A Travellerspoint blog

Just a little rant!!! (and an update)

Well it had to happen sooner or later didn't it! I bet you've all missed my little rants so here is one to make you feel like i'm back already!!!!

So i have been sitting in a well known chain of internet cafes they have in Oz (don't want to write their name and end up in some sort of liable case!) since 12.15. I managed to download 15 photos in 1 hour so i decide to splash out on the extra dollar and upgrad to pre -paid which is suppose to be 4 x faster. Well after an hour and 40 mins it has managed to upload 28 photos! Since i have 94 pics alone of Australia zoo you can imagine how annoyed i am getting right now. The staff are useless...its not their fault but have no answers! I am working only on one other window at a time....totally crap!

Also due to joining facebook the time i was planning to update my blogs has been spent trawling through lovely msgs and stuff people have put on my page. Just what i needed guys as feeling home sick at the mo so keep it up!

So just a quick fill in of what i have been up to. After Byron we went to Surfers Paradise, then Brisbane, onto Noosa, Rainbow Beach, Hervey Bay where i went on a 4x4 safari on Fraser island, one of the biggest sand islands in the world. Then we went onto the town of 1770/Agnes water, onto Rockhampton then Mackay. Up to Mackay i was still with a few people from the crew i met back in port Macquarie but am now on my todd again! I am now in Airlie beach where i am awaiting to do my sailing trip to the whitsundays on 23-25th May.

So all is good, looking forward to NZ, think a change of country will do me good. Planning to do a bit of fruit picking an hour north of here in Bowen...give me some routine and to settle for a bit. Of course the money would come in handy too!

Hope all is well with you all back home. Take care and i shall do more detailed blogs asap. Now i hope you can appreciate why everything is a bit out of date, apparently oz have worse internet connections than bloody Thailand and Vietnam!

Love and miss you all

T xx

Posted by Tina Bean 21:50 Comments (0)

Byron Bay

This is more like it! Got here and straight away could sense a good vibe. That may be due to this place being well known as a hippy town second only to Nimbin down the road.

First night we had to split up, Hannah, OJ and myself stayed in Belongil Beach house while the others had to splash out on an apartment for the night in Aquarius. This was good news for us as we could crash their place to cook and have a party. Also the campus had a fantastic bar and chill out area with a great happy hour that we went to more than once!

We then stayed in the Cape Byron YHA and met Sara; a curly flame haired beauty from England. Once again PMQC were reunited. Not a bad hostel for a YHA...had a great pool and we could borrow body boards so some more hilarious boogie board action by me was attempted. Managed to keep my bikini on in this session just about!

Spent about a week in Byron, it was a really lovely chilled out place to be. The hippy vibe was everywhere in the form of bead shops, organic cafes and surf shops galore. The great thing about this place is that there is no macdonalds or other chain stores (apart from a supre weirdly.. a womens clothes shop!), just little independent stores. I spent a few hours browsing the many clothes and surf shops...lots of bakerys had to be avoided....my pasta baby is well develpoed now!

Unsure now of how i spent my days as done so much since.One day we hired bikes and went to Broken heads. Hannah, celine, sara and myself all have v sore bums after our epic all dayer on the bikes. We conqured some steep hills and saw some lovely beaches. Once we got to broken heads we took a walk around the headlands. Great views from there across the shores.Another day was spent walking to the light house. This was a really lovely walk and again we got some great views. We stayed here and watched sunset which was lovely.

We took a day tour to Nimbin, which was loads of fun! Nimbin is known as the weed capital of Australia. On the way i noticed a road sign for Tweed heads...however someone had crossed out the 'T', i found that quite amusing! We were taken to the sunday markets in a nearby town to Nimbin which was one of the best markets i have been to in Oz so far. I nearly signed up for woofing but instead of farm work it was instrument making. For accommodation and food you did 4 hours work per day making instruments- it looked ace! There was so many tempting food stalls, the smell was amazing! We were then dropped off in Nimbin and able to check out the town...the whole one street. It was stoner heaven, joints and bongs were everywhere and people smoked openly in the bars. Hash cookies were being sold on the street and the weed culture was all on display in the Nimbin museum...also the place to go if you wanted to by weed it turned out!

On the way back we stopped at some waterfall but due to the drought it was more of a trickle than a waterfall...stunning views none the less.

So after 2 nights in the YHA i was craving some individuallity and something a bit more fun so myself, Hannah & Celine checked into the Arts Factory. We stayed in the pentagon, an 8 bed massive tent! Oh yes i paid $30 to stay in a tent! The place was awsome, so relaxed, hammocks between trees, a lake, massage tent, swimming pool, jacuzzi and sauna. The campus was huge and had a restaurant, bar and even a cinema...it was a whole little world. Apart from a few thefts this place rocked and i can see why everyone recommended it- made a nice change from the usual hostels along the east coast. One night we watched Notes on a scandal. Another night we had the obligitory night out in cocomangos and cheeky monkeys. This place is known for its table dancing and 18-30's style games and antics! Needless to say i made sure i was suitably drunk before heading in!

