Sydney: Coogee to Bondi walk

We had been staying in Sydney for 3 days when we decided to do the coastal walk that runs from Bondi to Coogee (or Coogee to Bondi depending on which way round you do it!) We had spent alot of time in and round the city and fancied a change of scenery.

We were full of optimism and enthusiasm when we caught the bus to Coogee, the weather was lovely and it looked like the perfect day for a coastal stroll. When we actually arrived in Coogee however, this had all changed – it was windy and a storm was threatening to make an appearance on the horizon. Our choice of summer dresses and flip-flops were not a practical idea – although we did start out walk admiring this beautiful rainbow which was pretty great!
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We had heard mixed reports about how long the walk would take us, some people said 2 hours and one person said 6.5 hours so we didn’t really know what to expect! We walked along the coasts edge which was beautiful then, randomly, you walk through a grave yard!
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This place was incredible and I couldn’t belive my eyes. There were gravestones as far as the eye could see and to me, there was something really beautiful about it all. It was a very peaceful place.
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I could not believe that a huge graveyard would be so close to the coasts edge, it was unbelievable. I also found it very cute that all of the graves looked over the cliff and out onto the sea.
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The coastal walk was beautiful and the terrain would change with every corner that we took, sandy beach one minute, cliffs and rocks the next.
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It was an easy walk but we walked at quite a pace because we were scared the heavens would open at any minute!
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Luckily for us we didn’t get rained on and we made it to Bondi in 2 hours! It was great to see Bondi beach so empty because I’ve only ever been at the weekends before and you can’t move for people but this day the moody weather was putting everyone off! Below is a video that I shot on my GoPro of the walk…

I’ll end this post with the photos of this incredible pool at Bondi beach, look at it!! The pool is touching the edge of the sea, imagine starting your day off with a dip in there!
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I would definitely recommend this walk if you’re staying in Sydney, it’s nice to get out of the city and see some amazing sights, maybe even pack your cozzy and have a dip in the pool!

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First few days in Sydney (on a budget)

After having a great time in Melbourne it was time for Greyhound bus journey to Sydney (yay!…NOT) We stocked up on snacks, had all our electricals charged, had podcasts and films at the ready and finally boarded the bus at 10pm, 12 hours later we were in Sydney (and feeling pretty gross after being cooped up on a bus all night) We checked into our hostel and decided to freshen up, put our tourists hats on and have a walk down to the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

We then walked back to the hostel, freshened up, made friends with one of the girls in our room, bought the cheapest bottle of wine we could find and then headed out to Darling Harbour to go for some drinks…que the one drunken photo we took from that night.

The next day we decided to check out The Rocks area of Sydney, I had never been there before and it was really great to discover this gem of the city. The Rocks is the oldest part of Sydney and is full of history. We walked along the cobbled streets and alleyways and visited The Rocks Discovery Centre.
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The next day was Anzac Day and a public holiday in Australia, we woke up and decided to go and do some exploring (if anywhere was open!) We got given a map from our hostel that had a free walking tour on it so we decided to give that a go and it was bloody brilliant!!
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There was a really nice atmosphere in the city on Anzac Day, we were out early and it was lovely to see so many people who were going to march in the parade later that afternoon.
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We continued on our tour and it was great to learn all about the history of the city. There were so many hidden treasures that we learnt about and our tour guide was brilliant, she was so enthusiastic and funny and the tour was so interesting. This is the website for the tours – it was all FREE and I would definitely recommend doing it if you’re in Sydney, they also do them in Melbourne too.
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I particularly loved this piece of street art that was in a little alley way. It’s called Forgotten Songs and it’s a memorial for all the species of birds that would once have lived within the city. “Forgotten Songs commemorates the songs of fifty birds once heard in central Sydney, before they were gradually forced out by European settlement. The calls, which filter down from the canopy of birdcages suspended above Angel Place, change as day shifts to night; the daytime birds’ songs disappearing with the sun, and those of the nocturnal birds, which inhabited the area, sounding into the evening” – quote from the citysydneyart.com website.
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We finished our tour at the Sydney Harbour Bridge, learning about how the bridge was made and how you can take a tour across the top of the bridge! After the tour was finished Lucy and I decided to take a walk across it, this was my third trip to Sydney but I’d only ever seen the bridge from across the river.
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We started our walk along the bridge, the views from the top were great and it was nice to see the Opera House from the other side.
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The walk along the bridge was fun, although we felt we were fighting the onset of a downpour so we walked at quite a quick pace just incase!
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Spending your time in a city can soon get expensive but there are so many free choices that you can make. With a little research you can see amazing sights within the city without breaking the bank. I’ve visited Sydney twice before but didn’t see half as much as I did in the first few days of this trip.
My advice for anyone visiting a new city is to take part in some kind of tour to get your bearings of the city you’ll be staying in. The tour guide is usually a local who can recommend great places for you to eat, drink and enjoy during your stay!

