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Powerplay – Whitsundays

Whitsundays

The 74 Whitsunday Islands lie between the northeast coast of Queensland, Australia, and the Great Barrier Reef, a massive stretch of coral teeming with marine life. Most of the islands are uninhabited. They’re characterized by dense rainforest, hiking trails and white sand beaches.

Located just off Airlie Beach in North Queensland, a palm tree filled, tropical living, Australian town south of Cairns.

I was lucky enough to head out with Powerplay. A boat I chose out of a collection of different tours around Whitsunday island.

It was a more chilled out type of trip, with a smaller group of people.

18 guests, 3 crew.

Spending an unforgettable 2 nights and 3 days doing all my favorite things – Adventures, activities, sunbathing, meeting people, discovering new places, eating yummy food and of course, watching those perfect Aussie sunsets.

Despite working on boats in the past and numerous occasions catching ferries, water taxi’s and just loving the water, I had never experienced living on a boat like this and would highly recommend doing it.

I didn’t have much idea on what I was in for.

Having few expectations, heading to the pier with an open mind and of course, solo, I was ready for a new adventure.

Arriving midday, a small bag packed, I headed to the boat.

For me, and I suggest anyone else, the trip should be concentrated on the experience of staying on the boat. Waking up on the water, having your evening hot chocolate floating on the ocean, listening to your favourite music with new friends watching the sunsets in a unique spot around the famous Whitsunday island. Spending your day sailing through the glorious Great Barrier Reef.

It’s more than a snorkel trip or how many drinking games people want to play, it’s the experience of staying on a catamaran sailing the Whitsundays, and it was fabulous.

Being able to dive into the middle of the ocean first thing after waking up and sitting on the front deck with your morning coffee, I loved it.

 

What to take?

You don’t need much stuff with these trips.

A change of clothes, swim wear, a warm cozy jacket and comfies, basic toiletries and your camera is more than enough.

Maybe a pack of cards or a book if you like to read.

Day 1

The group mingled and settled on the boat on the way to our first stop. We went through a few things for the next couple of days and our adventure was underway.

I was sligtly skeptical to being the only solo traveler as I noticed lots of couples however I was made up to have some other solo backpackers as well as a mixture of diverse and fun travelers from all over the world, we all got on super well! Going solo is always a great way to meet people! Read more on all posts in regards to solo travel, here!

The weather wasn’t quite on our side, so we stopped to head out on the paddle boards. A slightly cloudy sky, music blaring, we all had a laugh.

One of my favorite things about the boat was the sound system. They played quality music throughout the trip which totally added to the fun.

As the weather was a little disheartening, the cards came out, a cheese platter and snacks were made for us and music, beers and banter carried us through the evening.

Throughout the trip, the food was top notch.

As a fussy eater, I have never expected to overly enjoy a lot of planned food on trips.

Our lovely host Immy cooked up amazing, fresh, tasty food throughout the entire trip. It was certainly a massive part of the experience that stood out for me.

For any backpacker cooking basic meals for yourself, you’ll be in for a treat.

Served up for dinner that night was marinated chicken, hot potato bake, sweet potato mash, tuna noodle salad, salad and all the sauces, dressing and seasoning we needed. Sounds good right?

Cheesecake for dessert.

Everyone ate plenty and was highly satisfied with all the meals we had.

You’ll have plenty of time to chat, chill out and just enjoy the experience of being on the catamaran in the middle of the great barrier reef.

Day 2.

A very early start out on the water, it was time for breakfast, coffee of course and to check out the beautiful Whitehaven beach.

Waking up the sound system on, the sun starting to peep out and a yummy breakfast served, I was ready to start exploring.

Waking up to different toast with all the spreads, fruit salad, yogurt, different types of cereals, bacon and eggs, hot tea, coffee, hot chocolate and loads more, it was a breakfast fit for a king.

Staying right next to the Island, we were on the beach first thing. The group headed on over and we were left for some serious playtime.

Heading back to the boat for another yummy lunch made my Immy, it was time to eat, chill and set sail to our snorkeling spots, plus our new home for the night.

The journey over to our next stop was awesome. Everyone sunbathing on the front deck with the latest songs booming over the catamaran boat as we sailed through the breathtaking landscapes, it was the perfect afternoon.

Having the options to snorkel or paddle board once we stopped, we spent the next few hours out in the deep blue ocean just enjoying the fabulous weather.

Cyclone Debbie certainly has changed things, and I know the snorkel experience won’t be the same for a while however the boat have lowered their prices since the disaster. It’s truly heartbreaking to see the terrible effect it has left but everyone is working hard to get things back to normal.

We still got a chance to meet Trevor. A beautiful, huge, dark blue fish. He won’t hesitate to come and say hello!

