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Australia, Travel

Visiting Sydney Olympic Park

August 23, 2016

I loved the Olympics! I found myself watching the most random sports and start talking about them as if I’m an expert (That triple spin in pike was cleeeeearly only a 12.25, how could the judges even justify giving a 15?!). Anyway, when Stu and I were in Sydney we decided to go check out the Olympic Park.

Getting to the stadium is actually quite cool. You can catch a ferry along the Parramatta River or get a train from the CBD. We got the ferry there and the train back to experience the best of both worlds! I’d recommend taking the ferry at least one way so you can take some great pictures of Sydney harbour and let’s face it, you can never have too many pictures of that!

The Sydney Olympics were probably the first Olympics that I remember watching. I watched Denise Lewis win Gold and then became obsessed with that game on the BBC website where you competed in the heptathlon.  All this meant that I was really excited to see an Olympic stadium. I haven’t been to the London Olympic Stadium and now West Ham play there so I doubt it would have the same effect to be honest!

The day Stu and I went, there was a big Easter family fun day going on so it was REALLY busy. However, because most of the families were local, they’d clearly seen all the tourist stuff before so Stu and I could get a good look at the Olympic torch and Olympic Cauldron.

Obviously the stadium would have been more impressive if there was a sporting event taking place as it was definitely missing the atmosphere which that would have provided but I was still pleased that we went. You only need to spend a couple of hours there maximum unless there is an event going on so take that in to consideration when planning your Sydney trip.

Have you been to any Olympic stadiums? What did you think?

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Australia, Travel

Happy Australia Day!

January 26, 2016

I’ll let you in to a secret, I’ve never been in Australia for Australia Day. I’ve always arrived in the country just after! It doesn’t make me want to celebrate any less though. I love Australia and hopefully it won’t be too long before I’m back there again. I hope all my friends Down Under have had a great day, I wish I was there to join you for a schooner or two!

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Australia, Travel

Diving the Great Barrier Reef with Deep Sea Divers Den

January 18, 2016

If you’re thinking of doing a dive on the Great Barrier Reef as part of your East Coast trip, you should definitely use Deep Sea Divers Den. Diving the Great Barrier reef was one of my favourite experiences in Australia and I have Deep Sea Divers Den to thank for that (and Stu for paying for the dive for my birthday present!).

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This was my first Scuba dive in open water and there probably isn’t a better place to do a dive than the beautiful barrier reef. All of the marine life looked amazing and we saw so many different creatures, from sharks to turtles to Nemo! Our dive instructor made us all feel completely comfortable. We were all 100% happy with our equipment and knew all the signals if we ever got into trouble below the surface.

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Luckily the reef itself was quite healthy where we were diving as I’ve heard some dive companies take you to parts of the reef which are unhealthy and dying. Deep Sea Divers Den help care for the reef to ensure visitors can enjoy it for years to come.

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After a 20 minute dive, we put on our snorkel equipment and got straight back in the water. The four of us are all strong swimmers and can hold our breath for quite a while so could manage to dive quite deep and explore the reef some more. There’s plenty of fish to see from the surface if you’re not happy doing this though.

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Deep Sea Divers Den also put on a fantastic lunch buffet – and that’s coming from 4 very hungry backpackers. There’s more than enough food to go around and it’s really tasty as well. All the swimming makes you really hungry!

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I know a lot of people worry about the price of doing a Scuba dive but it really is worth every dollar. You’ve got to think that you may not ever have the chance to visit the Great Barrier Reef again. You only live once after all! Just go for it!

Have you dived the Great Barrier Reef? What company did you use?

 

Australia, Travel

Wanderlust Wednesday – 28/10/15

October 28, 2015

If you want to get a different view of that famous Sydney skyline, head over to Dover Heights. This park is a fantastic spot to take in this beautiful city. It’s fairly near Bondi so really easy to get to and the walk up the hill is worth it! 

   
    
   

Australia, Travel

A Roadtrip to Cape Tribulation and the Daintree Rainforest

October 4, 2015

Everyone knows about the standard backpacker things to do in Cairns. You stay at Gilligans, go out to Gilligans, sunbathe by Gilligans pool and do a dive at the Great Barrier Reef. This post is for the people that want a couple of nights off from all that. We hired a Jucy campervan and headed north of Cairns to Cape Tribulation and the Daintree Rainforest.

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We hired a Jucy van before to do the Great Ocean Road so knew they were good and they didn’t let us down this time either!

The drive up to Cape Trib is so beautiful. I know that sounds like something your parents would say but it’s so true. Miles and miles of white beaches and rainforest make any drive easier.

Cape Tribulation

Cape Tribulation

Cape Tribulation is famous because it’s where the rainforest meets the sea. It’s a great long stretch of white sand and looks exactly how I imagine paradise to be. I’m not a fan of busy beachfronts, I’d much rather a beach look natural and secluded and that’s exactly what Cape Tribulation is. I could have stayed here forever.

Cape Tribulation

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We did eventually tear ourselves away to continue our trip but I never found a beach as nice as this in the rest of Australia.

The other half of our road trip was to the Daintree Rainforest. The Daintree is particularly famous for it’s waterfalls. The most well known one is Millaa Millaa Falls where the Herbal Essences advert was filmed. It’s best to visit the waterfalls after a long period of rain because the flow will be a lot of stronger. We went after a bit of a drought so the waterfalls weren’t very powerful but I thought they still looked good!

