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Reisverslag Travelling the east coast 2.0
3 april 2014
Travelling the east coast 2.0
My last story ended with my time in Noosa. Next stop was Surfers Paradise (also called Gold Coast). As usual I took the Greyhound bus as transportation but this time I had a stopover in Brisbane. While waiting in Brisbane for the next bus I started talking to some girls. Me and Kerstin (from Sweden) had pretty much the same plans travelling down to Melbourne, so since then we pretty much became travel buddy’s.
In Surfers Paradise I enjoyed the beach, by doing a beach walk and drinking some goon on the beach. After being a bit tipsy of the goon we decided to walk around a bit through the night markets on the boulevard. Here you could hold a snake which I decided to do. It was so fun (maybe a little bit more due to the goon) but also a little bit weird and scary. The next day Kerstin and I decided to go into the highest building in Surfers paradise (79 levels high) to enjoy the sunset with an amazing view. At the top of the building we bought something to eat. Even though we got the cheapest thing on the menu (wedges) to share and just some tap water (after all we still are backpackers) it felt really luxury enjoying a ‘meal’ on top of the highest building in town watching the sunset.
The next stop was Byron Bay. Everybody I met while travelling down the east coast was really ecstatic about Byron Bay and said it was really awesome town, so I was excited to get there. After 4 days I however had to come to the conclusion that I think it is a bit overrated. I however did have a good time, just not way more of a good time than in other places. Me, Kerstin and a Dutch girl did a walk up to the light house, bringing us past the most easterly point of Australia. Another day me and Kerstin rented bikes (it felt so good to be on a bike again :p) and wanted to go to a look out point but we really couldn’t bike up the hill with our shitty free rental bikes with no gears so we decided just to bike around town ending the afternoon with a beer at the local brewery. From Byron I did a day trip to Nimbin, the hippy city of Australia. It felt like going back into time once we got there, it was a small town (well pretty much just one street) with every building in hippy style and selling hippy clothes and so on. Furthermore everyone there seemed to be (and probably were :p) high and several times people offered us to buy ‘special cookies’.
After a couple of days in Byron Bay it was time to move on again. The next view stops along the coast were Coffs Harbour, Port Macquaire and Newcastle. This week was quite relaxed, just enjoying the nice weather (it was quite hot), doing some walks along the coast resulting in some very nice views, doing a sunset boat cruise, spotting dolphins and having beach, river and pool parties. In Port Macquarie I visited the koala hospital. My first time to see a koala, sooo cute!
On valentines day it was finally so far, I arrived in Sydney :D. I was in Sydney for 10 days and I had the best time there, immediately when I arrived I had the feeling that I would like this city and I really did. We bought a bus/ferry/train ticket for the whole week and really took advantage of this. Went to several beaches around the city. First of all Watson bay, quite a bit from the city and it doesn’t feel like you are in the city at all even though you have we view of the skyline of Sydney. Second beach I went to was Palm Beach, which was an hour bus drive from the city, but worth it. A beach like any other, but once you walk just 5 minutes through the dunes you arrive at a lake which was beautiful. A walk up to the lighthouse gave amazing views over the lake as well as the ocean. Another Sydney beach that I went to was Manly beach, which is just a 20 minutes ferry ride away from the city centre but feels like its own little beach town. The ferry to and from Manly gives you amazing photo opportunities of the harbour bridge and the opera house. Last but not least I of course couldn’t miss going to Australia’s most famous beach: Bondi beach. We however didn’t go to Bondi beach directly but did a coastal walk from Cogee beach to Bondi beach, which was beautiful.
Besides all the lovely beaches Sydney of course also has tons of shopping opportunities. I however unfortunately didn’t have the money to shop a lot. I however did have a look at the (expensive and exclusive) stores in the beautiful Queen Victoria building, went to some markets, did a little bit of shopping in the Darling Harbour mall and went to the paddy’s market, where everything was so cheap I could buy a lot :p. The rest of my time in Sydney I spent just walking around the city, through hyde park, the botanical gardens, the always busy George street, around the main harbour (from harbour bridge to the opera house) and around Darling harbour.
I was in Sydney during Mardi Grass month which meant there were a lot of events happening in the lovely Darling Harbour. There was an open air cinema, which we went to twice, firework shows in the weekends, and also bumped into some drag queens.
