S: Australia February -August 2006 | Josh is awesome!
FC: Melbourne | Geelong | Great Ocean Road | Bendigo | Tasmania | Perth | Lake Mason | Broome | Pinnacles Desert | Kalbarri National Park | Shark & Coral Bay | Rottnest island | Cairns | Kimberley Mountains | Townsville Magnetic Island | Airlie Beach | Fraser Island | Whitsundays | Brisbane | Surfers Paradise | Byron Bay | Sydney
1: Saying goodbye at Vancouver airport
2: Morgan and I finally made it to Melbourne after a long flight and a detoured trip around the Sydney Airport, due to our flight being canceled. This is a picture of us at the Toad Hall Hostel. We wondered the streets after a long hot shower. That night, we got dressed up and hit the night life."Mac's, the oldest bar in Melbourne -1853- was our first stop. Bailey's on the rocks please - my first legal drink... This is where the whole night began...and what a night it was. After a couple drinks we headed to the beach and I just remember seeing the sky, as if it were the very first time. The sky was crystal clear and full of vibrant sparkling stars. I was shown the famous Southern Cross but what really blew my mind was Orion's Belt. I could see more than the belt but practically all of him shooting his bow and arrow. Stuck in a gaze, Morgan grabbed my hand and into the Ocean. we ran... On Feb 9, 2006 Zoe met up with Morgan and I at the Hostel. Th next day all the volunteers gathered at the Conservation House. Here we met our fellow volunteers and were split into our teams. Morgan and I ended up getting split up, however, Zoe and I were together with two guys, Kris and Jon.
3: G e e l o n g
4: The Geelong Gang | Our Geelong team consisted of us four, Jon, Zoe, Kris (Mr. Dundee) & Myself, Sophie & Camile (Denmark), Mina & Adam (Korea), Claire (London), and our team leader, Toni. We spend our free time exploring the town, beach, and suntanning. One night we all joined the Jazz Festival that was held at the Botanical Gardens, which followed with a hilarious walk home - taking funny photos with a palm tree branch - playing on the jungle gym - laughing at Mr. Dundee's incredibly funny comments/stories. Our first day of work has arrived and we drove to Portarlington. We spent the entire day weeding "broome." On day two we set off to Buckley Park to weed some more but during lunch Jon, Kris and I took off to the beach at Ocean Grove.
6: CVA Fun - Picture taken at Bawron Heads Bluff
7: Taking a Swim at Ocean Grove Beach All because I kept taking photos ---> | Mr. Dundee
8: Zoe, Kris, Jon & I set off for our adventure onto the Great Ocean Road. Finding a campsite was very difficult but we found the last spot at Apollo Bay - halfway point to the 12 Apostles. We fitted into a 4 person tent that felt like a 6-8 person tent. We were camped so close to the ocean we could hear the waves crashing, my favorite sound to | fall asleep and wake up to. Here Zoe and I are at the campsites beach!
9: Don't think: Look! -Ludwig Wittgenstein | Twelve Apostles | The Twelve Apostles is a collection of limestone stacks off the shore of the Port Campbell National Park, by the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia. The apostles were formed by erosion: the harsh weather conditions from the Southern Ocean gradually eroded the soft limestone to form caves in the cliffs, which then became arches, which in turn collapsed; leaving rock stacks up to 45 meters high. The site was known as the Sow and Piglets until 1922, after which it was renamed to The Apostles for tourism purposes. The formation eventually became known as the Twelve Apostles, despite only ever having nine stacks.
10: Twelve Apostles | We drove an hour and a bit from our campsite to view these majestic stone structures that sit in the water. Recently, just a couple months past, one had actually eroded away by the ocean waves and now is a crumbled pile of stones. After taking the scenery in we checked out a couple lookout spots, Blowhole and Thunder Cave (which really did sound like thunder). While I was reading a sign a brown snake came out of the bush and just looked at me. I didn't know it was one of the most poisonous snakes until later that day. Our | next adventure was Jon's idea, an area called Moonlight Head. We drove 10-15 minutes until we reached a sign that said 2.5km walk. We laughed and made lunch instead. haha
12: Otway Fly Tree Top Walk
13: Hopetoun Falls
14: Camping | Our random camping nights. Playing the guitar, singing songs, sitting around the fire, BBQing and eating a huge massive cucumber!
15: Kokobera | Erksine Falls | K o a l a | Echidna
16: Chilling | Track Maintenance | Taking a drink from mother nature... | The home of Mary Mother of Jesus | Maintaining"Wandering Trad" We cleaned and created a track to the waterfall, surrounding the plant that is chocking the ferns and other valuable plants | Markus our team guide and I | We were warned about leaches, so I covered myself from head to toe | But one found me anyways...
17: Huntsman Spider | Saying goodbye to our lovely crew and beautiful scenery
18: Good morning Kaz It's great to be with someone who's smile is always brighter than a star Keep smiling Kaz Don't change a single thing because your beautiful just the way you are How are you Kaz You have that sexy style that you can attract any guy you wanted from a far keep singing Kaz I wrote this song for you and now I'm singing it on my guitar God bless you Kaz Your friendship prove to me that you'll always have a heart that's bigger than mine Keep going Kaz You'll travel around the moon and starts till you reach the far and end of town See you Kaz Another place maybe but somewhere in the future you wlll find I miss you Kaz I will never forget you, you will always be in the back of my mind You got it Kaz For the way you are you Can hit any man down in every way I remember Kaz I knew you were someone special when I met you on the first day You got that free spirit Kaz We are apart from each other but everything I know will be ok I'll miss you Kaz It won't be long until I'm gone It would have been great if I stayed Don't worry Kaz I hope you like this song I'm singing Now that it's coming to the end I'll miss you Kaz We'll keep in contact with each other cause you ain't going to lose me as your friend Good morning Kaz | Kris (Mr. Dundee's) Song for Me
19: Melbourne House
20: We arrived back in Melbourne at our volunteer house to be split into our next groups! To my surprise Morgan and Sam showed up a couple hours later! We were unexpectedly put all together for a week, Rachel, Zoe, Morgan, Sam and I! This adventure was with our team leader Graham (Papa Bear) at the Purrumbete Homestead! | We spent our first day weeding the river bank of a park and catching up with Sam and Morgan. We came back for dinner as the sun was setting and sang happy birthday to Morico before showering and playing soccer/volleyball! Then Sam and I had a crazy idea... | To sleep outside!!! We found a bed box spring and mattress, collected three blankets, sleeping bags and pillows! As well the mosquito net!!! The surrounding lights were so dim that the stars shimmered so bright! Considering we were just in a field the noises did their best to scare me throughout the night but Sam reassured me! We even got laughs, that helped settle my nerves, as the cows would not stop moouing!! | We got in trouble the next morning from the manager but today I would still do it again... t was so worth it!! | Every time I call Graham Papa Bear, his face explodes with a huge smile that makes me smile! He always finished the conversation or refers to me as Baby Bear!
