My Travel Diary: Melbourne & Adelaide

Good morning!

At the end of my last post Ryan and I had finished our time in Alice Springs and hopped on our bus to start our long journey to Adelaide.

We stopped in Coober Pedy for a one night stopover to break up the journey a little. Coober Pedy is well known as a mining town. It’s a town in the middle of nowhere and is essentially only there because of the opal mining!

We stayed in a hostel which was underground (which is pretty cool I guess!) and owned by a creepy guy that just moaned to anyone and everyone and was really unhelpful with any questions you needed answering. We honestly heard him repeat the same story (what felt like 50 times) about a group of people wanting to check in at 5am and how they shouldn’t come earlier than reception hours blah blah blah!!

So you could say we were more than happy to be only staying the one night! We checked out the next morning and hopped on our bus to Adelaide.

We didn’t do to much in Adelaide; we checked into our little hostel which had free pancakes every morning (don’t mind if I do!) and took a stroll around a few museums and took in the graffiti on the streets. We visited the Migration Museum, South Australian Museum and the Art Gallery.

We then got picked up and started our 3 day tour of The Great Ocean Road from Adelaide to Melbourne.

Our first stop on the tour was a bonus stop at a pink lake! We were driving along the road and our tour guide swung the bus round so we could jump off the and take a short walk to the lake. We were lucky as the tours don’t normally stop there; we only stopped there as we were doing well for time!

In Australia they do this thing where they’re pretty much to-the-point when it comes to giving things names. The Great Ocean Road; because it’s a great… Ocean… Road. The Great Barrier Reef; because it’s a great barrier reef. The Sydney Opera House; because it’s an opera house in Sydney. I could go on but you get the gist; so the pink lake we visited was called *drumroll please*

Pink Lake!

Classic.

We then entered into The Grampian National Park – we stopped along the journey at McKenzie Falls and Reid’s Lookout before making our way to our lodges to stay the night. We stayed up playing Cards Against Humanity with half the group, and it was so much funnier because we were playing with a couple of Germans and they didn’t understand a lot of what their cards said! And Jeff, a guy we met from Canada, couldn’t even read out the cards because he was laughing to hard!

The next day we took a short hike to The Pinnacle and were meant to be greeted with spectacular views at the top however instead got a view of cloud/fog! Our tour guide Em showed us pictures of what the views normally look like – as you can imagine seeing a picture is just not the same! ‘And here’s what you could’ve won’ vibes!

After our hike we visited a culture centre to learn some history about the aboriginal people; I read a section which spoke about how the aboriginals came forward to fight in the World War, many of them died and those that came back were still not treated as equal to the other Australians, even after fighting for their Country! Madness!

After walking around the culture centre we then saw kangaroos and wallabies in the grounds surrounding the centre. We then made our way to Tower Hill to have our lunch inside a volcano; which sounds WAY cooler than it was, it’s essentially a massive crater/base of a volcano that has parks inside ..you wouldn’t know you were inside a volcano unless told – like we were!

We did spot our first Koala in one of the trees at our lunch spot though – finally, only took us 10 months!

We started our drive along the Great Ocean Road and stopped at the Bay of Islands, the Grotto, London Bridge and finally visited the Twelve Apostles for sunset.

Our tour guide told us a story about two people that pulled a sicky at work to take a romantic visit to the rock formation that resembles London Bridge and whilst there one part of the Bridge collapsed leaving them stranded. There were reporters and it was all over the news of the couple that were stranded on the rock, the pair were being very camera shy and it turned out that’s because they were married.. to other people!! I guess there must be something said for being publicly humiliated in front of the nation as the couple later got married and are still together now.

After sunset we made our way to our overnight accommodation which was a large room full of bunkbeds where the whole group would sleep. Two elderly women were on our tour, both of whom it seemed had no bloody clue what they’d signed up for. Lynn was a fully self proclaimed princess and was very open about the fact she was way out of her comfort zone and all her friend could do was laugh about the situation. They were completely out of their comfort zone however both said they had an amazing time and really enjoyed themselves – which is the main thing, right?!

The next day we carried on with our journey on The Great Ocean Road. We stopped at Loch Ard Gorge then took a stroll through Mates Rest Rainforest and got SOAKED!

We continued on our journey (now disgustingly wet) and stopped at Apollo bay cafes for a cuppa and snack. Ryan and I tried the yummiest salted caramel cheesecake brownie and I am determined to find a recipe to try at home! *wipes drool from mouth*

Next we stopped at the famous Great Ocean Road sign – I mean, have you even travelled the Great Ocean Road if you don’t get a picture of the sign? Thought not.

Bells Beach was our next destination, we stopped to view the large group of surfers catching waves there. There were loads of them! How they didn’t smack into each other I will never know!

We hopped on the bus one last time and made our journey into Melbourne – waved goodbye to our group and hello to our hostel – our last hostel! Can I get a hallelujah?!

Of course we had to have issues in our last hostel, didn’t we?!

We got to the hostel and some how they had Ry and I on separate bookings, so we weren’t in the same room! Reception sorted it out so we could be in the same room but it was a bit of a faff and turned out we were put on the top floor with people staying long term.

The people in the room were really nice; one guy, Jimmy, is a musician, and he was kind enough to give us his CD. He was also very spiritual and believed that the higher spirits control our lives, he said they had put us in that room and they wouldn’t do anything they didn’t think we could handle… Which was really spooky as Ry and I had been discussing upgrading to a private room as we were slightly thrown by the long term room, so it was like he had read my mind or had heard our conversation somehow!

We didn’t have long left in the hostel so decided to remain in the long term room.

