20 photos from 12 days touring New Zealand

20 photos from 12 days touring New Zealand

How do I begin to write about a trip that was a non-stop highlight reel? I can’t pick a favourite. I can’t sum it up in a quick, casual, water cooler conversation. This past March I spent 12 days touring New Zealand’s South Island with Haka Tours and the Young Adventuress, Liz Carlson. It was both everything and nothing like I thought it would be. While on one hand, it reminded me so much of my beloved British Columbia, it still felt new and exciting and unknown.

It’s taken me months to get around to writing this post because I want to do it justice. I want my words to somehow translate how epic and amazing and beautiful New Zealand is… but I can’t. The words don’t fit the picture.

So here is my attempt to caption my way through the archives of my photo library.

Christchurch

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Our tour started in Christchurch, the largest city on the South Island. This photo showcases an art installation memorializing the tragic earthquake of 2011 that took 185 lives. Six years later the city is still rebuilding. Even though actual ruins still take up portions of downtown, the people continue to preserver. They are resilient and creative – hope is alive and well.

Lake Tekapo

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The Church of the Good Shepherd

Photo Source

I don’t have the skills to take a photo like the one above, but I needed you to see what the stars looked like that night in Lake Tekapo. Seeing the milky way for the first time is a moment that I will never forget. This is what zero light pollution looks like and I want so much more of that in my life.

Lake Pukaki

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Another lovely lake where our group took a few moments to marvel and throw stones. It also just so happens to be the filming location for Laketown of the Hobbit trilogy. No big deal… Middle Earth is just everywhere. Casual.

Waitiri Creek Wines, Central Otago

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I knew this trip was going to be a raging success when we made an impromptu stop at a winery for an afternoon tasting on our way into Queenstown. That’s what’s so great about Haka Tours – we had the ability to tailor our day by the weather and the interests of the group. Wine is definitely one of my number one interests. This is me in my happy place!

Queenstown

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We rocked into Queenstown in the late afternoon with just enough late summer daylight to take a quick trip up the gondola to see the view. This ski town / adventure capital reminded me a lot of Whistler and that is a very good thing. Whistler has always been one of my favourite local spots and Queenstown did not disappoint.

Milford Sound

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It rains over 300 days a year in Milford Sound, a fiord on the South Island’s wild, west coast. So colour me surprised when we ended up with a stunning blue bird day for our afternoon boat cruise. The weather worked overtime to cooperate with our late summer travel itinerary – how lucky am I?

Te Anau

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We made a brief stop in Te Anau on our way back from Fiordland National Park and I was delighted to find these adorable shiraffes (err… llamas) hanging out right beside our bus. I could have watched them all day.

Shotover Canyon

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It’s no secret that I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie. I’ve already checked the big ticket items off my bucket list – bungee jumping, paragliding, skydiving. So when I got to Queenstown – The Adventure Capital of the World – I was looking for something new to try. Enter the Canyon Swing, a 200m swing with a 60m vertical freefall. Sure, why not launch myself off a cliff? I opted to use the slide and these crazy guys in the photo did their very best to psych me out. It was exhilarating and I even considered jumping again right away.

Wanaka

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A quick search of #thatwanakatree on social media will reveal thousands upon thousands of photos of a very famous willow tree. New Zealand’s most photographed tree rose in popularity over the past few years thanks to instagram, of course. It’s become a bit of a cliche over the years but you have to admit, it looks pretty cool.

Tauparikaka Marine Reserve

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Our first glimpse of the ocean after a week in the mountains felt like coming home. Back in Vancouver, I live by the sea and don’t go a single day without it. Call me spoiled, but now that I know salty air and crashing waves, I can’t be away from it for long.

Fox Glacier

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Driving into the village of Fox Glacier reminded me so much of my hometown in the Fraser Valley. Green farmland surrounded by snowy mountains – that’s where I grew up. Again the weather couldn’t have possibly been better – we knew we were lucky when our guides were freaking out at the views.

Franz Josef

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The coolest thing I did in New Zealand was heli hiking on the Franz Josef Glacier. Just six kilometres from the village centre, this glacier descends from the top of the Southern Alps into the rainforest close to sea level. It was a completely surreal experience to be enjoying hot, subtropical temperatures one moment and walking on a glacier just a short helicopter ride later.

