A Travellerspoint blog

Melting in Melbourne!

I'm just about to leave Melbourne where it is 30+ degrees, going to Alice Springs where it is 40+ degrees!! Help!

sunny 31 °C

Hey there everyone,

I actually started writing this blog while I was in Melbourne, but wasn't really in the mood to continue, so I'm going to carry on now, sorry if it doesn't make sense, its way too hot for anything to make sense!

. . .

I thought I would let everyone know what I've been up to just before I head off to Alice Springs.

So when I last wrote, we were going to go to Manly but the day was quite grey and rainy, although still really hot and sticky, so we decided to go to the cinema, after a walk all over the city! We saw the Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus, which was weird, but ok, then I ended up going back to the house where Faye and Kat are staying, and we went up to Bondi Beach and walked along the coast, where they had a exhibition of sculptures by the sea. Its an annual exhibition in Sydney and it was really cool, some really interesting ones. I was then treated to a fabulous roast dinner, thanks to James' Mum and Dad who were all lovely and very generous! I felt really at home there, and their house is amazing!!

On Monday the weather was gorgeous, so I decided to get the ferry across to Manly myself, and went to sit on the beach, which was amazing! I really felt like I was on holiday, and made the most of soaking in the sun. Faye, Kat and I went to hear one of their friends playing in a bar that night, but it was only a quick drink.

Although Tuesday was again lovely and sunny, I decided to check out the Aquarium and the contemporary art gallery, which were both really good, and I took far too many pics in the Aquarium, as usual. Then I think I just chilled out on Tuesday night and got ready to leave Sydney.

Arriving in Melbourne was a bit of a shock, as it was sooo hot! I hadn't planned on heading to Melbourne, so I felt a bit lost, but had a wander round the city, and then decided to go with a hostel-organised tour of the Queen Victoria Market on Thursday morning. The market was amazing, so many sections, and so much incredible food! I wanted to eat pretty much everything, but the group I had gone with decided to all buy one thing and then go and have a picnic in the park! It was really nice, and reallygood chatting to everyone who were all really nice, and all German! There are so many Germans travelling in both NZ and Oz, its weird, but yeh everyone was really lovely and we had a greta time.
After the picnic I headed down to the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, and I had read that a new exhibition was starting which was by Dennis Hopper. The exhibition was amazing, so interesting and revealed so much about him that I didn't know at all. There were examples of his own artwork, as well as clips from his most controversial films and loads of his photographs of some really amazing people from the 60's and 70's. I loved it, and would really recommend it. He was supposed to be around for an interview which you could buy tickets for, which I really wanted to do, but unfotunately he has recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer, so it had to be cancelled. That evening I chilled out back at the hostel, and ended up chatting to a really nice english couple, Hannah and Jo.

The following morning I got the free shuttle to St Kilda, and went to the beach for most of the morning, and then spent the afternoon sitting up on the roof terrace back at the hostel, which was really nice. That evening I had a really interesting chat with George, a really lovely Canadian guy, who has really made me consider teaching english abroad. Hmmm something to think about anyway!

So that pretty much takes me up to just before my flight to Alice. I was so excited about my tour to Uluru (Ayers Rock) but I had seen the forecast for Alice and it was looking like 40+ degrees!! Find out how I got on in the desert in the next entry!!

Love to you all xxxx

Posted by Abilucy 18:33 Archived in Australia Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Sights, sounds and sore bums in Sydney so far!

A rundown of all my Sydney adventures so far.

rain 20 °C

Hello everyone!

Can anyone believe we're in November already?? I certainly can't! The weather is warm here, and when I left Christchurch it was sunny (been rainy and overcast since I arrived in Oz - um wasn't I supposed to get a tan here?!?!) and it's never sunny and warm on my birthday, so I'm proper confused!!!

Anyway, I think when I last wrote I was still in NZ, and now I'm in Oz which is pretty cool! On to my second country! I arrived in Sydney at about 7pm on Thursday, as my flight was a little delayed. Got booked into my hostel, one that Lucy had recommended (thanks!) and then I went straight out with Faye and Kat who were kind enough to take me out for some bday drinks in Kings Cross. It was really great, although I was deaf in one ear, as I had really bad trouble on the plane with my cold and being all bunged up. Anyway, apart from my temporary disability, I had a great time, just chilled out and had a few drinkies, got a slice of pizza, and then headed home.