We had one day tour booked in for our time in Melbourne which was to see the Penguin Parade on Phillip Island.

Ryan and I booked quite a few tours for our time in Australia but didn’t do to much research into what they included; this was better for us, so we had no expectations and lots of what we did was a surprise. Phillip Island was no different, all we knew was that we were going over to the island to view the Penguin Parade, whatever else we did was a bonus.

It turns out the Phillip Island tour was actually one of my favourite tours!

Our first stop on the tour was at Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park. This first stop made the day for me!

The sanctuary was home to loads of wallabies and kangaroos roaming freely around the grounds and you could hand feed them so they would come up close enough for you to pet! It was great!

It was also home to many birds, dingos, Tasmanian devils and koalas!

It was nice to finally see koalas so close! We didn’t hold one in the end – fun fact: it’s actually illegal to hold a koala in most states in Australia, most people hold one in Queensland where it IS legal.

We then continued on our journey to Phillip Island. Whilst on the island we took a quick stop at the Koala Conservation Centre to spot even more koalas climbing the trees there.

Next stop was Churchill Island Heritage Farm for us to take a look into the old farming ways. There was sheep shearing, working dogs rounding up sheep and whip cracking. Some visitors had a go at whip cracking and one guy almost took his ear off!

There were lots of animals at the farm including Cape Barren Geese which reminded me a little of Buckbeak from Harry Potter!

Our tour guide accidentally ran over one of them when we left the farm – poor thing!

Then it was time to spot some Penguins!

We took a stroll along The Nobbies coastal boardwalk to see if we could see some penguins in their huts/pods – it was very hard to see into them and I could only just see the fluffy belly of a penguin inside one of the many pods!

Then it was time for the main event, the Penguin Parade.

Each evening, after sunset, the many Penguins return home after a day of fishing and it’s become a tourist attraction to see these beautiful creatures swim ashore and make their way up to their pods.

It is made perfectly clear to everyone that photography is not allowed – the cameras are damaging to the little penguins eyes unfortunately. We were told we couldn’t even take pictures without our flash on as this could still harm them, and also because sometimes the flash automatically comes on. The amount of people who did not care about this actually made me so angry! Especially when we were close to the penguins when they were making their way up the hills to their pods – people were taking pictures so close to the penguins, flash on too – it made my blood boil!

It was a beautiful thing to see but seeing people have total disregard for the penguins made me feel quite sad!

We spent the next day getting ourselves sorted for our flight out of Melbourne to our next destination – Fiji!!

‘Til next time!

Love Bumble x

My Travel Diary: Alice Springs

Good morning guys!

After what felt like the longest bus journey EVER we finally arrived in Alice Springs ready to do our tour to Uluru (Ayers Rock).

We got picked up super early from our accommodation and made our way to our first stop; Kings Canyon.

We stopped to refuel at Erldunda and saw Emu’s and I even saw a wild camel while looking out the window on our journey!

We took a 3 hour hike round Kings Canyon. We walked through the domes of the Lost City, visited the North and South walls and survived the infamous heart attack hill which has an AED at the top just to give you an idea of how tiring it is!

We stopped at the Garden of Eden to have lunch before continuing through the canyon.

After a busy day of walking and pic snapping we stopped at Curtin Springs to set up our bush camp. We helped collect firewood ready for camp and a Korean couple named Kim and Mimo took over setting up the fire. It was up in seconds!

We laid our swags out, ate our camp oven cooked dinner and roasted marshmallows on the fire.

Our first day was great, our first night? Not so much!

We stayed in swags, which are basically giant sacks with a hood; or ‘monster flap’ as our guide Ben called it.

We were bloody FREEZING!!

You had the option to hire a sleeping bag, which Ryan and I didn’t do due to the fact we had our own ..this was the error. Our sleeping bags were for 10 degrees and the ones you hire are for – 5 degrees ..do you see our problem here?

Note to anyone who is going to be doing the rock tour any time soon – HIRE THE DAMN SLEEPING BAG

And layers, take lots and lots of layers!

We were so cold during the night, I don’t think I actually slept at all and Ryan and I both said we couldn’t feel our legs because they kept going numb!

(The second night was even colder so we actually stayed in the bus because that’s the kind of princess I am!)

On our second day we woke up early, had breakfast and popped to Yulara campground for a quick shower before starting our day.

Our first stop was at the Valley of the Winds at Kata Tjuta. We took a short walk around the Valley of the Winds before heading to the Aboriginal Cultural Centre where we learnt about the aboriginal culture, the history of the land and Uluru and what it means to them.

After visiting the culture centre we then went to Uluru to do the Mala Walk. (Part of the base walk).

When we arrived at Uluru we were shown where you could climb the rock. You could see a chain pinned to the rock and white lines either side of it where previous climbers feet have worn away at the rock.

The climb was in fact closed when we visited; I wouldn’t have wanted to climb it anyway due to it being so sacred for the aboriginal people. But some of the group were wanting to do it but couldn’t; Ben said only 5 days earlier there was another death and that’s why it’s been closed again!

After completing the Mala Walk we drove to a viewing area to have dinner and watch the sunset over Uluru.

Then we headed back to our campsite in Yulara to get the fire going again.

Some of us headed up to the lookout near our campsite which was perfect for taking a look at the beautiful starry sky. I’m not sure if it’s due to the fact we were in the middle of nowhere with little-to-no pollution but they sky was so clear and the stars so bright!

The next morning we woke up early to catch the sunrise over Ayers Rock, we had our breakfast while watching too – bliss!

We then went to do the rest of the base walk around Uluru. There is aboriginal art work on parts of the rock and many parts of the rock are deemed as sensitive so they ask that you do not take photographs of it. The aboriginal people do not divulge why they are sensitive but ask that you respect their wishes.