Hokitika Gorge

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My favourite “rest stop” of the trip was at the Hokitika Gorge. My jaw dropped when I saw the turquoise waters. Special thanks to my photographer, Shannon Sproul, and the rest of my haka crew for patiently waiting for me to get this solo shot on the rock. I think I maybe yelled at a few of you… #sorrynotsorry

Punakaiki Valley

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I was mildly obsessed with horses for a solid three years in elementary school so when I had the chance to do some riding in Punakaiki, I didn’t let a little rain slow me down. My horse Appy always had to be in front of the pack, which suited me just fine. I loved that we got to ride through the river and along the beach – basically fulfilling all my girlhood fantasies!

Pancake Rocks

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For a town of 100 people, Punakaiki has a surprising amount to offer. The major attraction is this limestone landscape of pancake-shaped rock formations, blowholes and surge pools. I’ve never seen anything quite like it and would probably have never made it here if it wasn’t for Haka Tours. Have I mentioned how much I loved this tour?

Cape Foulwind

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An awful name for a place with such incredible scenery. During our hourlong walk along the Tasman Sea, we marvelled at the epic waves crashing on the rocks and the adorable seal colony playing in the surf. Not a bad spot to stretch our legs.

Abel Tasman National Park

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New Zealand has nine Great Walks and I got to do one of them – the Abel Tasman Coast Track. Great Walks are premier tracks that pass through diverse and spectacular scenery – and bonus, they are well formed and easy to follow. I opted to travel by boat to Anchorage and walk the 12.4 km back to our campsite in Marahau. Along the way I experienced crescent-shaped coves of golden sand and turquoise waters of the Tasman Bay.

Marahau

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We had a mostly overcast day of tramping in Abel Tasman but the sky finally started to clear back in Marahau, which provided some lovely views at low tide. The sunset that appeared shortly after this photo was taken was one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen and I didn’t have my camera. Rookie move! You’ll have to take my word for it.

Nelson

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Nelson is an odd little city on the tip top of the South Island, but I really liked this part with cobblestone streets and palm trees because it reminded me of Spain. This was my view as we drank aperol spritz at 11:00am… don’t judge me, I take vacations very seriously.

Cloudy Bay Vineyards, Blenheim

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And because day drinking is like a part-time job for me, we visited yet another winery, this time in the Marlborough region. We enjoyed a tasting and a leisurely afternoon lazing around on the gorgeous grounds. They absolutely had to force me back on the bus after this one.

There are so many more stories and photos that I’d love to share from my time in NZ but I’ll restrain myself so that this post can actually go live this decade.

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The Quest for Rohan

The Quest for Rohan

Okay lovely readers, if you’re not a Lord of the Rings fan like me, then it’s quite possible that you won’t fully appreciate the magnitude of this post.

But for me, this place… this is why I went to New Zealand.

My favourite film in the LOTR trilogy is The Two Towers which heavily features a fort city called Edoras in the kingdom of Rohan, which is known for being a culture of horsemen. I was spellbound every time the story came back to this magical location and knew that someday I had to see it for myself.

When I started planning my trip, I knew that I was going to try and visit my cousin Dale who happens to live in a small town in Canterbury on the South Island. When I started researching the area I soon realized that Edoras (or Mount Sunday in real life) was located only an hour’s drive away. I didn’t want to put all my hope in actually getting to make it there in person, but to be so close and miss it would have broken my heart.

Fast forward to the day I arrived at the Christchurch Airport… and queue the dreariest, rainiest day you can imagine. I only had a short window (two days) to make the trip to Edoras and I knew that the weather could be a major factor in its success. We waited all day for the rain to subside and it didn’t. I woke up the next morning hoping to see a glimmer of sun, and… nope, still raining. We decided to go for it anyway and wish for the best.

The rain continued for the first half of the drive until we veered off the main highway onto a long, gravel road. To my absolute glee, the clouds started to lift. The drive became a stunning journey into the middle of nowhere (or Middle Earth!). Seriously, we passed some campgrounds and sheep stations and that was about it. I couldn’t even see any power lines.

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And then out of the clouds… I spotted it. EDORAS!!!!

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Is this real life?

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We drove up to the convenient car park and crossed over a series of streams and rivers to reach the base of the mountain. It was an easy 30 minute hike to the top and as soon as we saw the views we wished we had packed a picnic lunch so that we could’ve stayed up there all afternoon. Simply stunning!

