Bruce

Bruce Highway. A highway covering the entirity of our trip essentially, one we are very familiar with, now. On Sunday we spent a lot of the day voyaging along Bruce, also known as the A1. Heading through Rockhampton, we ventured on a little further for some fun down at some ‘dry’ caves.. 

The Capricon Caves were pleasant, a very intimate tour as there were only 3 others joining us – all the better for her to show us a bit more and spend a bit more time explaining things rather than gathering the masses. From here we decided to head a little further up our old friend the Bruce Highway – stopping at a roadside campsite for the night. Far from the beautiful views of the Kangaroo Sanctuary, nor did we wake to Wallabys hopping around searching for some warming morning sun… far from it. But the campsite did it’s job in giving us some shut-eye and well needed rest for an early start this morning.

Come 7am we were up and off again, a very foggy morning but thankfully this soon lifted – we took the circa 3 hour journey upto Mackay which is where we are spending tonight, ready to move on up again tomorrow. Not too much to see around these areas bar tarmac and trees, but Airlie Beach and plenty of touristic activities soon to come in the days to come! Exciting! From tomorrow we plan to spend two nights at Airlie Beach, and a day trip to the Whitsunday Islands (Whitehaven Beach).

P.s. we’re over half way up to Cairns, starting at near 1800km’s, less than 900 to go! Just a stones throw away…  thank you as ever for reading.

For now, Katie & Sam.

1770

Thursday we were pedal to the metal as we headed from Noosa to Hervey Bay. We spent this night resting before a very early rise the next morning as we were hopping on a barge to an island just off of Hervey Bay, any ideas?
Fraser Island! Yesterday we spent a day over at Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world! Also the largest island Queensland owns! Over 120km top to bottom and roughly on average 12km from side to side (up to 15km at it’s widest point). Sorry, almost enough facts for the day. Quite astounding to have an island of this size solely of sand, yet the trees and forestation sprouting from it was immense! 

Our tour itself was very good, our tour guide was very clued up and very friendly from start to finish. Lots of knowledge about trees being spouted at us, trying to absorb as much as humanly possible in one day. Some very interesting knowledge about James Fraser, who the island is named after – if they do not soon return it to its original Aboriginal name. The tour included a stop at Lake McKenzie which was, in our opinion at least, the most beautiful part of Fraser Island that we had seen. A stop at a shipwreck along the 75mile beach (no need for explanation or what this is) and also at Central Station, which was used for logging in the 1800’s & 1900’s!

This morning we took a 3hr or so journey down to Seventeen Seventy, the first part of Australian mainland Captain Cook found – funnily enough in the year 1770. A lovely quant little place with just one restaurant seemingly – next we went to our final resting place for the night just next door in Agnes Water. Our camp is very beautiful. Stunning views and kangaroos running around, it being a kangaroo sanctuary. It truly needs to be seen to be believed.

We will treat you to some pictures, including a beautiful long exposure shot off the stars and highly visible Milky Way from our campsite this evening. The stars really do light up the night in this part of the world.  

Tomorrow we head yet further North, we will update you as soon as we can! For now! Katie & Sam.


Noosa

Yesterday we departed busy Brisbane to head 1700km North to Cairns. Allocating up to a month to get ourselves there and back – plan being to sell Mimi (our beloved home on wheels for this trip) in Cairns and fly back down. 
Our first stop was Noosa, just a simple 2hr drive North (I’ll need not state this too often – as the majority/entirity of our trip will be in this general direction). Smooth drive down just before Midday we arrived, and first stop after a mooch about, was of course the famous Betty’s Burgers. It lived up to it’s hype, one of the best burgers $10 can purchase. After exploring a little bit, we opted for an early night back at the campsite, taking our time to ready everything at the site itself – we found ourselves in bed ready for sleep pre-9pm! 

Today we woke at 7am, dressed and straight down to grab a parking spot – of which seem to be gold dust in Noosa! Succesfully finding one, we went on a nice morning hike – about 2 hours all in all. Starting at Noosa National Park and ending at Hell’s Gate, it was a gorgeous wrap around coastal walk, with consistently stunning beach and seaviews. Unfortunately we spotted no Koalas or Whales on our walk, which were said to be common, heyho! The rest of our day was spent labourosly lounging around on the beach in the almost perfect winters sun, it was around 22c but felt a shade warmer. What a taxing afternoon, sun sea sand and.. gelato! From massimo’s very popular ice cream shop. Yum. 

