Living In Sydney, Australia (Travel Diaries)

Sydney

The next post in my travel diaries series will be all about my time in Sydney, Australia. So as you all may already know I previously travelled around Australia for just under 2 years and was lucky enough to have experienced living in both Sydney & Melbourne. I lived in a beautiful part of the Sydney city called Pyrmont for 6 months, it located on the harbour and only a 10 minute walk from the main city centre. I thought today I would share my thoughts and feelings on my life as a Sydney girl.

Sydney was the first place I ever visited during my stay in Australia and I was not disappointed at all. I think Sydney is absolutely fantastic to visit however I would not choose to live here. A big, bold and beautiful city full of so many things to go and do, you will never be bored. Although it is a lovely place, it is very busy and very fast-moving and by the end of my 6 months here I couldn’t wait to move on to somewhere a little more quiet.

Sydney consists of so many brilliant hostels, bars and clubs! and I highly recommend this being the first place you visit on your travels. If you are looking at Travelling to Oz, I very much recommend staying in the famous WakeUp hostel. It is the best hostel in Sydney for people travelling by themselves as everyone is in the same boat and you will meet so many new people in order to go travelling with. It is quite a pricey hostel because it’s very good condition and very clean compared with most in OZ. Even though it’s expensive I definitely recommend spending a little cash and staying here for the first week or two but once you are comfortable do not get stuck there! Move on ASAP because so many people do not make it out.

Now for the sightseeing… Sydney is definitely one of the best places to sightsee and being a tourist is the best thing to do here. There is just so much to see and always something interesting going on. Whether you are interested in seeing the cliche harbour bridge and opera house, surfing on Bondi beach or hiking around the blue mountains, there is just so much for you to experience. My favourite thing to do during my time in Sydney was taking trips down with friends down to the botanic gardens and just relaxing in the sun and having a picnic on the beautiful grass.

After this I have to tell you all about Darling Harbour, one of my favourite places to go on my days off. Not only does it always have festivals and events going on, it is also the home of the worlds biggest IMAX. Plenty of lovely places to go for lunch, dinner and does have a pretty good happy hour you can also go and check out. The bar Blackbird serves the best $8 cocktails and Pontoon bar next door makes the best chicken schnitzel I have ever had. I can’t put words together to describe this meal. When you arrive in Sydney you will notice that chicken schnitzel is a huge part of the Aussies lifestyle. every single place sells it! but I’m here to tell you that Pontoon bar’s is the best. even better go on a Tuesday and it’s very cheap.

As for other places to go and check out in Sydney I recommend taking the ferry over to Milson Point for get views of the harbour and to also go and have a little walk around the one the only Luna Park (which I was actually lucky enough to work at over the summer holidays). Then there is Market City a great shopping centre in the heart of the city with a massive amusement arcade at the top and a gigantic market from Wednesday through to Sunday every week downstairs. A must see! After this take a little stroll through China Town which is right next door and get the best Chinese food you’ll ever receive.

There is so much I could talk about in Sydney, The city is full of amazing things, I will leave a little list of a few other places I went and visited whilst I was here as I could go on explaining forever. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to message me!

– Sydney eye tower
– Chinese garden of friendship
– Bondi Beach
– Coogee to bondi walk
– Bondi Junction Westfields
– Manly
– Watson Bay
– Sydney National Park Manly
– Blue Mountains
– Camp Cove
– Port Stephens Sand dunes
– Wollongong
– Hyde Park
– Newtown
– Kings Cross
and this isn’t even half of it!

I have not met a single person to this day who has travelled to Sydney and not enjoyed their experience. There is always something going on and something to do. If you are currently planning a trip yourself and have any questions on life in Sydney feel free to contact me I would be more than happy to help you out and give you any advice you need.

The Great Ocean Road, Australia (Travel Diaries)

Welcome to the next part of my current series, The Travel Diaries. If you have been reading my blog for a while you will know I am passionate about travelling. Today I thought I would write a post regarding the beautiful Great Ocean Road in South Australia. I felt this post very necessary for anyone who is thinking of missing out on doing The Great Ocean Road & The Grampians due to money, time or effort. It does not take very much of any of these three so you have no excuse. It is such a wonderful experience which you will not regret doing, Therefore I would love to take five minutes of your time and tell you a little bit about my experiences and why you should go. I completed this trip in as little as 3 days and as cheap as $500 and that was for 2 adults. 