21: M | elbourne | Sam and I are now placed | together in a group for three weeks! We were joined with Bae, We, Liv and our team leader John. Our work place this week is taking us to the Bass Coast! | We had a lot of fun together, played cards, arm wrestled, learned some kicking moves from We and ate some tacos!
22: Smile | We worked at a fire station where we met Darrel, a lovely guy! We helped fixed tennis courts, wire fencing and pruning.
23: Paul and is son Rory - Paul took us for a nature walk and introduced us to a plant that the | aboriginals used to wipe their bums and a plant that has survived here when all the continents were connected together... Austral Mulberry " hedycarya angustifolia
24: Bae, We, Liv, Sam and I headed downtown to grab some drinks and instead of bar hopping we bought some beer and goon and headed to the park! Mr. Kim and Asako even joined us. This was a great night...
25: Melbourne Crown Casino - we danced till 2:30am at the club "Blue." | Bae lost $20 in 5 sec | Last Call... | For Alcohol!!!
26: Dan was our new Team Leader and our first stop was a nunnery/ orphanage. It was built in the 1860's and 1903. We were told that the building had passed through the French, which explains the stucco look on the outside. The rooms above were for the nuns, while the rooms below were for other people. The kids had a play zone around the corner. | March 14 2006
27: Bottle Tree
28: Melbourne Common Wealth Games - Opening Ceremony Rehearsal
29: resembled a fort that had a fire place and table. Alan, the keeper toured us through the heritage house that was | Today was a rough day after a horrible night sleep, as you can see Sam sleeping in the car. We traveled to Dandenong Ranges, outside of Melbourne, to chop down bamboo and gather "wandering jew" weeds. We had a little picnic at the house that | on site. It was built in 1917. The outside of the house was made out of tin Shell Oil cans. As well, everything was left inside. Furniture, kettles, books and even the upstairs, where the sisters of Horatio Jones slept, still had the beds, chests and a dress hanging up. It was pretty amazing, as if you were in a time capsule.
30: Point Cook Coastal Park - Bird Migration Ground. Here Wild Bill and I were cutting down one Boxthorn tree. It was so big that we didn't finish until 5 minutes before we were leaving. We decided to go into town and go shopping and site seeing...
31: Rye - We worked here with Steve, Bill and Dan (plant man) weeding 3 pants, 1 being Pollygalla. I even got to ride in the trailer!!! The weather was so hot we had to end the day early but over the couple of days I cleared a huge section all by myself.
32: An early morning brought us to work but it also brought us to this beautiful sunrise. It was rich in orange and yellows lighting up the sky across the horizon that embedded on the cold solid ground. The rays scorched through the clouds turning the once white fluffy condensation to a mystic pinks and purples. The sun is so bright that the gaze is to much after a short two second glance. The glowing sphere rises slowly above the island shimmering across he bay where it lays and grows hotter throughout the day. Rising above us the shadows disappear. | After dinner Sam and I walked to the beach, about 20 minutes away, to watch the sunset. The sand was so neat, you could actually see the chunks of sand. | After work John, team leader, took us to London Bridge where we stopped to see the scenic view.
33: CRAZY | Explains us when we are all together...
34: BENDIGO | Cheers to our first night in Bendigo with a vanilla twist shot with Simon | Simon and I jumped onto the Bendigo train and now are traveling 11/2 hour ride. After checking out the place and meeting Lee walked to town. Our first working day we met Papa Bear and headed out to Rosalind Park Fernery where we planted 142 Azelea's. The second day we planted 182 plants and racked all the leaves in the fernery. Jaim was a local volunteer and wow was he gorgeous.
35: At White Hill we picked Elm and Peppercorn. We saw Kangaroo's, wallobee', parrots, peacocks and many ducks.. The next day we cleaned up rubbish, wood on the side and raked up leaves..Catherine , Lee, Simon and I went skating!! The ice was banged up and the skates weren't like mine at all but I couldn't wait to get on the ice.
36: We visited the Sacred Heart Cathedral today. | April 2 2006
37: We also visited the Central Deborah Gold Mine.This gold mine operated from September 1939 - 1954. It yielded 928.8kg of gold. Our guide Billy, enlightened me that fools gold changes to a silver colour in water while gold stays the yellow/orange colour.
38: Bendigo | We worked | in a graveyard | cleaning up the mess left | over from a fire that came through | January 11 2005. We cleaned wood, weeds & | raking grass. I had the opportunity to | pet a calf & walk over a rope bridge.
39: We traveled to Shelly, a town 375km NE of Bendigo. We dog and placed poles to outline a parking lot with Bob and Nigel. We spent the next day cutting down pine trees..
