Road Trip to Adelaide

What better thing to do on a long weekend than a road trip from Melbourne to Adelaide. It was nice to be able to get away for a small break and see some new scenery.

We left Melbourne after work and proceeded towards Horsham, which was to be our destination for the night. The following morning we left bright and early in the fog (that reminded me of silent hill) with our destination as Hahndorf for lunch.

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Poppy v. Dinosaur in Hahndorf

 

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Best free iOS Apps to travel with

So, you are going away on holidays and you are trying to workout if there are any apps you should get before you go to make the trip a bit easier. Well, here are a few tools and apps that will help!

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25 Hours

Well it’s 25 hours to go until I fly out on my adventure, I’ve pretty much done everything. Bags packed, still working out the logistics of taking some laptops across to a Children’s home in Katmandu, but I’m sure that will work out.

I still have a few more things to sort out for the students at school before I leave, such as lesson plans but there is some spare time tomorrow in addition to a little bit of time before I leave.

Its crazy to think this is happening tomorrow night. I’d been wanting to do this for years and putting it off for one reason or another, come to think of it around 6.5 years i’ve been putting basecamp off!

I can’t workout whether I’m more exciting about Everest or India, the more I think about them the more excited I get. The sights, the food, the people and the culture. It will be like nothing I have ever seen.

My aim is to post every few days or so when I’m away.

Weekend getaway in Launceston

Last weekend I decided that I needed a getaway, a little escape from the hustle and bustle of Melbourne. I figured that Launceston, Tasmania would be perfect:

  • It’s around an hour flight from Melbourne
  • Flights are cheap
  • The landscapes are incredible
  • There are countless hikes & places to explore

I picked up a cheap flight from Jetstar for $35 each way (bargain I know), I didn’t need any luggage. The idea was to just take the bare essentials and only have carry on. So with this in mind I packed very lightly, everything managed to fit in my trusty Country Road Tote bag (nearly 6 years old now).

I found a nice little hostel near the city centre – The Arthouse Hostel. It was around $19 Aud a night (Shared room). The hostel was very clean and the staff were incredibly friendly, which makes all the difference. They were all too happy to talk about cool little locations and listen to you talk about the things you have seen, even though I wouldn’t be able to guess the number of times they have heard the same experiences from other travellers. I highly recommend this place to stay if you are looking for a hostel.

I knew I was going to do a bit of driving, so I did splurge on a slightly more comfortable car to rent, but it was certainly worth it. The car (Mitsubishi ASX) was around $65 a day with the excess reduction and unlimited km’s.

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The saturday morning I woke up nice and early to fly out from Melbourne and arrived in Launceston shortly after. The airport is quite small, but seems perfect for the location. Within 20 minutes I had picked up the car and was in the city looking for breakfast.

I stumbled across the Harvest Markets which were small, but there was a funky food place where I picked up a Chorizo and Haloumi roll, and was it super tasty!

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My first stop was City park, I had read on trip advisor about some Macaque monkeys in the middle of the park. This was one things I certainly didn’t expect, it was something fairly unique and easy to see. It  would certainly be a hit for the family.

Next stop was Marakoopa Cave, it was a little over 1 hour drive from the city and situated in the middle of a beautiful nature park.


There are two caves in the vicinity that offer public tours, I chose to do Marakoopa cave as I really wanted to see the underground rivers and the glow worms! The tour was $19 and went for 45 minutes, it would be an easy tour for anyone and the caves were very open (in case you are claustrophobic).  The mix of the stalactites, Stalactites and rivers was incredible and it was certainly something I will remember for a long time, but the thing that I loved the most was seeing glow worms for the first time.

In one of the areas the guide will turn off all the lights for about 5 minutes, after some time your eyes begin to adjust and little dots of light begin to appear everywhere. According to the guide there were about 400+ glow worms.

 

There were plenty of other little creatures around the cave, but I won’t spoil the surprise. You don’t need to book the tours, but in the busier months get there a bit earlier than the tour. There is a hike you can do before hand if you are very early.  There were also BBQ’s and toilets, but remember to take a rubbish bag as there are no bins up there.