IMG_7931IMG_3507IMG_3515IMG_3522At this point in my trip, a mere four days in, I was content. This is what I came to see and everything else would just be icing on the cake. And trust me, there was a lot of icing!

Have you ever travelled to visit a film location?

Are you an LOTR nerd like me?

A Real Life Fairytale in Hobbiton

A Real Life Fairytale in Hobbiton

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

 

Dreams really do come true!

For 15 years I’ve been telling everyone who would listen to me about my desire to visit the real life Middle EarthNew Zealand. As a lifelong Lord of the Rings and Hobbit fan, there was only one top spot on my bucket list and it was firmly reserved for the home of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins.

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Bag End – The door where it began

Almost immediately after landing in Auckland International Airport, I was on my way to the rolling green pastures of Matamata where the Alexander family sheep farm has been transformed into Hobbiton. Cue major fangirling!

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From re-watching the films and countless hours of behind the scenes footage, I knew that the director of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies, Peter Jackson, paid very close attention to Tolkien’s source material in re-creating the world of Middle Earth and specifically the beloved Shire. But, it still blew me away to see real vegetables growing in the gardens and hobbit holes staged as if their tiny owner’s could arrive at any moment. You don’t even need to use your imagination to picture what life in Hobbiton would be like.

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It was evident from the very start of my set tour that love and passion was poured into each intricate detail of the 12 acre movie set. Our guide pointed out the locations of famous scenes, described the filming process, and allowed us heaps of time to take photographs.

The last stop on the tour was the world-famous Green Dragon Inn where we were all invited to sample a specially brewed beverage. Of course I chose beer and eagerly found a spot by the fire to soak in the culmination of such a long awaited dream.

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Before I knew it, we were being ushered out to make room for the next wave of eager tourists but this was really just the start of my Lord of the Rings adventures. I had more locations on my wish list but for that I had to head South… to Edoras.

The Most Beautiful Beaches in Australia

The Most Beautiful Beaches in Australia

With more than 10,000 beaches around its shores, Australia leads the way when it comes to incredible sand and surf. Now in my all too brief three weeks down under, I didn’t see nearly enough of them to formulate a comprehensive review. But, I was so blown away by both the quantity and quality of the beaches I did see that I had to share some of my favourites.

Wategos Beach, Byron Bay, NSW

IMG_5132This isn’t the main beach in Byron Bay but it is quite a lovely little slice of paradise. I stumbled upon this spot on my walk to the Cape Byron Lighthouse and I couldn’t help taking a pit stop. Surfers and sun worshippers alike could be spotted frolicking in the waves – the relaxing vibes were contagious!

Tugun Beach, Gold Coast, NSW

IMG_5157There is nothing I love more than beach photography and I always get a twinge of excitement when I spot a lifeguard tower. This massive, pristine, and virtually deserted beach was not on my itinerary. In fact, this was really just a bathroom break on our way from Byron Bay to Brisbane… not too shabby.

Noosa North Shore, Sunshine Coast, QLD

IMG_5181When I hear the word “camping” this view is not what immediately springs to mind. But THIS is camping in Australia! Across the river from Noosa Heads and Noosaville is Noosa North Shore – a long stretch of white sand, dunes and beautiful coastline, and the gateway to World Heritage-listed Fraser Island and Great Sandy National Park. Only accessible by a short two minute ferry this site is most suitable for experienced campers… so clearly not me. Good thing I had a crew of Aussies to show me the ropes!

Rainbow Beach, Wide Bay, QLD

IMG_5242Ahhh Rainbow Beach!!!! Doing the Great Beach Drive was the coolest thing I did in Australia. It was an adrenaline filled ride mixing one part terror (at getting stuck or swept into the ocean) and two parts amazing! Why don’t the highways at home look like this?!

Bondi Beach, Sydney, NSW

IMG_5471This may have been the most crowded beach I saw in Australia but it is certainly popular for a reason. Just minutes away from downtown Sydney, this gorgeous stretch of beach is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. If I ever move here this would be my Saturday hangout for sure!

Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island, QLD

IMG_2620And last, but CERTAINLY not least… Whitehaven Beach! This is the #1 rated beach in Australia and frequently rated in the top five beaches in the WORLD!! This immaculate stretch of heaven on Whitsunday Island was the highlight of my time in the Great Barrier Reef. The water was like a bath, the sand was silky smooth, squeaking between my toes, and as you can tell, not crowded in the slightest. It was like a dream! Take me back please!

I’m always on the hunt for fantastic beaches… Where are some of your favourites?

Leave a Comment Below.

 

There’s Something about Sydney

There’s Something about Sydney

It’s always an interesting experience to visit a city that is super famous. The first time that I visited both Paris and New York I kept feeling like somehow I’d been there before. This isn’t surprising considering how many movies are filmed in both cities, yet still the familiarity was surreal.

I’ve been hearing about Sydney for years and especially how much I was going to love it. Often compared to my beloved Vancouver, I had high expectations for my first visit. And although many of the sites were exactly how I imagined, the city as a whole was completely different.

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Sydney from above

For starters, Sydney is BIG. Think NYC big. With a population of over 4 million people, the CBD was always buzzing with activity. Instantly I decided that Sydney was no Vancouver. The comparisons do make sense of course – harbour city, new city, multicultural city… but the vibe is 100% Australian.

I think I hit the nail on the head when I decided that Sydney is New York on vacation. If NYC could just absorb some of the Aussie chill and spend more time at the beach, then they’d be on the same page. That’s my theory anyways.

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The ever busy Circular Quay

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Bondi Beach

I was able to spend six full days in Sydney and opted to stay in an Airbnb rental in the convenient suburb of Waterloo. My hosts were fantastic (Hi Wayne & Sasha!) and I got a real sense of what life would be like if I lived in Sydney (read: Expensive).

I am not kidding. I thought that rent in Vancouver was pricey but Sydney is next-level ridiculous. Just check out this cost of living analysis noting that renting a 900 sq ft furnished place in a “normal” area would cost AU $3,328 per month (essentially the equivalent in CAD). Now I understand why expat friends of mine had 6 room mates in a 2 bedroom apartment. Yikes! And that’s not the only thing that’s expensive… pretty much everything costs more: coffee, alcohol, gelato… only my travel/life essentials!

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Views like this don’t come cheap (Sydney Harbour Bridge)

Cost aside, I loved my time in Sydney. I bought an OPAL card and figured out the transit system with ease. I walked a ton. I visited beaches and museums. Climbed bridges and rode ferries. I went on a free, 3 hour walking tour of the city with a tour guide that looked like a petite version of Jessica Jones. It was FANTASTIC! Probably the best tour I’ve ever done, and I’ve done a lot of tours in my travels so that’s saying something.

I never got tired of wandering around Circular Quay or Hyde Park or The Rocks. I could easily spend countless hours listening to the street buskers or people watching on the Opera House steps or photographing this city from every angle. It’s magical.

 

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The Rocks (oldest part of Sydney)

I got to soak up many of the activities that are especially lovely during the summer months, like enjoying refreshing drinks at the most epic beer garden in the world (The Opera Bar), wandering through outdoor markets, and  reveling in the Saturday night Firework spectacular in Darling Harbour.

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Check out these crowds – The Opera Bar is the place to be any night of the week!

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Darling Harbour

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Fireworks and a Ferris Wheel

Even though Sydney is conceivably the furthest destination I could possibly visit, I know that I will be back someday. Australia will not and can not be a one-time trip for me. There’s just something about the land down under that has captured my heart.

Have you ever been to Sydney? What were your impressions of this world-class city?

Leave a comment below.

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Sailing Adventure in the Whitsundays

Sailing Adventure in the Whitsundays

When I was researching where I wanted to visit during my all too short 3 weeks in Australia, I came across a destination that I’d never heard about before… the Whitsunday islands. Now you can imagine my excitement when I discovered that this tropical paradise was not only the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, but also home to Australia’s #1 rated (and top 5 in the world) beach. Sign me up!

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I decided to spend three nights in Airlie Beach, a backpacker resort town that serves as a launching pad for all the water excursions you could ask for. I had heard amazing things about the full day sailing trip offered by Cruise Whitsundays so I booked it and crossed my fingers for good weather. And I lucked out big time. I really couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day.