Me and my ex boyfriend who I was travelling with at the time decided to rent a camper van with the awesome Wicked Campers. At the time of the purchase they were offering a special deal on The Great Ocean road for 4 nights/3 days $299 (possibly $199 depending what time of year you go). This deal always seems to be on the website so I don’t actually think there is a time limit on this one, don’t panic. They have extremely cool designed campers, all pimped out with the funny graffiti stickers which is awesome. However the time period we went was extremely busy and I’m so upset to say we had a plain white van. My poor heart was broken but never mind.. It did the job needed.

We set off nice and early on our little “valentines weekend” excursion off the great ocean road.  Isn’t that just the cutest idea. After jumping onto the princess highway and heading through Geelong you will come to your first point off The Great Ocean Road, This being Torquay, Bells Beach. Once you reach this point you will get away from the highway and see nothing much gorgeous views of the coastline.

After this you will drive through many gorgeous little seaside towns such as Anglesea and Lorne. These are great places to stop off and have some lunch whilst in some of the local businesses. Once you arrive at Lorne you do also have the option to go and view Erskine Falls. It is a beauty, Must see! especially on a good day. I would just like to mention it is quite a long walk down to the bottom of the waterfall so it is not recommended for people with health conditions. I have no conditions and I pretty much died on the walk back up.

The next stop on your ride is Apollo bay where they serve up the best fish and chips in town. Sit by the shore and watch the waves roll in while you eat some delicious fresh fish and get attacked by seagulls (that’s how it went for us anyway). We decided to stay at a campsite here which only cost us 30 bucks for the night and was absolutely fantastic, everything provided and provided well. You don’t have to pay for accommodation as there are free campsites along the way however we decided to treat ourselves a little and stayed in town for the night.

Now is when the adventure gets real good, once you come anyway from Apollo bay your next big destination will be Port Campbell, the home of the famous Twelve Apostles. This a beautiful beach town with fantastic restaurants, beaches and all sorts of wonderful things to look at. This will be your last stop for seeing the spectacular views of the Great Ocean Road. After this you can drive all the way through to Portland which is the official end. However If you are deciding to go to the Grampians on the way you can skip this part and drive straight through to Hamilton which is where stay here for the evening.

We decided to drive from the End of The Great Ocean Road and head up to Hamilton where we started the beginning on the Grampians. I will admit the Grampians is extremely confusing how to get to the main part however if you are up for an adventure there are many paths and tracks you can take down and drive for miles. Finding some awesome views. It might just be that I am not very good at map reading and got us lost but nevermind it was an experience and a half.

Once you arrive in the town of Hamilton you will notice a street of shops and cafes with a little tourist building at the end. This is the beginning of the Grampians. Would definitely recommend just quickly popping into the building to grab a map! this way you will see all the main points you can drive to and how to plan your route for the day. It will show you where all the great waterfalls are, the amazing dynamic views and the awesome treks you can take!

There is so much to see and do on The Great Ocean Road & The Grampians. If you have a spare few days or a long weekend off work I can highly recommend this as a little adventure. Get your friends and family together and go off to experience what south coast of Australia has for grabs. Whether you are planning a trip to Oz or not, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you have any questions on Australia or The Great Ocean Road do not hesitate to contact me.

Living in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Travel Diaries)

Melbourne

Continuing the travel diaries I have decided to talk about my experiences when living in Melbourne, Australia. Melbourne is one of the most vibrant, culture filled, beautiful cities in the world. I am so proud to say I have experienced living here and would move back here tomorrow if I could. Melbourne is the coastal capital of the southeastern Australian state of Victoria and has been voted the most lovable city six years in a row, so not only is it me who loves this place but clearly a lot of others as well.

On the 23rd of October 2015, Me and my ex boyfriend got up at stupid o’clock to get a coach ride all the way from Sydney to Melbourne, we were making the big move and I couldn’t have been any more excited. We decided to take this journey via a 2 day trip to Canberra (the capital of Australia) on the way just so we could tick that one of the list, even if it wasn’t all that. A whole 12 hours later we arrived to our new destination, The one and only city of Melbourne. Spending a whole 6 months in Sydney it was sad to leave but we decided to go as I was bored with the city and wanted to go and discover what other places were like.

I couldn’t contain my excitement as I jumped off the coach at Southern Cross Station. Sydney was Tim’s place but I knew Melbourne would be mine. Straight away we began searching for Jobs and Apartments ready to begin our new life for the next few months. I won’t lie and say that was easy because it was damn well hard. Sydney had treated us very well with apartments and jobs however Melbourne was beginning to prove a little more difficult that expected.

