Road trip to the Great Ocean road

For the third & final time while in Australia, we “hired a car”. Hols and I planned a 2 day road trip down the great ocean road. So on Saturday we picked it up at 10:00 and headed west for the great ocean road. It took us about 2 hours before we got on the southern touring route and when we finally got there it instantly reminded me of Hwy 1 in California. You literally drive on the edge of a cliff overlooking the coast.

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Made several stops along the way to checkΒ out the views

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One of our stops was in this really pretty town called Lorne. We stopped for some “chips” (french fries) and then were forced to share with some pretty birds

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Back on the road to our next destination we ran across a wild koala

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We made it halfway on the Great Ocean Road before it started to get dark. We stopped in Apollo Bay for the night and luckily for us a music festival was going on so we had something to do for the night. We couldn’t get a good view of the sunset but i did get to see a very interesting sky. Couldn’t figure out how it was lit up so strangely. The sun was all the way west and the photos I took were taken from the east. I could see the sun setting all the way on the opposite side of the sky, but somehow the clouds were still lit up.

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The next morning we got up early and by early I mean 10:00 got breakfast and explored the rest of the Great Ocean Road. We checked out these super touristy rocks called the 12 Apostles and after drove through the country to get back to Melbourne.

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On some very positive news, we returned the car, without any problems. Guess 3rd time was the charm!! On some less exciting news, tomorrow is my last day is Australia 😦

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The artsy life of Melbourne

One of my favorite things about Melbourne is the effort the city takes in making art it’s focus. They have an overwhelming amount of museums and art exhibitions all around the city, but the street art is what makes the city so inspiring. Every corner you turn down there is something else to enjoy. Think you’ll walk down an alley and it will be bare? Think again, they allow graffiti artists to fill the walls of the alleyways with their art. They also put a lot of effort in making the architecture unique and interesting. Even the highway barriers aren’t reduced to simple stone, instead they make it colorful and interesting. If you like taking artsy pictures, or you want to be in a place that will inspirer you everyday, Melbourne is the place for you. See below just some shots of what I am talking about.

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Look how expensive shit is here: second edition

For everyone’s enjoyment back in the states, here is the second edition of me bitching about how expensive shit is.

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In case you were wondering, that filled up a little less than half a tank in our jucy van

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Still skeptical about how people get drunk here when alcohol is so expensive. Also cigarettes are $20 a pack

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To be fair, it’s not that expensive for people who live here to afford these things when minimum wage is $18.75. Yes minimum wage. It just sucks for tourists.

Wonder, explore, play in the grass

It took us a little bit to get going in the morning due to the previous night’s dance off. Neither of us were feeling too hot so Holly suggested me have the most delicious Lindt chocolate milk shake to make us feel better

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After, we took a walk to the Royal Botanical Gardens and passed the remnants left from White Night;

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It was so beautiful out we decided to just hangout and roll around in the grass.

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&& then hols fell asleep

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Melbourne, White Night welcoming party.

Today was my last day with Erika 😦 As you can see below, our moods are less than elated;
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My flight from Sydney to Melbourne was super quick, a little over an hour. When I arrived, I to took the bus to Southern Cross Station and was reunited with my favorite English turned Aussie ex-roommate. Our reunion would have been worthy of a Hallmark card.
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One disappointing thing about Melbourne (Melbin, frigging aussies are to lazy to pronounce letters correctly) is that the weather isn’t constantly 35 degrees (80 degrees fahrenheit) The people of Melbourne say you can have 4 seasons in 1 day, which is inconvenient because you always have to have a jacket on you. &&& my stupid ass didn’t pack a single long sleeve item or a pair or pants because I assumed it was hot and sunny every day in this country. So holly had to drag me to a cheap clothing store equivalent to Forever 21 called Cotton On to get some suitable clothing. After, I got to take my first proper shower in 2 weeks. Yes, I know it’s gross, but tis is the backpackers lifestyle. Β Β Β 20140227-192150.jpgI guess the people of Melbourne know I was coming because they threw this huge event called White Night, which over 300,000 people attended. It’s an artist festival where they shut down the streets and have artistic displays of music, lights, dance and large scale installations on display for the city to enjoy. The building light displays were so beautiful, they projected images on the buildings which were constantly moving and changing images, && the details were so amazing.

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We stopped into this bar off the street for some drinks and saw an opportunity; an empty dance fool & an eccentric DJ. We stormed the dance floor & were dancing like the loons that we are for 10 minutes before the this crazy asian man wanted a dance off. With the dance floor still to ourselves + the crazy asian, everyone in the bar was watching, half in awe, half hysterically laughing at our dance battle, after a couple minutes everyone wanted in & before we knew it the floor was packed.20140227-193432.jpg

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20140227-193526.jpgIf you were wondering, he kindof kicked our asses.