The next morning I decided to go for a wander around Sydney and headed for The Rocks, the oldest part of the city, where the Europeans first settled. It was really cool round there, and reminded me of parts of London in a weird way. Saw the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, so felt like I was really here, and then wandered back to the Wild Life centre. This was great, and I'm really glad I went in, although, when I saw the spiders, I did regret my decision slightly!! I felt like they were all on me! Teegs and Stace, you definitely wouldn't have been able to go in! They had really poisonous ones, and ones that actually IN Oz, so I was completely freaked out by that!! I just kept imagining them in the shower or in the hostel! aaahhhh! Anyway, after the trauma of the creepy crawlies, the centre made up for it big time with the Koalas!!! They are my soulmates I've decided, and I was either one in a past life, or plan to come back as one at some point! They are sooooo cute and they sleep all the time! Perfect! Anyway, I have put loads of pics of all the creatures I saw on my flickr page, so have a look at that to see what I mean!

I then headed back to the hostel, and tried to sort some flights and tours, as my main aim whilst in Oz was to see Uluru, or Ayers Rock. I managed to get a pretty good deal, and I'm flying to Melbourne on Wednesday (it works out cheaper than going direct from Sydney), then across to Alice Springs on Sat, and then doing a 3 day tour, visiting Kings Canyon and Ayers Rock. I'm really excited, and can't wait to be out in the red dust and see the 'real' Oz!!

Anyway, yesterday was my birthday surprise day, organised by Dan! If you don't already know, he'd booked for me to do a three hour horse trek in the Megalong Valley, which is about 2hrs out of Sydney near the Blue Mountains! He had told me which train to get, and organised for the people on the farm/ranch to collect me from the station!! It was amazing! I haven't ridden in years, and I so wanted to do some riding in NZ but never got around to it, so it was perfect! There was just three of us on the trek, and I was riding Dolly! She was pretty moody to start with, and kept trying to pass off a fast trot for a canter, so I had to give her a bit of a kick every now and again, but I think we made friends by the end of it. It just made me want to do more, although I am finding it rather difficult to walk, and even more difficult to sit down today! I ache in new places! How did I do that every week for years?!?! Anyway, I had a really great day, and was pretty pooped by the time I got back into the city, but then Faye and Kat had invited me to a gig at the Uni, seeing a jazz funk band called The Bakery. They were amazing, and I'm so glad I went! Had loads of fun, and managed to dance, even with my riding aches and pains! They were filming for a DVD and the whole place was decked out in a jungle theme, and loads of the uni students were dressed up and looked great! Mum and Dan, you in particular would have loved the music, so maybe look them up on Youtube?!?! Anyway, thank you to Faye and Kat for inviting me, I had so much fun!

So that's about all up to date for now, I think we're heading out to Manly later this afternoon, which should be fun, and then I've got a couple more days to see some more sights! Hopefully my ability to walk will return shortly!

Love you all.

Abi

Posted by Abilucy 15:53 Archived in Australia Tagged travelling_with_pets Comments (3)

Bye bye New Zealand, Hello Oz!

My last entry in New Zealand

sunny 22 °C

Hello everyone!

I just thought I would do a quick update on my departure from New Zealand. I'm flying off to Oz tomorrow (my birthday, in case anyone has forgotten!!) so this is my last full day. I have loved New Zealand, and it feels as though I have been here much longer than 3 weeks! Its such a beautiful country, and I would recommend it to anyone.

I did a tour of Milford Sound on Monday and it has to be my favourite part! The scenery was completely mesmirising! Once again I took far too many pictures, but I did reach a point when I just stopped to take it all in, and I was overwhelmed by it! The drive down to the sound was incredible, and the bus driver was really informative, although he used the phrase 'in geological terms' about a million times! hehe. The boat trip around the sound itself was also amazing, although had soooooo many chinese and japanese tourists on! They all had enormous cameras, and swarmed to one side of the boat, making it tip, when they saw a penguin on the coast! hehe Reminded me of Oxford and made me smile! I was again really lucky with the weather as it was a beautifully clear day, and I got chatting to a tour guide on the boat who said we were super lucky, as it rains 200/250 days a year there! I was really widy as we went out though, as you will see from the pics of me holding my hat on for dear life!!

Anyway, had a long bus journey to Christchurch yesterday, and having not got much sleep the night before, and having come down with a cold, I managed to get an early night last night, and have done a spot of shopping today. Decided I really did need some form of dress if Faye is going to take me out for my bday in Sydney, so had to do a little retail therpy! Its really hot here today, so I'm starting to get a taste of the summertime! Can't wait to get my pasty body on a beach before I scoot off to India!!

