Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Tim had some time off from work this past week so we decided to book a trip to Tasmania. We rented a campervan and drove around Tas for 6 days, 5 nights. It was such an amazing place, so different from other parts of Australia but still somewhat similar. Tasmania is considered Australia's weird cousin but it is definitely one of the most underrated places I've ever been too. We started off in Hobart, the largest city in Tasmania but still not really big enough to actually be considered a city. We stayed in a hotel here but before we could check in we drove down to Port Arthur which was a convict settlement originally (like a lot of Australia) and now is just a historical site for tours. It was raining but we managed to stay out of it for most of the time. After the tour we went back to Hobart for dinner and drinks.

Port Arthur

Hobart from Mt. Nelson
After Hobart we started to make our way up the east coast to Wineglass Bay, one of the most famous attractions in Tasmania. Basically any time you see a picture of Tasmania it shows this bay. We did a hike (read: completely all uphill) to the lookout over Wineglass Bay which was amazing. The water is so blue and the beaches are pure white. Definitely worth the walk. We camped out in our van, which we named Pedro, at a beach just north of Wineglass Bay called Friendly Beach. The next stop was Bay of Fires, further north along the east coast. It's a long stretch of beaches where we found another campsite to stay at for the night and we were directly on the beach with amazing views.

Wineglass Bay

Wallabies everywhere!

Strange sand, more like tiny white rocks

Sunset on Friendly Beach
  After Bay of Fires we drove for about five hours across to the west to Cradle Mountain. As we were getting closer we noticed snow on the ground which was so cool and different from the beaches we'd just left that morning. We decided to book a cabin for the night because sleeping in Pedro (the van) might have been a little too cold. We booked a night tour in Cradle Mountain to see nocturnal animals, we saw wallabies, wombats and possums in the wild then went to a conservation centre for Tasmanian Devils where we got to pet them and watch them being fed along with quolls. The next day we went for a hike around Dove Lake which is just under Cradle Mountain with amazing views. After the walk we headed to the second largest city, Launceston, for the night and our flight back the next day. Launceston is pretty quiet but we had a good time. It's built near a gorge so we stopped there when we first got there then went for dinner in town. We flew back to Sydney the next day, regrettably, we weren't ready to leave!

Our cabin at Cradle Mountain

Dove Lake

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mom and Michael Come to Australia! First Stop - Great Ocean Road

After a lot of flying, Mom and Michael made it down under! My mom was a little worse for wear with her broken foot but it didn't end up being an issue for us. They first stayed near my place in Coogee down by the beach. It was so nice having them here and so close! We took a ferry to Manly on their first day but it poured rain after lunch so we just decided to head back into the city which ended up being nice. They got to see the Opera House and Darling Harbour where we had dinner. After three days we all flew down to Melbourne to do the Great Ocean Road drive. It was amazing! Gorgeous beach views.

Bells Beach

First koala in the wild!!

The first place we stayed was an Eco Lodge in Cape Otway. When we first pulled up it looked a bit like a hippie commune as we were greeted by a girl in bare feet who kind of talked like she was a little high... turned out she was just a cheerful intern and the owner was out at the time. The place was amazing though, probably one of my favourite places I've ever stayed. It's all ecologically friendly and they also have an animal rescue center on the property where they nurse injured wildlife back to health. They had three baby koalas, one full grown, a wallaby named Mel, flying squirrels, spotted quolls and two dogs (not wild, just pets). There's also a 'mob' of kangaroos that live on the property, I can't remember now but I think there were atleast 70 of them who hopped by the lodge every morning and every evening. It was spectacular!

The lodge

Mel the wallaby

The intern and an injured joey

Amazing! Two males fighting in the wild
A female with her joey in her pouch

After two nights at the lodge we kept going down the route and stopped to see the famous 12 Apostles on the way. There aren't actually twelve anymore, erosion has toppled a few over but they're still amazing. We took a helicopter ride above them which was definitely the way to do it, the views were unbeatable.

We stayed two nights in Port Fairy which is a small fishing town. It was pretty quiet and the locals weren't too friendly but still had a good time. We went to a small island off the edge of the town to watch Mutton birds coming in at night to their nests. It was pretty dark once they all came in but you could still see them, thousands of birds all coming in at once - pretty cool! After our time in Port Fairy we continued on to Cape Bridgewater which is a very small town (only one bar!) but very beautiful. We went on a seal watching tour here and did some hiking up near the beach. We stayed in a little bed and breakfast that was right on the water, very friendly people and a gorgeous beach.

A petrified forest near Cape Bridgewater

Cloudy but gorgeous
Finally after five days on the road we headed back to Melbourne for one night. It was a bit of a shock to be back in a busy city after all the nights on the road in small towns. Melbourne is a very cool city but I was starting to get used to the small places and quaint towns. We looked at some famous alleys in the city with lots of legal graffiti then out for dinner. The next day we took a bus trip and I did some shopping then caught our flight in the afternoon to Brisbane.

Catch Up

Here are just a few pictures I've taken over the week or two before my mom came out, nothing too exciting just a catch up on what I've been up to! Oh! And my neighbour from home, Grace, is studying in New Zealand for the next 6 months so she stopped in Sydney on the way to meet me for a couple of days. There's some of her pictures here too.

Gave myself a mohawk while dyeing my hair - what do you think?

Came across these bird cages hanging in an alley in the city, not too sure what they're there for!

Me and Simon, a friend from class who went back to Sweden after our first trimester

Hanna and I at her apartment for celebratory drinks after exams

Grace and I on my balcony, she brought me mittens!!

Matt, Rachael and I on our balcony

Up at the Blue Mountains

Advertising Assignment

I'm all done classes now for first trimester which feels AMAZING! I got my marks back and did pretty well, better than I expected which is always nice. My last assignment in advertising was to create an ad campaign for a brand of alcoholic cider here called Toohey's 5 Seeds whose tagline is "Not as sweet as you think". We were all put into groups to act as advertising agencies and present our "pitch" to the company (our teacher in this case). I was in charge of the creative part for my group and here is what I came up with. (Obviously could never be used but our teacher is kind of quirky and likes this kind of stuff)

Queen Elizabeth (Billboard Ad)

Ghandi (Magazine Ad)

Mother Theresa (Bustop Ad)

Australia Day - Big Day Out

January 26th is Australia Day and is a bank holiday here, basically the same as our Canada Day - lots of parties, booze and fireworks! Tim and I got tickets to Big Day Out, which is a big music festival that goes all day. We saw about eight or so acts in total and the headliner at the end of the night was Kanye West. The forecast was for rain but luckily it held out and we had a day of sunshine!