We spent the rest of our day chilling out and enjoying a sensational sunset. With nachos and cake put out for us to nibble on, coffee and tea were available, everyone was pleased with the evening.

Dinner was made for us, the beers came out, the stars were out, and it felt like a perfect end to another day of Aussie adventures.

We got the bbq going on the back of the boat, and we had a fabulous buffet served up for dinner.

The evening was the time once we had docked to just chill, chat, have a few drinks and the whole group hung out until late.

Day 3

Home time. *Sad face*

It was a super early start but straight in the water for me. We managed to watch the sunrise which was ideal.

6am out on the water and Ben managed to catch this of me out admiring the sunrise.

We had our breakfast once again all freshly made and laid out for us to enjoy. We spent the morning just hanging out enjoying the views and our final time to hang out as a group. We all got on so well so exchanged information and some of us made plans to go out that evening.

The whole experience was exceptional. Despite the on boat jacuzzi not working which was a real shame, I will never forget the experience of sailing the Whitsundays on a spectacular catamaran with a great bunch of people from all over the world.

 

I will remind anyone, regardless of whether you have previously suffered motion sickness or even travel sickness, it can get rocky, the waves may possibly be choppy and if you’re someone with a very weak stomach, it may be something to reconsider.

I have never felt sick from a boat, until the first few hours.

It may be worth buying a few motion sickness tablets just in case and not drinking too much the night before.

Don’t worry, you quickly get used to the motion.

Thank you to the three staff members on boat for the hospitality, fun, knowledge and looking after all of u so well!

You can book your trip with Powerplay by clicking here!

I went through Gypsy Travel! Highly recommended. Richard will help you with all things Australia so make sure to give him a message!

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My ultimate to do list – Melbourne

Melbourne

The worlds most liveable city.

Located in Victoria, second most popular city in Australia with a busy CBD, quirky yet stylish suburbs and of course, located on the coast. Melbourne became home for a large part of my time in Australia.

Oozing character, filled with personality and something always going on, it’s more then the shops and public transport. It’s a friendly, active city with a really easy going vibe.

Of course I fell in love.

Melbourne was always impressing me, with lonely planet naming it the sport and cultural capital of Australia.

I was always busy going somewhere and doing something. Everyday was an adventure.

Entering during Winter and coming from Asia, it was a shock to the system.

Feeling westernised, sanitizsed and busy, I wasn’t sure how to feet at first.

After a few months away from Melbourne, I was back to fall in love all over again, in Summer.

I can safely say, I could quite happily settle in Melbourne one day and see myself living there again.

Whether you’re after coastal runs by the beach, outdoor rooftop cinemas, impressive coffee shops and night markets filled with glorias food trucks.  Food festivals and worldwide hospitality, laneways covered with impressive street art, quirky cafes, sport central and beach’s to catch the sunset.

Melbourne is bloody brilliant.

Yes, it’s a major city which isn’t for everyone however I was surprised at how relaxed and actually pretty quite it was. Able to escape to quite parks, lonely libraries and tons of day trips out of the city, Melbourne has a lot to offer.

Unlike Sydney, there are no cut off times and curfews. If anything, Melbourne was the place you could party from Friday straight through to Monday with events on every night of the week.

So you’re going to see what all the fuss is about!?

Good for you.

I’m letting you in on my favorite places to hang out and things to do.

Here is my ultimate to do list. Melbourne.

All images are my own.

Alberts Park

A public and picturesque park, which transformes into the Grand Prix race track, is a large, relaxing place to hang out, excersise, get your bbq on and see some awesome views of the city. A lake with a flat path around the outside covered in palm tree’s and lushious greenery, I love coming here.

Albert’s Park offers a great path to walk, run or cycle with the circuit being 5km and bikes can be hired at this location.

AFL game

AFL is a somewhat culture to Melbourne. If you want to experience the local lifestyle, make sure to get yourself to a match. Tickets are affordable and easy to grab on the door from $25. (£15)

I managed to catch Geelong Cats and Hawthorn Hawkers. I would highly recommend going to see a game, especially on an evening.  It’s an easy walk along southwarf to reach the MCG stadium. It turned out to be another fabulous evening in Melbourne with a great atmosphere.

Prahan Pool

Photo taken from google.

Prahan pool is a 50m Olympic pool open to the public. For any outdoor lover, sports freak or someone who loves being in the water, Prahan pool is a great place to hang out. They offer outdoor seating, a sauna, steam room, jacuzzi and a toddler pool. It’s awesome to hang with friends and sunbathe on the greenery or escape on your own to get some lengths done. They also offer healthy food and drinks so you could spend hours here.

Botanical gardens

This is one of those escapes I was talking about. Located close to the CBD, it’s a great place to wander around the green grass, read a book or just take a walk. Especially on a hot day, I love it here.