40: Our next journey was the Pennyweight Flat Cemetery. This was a cemetery just for kids that died during the 1852-1857 Gold Rush. Most children were only months old. Some graves were about a foot and a half long. It was so sad. We had to rake up the leaves around and on top of the graves. | Bendigo House | A Piece of History
41: "We can do no great things; only small things with great love." ~ Mother Teresa ~ | we were sent to help landscape tis oldish house. I took on the gate and cleared it by the days end. After lunch I was called to witness a baby WAllabee. It was 165 days old. The mom had been attacked by a dog and had to be put down. I got to not only hold be also feed the joey... it was an amazing feeling and an experience that I never thought I would ever get! | Simon, James & I
42: imon and I had a couple more days of weeding before we had to say goodbye. I was very upset when I had to say goodbye to Papa Bear. He was truly | S | a favourite part of the CVA experience. He was someone you can really get attached to, which I had. Papa Bear wrote to me in my journal and said these parting words; Kenzie. great to have such a lovely girl like you on y teams here in Bendigo. Hope you enjoyed your time in Bendigo and Victoria. Now enjoy the rest of your time in Australia, my wonderful home. Keep in touch, put your keys o this key ring and remember me each time you use your keys. Love Graeme - Take care and enjoy what ever you do. Hopefully it wont be weeding. | inishing up in Bendigo meant I was half way done my contract of 20 weeks. We were on our way back to Melbourne to meet Sam, Zoe, and Morgan. | F
43: Our Last NIght Together...
44: Cataract Gorge The Cataract Gorge is a river gorge in Launceston, northern Tasmania, Australia and is one of the region's premier tourist attractions. | Tasmania | In the town Ross, we visited the Church & the convict house Sam is standing in front of, where girls were brought to make proper ladies out of them. The bridge had images that were carved out by a convict.These images told a story, one that no one could understand. This imagery has been used long before and died out centuries ago. On this bridge the convict was actually making fun of the governor, calling him a tyrant, and it wasn't until after his release they found out the true meaning of the symbols.
45: Tasmania, Australia, 185 km north-east of Hobart on the Tasman Highway, with a population of 853. It was the most beautiful place in Tasmania I've seen yet. We stopped here at the Blowhole to enjoy the Ocean View and the sprays that can reach up to 25 meters high. | Bicheno | is a town on the east coast of
46: Mt. Amos | Freycinet is a national park on the east coast of Tasmania, Australia, 125 km northeast of Hobart. It occupies a large part of the Freycinet Peninsula, named after French navigator Louis de Freycinet, and Schouten Island. Bordering the national park is the small settlement of Coles Bay, and the largest close town is Swansea. Freycinet contains part of the rugged Tasmanian coastline and includes the secluded Wineglass Bay, voted by several travel authorities as one of the world's ten best beaches. Famous features of the park include its red and pink granite formations and a series of jagged granite peaks in a line, called "The Hazards".
47: The mountain is sitting 455 meters above sea level and we climbed 430 meters.. The view was fantastic. You could see Wine Glass Bay , Coles Bay and a 360 degree view of the islands and ocean.!
48: Port | Port Arthur is a small town and former convict settlement on the Tasman Peninsula, in Tasmania, Australia. Port Arthur is one of Australia's most significant heritage areas and an open air museum. The site forms part of the Australian Convict Sites, a World Heritage property consisting of eleven remnant penal sites originally built within the British Empire during the 18th and 19th centuries on fertile Australian coastal strips. Collectively, these sites, including Port Arthur, now represent, "...the best surviving examples of large-scale convict transportation and the colonial expansion of European powers through the presence and labour of convicts." | Arthor | On our ghost tour...
49: Isle of Dead
50: "Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind" ~ William Shakespeare ~ | Wild Life Rescue Park | is a carnivorous marsupial of the family Dasyuridae, now found in the wild only on the Australian island state of Tasmania. The size of a small dog, it became the largest carnivorous marsupial in the world following the extinction of the thylacine in 1936. | Tasmanian Devil (Sarcophilus harrisii)
51: Hobart | is the state capital and most populous city of the Australian island state of Tasmania. Founded in 1804 as a penal colony, Hobart is Australia's second oldest capital city after Sydney, New South Wales. | We took an adventure by taking the #48 bus for $2.80 and headed up the Mt. Wellington (half way), then we hitch hiked to the top...
53: Perth, Australia
54: Weeding along Swan River with Rhys, George, Amy and I. This place was beautiful, besides the fact that I am weeding again. We weeded Dockweed, onion grass, evening primrose, bamboo and more.
55: Perth / Fremantle CVA House
56: "A hundred hearts would be too few to carry all my love for you." | Rottnest Island
57: We caught a 35 minute ferry ride to Rottnest Island. We biked around the island until we decided to stop at Longreach Bay. The sand was so soft and the water was so blue. We swam, snorkeled and watched Rhys freak out, yelling and throwing sand, at a seagull for eating his sandwich. It was hilarious. After a little while we biked to our next destination, between Geordie Bay and Parakeet Bay where we found our own private cove. Our last portion of the day was spent at Armstrong Bay. We lost track of time and rushed back to the Ferry for the last sailing. We were racing very fast until Amy and I saw a Quakka,a small cat like size macropod (such as the kangaroos and wallabies), which is only found here on the island. We barely made the ferry but we were the last ones to board.
58: CRAZY | Volunteers | ARE JUST
59: Wilson Wetland Flattened the sand to lessen the hump - place dew mat down - spread mulch over the dew mat - planted plants
60: Wine Tasting | The day stared off with a phone call to Amy's brother James before the tour bus picked us up and continued to fill it up with girls. We visited Houghton Vineyard first, where I bought their Autumn Harvest. Visited one more winery (cheers) before stopping at a park to roast sausages and indulging in more Goon. Our next winery is Swan Valley, where I bought a Chenin Blanc. The last winery I only tried the Ports. Finally we ended up at the chocolate factory where Amy filled a | small bag of chocolates. The guide dropped us off at the bar where we decided to stay the night at one of the girls houses and continue to party with them. We went to a couple bars with the girls until we could no longer dance. Claire set us up with a bed to sleep in where Amy and I giggled ourselves to sleep with recapping the eventful day.