After the walk we dropped a couple of people from our tour off at the Ulara airport then made our journey back to Alice Springs.

On the journey to Alice Springs we stopped a couple of times; once to take a look at a view of the outskirts of Lake Amadeus, another time to see some camels and the last one to get a picture near the Alice Springs sign.

Once back in Alice Springs we checked into our hostel, had a much needed shower and got ourselves ready to go for a goodbye meal and drinks with the rest of the tour. And Ryan ordered a Kangaroo steak!!

After a good nights sleep in a nice warm bed we then left Alice Springs to get another bus to our next stop!

‘Til next time!

Love Bumble x

My Travel Diary: Darwin

Good morning guys!

We touched down in Darwin after our short flight from Cairns and could instantly feel the heat hit you straight in the face. YAAAAS SUN!

We made our way from the airport to our hostel and spent the day wandering around the town and getting ourselves sorted for our tour the next day.

We had booked ourselves on a 3 day tour that explored the Kakadu and Litchfield National parks.

We got picked up super early on the morning of day one by our Way Outback tour guide, Simon, and quickly became friendly with another couple on our tour; Jason and Emma, both Aussies and both bloody hilarious!

Our first stop was at Fogg Dam to do the dam walk. We were advised to stay well away from the water edge as a salt water crocodile is currently in the water. They have cages in the waters to catch the crocodiles to keep an eye on the type and size of crocs in the waters. If they find a salt water crocodile on the water they simply release it again and put up signs clearly stating there’s a deadly beast in the waters.

One Japanese guy (who we later found out doesn’t speak English very well) didn’t listen to the warning given by Simon and was crouched down near the water edge trying to take photos – my heart was in my mouth watching him stupidly give himself up for a crocs dinner – luckily he moved back after multiple people telling him to stay away from the edge.

Our next stop was a cruise around Corroboree Billabong to spot crocs and bird life.

We were advised, again, to be careful of the salt water crocs. No pointing out over the boat and to keep your arms inside the boat at all times.

I’ll give you one guess who didn’t listen to these rules..

That’s right, the Japanese guy.

The first thing he did when we got seated on the boat was start tapping his hand on the edge of the boat in an attempt to coax the crocs – I mean, does this guy want to die?!!

Our boat driver then went on to tell us about how she had to get one of the crocodiles removed from the Billabong as it attempted to take a snap at her one day; jumped right out of the water with the snapping of its jaw only just missing her.

We saw many crocodiles basking in the sun, in the water and loads of birds too. We saw the Jabiru bird, sea eagles and so many more I can’t remember the names of!

After our cruise we had lunch and went to explore the Kakadu National Park, which is still home to 2 aboriginal tribes.

We hiked around Ubirr to take in the ancient ancestral art work carved on the rocks. They told stories of how the white men came, what animals they hunted and their ancestors past.

We climbed to the Nadab look out and were welcomed with a view that overlooks the land. The view reminded me of The Lion King; rust coloured sand, green trees and mustard yellow rocks.

After wandering Ubirr we made our way to our Campsite in Cooinda. We slept in tents, cooked dinner and had beers under the stars.

On our second day we drove along a very bumpy dirt track from our campsite to Jim Jim Falls.

It was a short hike to get to the falls and we had to go past a lake which we weren’t allowed to swim in as it is home to a couple of salt water crocodiles.

After hiking further past that lake we arrived at the beautiful Jim Jim Falls.

There were two fresh water pools, one with a white sand edge and the other you had to climb over rocks to get to.

The second pool was spectacular; it was a deep pool which the waterfall cascaded into. It was a perfect circle with the rock cliff forming a semi circle around the pool. Most definitely one of the most beautiful things we’ve seen since our travels – and it was quiet too, just our group with the whole of Jim Jim Falls to ourselves!

We headed to our second campsite; Mt Bundy Station. We stayed in tents again and there were lots of animals around the grounds. There were cows, horses, a bull, dogs, a little Shetland pony wandering freely and heaps of wallabies bouncing around too.

There was also a river near our campsite, and guess what? There was a salt water crocodile in there! *shock*

We were talking to Simon who said the croc has eaten 2 of the campsite owners dogs!!

He said the owner has been offered a lot of money for the crocodile (for the meat or skin I guess?) but has turned down his offers as ‘the crocs not done me any harm’

…You mean accept eat two of your bloody dogs?!

After hearing that story the boys were winding me up saying the Shetland pony is next – little shits!

Our last day was spent in the Litchfield National Park. We drove to check out some really old termite mounds – how exciting does that sound?! So. Much. Fun.

In case you don’t do sarcasm the mounds were pretty underwhelming, in my opinion; I’m just not interested in that kind of thing. We were given a fact about termites though: that in each termite mound there is one queen and her ‘soldiers’ and when she dies so do her army and the termite mound starts to crumble away. And that if the queen gives birth to a female, that female will fly away, stop somewhere and build her own army wherever she stops – you go girls!

After all that excitement (sarcasm, again) we went chasing waterfalls. We went to Florence Falls, Buleys Rock Hole then onto Wangi Falls before making our journey back to Darwin.

In Wangi Falls we also bumped into our friends Emma and Tom who had hired a camper-van to travel the Northern Territory. Considering how huge Australia is, it always baffles me when we bump into people we know. Like when we checked into our hostel the first night in Darwin we bumped into Beth, a girl we worked with months ago in Sydney, she was staying in the same hostel!

Once back in Darwin we just spent the evening having a couple drinks with some of the people from the tour and getting ourselves ready for a long ass bus ride from Darwin to our next stop – Alice Springs!