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I have always loved sailing and spending time on the water, but this was my first full day of real, solo travel and I worried… Would I have fun all by myself? Well, it turns out that I didn’t even have to cross that bridge. Before I boarded my vessel for the day, I made fast friends with a Scottish girl named Lorna who was also travelling solo. Yeah!

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Introducing the Camira… purple enough for you?

Our itinerary for the day included sailing aboard the Camira, one of the world’s fastest commercial sailing catamarans, snorkelling at Dumbell reef, a leisurely afternoon at Whitehaven Beach, and a gourmet BBQ lunch with open bar. Hello Heaven!

I happened to be traveling during stinger season (Nov – May) so in order to prevent painful stings from the prevalent Box Jellyfish and Irakanji stingers we all wore stinger suits when snorkelling. I didn’t mind. I kind of felt like Cat Woman. The coral was quite colourful and I got to see a few Dory’s swimming around. Lorna even spotted a turtle.

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And then finally it was time for the main event: Whitehaven Beach!!!!! We knew it was going to be good when we could see the glistening white sand sparkling way off in the distance. The crystal clear waters and pristine silica sand stretch over 7km along Whitsunday Island, the largest of the 74 islands in the Whitsundays. The sand is so white that it never gets hot and so fine that it actually squeaks when you walk. You can even use the sand to polish your jewellery… trust me, we tested it.

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It’s easy to see why it is the most photographed beach in Australia and has been named the South Pacific’s Best Beach by the 2015 TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards. I think it’s time for me to update my list of favourite beaches.

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Everything about this day was perfect, well almost everything. I made a new friend. The crew were incredibly efficient yet highly personable (that’s a killer combo). I got to snorkel, sail, and suntan and finally set foot on my namesake (Whitney means White Island). The only downside was that despite my very best efforts to reapply and cover-up early, I burnt. I knew I would but still hoped I wouldn’t. That Australian sun is no joke.

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Blissfully unaware of my scorched flesh.

Australia has been completely knocking my socks off. I wish I had so many more months left to explore all of the awe-inspiring sights that this country has to offer. One thing is for certain, I will be back.

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Whitehaven_beach

City Girl Goes Camping: The Australian Edition

City Girl Goes Camping: The Australian Edition

Camping is such an odd experience. If aliens were to visit earth and observe people vacating their perfectly comfortable and amenity filled houses to temporarily sleep in canvas sacks in the wilderness, I’m going to bet that they would be confused. I do it and I don’t even get it. Clearly, I am a city girl.

Even so, when my Australian hostess suggested that we spend a weekend camping on the Sunshine Coast – I agreed. I wanted to experience an authentic summer in Queensland… and the locals go camping.

Kyle, Veronica, and I left the creature comforts of Brisbane before noon on Friday to make the two hour drive to Noosa North Shore before peak hour (read: rush hour). We had booked a campsite right on the beach because Australia.

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This is camping in Queensland.

The weather forecast for the weekend wasn’t looking ideal but rainy camping can be fun right? Sure, except that we hadn’t exactly planned for a windstorm too, which is what greeted us upon arrival. We should have known we were in for a rough night when all the other camping parties were set up in massive trailers with tarps secured. Then we realized that one of our tents was completely busted. Excellent.

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It took us ages us to set up our ridiculous make-shift tent village as we began getting pelted with rain from every angle. Another friend showed up later to provide a much needed tarp. We made do. And fortunately we had a full esky (read: cooler) of alcohol and Settlers of Catan to pass the time. Just before bed our whole tent structure gave up. The boys assured me it would be fine… or in Australian… She be right mate. I was skeptical.

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The next morning we woke to light drizzle and decided to move our campsite to a more sheltered forest section – this was a very good decision. We moved our gear and then ditched camp life for Noosaville where I got to try SUP for the first time. Then we wandered around Noosa for a bit, visited the beach area, and went searching for koalas to no avail. I guess I’ll have to settle for the heaps of wild kangaroos back at camp. They really are as prevalent as deer in Canada.

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Our evening consisted of more relaxing and eating and drinking and Catan. Lots of Catan. On our final day the sun finally returned as we were packing up. But, we had one more adventure in store – The Great Beach Drive.