62: Our first long trip, Perth/Freo to Lake Mason (~790km away). It was Lisa's birthday so we sang "Lisa it's your birthday, happy birthday Lisa!" Since we couldn't make it to Lake Mason in one day we stopped to camp the night at Mt. Magnet. We set up our swags, cooked dinner and played games before bed. This was our first experience sleeping in a swag and at first it was very claustrophobic but after a while and a lot of long breaths I finally got to sleep. Even though the clouds were out I visualized the stars above and finally fell asleep... zZz
63: We finished our journey to Lake Mason, finally. We couldn't believe our eyes when we focused on what we were going to be staying at. It reminded us of a wolf creek scenario. There were 3 tin sheds to sleep in, a dunny that was 20 feet away from the closets building, which was surrounded by red back spiders, a larger kitchen building and two tin showers. Amy and I walked into our tin sleeping shed and it was no more then 5 minutes when I decided to drag my swag outside to a small little tree. We had a red back spider in the corner of our sleeping compartment. It wasn't long before the rest of the crew followed me. | Showers | D u n n y | Living s p a c e | Lake Mason
64: fter packing we were introduced to Garry, Luke, and Rosco. Our first task was to pick melons that were scattered all over the ground. After our showers the sun began to set and the sky was filled with the most phenomenal colours. The view reminded me of the sky you would see in the Lion King. We curled up in our swags after a long days travel and work. I heard a sound of metal smashing against tin and I started to freak out, so instead of being alone in this situation I woke up Amy. Then Lisa joined us in our suspense. It wasn't until Rhys broke the tension by talking in his sleep saying, “ No I don't want to do the dishes, you do the dishes!” We all started to laugh and agreed that it was probably a windmill making the noise, which gave us ease to fall back to sleep. | A
65: Woke up to a beautiful sunrise. Today we started bright and early at 8. We began the day by rolling up fences. My job was to roll the fence in the back of the truck and help guide the wire in. By lunch we had 1.3km of wire rolled up out of the 8km the road actually contained. After lunch we spent 4 annoying hours picking up tin bottles and rubbish. Heading back for the night to eat dinner, play games, cricket and have Lucas play his guitar.
67: After a horrible night sleep we spent the morning digging holes by hand and putting posts in. I was able to try the machine to dig a couple holes. Well on my 6th hole I started to daydream and was flung across the ground where I did a roll and landed up on my feet. We were all laughing hysterically! We ended the day by completing 8 more posts and spooling more wire.
68: The dust comes in Deh- nana- nah – nah The suns shinning bright Deh- nana- nah – nah The swag zippers stuck Deh- nana- nah – nah Someone locked me in last night I got the ---- lake mason blues I hear Tarnya yelling Deh- nana- nah – nah Above my head Deh- nana- nah – nah She hasn’t had her tea yet Deh- nana- nah – nah And then she said I got the ---Lake mason blues | Lake Mason Blues | The wheel is turning Deh- nana- nah – nah The wires dragging behind Deh- nana- nah – nah It keeps on coming Deh- nana- nah – nah And we’re losing our minds I got the ---Lake mason blues The kettle is boiling Deh- nana- nah – nah The toast is blake Deh- nana- nah – nah I haven’t had a good sleep yet Deh- nana- nah – nah But wait till I get back I got the ---Lake mason blues
69: The fire is burning Deh- nana- nah – nah The sun is falling Deh- nana- nah – nah Our stomachs are yearning Deh- nana- nah – nah And were smelling appauling I got the ---Lake mason blues The toilets are scary Deh- nana- nah – nah And I nee to pee Deh- nana- nah – nah Will anyone join me Deh- nana- nah – nah Because I can’t see I got the ---Lake mason blues | The tin is piling Deh- nana- nah – nah On the back of the truck Deh- nana- nah – nah My knees are hurting Deh- nana- nah – nah And I don’t give a fuck I got the ---Lake mason blues | Another day of tedious work but was finished by creating a Lake Masons blues song. Amy, Lisa, Tarnya and I sang it to Luke playing the guitar. It was really funny, we just started to belt out the words at one point.
70: Today was a great day because it was a half-day. First I was able to sleep in, for work we rolled wire and then Garry took us on a tourist expedition. We traveled to a site where in the olden days it was used as a Brewery in 1907. Above for brewing then stored in the cellars below, which was carved in solid rock, which insured the beer would stay cold. | London bridge – it was considered large enough that traffic of vehicles could safely pass underneath, while horses and carts were able to drive over the top. The bridge itself is some 800m long and varies around 3m to 10m and is made of weathered basalt. It is believed to be 350 million years old. On our way back we stopped at a local pub where Garry bought us all drinks. We played pool and what a funny couple of games we had. We headed back to the homestead where we had dinner, played Ghana wrestling (a band was around the back of your neck and a rope between you like a marker – you have to pull with your neck backwards to pull the other person across the line). We piled around the fire and told ghost stories to freak us out before bed!
71: Today was another half day. We worked at the tip collecting garbage before we pilled into the truck to visit the swimming hole. This was a huge canyon filled with two shades of blue water. Here we took a break and had a little swim. Amy was still learning how to swim so she decided to learn how to float first, haha. She did so well. The next site was the Old gold site and finally the infamous Lake Mason. This lake, however, has not been filled for a while. It was just a salt-water lake in the middle of the desert, but now it is just a mud spot. Here I found a rose quartz crystal, which was apparently very rare.
72: Today we did some more tedious work and have completed 4km of the wire fence. Tonight was a very special treat. Ross and Luke took off and went Ghana hunting. They caught one! Besides the hunting (which was sacred to only Aboriginals) we saw the preparation process – they gutted it, put it in coals and then covered it with dirt for an hour. When it was ready we dug it up and had a taste. It tasted like chicken/crab. | Our accomplishments at Lake Mason -5.6km of fencing in 2 days -450sqm at the tip in 3 days -70-80 poles were dug in 2 days | Back to Perth we go...Bye Lake Mason
73: Our pit stop for the ride back to Perth. We played pool, set up our swags and ate dinner!!
