A Travellerspoint blog

Queensland is calling

A journey up the coast in search of sunshine

After leaving the farm we were in need of some warm weather so headed north up the New South Wales coast calling in to camp along the way. On the way we stopped at Canberra, the Australian capital. Our main sights we wanted to see was the war museum and the national gallery and both did not disappoint, they were really good. The capital itself is up and coming as a trendy place to be but it still feels a little bit like Australia's financial capital.
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One of our favourite places here was Hat Head National Park. It was a quiet camp site with beautiful beach views and we enjoyed a few days on the empty beach relaxing and swimming in the sea.
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We watched the sunset from the sand and enjoyed a cold beer next to our brand new tent!

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The national park area is pristine and it is an area which has small farms and stunning views and it is here where you start to see the first glimpses of a change in landscape and housing. We started to see the first Queensland style housing, on stilts off the ground and the sugar cane fields even though we were still quite a way away from Queensland and we called at an old pub on our way out for a cooling drink.

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We walked up to Smoky Cape lighthouse and the views from the top were stunning.

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Also along this stretch is Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour and all the way up to Byron Bay and Tweed Heads. We started to see
some warmer weather and camped at Port Macquarie, enjoying a walk along the waterfront where the public have painted the rocks.

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Byron Bay is also one of our favourites. It has a small quaint town, full of nice cafes and shops, beautiful beaches and a lovely relaxed atmosphere and it is the beginning of the subtropics. We loved enjoying the beach, playing in the sea and enjoying the sunshine. From the beach you can see Dolphins playing in the surf and it is perfect to sit on the beach at sunset and admire the view or have a little picnic.

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Further up the coast you reach Queensland, the sunshine state! And after exploring the coast we decided Brisbane would be our next stop off for a job. The city makes a good impression, it is bright and vibrant and restaurants and bars line the Brisbane river. You can cruise down the water on a river ferry, shop, dine outside and either side you are an hour from the Gold Coast or and hour from the Sunshine Coast.

We both found a nice little job in a cafe and a nice flat ten minutes from the city. Now it's time for some hard work and some saving of our pennies.

Posted by Chelsandliam 21:52 Archived in Australia Tagged australia queensland brisbane byron_bay hat_head_national_park Comments (0)

Farm life in the Snowy Mountains- A Photo Blog

Our three months agricultural work for a second working holiday visa

all seasons in one day

We applied for a few jobs in the agricultural sector to get our second year visa but decided to go for a woofing opportunity we would enjoy over a well paid fruit picking job. This was because we will only be doing this once and decided it is more important to enjoy our three months than to earn money, we can do that later and we didn't fancy the prospect of living in dorms for three months solid with loads of others doing the same.
So when Arthella, a sheep and cattle farm in the Snowy Mountain National Park offered us a position we decided to go for it. We got our own little cottage and were paid $100 each per week for food and other things we might want and they provided us with warm clothes and some new work boots.
Our days of work were Monday to Friday and Saturday and Sunday was light duties, mainly just feeding the animals. Our work was varied and mostly very interesting and enjoyable. We did a lot of maintaining the fields for the sheep and cattle, spraying weeds but also looked after all the work dogs, chickens and sometimes the horses. We were involved with all the day to day duties of being on a farm and the owner Mick was kind enough to always involve us in everything and taught us a lot. We enjoyed our work at the farm, and the setting was beautiful, right next to a lake where we could spend our time off and a short drive from the National Park, and snow slopes. It was a great experience and although hard work at times, we enjoyed it a lot.

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Sheep mustering.

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cutting firewood.

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Woofa the farm dog looking for mice to chase

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puppy attack!

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Our little cottage.

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Chelsea's birthday celebrations!

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Liams veggie patch.