P.s – I also held a snake at one of the pit stops along the way!

‘Til next time!

Love Bumble x

My Travel Diary: Magnetic Island & Cairns

Good Morning!

Ryan and I hopped off our overnight bus from Airlie Beach and arrived in Townsville.

There’s not much to do in Townsville itself; most people will stop here to get the ferry over to Magnetic Island ..and that’s exactly what we did!

We checked out of our hostel and jumped on the ferry. We unfortunately only had one night on Magnetic island and in hindsight we probably should have stayed longer and rented a little 4WD so we could’ve seen more of the island – ohh well! So, just a tip if you are going over there – make sure you do rent a car as there’s lots of things to see on the island but they’re all far away from each other!

We still had a great time though! We caught the bus to do the Forts Walk which is a walking track in the National Park which leads to forts that were built and used in WWII. We tried to spot koalas on the way – we didn’t see any unfortunately – myself and Ryan are basically blind so we didn’t have a hope in hell really!!

After a long day of walking and the disappointment of not seeing any wild koalas we decided we would pop to Scallywags Cafe for a well deserved dinner.

The next day we waved goodbye to Magnetic Island and hopped back on the ferry to Townsville.

We stayed in Townsville for another night and did all the boring things like washed our clothes and shopped for food. The boring stuff that no one wants to know about!

Then we caught the bus to Cairns; our final stop up the East Coast!

We met up with friends, Jasmin, Emma and Tom as it was the last time we’d all be together in the same place before going our separate ways.

We wandered the Cairns Night Markets, grabbed some market food then went to the pub for a drink. And Jasmin has ordered that if Ryan and I get married she wants an invite to the wedding! Ha – chance would be a fine thing!

In Cairns we also opted to do the Atherton Tablelands day tour to visit the rainforest and waterfalls.

The night before we had an email to say they’d cancelled our tour (does this sound familiar? Shout out to those of you who read my Whitsundays post).

BUT, again, they had upgraded us to a similar, more expensive, tour. And our friends Emmelie, Sarah and Jasmin were also put on the same tour too!

The tour itself was great; the tour guide was hilarious and made us laugh the whole trip.

The first place we visited was the Babinda Boulders to do a walk. It was p*ssing it down! (It is a rainforest after all!)

We got absolutely drenched, not that it mattered as we were in and out of waterfalls all day, plus we had tea and biscuits to warm us up after.

One girl was wearing a white t-shirt, had recently fake tanned and was a streaky mess by the end of the walk – and to rub salt into the wound as soon as we got back to the bus she remembered a girl had given her a waterproof poncho a couple of days earlier! Doh!

We then made our way to Josephine falls. As we drove to the falls the tour guide said the water level may be to high for us to go into the water – but he’ll make a judgement call when we get there.

He didn’t need to make the call, a ranger had already been to the falls and placed signs to say ‘Danger – No swimming’.

He then proceeded to tell us a story about a Korean lady that was killed about a month ago because she was standing on one of the rocks at the bottom of Josephine Falls and a flash flood swooshed her off the rock; they found her lifeless body hours later.

Safe to say, we did as we were told!

We then stopped for lunch at The Tea Terrace which serves locally produced tea. On our journey we drove past the field in which the tea was harvested, it’s called Noosa Tea. The tea was very nice, and I’m English so I know a good brew y’know!

After stuffing our faces we made our way to Milla Milla Falls which is home to where the Herbal Essences advert was shot and also where parts of the music video for Peter Andre’s song Mysterious Girl was filmed.

We took on the famous hair flick picture and I think we did alright – even if I do say so myself!

Lake Eacham was next on our agenda. Lake Eacham is a volcanic lake which is home to a fresh water crocodile – we were allowed to swim in the water as we are not on his menu apparently! It’s the salt water crocs that want to rip us to shreds. Still, I wasn’t chancing it. My feet stayed firmly on the ground far away from that water.

One girl in the water got a nose bleed and all I could think of was that the croc would smell the blood and come after us all, WE’RE ALL GUNNA DIE!!

God, I’m so dramatic..

P.s. no one died, I guess the tour guide knew what he was talking about..

Our last stop on our day tour was to a small river for us to try and spot a platypus.

We crept along the river bank trying to spot a platypus – half of the group got far too impatient and went back to the bus (me included) while the other half (Ryan included) waited it out and we’re lucky enough to see one – dammit!

The next day we snorkelled the Great Barrier Reef.

Why is it that most things in Australia that are amazing involve the water? Which I’m petrified of!

We made our way down to the boat terminal in the morning and jumped aboard our Down Under boat.

An Aussie couple sat opposite us and we spent the day chit chatting away with them about our travels and places they’d visited.

The sea was pretty choppy so sea sickness tablets were a must; I still felt queasy even though I had taken some! It probably didn’t help that almost all of the Asians on board were sea sick, and that the place to be if you’re feeling ill (the back of the boat) was bloody rammed!

We stopped at two snorkel spots on the Great Barrier Reef; Norman reef and Hasting reef.

I kept trying so hard to swim further into the reef but I might as well have been going backwards! Swimming is definitely not my forte!

The fish were beautiful and colourful; Ryan saw one that he swears was almost the size of me (must’ve been a fat f*ck) and he also saw a shark!

And just like that our travels from Sydney up the East Coast were over – we jumped on a plane and headed to our next stop – Darwin!

‘Til next time!

Love Bumble x

My Travel Diary: Airlie Beach & The Whitsundays

Good Morning!

We got to Airlie Beach and the first thing we did was check in for our Whitsundays Sailing tour the next day. All was well, we checked in, double checked times and got our boarding passes – we were ready to rumble!