74: We were finally home in Perth. We unpacked and claimed our rooms back. We got all dulled up and headed to Rosie O’Grady’s, where we had become regulars. I finally got to wear the new dress I bought for $10. Body shots were flowing in every which way between Lisa, Amy, George, Rhys and I. We danced the night away
75: The four of us headed into Perth to do the tourist thing. We checked out the Botanical Gardens and Kings Park.
76: Considering I would not be with Amy Rhys and George for my bday we decided to celebrate on June 9th, after work. We picked seeds all day before we headed back to the volunteer house (volley house as we called it). Once we made it home, Amy and I cracked open the Goon. We had some drinks, watched a movie, and packed our bags and food for the hostel we were going to be living in for the next week. Hong Kong people were coming in and they needed our beds. On the bus, heading into town, our bag broke and yogurt and milk spilled everywhere. Haha, Amy had to clean it up with a shirt of hers.
77: walked it off. She was walking so fast behind me that she stepped on my sandal and broke it. We were laughing so hard. George and I ran back to grab another pair of sandals for me. The tour at the Prison finally started, but instead of being scary the tour guide was creating a comedy. After the tour we headed to the beach for a swim but it was so cold out we changed our minds. We | On the way to the prison I jumped on Amy’s back for a piggyback, after asking of course, and we were suddenly both on the ground. Amy had a dislocated her knee and her hand was all ripped open from the gravel. She was ok and | We were staying in the Hostel called Pirates. We dropped off our stuff and headed to the Prison where we were meeting Liv and the boys. | grabbed the goon from the hostel and bought a bottle of | southern comfort and headed to the beach. Cart wheels, drinks, dancing! What a fun night. Rhys wanted to leave and I thought George was going to leave too but he decided to stay. I was happy that he did. Amy called us out and said “Finally, now you guys can act normal.” After this happy moment I didn’t remember much. | According to Amy I was all cheery and full of laughter. We headed to a food shop to eat some fries. My memory kicked in I unfortunately felt we will leave it at that. I was in safe hands though as Amy never left my side and George was there to carry me home. I was thrown into the top bunk where I was cuddled to sleep.
78: The next day I didn't do too much as I was very hung over. I soaked up the sun and listened to music on our little section of the beach. The water sparkled so bright. The girls and I did a little shopping and then more relaxing on the beach. We spent the weekend in this hostel. We got ready Sunday night to realize that neither of us had our work clothes!!! The next morning came early after a rough sleep.
79: Wilson Wetlands were back again... | The next day we were introduced to some younger aged children. Amy and I were in charge of an all girls group, Jessi, Carlie, Tully and Alana. They were all so excited to plant. Carlie reminded me of myself, crazy, adventurous and not afraid to say anything. Later in the day our conversation turned into girl talk and how they all loved this boy named Tim. Today was a confusing day with George but c’est la vie.
80: Girls | Just | To Have | Want | F U N | Today we spent our working hours at Wilson’s Wetlands, the same area as before. We met Russel and got to work on planting. Amy and I had so much fun painting our pants with really flashy colours. It was our last week together we wanted to make it count!!
81: Amy: you put the needle through your nose, you shut your eyes as tears drip down, so now the responsibility is in your hands, to clean to soak and make it mend (bathroom) Rhys: You hide out here with your book, and when we come to see you, you give us a funny look (bedroom) Goeorge: You hear the tone that makes you jump, the cord us short but the talk is not. (phone) | I created at surprise for George, Rhys and Amy. The starter was in the back laundry room. The starting clue said: “ In here you will find a treasure for you all, an adventure set before you with a mystery to be solved.” | Amy: The wine is gone and toasted so good, as the line we walk is no longer staright, but we had a night never to forget, realizing where we were just a little too late (timetable) Rhys: Your favorite meal we see you eat, no it does not contain meat, but maybe a little bit of wheat (musli) George: Cheese toast is your specialty, leaving the room warm and toasty (oven) | Amy, Rhys and George A trip at least 4 times a week we take, we wait here under cover so we don’t bake, and sometimes Amy and I do fake, as 80 cents adds up and a fortune we can make. This is your last and final clue, I hope that this has been fun and stupid too, for here lies your treasures proof: Amy: you read 100 pages truly fast and these for you never last, you find another in a place and I can never keep up with your pace. George: Hungry you get late at night and your treasure was always in sight when you open it, it turns on a light and if you guess where you’ll be right. Rhys: I forgot to write his down but his last clue led him to the microwave. | Rhys' expression was priceless trying to understand the last riddle... Amy of course found hers right away while George took ages to find his. Amy went nuts over her tim tams as she plowed me over with a hug.. Rhys was shocked and gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek, after he found a kilkenny beer and scarf, that was a lot from Rhys. George, after Rhys found his for him, smiled and hugged me. I too then was surprised by cards and presents from all three of them. We spent the rest of the night blowing the party favour whistles and lightening off sparklers.
82: The alarm clock went off too early, 5:30. I had my last alone moments with George before getting up and saying goodbye to Liv and Rhys. I crawled into bed with Rhys said my goodbye's and kissed him so many times on the cheek. To keep from crying in the taxi, I held on tight to George and made funny faces to Amy. This was a very sad day,. I was leaving a best friend and a guy that I was crazy about. They stayed with me until the buses doors closed behind me with one last hug and a kiss they were gone in the distance. | The day zoomed by so fast until I was woken up by George on the couch. This was my favourite time, cuddling on the couch. When everyone went to bed he wrapped his arms around me and stuck a piece of paper in my back pocket. He whispered, "read it on the bus" and then put a necklace in my hand. It was a puka shell necklace with some blue accent shells.