From Sydney I did a day trip to the Blue Mountains, with Kerstin and our sweet new Korean friend. It was a two hour train drive to get there, my first train experience in Australia. Once we got there we bought a ticket for the hop-on-hop-off bus which took us to all the great lookout points. We saw some amazing views and did some nice walks. The Blue mountains are called the Grand Canyon of Australia and I can see why, it was absolutely beautiful! We spent the whole day there enjoying the nature until it got dark and we had to head back to the city.
In Sydney I stayed in a really nice hostel in the centre of the city. I always had really nice roommates, who I could chat to, go out for the day with, or have a couple of drinks with and go out. There was a nice bar just next to the hostel so it was always quite tempting to go out for a drink. One night our Korean friend took us to China town for a really nice Korean dinner, the food was so good with so much flavour. Eating with chop sticks however isn’t my talent. After dinner we went out for some Korean bubble tea. And after that it was party time. Another night we went to the biggest club in Sydney, where usually entry fee is between 20-40 dollars but on Thursday it is free (backpackers night). The club was really big, and after losing all my friends and the night becoming to an end I decided to go home, but it took me quite some time to find the exit. I finally found my way outside but I still wasn’t out of the club just in the pool area! Which was so cool I decided to have one more drink before really going home :p. We had a nice group of people to hang out with for a couple of days but unfortunately as always after a couple of days it was time to say goodbye. Two girls, Lizzie from England and my Swedish travel buddy, I however only had to say goodbye to for a couple of days, I would see them again in Melbourne.
After having so much fun in Sydney it was time for the next adventure: surfcamp. Where I had such a good time. It literally was surf, eat, surf, eat, have some drinks if you have the energy :p and sleep. I was there for three days and had a total of five lessons of two hours each, and I learned so much. The first lessons everybody was struggling just to stand up on the board, but after that it became easy to stand up and it was more about catching the right waves at the right time, and controlling your speed and your direction. The surf coaches were typical looking (hot) surf dudes and were all about surfing.
After an exhausting but awesome time at surf camp I unfortunately had no time to rest. It was straight through to my next stop Canberra, the capitol of Australia. Yes, it surprised me as well that Sydney is not the capitol of Australia. But the story is that both Sydney and Melbourne wanted to be the capitol and refused to accept the other city being the capitol (there still is a big ongoing rivalry between the two cities). So as a compromise it was decided to build a city in between Sydney and Melbourne to function as the capitol, that is how Canberra came to exist. And I must saw that when you are in the city you can really see that the city was built for this sole purpose.
When I arrived in Canberra Anni (my friend from Finland who I met in Estonia last summer) picked me up in her awesome van with her orange necklace I gave her in Estonia (so sweet she took it all the way to Australia). We cruised around town in her van and went to a lookout point, the Australian War museum, the Parliament house, the Australian museum and the Australian Mint where they make all Australian coins. And all that just in two days. At the Australian museum I heard the national anthem for the first time. On the first night I experienced the student life in Canberra, we had Dinner at Anni’s house, drinks at the uni and went clubbing in the city with a whole group of exchange students.
After two days it was time to take yet another night bus to my, for the time being, last stop: Melbourne. Plan in Melbourne: find a job and an apartment, experience the Aussie lifestyle and earn some money for my next travels.
I am still loving every moment of my travels. I however am looking forward to a more stable life in Melbourne for a while. I like living in hostels but after two months some things of the hostel life get exhausting. First having new roommates every day, as well as saying goodbye to people every day. Second having the same conversations (where are you from, where have you been blabla) every time. Furthermore sharing the kitchen with tons of other people, labelling your food, and never having good pans too cook in. And last the thing I missed most while backpacking is having a closet, just opening your closet and deciding what to were in stead of just wearing the first thing you pull out of your backpack and never being sure what clothes are in the bottom of your backpack :p haha.
Foto's bij verslag (4)
3 april 2014 08:00 | Door: Anja
So cool !!!
All travel stories up to date and the fun part goes on with international friends and local outings. In between working at a festival selling healthy slushies and last but not least the Italian restaurant Rustica. Lots of hugs and xxx
5 mei 2014 21:35 | Door: Stephany
Wow, Jess! Great blog! :)