Broken Head Beach = Paradise

Living in Byron for 2 weeks means we’ve had our fair share of beach days, the beach at Byron is beautiful and I thought it couldn’t be topped until we discovered Broken Head beach which is about a 10 minute drive from Byron.
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The view was absolutely incredible, we walked along a path that was surrounded by trees and suddenly we’d get little glimpses of the view and it was amazing! The sea was so blue and beautiful.
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We walked down the hill to a little section of deserted beach and it was absolute paradise. Just us as a family down there, swimming in the sea, sunbathing, taking photos, climbing on the rocks, building rock towers and skimming stones in the sea. It was such a lovely relaxing day!
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The cliffs on the beach were so beautiful to look at, to see where the sea had carved out shapes in them and the different colours of rocks that were built up on top of each other were amazing. All the little muscles and snails were so cute too!
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This was one of my favourite days I’ve had since I’ve been away, it was so lovely to be surrounded by my family in a beautiful part of the world and this beach was one of the most amazing I’ve ever been too, I feel so lucky!
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Which other beaches are there in Australia that can’t be missed?!

Minyon Falls – a lovely, lovely waterfall.

When you travel around Australia you’re spoilt with waterfalls and mountains to visit and today we chose Minyon Falls which is about 20 minutes from where we’re staying in Byron Bay and let me tell ya, Minyon Falls is a beauty!
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The waterfall descends more than 100 metres but because there hasn’t been much rain recently there wasn’t that much water when we went but…it was beautiful none the less!
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The view was incredible and you see could see for miles from the top. When you looked at people on the ground they looked like little specs!
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When you see sights like this it’s easy to see why people fall in love with Australia, having this on your doorstep must be amazing!
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Any suggestions for other natural wonders that can’t be missed in Australia?!

Sightseeing in Brunswick Heads

After having a great day visiting Bangalow we decided to take the bus and explore another new little place close to Byron Bay. We picked Brunswick Heads which is only a 20 minute bus drive away.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABrunswick Heads was very similar to Bangalow in that it had lots of lovely little cafe’s and cute shops but it also boasts the most amazing beach!
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After exploring the beautiful sights at the beach we headed into the town to have a mooch about. We did the usual and stopped off for some coffee and a look around the town. All the shops are independent shops and there are lots of nice boutiques to look in.
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After having a little sit down at the lake and looking out on the beautiful sights we decided to walk to another part of the beach. It was so beautiful, the beach was deserted, apart from the washed up jellyfish that were on the sand!
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Another incredible day sightseeing and exploring whats around us. Any suggestions of where I should explore next?!

Exploring Bangalow

I’ve been lucky enough to spend the 10 days living in Byron Bay, New South Wales. My family are over for a little holiday and we have an apartment here which is lovely! I’ve been to Byron a few times before but only for a couple of days at a time so it’s nice to have a nice amount of time here because not only is Byron Bay beautiful but there are lots of nice places around here to explore too!