Could have stayed here longer and embrassed the hippy in me! I did go to a meditation session which was cool...sitting in a darkened quiet room trying to find myself....maybe it was good i left when i did!

Posted by Tina Bean 02:37 Comments (0)

Port Macquarie & Coffs Harbour

Afraid this is not going to be much of a blog as there isn't too much to say about these couple of stop offs between Sydney and Byron Bay.

Port Macquarie..this is where Australians come to holiday, the Southend of the Oz world. It is a beautiful place and it was a welcome retreat after the hustle and bustle of Sydney. I stayed in my first YHA hostel...with only 35 beds. As soon as i arrived i latched onto a guy named Simon. We got talking as he was holding the resident bugie names buff head! We found loads to chat about (mainly my fav subject of food!). He invited me out surfing with him in the morning and i accepted the offer. Well when it came to it i stuck with the body board as the waves were fierce! I will try again soon....maybe??????

Apart from lazing onthe beach i checked out the Marina, Koala Hospital, the breakwall (each stone along it is decorated by locals and visitors with personal messages and art). It was a really relaxed area and i chilled out and unwound from the hectic lifestyle of Sydney. The added bonus was meeting several other travellers to form the PMQC (port macquarie crew). Celine, a 28yr old from France who has just lived inThailand for the last two years; Hannah, 23 from Chippenham who works for the Police Press office; Rob & Jayme - a guy and a girl from Canada and OJ, a 19yr old from Worchester. We just came together on a goon night out which started at a BBQ at the hostel and ended up on the beach around a campfire.

So after a few days together in Post we then all decide to head to Coffs Harbour together....the home of the BIg Banana!

Ok so that is truly all i can say about it. It has a theme park based around a big banana. Apart from an amusing time in the souvenir shop we weren't that impressed. We walked around coffs and checked out all the beaches along this part of the coast which were nice but nothing special. We introduced Jayme to curry however and taught her how to peel and chop an onion...bless!

We did go out on one of the nights but Coffs really didn't have a nightlife to write home about so we just stayed in the hostel the 2nd night and watched a film.

Lets just say we were ready to move onto Byron!

Posted by Tina Bean 02:15 Comments (0)



I have now been here nearly 3 weeks. I had penciled this long in but feel bad for settling somewhere for so long. Everyone raves about Sydney and although i have enjoyed my time here it is not somewhere that i don't want to leave. I think this may be because it is too similar to London. After living out of a backpack for so long, the culture of having to dress to impress and the suits crowd out after work on a friday night is all foreign to me.

Sydney is full of beautiful 'showy' people and i am unsure where i fit into this crowd. This is a city where if you appear even slightly inebriated you are thrown out and you can't get into many bars unless your toes are covered...apparently it is a health and safety issue of girls cuttting their feet on broken glass...when really it is that they are trying to ban thongs (sorry, flipflops!).

Ok, that was all a little negative. On the positive, Sydney is a beautiful city and by night, the views of the city are spectacular. I have seen it many times over; from darling harbour, on a ferry from the olympic village, on a ferry from Manly and from the harbour and Anzac bridges. The view of the sydney harbour bridge and the opera house all lit up is postcard perfection! It is also pretty special during the day when the sun is shining and the backdrop of blue skies. Be warned though, on a cloudy day, like when i first saw it, it was a little disappointing.

Sydney has been full of catching up with people i have met during my travels in Thailand. On my first day Kasey came and met me and we strolled in the rocks and had a drink in Cargo bar in Darling Harbour. It was amazing to be sitting in an uber trendy bar, sipping on wine looking out from the terrace seats we had onto one of the most famous harbours in the world. It is times like these that make you take a step back and apprecaite what an amzing thing you are getting to do.

I have also caught up with Luke. Due to a house move and uni law degree exams it has been a stressful time for him which has made meeting difficult. He was kind enough to drive me around some of the great beaches in north sydney around his old home in Bellview hills and new one in Veuclouse. I got to see Watsons Bay, Camp Cove and a few others i can't remeber the name of.

My last traveller to catch up with is Tim who gave me an insightful tour from a landscape architecture point of view of the city, circular quay and the botanic gardens on a beautiful sunny day.

I have also caught up with Lucy, Kelly and Emily, the girls i travelled SE Asia with which has been cool. Several other people i met in Adelaide and Melbourne have also passed through Sydney including Tom, Meriam, Oxford and Alex. The most unusual meeting was with my friend from home...Mr Tom Doyle. I was walking down the street on the phone right by my hostel and this familiar voice said 'Tina'. Was great to catch up but unfortunately both of us had plans that evening and he was flying to NZ the next day.