 

Aloha!

Aloha!

There is something magical about Hawaii, its not one specific thing but a mixture of everything. I love the place and cannot consume enough of it whether it is the environment, the food, the lifestyle or the super happy people. Hawaii is the land of where you can experience anything you want, do you prefer traditional island BBQ or would you prefer Asian or even Mexican you can have it all.

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Do you prefer lying on a beach bathing in the sun all the time or would you rather sitting on a porch watching the rain pour onto the mountains? You can have it all at any given time.There is so much to do and see in Hawaii and I believe it is a place that anyone can fall in love with.

We stayed on four of the islands – Oahu, Big Island, Kauai, and Maui. Whilst I loved them all and each was so remarkably different from the  others my favourite for sure was Kauai, with its green and mystical mountains to the relaxing turquoise blue beaches. I loved the simple nature of the island, there are noticeably fewer people of Kauai than the other islands and it is very simple to navigate the island. There is one major highway from one end to the other and it doesn’t circle the whole island.

You can only access around 20% of the Island by car, on that note I would definitely recommend getting a Jeep or similar. We had a little Chevrolet Spark which made accessing some off road locations a lot more unconfortable. By far the most amazing way to see the island is by Helicopter.

We went on a tour with Safari Helicopters, not knowing much about the different operators we looked on TripAdvisor and various other forums and the reviews seemed good. Well, it was incredible. We took a tour around the whole island and the pilot told us many stories about the different areas and the history.

For me one of the most breathtaking moments was when you are flying along the Na Pali coast and the clouds are just sitting on top of the mountains. There is no way to describe how incredible this view was, especially when it was paired off with whales just below.

The food in Kauai was amazing as well, there were a few main places where we went:

Monicos Taqueria — Delicious, Authentic, Well Price Mexican food. Gluten Free friendly too.

Sweet Marie’s Bakery — Hawaii’s First 100% Gluten Free bakery, the food was amazing here and took some baked treats for the road!

Smith’s Garden Luau — Authentic Hawaiian Luau & a show afterwards. There was certainly plenty of food here and it was certainly a memorable night. A must if you visit Kauai!

 

Moments in Time

Have you ever been to a place where time just seems to stop around you, and you think wow?

A few years ago I was fortunate enough to be backpacking around europe, the concept was to have no plans, no places & just see where it goes.

I made it to Interlaken, Switzerland.

2011-04-03 at 09-13-50From the moment that I arrived I knew something was special about this place, the crisp weather, the cool and clear air mixed with the happy nature of the locals. This town is like no other, it was made for adventure; whatever your choice of getting an adrenalin fix is they are sure to have it.

I was lucky enough to be going skydiving over the Alps from a helicopter, one of the most nerve-racking experiences but most exhilarating experiences of my life. Like most things the hardest part was having faith that everything will be okay and just take that first step. I never looked back (partly because you’re rushing towards the earth at mind-blowing speeds!).

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If there is one thing I take from that trip it’s that things will be okay. There are people supporting you along the way, they aren’t always visible to you but I think that is often because you are looking for them.

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Back to that moment, on my last night I went for a run, it was a habit & a goal of mine to make sure I go for a run in every city I have been to. It is something mind-blowing to me being about to go for a run in often very picturesque places or even around major landmarks that are ingrained in the history of modern society such as around the Berlin Wall or even around 2000 year old castles. I digress, I went for a run that afternoon, it was one of the few times I hadn’t taken my camera with me, not even my phone at the time. I stumbled across the most picturesque lake I have ever seen, it was a turquoise blue & rather cold, around 10°C. There were beautiful smoothed stones in and around the lake. It was the afternoon so the sun was beginning to set, a beautiful orange glow just peeking through the mountains and onto the lake.

In that moment time stopped for me, everything seemed to make sense, what I was doing, where I was going and how I was going to do it.

Like many good things the moment had to end as the sun had disappeared and it was hitting 3-4°C by that stage, I found some of the small rocks and bottled some of the water. To this day I always have those rocks with me when I am shooting.