One of those places is Bangalow which is a 15 minute bus ride from Byron Bay. The buses in Byron are super easy to use and run pretty frequently depending on where you’re going so it’s a great way to get around without having to hire a car.
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Bangalow is a cute little town lined with cafes and little boutique shops. It’s a real little treat to visit. We walked about for the day, stopping for lunch at a cute little museum/tea rooms, where you sit outside on a deck, I have a wonderful vegan falafel dish and my first tumeric latte which, as pretty as it was, just wasn’t for me!

Inside this building was a really interesting antique shop which was great to look around.
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Where else in Queensland shall I visit?! Any suggestions?

Watching Conor Oberst at the Sydney Opera House- a dream come true.

On Monday I flew across the country to see Conor Oberst, my favourite person ever, perform at the Sydney Opera House and it was an amazing day and a complete dream come true! I’ve loved Conor Oberst ever since my Dad introduced me to his music when I was 17. His music has followed me through school, college, uni, work and now my travels. Conor’s new album ‘Ruminations’ was the soundtrack to my days working on the farm, shoveling poo is alot easier when you have great music to listen to!

While I was on my travels I saw that Conor was playing in London at the beginning of February and I was gutted that I wouldn’t be able to make the show because I’d be in Australia (…I know, I know, first world problems) My Dad and I have been going to see Conor and Bright Eyes together for the last 10 years and I was sad to have to sit this one out. Well imagine my surprise, a few months later, when I’m scrolling through Facebook and see that he’s playing a show…in Sydney…at the Opera House…at the same time my Dad is here on holiday! Before I had time to really think of the practical side of things, the tickets were booked (book now, worry about flights etc later)

Monday 27th February was the day of the gig and we flew to Sydney that morning, we were so excited, Dad has always wanted to go inside the Sydney Opera House so he was excited for that too!Our seats were seven rows from the front and the view was amazing, the sound was also the best I’ve ever heard at a gig, it was incredible. Just when I thought our luck couldn’t get any better I noticed two empty seats three rows from the front, slap bang in the middle, so in the interval we moved there – even better! 
It was such a special evening and such a great memory to share with my Dad and one of our best gigs that we’ve gone to together. There aren’t many people who I’d fly across the country for but I knew this would be a night to remember and one that I couldn’t miss!

Exploring Dayboro ‘The Town of Yesteryear’

I have been living and working at Farm Animal Rescue for three weeks now, it’s a vegan farm about an hour from Brisbane, the farm rescues animals from the meat and dairy industry. You can read about some of the animals and my first two weeks on the farm here.

On my days off I like to walk down to the local town for some coffee and civilisation! Dayboro town is a 20 minute walk from the farm. It’s a tiny little farm town with a population of about 1,600 people. The first time I went there I was captivated by how small and quaint the town was. It has a really ‘old farm town’ feel to it with its old wooden clad buildings, little independent shops and peaceful laid back vibe. I mean even the town sign is adorable! ‘Yesteryear’…like c’mon!When you walk around the town you really feel like you’ve gone back in time! The place is so idyllic and it’s lovely to see all the little quirks that this town has to offer.

I fell in love with the petrol station and the church, I mean look at them! They are so cute and remind me of something from 1940’s America (…the church also reminds me of the church from The Walking Dead!…thankfully there aren’t any creepy messages carved onto the side of this one)My days in Dayboro are usually centred around food (duh!), coffee and free wifi! There is a great little cafe which has vegan options too, I’ve had breakfast and lunch there a few times, their smoothies and Frappes are to die for!