94 acres of beautifully kept and contained gardens, Melbourne respects their city. A great hang out for nature lovers with unique and rare plants.

  • Weekdays 9.00am – 5.00pm
  • Weekends 9.30am – 5.00pm

Transport: The Gardens are a 15-minute walk or 5-minute tram ride from Flinders Station to the Domain Road Interchange.

Brighton Beach

Despite being a huge tourist spot, it’s a favourable spot to check out the colorful beach huts. Escape the city for one of Melbourne’s most iconic spots.

Tip: Rent a bike and cycle along the coastal path.

One of my favorite places to watch the sunset during summer is Riva located in Saint Kilda at the start of the coastal path.

Chapel Street

A quirky, local street running from Balaclava to Richmond stretching over 4.13 km. It’s covered in charity shops, vintage stores, local business, health stores, fashionable boutiques, café’s, restaurants, hairdresser, barbers, clubs and bars and so much more. The personality of the place is never a let down whatever the weather. Some of the best clubs, bars and food spots are on Chapel street.

Some of my favorite brunch spots are Amicii, Oscar Cooper & Hannah.

Fitzroy

Hippy, arty and just cool, it’s always a treat heading over to Brunswick/ Fitzroy. Filled with talented street art hidden down all the roads, fashionable vintage stores, second-hand book stores, awesome café’s and some seriously chilled vibes, I was happy just to wander and find a glorious coffee spot.

See if you can find the full graffiti car park and the colorful little abandoned open van.

My favorite coffee spot: Black Cat 

Federation square

Located in the CBD by Flinders station, it’s a busy spot for everyone. I love grabbing a $1 7/11 coffee and just watching the city go by. They offer free wifi which any backpacker will find useful. There is always something going on and the view of Flinders station is quality!

Victoria Night market

Almost all year round on a Wednesday night, the night market’s are busy and bursting with the tastiest food trucks, unique stalls and a brilliant atmosphere. There is always live music going on and offers great views of the city.

Southbank

Southbank is definitely one of my favorite places. A trendy suburb located right next to the CBD, the promenade following the South Yarra river, filled with restaurants, bars and a few of Melbourne’s boat clubs, it provides a stunning view of the city and a perfect dinner spot.

With Melbourne’s Southgate shopping center, theater’s, art museums, access to the Eureka sky tower and the gigantic crown casino, there’s tons to do around Southbank.

Brunch

Get brunch anywhere. Melbourne has world class hospitality, with everywhere serving the finest all day brunch, it’s easy to spend all your money enjoying the food.

My favorite brunch spots are Oscar Cooper, Hannah & Fitzrovia.

Saint Kilda beach

By far, somewhere I could spend endless amounts of time. Especially in good weather, the beach and surrounding areas are beaming with good vibes. The atmosphere is sweet, there is a grass area, plenty of space, tons of cafes, restaurants, bar’s, ice cream parlors, fish & chips stalls and funky spots to grab a coffee by the beach. It’s an active and outgoing area.

During the week in summer, they hold volley ball competitions on the evening, give them a go. It’s so much fun and a great way to meet people.

Looking at moving to Melbourne? Check out my top tricks & tips on Moving to Melbourne by clicking here!!

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19 things you should know before traveling Australia

Australia was never on the top of my list for places to live and travel.

Seeking magical adventures and trying to get out my comfort zone, I felt more inclined to Asia & countries that were contrasting to what I was used too.

After an unbelievable and magical 6 month trip around South East Asia, I headed over to find some kind of base and of course a new experience and explore a new country.

 I was not let down.

Saint Kilda / Melbourne

Australia is one massive country filled with a diverse variety of things to do and places to go.

Every Tom, Dick and Harry seems to be hopping on a flight to the other side of the world seeking the Aussie experience.

I don’t like telling people too much about where to go and what to do but I’ve come up with my top tips for traveling Australia. These are just a few things I thought you should know.

With the second-highest human development index globally, the country ranks highly in quality of life, health, education, economic freedom, and civil liberties and political rights.

1. It’s a continent.

Australia is massive!

It’s bigger than Europe and the world’s sixth-largest country by total area.

2. There are countless things to do.

Australia offers loads of things to get up too. From some of the best camping spots and of course the best places to surf.

Camping, on a jeep. Friday night set up.

It offers nature, rainforests and jungles, the outback, mountains and major cities. There’s places to ski, places to shop, places to explore and so much more.

3. Make the most of brunch.

Chapel Street / Melbourne

Brunch in Australia is a thing, something they do very well. All over the country on every menu they ‘do’ brunch. The best thing is, it’s normally all day. Well done Australia.