OK, so back to what i did in Sydney. I checked out the nightlife in the cities red light district of Kings cross on more than one occassion and i also stayed in the area. It is an extremely vibrant part of town that i thoroughly enjoyed staying in. The nightlife was cool and many locals have nights here. In the city i also checekd out a couple of bars which all were reminders of London life.

There is so much i could blab on about Sydney...it is safe to say that i did all of the touristy things, the botanic gardens, harbour bridge, opera house, maritime museum, observatory,Art Gallery of NSW, checked out the beautiful rocks area and went to the blue mountains (unfortunately it was more like the grey mountains when i went and to add to the misery the tour guide dropped my camera and cracked the screen!).

I ensured i kept my tan topped up by visiting Manley, Bondi and Coogee beaches. I did the famous Bondi-Coogee walk on several occassions and saw the guy who lives in a cave. Bondi is quite pretentious with everyone checking each other out and for that very reason i much prefered Coogee even though the waves took me out!

Right at the end of my time in Sydney, Luke and I got to catch up with Dan & Phil, two English guys who were travelling with Luke who i also got to know. Was extremely strange to be reunited in Oz. WE had a hardcore night out of a smoothie in a cafe in Bondi!

So overall, i'd give Sydney a 7 out of 10. I will return one day..with some money to burn, eating in all the amazing restaurants and to sip on decent wine in the many trendy bars.

Posted by Tina Bean 23:13 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Canberra - The Nations Capital


Now again, if i heard the question...'why go to Canberra?' from both Aussies and other backpackers once, i heard it a million times. Ok so maybe they were right in that there isn't too much to see but none the less I am glad that i went.

I was lucky and extremely greatful that i was put up by a friend that i made whilst in Cambodia. Dan picked me up from the bus station when i arrived at 7am and became my source of knowledge and local history lecturer for the next couple of days.

We had breakfast by the Lake Burley Griffen, so named after the guy that designed the city. After a quick shower and dropping my stuff off, Dan took me to Belconnen Interchange where i jumped on a bus to the National War memorial museum. This certainly, as i had been told, a must see. When i arrived i was asked to join a tour group which was great as the guide took us around both the memorial sights and the museum educating us along the way. After a few hours here i then got another bus to the city, then another to the National museum of Australia. Canberra is made up of satelitte cities so it doesn't make it the easiest of places to get around, hindered by the fact there are only buses as means of public transport! Hard to believe that a place developed so recently did not incorporate a tram, tube or train system!

The Australian Musuem was one of the best I have seen yet. First off i got to sit in a rotating theatre with moving screen in each of the 4 sections. I watched films on Australian culture and what it means to be Australian. Not to be missed in this museum is Phar Laps heart...for those of you that don't know he is a famous Australian racehorse that had an extraordinarily large heart. Also there was a whole wall of australian lingo and the meanings of the words - some quite amusing.

Due to staying with a local, over the course of the two days, Dan drove me around civic (the city) so i managed to see both old and new Parliment buildings, the memorials lit up at night along Anzac parade, the clock tower given to Canberra as a present from the UK (aren't we nice!). If you want a place to party the locals will be the first to tell you that the nightlife in Canberra is not all that, this gave me the perfect excuse while i had a proper kitchen, to make the biggest amount of sausgae and mash for two people that you have ever seen. Dan should have never let me loose in the kitchen while he went to football training! Whilst on the subject of football, this covers two types...aussie rules and the NFL which is like our rugby league. Dan is a massive enthusiast and plays both.

As well as Dan, myself and the girls met his friend Ozzie. Dan and I went over to his bachlor pad one evening where we had a few beers on the balcony. I was surprised to see a picture of us all including me up on the wall...strange now to be in people you meet travelling, homes. They took me to their local watering hole, The lighthouse for a few schooners.

Dan kindly drove me to Botanay bay, Sydney where I stayed with his parents for a night as his sister was expecting her 2nd child on St Patricks day so he wanted to be around if she went into labour. The baby was a little overdue and finally arrived on the following tuesday, mum and baby both doing well. Going back to the football note...i didn't realise how much some Australian Families love their football but it is taken really seriously and a big part of their lives, it was on TV the entire time i was there. Their home was right on the sea front and the area had a lovely quaint English feel to it. That may have just been due to the fact that it was spitting with rain and due to the mist the sea frount could have been Blackpool!

A massive thank you has to go to both Dan and his parents who took care of me so well in both Canberra and Sydney. I had a lovely time and the meals were all awsome...no fear of me starving just yet! I had a really enjoyable time playing with Bella, Dan's niece and it was great just to be in a family surrounding for a day! Dan and his father drove me to mates place in Kings cross on Sunday morning... my home in Sydney for however long.

Posted by Tina Bean 21:24 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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