Tag Archives: great barrier reef

Australia: The Rest

16 Apr

After our camper van adventures we spent the holidays at my dad’s friend’s house in a southern suburb of Brisbane. It was weird celebrating Christmas while it was 30 degrees outside and we spent the better part of every day in the pool. For my birthday we went in to the city to Southbank to see the new Hobbit movie and have a yummy dinner. Just before New Years we switched locations and headed up North of Brisbane to stay with another one of my dad’s friends and his family for a few days. We had a lovely time with them and their dogs and had a fun time partying with everyone on NYE. After the holidays it was time to get down to business and we began our house hunting search back in downtown Brisbane.

We managed to find a place in Fortitude Valley, the heart of Brisbane’s entertainment district. It was great to have a home base again and regular internet but we couldn’t just settled down and relax for ever so it was time to find a job. Finding a job ended up being the hard part, Braden tried out a few jobs including telemarketing and moving which didn’t quite pan out and I had a long streak of nothing till a local Italian restaurant finally called me back in mid-February. Not long after I scored my job Braden switched up his resume tactics (going for more humour) and landed a job by the end of February at a small Mexican take away place. During February we did manage to hit up a water park, Seaworld, check out Surfers Paradise for a day, spend a few days down in Byron Bay catching waves (and sunburns), cuddle a koala and check out the wildlife at the Lone Pine’s Koala Sanctuary, as well as exploring more of Brisbane.

Once we started working we realized that our part time jobs just weren’t going to be enough to sustain us in the long term so we made the decision to start planning our route back to Canada a little earlier than we had planned. Australia is just quite an expensive place to live. March did consist of a lot of planning but we also managed to have some fun. We caught some awesome live performances by Macklemore, Deadmau5 and more at Future Music Festival. For our final big trip in Australia we decided to check out Airlie Beach and the Whitsunday Islands since we had heard so much about it. Most people choose to see the islands by taking a multi-night sailing trip out to them but I am not the biggest fan of being on a boat for too long so we opted to take two day trips out from Airlie instead. The day we arrived in Airlie it was super hot and sunny out but that would be the last time we would see the sun during our time there. Our first day trip took us out to the tail end of the Great Barrier Reef (I figured Braden couldn’t leave Oz without seeing it) but due to the bad weather we encountered some pretty crazy waves out on the open ocean making me feel pretty sea sick for most of the day. After spending our whole second day hiding inside from the rain (well more like drinking inside the hostel’s bar) we were starting to feel less enthusiastic about spending another day out on the rain and wavy ocean. In the end our ocean rafting day trip out to see more of the islands, including the famous Whitehaven Beach, was rainy and a little chilly but we still managed to have a good time. Another unique Australian experience that we simply couldn’t leave without checking out was an AFL game and boy was it a lot of fun. During our last weekend in Brisbane we hopped down to the Gold Coast to attend Supernova (a mini comic convention) where Braden got to see a live LOL finals match and I got to see some of the unreleased Black Milk pieces (win win for both of us). Finally after some sad goodbyes to new friends we departed Brisbane for South East Asia to continue our adventures (in much cheaper countries).

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Time to hit the tropics

3 Dec

Our trip to the Brisbane airport was super quick and easy with my dad giving us a lift in. We check in easily and after a quick drink at the airport with dad we hoped on our quick two hour flight north to Cairns. My dad arranged for us to be met at the airport by one of his contacts and friends who drove us in to town and gave us a quick tour of the town. We then checked in to our hostel Giligan’s, our party hostel for the trip as it has a massive club attached to it. The girls in our room ended up being lovely so we all decided to grab dinner together that night at the hostel. Our meals were not the most impressive but ten dollars for dinner and a drink is pretty hard to pass up in this country. Thursday night at Giligan’s happened to be ladies’ night which meant we all got five free glasses of champagne served to us by shirtless waiters in bow ties, hilarious. After the champagne service there was a volunteer pole dance competition aka 18 year old backpacker girls trying their hardest to shake it in front of a pretty big crowd, also hilarious and our favourite actually ended up winning. We tried to keep dancing for as long as we could but exhaustion finally won out so we hit the hay still fairly early. Friday morning we decided to take our local guide’s breakfast suggestion and checked out The Lilypad cafe for one of the best breakfasts on our trip to date (pancakes, ice cream, hashbrowns and bacon yuuum). The rest of the day was pretty chill, we just napped and caught up on the internet. That evening some of the girls from our room came with us to check out the nearby night market. That night we called it an early night despite the thumping bass from the club downstairs. We woke up bright an early the next day to hop on our boat headed out to the great barrier reef with Down Under Cruise and Dive. We checked out two different sites and got to snorkel at both of them, Grace’s first time ever trying it! We son tons of funky coloured fish and even managed to spot a great big sea turtle! At the second location we hopped on a glass bottom boat tour and found nemo 🙂 On the way home one of the hilarious crew members preformed some songs and improve with a bit of musical trivia thrown in (I even got a question right and one a drink score!). Even though we were super tired and sunburnt we got dressed for a big night on the town with the Ultimate Party bus bar crawl. We hit up four different bars and were ferried between them on a massive double decker bus. At each stop there were some scandalous games which were super funny to watch. It was a pretty fun night and we had a great time dancing with two fellow Canadian girls. The next morning we got off to a pretty slow start but eventually made our way down to the Cairns swimming lagoon with our new friends for a relaxing afternoon in the lovely water and sun. Since we were leaving the next morning we had another quiet night and hit up the local movie theatre to check out Thor 2 which was just as great as the first Thor (plus lots of yummy Chris Hemsworth and sassy Kat Dennings my faves). Next morning we were up nice and early to head to our last new destination and the most northern location of our trip, Port Douglas.

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