The Whitsunday’s & Sydney in 48 hours with 4 hours of sleep.

So as I said in my last post, the place we parked up and slept at wasn’t the most glamorous. It was filled with bugs and cockatiels who were murdering each other at 7:00am so we had no chance of sleeping past that.

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We packed up the van one last time & drove to the center of town to figure out where/when our tours left from. La tres amigos were going on a 3 day 2 night party boat called the Clipper that I wish we could have gone on & Erika and I were doing a day boat called the Fury. We go to the center of town and tried to figure out what we needed to do, and as we were talking to some bitchy receptionist girl at info center, me and Erika missed our bus. We started panicking because no one was being helpful and we were going to miss our tour that we had just driven 11+ hours for. We finally got to talk to someone who knew what the hell they were talking about and we drove down to the marina and started running around like crazy people trying to figure out where to go. && just to make things that much more interesting it started to down pour. Luckily we made it just in time and boarded our boat.

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We arrived back at the marina at 16:30 & headed into town to walk around a bit. We bought some souvenirs, ran into our favorite Irish/English friends, Damien & Pierce, then headed back on the road. We left around 19:00 and had to drive 8 hours to Cairns, drop off the van & make it to the airport for our 6:45 flight. We hit a couple of bumps in the road on the way there, which I cannot elaborate on, and made it to Cairns at 4:30. First stop was to go wake up Colin and say our goodbyes/ thanks for saving our lives several times. Then we returned the van and cabbed it to the airport. 3 hours & a cat nap later, we said GOODBYE to the tropical wet weather of Cairns and said hello to the metropolitan of Sydney! Checked ourselves into YHA central backpackers and headed off to explore.

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Mine & Erika’s favorite spot in Sydney was Bondi Beach. Reminded me a lot of Venice Beach in LA, just with way better views.

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&&& then this happened. Sorry mom.

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On a funnier note; it’s been interesting being here during the Winter Olympics. To native Australians, it’s kind of a big joke. All the news and commentary is very comical as they just make fun of how shitty they’re Olympians place.

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After a really long day, we went back to the hostel & attempted to get ready to go out. With no shampoo conditioner or body wash, it proved to be slightly difficult but we gave ourselves a Mexican shower and attempted to go out. We tried to have a nice dinner but we were too broke for anything nice. Which ended up with my face in a pizza, literally as I fell asleep on my date at the table. So we just went back and crashed. Tomorrow Erika leaves :(((((((( & I head to Melbourne (Melbin)

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Seventeen Seventy rock climbing/cliff jumping

So this place was best place we’ve gotten to crash at thus far. This was our view from out back of the van in the AM:

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Group consensus was to chill there for the day. We went off exploring & found some pretty serious rocks to climb & jump off of. See below our location on the peninsula;

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After we climbed we decided to jump. I almost chickened out 😦

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Trees here are pretty weird. They kinda look upside down because the smaller limbs are on the bottom and thicker on top:::20140224-092952.jpg

Before we left for Airlie Beach & the Whitsunday’s, we stopped in a park and made lunch.20140224-093013.jpg

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20140224-093241.jpg5 Hours & 1 cop encounter later we arrived in Airlie Beach a little after midnight. I made some taco’s for my mexican friends & then we drove around for about an hour on an almost empty tank of gas looking for a place to park. We found one & it wasn’t the most beautiful but it did its job. Tomorrow we go on our day trip on the Whitsunday’s and then have to immediately drive 8 hours to Cairns so we can drop the van off, and make our 6:45am flight.

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Fraser’s pt3; last day :(

6:00am, no joke, we were awoken by Brett blaring this song in his truck:

Thanks buddy. We had to get up so we’d be able to make it to Lake Wabby before the tides came in. Me & team E packed up camp, since we’d never be returning and headed out one last time.

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Lake Wabby is a 3.5 mile hike through the forest & is located directly adjacent to a sand blow. Clearly it was a struggle for me & Erika.

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Jenny, Erika & I forgot our sleds so we instead rolled down into the lake.

After our entrance Erika and I made another sandman and then climbed on top of tres Mexicans.

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We trucked it back through the jungle and then headed toward the ferry to take us away from Frasers 😦

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20140223-130751.jpgWas not a fun trip back; beacuse A. we were leaving fraser’s and all our new friends we met & B. I almost fell off the ferry.

When got back to Rainbow beach, we were planning on heading on down to Sydney & stopping at Surfers Paradise. Butttt since every single person we talked to said we had to go see the Whitsunday’s we reconsidered. Since theΒ tres amigos were going up there as well the following day, we decided to join forces && drive up together. So basically we are doing a huge circle and back tracking but whats ever, thats the luxury of not making reservations in advance.