It’s getting dark around 5 so early starts and early evenings will be the routine of most days.

Overrall Noosa is lovely – a beautiful vacation/break destination and as nice for a camping stop. Next stop, Harvey Bay! Speak soon and we hope the pictures do the beautifulness of Noosa some justice!


Catch up 

Less than a week (!!) until we hit the road to Cairns, the thought alone is enlivening; it feels like an age since we were last ‘travelling’ as such, and it will be pretty full on, so to speak, from here onwards! 

We have plenty booked up and we are ready to roll, our feet are itching for new surfaces daily and our eyes are itching to see as much of this side of the world as we can! 

Blogs, from yours truly, will be regular as of the commencement of the road trip (internet connectivity providing) also, the pictures will be aplenty! Uluru, Great Ocean Road, Great Barrier Reef, *cough* New Zealand South island again *cough*, Perth, and lots in between! We’ll be testing out some long exposure photographs too, and try to get lots of footage on the GoPro of it all. 

As for what we have been doing the past few weeks since our last update, plenty of fun activities and day trips. Ice skating (in Brisbane – far from the icey breeze of Winter Wonderland in London’s chilly winter), MovieWorld, Wet’N’Wild, Mini Golf. 

Katie has been busy with work, racking up the hours in advance of all expenditures and trips. She has been doing herself proud for a company whom value her enough to halt their marketing for the month upcoming, the one of which, coincidentally, we are hitting the road! She also ran a dance workshop for some keen dancers, locally, which went very very well – and is a shade more enjoyable, and perhaps rewarding, than her property job! See picture attached for the smiles the little ones had after the workshop, a thoroughly pleasant experience had by one and all, for sure.

This Friday just gone (of course, Katie’s birthday!) we headed down to the Gold Coast for a day at SeaWorld, and then we shot back in time for some Rugby at the SunCorp Stadium in Paddington, Brisbane! It was the foggiest Brisbane has seen in years (according to our cab driver, atleast), and truth be told it was quite hard to see the Rugby! But a mesmorising finish in that the Reds, Brisbane Reds, won with the last kick of the game! Katie’s birthday cake, courtesy of Ava, Ella & I, worked out perfectly; we executed a burger cake taking up a couple of days, but a couple of days definitely well spent! Pictures don’t do it justice, it worked perfectly!

Weather wise, Australia’s winter, if you can even call it a winter – is blissful. It’s 22 degrees, or so, most days in Brissy. We’re far from excited for the slightly more baltic winters London will provide us when we’re ‘back’. Brrrrrrrr.

Right, we’re off to give Mimi our beloved Mitsubishi a prep talk in advance of the road trip, give her the confidence (and the engine oil) she’ll need to get us there safely! Cross your fingers and toes for us that all goes well, we can’t wait to hit the road, and we’ll do our best to keep you updated.

For now.

Katie & Sam

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Bali Break

Perhaps we got twitchy fingers, or legs, in that we wanted to explore a little more than Brisbane and it’s surrounding area’s. So recently, we booked up a weeks ‘retreat’ to Bali, and we did not regret it one bit. Slightly hesitant given some of the press it get’s due to it’s ‘party’ name it has accrued, but it’s easy enough to steer clear of this if it is not what you are interested in – and that we did; our rewards were some stunning sights and a real culture insight into their way of life.

We flew from Brisbane in the early hours of Friday 2nd June. Upon arrival and successful check-in and security checks, we grabbed the standard overpriced airport breakfast and proceeded to board. The flight was six and a half hours. It was a very strange feeling to be going abroad to one of the closest sizeable countries (Indonesia) to you, but spending such a long amount of time getting there. From London you can fly to New York in the same amount of time!

Arriving at Ngurah Rai, more commonly known as Denpasar airport – despite being 13km South of the city of Denpasar, we were stunned at the size of the airport. The tourism industry must have funded such a building as it was quite a new one, and very nice one at that. We met with our transfer to our hotel, of whom was a very amicable guy, as was his driver. On the way to our hotel he told us plenty we didn’t know and asked us plenty about what we did know, all during the time we were spent gazing out the window at the thousands of moped’s swerving in and out of moving vehicles, with our ears perked from the constant bibbing and tooting they are so accustomed to.

