Saturday, 23 May 2009


Pet Porpoise pool in Coffs Harbour was AMAZING! We got to play with dolphins, touch them, feed them, and get a kiss from them! There were sea lions too that we could feed and get kisses from, so sweet! Pictures to follow :-) Fed turtles and sharks and fairy penguins too! Left and walked around the jetty part of the harbour and over the breakwater where big waves WENT OVER the breakwater, soaking us! Walked over to Muttonbird Island in really strong wind and saw some wild dolphins from the tip. So cool! On the way back though we got caught in heavy heavy rain. Got even more soaked! Argh.
Next day, rain too heavy to leave the house, flood warnings! Day after, leave in a train, 9 hours later in Sydney.

More later, too tired!

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Remains of Godzone (NZ)

Quenstown was lovely fun, we played Frisbee golf in the gardens there and ate out and met up with the people we had been on the magic bus with earlier who we had lost at Franz Josef. And then an early start to take an Intercity bus to Christchurch which was nice, and then dinner somewhere fancy, because we're all allowed to splash out on a nice meal every once in a while. Two nice days in Christchurch where we also finally saw a kiwi! Then onwards to Australia! Really early flight to Melbourne, slept in the plane and then arrived at the other side of the world!

(Running out of time, so will do a brief itinerary)
-Melbourne for a week with the super duper lovely Gardner family (Amy was one of the lovely exchange students in Rutland in my first year of uni)
-Oz Experience Matey tour which brought me from Melbourne to Wilson's Promontory, the southernmost point of mainland Australia, then to Thredbo by Mount Kozzieosco (not spelt that way, but pronounced that way by Ozzies, the highest mountain in Australia), and then through Canberra to Sydney.
-Oz Experience Surf tour, taking me from Sydney to Surf Camp (the highly secret Spot X for surfers, where we got a free surf lesson), then to Byron Bay (beautiful!) and then to Brisbane where I met my friend from uni, also an exchange student for a semester.
-Ashmore, where I stayed with distant family, Dianne and Judah Moses. It was lovely there! Such lovely people and they treated me to some lovely meals and an outing to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary where we saw a birds of prey show and fed kangaroos and lorikeets and even had a chance to hold a koala again! (I'd already done that in Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, there are pictures which I will send out when I return).
-Airlie Beach, flew there from Brisbane for two beautiful cruises of Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays and then Reefworld where I tried to scuba dive (but didn't do it in the end) and snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef. Met a lovely woman there who is French Canadian, also travelling by herself so we hung out together all the time :-) Was nice.
-Fly back to Brisbane, stay with Anna another night and then a 9 hour bus ride to Coffs Harbour where I am now staying with the lovely Matt Lee who I know from Stage Crew in JFK High School.

Today we plan on exploring the Big Banana (reason why Coffs Harbour is famous) and then going to the Pet Porpoise Pool to pet porpoises and sea lions. Woo! :-)

Sunday, 10 May 2009

New Zealand

Ok, so a rather late continuation of my last news post. I'm currently in Brisbane, Australia, but I shall continue with the magic bus ride :-)

Franz Josef Glacier was amaaaaaaazing, though it felt so dangerous coming down. We gt back, absolutely knackered and made food for dinner and then went glowworming! Teresa, the two Taiwanese girls on the bus, Daisy and Vicky, and their friend Candi, Yoshi from Japan and I all walked up the path in the dark but with torches and looked out for little points of light. On the way there, we saw almost nothing (light from the torches was too strong), but on the way back we walked in the dark and saw loads of them! Cute!

Next day early leaving in the bus to Queenstown. We stopped off at Lake Matheson which was gorgeous in the early morning mist and later on at Wanaka, which was also gorgeous with crystal clear waters! However, time was pressing so we didn't get out there, though we had the option. We had another exciting stop at the Kawarau River, the birthplace of bungy jumping! We got to watch unfortunate souls take a leap off the platform n the bridge and dive towards the turquoise waters. Two people even got dunked! The first guy had his head under the water at the lowest point and the guy after him was dunked into the river up to his waist! Crazyness. I would not do it.

Finally got into Queenstown and it was freezing! Bought dinner and ate and talked to people in the hostel until quite late. Had to get up ridiculously early yet again the next day to go to Milford Sounds. We went through Te Anau to get there which is a beautiful wildlife reserve. Through a tunnel carved through the centre of a mountain and then we were at Milford! A Sound is a river valley of half submerged mountains that connects to the sea, and a fjord is the same, except that it was carved by glaciers. Milford Sound is technically a fjord. They're special because there is a layer of freshwater over the seawater, so different types of life can live there. We were supposed to see loads of wildlife on the boat ride, but apart from seagulls and one seal, we saw nothing. A bit disappointing really, considering we had driven 6 hours to get there, and it was another 6 hours back. When we got back we went for a meal at Fergburger with our Magic Bus driver, Mark, and some people we had met on the bus to Milford Sounds. And then we went out for drinks to a place called Buffalo Bar which had a roaring log fire. And then after that we managed to crash a couchsurfers meeting. All in all, it was a long night.

Next day was ANZAC day, Teresa went to the dawn service while I wrote some more postcards and did various other things. Then we did some window shopping and had some lunch, waiting for the time to go jetboating in the Shotover River. It is the most gorgeous blue colour and the rocks in the canyon are pure white, so pretty! The jetboat goes perilously close to the rocks and does 360 degree turns and it's all terrifyingly exciting! And strangely enough I stopped being scared after the first 360 turn. It was great fun!

More later, need to book flights and accommodation for the next part of the trip and my credit has run out...