4. Most of Australia is just land

Australia is actually a lot of land. With the size of the country being ginormous and a population of 24, 520, 898. It’s mostly land.

Only 2% of the population of Australia live in the yellow area.

5.  You can’t buy booze from the supermarket

They have bottle shops, and sometimes small stores attached to supermarkets, however, Australia doesn’t sell booze in supermarkets. They seem quite strict with selling, buying and even public drinking over in Aus. There are normally plenty of 24/7 hour bottle shops about.

6.  81% of the worlds deadliest animals come from Australia

I thought this was an interesting fact I found out a while ago while on a tour in Queensland’s rainforest.

After completing my farm work, living out in the Australian bush, I did see a lot of amazing wildlife and insects! Yes there are snakes, spiders, toads etc.. but its really not that bad. Trust me.

It’s worth knowing some more on the deadly animals in case you do come across any.

Warning – Scary spider

7. Best hospitality in the world

Make use of the hospitality over in Australia. A very westernized, sanitized country and pretty expensive but you can find the best places to eat in the drink. A massive coffee culture with some of the most phenomenal places to eat out. Everything is accessible in the major cities.

Rooftop bars, quirky cafes, local markets, fine dining and tasty street trucks are all over.

8.  Wear suncream

The sun is stronger then you think. With a lot of Australia not covered by the ozone layer, the sun is powerful. Even those who don’t normally wear sun cream, it’s worth having some with you.

No one wants sun spots and wrinkles when they’re older.

9. You can’t enter without a visa

The visa restrictions are pretty strict. Despite the entry being easy every time I’ve flown into and across Australia, you need to make sure you have the right documents. There are all sorts of visa types including tourist, residential, working holiday. There are different requirements for each and may vary depending age and where you are from.

10.  There is a difference between Wallabies and Kangaroos. FYI.

After living in the outback I sure have seen some pretty awesome animals. Tropical Queensland is nature at it’s finest.

Running along side wallabies during my weekly runs, it was pretty surreal. However, there is a big difference between the two animals.

They’re both marsupials, meaning mothers carry their young around in built-in pouches. And scientists have even grouped them into the same order, family and subfamily.

The kangaroo’s legs are built for speed on open terrain. The wallaby’s more compact legs are built for agility in forested areas.

11. It’s westernized.

Okay, so coming from Asia this was a real shock. Don’t expect a massive culture shock, everyone speaks English, you drive on the left and it’s simply very westernized.

12. David Attenborough favourite Jungle is in Queensland

Not that he would need any introduction, Sir David Attenborough is a British writer, presenter, narrator, broadcaster and naturalist who has had an awe-inspiring 70-year long career.

Daintree Cape Tribulation Rainforests, North tropical Queensland is his favourite place in the world.

Very close to where I did my farm work!

 

13. There is a time zone across the country.

The time difference in Australia is crazy. I’m 11 hours ahead from home, UK. Even across the country they have a time difference.

14. Aboriginals

Aborigines are Australia’s indigenous people. Recent government statistics counted approximately 400,000 aboriginal people, or about 2% of Australia’s total population. Australian Aborigines migrated from somewhere in Asia at least 30,000 years ago.

The history is pretty interesting and you will normally see aboriginals especially out the major cities.

15. Free BBQ’s everywhere

One of my favourite things about Australia is that they cater so much for outdoors. Everyone is active,  enjoying life. There are bbq’s everywhere. Keep an eye out and make use of them!

16. Surfing is a culture

Australia offers some of the best surf spots, surf training and just the all round culture of the activity.

Top places are Gold coast, Torquey, Surfers paradise, Bryon bay, Bondi beach, Central coast, Anglesea, rainbow beach and loads more.

Surfers at Maroubra Beach.

17. Don’t hesitate to come on your own

This is something a lot of people have expressed to me. They made a decision to come on there own for the first time, and it’s all worked out. Solo travel is my favourite way to travel, if you’re thinking about it. Give it a go!

Click here to read my top 18 tips on traveling alone..

18. Try have contacts within the country

It’s always good to know someone in the same city as you, let alone the same country however can’t always be the case.

I’ve been tons of places and known absolutely no one. Keep in contact with backpackers, friends, friends of friends who are somewhere in Aus. It’s all about who you know. Luckily I have some great friends who were already over here!

19. Embrace the lifestyle.

All over Australia the lifestyle is active, outdoors, positive and fun. Embrace the beach lifestyle, camping trips, random styles and everything Australia has to offer.

You may jump out a plane, trek through the rainforest and jungles, go out vintage searching in Melbourne, sail past the Sydney opera house,

 

 

Embrace it. Chase it. Enjoy it. Australia is a cool place with awesome things to do and tons of places to go.

Make sure to check out my top tricks & tips if heading to Melbourne by clicking here!