Then, about 2 hours later, I got a text message to say: ‘please contact us as soon as possible as your tour tomorrow has been cancelled’ ..err ..I’m sorry, what?!! *crying face*

We popped back into the tour office and one of the ladies on reception said she could offer us a 2 day/1 night sailing tour and pay for one nights accommodation back at Airlie Beach – bearing in mind our original tour was 2 days/2 nights and it’s not our fault it was cancelled – it was a shit deal.

After seeing our unimpressed faces and after Ryan asked what our other options were another lady piped up and said they could upgrade us to a 3 day/3 night tour on a nicer boat free of charge – YAAAASSS – now you’re talking!

We got picked up in the evening and climbed aboard the Solway Lass ready to start our Whitsundays adventure.

We were given a light supper on board and set sail for our destination.

We were ALMOST given a private double room; we were offered it, then the offer was withdrawn as they had made an error and the room was already booked! Not that we minded – they moved us into a 4 bed room by ourselves and offered us a bottle of champagne to say sorry for the mix up! Private room and free booze? Result!

Our sleep on the boat was amazing! We honestly think it was the best nights sleep we’ve had since our travels began. I have a theory that it is to do with the fact the boat rocks back and fourth – like rocking a baby to sleep!

On our first full day we sailed to the mesmerising Whitehaven Beach to soak up the sun, walk to the look out and take a dip in the water which was pure bliss – we had to wear stinger suits in the water just incase there were any jelly fish though!

It was one of the other travellers birthdays so, after a busy day in the sun, we had cake and champagne back on the boat and finished the evening by listening to music being played by the crew on a ukulele and guitar – it was so soothing – Anake, the cook, her voice was amazing!

On our second day we set the sails ready to travel towards Hook Island – the crew roped a couple of the passengers into helping set the sails and Ryan volunteered!

We stopped at Butterfly Bay to snorkel, catch some rays on the roof deck and have lunch – we definitely did not go hungry on this trip and the food was delicious!

With our bellies full we set off again and sailed to Blue Pearl Bay which is nicknamed ‘the fishbowl’ due to the many, many fish that swim there. We stopped at The Fishbowl to snorkel (obviously), paddle-board and use the Tarzan swing attached to the boat.

I stayed on the boat while Ryan went on the paddle-board; I watched him get on the paddle board, drift out of my eye view then heard a massive splash where he had fallen off! I was quietly giggling at the confused look on Crusty’s face as he couldn’t work out where the splash had come from!

(Crusty was the name of our captain and he basically looked just like a pirate; he was just missing the parrot on the shoulder and a wooden leg! Ooo-arrrr!).

I was too scared to use the Tarzan swing. I’m not good with heights, or water, and my weasel arms definitely would not be able to hold my body weight – I’d basically just plop into the water like a sack of sh*t.

Lots of the group did use the swing though! Some people were doing flips into the water. One guy kept doing flips off the swing but kept being whipped in the gonads by the rope every time! Poor bloke! The cook, Anake swung off the boat and tried to land on a paddle board without falling off – she so nearly had it as well! And our friend Emmalie put on her big girl knickers and went on the swing – I applaud you, much braver than me – she was spinning around like a ballerina too, it looked so elegant!

We then sailed to Stonehaven Bay to stay for the night. We let down the anchor, had our dinner and watched the sunset over the water. Bliss!

Ohh and we also watched the England game! On the boat, in the middle of the Whitsundays! We streamed the whole game on a laptop kindly lent to us by crew member Joel – they’re out of the World Cup now but my god did the boys do well!

The next day was sadly our last day on the sailing tour. We sailed to Black Island to have our last spot of snorkelling and to wander the small island.

We saw 2 turtles in the bay and Ryan was snorkelling along side one – how amazing is that!

The island was small but it had white sand, lots of beautiful sea shells and was quiet. It was perfect for a relaxing stroll along the beach!

We arrived back in Airlie Beach and sat in the sun at Airlie Beach Lagoon waiting to catch our overnight bus to Townsville. Luckily we had company with Emmelie and Sarah who too were catching the overnight bus; they shared the dread of getting on a hot and sticky bus for god knows how many hours!

But hey, this backpacking malarkey isn’t exactly meant to be glamorous!

Oh and I also bumped into a YouTuber that I follow from England in Airlie Beach too! What are the chances!

‘Til next time!

Love Bumble x

My Travel Diary: Fraser Island

Good Morning Guys!

This is my diary post about Fraser Island and my god did we have the best time ever! We LOVED it!

We got picked up at the Hervey Bay transit centre by a mini bus which took us to the tour office ready to check in for our trip.

On the journey to the tour office the driver was on the look out for kangaroos as myself and Ryan hadn’t seen one yet!

I lost count of how many we saw by the end of the drive and the driver even stopped so we could get a closer look.

The driver also gave us a fact that there are twice as many kangaroos in Australia than residents. Approximately 25 million residents and 50 million kangaroos! Madness!

We checked in at the tour office and jumped on a ferry to Fraser Island.

We did a 3 day/3 night tour on Fraser Island with Cool Dingo tours and it was great!

We were in a massive 4WD with a group of fellow travellers, we stayed in a lodge instead of camping and were fed like Kings! We had one driver for the whole tour who was manoeuvring the bus down sandy tracks, feeding us buckets of information/history of the island, all whilst ensuring we were fed yummy food too!

Our first day in Fraser Island was spent visiting Lake McKenzie, Basin Lake and walking to the old Central Station.

Lake McKenzie was amazing; white sand and crystal clear blue water – the sun wash shining – a perfect day for sunbathing and taking a dip in the lake!