Right I better go, but I will try and update you all on my birthday surprise as soon as possible. My lovely boyfriend has sent me instructions for Saturday, and I have no idea what I'm going to be doing, so fingers crossed for a good surprise!!

Missing you all millions!

Love Abi

Posted by Abilucy 18:34 Archived in New Zealand Tagged shopping Comments (1)

Super cool fun on the Glacier.

A description of my glacier walk, that can't really do it any justice!

sunny 17 °C

Hi Guys!

How you all doing?? Can you believe its only been two and a half weeks since I left???? Me either! Feels like months, and I am definitely starting to find me feet with this travelling lark!

So I left you hanging on in anticipation of my next adventure in NZ, and as you've already gathered from the title, I did a Glacier Walk in Franz Josef!!!! Cool huh?? Get it?!?! hehe Ok well it's the little things that keep me going!

The drive down from Nelson on Thursday was a long one, but the scenery along the way was spectacular. Pancake Rocks, amazing beaches and breath-taking mountains all kept me going on my 10hr journey! It was like something new and incredible to look at was around every corner, and I just couldn't have a snooze in case I missed anything! I met a couple of cool guys on the bus, Owen and Adam, and we were all heading to Franz, so we chatted our time away too. I ended up staying in the same hostel as Adam, who was booked to do the Glacier Walk on Friday too, so we went for a wander around Franz and then had some dinner. Franz Josef itself is teeny tiny, and only really has two roads, so it was fairly easy to find our way round. We popped out to see some gloworms with some other people from the hostel after dinner, but I couldn't really make them out all that well.

The next day we got up early to start the walk up. You get a bus out to the bottom of the glacier and then split into small groups that go at different paces. There were 5 groups in total, and I went in group 2! Thats the second fastest, just in case you were wondering!! The glacier itself is beautiful, and kind of scary and awe-inspiring all at the same time, just because of its huge presence on the landscape and you are very aware that you are not completely in control when you're up there. We were really lucky with the weather as it was a perfectly clear day, and actually I was only in a t-shirt for most of the way (and trousers before you ask Ad!!) The centre provide you with boots, crampons, water-proof trousers and jackets, so you are fully kitted out. I loved having the crampons on, as they made me feel like a proper climber!! hehe Sad I know! They are quite tough to walk in, especially on the firt part that is quite rocky, but once you get onto the ice its great, and you feel like you are stuck into it, which is good!

The guides cut steps in the ice so you can climb up (have a look at my pics, it makes more sense when you see it) as you go, so some of it is just walking on flat bits of ice, and some is more difficult and steep. You do have guide ropes for part of it too, which again is good and makes you feel much better. The guide our group had was called Harry and he had only been working on the Glacier for a month. Group 1 had this girl Pearl who was really scary and didn't really seem like she wanted to take people round - I think she would have been better throwing people off!!

I was actually really impressed with myself for doing it once I'd come down and looked back at it! There were a couple of caves, or kind of icy holes that we went through which were awesome, and you can see how blue the ice is when you get close up to it. You can see into it which is just amazing, and again you're reminded how massive it is! I think on the thinner parts that we started on, the ice went down about 80m below us! Crazy or what?!?!
We were on the ice for about 5 hrs in total I think, having lunch up there was a bit weird, and my bum got v v cold!! I was so glad I did it, and everyone said that the full day is much better than the half day you can do, so yeh, go me!! hehe

I then had another night in Franz before heading down to Queenstown the following day (yesterday, Saturday). Again the bus journey was amazing, with so much to see along the way. I will apologise now for the amount of mountain shots in my pics, I just can't help looking at them and taking pics of them. Nothing can do them justice, but I just want you all to see what I'm seeing!! So sorry! hehe

Got into Queenstown at about 5pm yesterday, and I had already booked my hostel so I headed straight up there. I was told by the desk that I was in an 8 bed dorm, (the biggest I've had so far) with 6 boys and 1 other girl! I was apprehensive when I went in, but the guys were all really friendly and asked if I was going out for Halloween. I hadn't planned to, especially as I had nothing to wear. But the guys said that the room had been a bit of a party room the previous night, and they were all planning another heavy sesh, so I went into town and grabbed an outfit and decided to join in the fun and become a zombie pirate! Again I was apprehensive, but met some really nice girls, Hannah and Anna in the room before we went out, and ended up having a good night. It was all v uni-like, and that made me miss the comfort of having uni friends (or any friends) to hang out with, but I still had fun, and glad I went out! Again I've added some pics to flickr, so make sure you have a look and let me know what you think of my outfit!