Eventually given a little time everything fell into place and we was well on our way to saving money and travelling on further. In the end Tim got himself a nice little job with an events company on the Yarra River where he had so much fun, met loads of great people and to top it off the pay wasn’t too bad either. I myself got a position as a receptionist for a massage parlour, pay was decent, hours were great and I also made loads of new friends! For the next 6 months we spent our time living a normal couples lifestyle and not backpackers. That backpack got pushed right to the back of our wardrobe and was forgotten about for a little while.

I won’t lie to you, at the beginning it wasn’t all that easy and sometimes things didn’t always work out as smoothly as we’d have thought. I would like to give some advice and recommendations for people looking at moving to Sydney or Melbourne on the WHV and doing the same as what we have done. We didn’t come out here with that much money and we knew we would have to work but sometimes it just isn’t that easy to find good jobs or ones you can mentally, physically, emotionally deal with anyway (aka every single call centre in Australia). So with that in mind my advice to you would be to save up as much as you can before you come here and once you arrive do try to be sensible with your money, it soon disappears. We did do our fair share of rubbish jobs until we found the ones we did so don’t expect everything to fall into place straight away, give it time and don’t give up.

Finding somewhere to live was another problem we faced. It wasn’t as easy as you’d think compared with how easy it was in Sydney. It took us about 4 weeks to find a decent, well priced apartment/sharehouse in Melbourne that was perfect for us. I think being a couple played a huge part in this as a lot of places don’t accept couples. Eventually we found ourselves a lovely little share house in Carlton, Melbourne. It was a Great location that was not far from the city centre but wasn’t stuck right in the main part of it all. If you are looking at moving to Melbourne, I would highly recommend areas such as Carlton, Brunswick, or Fitzroy. They are all in great locations and are very well priced for what you receive.

My favourite thing about Melbourne is that there is always something going on whether that being in the city centre or in our local area. It is a fun filled city full of excitement ready for you to join in with and discover. You do not need to be a millionaire to live a fun lifestyle here and there are many things to see. Some of my favourites include The Great Ocean Road, Brighton beach, St Kilda, Shopping in the Queen Victoria Building and many amazing places along the way.

After multiply trips to the bottle-o and many $5 dominos, we managed to save up a nice and steady amount of $6000, now after 6 months of living in this great city we were ready to move on to our next destination.

Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia (Travel Diaries)

Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia.

Seminyak is one of the many treasures I got to discover on my travels last year (2016). Today as part of the Travel Diaries series I thought I would share my memories and experiences with you. Whether you are planning a trip to Bali yourself or just  intrigued as to what I got up to during my stay in Seminyak. I hope this is a good read for you and you enjoy learning about the different cultures of the world that I got to witness.

Where do I even begin to start with Seminyak. Even though we only stayed here for 3 days whilst we were in Bali we sure made the most of our time. Unfortunately Semiyak has become very touristy over the years so there isn’t much of the Balinese culture left here however we got involved in as much as we could. Seminyak is only a 10 minute drive down the road from the next town Kuta but they are completely different. Seminyak has a much more chilled vibe about it.

We arrived in Seminyak at 10:30am however we wasnt able to check into our room until 2:30pm so we decided to leave our bags with the beautiful lady at the reception and head out on our own little expedition. We had no idea where we was walking to, we seemed to be walking for miles when we eventually made it to the main town square of Seminyak. We realised at this point we had booked accommodation a little too far out and didn’t know until our last day that everyone just hires motorbikes for travel here. In the square we came across a bar that had a beautiful tropical outside pool attached to the side of it so we did what anyone would do in 40 degree heat and we got the drinks flowing. We ended up staying here for the rest of the day before heading back to our Villa. We met two lovely english girls also travelling Bali and Australia and we spent the day with them.

The next day we headed down to the square again, I must admit we wasn’t the most interesting people on this trip but to be honest the main reason for Bali was to leave Australia and get our tourist visa sorted out so we could return legally back to the country. that way we could finish off the rest of our trip around Oz before heading home. Due to this we were a little tight on money so we tried to do as much free stuff as we could which is where I introduce Seminyak Square. Seminyak Square is a very cool place filled with high brand shops and local Balinese handmade market stools. I’m not actually one for high-priced brands so we spent most of the time having a look round the stools and talking to the locals about their day, we met some really cool people with really powerful stories.

Day 3 our last and final day in Seminyak before moving onto Ubud the home of the monkeys and before going to visit the popular Tanah Lott Temple. This day we went to a very well-known place by tourists called Potato Head Beach Club. This is a very cosy and quiet cocktail bar. It sounds very simple but it’s unbelievable I have never experienced anything like this place, If you are planning a trip to Seminyak I highly recommend you stopping by here on your travels you wont regret.