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We had great fun rock sliding and re-creating the Herbal Essences advert. As we had the Jucy van, we could set our own schedule as to where we wanted to be and how long we stayed. We often had waterfalls to ourselves which was really lucky! There’s a lot of tours that travel around Cape Trib or the rainforest that go there and back in one or two days which is fine if you’re on a tight time schedule but not so good for crowding issues!

The 5 days of this roadtrip were probably some of the best times of my travels. The freedom of the road, living in my bikini and flip flops and cooking out of the back of the campervan is everything I want in life. There is no place I would rather be!

Cape Tribulation

Australia, Travel

Wanderlust Wednesday – 30/09/15

September 30, 2015
Wanderlust Wednesday

How is it the last day of September?! Seriously, where is this year going? This time last year I was about to sail around the Whitsunday Islands on the crazy Atlantic Clipper so it’s only right that I share some pictures of that beautiful part of the world with you today.

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Have you visited the Whitsundays? What boat trip did you do?

Australia, Travel

Wanderlust Wednesday 23/9/15

September 23, 2015
Wanderlust Wednesday

This week for Wanderlust Wednesday we’re heading deep in to the Aussie Outback and visiting Uluru! You can read about my trip to Outback here!

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Have you been to Uluru? It’s so different to rest of Australia! I’m really glad I went and experienced part of the ‘Aussie Outback’!

Australia, Travel

Wanderlust Wednesday – 16/9/2015

September 16, 2015
Wanderlust Wednesday

Wednesday is always hump day for me. The weekend still seems ages away and the last one is a distant memory! Here are some photos to get you over your hump day!

This week we’re visiting Fraser Island – a classic part of your Australian East Coast trip!

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Driving those 4×4 cars across the beach was so much fun! And just look at the colour of the sea and the sky!

Have you been to Fraser Island? I’ve been twice and would love to go back again! Drop me a comment below or tweet me @frankiegoesto__

Australia, Lifestyle, Lists

15 signs that you have been a backpacker in Australia.

February 1, 2015

1. You loved your East Coast trip but get annoyed when a stranger asks you too many questions about it.

2. You’ve tried all the different flavours of Coles own brand tuna. Sweet Chilli will always be the best!

3. You were confused the first time you walked into a shop and were asked, “How you going?”

4. Admit it, Bondi was a little disappointing.

5. The lack of hot lifeguards was equally disappointing. Is Bondi Rescue fake?!

6. You don’t actually have any Australian friends, in fact the majority of the time you stick to your own nationality. Oops.

7. You believed that Goon was made from fish eggs.

8. Part of you also believed the Drop Bear story. Backpackers are so gullible.

9. You took the obligatory kangaroo selfie.

10. The 88 days of slave labour farm work were actually one of the best parts of your trip.

11. You make decisions on restaurants, bars and hostels on whether they have free WiFi or not.

12. You always want the bottom bunk. Until the person above starts making the bed shake with a night time visitor.

13. You’ve become obsessed with avocados and will add them to almost every meal.

14. You’ve lived off $3 mince every night for a week.

15. The day you found out Dominoes was only $4.95 was probably the best day of your travels.

Australia, Travel

Perth & Beyond

January 2, 2015

The last few weeks of my Australia trip were spent in WA. We were based in Perth but hired a car so did a little bit of travelling to local beaches and towns. Perth itself is a really nice city. Without sounding too boring, it’s clean and tidy with big wide roads, park areas and a pretty harbour. It has the impressive skyline and the shops but is still small enough to feel more personal than Sydney. Although the guidebooks will say otherwise, I thought that you only need a few days to get a taste of Perth. I was glad we had use of a car so could visit Fremantle and the beautiful beaches surrounding the city.

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In my opinion, the beaches in West Australia are more spectacular than their counterparts on the East Coast. They seem to look more ‘natural’. By this I mean a lot of the beaches have sand dunes lining them rather than a wall or a line of shops. I much prefer beaches that don’t seem to have changed in hundreds of years, rather than the hustle and bustle that surrounds Bondi. We visited Cottesloe, Scarborough and Hillary’s boat harbour. It was school holidays and very hot so all three were always busy but it never bothered us. All have places to eat close by and you can swim in the sea but Hillarys is the best for swimming if you worry about those sharks they have over in Oz! Scarborough is best for surfing with lessons being taught daily. I think I appreciated Perth’s beaches more than others because it was my last few days in Australia. Lying in the sun everyday it was hard to remember why I wanted to go home to dreary England!

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If you fancy doing something a little different one evening, you should definitely check out Fremantle Prison. We took part in the torchlight prison tour and it was fantastic. As the name suggests, a guide takes you around the prison with only your torch for light. Expect plenty of stories and a few screams…

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Beware the hangman’s noose…

The tour is fairly light hearted and although you get some information on the history of the prison, the daytime tour is recommended if you are after a more informative trip. A great place to grab a drink and some food whilst you are in Fremantle is the ‘Little Creatures’ brewery. The nachos are fantastic!

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Perth is home to Kings Park which gives a fantastic view of the city skyline and harbour. It’s huge with a number of walking trails available as well as an impressive war memorial. Kings is actually bigger than Central Park in New York which gives you an idea of its size.

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Perth was the end of Stu and I’s travelling in 2014 as we came home with my sister to surprise our families on Christmas Eve. We had a brilliant time travelling around this huge country and over the next few weeks we will have to decide whether to return on our 2nd year visa or to say goodbye to Australia for now.