Finally got to bed at about 3am, and then was up at 8am this morning! I think it will hit me later on just how tired I am!! Planning on having a bit more of a chilled day in Queenstown today, and might go up the luge later, but I'm doing a tour of Milford Sound tomorrow and then heading to Christchurch on Tuesday, so I have got plenty planned for my last little bit of NZ.

Anyway, better go now peeps, hope you're all good.

Love your pirate mate Abi xx

Posted by Abilucy 16:13 Archived in New Zealand Tagged events Comments (1)

Funtimes in Windy Welly!

My journey to Wellington and the adventures I had when I found some friends!

semi-overcast 17 °C

Hello everyone!!

Sorry it's been a while since my last blog, I have done loads, so I'm sure this will satisfy your appetite for my adventures!!

So I finally left Taupo after many attempts and arrived in Napier just in time to see the aquarium, which was really good! It then proceeded to rain, loads, so I really didn't fancy wandering around after I had made my dinner in the hostel, and chatted to a weird old guy who told me about his drug-addict friend who committed suicide!! WEIRD! So I watched a movie for a bit and then hit the hay, ready for my early morning bus ride to Wellington.

The bus journey was about 5 hrs, but it went pretty quickly, and then I arrived in Wellington. I had to buy a new phone, as mine decided to finally stop working just as I actually needed to use it to contact Sadie, James'cousin who was very kindly putting me up for the weekend. But once that drama was over, I wandered (dragged my bag!) up to Sadie's flat and waited for her there.The flat was really cool, massive high ceilings, and big windows with views across the city and the harbour! We decided to head out for a wander and a drink, and Sadie showed me all her fav cafes which was cool. Wellington had a really awesome feel about it, and I liked it loads more than Auckland, the only other major city I had been to.

On Saturday we went to a couple of craft fairs, with Sadie's friends, who were all so so lovely! It was so nice to feel like I was almost part of a group rather than being on my own - so thanks for that guys!!! We then headed back to Sadie's to get ready to go to the jar-cocktail party (yes this is a party where you drink cocktails out of jars!!!) It was really fun, and Sadie's friend Andrea and David had cooked amazing curries and made loads of yummy food, so I was properly being spoilt!

On Sunday we went down to the fruit and veg market on the waterfront, which was great and then wandered back into town to go to a free gig. This did not quite live up to our expectations, and was a weird historical/political lecture with a couple of songs, so we swiftly left! We then headed up the cable car to the botanical gardens, which were really lovely, and where Sadie and I had loads of fun on the swings, regressing back to our childhoods!! (see pics! - www.flcikr.com/photos/abilucy) Then we went back to Sadie's and made amazing (even if we do say so ourselves!) banana and cinnamon muffins! We spent a while trying to get a film off Sadie's flatmates computer, but ended up renting one, and then going to bed early hehe.

This weekend was a bank holiday, so luckily (or not so luckily for Sadie, having to entertain me for another day!!) Saide had the day off, and we went for a lovely long drive around the bays. It was so clear and beuatiful, and we could even see the tops of the mountains on the south island!! We had lunch and then went back into town to go to the city gallery, where there was this amazing exhibition on. I will dig out the name of the artist and post it soon, but it was really great. Then we went round to Kerryn and Simons for a while before being invited to a BBQ at Cherie and Rob's - like I said it was great to have friends again, even if they were temporary!! Had such a lovely time round there and lots of laughs, and I was reallt sad to be leaving in the morning, especially when we woke up and saw the weather!! It was sooo grey and miserable, and I was getting the 8.25am ferry across to Picton!

The crossing was pretty awful, kids throwing up left right and centre, but luckily, I didn't join them, and managed to make it to the south island in one piece and hop on my bus to Nelson.

I got into Nelson yesterday at about 3pm, found a cool hostel - they provide free brekkie and free CHOCOLATE PUDDING!! Jane you would love it!!! I got chatting to some really nice girls from the UK, Tamsin and Fiona, and I've been wandering around with them today which has been fun. I've booked my buses and activities for the rest of my time in NZ, I can't believe its all nearly done! But I can tell you I've got some pretty exciting stuff lined up, and I'll leave you waiting in anticipation for my next installment!! I can tell you're all super excited now!

Anyway, I hope I haven't bored you all too much, I am missin you all as always, and thinking about you loads.

Love your travelling friend Abi xxx

Posted by Abilucy 22:01 Archived in New Zealand Tagged luxury_travel Comments (1)

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