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If you happen to find yourself in Queensland any you are able to hook yourself up with a 4 wheel drive then I highly recommend that you try driving on the 50km stretch of beach from Noosa to Rainbow Beach. I have never done anything quite like this before and I probably never will again. If you can manage a high clearance vehicle that would also be a wise idea because we definitely got stuck, twice. Fortunately, Aussies are super friendly and helpful and we quickly got towed out on both occasions. The journey was exhilarating and terrifying and just plain cool. Thanks for driving Kyle – you’re a champ!

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Rainbow Beach is also just a stunning stretch of coastline with gorgeous cliffs and the Carlo Sand Blow. Named by Captain Cook after one of his deck crew named Carlo, the unique “moonscape” sand mass covers over 15 hectares and overlooks the towering coloured sands. If you don’t go camping or do the beach drive, then you should find another reason to visit. Australia has so much to offer.

 

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I’m incredibly grateful that I was able to travel with locals for part of my Australian adventure. I was able to do things and see things that I never would have known about or had the guts to do on my own. I may not be the best camper in the world but I love having friends that push me outside my comfort zone. I will never stop needing that.

What is one of your most unique travel experiences? Leave a comment below.

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The Great Beach Drive

Postcards from Byron Bay

Postcards from Byron Bay

In my parent’s dining room is a framed photograph from their visit to Australia back in 2012. The photo is of a lighthouse in Byron Bay and I was instructed, in no uncertain terms, that I HAD to go there myself. Today I did just that.

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Byron Bay is a laid back, hippie mecca on the Eastern coast of Australia. It has beautiful beaches, but then, that isn’t a very distinguishing feature in this part of the world. The main standout in BB is the flourishing surf culture and the chill vibe. You can’t help but feel relaxed with all the barefooted backpackers hanging about. It’s a wonder how anyone actually gets any work done in a town so easy going.

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After some mandatory pool and beach time, my hostess extraordinaire, Veronica, and I made sure to follow my parent’s orders – to the lighthouse.

 

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The century-old Cape Byron Light House is located on the Eastern most point of mainland Australia. We walked the popular 3.7km loop through rainforest and across cliff tops with views that had us stopping at every lookout. It was everything my parents promised it would be.

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I was able to fill my camera with souvenirs to keep me warm during the rainy winters. As per usual, I’m glad I listened to my travel expert mother’s advice.

Have you ever visited a place that fully lived up to the hype?

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Byron Bay Light House

Departure Lounge: Australia

Departure Lounge: Australia

I have a very exciting travel announcement that I just couldn’t wait any longer to share.

In just 6 weeks I will be flying to my 6th continent – A U S T R A L I A !

I’m pretty over the moon about it especially considering I only booked my flight 2 weeks ago. This is about as last minute as I get. Australia has always been somewhere I wanted to visit but it became a MUST-SEE destination after I watched that weeklong Oprah special back in 2010. Now, granted, I won’t be traveling like Oprah (although I am incorporating a bit of business class air travel… teehee!) but I still have some epic plans in the works.

It’s taken me a lot longer than I expected to finally get around to visiting the land down under. I was waiting for a huge chunk of time off to make the 12,400 km journey worthwhile. But, with a longstanding invite from my high school friend and recent Aussie citizen, Veronica, and an approved leave of absence from work – the timing was just about perfect. I know that it will be impossible to see and do everything on my Australian bucket list in just 3 weeks… So I’m not even going to try. This continent is nearly the size of the continental USA – a country that will take my entire life to explore thoroughly. In the same way, Australia will definitely require some repeat visits.

So for my first adventure in OZ, I’m basing my travels on the East Coast and focusing mainly on Queensland where my friend lives. After some time exploring the greater Brisbane area, I will venture onward (solo) to the Whitsunday islands (I mean, it’s basically named after me) before ending up in Sydney – a city, I’m told, is quite reminiscent of my beloved Vancouver. It’s going to be good!

Itinerary

Dec 6 – 15: Brisbane, Queensland

Dec 15-18: Whitsunday Islands, Queensland

Dec 18-24: Sydney, New South Wales

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These are the activities I am most looking forward to:

  • Learning to Surf at Manly Beach
  • Wine tasting in the Hunter Valley
  • Sailing, Snorkeling, and Sunbathing at Australia’s #1 rated Whitehaven Beach
  • Getting up close and personal with koalas, kangaroos, and dingos… Oh my!
  • Seeing the famed sights of Sydney and pretending to be in an episode of Dance Academy (lol)

Have you ever been to Australia? Any recommendations or travel tips?