Posted by Chelsandliam 20:51 Archived in Australia Tagged australia farm_work snowy_mountains buckenderra Comments (0)

The Blue Mountains National Park, New South Wales

sunny

We spent an amazing two to three weeks in the Blue Mountains staying with our fabulous friends Danni and Adam who have a gorgeous blue cottage right in the park, in Bilpin. This is Apple country and the scenery and nature is some of the best in the world. It is so lush, it is bright green landscapes and blue skies, and some lookouts are just miles and miles of thick green trees. Some areas were so green with moss and trees it looked like you were wandering through the set of Avatar. Hot summer days were spent swimming in the dam and drinking beers on the deck as well as exploring the local area and it's beautiful nature.
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On our way up we spent a night camping at Blackheath. Here it is just a short drive to the main town in the area, Katoomba and the hub of the national park, the three sisters. This area is well catered for tourists and there are hundreds of people all wanting a look at the three sisters, a rock formation at the end of a ridge. There is a cable car and sky train but we just opted to have a walk to the lookout and see it from there as we didn't enjoy the hoards of people.
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It is a gorgeous view and we can see why it's popular as you can really see the blue haze if the mountains and the endless landscape of ridges and trees.

We also had a walk around Evans Lookout a spectacular view over the mountains and valleys where you can see waterfalls and trees for miles, it is absolutely stunning.
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This area of the Blue Mountains however is not our favourite. Further in there are smaller towns, with fresh produce stalls by the road and lots of lesser known spots to see the amazing views. We had a rainy afternoon drinking coffee at the Botanical Gardens and we had some nice breakfasts in the cafes which have decks with views over the countryside.
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Our favourite spot however was a bush walk between the towns of Bilpin and Bell which took us through the park on a rocky path and led us right to the edge of a cliff with the most awe dropping views of the surrounding area.
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It had amazing views of the Grose Valley and surrounding mountains. It is just stunning and we sat in the sun and admired the views for a long time.
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Whilst staying in the area we were also lucky enough to join our friend at work for a day. Our beautiful friend is a zoo keeper and volunteers at a Dingo rescue park which preserves the ever reducing dingo gene pool and takes in other animals from zoos which are not fitting in. She helps take care of them and gives them exercise and enrichment. This meant we got to get up close and personal with some amazing dingos, which are Australia's wild dogs.
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We took each pair on a walk, letting them get slowly used to us, hid some meat in their enclosure for them to find and even got to give some a big pet, sitting with them and stroking there incredibly thick soft fur.
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Some are not great with men so Liam had to sit out for some of the petting but he made up for that later when a kangaroo took a particular liking to his crotch and would not leave him alone.
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We met some tree kangaroos, cockatoos, wallabies as well as these tiny spotted animals called quolls which were very private but like nothing we have seen before and very cute.

The whole area of the Blue Mountains is full of small spots to walk and enjoy being outside. The views are iconic and amazing and it is unbelievably only a few hours from Sydney. This is another spot we found that is spectacular to star gaze as the air is so clear and there is no light pollution and we even saw shooting stars. We loved our time spent with Dannii and Adam and had loads of laughs and fun, staying up all night and watching the sun rise from the roof on our last night.
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It is a magical spot in Australia and makes you feel very grateful to be living on and enjoying such a beautiful planet.

Posted by Chelsandliam 20:06 Archived in Australia Tagged australia blue_mountains Comments (0)

A few weeks of travel on the New South Wales Coast

Our picture blog

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The last few days around Christmas we spent camping at a small town called Mallacoota on the Victoria/ New South Wales border. This is a tiny place on a sea lake where people come to relax by the water fish and boat.
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We enjoyed our laid back Christmas, fishing, BBQing and spent most of it chilling with the pelicans next to the water before we set off up the coast to Sydney.

This stretch of coast is beautiful but much busier. Lovely seaside towns, beaches, national parks, kangaroos, camping in the bush, a New Years in Sydney and a proposal later and we had reached our destination. We traveled up to Sydney and just past on our way up to the Blue Mountains to see friends.

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camping with wallabies at potato point.

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lunch picnic on the beach

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beach time

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Murrawarrang National Park kangaroos and fishing time.

