Saturday, 31 December 2011

2011: The best of

I really can't believe that 2012 is upon us and one year has past by yet again!  Wasn't  it October just the other day?
This year in Australia has been pretty amazing and has taken me places I never thought possible. I started 2011 in Melbourne, crammed in the Ethiad stadium dancing like a lunatic to Armin Van Buuren. The next day was an interesting one working reception at the hostel.

Then for my birthday I headed on the great ocean road, sighting Koalas for the first time and the majestic 12 apostles.

Before I knew it, we were in late March and it was time for me to leave Melbourne for the northern territory. I started work on a cattle station, giving me a completely new insight into ozzy culture.

After saving some money and getting my three months agricultural work out the way, my roaad trip with two of my besties made my year. I dived, droved, snorkelled and walked my way down the East coast.

And then I ended up in Sydney, working on a timber tall ship.  

So thank you world for a pretty special year.  Lets see what 2012 brings!


Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Outpost at Cockatoo Island

On a rare day when both me and the tall one had a day off together, we headed to Cockatoo Island to see the 'Outpost: Art from the streets' exhibition. Held on Cockatoo Island, this free event celebrated street art in all different shapes and sizes.

One of the fun surprises was this interactive piece of art, where a simple grid fence and plastic cups allows the public to make their own statements.

I just wrote my nephews name....and a smiley face

With a whole Island to explore, there was a lot of variety. One of the highlights was the Oi! collection featuring Famed Graffiti artist Banksy.

But for me, the haunted house was a definite highlight

Monday, 26 December 2011

An Orphan's Christmas

The second non-Christmas in a row. I refer to it this way because having the holiday period in the sun, away from your family and not watching a 'Muppets Christmas Carol' just doesn't feel right. A friend of mine described it as an Orphan's Christmas. But the plus side is your not alone in the orphanage. There are others away from their family and old friends.  Together you make the most of it and work your way through this bizarre scenario.

 I woke up in my Cabin alone. My boyfriend had gone to spend the holidays with his family in Western Australia and for a few moments I was regretting my decision to stay behind. It would be at least ten hours until I could Skype my family and I started the day feeling sorry for myself.
By the time I was dressed, others had started to surface and soon things were on the up.  For a start the rain had stopped and the sun shone out. For the first time I wore a bikini on Christmas day.   Instead of going to the beach (public transport became too much effort for what it was worth) we stayed on the Ships; For the moment the Swan is berthing next to its sister vessel the Soren whilst a super yacht is using our usual wharf.

So on this Christmas day I drank a little, ate a lot, opened my secret Santa present ( a  CD from one of Circular quay's didgeridoo players, thank you Santa!) and enjoyed the company of some great people.

At at the end of the day I could Skype my family. And although knowing all my siblings, parents and baby nephew would be seeing the day without me, I couldn't of wished for a better Orphans' Christmas.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

The Blue Mountains

A few months back I went on a camping trip to the Blue mountains with friends from the ship. As two of them were experienced rock-climbers, I also attempted some climbing.

Getting there was a little bit stressful; we left late after a full days work. However, a couple of guys were amazing driving at night and putting the tent up. Luckily two of the guys had a van and we could  borrow another from a friend.  Our home for the night was a free camp site up on mount York. In the morning we had breakfast and then it was time to climb. Have to say I fell off more than once, thank god I had a rope attached to me! As the guys were a little bit more hardcore than me, while they went on climbing, me and Zim went for a bush walk.

If you ever come to New South Wales, do not miss the blue mountains. I think the picture below says why.

These are the three sisters. Legend has it that a sorcerer  turned his daughters to stone so no one could 'mishandle' them. However, he died before he could turn them back, and there they stand watching over the mountains. We stopped at this view point before heading back to the city.

     Yep, definitely coming back here again.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Where Sydney ended up: On a tall ship

Its been three months since I got to Sydney and things have turned out a lot differently than I imagined.   I had it all planned;  a job in a cafe, hopefully overlooking the beach,  a house share and most importantly, finally a wardrobe. It would of been nice and comfy and I'd get to live a city slicker lifestyle.  But again,  opportunities come forward that are too out of the ordinary to pass up.

As mentioned in my last post, the Tall one went for a trial on a ship. Well she got it, and then she gave her new boss my number.  Now I live and work on this sexy lady.

This is random, even for me.  Her name is the southern swan, She's about 90 years old and comes from Denmark.  For the moment she does day cruises out of Sydney Harbour and moors up between the opera house and the harbour bridge. Each morning I wake up to this.

