely long dirt track which the van couldn't cope too well with it and took us over an hour to complete 30km!! We joined some guys on there stag do for the evening at the pub where I was shown how to bet on horses and to play pokies (naturally with their money only!! I'm not that stupid!!)..

Day 6: Onwards and downwards from Narooma to Central Tilba which is a cute little village which looks like those you see at a theme.. Onto Bega and Bega Cheese factory.. We didn't have anywhere to store food to keep it cold and cheese was one of the foods both Kate and I had been craving so the cheese tasting was much appreciated!! We then went to Eden and to the Killer Whale museum.. This may not sound like much to some but for those who are unaware, it is my life long dream to touch a Killer Whale therefore a must to visit this place.. Unfortunately it turned out to be more about whaling and the story of a pod of Killer Whales who helped the men kill the other whales.. Fascinating story actually, Old Tom was the leader.. Of course I had to then buy a small Killer Whale teddy who became New Tom and was our mascot throughout the rest of our travels!! Stayed at Mallacoota for the night..

Day 7: Drove to Orbost and went horse riding in the bush.. It was very nice being just Kate and I and we had horses that we had to actually control rather than the plod-along, in a line, horses you tend to get in England!! We carried on all the way to Yarram..

Day 8: Got to Philip Island today.. Stopped at the chocolate factory first and then onto 'A Maze N' Things' which was as it says, AMAZING!! It was such great fun.. It was pretty much just the two of us so we got to run around like big kids, playing on all the puzzles, games and optical illusions.. There was also a massive maze outside which we had to get help from the maintance guy to find our way!! The Seal cruise wasn't running due to the bad weather unfortunately so we wasted the day away at the Nobbies centre and luckily found some penguins under the boardwalk.. We were on our bellies learning over, taking photos of the cute things.. We were literally 10cm away!! We visited the penguin parade that evening where you sit and watch all the penguins returning from the sea as the sun goes down.. They're very scared little creatures and it took one group a good while to run the beach.. They got a quiet cheer from the crowd when they finally managed it :o)

Day 9: Very very windy this morning.. Headed off for Melbourne.. I bought a new camera on the way to get better photos of my amazing travels.. We hadn't planned ahead much and when we hit Melbourne we weren't sure as to what to do.. We made it to St. Kilda and then to the ferry port to Tasmania where we had thought to go next.. Unfortunately, after much hassel, it turned out it was unsuitable for us to get over to Tassie when we wanted to, let alone the cost!! We got very stressed out and getting drenched on the way into Melbourne city centre didn't help.. We eventually found a campsite for the night, north of the CBD.. Today was the first day I actually really wanted to be at home!!

Day 10: Mood didn't change much today either.. Weather was still rainy and horrible and we were drenched trying to get into the city.. Both the Victoria Market and the MCG tours we missed.. A lovely Boost smoothie and a bit of internet time was the only real highlight of the day.. Melbourne was not living up to my expectations at this point!!

Day 11: Having planned what to do today inorder to actually do something we managed to wander around the Victoria Market (they had such cute little puppies there but we decided the back of a campervan would not have been suitable for one!!).. Next we went to the SkyDeck88 which was definately an experience I will never forget.. it was sooooooooo scary.. The tower is 300m above the ground and you have the option of going on 'The Edge Experience' which is where you stand in a glass cube and it moves out so you can see 280m below, the ground!! I was very nervous of this as I'm not a fan of heights.. Everyone else found my fear rather funny.. AND THEN they take photos of you at the furthest point.. I was happy clinging to the rail, closest to the building!! But no, I had to go to the end and the photo reveals my nervousness rather nicely!! The school kids on a trip found this rather amusing too!! We missed the MCG tour again and also the Old Melbourne Gaol.. Instead we saw the movie 'He's just not that into you'..

Day 12: Old Melbourne Gaol this morning.. Was really quite interesting and found out all about Ned Kelly.. We also were taken into the Old Watch House and treated like criminals!! Walked around Federation Square with lots going on due to the long weekend (bank holiday weekend!).. We fell upon the Boomba festival down by the river where so much was happening; Yarra River info, fun fair rides and games, water jumping comp, skate park comp, foreign cuisines, beach volleyball and so much more! I tried out a new CrazyCoaster ride which was a mix between a roller coaster and the waltz!! It was a horrible sensention yet so funny.. I had tears streaming down my face by the end!! We wasted the day away till the fireworks at night which were amazing (but loud!!).. Slept in the van outside on the street as the campsite had extortional prices for the night!!