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New Years in Sydney

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Camping in Wangi Wangi on Lake Macquarie

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Bush camping with the wildlife at Watagans National Park

This section of Australia is definitely worth the drive rather than flying. Absolutely loved every minute! We are so lucky!

Posted by Chelsandliam 18:50 Archived in Australia Tagged sydney australia eden mallacoota murramurang potato_point Comments (0)

Camping in Wilsons Prom National Park

Wombats galore!

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Wilsons Prom is a national Park on the south coast which juts out like a little peninsular just three hours from Melbourne. We were not really sure what the expect as we had not heard much about it but it absolutely blew us away.
As you enter the national park there is a pay gate where you pay your fee to enter and stay in the park. Here the lady advised us of the area, gave us a map and told us under no circumstances leave food in our tent, even dried food. We looked at each other curiously and she explained........the wombats are abundant and hungry in this area of Victoria. We were immediately excited about the prospect of seeing a wild wombat, we drove in about half a kilometre and our excitement ground to a halt. At the side of the road was a huge wombat that had been hit by a car and was no longer with us. Everywhere were signs telling cars to go slow due to the wildlife.

The main campsite is at Tidal River. It is not a long drive from the entrance and the scenery on the way is beautiful.
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It is a stunning national park area with mountains, beaches, rivers and woods. The campsite was a little gravel patch near the beach and we set up camp and went for a walk on the beach straight away.
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It is lovely white sand with an estuary opening into the sea.
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The Wilson's prom area is scattered with these ginormous boulders and along the beach are some, stained red with Algae. It is amazing. We had a paddle in the water and investigated the beach, boulders and rivers area, it is relaxing and scenic and even though we were here at the peak season it didn't feel too crowded.
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The sun was going down by this point so we headed back for some dinner and commenced with our wombat mission.

Wombats are more active at night so we sat outside with our torch and some wine and waited. It wasn't long until we heard a commotion next door, we walked over to investigate and there was a huge wombat eating the grass around the neighbours caravan. They are much bigger than we thought with really heavy set, solid bodies. They are adorable and after a while they were everywhere. All around people's tents were wombats happily munching on the grass while people admired them. We sat outside our tent just watching them, it was so cute.
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The next few days were spent exploring the local area mostly bush walking and relaxing. We really enjoyed the walk from tidal river the squeaky beach.
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It started at the Tidal River footbridge, a bridge over the estuary on the beach near our campsite and climbed over the headland giving amazing views of the coastline.
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It is around 2km and ends on squeaky beach. The path winds down, through a maze of huge boulders and then you walk along the pure white beach.
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The sand is so fine and full of quarts that it speaks under your feet as you walk.
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From here we joined the road at the other end of the beach and climbed the hill up to Lilly Pilly Gully car park. This is a nature walk that takes you inland to see the landscape of the area. It is only a 1km circuit but we saw so much wildlife it was one of our favourites. As you head away from the road the forest gets noisier with the constant humming of cicadas and you start to spot things.
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We saw a rare black cockatoo and further down the track we were stopped in our track by a gathering of wallabies which looked at us suspiciously.
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Towards the end is a boardwalk it takes you through a warm temperate rain-forest.
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On the way back we were so excited to be greeted by a small echidna walking across the path right in front of us. An echidna is a small spiky native Australian mammal, which is one of the only mammals in the world which lays eggs. It has a long snout like an ant eater and are normally very elusive and shy. It was pure magic to see one in the wild.
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From this walk we then joined the road again and crossed it to meet a track down to tidal river.
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This walk had amazing views of the heath-land and the river below as well as the stunning coast line.
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Wilsons Prom is a stunning corner of the world and left us so excited to see more of Australia. The wildlife was spectacular, the scenery was gorgeous and being outside in the sunshine surrounded by it all in our little tent was just lovely.

Posted by Chelsandliam 18:07 Archived in Australia Tagged australia volunteering wombats wilsons_prom wilsons_prom_national_park Comments (0)

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