 Sometimes I'm a cook, a sail hand or on the bar. Since coming on board I've done a hell of a lot of fun activities and met some fantastic people. Great moments have included dressing up as a Santa (whilst up the mast unfurling sails), dressing up for pirate parties, learning  about sailing (previous experience was zero) and getting to know the harbour. Over the last few months I've also thought about what I'm going to share on this blog and how I'll go about it.  Along with filling in whats been going on, I'll be sharing photos around Sydney and doing other 'overviews' from my travels  (I'm still in love with top tens!). The hours I work have affected my ability to progress blogging but by god I'm gonna try and get some material out there!!!

More posts to follow, I promise.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Hello Sydney!!!

After our day in Newcastle, we found ourselves getting seriously confused and lost on Sydney's roads, but by some miracle we got to Manly, our chosen first suburb in Sydney.  It had hit dark by the time we arrived at manly backpackers, where we stayed for almost a week.  We were pretty excited to have arrived in Sydney, but with our road trip ending the trio would be separating at this point. Lou had decided to head to Moree, a small town in New South Wales to spend some time with her boyfriend -  before looking for farm work. Olivia, had a trial on a tall ship in two days time and I would be staying in Sydney, looking for a job, a home and some kind of life.

Within the next few days we said goodbye to our van, handing it in a couple of days early to the nice people at wicked campers. And then we did a few tourist things. The first time I saw the harbour bridge and opera house was on the ferry from Manly, which I found pretty surreal. I mean, I'd been in Oz nearly  a year and this was the first time I'd seen the iconic landmarks.
Before our time was up, we did a few touristy things. These included;

Walking around the botanical gardens and spotting the gigantic bats roosting in the trees

Met some of the locals...

 A smaller Hyde park than I'm used to...

going down to Darling Harbour

Heading to Bondi

One thing to fall in love with in Bondi:  the public swimming pool over looking the sea. I loved how the waves crashed over the side.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Nearing the end: Coffs harbour and newcastle

For the last leg of our journey we stopped off at a couple of towns before hitting our final destination, the big S.

Coff's harbour - home to the giant banana.  Got there near dark.  Found a campsite with a very rude receptionist who then had an argument with the tall one. Surprised we weren't kicked out. Me and Lou went to a nearby pub for some drinks and headed to macdonalds (yeah we're classy) and used the free wi-fi.

The next day we went to the beach and had some swim time. Then driving. Followed by a night stop at  a tiny campsite over lookiing the river.

In the morning we went to Newcastle. It was cold and raining. We had coffee on one of the main streets then went to the water front.  Highlights included the graffiti and watching a pod of dolphins swim on a tanker's bow.

Sunday, 18 December 2011


Nimbin - if I thought the hippies grew thick in Byron bay, then  I had a shock in this small town, one of the few stops we made in land.
If you're looking to score some space cakes or magic mushrooms, you won't have to look far in Nimbin. Welcome to wacky-backy central. Within an hour and a half i received a dozen offers (and its a small street!) For some reason the hemp business is allowed, meaning Nimbin has become a favourite day trip for backpackers. However, I only took away some fun photos and a good cup of coffee.

I wish I had the balls to wear a hat like this everyday.

Loved some of the artwork plastered on Nimbin's walls.

Best name for a clothes shop. Ever.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Let the rivers run red with blood: Byron Bay

How would I describe the streets of Byron Bay?  It was a mish mash of coffee shops, hippy clothing from a previous age - owned by a generation of hippies ready to share their ideals of a anti-establishment life style by selling you tie and just sticks.  Be aware, this town is expensive. However, still take the time to come to this holiday destination for some r&r.

As you can see, I had a lot of fun playing in the sand....

 Someone left these behind in the sand and i couldn't help but have some fun !!!

Puff the magic dragon. I wish I could do this.

My first successful jumping photo - thank you for your patience Lou!

But I've got some bad news for you all about Byron bay - I think the anti-Christ lives there. Because the rivers heading into the sea look suspiciously like blood.  A bus driver later said it was from the eucalyptus forests on the hills but I'm not buying it. Nope, definitely the work of the devil, or the end of the world. After all its soon approaching 2012...

 Whilst in  Byron it was also time to surf and the three of us signed up for a lesson. The first day the waves were too 'crashy' for us mere beginners so another time was scheduled.  The next morning we were out on the waves and although i wasn't transformed as a pro by the end, at least I could stand up on the board.

With our time in Byron coming to an end, we left with heavy hearts but rather light pockets!

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