A Travellerspoint blog

Gold Coast

With Ivor visiting us from the U.K we decided to get out of Sydney and head up to Queensland and The Gold Coast. These first few pictures are actually from our trip up to Plam Beach in Sydney when we stopped at Narrabeen Lakes and hired a pedalo and a paddle board. I have only included these because Jimmy fell off the paddle board, which is very difficult to do - although easier when you're trying to show off.
P2040034.jpgP2040043.jpgP2040059.jpg
Anyway, off we went to the Gold Coast. As soon as we'd landed and checked into our apartment we headed to Wet 'n'Wild! Possibly the best water park EVER! Being a Friday it wasn't too busy and we managed to go on all the rides at least twice, some maybe four times. The Tornado being out favourite and coming in at a close second was some sort of speed flume where they enclose you in a capsule and after a suspenseful wait with a countdown the floor quite literally disappears from beneath you and off you go, at what felt like 100mph - it was Ace.
P2060075.jpg
SPEED FLUME
P2060086.jpgP2060097.jpgP2060111.jpg90_P2060103.jpg
TORNADO
P2060116.jpgP2060118.jpg
After an eventful afternoon we went to check out what night life Surfers Paradise had to offer. It was as expected, mostly full of drunk 18 year olds and stag dos. We found a quieter Irish bar (which we frequented a few times) with a live band, who did an excellent rendition of Land Down Under.
The next day we drove up to Australia Zoo, Steve Irwin's zoo. Unlike most zoos the animals were more free roaming, and it was a little more like a sanctuary. The crocs however were behind fences! The highlight of the day had to be watching the crocodile show in the Crocoseum(!) and seeing one devour a whole pigs head. The sound of the croc chowing down into that is something we'll never forget. That evening we found a Brazilian restaurant to try out, which didn't disappoint before heading to our favourite Irish bar.
P2070135.jpgP2070136.jpg90_P2070142.jpgP2070147.jpgP2070164.jpgP2070190.jpg
The Gold Coast has over 60km of beaches, so it would have been rude not to spend some time chilling on the beach. No matter where you are the beach seems to go on for ever. It really is beautiful.
P2080204.jpgP2080209.jpgP2080220.jpg
On our final evening we stocked up on a variety of meats and the boys happiliy took to the BBQ. After dinner we wandered up to Surfer's to watch the sunset over the river we wandered back along the beach - getting a pretty nice view of surfer's lit up behind us. The sand also doesn't burn your feet so much in the evening so it was much more pleseant than walking along it in the day time.
P2080228.jpgP2080240.jpg90_P2080253.jpg
On our final day we went for a few games of mini golf in the morning. Ivor and I let James' win both times (he is very competitive and we thought it best). We then drove along the coast, stopping at a number of different beaches on the way. At Burleigh Heads we took a stoll in the small national park, which took us up out onto a cliffs edge, where there were some great scenic views. We lost count of the number of different beaches we'd stopped at before we made it back to the airport.
P2090256.jpg90_P2090259.jpgP2090276.jpgP2090277.jpgP2090283.jpg

Posted by Time Well Spent 17:02 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef

A long weekend diving in the Great Barrier Reef

The plan was a couple of nights on the outer reef taking in 7 dives including one night dive and a night sleeping on board the dive boat.
We arrived in the sticky tropical heat on Thursday night, dumped our bags at the hostel (somethings don't change) and headed to town. Cairns is a pleasant small town which is a polite way of saying not too exciting. Still there is a man made lagoon for swimming (in an area full of crocs and sharks you need somewhere safe to take a dip) and we managed to find a nice bar to enjoy a cold drink and watch the sunset over the harbour. I'm sure there are worse places to be!
IMG_5998.jpgIMG_6000.jpgIMG_6007.jpg
Early the next morning we boarded our boat for the 2 hour trip to the Great Barrier Reef, having had prior experience of dive boats we took appropriate doses of sea sickness meds, an idea which proved well worth it as the bottom deck slowly filled with people clasping sick bags and looking green round the gills.
Our first two dives were off the smaller transfer boat, the water was warm as a bath and the underwater sites just spectacular, fish aplenty with the occasional reef shark and giant sea slugs all against a background of colourful coral. After our dive we also took part in some of the snorkeling with the rest of the boat passengers not diving.
P1480841.jpgP1480871.jpgP1480880.jpgP1480941.jpg
After lunch we moved to the overnight boat where we had two more dives that day including a night dive. The first dive we'd forgotten all navigation skills and ended up swimming a fair way back to the boat above water - not an easy task in the choppy waters. The night dive was made a little more hair raising when just prior to jumping in we looked over the back of the boat to see four or five 6ft reef sharks off swimming where we would shortly be jumping in. After being convinced that they were harmless (terrified of us apparently, the feeling is mutual!) we had a great dive by torchlight.
P1480991.jpgP1480971.jpg
Our first dive the next day was at 6.30am, briefing at 6am! We had three dives on our second day, each with new surprises and odd looking fish and coral, but there was one thing which alluded us and it was the thing Rosa most wanted to see, a sea turtle. At this point everyone else seemed to had seen one but with our last dive fast approaching we hadn't even had a glimpse.
P1490015.jpgP1490046.jpgP1490071.jpgP1490078.jpgP1490107.jpg P1490168.jpgP1490146.jpg
Lunchtime bought our final dive and our last chance to see our prize, we decided to stick to the shallows, turtle territory. Halfway through the dive we did an about turn and to my surprise (I had given up) there he/she was! Rosa did an underwater squeal, nearly lost her regulator (the bit you need to breathe) and we spent the rest of the dive with an underwater guide, as we followed the turtle where ever it went!
P1490124.jpgP1490126.jpgP1490136.jpg
Back on shore that evening we met up with some friends from the boat for some dinner, drinks and a glance at some very strange Cairns locals prowling the bars on a Saturday night.
Sunday our flight left late afternoon so we rented a car for the day and aimed to check out the nearby tablelands, a lush green area peppered with waterfalls, lakes and dairy farms as well as plenty of jungle. After completing the circuit we headed to the airport, earlier than Rosa would have liked but later than I would have, and said Goodbye to Cairns as we headed back to Sydney.
IMG_6033.jpgIMG_6039.jpg90_IMG_6061.jpgIMG_6068.jpg90_IMG_6090.jpg