The lake is referred to as the ‘jewel’ of Fraser Island because of its pure white silica sand and pure water – the water is actually so pure that it is unsuitable for many species!

We visited Basin Lake after and as expected after visiting the awe-inspiring beauty of Lake McKenzie we were not as impressed. Don’t get me wrong – it still was beautiful! Just not on the same scale as McKenzie.

Day two was even better!

We started off our day by driving along 75 mile beach.

We made our way down the beach and stopped along the way for an optional scenic flight over Fraser Island. As flights go it was cheap for 80 AUD and we couldn’t pass up a unique experience like it!

The plane took off from the beach and is one of only 2 places in the world where they use the beach as their runway! (The other being Scotland – bizarre!)

On our flight we flew over the beach and had a birds eye view of whales and a stingray below, we flew over the top of Butterfly Lake which butterfly shape can only be seen from above, and even flew over the shipwreck that has been left on the beach. The flight was amazing – I would definitely do it again!

Our driver, Jeff, said we were welcome to sit in the front of the 4WD with him at any point during the tour to get a front row view of beautiful Fraser Island.

I opted to sit in the front whilst we continued our way down 75 mile beach; I asked Jeff how many times he’d got stuck in the sand when driving on the beach and he said only twice..

We stopped at The Pinnacles to view the coloured sand cliffs then arrived at the Champagne Pools; a natural jacuzzi where bubbles form from the waves crashing against the rocks ..We spent some time watching people freeze their arses off in the cold water (rather them than me) and made our way back to the 4WD to leave for lunch.

BUT THE BUS WAS STUCK!!

..I think I jinxed him! *whoops*

The wheels were spinning but the bus was not moving at all – another bus came to the rescue to pull us out of the sand but in doing that got stuck themselves!! There were engines revving and men all bundled at the front of the bus to help push it out of the sand but no luck ..then a teeny 4WD jeep came and saved the day.

We ate our lunch all while this was going on – nice bit of entertainment for us – however it could’ve ended very badly as the tide was coming in so if we didn’t get unstuck then it would be bye bye bus!

We then continued on with our day; we took a walk up to the top of Indian Head (a coastal headland), stopped to take a close look at the Shipwreck Maheno and took a paddle down Eli Creek.

On our third day we went to Lake Birrabeen which was so peaceful! It looked beautiful and Ryan decided to paddle board while he had the chance!

We then went to Lake Wabby which also has a sand blow! Again, it was lovely and peaceful, just our group! We had some tins and sunbathed next to a gorgeous lake view.

And just like that our tour was over – we watched the sun set back at the Jetty at the resort and got a ferry from Fraser back to Hervey Bay.

We waved goodbye to Fraser Island and hopped on a bus to Airlie Beach!

‘Til next time!

Love Bumble x

My Travel Diary: Noosa & Rainbow Beach

Morning guys!

Yet again, I’m behind with my diary posts *shock*

In my last post we had just finished our time in Brisbane which feels like forever ago!

Ryan and I left Brisbane, hopped on a bus and started our journey to our next stop – Noosa.

When we got to Noosa we took a stroll along the Noosa Spit Recreation Reserve and ended up on an almost empty beach; there was only one another couple soaking up the sun on the beach and their dog playing in the water.

Noosa wasn’t particularly big, there was a Main Street called Hasting Street which was home to all the shops, restaurants and cafes and it was parallel to the beach. So everything you could need in the same area – which is music to your ears when you don’t have a car and are walking everywhere!

We stumbled upon a unique candy store called Candy Addiction which sold hard boiled candy, fudge, ice-cream, and everything in between. You could even see the candy being made; we spoke to the candy makers and they told us they were creating candy for wedding favours for an order they’ve had in – the candy is going to have the initials of the Bride and Groom plus the wedding date – how cute!

Our other time in Noosa was spent doing the Coastal Walk in the Noosa National Park. We took the Coastal Walk to Hell’s Gate (a scenic cliff) then took the Tanglewood Walk back. There were beautiful views of the coast throughout the walk – every view looking like something from a postcard!

Our next stop was Rainbow Beach. On our journey to Rainbow Beach we took a short break at Kybong services where a huge kangaroo statue is.

The statue was made for the opening of the 1982 Commonwealth games in Brisbane and is named ‘Matilda’ (which is what one of my old primary school teachers called me!)

What we didn’t realise is that the majority of people tend to only go to Rainbow Beach in order to get the ferry over to Fraser Island – if they aren’t going to Fraser Island from Rainbow Beach then they tend to skip it as there’s not that much to do!

Ryan and I were not going to Fraser Island from Rainbow Beach so perhaps should have skipped this stop. We did stroll around the small town, again, like Noosa there was a street with some shops and it was all close to the beach.

We did take a walk to Carlo Sand Blow to watch the sun set one evening.

Carlo Sand Blow is a large sand mass which overlooks the coastline. When you take the short walk through the trees and first step out onto the sand blow it feels like you’re in the desert – the sand looks like it goes on forever!

We sat and watched as the sun set over Tin Can Bay and the Great Sandy Strait.

As I mentioned earlier we weren’t going to Fraser Island from Rainbow beach – we were going from Hervey Bay!

So we hopped on our bus and made our way to Hervey Bay ready to start our Fraser Island adventure!

‘Til next time!

Love Bumble x

My Travel Diary: Surfers Paradise & Brisbane

I’m writing this post on board one of our many Greyhound bus journeys – this one is only 3 hours long which we’re quite thankful for as some people STINK! Like I know some people are travelling to ‘find them selves’ or ‘be free’ but Jesus H Christ that doesn’t mean your general hygiene needs to go out the window does it?!