Day 13: Macedon Ranges today which are North of Melbourne.. We climbed Hanging Rock and were blessed with a blue sky, first time for a couple days!! We then drove to Sanatarium Lake which I had thought was the amazing, beautiful picture in the brochure but it turned out to be a grotty swampy thing!! Haha, well we walked round regardless and heard a lady saying she had seen an Echidna.. Naturally we went in search of this and came across one on the path, right by the edge, just pottering around.. He didn't care much about us and we were able to get in touching distances of him although obviously this may have hurt if we had tried!! He even sniffed at my trainer which was amazing!! A Memorial cross and some wine tasting followed before finding a campsite for the night.. It was at this campsite where I had my first encounter with hundreds of Millipeds.. They were revolting and since then I have discovered that it is occurs in most Australia with millions of Millipeds everywhere.. Yuck!

Day 14: Drove to the Peninsulas, firstly to Frankston and then to Mornington Peninsula, Sunny Ridge Strawberry farm, where we picked a box of strawberries each and munched them all up rather quickly!! Onto Sorrento to stay the night..

Day 15: Rented bikes and rode to Point Nepean which was fun as we tend not to do much exercise in the van.. We had planned to swim with dolphins today but that fell through so we caught the ferry across to Queenscliff and saw some dolphins playing anyway.. Torquay was next and the Surf Museum which was interesting but would probably have been much more to a surfer.. A detour to Bells Beach was inorder afterwards as this is the famous surfing beach in Australia.. It is the beach in the film Point Break where they surf!! Not the nicest beach but I get grilled for saying that by a surfer!! hehe.. Last stop of the day was at the archers of the Great Ocean Road for the photo opportunity.. We got our photos and as we went to leave the van made a horrendous scrapping sound and then stunk of burning rubber!! After being put through about 5 different people and an hour later, we found out it was the alternator which had snapped..

Day 16: Having been put up for the night we had to go into the garage early in the morning with Nathan, our resuer!! We had a long day today, pottered around the beach, visited the information centre, cut my hair, walked up and down the shops on the front a good few times and up the VERY steep hill to the garage.. Our van was to be ready tommorrow and the nice receptionist dropped us off at the local YHA for the night..

Day 17: Built a sand dolphin on the beach in the morning and again walked the strip a few times before receiving the all clear and getting back on the road again!! We went to Erskine Falls which wasn't amazing but then again it would be hard with not much water I supose.. Then onto Kennett River which is a prime area for wild koalas.. We were very lucky to see one so close we could have stroked it (but we preferred to keep our arms!).. Drove to Lake Elizabeth next to push our luck at seeing a Platypus in the wild.. No such luck but the Lake was so peaceful and quiet, it was lovely.. Stayed at Apollo Bay for the night..

Day 18: Cape Otway Lighthouse was the first stop of today and then onto Wreck Beach which was interesting to see a couple ship anchors and what-not around.. There were also lots of Mother-of-Pearl shells around due to an apparent disease flux on them.. 12 Apostles next where we got our day time photos first and carried on to Port Campbell to get our campsite for the night before turning back to the Apostles for sunset.. It was so spectacular seeing this.. It was such a shame the sun went down so fast and a definate to see if you're ever around..

Day 19: Saw London Bridge first (was a very long drive for that I can tell you!) hehe.. Nah, it's only called that, and for good reason, but unfortunately one of the archers had given way and fallen so not so much any more.. Next was Warrnambol Cheeseworld, mmmmmmm... And then the International Amnesty they had on in the village green.. I then went horse riding in Dennington whilst Kate went swimming.. The sun had been out today but it decided to chuck it down when I was riding unfortunately.. I had specifically gone because it was a beach ride this time incontrast to the bush one last.. It was still a good experience though I must admit but hard work for the poor horses on that sand!! Drove to the end of the Great Ocean Road and onto Port Fairy where it hammered down with rain.. I thought the roof was going to collapse and where we found a lovely leak in the door.. Mattress soaked, Great fun!!

Day 20: Cape Bridgewater was our first stop of the day where we did a 2hr walk to a lookout point over a colony of fur seals in the water.. We also did the Petrified Forest, which was in such contrast to the blue sea right next to it, and the Blowhole, which was working immensely due to the rough sea conditions.. Drove over the border to South Australia to Millicent..

Day 21: Drove through Robe with the Obelisik and the old gaol ruins (not very exciting) and then Kingston which was so quiet but we got to met Larry the Lobster.. Onto Coorong National Park where we took another bumpy scenic drive past some spectacular salt lakes!! Stayed at Meningie for the night over looking Lake Albert.. Definately ready for the roadtrip to end by this point.. It had been fun but the time was definately coming!!

Day 22: Victor Harbor today and over the bridge on a horse drawn tram to Granite Island.. Then onto Deep Creek National Park where we saw lots of Eastern Grey Kangeroos leisurely relaxing in the sun and posing for our cameras.. Drove to Cape Jervis to look out over to Kangaroo Island where I will be heading to in the next week.. Second Valley for the night..

Day 23: Sun bathed on Port Willunga for a while then into McLaren Vale where we tried out the cheese shop and the chocolate shop!! I gave into temptation and bought some chocolate covered liquorice, yummy.. Stayed at Lakeside Caravan Park where we went for a swim which felt like a freezer!! Socialised with the fruit pickers who had set up camp there it seemed..

Day 24: Staying at McLaren Vale again we where able to go to Maslin Beach and sun bath again for the majority of the day.. Another cold swim at camp where I was joined by a few ducks!!

Day 25: Last day so we had to sort everything out including washing the van down!! It had become rather mucky from the tourist drive dirt tracks so we took it to a garage and used our dish brush, and the dribble of water supplied, to clean as best we could.. It worked enough anyway!! Luckily we found the depot much easier than the Sydney one but if we had been thinking sensibly we should have dropped our big bags off at the hostel we were staying at before handing in the van.. But no, we trekked them along afterwards and with the heat of the sun and the weight of my bag the wheel melted!!! No joke, the wheel became flattened and by the end of the struggle I had been dragging it along the floor!! No wonder that was such hard work..

Well that was the adventures with the Wicked Camper and we found out during the trip, by a few Dutch guys that the writing on the back was rather rude, and spelt wrong anyway!! I did have a great time and we saw soooo much more than I could ever have imagined doing it this way but maybe not for as long next time!!

Posted by kfeaster 02:22 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Hunter Valley

sunny 40 °C

This weekend just been (7th and 8th Feb) my cousin Geraldine and I went to the Hunter Valley. Hunter Valley is famous for its hundreds of vineyards and so lots of wine tasting was in order!!

We decided we would drive around randomly and drop in at vineyards we thought looked good from the outside. We did a good days wine tasting on the Saturday and had some lovely dinner at a Tapas restaurant. The prawns in tomato and feta cheese were particularly yummy!!

Our accommodation for the night was interesting to say the least. It was an old village pub for the locals with the typical red necks drinking. It had that erie feeling when we first walked in and everyone slowly looked round at us (you can imagine the creeky noise as they did it!).. However the evening quickly turned into a great night. Saturday night so the kareoke was on and it got 'busy'! We had originally planned to sing but by the time we felt confident enough they had conviently packed it in. We did however chat to a few friendly locals one of which was very good at singing and loved to do it. Geraldine was also nicknamed Jim as her name was too hard for the drunks to say which I found highly amusing.. As the pub closed we joined the few locals, obviously used to this, and stayed behind. They were very generous and it was at this point G and I definately drunk our moneys worth which was pretty cool and we found it very convient having our room just up the stairs!

The next morning we were joined by a neighbour of G's and we did lots more wine tasting and this time cheese tasting which I enjoyed. We also bought some chocolates from the chocolate shop although didn't think too much about it and ended up with fully melted chocolate goo. Oh well, it will be eaten any which way I am sure of it!!

I still need to sort out my south coast travels however, with the devastating bushfires in Victoria I am very wary at the moment. It is such a disaster and the death toll just keeps rising. My heart and thoughts do go out to the people. For the first time here I am actually hoping for as much rain as possible!

Kim x x x

Posted by kfeaster 23:31 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

The Blue Mountains

Wednesday 28th January

Today Tom and I headed for the Blue Mountains.. We had heard they were pretty spectacular so we had high expectations!! Picked up early on the tour as we had so much to fit into one day..

First stop was the Sydney Olympic Park 2000 Games.. We drove through the park which was so big with different arenas dotted around and stopped outside the main stadium for some cheesy photo opportunities of which Tom and I made full advantage of (check out the handstand photo!)..

