Cairns Botanical Garden

Another chilled day for me as I found that there was a cute little garden near my apartment (seems to happen a lot here..) so I got myself out and about in 30 degrees weather for a walk. Being Sunday most of the exhibitions were closed but it was still worth a look.

It was so bloody hot out!

The sky outside while I was waiting for my pizza! Oh you want to see what it looked like? I am happy to oblige.

They got my order wrong so I had to send the pizza back, really hoping they didn’t poison it. I suppose if this is the last post I write then I guess it was. The place I ordered from was called Curry and Pizza and they are based in Cairns in Edge Hill. Avenge me.

Chinese Friendship Garden

There is a lovely friendship garden near my Airbnb so naturally I had to go take a look.

“The Council has created a Zhanjiang Friendship Garden at Freshwater Lakes in the Cairns Botanic Garden precinct, to celebrate the Sister Cities relationship between Cairns and the Chinese city of Zhanjiang.

The Chinese-style garden, which celebrates the cultural heritage of the Cairns region, was officially opened on 21 November 2015.”

Lovely!

I’m hiring a car for two days on Monday and I’m going to drive up to cape tribulation which I hear has a lovely rainforest and waterfalls. Until then!

Onwards to Cairns

After spending way more time than I expected in Brisbane (due to meeting some cool people here) it is time to visit Cairns which is home to the Great Barrier Reef. Will I see it? Can I swim? Well shit I guess it’s going to be a struggle haha. However there are a couple of nice beaches nearby including Port Douglas which I’m told has beautiful white sandy beaches so I’ll hire a car and drive there. I kinda miss driving as it’s nearly been two months since I last sat behind the wheel of a vehicle. I don’t want to forget do I? Plus they drive on the correct side of the road over here so I should be all good!

I’ve really enjoyed this part of my trip as it’s the most that I’ve felt at home. Don’t get me wrong I like being on tours (hah, some!) and visiting a new place every day but there’s nothing better than waking up in the morning whenever you feel like it and getting on with your day. I feel like I could really move to Australia one day and especially to Brisbane. Now if only I was younger and could get a working visa..

Goodbye Brizzles! Until next time!

The best dog, Mildred.

I just wanted to talk about how big the bowl for my ramen was. Absolute madness! Wish I had a banana for scale.

Theme Parks and Goodbyes

So I got off at the wrong bus stop which was actually a good thing for once as I managed to visit the Brisbane museum and the National Art Gallery. The museum was awesome as it had some dinosaurs and sharks but you know, I’m generally confused by “modern” art. Some of the pieces were very strange, I guess I’m not smart enough or something haha. Brisbane is really a lovely city though and I managed to lose and find my UK driver’s license after remembering where I left it…it was in a pub which you had to leave some sort of ID as collateral…for karaoke obviously. Good for me!

Once again I had to say goodbye to some friends who I met on my NZ trip (when will it end??) and it was to one of my favourites. Garreth who you can see below will be bided good on Wednesday and that’ll make me sad. He’s become my boy over the last month or so and I’ll see that loveable rascal when I get back to England.

I love theme parks and the promise of fast paced roller coasters was very appealing to me! This place has got a hyper coaster that goes up to 115 km/h and it is very high. I bloody loved it and wish I could have gone on it more but the queues were quite long for that ride. You can see how high it is on the second photo below this paragraph, it’s the purple track.

This ride got me very wet.

Superman that hoooooooo! Ahem, after the theme park I went to see the Gold Coast and another lovely beach. You know I love beaches right? Still feeling that I was spoilt by Fiji but it was beautiful nonetheless. Thanks to my tour guide for the day for driving me around like a trooper.

Brisbane! (I hugged a koala bear!)

Sydney has been done and dusted and I have now moved to Brisbane for the next part of my visit. I was reunited with two of my favourites from my NZ tour and to celebrate…we got drunk and sang karaoke. Guess what song I sang??? Yeah if you guess “I Want it That Way” then you’d be correct.

Really nice of Brisbane to name a park after me.

I met a new friend in Brisbane who showed me around some of the places where all the cool people hang out. One of them is called the Power House which is a performing arts theatre. There were a bunch of kids performing some songs on stage which was “entertaining” and this is the place I started day drinking as well.

After that we hopped on a catamaran and headed to South Bank for more drinking and exploring. As you can see I also posed like a model because that’s the sort of shit I do.

Oh look, I ended up at Karaoke again…

So the day after, man I can’t even contain my excitement about writing this! The NZ crew and myself headed to Lone Pine sanctuary to do what I’ve wanted to do for what seems like a lifetime. Hug a koala!!! It was as amazing as you can imagine and I loved every second of it. Obviously I wish I could keep one as a pet but you know…laws and regulations etc…

There were also Tasmanian Devils and Platypus’ who I had never seen in the real world before. A great place to visit if you’re ever in Brisbane.