Ok, rant over.

So, in my last post Ryan and I had finished our time in Sydney and Byron Bay.

We made our way from Byron to Surfers paradise, and unfortunately didn’t have the best weather! It wasn’t bad (like UK cold and rain ‘bad’) but it was mainly overcast the whole time; but hey, I guess that’s what you should expect when travelling in Winter!

We still opted to take a stroll along the beach, but as beach days were out of the question, due to the weather, we decided to do some indoors-y things instead!

We went to check out The Crazy Cat cafe, located on Surfers Paradise Boulevard.

The Crazy Cat Cafe is home to 11 cats. The Cafe and Lounge is separated so you can either grab a drink in the cafe and watch the cats through glass walls that separate it from the lounge, or go into the lounge amongst all the cats for a fee.

Ryan and I just took a peak at the cats through the glass wall – I’m not sure how many people would actually spend their money to sit in a room to eat with 11 cats – but, having said that, it was still something I wanted to check out!

We also took a stroll around Ripleys Believe It or Not attraction.

It was full of weird and wonderful objects including a wedding dress made out of toilet paper, shrunken heads, Elvis painted on the end of a needle, Micheal Jackson painted on crickets, a video and replica of the worlds tallest man and so many more wacky things!

There was one section where The Legendary African Fertility Statues were situated; it’s said that they were used by an African tribe to give a couple fertility, they say if you touch them you will soon fall pregnant..

..we stayed far, far away from those statues!!

After a busy day sight seeing we popped into Pancakes in Paradise for a bacon and maple syrup pancake stack – so bad, but ohh so good!

Another day was spent up the Q1 Sky Point tower. The Sky Point is a viewing platform that over looks Surfers Paradise – it gives a beautiful birds eye view of the coast and buildings below and is 322 meters high – higher than the Eiffel Tower!

Ryan and I walked to Pacific Fair shopping centre, which I would highly recommend if you have money to play around with and love to shop! There were so many different shops; everything from supermarkets, standard high street stores, all the way to luxury designer brands like Rolex, Louis Vuitton, and so on.

Everything you could need all in one spot! It was great!

Although, of course, Ryan and I were merely window shopping!

We waved good bye to Surfers Paradise and hopped on the greyhound bus to Brisbane.

Brisbane was so much bigger than I anticipated – it was like Sydney with all the shops however they just seemed to be a lot closer together.

Our first day in Brisbane was spent walking around the botanic gardens; the sun was shining and it was a perfect day for a stroll. We even stumbled across a bundle of trees which were covered in carvings of people’s names. We were tempted to carve ours too but there wasn’t much space!

We then caught the free City Hopper ferry from North Quay to Sydney street and took the Riverwalk to the Modern Art Gallery.

Or at least that’s where we thought we were going, turned out there’s two Art Galleries in Brisbane and the one we were heading to had actually closed down! Whoops!

As the hostel kitchen was a bit grim we ate out for dinner (any excuse aye?) We had burgers at Mrs Kays and popped into SAN Churro for pudding – YUM!

As we accidentally walked to the wrong (and non-existent) art gallery the day before, we opted to actually find the correct one, the Queensland Art and Modern Art Gallery.

We took a stroll around the gallery with our friends, Hayley and Joe, who have been living and working in Brisbane.

I’d like to say the galleries were great but in all honesty Ryan and I were far to interested in catching up with Hayley and Joe to take much in – I imagine we were probably far to talkative for the other visitors to the gallery too – oh well!

After the art gallery visit we continued our chats over a meal out at an Indian restaurant – (whoops more naughty/yummy food!)

Our other time in Brisbane was spent wandering and taking in the city – and of course we had to get a picture near the Brisbane sign!

‘Til next time!

Love Bumble x

My Travel Diary: Sydney and Byron Bay

So, here we go!

First Travel Diary post in what feels like forever – we’ve only just started exploring again and I feel like we’ve done so much already..

Ryan and I finished working at our office jobs mid May and our last day was a mixture of sadness and excitement. Excitement obviously for the travels to come, but also sad to say goodbye to our ‘work family’ which was a nice mixture of Aussies and fellow travellers. We were definitely spoilt on our last day with a farewell card, cake and flowers ..and a ‘Care Package’ given to us from two ladies, Tori and Sue, which contained an assortment of Aussie BB’s choccies to keep us going through our long Greyhound bus journeys – so cute!!

Our time after we finished work was spent sorting all the boring, BUT important, admin bits. I mean, do we really need to buy insurance?

Yes (clumsy) Kim, yes you do.

After that we spent our time wandering Sydney; we were lucky with our timing and managed to wander around in the evenings when Vivid Sydney was on. Vivid Sydney is a yearly festival of light, music and art which goes on for 3 weeks. The most visual aspect being the light sculptures and light projections that transform famous landmarks, like the Sydney Opera house, into night time works of art.

Our favourite was ‘The Liminal Hour’ which is a moving light installation of a female creature named Marri Dyin – meaning “Great Woman” in the Eora language.

The Vivid Sydney website explains:

“Marri Dyin calls upon the natural forces, transforming peaceful bushland, into a raging bush fire, then a torrential storm – a cycle of regeneration which assures new life and prosperity for future generations. While the storm calms, Marri Dyin then sits to share a moment with children.

Marri Dyin is not a traditional spirit, rather she is a contemporary concept. Her existence seeks to recognise the influence and importance of the First Nations women, including Barangaroo, who lived in Sydney prior to settlement. Marri Dyin represents their strength and spirit, and their role as providers for their people through a connection to the land and its waterways.”