I can also recommend Seminyak beach it is a lovely cheap and relaxing place to spend the day with not many people around. There are loads of little places you can go. If there are any places I didn’t mention that you have experienced yourself definitely let me know so I have an excuse to go back.

Coming soon on the travel diaries we have.. Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

Kuta, Bali, Indonesia (Travel diaries)

As you may already know I recently took two years out of my life to go and travel around some of the most beautiful countries in this world. This was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever done but I do have one regret within it all. My one regret during this time was that I did not blog my experiences so I’ve decided to spend some time recapping on my journey. So I would like to formally welcome you to the Travel diaries of a unexperienced, ditsy but adventurous 18/19 and 20-year-old girl.

I would like to start my series with my favourite place of them all, the beautiful Indonesia.

Kuta, Bali, Indonesia.

Kuta was one of the first places we visited when we went to Bali. we decided to stay here for 3 days in total but that was definitely enough time for me. I am going to be honest Kuta was not my favourite place but it was most definitely an experience. I would like to take a moment to share a few of my experiences with you. Whether you are here just for a read or are genuinely interested in some travel inspiration I hope you enjoy this post.

Kuta is a very popular area in Bali which is full of many Australian, New Zealand, Chinese and English travellers or holiday goers from all round the world. It situate only 20 minutes drive from the airport itself and is directly on the coast. Kuta has a very busy vibe about it and is full of bars, clubs, shops and restaurants. There are also many market stools here which sell some very cheap and great items which are perfect for grabbing your friends and family a little present for the way home. One of the famous things being a Bintang t-shirt, you will find these everywhere in Bali.

The one downside I found with Kuta was that you do get harassed by the locals quite often to buy items from them. Although this is annoying for us people on holiday, It’s actually very sad as some people here simply cannot afford privileges like we can and have to beg just to be able to survive. For me I just felt like I couldn’t really spend time looking around as they would be right behind following and begging you to purchase their products. I completely understand they are just trying to make a living but it is quite uncomfortable for westerns like myself when you aren’t used to being in this type of situation.

60bce631e9b4b002a57d63be65ab00f34582740e

The nightlife here is absolutely fantastic. I’m normally not really one to go out and get absolutely wasted and start slut dropping like Rihanna up the local lads but here I did go out quite a bit and it was great. We decided to spend one evening and have a drink in every single bar we came across. The drinks here are very cheap which is also great if you are on a budget, You can get a bottle of beer as cheap as  £1 and spirits are around £2. Can’t really complain with that now. My favourite place to go out of an evening in Kuta would be the sky bar and I would highly recommend taking a cheeky trip here one evening if you get a chance. It’s a great young people’s vibe, you will really enjoy yourself and you will meet lots of travellers like yourself.

As for accommodation and where you should stay whilst you are in Kuta, you do have a lot of different options. It’s completely up to you and the main factor of choosing just depends on your own budget. It is pretty cheap to stay in Kuta in either hostels or hotels. We decided to stay in the same hostel (The Party Hostel) for all 3 days because it was perfect for what we needed. It was right in themiddle of the main stripe which made it perfect for walking to each destination that we had planned to go and see. It also only cost £8 for 1 night so you couldn’t fault it in anyway.

13173110_10208559753338702_1059501946056926925_o

The other great thing about Kuta is that the beach is only a 10 minute walk from the main strip. The beach here is absolutely beautiful although I would like to warn you it may look nice but the current is a lot stronger than it looks, this would be the one tip I would give to you, make sure you can swim. One of the main reasons why lots of people love to visit Kuta  is because it’s the best place for surfing, you can find many locals down here offering cheap surfing lessons for as little as £15 which is great especially because they are very talented and ever so helpful.

I have decided to save the best for last on this Kuta post and that would be the water park WaterBomb, It is Bali’s best water park as well as making it to the top 3 water parks in the world. Yes, it is that good. We spent all day going on all sorts of crazy slides and rides as well as chilling in the lazy river whilst topping up our tan as well. unfortunately it was quite pricey so if you are on a budget this probably isn’t the best place for you but if you have got the spare cash I couldn’t recommend this anymore if I tried. It was amazing.

If you are planning a trip to Indonesia and are looking for some advice before you set off on your adventure you are more than welcome to contact me directly on all social media for any information. I am always happy to help out when I can.

Next on the Travel Diaries… Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia.