Catching a little sun on Hamilton Island

IMG_9676  IMG_9684Apologies – I’ve been a bit slow at updating these photos, but I’m sure you’re already sick of seeing them all over Instagram. Another quality break thanks to Jetstar and their regular sales. We stayed at my boyfriend’s sister’s place and honestly had the best time.

A buggy all to ourself and an island to explore, we started to fall into a routine by the third day: wake up, drive to a watering hole, have a cocktail for breakfast, lounge in the sun. Sleep and repeat.

The food on the island is expensive and pretty bland to be honest, but let’s be honest, you don’t go to Hamilton Island for the food. No it’s for the massages and the swim-up bars and the crystal blue sea.

Some lookout spots I do recommend are One Tree Hill (we saw a beautiful sunset here the first night) and the top of Passage Peak – but be warned, it can get very, very sweaty.

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Tasmania: Away from the mainland

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Wow, Tasmania is one beautiful state. Definitely more green and more lush than NSW, that’s for sure. I’ve made it my mission for a while now to visit as many Australian capital cities as I can (though struggling to come up with a reason to go to Perth).

But Hobart itself is a little eh. I mean it’s great if you’re there for a weekend, but any more days and you’re out of activities to do. I wanted to go around Christmas time specifically to get a glimpse of this terribly awesome Christmas tree at Salamanca square. It cost $35,000 and was billed as “modern” and “trendy”. Don’t think I’d use those words … “random” is more like it.

Though to say I didn’t enjoy my time in Tassie isn’t entirely correct. I loved the ferry ride to MONA. And the museum itself was original and again, random. This state really has a knack for randomness. The vagina soaps, the poo room … strange … but interesting.

The seafood was also amazing. We ate at the Drunken Admiral, which I highly recommend. The oysters are A+. For breakfast, you can’t go past Pigeon Hole – they specialise in baked eggs. They’re phenomenal. I had the baked eggs special (they have other variants on their normal menu but this was a special concoction). It had chilli, it had spice and the eggs were perfectly gooey. Again, five stars.

We stayed at the Mantra Collins, which was a pretty central location. It was easy to walk everywhere – to the wharf, to cafes, to dinner. But then again the city is so small that I think you can pretty much walk anywhere if you’re determined enough.

Driving around the Great Ocean Road

I’ve been to Victoria plenty of times before, but never have I ventured out of Melbourne (which is pretty silly).

This time I decided to see what is left of the Twelve Apostles and what else the southern state had to offer besides four seasons in one day. The result? Four seasons in one day and a breathtaking view.

Sitting on a tour bus isn’t the most exciting thing but the drive itself wasn’t too long and my boyfriend and I spent the time devouring episodes of Serial. Heck – we spent most of our trip listening to the podcast. But anyway, I digress.

We booked a tour which cost $99 per person and included pick up and drop off from Melbourne CB and lunch (and some weird, brief walk through bushland). A bargain if you ask me.

Though once at the site you only get about an hour, hour and a half to take in the view. But there’s quite a number of cliffs and beaches surrounding the (four?) apostles that offer different views and angles. There’s a series of sandstone stairs leading down to a beach that I particularly hate. Steepest. Climb. Ever.

The apostles themselves are extraordinary and worth seeing if you get a chance. Who knows – there may be none left in a few years. Plus it’s always nice to get out of the city. (Besides eating, there’s not a whole lot of things to do in Melbourne.)

Why did I think it was a smart idea to camp at Uluru?

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Every time I think about my trip to Uluru I get hot flushes. Memories of 46 degree days and puddles of sweat come flooding back. Constantly having to reapply sunscreen and insect repellant and trying to figure out what to do between 11am and dinner because it’s too hot to move.

But then I remember the beautiful outback, sunrises and sunsets and remember that it’s all worth it.

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My friend Nicole and I decided that camping would be the best option in Uluru. And it really is unless you’re rolling in cash. Uluru happens to be one of the world’s most expensive cities to visit due to its limited resources and the amount of money it costs to get things to the red centre.

When you land at Ayers Rock Airport, you drive 10 minutes and then you reach Ayers Rock Resort. This is where you’ll find civilisation. A supermarket, post office and plenty of overpriced restaurants. Unless you’ve budgeted and planned your dining habits for the time you’re in Uluru, chances are you’ll be eating at least three times at one of these restaurants. My tip? Plan your meals.

It’s also better to do all the activities as early as possible. Sunrise is usually around 5am and sunset at 7pm. I suggest doing all the tracks (I recommend the guided Mala Walk and Uluru Base Walk) before 11am. Most climbing activities get closed if the temperature reaches over 36 degrees.

Camel rides are super fun and you can do them at either sunrise or sunset. The meeting point is just a few kilometres away from the main resort area. The camels are quite well behaved and the ride extremely enjoyable and fun!

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Uluru is such a beautiful place and I’m so glad I got the chance to see it. I just wish I didn’t pick the middle of November to go – winter probably would’ve been a more sane choice. But nonetheless I definitely recommend it. Two or three days would be suffice to explore and appreciate the beauty of Ayers Rock.

Escaping the city life for a few days

Sometimes it’s just nice to get out of the city for a few days and enjoy the great outdoors. I’ve made it my own mission to visit as many Australian cities and towns as I can and to appreciate what the land down under has to offer.

Last weekend my boyfriend and I stayed at the cutest little cabin out in Berambing, a small village in the Blue Mountains.

It was called the Love Studio and we had booked it via Love Cabins. I know it sounds extremely cheesy and makes you want to laugh until you cry, but if you’re looking for a couples getaway – I can’t recommend it enough.

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It had a spa overlooking the mountains, a fireplace, the most comfortable leather lounges and, perhaps most importantly, nobody else in sight. I can’t even begin to explain how peaceful and relaxing it was to switch off from the world (and our phones) and just enjoy each other’s company.

I haven’t mentioned it in this post but we ate at (what I now regard as the best restaurant in the entire world): Applebar. So good. But it’s so good that it deserves its own blog post.

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If you follow me on Instagram (which you totally should), you’d know how highly I rate them.