Kia Ora from the land of the Maoris,
After spending a few days in the comfort of a real home with a real kitchen and bathroom it was back to the confined spaces of our lovely van. We headed on south to Byron Bay stopping via Surfers Paradise to spend spend spend (with all that money we have) in the surf outlet stores. Just west of Byron Bay is a little town called Nimbin which is basically where you can go and fit in with all the Hippies in Australia. We wandered through the streets looking dirty with bare feet and felt that we fit in so well so that we had to go and buy a headband to complete the look. So after being offered countless numbers of cookies and bags of weed and getting a little giggly in a shop where we were sure they were pumping it through the aircon we finally made it to Byron. The weather was still miserable so we spent the afternoon eating chicken in the van before we went to Cheeky Monkeys for a rare night out where Hannah managed to get pushed off a bench and proceeded to cry like a baby! In the morning we took a drive up to the lighthouse and had a wander around before hitting the road again for the long drive to Sydney.
To break up the long journey we stopped off at the big banana in Coffs Harbour which is literally a massive concrete banana, definitely a photo opportunity! Also took a detour down a road called waterfall way which is a beautifully scenic drive which funily enough has lots of waterfalls that you can go and look at and with all the previous rain they were looking particularly impressive.
When we finally arrived in Sydney our first stop was to find Miss KimberlEy Churchill so we could capture her and go and spend a day in Palm Beach or Summer Bay home of Home and Away. Initially we tried to cross Sydney without going on any toll roads but with this plan epically failing we though screw it lets drive over the Harbour Bridge! Was pretty cool, we enjoyed it so much we drove over it 3 times that day! So after bundling Kimberley into the back of our van we went Alf and Irene spotting in Summer Bay, didn't see anyone famous though think they had just finished filming for the day but the sun was shining so we chilled out on the beach and even spotted some dolphins playing in the surf.
Next stop was the blue Mountains. The weather was dismal and when we arrived at the first lookout we looked out to see nothing but white mist. Deciding that spending anymore time there would be a waste we set off instead for Canberra promising ourselves that we would make time to revisit the blue mountains on our way back up the coast.
Canberra was a nice city, very clean and easy to understand! We spent a few days bumming around here visiting the National Museum of Australia and going to watch Parliment in action at Government House which was pretty funny. For the half an hour that we could be patient enough to watch they spent arguing like little children about broadband in Australia. The prime minister got put in her place more than once! From here we hit the road again destined for Melbourne.
The first night we got to Melbourne we took the short drive out of the city to a place called Williamstown. Spent the night sitting on a bench in our sleeping bags like hobos eating chocolate and watching the big city lights from across the water, was very pretty and after spending only a few hours in the city centre we were glad to be away from the hustle and bustle of it all. Spent a day wandering around St Kilda, supposedly the nicer part of Melbourne and took a few photos at the iconic gates of Luna Park. But by far the most exciting thing we did in Melbourne was going to Neighbours, everybody needs good Neeeiiiiiighbours! Got to spend the morning taking cheesey photos in Ramsay Street outside the Kennedys and Harolds house and then went to the studios where we visited the General Store, Charlies, Lassiters and the Mechanics which we got extremely giddy about! Got to learn some secrets about whats coming up on the show and had a "guest star meeting" which turned out to be Janelle Timmins...not the biggest name to be remebered from Neighbours! Spent the rest of our time in Melbourne checking out the Casino and going to the Cinema to watch Life as we know it. We both left crying like little babies leaving puddles on the floor behind us!
From here we took the beautifully scenic and dramatic coastline drive down the great Ocean road stopping to look at the main attractions like the Arch, London Bridge, Loch Ard Gorge and the 12 Appostles (but actually there is just 6 cause the others have fallen into the sea!) Spent a few days on the road before heading back to Melbourne for Neightbours Night! Hilarious! Got to meet Doc Karl, Steve Parker, Irish Connor and Dylan Timmins and had the delight of hearing Dr Karls band play before Paul Robbinson did a few song with his band, so funny watching the oldies rock it out on stage. Especially Paul with his metal leg! Tired and failed to win the quiz due to our shrinking interlects but did win a prize for a combined effort of dancing crazily! After this night of fun we were ready to journey on back to Syndey to do the Blue Mountains again. We retured to the scene of the whiteout and were amazed by what we couldnt see the first time round! It was beautiful and very very steep! With time running out before we had to return Leonard the Van (RIP little van we miss you dearly!) we rushed around the rest of the blue mountains, the three sisters and wentworth falls before racing across the city in time for the deadline. With the van gone it was back to 2 legs and public transport!
Hannahs friend Harriet from Uni very kindly lent us her appartment in Mosman close to Sydney so that we could live in the luxuary of a home again! In Sydney we spent a day wandering around the sights and attractions, many a photo with the Harbour Bridge and Opera House, walked around The Rocks and saw one too many wedding happening in the Botanical Gardens. Met up with Kimberley and Lauren again and went for a day surfing (and body boarding when we got tired!) in Manly which was much fun! As little miss Kimberleys birthday was upon us we celebrated by going out in Kings Cross to a drag show which was hilarious! Spent the rest of our time resting and eating ready to start some new adventures in New Zealand.
After the short flight we touched down in Aukland and spent a few days bumming around the city. Walked for miles to get to the top of Mt Eden one of the volcano craters and spent a day in Misson Bay eating BBQ and playing touch rugby. On our last night there we went on a 'Boats and hoes' boat trip out into Auckland harbour for bonfire night. Somehow managed to miss both the fireworks and the bungee demonstrations probably because we were too busy partying hard but we did see Auckland city lights from across the water which were very pretty! The boat ran out of alcohol half way through the night and had to go back to port to pick some more up which was pretty funny.
After exhausting Auckland we hopped on a flight down to Queenstown which is where the real NZ adventures begin. We have been in NZ for almost a month now and the rest of the blog will be written but Hannah is being lazy and keeps forgetting to write it so for now until she steps it up a gear we thought this would be enough for you to feast on :)
Sorry this has been so long in the making, hope none of you got blog withdrawel! Love to everyone.