Ryan and I packed our things, left our cosy rented room, and hopped on the overnight bus from Sydney Central Station to Byron Bay. (Which was 12 hours *crying face*)

No more than 5 minutes after arriving in Byron Bay, the first person we spoke to happened to be someone that lives in Alton, which is near our home town, and went to the same college as myself and Ryan, at the same time, and has loads of mutual friends with us – what are the chances!

Our first day in Byron was spent looking around the Community Market (which is only on once a month – so again we were lucky with our timing!)

The market was full of food vans selling everything from fruit juices to full on Mexican dishes. There were clothes stalls with tie dye garments galore but also lots of neutral coloured linen pieces which I loved! (I’m obsessed with all things linen at the moment – especially if the items have button details!)

And of course there were plenty of jewellery stalls to get your teeth stuck into as well!

We then opted to walk to the Cape Byron Lighthouse, which is the most easterly part of Australia.

The walk itself was lovely, there were lots of different points along the way where you could stop and enjoy the view of the bay in front of you – we could even spot a pod of dolphins leaping in the sea in the distance.

Byron is full of little trinket shops, edgy cafes and buskers.

We spent one day exploring the town and ended up sitting down by the beach listening to a busker called Karuah (who was brilliant I might add – his Instagram is @karuahmusic). It was just so relaxing to sit by the beach, watch the waves and listen to chilled out music.

We ate pizza at Legends Pizza with other travellers and popped into The Railway Bar in the evening to try their locally produced beer. We tried a Stone & Wood Pacific Ale which had a slight after taste of passion fruit – we had a ‘schooner’ which is the typical size of a drink out here in Australia ..in England you’d have a pint, here you’d ask for a schooner (which is 3/4 of a pint). There was live music inside the bar; a guy who sang his own original material but also mellow versions of hits like: ‘No Diggity’, ‘My Pony’ and ‘The best of me’ by the Foo Fighters.

Our hostel was pretty quirky too; there was lots of wall art including one wall featuring a massive map of the world and all the beaches/surf locations labelled – ‘so gnarly’!

Ryan and I also decided we would try a surf lesson – neither of us had ever surfed before, and I’m not a huge fan of water but thought we might as well give it a go!

We were pretty lucky as there was only one other person booked on the same time slot as us and that person pulled out so it was just me and Ryan – our own private lesson!

The lesson was a lot of fun, we both managed to stand up on our boards relatively quick (I stood up on my 2nd try *just saying*) but for me the fear of the water slowly took over the excitement of the surfing and I just didn’t enjoy it as much.

And Ryan, being the water baby that he is, absolutely loved it and that’s all that matters really!

Unfortunately we didn’t get any pictures of us surfing – which honestly you should be thankful for, skin tight wetsuits are not the most flattering!

‘Til next time!

Love Bumble x

Spring Trend Alert: 5 Wearable Basket Bags

So here it is; the first instalment of my much needed fashion fix!

I’d like to say that since leaving the U.K. and travelling the world, I’ve come to realise that clothes, shoes bags and makeup are just ‘things’ and they’re not really important ..but actually all it’s done is highlight the fact that I am materialistic AF and I’m not even sorry!

I’m obsessed with all things fashion and don’t feel like that’s a bad thing – ‘you do you’ and all that!

At the moment I’m travelling, so can’t justify spending money on clothes, shoes, bags, makeup, jewellery etc etc (much to my disappointment) but I still feel like I need my fashion fix – I need to scroll for hours on end through online shops and chuck every second item into my basket ‘just because’ – and although I’m not able to actually purchase any of these items, I feel like they shouldn’t just sit there in my basket, I feel like I should share the love and show you what I’ve found.

The basket bag is a massive trend this Spring. So, I’m actually in Australia, it’s Autumn here (and 30 degrees!) but I’m an English Rose and I can’t help but keep up with UK seasons/trends. And the basket bag is no exception.

There are lots of different styles of basket bags on offer, ranging from the larger picnic basket style which I imagine would look silly and slightly OTT on myself, to the more wearable classic bag shapes which I would more than happily buy if I was back at home.

So without further ado here’s my list of wearable basket bags that I’m obsessing over at the moment.

1. ASOS: Straw Circle Bag

Whoever designed this bag was showing off. They’ve thrown two trends in one; the basket bag and the circle bag. Both massive trends, and I’m loving it, and at £25 it’s definitely one I would suggest to get if you want to dip your toes in the Spring Trend without breaking the bank.

Shop it here.

2. Zara: Black Box Bag

I love everything about this bag, from the gold hardware to the top handle – something about it screams Blair from Gossip Girl to me – although I bet she wouldn’t be seen dead wearing something from high street favourite: Zara, for £29.99.

Don’t be like Blair. Get the damn bag.

Shop it here.

3. Zara: Bow Detail Raffia Bag

Super chic, stylish and still cheap at £29.99. Love the pop of colour on the bow detail and cross body strap; it just adds that extra oomf to an otherwise simple raffia bag.

Shop it here.

4. Mango: Bamboo Basket Bag

This little beauty is available to buy at Mango for £49.99. The shape and opening is quirky and different – it would definitely a talking point of an outfit!

Shop it here.

5. Dune: White Woven Handbag

I think I’ve saved the best until last! This bag is everything that I would want in a basket bag; it’s white straw with a contrast flap, gold hardware, a top handle and a cross body strap – I mean what else could you need?! This bag has a higher price point than the others at £70 (of course I would prefer the most expensive one). But just look at how beautiful it is!

Shop it here.

What do you think of the bags I’m loving? Are there anymore that I should be lusting over this Spring?

Let me know!

Love Bumble x