My next stop is usually one that I spend most of my day at and it’s a real gem. It’s a lovely coffee/book shop called Rendezvous which has a really nice, relaxed atmosphere and it also has a really sweet book exchange outside which is too cute! The books that are on sale in the shop are really great books too, lots of art and photography books, nature books and adult colouring books. I’m now one of those annoying people who buys endless cups of coffee so I can scrounge the free wifi. It’s nice to do it in this cafe though because the people are really friendly, the coffee is amazing and they once played a Bright Eyes song in there so I’m always gonna go back!

Another random little place that I stumbled across in Dayboro was a weird flower shop/antique shop/saddle shop. It was incredible and so unique! It’s starts off as a really cool plant shop…
…which has lots of cool handmade furniture and statues and an art gallery upstairs!
…you then turn the corner and it’s an antique shop! The lady who runs the shop was really lovely and was telling us all about the building, it used to be an old butter factory. The building itself was amazing with beautiful high ceilings and lots of character. What a unique place to find in such a tiny little town!
This is one of the things I love about travelling, you stumble across little places that you’d never normally encounter. Dayboro isn’t in any of the travel guides for Australia because it’s so small but I love little places like this, they have so much character and they are great to explore. Even though there isn’t much to do here, I’m going to miss my days in Dayboro…..and the chai lattes… and lazy afternoons surrounded by books and good music!

I’m going to end this post with a creepy photo of the view as you leave the town, the name on the sign doesn’t help, obviously I had to edit it to make it look even creepier…
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Don’t know what to do with your day? …Climb a mountain!

A few weekends ago me and Jake were trying to think of what to do with our day, we wanted to do something that was cheap and outdoors because the weather was really nice.
‘We could climb Mount Ngungun?’ said Jake, after I’d stopped laughing at the name I decided it would be a great idea!
The mountain is about an hour from Jake’s house, it’s the sixth tallest of the Glass House Mountains and stands at 253 metres high.
glasshouses-1It only took us about 25 minutes to climb the mountain, it was a bit tough because it was so humid that day and it took us about half the time to come down because it’s so steep (we got overtaken on the way down by a man running down, huffing and puffing and looking very uncomfortable…have a day off mate!)

The climb was beautiful, lots of amazing views along the way.
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Within no time at all Jake told me we were near the top, you couldn’t get a bearing for how high we were because the walk in lined with trees so you can’t really see out. I could not believe it when we reached the top. You have to climb over a few big rocks before you get to the top and I know it sounds super cheesy but when I got to the top and looked out, the view took my breath away. I had never seen something like that before and it was beautiful! You just look out for as far as you can see, the sun was shining and it was amazing!
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Me and Jake sat down just looking out onto the amazing view, I didn’t want to rush being up there because the views was incredible (…and I wanted a rest and was putting off the walk back down!)
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It was such a great day and amazing to do something different. When I see and do things like this it reminds me that I’m living in an amazing country with such natural beauty and that there is so much more of it explore!

Here is a video that I made of the climb

Farm Animal Rescue – my home for the next month. 

One of my main aims while I’m in Australia is to volunteer at animal sanctuaries and tomorrow I’m off to my first one. It’s in Dayboro which is about an hour from Brisbane. 

When I was in Australia on a holiday in 2014 I visited the farm for the day and thought it was amazing. The farm is a vegan farm which takes in animals from the meat and dairy industry. Many of these animals have suffered years of abuse and so when they come to the farm they are very ill. The farm then nurses them back to health and the animals live the rest of their lives in peace and safety.

When I visited the farm in 2014 I was shown around but two volunteers, they were passing through Australia on their travels had been staying at the farm for a month. They both spoke so highly of their time there and it made me think that that’s something I’d like to do in the future. Fast forward to now and I leave tomorrow to stay there for a month! I remember thinking that I’d love to do something like this but I was worried about doing it on my own and meeting people etc but after living with 11 other strangers in Borneo and making some amazing friends I know it’ll be a great experience. Plus I get to live on a beautiful farm and look after animals everyday!

Here are some photos and a video from my recent visit there on one of their open days… they’ll be plenty of blog posts to come about my time on the farm!