WA - MEL - NSW
14.03.2012 - 02.05.2012 27 °C
Good afternoon everyone! first of all we are reeeallly sorry its been so long since we updated our blog. We wont bore you with our excuses but we've had our reasons! ( living in a campervan part-time being one of them!)
We arrived in Perth - WA on the 12th March, after a little stop over in Singapore. We had arranged to stay with some of my mums family in oz which was such a great help . We hadnt met them before but had heard lots about them from my Grandad so we had decided to spend 2 weeks with them to get ourselves settled for a while and then move on..... we ended up living with them for 6 weeks. We couldnt have asked for anything better, they were so kind and made us feel very at home. Whilst we were in Perth we made sure we saw as much of the west coast as we could. We had a house to stay in so we didnt have to worry about rent which meant we could hire ourselves a car and go on a few adventures! Before that though we got to know Perth City. It was such a lovely place to be, after spending 4 months in Asia it was nice to be back into "reality" . Lucky for us my " second cousins twice removed...." were happy to take us out for day trips to places we would never have seen if it wasnt for them. Ian, Lisa, Micky and Robert.. THANKYOU.
Our first road trip took us from Perth down to Esperance.. we hired ourselves a tiiiinnnnny little nisan ( being the budget travllers that we are) and started our journey south. The weather was perfect! We stopped in Rockingham, geographey bay, Bumbry,Margaret river, Albany and Esperance - Althought the driving was very long at some points it was so so worth it. Esperance was great we camped right on the ocean , it rained a little bit but that made it all the more exciting ( apparently ) We also visited the Cape Le Grande National park... quite possibly the biggest highlight of WA, it was stunning, the waters were the bluest we've ever seen, the sand looked like snow it was so white and there was no one except for us ( we did go very very early in the morning ) there was a beach called Lucky Bay where kangaroos and their joeys were just relaxing on the beach, chilling out, not caring atall that we were taking photos .. it was amazing. The drive back to Perth was abit of a nightmare, we had to get the car back at 9 am the next day so we put our foot down and drove for 9 hours straight.. swapping every two hours so didnt fall asleep! anyway we managed it and mike got up at 6:30am the next morning to clean all the dead animals off of the car ( it was awful, he even found a bird tuck in the grill ) before we took it back to the hire company who were obviously chuffed at the fact that they didnt need to clean it for the next customers.
As the weeks went on we went to lots of other places, had LOADS of bbqs and laughed alot. We spent easter weekend ( which happened to be my birthday weekend too!)at a beach house in Lancelin which is just north of Perth. We spent most of the days on the beach, drinking wine snorkling and having just a great time. We also visited the Pinicles, which were fantastic to see. My birthday was a big surprise too abit emotional as my mum and dad had sent me birthday cards and mike had spoilt me rotten with presents and an ice cream cake! once again this was arranged by Ian and Lisa!
After 6 weeks, we had started to get really comfortable staying at Roberts wonderful home, getting to know all the family so when it came to saying our goodbyes it was really sad. Thanks to skype we'll all try to stay in touch! But we were ready to move on, we realised how much we missed the traveling bug so getting on the plane to Melbourne was so exciting!
It was a very quick flight, couple of hours sleep and we were there. This time our new home was our Campervan! We picked her up at the airport and got settled! First stop was melbourne city (mike talking now!) it felt a whole lot bigger second time around and it took us an 1 30 half to find my old street 8 faulkner street south yarra. everything was in the same place except for my basketball hoop which used to be on our porch and i couldnt show char around as the new owners wernt in. the house had been painted from red to white. the primary school has obviously grown and gone into the 21st century with lots and lots of redevelopment no afterschool care house any more although the basketball caught where we used to play basketball was still there. times change but i dont think i had really allowed myself to think that melbourne had grown so big! from the airport drive we could see that there had been lots and lots of city buildings put up! anyways i decided after showing char where i grew up for a 1 very happy year of my childhood in a quiet town bout 5 minutes from the city centre with lots of parks to show her the royal botanical gardens! an absolute must if you have the time to stop and stare. beautifully kept gardens with 100s of types of tropical plants - the weather couldnt not have been more perfect and we enjoyed a nice stroll to the new tea house which had changed as well! none the less our scone and whipped cream and strawberry jam went down a treat after not eating anything since the previous evening we decided something sweet was in order! we then walked back to our van and headed to my old beach st kilda. what a dissapointment! i mean honestly the beach was so small! how did i ever run around with loads of room thinking it was quite simply the best thing on this planet! oh yeah i was 8 and the world is a lot smaller to you when your 8! we walked along the pier which is still there! with the coffee house on the end of it! yippee! where i shouted char to a hot chocolate, latte and wedges! oh they tasted just simply devine like they had done when i was 8! we had originally allowed ourselves two days to check out my childhood favourite spots but (becuase they were even closer and smaller then i thought we had actually managed to do most of them in 1 morning!) we thought best not to waste the glorious weather we had! so we spontaneously changed our minds and headed straight for the great ocean road! i drove the whole way to torquay where we stopped for our first evening. we found a supermarket and stocked up for the two weeks, making the most out of us snapping up an amaizing deal of 22 sausages for 7 S !!! the campsite was nice right on the cliff of torquay renowned for as cracking spot for surfing. sure enough when we woke up to eat our breakfast on the cliff there were neumours surf schools out in the water looking like they were have great fun but it looked too cold for us to swim.