83: All I was left with was cards, notes, and necklaces from both Amy and George. I was a mess. | Something that George had wrote “ I think you are so beautiful and posses a top personality as it shines a light on my day as it will on many other people you come across.” | Something that Rhys had wrote “The time here in freo has by far been the best time of my life I wouldn’t have picked to be with three better people. Now as time and the real world draws us apart some of my best adolescent memories will remain here, with you, Amy, and George.” | Something that Amy had wrote “I don’t think you realize just ho wonderful a person you are. Not only are you unique and define yourself, without compromising to other peoples ideas of how you should be, but you go out of your way to make others feel like they’re worth the time to talk to.” “Just remember when you’re strutting your stuff and you see your nose sparkle, somewhere in the world I will probably be making it change colour and getting funny looks.”
84: Broomtime | I am heading north up the west coast of Australia to my final CVA destination, which is based out of Broome. | I am on another adventure, on the Easy Rider Broometime tour.
85: Pinnacles Desert | The first stop was the Pinnacles Desert, limestone formations, in Nambung National Park. In this park there are thousands of limestone pillar, up to four meters tall, of sharp, jagged columns. The raw material for the limestone of the pinnacles came from seashells in an earlier epoch rich in marine life. These shells were broken down into lime-rich sand, which were carried inland by wind to form high, mobile dunes. Winter rain leached the lime from these sands, cementing grains of sand together in the lower levels of the dunes. Vegetation became established and stabilized the dunes. At the same time, an acidic layer of soil and humus developed over the remaining quartz sand. This acid soil accelerated the leaching process, and a hard layer of calcrete can be seen as distinct cap on many pinnacles and has helped protect the softer limestone below. Cracks formed in the calcrete layer and were exploited by plant roots. Water seeped down along these channels to leach away the softer limestone beneath. The channels gradually filled with quartz sand. This subsurface erosion continued until only the most resilient columns remained. The pinnacles as we see them today were exposed by prevailing winds blowing away the overlying quartz sands.
86: After much frustration of the phones disconnecting us without any words it was time to head to dinner, a fish and chips joint. It was a really neat place to eat. | We made it to our first hostel and of course the first thing I wanted to do was phone Amy, George and Rhys!!! I missed them so much.
88: Bright and early we all woke up and boarded the bus, 7 am. Our first stop was Kalbarri National Park, 485 kilometres (301 mi) north of Perth. The layers of rock were just amazing. Saw the famous “Natures Window,” and walked around the Z-bend gorges. First we walked down, then through a forest patch to a sand bank, which then we crossed the rocks, and then up the steep cliff to the look out point. A gorgeous gorge I called it.
90: The next site we visited after traveling a little ways was the Hamelin Pool Marine Nature Reserve, Shark Bay in Western Australia. Stromatolites are layered accretionary structures formed in shallow water by the trapping, binding and cementation of sedimentary grains by biofilms of microorganisms, especially cyanobacteria (commonly known as blue-green algae). The stromatolites in Hamelin Pool were discovered by surveyors working for an oil exploration company in 1956 and were the first living examples of structures built by cyanobacteria. The cyanobacteria living in Hamelin Pool are direct descendants of the oldest form of photosynthetic life on earth. The stromatolites are similar to 3,500 million year old stromatolite fossils found in many places around the world. Stromatolites are an example of the earliest record of life on earth. They are found around the shores. | Hamelin Pool is hypersaline (it has approximately double the salinity of normal seawater), providing an ideal environment for the Stromatolites to grow, and inhibiting other marine life, which would normally feed on the bacteria. The cyanobacteria live in communities on the sea bed at densities of 3000 million individuals per square metre. | They are the simplest life forms to use photosynthesis to provide food and oxygen. They provided the early Earth with most of its oxygen atmosphere billions of years before plants appeared. Very fine particles of solids i.e. sand, crushed shell etc. are trapped by the sticky bacteria, to become cemented with calcium carbonate produced by the bacteria, thereby building up the stromatolite structures. Some structures are pillars up to 1.5 metres (5 ft) high and have taken thousands of years to grow. In the Marble Bar area of Western Australia there are fossil stromatolites approximately 50 metres high and 30 metres diameter. These are estimated to be over 3 billion years old. Typical growth is about 0.5 mm per year. | The Stromatolites provide a record of local environmental changes; in the past they raised the oxygen levels to 20% of all atmospheric gases, which aided in air-breathing life to appear. At Hamelin Pool there is an interpretive boardwalk for tourists to venture out and examine the stromatolite structures. This is the only access area for the general public because of the fragile nature of the environment in the Hamelin Pool. This is where I was able to witness such a remarkable natural aspect, as Shark Bay is one of only two places on Earth where living marine Stromatolites exist.
91: Eagle Bluff, a scenic viewpoint that features a 100m walkway along the top of a cliff face. The views from this vantage point are breathtaking and sharks, dugongs, rays, and large fish are regular visitors in the shallows below. There wasn’t much wildlife when we visited but it was very hot and the water was sparkling.
92: We made it to Denham and it was a beautiful night so I went for a walk. For some reason my body just kept walking down the strip but I didn’t know why until I suddenly heard my name! I squinted and then realized it was Luke, from Lake Mason. It was so good to see a friendly face. Obviously, I didn’t have my camera on me or there would be photos on this page... | We first started at Monkey Mia viewing two dolphins, a mom and her calf. A huge pelican distracted me and when I was taking a video it decided to run/fly at me. I obviously jumped and the video is hilarious to watch. Seriously | Next we headed to Shell Beach, which was actually made up on little white shells. Had lunch at Carnarvon before arriving at Coral Bay. | the bird was like half my size. Next we drove to Ocean Park. Ocean Park facility is about seven kilometers away south of Denham. It features a man made lake with an island in the middle. We got to pick up a turtle, saw rockfish, sea snake, reef shark and school and lemon sharks.
93: Shell Beach
94: On our last portion of driving we past the “Tropic of Capricorn” line. We were only 5 minutes passed this line where our bus tire had blown. Wolf Creek story I think so. Thankfully we made it to the Ningaloo Club backpackers. | Our first morning at Coral Bay, we grabbed our snorkeling gear and swam with huge pale pastel rainbow fish. The coral seemed pretty bleached with not a lot of colours but I did see some with blue and purple colouring. Coral Bay is a small settlement that lies protected from the Indian ocean by the Ningaloo reef. It is Australia's only fringing reef. In contrast to other locations the coral starts right at the water's edge and stretches out from the shoreline for approximately 2 km. The reef stretches from North to South for 260km, supports over 500 different varieties of fish and comprises more than 220 species of coral. It is about 50 km to the North of the tropic of Capricorn, some 120 km south of Exmouth in Western Australia.
95: We arrived in Exmouth. We had a toured through the town and ended up at Turquoise Bay. The beach was gorgeous. We relaxed and chilled until around 4:30 where we headed back to the hostel.
96: Karijini National Park was breath taking. We camped behind a roadhouse in Auski. It was so cool; it had a kitchen, fire, and tents with beds in them. Sleeping out doors, now that is the camping I miss. We entered the park in the morning, first taking a walk on the top of the canyon. We then hiked to Fern Pool, a special place to local Aboriginal people. | This was incredible, a really pretty walk with the river to one side and you climbing over rocks on the other. We walked over the water and to the pools. Obviously we had to swim, and stood along the edge where the water was trickling down from the huge walls towering above. After our little swim we walked to “Fortescue Falls.” Took some pictures, had lunch at the bus and drove back to the place we stayed last night.
97: Karijini National Park ~Fern Pool~
98: Broome...Cable Beach
99: Made it to Broome finally after stopping quickly at Tom Price, 80 Mile Beach (which was actually 86 miles) and Pt Hedland. I had made separate accommodations then the rest of the bus, but we all met at Cable beach to continue the fun for one last night. The next day I had to say goodbye and watch them as they drove away to the airport. That night I was a sad but I knew I had something to look forward to! I booked a Star Astro Tour. Our tour guide was named Greg and he told us so many fascinating things about our skies. The most incredible sight was seeing Saturn with my own two eyes. The beauty of Saturn was not understood until that night. I could even see the rings that surround it. Next were Jupiter and Mercury. The well-known marks of Jupiter, along the side of the planet, were crazy to see. Mercury on the other hand was good timing and lucky as Greg said, “most people never get a chance to see it but we did”! Another amazing part of the night was that I could see Cancers ‘Y’ sign in the sky. I was even pointed out the sign Scorpio, this portion was crossing the horizon where you were only able to see half, the tail.
100: On our drive to Mornington Wilderness Camp we saw fresh water crocodiles on a mud bank and hit a cow traffic jam. Once we arrived we met Annette, our guide for the two weeks, had dinner and went to sleep in our swags. | My last two weeks of CVA has arrived and Mike picked me up. Also, along long for the two weeks was also Mark, Andrew, Hero, Helen, Richard and lastly Sunny.
101: The next morning was an early one, 6:30. I climbed the wall nearby to catch a beautiful view of the Kimberley Mountains before we headed out with Annette. For work I was working the bushwhacker thing. The day got mighty hot but we stopped around 4 to have a beer and dinner.
102: This morning we worked somewhere different, Diamond Gorge. It was beautiful! We were constructing a pathway with a railing that lead down to the water. We enjoyed a wonderful canoe ride down the channel into the Gorge. Andrew and I were together in a canoe. For the next two days we set up camp down by the beach at Diamond Gorge. We dug a fire pit to wet ground and surrounded it with rocks. Had a camp oven full of veggies, plus steak for dinner. It was so good. After dinner Mark told the famous true story about the death of Azaria Chamberlain, an Australian baby girl who was killed by a dingo in 1980 at Uluru in the Northern Territory, “dingo ate my baby.” It is said that the mom left her baby Azaria in the tent and a dingo had captured the baby and ate it. The mom was charged with murder, as no one believed her. In 2012, some 32 years after Azaria's death, the Chamberlains' version of events was officially confirmed, she had not committed murder. As the story came to an end the Dingoes in the distances started to howl. Everyone started to laugh. | Today, June 6 2006, we woke up early to get one more canoe ride in before packing up. I saw a rock wallaby jumping along side the cliff side. We also paddled up to a beautiful waterfall before paddling back to the site. We cemented and mudded steps once more before taking a swim and heading back to our main campsite. When grabbing some H20 from the river I got stuck on a tree and needed to be saved “Andrew can you save a blonde please.”
104: We met Annette and Kim after a morning of sleeping in. We worked on a termite trail until 12ish, I picked spinifex sucker plants. Spent the afternoon at Blue Bush where I saw a lizard and a Dragon or Tata lizard. It reminded me of Jurassic Park as it ran on its hind legs.
105: Nine days left until my birthday!! We woke up early to meet Annette. She was taking us somewhere special this morning. We were guided down the road to a waterhole to watch birds. I learned that Gouldian Finches are endangered as there are only 2500 left in the wild. That day I saw a Red wing Parrot, Azure Kingfisher, Willy Wagtail, and Peaceful Dove. After breakfast we headed with Annette on her ecological tour. We met her research team and she explained their project at hand. They place 3 traps on 50x50m X 60 sites. They explained how they detect birds and their flight lengths with transmitters. They also clip clasps to their legs to notify themselves for later on and other researchers.
106: Another day at work but this time we were trying to find spots with the GPS. I can’t remember what for. Later that day we headed to the John Gorge to see the sunset. Was nice to relax and take pictures. I really was reflecting today, as tomorrow would be my last working day at CVA. I can't believe it has already been 20 weeks and the adventure of CVA is nearing to a close. I have met so many amazing people on my way. It really was an adventure I’ve loved to live over and over again. | For the rest of the day Sunni, Helen and I did some weeding. I picked 4-5 huge areas of passion vine, all by myself.
