Yo yo! So much has happened since my last post in Airlie beach! I am currently in Melbourne at the moment and absolutely loving it, probably my favourite city so far, its so querky, arty and fun! There are trams and horse and carriages everywhere, there are lots of little lanes with individual cute coffee shops and random bands playing. The river is great and in St Kilda, a 10 min tram ride, there is a nice little beach and long pier with a cute little marina and sailing club.
The nightlife is fantastic, along china town there are tiny back alleyways which you would never thing of venturing down, but when you do there is always a unique bar or club. A few of my favourites are section 8, you pass a barb wire fence into a mostly open outside bar with graffiti everywhere and tin can bar, not the most practical when it rains but people just sit drinking with umbrellas! Another is Berlin bar, you enter through a steep, narrow black staircase, and ring the doorbell and wait to be greeted to enter, where half the bar is West Berlin themed, really upper class and you sit at a table and brought nuts and water and served by swanky barmen with bowler hats and order from a German passport menu (and the drinks are extorionate prices but worth it for the experience!), then you move into East berlin ACHTUNG! Where its made to look really crappy, with graffiti and bunk beds to sit on- I took my german friend Sarah for her birthday- she loved it! There is another bar called Fad Gallery next door, which attracts a querky crowds schmoozing and boozing to funky jazz bands, and Croft Institute where you follow a back alleyway and find a science lab themed bar, with syringes for shots. Needless to say I have become a bit nocturnal.
Its great because most of the tourists dont really know about these, i had the inside knowledge from some of the long termers in my hostel. Which may I add is the best place to stay! Its a bit shabby, not particularly clean and I am sharing my room with 11 other people. But the people are amazing! Its very small, almost like a big house really and probably 70% are long termers with jobs and we all hang out together.. it gets very messy as when they party, they really party! I am starting working for the hostel as a scrubber girl cleaning most morning for accomodation, to save as much as I can!
I wont try to explain the rest of the east coast from Airlie beach in too much detail as I would be here forever but the following are the highlights:
- Kroombit cattle farm in the outback- learnt to crack a whip, go on mechanical bull, tasted goat (nibbles), lassoed a goat walking in sludgy goat poo with bare feet, clay pigeon shooting, quad biking, one of the boys got a lizard in his bed in the little tin cans we stayed in which was extremely comical.
-Agnes Water- town of 1770- stayed in best hostel called cool bananas, made some amazing friends, booked spontaneous trip to middle island, fondly coined naked goon island by us. 4 man float plane over to deserted island, 6 girls left to their own devices- dangerous! Made bonfire, caught fish for lunch, ran around naked with bare feet through forest, saw brown snakes mating, and massive dinosaur lizard (later found to be a goana).
-Hervey bay whale watching- incredible small catamaran, mum and calf went under the boat! Made friends with a sweet 13 year old girl, realising we shared the same maturity level and were jumping up and down on the trampoline with the waves untill the captain told us off, so i bought a beer and she had a coke, and we found some other mischievious things to do.
-Rainbow beach- Fraser Island (largest sand island in the world) 4wd adventure- 6 people in each truck, 3 trucks total, driving along the long beach stretches, dodging the incoming waves and driving inland on challenging sand terrain, stayed in an aboriginal camp, played a fake digeradoo, got v v v v drunk on goon, attempted to fish, people were awesome, great mates.
Noosa- rained all the time but stayed in a cool dolphin beachouse hostel and watched films the whole time.
- Brisbane- stayed in the worst hostel ever but had a great time with travel people, relieved not to be in a small town for a change. Bought supplies and had a mental night out, and made some friends with some twins ;)
-Surfers Paradise-just like miami- couch surfed (stayed on a random guys couch (Larry)- stayed in a high rise luxury appartment overlooking the ocean with loads of other couch surfers, met amazing people, had a party overlooking v8s car race. Went to seaworld, wet n wild and movie world. was amazing.
-Byron Bay and Nimbin! Most chilled out place ever, got stuck here for a few weeks, friends with a cool crew at middle beach backpackers, Nimbin is the biggest druggy stoner town ever, went on the happy bus with a crazy driver with dredlocks and his dude dog, who im sure were both stoned. Bought some 'disco cookies' ate half and couldnt feel my feet (dont kill me mum!). So thought better not to have the rest!
-Spot X surf camp- amazing day surfing, i stood up!! learnt the SHAKAMALAKA- the ozzy surfing sign and learnt how not to be a kook (an ammateur surfer and holding the board wrong) Then stayed in a shipping container dorm room and had most amazing buffet dinner ever, and shared travel stories around camp fire.
-Sydney- was great to see the opera house and the harbour bridge (which is a bit surreal after seeing it in so many postcards etc) but once you get over that, i wasnt too impressed with the city itself, pretty boring and standard. I liked Darling Harbour, which was quaint. Bondi looked fun but very touristy- I had seen better beaches up the coast, and Manly town was nice. Best part was staying in 790 on George, the most random hostel ever, but the people were great, made some great friends from south korea and china and enjoyed exchanging cultural gifts and helping them with their english. The reception staff were ace too ;)
Melbourne- The Great Ocean road and Grampians road trip was amazing, went with italian guy who posted up a note on my hostel noticeboard saying he was hiring a car (later called betty- woah 'white' betty bam a lam!). Had amazing time at the 12 apostles, or is it 6? They had mostly all fallen down, and saw some cool caves and the road itself really was great (but the name gives it away). Also most recently, myself and a friend met some guys who work behind the scenes for the Gorillaz band and they gave us free tickets to see them in concert and to go backstage to meet the band which was amazing!! Felt a bit like a rockstar groupie myself and we went for drinks after at their swanky hotel bar. I also ate a croc burger with a side helping of Emu, which was like fishy chicken mmm nice!
Wow ok so if you got to the end of this, im impressed! If anything its good for me to keep a record as Im finding it harder and harder to keep my journal up to date! So the plan now is to work here for a bit, spend Christmas and New Year in Melbourne with my hostel mates, go to the beach for a BBQ xmas day and the manager is cooking us a roast dinner with a swedish theme?!? and then im sure i will have some people to hang with on NY.
I am all booked up for New Zealand on the 11th Jan, and the plan is to bus it around both North and South islands in a month, so I guess thats where my next post will be. CANT WAIT!
Over and out folks.. x