the second day saw us drive further up the great ocean road from torquay to apollo bay through a place called lorne that i remember having some of the best fish and chips! i remembered most of the towns that we passed through although they had also become more developed then i remember.Next on our list of things to see was the 12 Apostles, the weather was perfect, not a cloud in the sky, sun shining and the views were breath taking...its hard to describe something so stunning, we took lots of photos hopefully they will show you a glimps of how wonderful it was. The weather took a turn for the worst and a storm had blown its way over by the end of the day which we embraced as i had warned char that it can be like that even in summer! day 3 we were headed further up the great ocean road past port cambel, we ended up driving back in land to get abit of a change of scenery.
After doing to Great ocean road and having an amazing time we then headed to Philip Island to see the Penguins! We both loved it, it was such a wonderful experience to see these wild animals doing their day to day thing, with us just sitting there watching it happen! Unfortunatly cameras were not aloud so we couldnt take any pictures ( We tried!!!! but the park keepers werent having any of it) We stayed over night at a nice campsite , abit wet and cold but we had learnt by then how to deal with it. the next day we made our way along the coast stopping wherever we fancied to have lunch, go for walks, camp over night. We headed to Sydney, our final stop in Australia. Sydney was amazing, Mike had been there before but I had only seen it in guide books, films! so to see the harbour bridge, opera house on such a beautiful day was wonderful. We took a boat ride up the river, went to the aquarium and did lots of art galleries which we both thouroughly enjoyed! So that was day 1, day 2 we drove an hour outside of sydney to the beach where we went surfing for the first time, it was great! we put our wetsuits on, had an hour lesson on the basics doos and don'ts the got thrown straight into the surf. Lucky for us we only had 2 other people in our group so it was so much easier to learn. Mike and I were both up on our boards first time! .... we had a few crashes and were aching like mad the next day but it was completely worth it, we loved it.. another new hobby we're hoping to carry on when we get home ( not sure how realistic that is with the english weather but we can try!)
Whilst we were based in Sydney we took the opportunity to visit friends and family that live close by. Mikes friend Matt lives in Newcastle which is 3 hours north of Sydney so we went to stay with him for 2 days which was lovely, we were taken around the town, watched a few rugby games and spent most of the time catching up as mike hadnt seen Matt in 10 years! From Newcastle we drove back to Sydney, parked up in our campsite and went to visit some of my family that live in the City, another lovely evening spent with dinner in the park looking over the City at night, the view was stunning! After that it was our time to leave Oz! We had a bit of a nightmare handing our campervan back, we got stuck in a major traffic jam on the way to the airport and ended up having our names called out throughout the airport to say that our flight was about to leave!!! Im sure you can all imagine how that went..... everything that could have gone wrong went wrong... security wanted to check our bags.. TWICE.. we tried running to our gate but with two massive backpacks and lots of extra bags ( all our presents for you guys back home!!!) it wasnt easy!.... anyway we got onto the plane sweaty and horrible but we made it. ( the flight ended up being an hour delayed anyway as they didnt load the bags on the correct way so we didnt feel too bad in the end.
Our flight to Aukland was easy, 5 hours went very quickly and we were both so excited to start the next park of our trip! x