Backstage at the Opera House

I met up with a friend from university who I had not seen in nearly 15 years and it just so happened he lived and worked in Sydney. So this lucky guy got to go backstage at the Opera House and got to see more than what you normally would get on a tour and for everyone’s favourite price – £0.

I got to see the main auditoriums and stand on a few stages as well. Definitely something I won’t forget for a while. Maybe you’ll recognise some of the photos from films or on tv. Blew my tiny mind.

The legend himself – James Netting. Thanks mate! 😘

The last few days in Sydney

Where do I start? Social anxiety got the better of me and I left my Australia tour and I feel so much better for doing so! I’m going to do the country by myself and I’ve already sorted out most of the trip! So I’ll be staying in Sydney for a few more days before I head up to Brisbane and then to Cairns. Looking forward to Brisbane because there’s a Koala sanctuary there so going to try my best to hug one.

But first things first on Monday morning before heading out with the tour group I bumped into Iona and Rachel who were on our NZ tour which was a lovely surprise! After that we jumped onto a coach and headed to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair for some photos looking over at the Opera House and the Harbour bridge.

Once the photo were done with we headed over to Manly beach for some exploring and beach hang outs. The beach was where I discovered that I did not enjoy the tour as the people I were with would not stop talking about Love Island and getting drunk all the time. Definitely not for me so I had it in my mind from then on out to leave (which I did after the final activity of the day, but more on that later).

Had a delicious coffee at a place called Hemingway’s. Guess the book and the name are related somehow haha.

Cool beach but I’ve seen enough and i’ve been spoilt by the lushness of Fiji.

In the evening I climbed up the Harbour bridge which was so much fun! I also recorded a video message which is birthday related. Looking forward to using it for the time! It says “Hey you, happy birthday!”. As you can read I can use that for literally anyone by overdubbing the you part with a relevant name. Yeah, I’m pretty funny!

The next day I was free so I met up with Pete from the NZ tour and we hung out for a bit. He watched me eat Fish and Chips and then we were confused by the modern art gallery. My favourite piece of work which I didn’t take a photo of was of an abstract drawing of a candle which was about forbidden love. The artist was in love with his girlfriend’s mother. I feel like Stacy’s Mom conveyed that message better but I’m not an art critic so what do I know?

Once we were suitable confused we headed out to the Harbour bridge to get some photos and to meet Iona and Rachel again. More photos below and I got some pretty good ones if I say so myself, the iPhone Xs camera is so good!

Tomorrow I’m meeting a friend from my university days and he’s going to take me backstage at the Opera House! I am very excited and I hoping that a guitar is around so I can get on stage to perform my favourite karaoke song “I Want It That Way”. Photos of that monumental occasion to follow.

Adios!

Australia Day 1

The adventure continues in another beautiful country with Sydney being the first stop of many for the next two weeks. I met some of the tour group tonight but there are about 50 which is a nightmare for my social anxiety. Luckily Ole from my NZ trip is on the on the same tour group so all is not lost. I’m sure I’ll look back on the first paragraph of this post and realise I had nothing to fear. Looks like this group is up for more drinking than the last one, Contiki (tour company name) have a reputation for it apparently, although tonight I decided to go back to the room early.

Today I was a proper tourist and had a little wander around the city to find all the classic sites including the Opera House and the massive Harbour Bridge which I’ll be climbing tomorrow. That bad boy is going to take 3 hours so my fear of heights should hopefully be conquered…but probably not.

Also met up with a lovely Swiss girl from the NZ trip who came to hang out with me and Ole for a couple of hours. Her trip starts where mine ends (Cairns) which is a bloody shame! Not sure if I mentioned it previously but we’re all going to meet up for Oktoberfest next year so something to look forward to as I’ve never been to one before!

Almost forget to mention! We wandered around the Botanical Gardens near the Opera House and found out that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were due to appear in a venue near where we were stood. Naturally we waited after a recommendation that we should stay from a lovely police officer. I didn’t really get a good picture but I did see the both of them in the car and caught a good glimpse of the back of Harry’s head.

Time for sleep as tomorrow is another day of not having to go to work and enjoying life 😁🙃

NZ tour bus profiles

My friend Ronan from my NZ bus tour has a craicking (you’ll see what I did there) blog where he had written hilarious profiles of everyone that was on it. Obviously some of the jokes you probably won’t understand but to me and everyone else it’s absolutely amazing. He’s a very funny guy so you should probably follow his progress as he travels around the world!

https://bikepackcraic.com/2018/10/20/south-island-new-zealand-our-wee-bus/