Posted by Time Well Spent 01:38 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Sydney Fireworks

Celebrating the New Year, Hawaiian style in Sydney for the Fireworks.
26643039B487C6D5ECD3DECBD609BC45.jpg2667F220CDC99DF2889B144E0C68900E.jpg266BDDDDD4D648539D769AE0D228743A.jpg266AC756FF8E40297DEF16574EAA8865.jpg26667F67BEFA65DCDC722F5B2AB9CE09.jpg26654F99F771FEFBA92EED4A250C8B31.jpg

Posted by Time Well Spent 14:23 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Summer Christmas

Christmas in Melbourne, Drinking wine in the Yarra Valley and the Great Ocean Road

With Christmas finally upon us we headed to the Victorian state to spend Christmas with some friends in Melbourne. Christmas day was spent with the traditional bucks fizz for breakfast, followed by a day at St Kilda beach. In traditional Aussie style we cooked up some snags and shrimps on the Barbie and had a game of cricket.
IMAG0036.jpgIMAG0044.jpgIMAG0048_BURST002_COVER.jpgIMAG0054_BURST005.jpgIMG_5753.jpgIMG_20141225_093952.jpgIMG_20141225_203431.jpg

Boxing day for some of us was pretty relaxed, spent watching Christmas movies and visiting Brighton Beach, a beach just like Brighton, with the colourful huts, only there is sand, while others went down the MCG for the Boxing Day test cricket.
IMG_5778.jpg90_IMG_5786.jpg

Once the Christmas excitement was over we headed out to the Yarra Valley, where our friends took us round some of the wineries, a dairy and a chocolatier. After a day of drinking wine, eating too much cheese and chocolate we headed back for a quiet night in.
IMG_5799.jpgIMG_5810.jpgIMG_5818.jpg90_IMG_5826.jpgIMG_5832.jpgIMG_5843.jpg

Up early the next day we hit the road again, this time to take on the Great Ocean Road, one of the world’s most scenic ocean drives, or so we were told. They’re not wrong, it was 150 miles of stunning views. Here are just some of the snaps we took of the scenery.
IMG_5874.jpg
Belles Beach
IMG_5884.jpg
The Remembrance Arch
IMG_5887.jpgIMG_5900.jpgIMG_5911.jpg
90_IMG_5913.jpg
In the Rainforest
IMG_5922.jpg
IMG_5936.jpg Koala!
270_IMG_5958.jpgIMG_5975.jpg
The 12 Apostles.
IMG_5978.jpg
Loch Ard Gorge
IMG_5986.jpg
London Bridge
90_IMG_5991.jpg

Along the way we stopped at Belles beach, a famous surfing beach with some angry looking waves; the remembrance arch to remember all the returned soldiers that died building the road; Apollo bay, where we stopped for pies; the rainforest; Loch Ard gorge, the 12 apostles; and London Bridge, a natural rock formation that used to look like London bridge until half of it collapsed in the seventies. We also made a stop along the way where the Koalas hang out, so we finally got to see them in the wild along with some Kangaroos! We finished up in Port Campbell for some dinner before making the three hour inland drive back to the city.

Our final day in Melbourne, before we all headed back to Sydney for New Year’s was spent exploring some of the city, having another game of cricket on St Kilda beach and watching the sunset. All in all, it was an awesome Christmas.
IMG_5844.jpgIMG_5866.jpgIMG_20141229_154834.jpg

Posted by Time Well Spent 14:06 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Spit to Manly walk

The Spit Bridge to Manly walk is a 10km, only slightly undulating walk. We set off on the bus to the bridge and after a rather hairy road crossing taking nearly ten minutes (it was a four lane road, with no lights and constant traffic. Seriously, who puts the start of a popular walk in such a perilous place) we were off.
96DC83B12219AC681761E2E2E581E7B9.jpg
We lucked out with the weather and the scenery was stunning. Jimmy had printed the walk notes so kept us all informed about the landmarks, including some questionable Aboriginal engravings. I'm pretty sure it was weather erosion. Supposedly the area has a penguin colony, which is how we'd convinced Jimmy to go, but it seems they didn't fancy hanging around for the day as we didn't encounter a single one.
P8090209.jpg90_P8090212.jpgP8090213.jpgP8090216.jpgP8090219.jpgP8090231.jpg
After arriving in Manly and looking in awe at some of the houses, complete with harbour views and swimming pools, we headed to the Four Pines brewery and bar for a well deserved lunch and a beer.
270_P8090234.jpg96DD10232219AC681733956E7AFBE03A.jpg

Posted by Time Well Spent 16:10 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 5 of 74) Page [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 .. »