Our hotel, Maison at C Seminyak: Boutique Hotel, was a lovely little unique and warming hotel just a 5-10 min walk from the beach (of which we didn’t find out until our second to last day, we walked the long way around for the best part of 30mins). The staff were lovely and the hotel was far from oversized, so it didn’t take long to feel at home there.

Now, onto the fun stuff, namely, the weather, the pricing and the sightseeing! Weather wise – you only really get 2 seasons in the majority of Indonesia, but definitely in Bali. Their names? Dry season and wet season. Luckily for us we visited in dry season, and with a taste of a mornings downpour on our last day – we were very grateful we had 6 days of sun and relief from the sun via the clouding. When it rains, it pours; as they say. Price wise Bali is CHEAP. But a few top tips, bring your own alcohol from duty free! Alcohol is taxed at 400% and unless you are purchasing local produce such as Bintang beer, you are looking at over $12 for a glass of wine, the same for a cocktail and near-on $10 for some spirits. Bintang was just $2-$3 a bottle. Now FOOD, some of the food we had was some of the best we have had, and some of it was without a doubt the cheapest we have had. A standard meal was probably no more than $6, some even cheaper – but of course if you stretch to the most popular and ‘nicest’ places, you’ll be pushing the amount vertically a fair shade. La Lucciola, Seminyak, was the nicest Italian we have ever had, which took us both by surprise, given we have both visited Italy (and I have Italian in-laws, sorry guys!) The Tiramisu there was to die for, we had to both bite our tongues not to re-order a second dessert each!

Now onto the sight seeing.
Day 1 & 2) The former, we drafted in as a relax day after the long flight, so after checking in we explored very locally and got ourselves settled in. The latter, day two, we ventured out a little further into Seminyak, and spent some time sunbathing and reading by the pool (the hard life, hey!)

Day 3) Our first tour, with Buffalo Tours, we met up at 8am with our tour guide and driver, of whom were the same guys who picked us up from the airport! We experienced Balinese dancing (a 45 min show) in the morning, fabric and jewellery making, coffee & tea tastings at the plantation and a temple visit in Ubud. On the way back stopping for a spot of lunch with a beautiful view of the forest. The tour was very well executed, no one portion of driving was too long and you can chat along the way (Wi-Fi if you fancy it). Every 20/30mins or so you were popping out of the car to check out a market, see some craft making or for coffee tasting etc.

Day 4 & 5) Day four, again, was planned to be a relaxing one, a lovely meal out, market shopping, sun etc. Day five was our second day tour, this time with a different company (Made Dodi) but it was just as amazing. Again leaving early in the morning we proceeded on our tour, skipping the first activity of which was the local dance, we went straight onto the Taman Ayun Royal Temple. A beautifully clean and very tranquil temple, having skipped the dance we were ahead of the ‘crowd’ of whom may be taking the same tour/route as us, we were one of the only people visiting it, which is always pleasant!

Our next stops after the first temple;

Baturiti : Strawberry Hills
Bedugul : Lake Bratan Temple
Jatiluwih : The Biggest rice field in Bali
Wanasari : Bali Butterfly Park
Tanah Lot :  Tanah Lot Temple
This was going to be Seafood Dinner at Tanah Lot. But we decided to beat the crowd back as it got VERY busy at sunset time.

The total cost for this trip was 700k, no not dollars, just 70 of those! Yes $70 total for the entire day – add our entrance fees and spending money.

Day 6) Our last, sob sob, we were awoken to a downpour of rain, so our plans of sunbathing our last day away were scuppered – so we went for a massage, 2hr each in total at the grand cost of $20 each. For you English people, that’s about £12-13 for 2 hours of treatment. Felt like daylight robbery in comparison to the price we are used to!

All in all, Bali is well worth a trip – avoid Kuta if you want to avoid the party central with a lot more traffic and full on antics, fill your days with relaxing circulating with day tours and you will not be disappointed, the value for money is immense if you keep your wits about you. Asking regular visitors to Bali and reading reviews online will help you keep your intended trip cheaper and safer.