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Alejandro got worn out from doing his Mexican duties.Β 20140223-132422.jpg

20140223-132504.jpgThe Whitsunday’s are a 12 hour drive from Rainbow Beach so we stopped half way in the town of Seventeen Seventy which was a 4 hour drive. We found this awesome little parking lot at the top of theΒ peninsula, parked and passed out.

Oh, I forgot to mention that as I was backing out of the parking lot to leave rainbow, I backed into a fence, denting the side of the car & breaking the taillight. I’ve lost count of the Caitlin – Aussie standings, but I’ll call this one a draw since we have full insurance and won’t have to pay for it !! Oh and then as we were driving up to 1770, Erika hit a bird smashing the front headlight. Go us!!!!!

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Fraser’s Island pt2: warning lots of pictures

Day two on the remote island of Fraser’s, we had bfast at 8:00am then jumped in the car and played with some dingos.

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First stop was small river that had the purest drinking water on the island. The rain water filters through the sand dunes then into the river. It’s so pure because the sand is so fine, so everyone filled up there water containers and had a drank.

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&& then we made a human damn:

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Next stop, the maheno shipwreck;

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Then the champaign pools;

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Which was followed by a hike up the mountain to see some views;

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Final stop of the day was Indian head, which has the best views on the island. But first we played in the sand and snuck a dip in the ocean, regardless of the sharks.

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I caught crabs.

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When we got back to camp, Jenny made us BBQ steak. I was told it was kangaroo meat but I am not sure. I made the mash potatoes which obvi was the best part of the meal. Then we hung out, had a dance party on the beach. Headed to bed early (2:00am) because Brett, our tour guide was waking us up at 6:00am to leave camp. Until tomorrow..

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Fraser’s Island pt1.

8:00am we packed our 4×4 with our team.

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Once the car was loaded we were off towards Fraser’s.

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Had to take the ferry over to the island since there are no paved roads or bridges, and got our first chance to spin the tires on the sand.

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You cannot swim in the ocean due the infestation of sharks so instead we headed to a natural crater lake in the middle of the island, swam && had lunch.

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Erika snapped this fantastic shot of me mid wipeout, after she tripped me.

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Once we were done playing in the water we went back to set up camp.

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Upon arrival at camp, we received our rationed food portions for the remainder of the trip from the back of the trailer. We were given some pretty dirty pots (mom you would have starved before using them) && we used them to cook us a delicious meal. && When I say we, I mean my two new Irish/British friends cooked for us.

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They made us a delicious Asian stir fry. Which was followed by some dranks at the aboriginal “night club” called winkies. We did the limbo, played some cards, & I made a large fire, again by me I mean my new Mexican friend helped me get it going.

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Off to play with some dingos.

Woke up to a banging on the car door. It was the police inquiring as to why we were camping in a restricted lot. Being young American girls has it’s perks because everyone else in the world assumes we’re idiots so I played it to my advantage, which helped us avoided a 500$ fine.
Caitlin 6 – Aussie 6
After out escape, had a very nice relaxing day at the Noosa doggie beach. The weather was more than ideal, and we just hung in the back lagoon and played with the doggies all day.

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Yes, most of the men here wear speedos, regardless of their weight.

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We had to pack up and shower earlier, because we had to be in Rainbow Beach for our Fraser Island briefing by 4:30 which was an hour north of Noosa. We showered && grabbed some food. For the first time since we’ve gotten here we ate food we actually enjoyed. FYI: the food in this country suckkkks. Had some delicious pizZzzza here tho.

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Followed by THE BEST ICE CREAM I’VE EVER EATEN IN MY WHOLE LIFE. Not to sound cocky or anything, but I’m kind of an ice cream connoisseur. I know it’s pretty impressive. And this my friends, is the best ice cream on earth. It’s made with liquid nitrogen so it’s the freshest ice cream you can eat. They mix the ingredients in the mixer (eggs, cream && some other ingredients depending on the flavor you picked) and pour liquid nitrogen into the mixer so it immediately turns to ice cream!!! It’s seriously so smooth in your mouth it feels like butter. Don’t be too jealous guys, I plan on opening up a franchise when I get back to the states so you can all try it πŸ™‚

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I got the salty carmely popcorn:

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&& Erika got Honeycomb cream Alaska

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After that life changing experience, we headed to Rainbow beach for our briefing. Ya so we signed up for this trip, didn’t really know what we we’re doing, but everyone we talked to told us we had to check it out so now we’re here. Apparently we are going to the worlds largest sand island for 3 days that has no electricity, wild dingos that can eat you, && we’re sleeping on the beach. We get to take these 4×4 trucks and drive on the beach around the island during the day, and at night apparently it’s just a huge party with 150 other backpackers and we all sleep on the beach. When we got to Rainbow, they talked to is about all the things that could kill you, then immediately after insisted on us drinking. We’ll be on this remote island for 3 days, without being able to contact anyone so I’ll see you guys in 3 days, possibly πŸ™‚ Byeeeeeeeee