As someone who doesn’t do much driving, hitting the waves on the back of a jetski was a really amazing experience. I did this up at the Whitsundays in 2015 following an early morning skydive.
The jetski tour was all across the bay, taking us to several little tourist spots. Although you can fit two passengers on a jetski, since I was on my own I was riding by myself. The tour itself lasted for around 2hrs and, as I became more confident, I became more adventurous, taking more risks, including cutting across waves to get some airtime! (more…)
If you have come looking for an article that will given you an in-depth and detailed travel guide to both the Great Ocean Road and the Grampians National Park then I apologise, because you are sorely mistaken. However, if you have come looking for a little information about possible places/landmarks to visit (and some kick-ass photos to boot) then continue reading about my recent journey, courtesy of Wildlife Tours Australia.
Although I left the UK to travel, I came to Aus on a working holiday visa, so I could to top up my bank account and earn some money to help fund future travel plans. However, working full-time can be quite a bore, so you do need to do things to stop you falling into a rut. Fortunately my job allows me every second weekend off and, since I am living in Melbourne, I decided to use those weekends to try and get myself completing some of recommended activities for the area. One of these happened to be the Great Ocean Road, something that I wasn’t quite able to do on my previous visit back in 2015. As the whole weekend was free, I thought I’d splash out and go for the tour that included a visit to the Grampians as well.
The Great Ocean Road officially starts in Torquay, but if effectively takes you from Melbourne to Adelaide (or vice versa). It is known as one of the worlds greatest scenic drives, which shouldn’t come as a surprise because, well, you spend the entire time with the ocean on one side of you. (more…)
‘And as the captains gazed south to the Land of Mordor,
it seemed to them that, black against the pall of cloud,
there rose a huge shape of shadow, impenetrable,
lightning-crowned, filling all the sky’ – J.R.R. Tolkein
An optional ascent on the Tongariro Crossing, Mt Ngauruhoe really is the pinnacle of this little excursion. Snow at the peak all year round, an incline that leaves you scrambling on all fours, ground that breaks away at every step, an active volcano, and the chance of death – quite literally. What’s not to love?
It’s not even that big. An additional 600m climb, allegedly. But it takes between 2-3hrs and is not recommended for those who struggled with the Devil’s Staircase or are physically unfit. Several of us from the Kiwi Experience group set off up the mountain together and we all made it to the top at varying times, although we did get slightly *very* separated on the way down.
‘It’s actually a fjord’ – pretty much anyone who has been there
Milford Sound. A must-see. If you didn’t go to Milford Sound when you were in New Zealand, did you really go to New Zealand at all?
I went in late 2016 whilst touring with Kiwi Experience, a pretty sweet company who help hapless backpackers (like myself) see all the great bits of New Zealand without the hassle of doing much research before you begin (literally). They provide a great starting point for anyone who wants to stay in New Zealand, but has no idea where to begin – other than in Queenstown because it is party and adrenaline central.
I always feel that when I come to Edinburgh, in many ways I am coming home – Alan Rickman
I’m not really sure that I can call a trip up to Edinburgh an ‘adventure’, purely on the basis that I have been there so many times when visiting my family. The thing is though, with each visit, I experience something new about the city. It’s always the same and yet… different.
My long weekend trip back in June followed the same trend.
‘My stay in Munich was the scene of my complete liberation’ – Marcel Duchamp
Day 26: Salzburg – Munich 10.09.2016
Plan of Action:
Travel to MunichFind my hostel
See Faye off onto her train to Stockholm
The penultimate day of my European adventure, and quite a strange one too. I was really unsure about what I wanted to do in Munich and, as the trip was coming to an overall end, I was feeling ready to come home.
Constantly moving around had taken its toll on me and I was more than ready to just collapse. After all we had, on average, arrived in a new city every two days, and travelled to a new country every three.
‘Salzburg is storybook Austria. Standing beside the fast-flowing Salzach River, your gaze is raised inch by inch to the Altstadt’s mosaic of graceful domes and spires, the formidable cliff-top fortress and the mountains beyond.’ – Unknown
Day 25: Salzburg 09.09.15
Plan of Action:
The Glacier Hike
Watch the Sound of Music in the evening at the Hostel
The great thing about Yoho Hostel is that it has a pre-organised service allowing you to book day trips with them – and they have quite a heft catalogue to choose from. Amongst the options (which are available all year round) are a Glacier Hike, a Bavarian Mountains and Salt Mines tour and – of course – the effervescent Sound of Music tour. Unfortunately when we turned up at reception in the morning, we learnt that the Glacier Hike was fully booked. Inexplicably, we opted against the Sound of Music tour (I will go back to do this though) and instead decided to take part in the afternoon Bavarian Mountain and Salt Mine tour. As we had risen quite early to book something via reception, the fact that the tour as taking place in the afternoon meant that we had the whole morning in which to explore.
‘While the lake is a fairytale spot for walking, swimming or just relaxing,
it is no sleeping beauty’ – Natalie Paris
Day 24: Ljubljana – Lake Bled – Salzburg 08.09.15
Plan of Action:
Arrive at Lake Bled
Explore the Lake and Bled Castle
Arrive in Salzburg
Lake Bled is, without doubt, one of the closest things to paradise here on Earth. Whilst it’s only a 30 minute train journey from Ljubljana, when the lake first comes into sight it feels like you have been transported to another world entirely.
‘Go at least once a year to a place you’ve never been before’ – Dalai Lama
Note: If there is one place you visit this year, even if only for a weekend, let it be Ljubljana – it’s beautiful.
Day 22: Zagreb – Ljubljana 06.09.15
Plan of Action
Travel from Zagreb to Ljubljana
Find a hostel
Explore Old Town
Visit the Triple Bridge
Travelling from Zagreb to Ljubljana was pretty straightforward actually and we made it in plenty of time. The only downside was that – for the first time – we hadn’t booked a hostel in advance. We had looked into some, but hadn’t come to a decision. We also weren’t sure where the train station was in relation to the town centre. Fortunately, that wasn’t too much of an issue as it is literally a 15-20min walk to the heart of Ljubljana from the station. The station also has some awesome maps that not only lists points of interest, it also lists all hotels and hostels. We ended up settling on a recently re-opened hostel called Dragondoss that was not only inexpensive, but extremely central too.
This is where we hit a slight bump in the road though. Once we got onto the hostels wifi I received an e-mail from a gentleman informing me that I had lost my interrail pass on the walk from the station to the hostel (you write your e-mail in the pass in case of emergency). Fortunately, he and his girlfriend were a lovely and honest couple and he happily provided me with details about where they were – so we set off to find them.
‘There is nothing in the world worth of exploring more than nature’– Nikola Tesla
The Plitvice Lakes National Park is set between Zagreb and Zadar at the heart if northern Croatia. It became a UNESCO National Park in the mid-1970s in order to keep it protected and pure. It also happens to be one of the most beautiful places in the world with ‘its sixteen lakes, inter-connected by a series of waterfalls, and set in deep woodland populated by deer, bears, wolves, boars and rare bird species’ (quote taken from visit-croatia).