Thank you as ever for reading, and the blog will be a hell of a lot more active in a month or two, once we jump in Mimi, our trusty camper, and hit the road North – we will have plenty of pictures, info and stories to tell you all! But for now, please enjoy our pictures of beautiful Bali!

 

 

 

Day 97..

.. Yes, we’re still alive! Our sincerest apologies for our absence from the blog scene, a concoction of laziness, lack of real distance travelling to have the urge to boast about, and a sprinkling of other factors.

We are both very well, if not slightly cold now Spring is here, but still having as much fun as since our last blog post (felt like last year, right?). We are currently situated in the warm little suburb named Paddington, and we LOVE it here. The place is charming, we wish we could take it back home with us, if you visit Brisbane and need somewhere to stay – choose Paddington (should get paid for this shameless plugging..)

As far as the past goes, in terms of what we have done – Katie got a job, quit a job, got a better job… Landing a ‘Dream’ gig at ‘DreamWorld’, it not quite being what they had sold it to be, she swiftly left, moving onto a job within property, a very cool job with the chance to meet and talk to a whole variety of people from different backgrounds and ethnicities.

We have visited the Gold Coast, SeaWorld, Wet’N’Wild, an Easter break at the Coast – plenty more but my memory defeats me.

We have been to 3 Brisbane Roar (Football. Real English football – not Australia football aka Rugby, Australian Rules, and everything that they seemingly call football yet it not being so..) matches! Katie is now a fully pledged Brisbane Roar fan, who can seemingly predict their results, and she wants a Roar shirt.. Maybe for her next Birthday!

What does the future hold? In as far as this trip, we have nailed some dates down – including our trip home (sob sob), but we are so excited to get going. Let me walk you through it.

At the start of June, we head over to Bali (we felt the need for a holiday within a holiday – it’s a tough life) for 5 days, all booked up and we can’t wait, a day trip to a monkey sanctuary, a trip to one of Bali’s famous temples et much much more.

Post Bali, we hit the road! In our best friend Mimi (our beloved camper) we plan to head North, up to Cairns – for the great barrier reef. Spend some days there before heading back down towards Brisbane, visiting plenty of unique places on the way; of course. From Brisbane we carry on South, to Sydney.. Further South to Canberra and finally Melbourne.

After this, we recharge our batteries and head back up to Brisbane – of course a different route and taking in lots of places and views on the way! When we finally dock back in Brisbane, we’re not quite done. We have a date set to fly to Perth (over on the West Coast – we are currently ‘doing’ the East Coast). We plan to spend 4 days or so here, including a visit to Rottnest Island – the home of the Quokkas, a Marsupial in the Macropod family (aka Kangaroo and Wallaby families).

After Perth begins our trip home, but not without one more stop.. SINGAPORE! Spending 4 days here to break up our trip back, and to get ready to prepare ourselves for home; we’re excited for this. Neither of us have been to Singapore and it looks stunning, so why not!?

Ooh, almost forgot, we’ve yet to fit Uluru in here somewhere – we will do a return trip to Uluru (Ayers Rock) probably when we are in Sydney. Something we don’t think we can return home without doing.

Speak soon familia y amigos. Much love!

Brissie

Good evening from Brisbane! 
We have been off the radar a bit to give ourselves some time to settle in and chill out a bit. We are all safe & well if you have been worrying (I’m sure you haven’t!) 

Over the past week, in short, we have done a lot of job hunting, flat hunting, general exploring and, of course, chilling out. 

We visited the local Lone Pine Sanctuary of which has a lot of koalas, we absolutely loved it! There’s nothing that screams Australia as much as this place! We go to hand feed and pet the kangaroos and wallabies, and adore and learn about the koalas.

City beach on the Southbank of Brisbane was pleasant on Saturday, as well as a spot of shopping.

Yesterday we purchased a camper! Mimi the Mitsubishi, an old yet (hopefully – touch wood) reliable camper, all ready for the job at hand. As old as the pair of us, but in better condition than us. Upon receipt of insurance, hopefully tomorrow, we will take her on her first drive with us down to the Gold Coast – to go to an adventure park! Technically, our first home.. we own it and it has a bed.. just a bit more affordable than a ‘real’ home! 

Not quite as exciting a few days as our adventure in New Zealand, I know – but given the time we have here we are spreading out our trips and touristic fun.

For now! S&K.