After there we headed to a wildlife park where, FINALLY, I got to touch a Koala!! I was very excited about this, they feel just like a teddy bear :o) They are soooo cute and cuddly.. Next step is to hold one somewhere.. We also got to feed the Wallibies and Kangeroos which were very greedy and knicked the cone from my hand a couple times..

Onto the blue mountains and 'Echo Point'.. This was the main look out to The Three Sisters (three big rocks basically!).. The story behind it goes that a witch doctor turned his 3 girls into stone when a snake was going to attack them but lost his wand before he could return them back to human!! They are still waiting apparently!!
The view was amazing though.. They name the mountains well, they really are BLUE!! hehe..

We had lunch in a local village and then rode the steepest railway in the world!! It was more like a theme park ride it was so steep.. A short walk through the Eucalyptous trees at the bottom and then a sky cable took us back to the top..

We had a couple more stops to different look outs before heading to Paramatta to catch our cruise back to Sydney.. The cruise was nice but very windy.. We went under the Harbour Bridge before getting into Circular Quay..

That evening I headed to Aunty Susies again to where I am currently enjoying myself loads :o)

I am planning my next adventures to take me along the south coast towards melbourne and adelaide..

Posted by kfeaster 02:39 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Taronga Zoo, Coogee Beach and Australia Day!

Taronga Zoo

Went to Taronga Zoo with a guy called Tom (met him on surf camp) on Friday 23rd Jan.. We got up early and caught the ferry over.. The sky cable took you up from the bottom to the top of the park and you worked your way down the hill, back to the bottom where you catch the ferry back.. It was a lovely day and the park was massive!! Tom and I had great fun seeing all the animals and taking silly, cheesy photos next to the different statues and information spots..
The Sea lion show was very good and funny although it didn't last that long.. And with the bird show, it was very good and we got to see some pretty cool birds but again, it wasn't that long unfortunately however the view of the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House in the background did make it spectacular!!
We got around all the animals from the Kangeroos and Koalas to the Tigers and Lions to the Reptiles and Tasmanian Devils, which by the way, I am not very happy about as they don't look anything like 'Tas' the Tasmanian Devil cartoon!! It was quite upsetting to discover this actually!! We also saw Penguins and Elephants and Crocodiles and so much more..
Tom and I definately managed to do a good route as not to miss anything out.. We spent about 5/6hours in total in the park and only just got to the bottom for closing time..
If anyone goes to Sydney I would definately recommend this Zoo.. It just such a great set up and it is clear that the animals are well looked after which makes it a much better experience!!

Coogee Beach

That evening after the zoo we went to Coogee Beach where I was going to stay for the next few nights.. I didn't find the right hostel to start with but after a bit of commotion I found myself in a room with lots of English girls, sofas and a television!! Everyone was very friendly and I got on with them quite well.. On the Sunday a couple of the girls and I did the beach walk from Coogee to Bondi which was scenic and we passed a couple seluded beachs which was nice.. We went over to Bondi to the Sunday market where I found some nice bits and bobs and 'Aussie-fied' myself slightly with a toe ring and plait bracelet!! hehe..

Australia Day

Celebrating a ship landing on Australia with a load of convicts is definately different but just as big as New Years over here!! It was time to dress up silly and plaster yourselves with Australian Flags (i decided on some silk, australian mens boxers and a very big australian hat would be silly enough!) .. I went with the girls to Hyde Park in Sydney where we shared a few drinks.. It was packed out before it unfortunately started to rain :o( Lucky it was still warm though and a few more drinks in the rain didn't hurt before heading to The Rocks for a drink at the Orient Hotel.. From there the girls decided it was way to wet and foggy for the fireworks to go ahead and went home.. I, on the other hand, didn't get wet for nothing and met up with Tom and his friends down in Darling Harbour.. There we got to see some of the lights of the fireworks - too foggy to see them all!! The whole sky lit up different colours though which had its impact!!
Once back at the hostel and drifting off to sleep, one guy decided to be a donut and smoke a fag in his room.. This obviously set off the fire alarm which felt like it went on for years and two fire engines had to come (full of firemen!) That donut of a guy is being charged a hell of a lot for it!! what a muppet but an interesting way to end the day really!!

Posted by kfeaster 22:23 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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