109: My last day has arrived. I went out with the research team to find what was trapped, a family of Western Chestnut Mice was found. The day was long but before I knew it the work day was done... My Final Conservation Volunteer Australia Day was finished... I started to cry/laugh. I was so mixed of feelings. Sad because it was over, no more CVA experiences but happy because I can relax and have a vacation from working. All I can say is ... I need a shower!!
110: On our way back to Broome we stopped at Bell Gorge. It was absolutely out of this mind gorgeous. It had 4-5 story waterfall that I tried like crazy to climb up. I was offered free ice cream if I made it to the top, which did not happen. We swam down the stream to another waterfall that was a longer drop but not as large. We visited Windj and Gorge National Park Went for a walk before the sun had set. I saw a close up fresh water crocodile. We set up camp here, had a fire, cooked dinner, and then went to bed. | Almost home in Broome, we stopped at Berby and saw the Boab tree that was used for prisoning aboriginals. It was pretty neat but also so very sad. Made it to Broome where I met Greg and accepted a certificate and $200 Australian dollars for all of my hard work. We had some drinks and dinner together that night before we all headed to bed for the night. | Saturday July 8th 2006, I packed; throwing out lots of my CVA clothing that were so dirty I no longer needed them, and got ready for my flight. Helen, the sweet heart, arranged a last goodbye coffee break. We all went to the airport together to say our goodbyes. We were a family. I hugged Sunni, Helen, Hiro and jumped on Andrew to give him the biggest hug. I thanked him for everything and for his support. He followed me to the window to make funny faces at me. I gave a kiss and a wave before laughing and heading out on my new adventure.
111: I made it to Cairns at 9:30 Sunday morning. I was picked up at the airport by the hostel and shown my room. I didn’t know it then but my whole life was going to change in these three days staying at Calypso Hostel. Emma Roberts showed up later that afternoon. We hit it off right away as we both wanted to see Pirates of the Caribbean 2. That night we hit the Woolshed where drinks and dancing filled the air. It was a great start to these three days I will be spending here.
113: Today I attained my visa/stamp in my passport to allow me to stay in the country for another month. Emma and I then went on an adventure to Kuranda. We took the skyrail rainforest cableway. This transportation gave us a beautiful view of the Cairns area. In this hour ride we caught up on our girly talk. It was a great bonding time. We stopped off at Red Park. Milton, our tour guide, took us on tour from there. He was a very funny man and showed us a lot of vegetation but Emma and I were to engross in our own conversation to really learn anything. Haha We jumped back on the skyrail and headed to Kuranda. Here we visited the market place and had some free time. We tried some fruit wine, got sold on the mango, and bought a beautiful bead that we attached to string. Now we will always have them together and remember this exploration together. We also were taught on how to play the didgeridoo, s a wind instrument developed by Indigenous Australians of northern Australia around 1,500 years ago and still in widespread use today both in Australia and around the world. It is sometimes described as a natural wooden trumpet or "drone pipe". Apparently I am a D# and need an index to thumb opening. We almost left with buying one but instead just memories. We headed to a train, which was our scenic tour down the mountain. It was a beautiful ride through the lush forest. We, again, were so caught up in our conversation that we got off with other people not realizing it was the wrong stop. Thankfully, we figured it out before the train had left. We jumped over the fence and onto the train at the very last minute.
114: Happy 19th Birthday Kenzie | We made it back to town and went shopping for dinner. It was on our way home, back to the hostel, that we both met Dave! Made and ate dinner. Emma and I entered a pool table competition where we both sucked but I did make it to the forth round! Dave was the Cabana boy for the night where Emma and I had fun poking him. After a couple, cough cough, drinks, I went to Dave and gave him a huge hug and told him he was a very huggable guy. We were hanging out with so many people, Josh, Chris, Irish Guy, Cal, Emma and Dave. We were all counting down the last couple seconds until it was 12 for my birthday. 3. 2. 1. Happy Birthday!!!
115: I was then wrapped in Dave’s arms as he was giving me a hug. Next I knew I was over his shoulder and being walked over to the pool. Emma grabbed everything in my pockets. Dave was trying to throw me in but I was not going to let him go, until someone pushed us both in. Drenched, we got some photos. Josh, Chris and Cal then told me we were going out and that I needed to get ready. I persuaded Dave to come with us that night, even though he had work the next morning. We went bar hopping and eventually made it back to the hostel around 3-4am.
116: We had a quick couple hour of sleep before Emma and I had to wake up. We booked skydiving the night before, maybe regretting it at the moment as we left the hostel shaking not knowing what to expect. Unfortunately after spending all morning in an office because the weather was bad our skydiving adventure was canceled, not once but twice during the day. Instead Emma and I went shopping, she cut my hair and we got ready for my birthday night. I wore my sun dress that I absolutely love. I phoned my friends after getting my ass slapped I don't know how many times. I was then taking away by Lloyd and the Irish guy. I was sat in the middle booth where the MC then introduced me to everyone right before they started singing happy birthday! Emma walked over with this amazing cake that said “Happy Birthday Kez.” She was so cute!! Dave joined us when he was done work! I saved him some cake and when he moved in closer to me I gave him a kiss on the cheek! We decided later that night it was time to hit the town. Dave was dancing the Waltz with Emma and it was very adorable. I told him that and he then kissed me! We jumped in the bus and headed to our first stop, P.J. O’Brians. Dave grabbed me a water as I didn't need anymore to drink.
117: Emma heard pole dance competition and next thing I knew we were both on the bar dancing. Chris got up there as well. It was almost time for finalist to go back up and right before I did Dave grabbed my tush and kissed me. I came in second, no $300, but it was ok as I lost to a stripper. Next stop was Woolshed! Dave called my name and told me to stay with him He kissed me and then pulled out his VIP card and gave us direct access to inside. We danced and drank the night away until we were bored. We walked around the park area when I noticed Emma leave the group. I ran after her and she broke into tears. I asked her what was up and she replied with “It sucks to meet someone and feel connected only after two days to then have to leave each other.” I knew exactly how she felt. It was going to be very hard to leave Dave and Emma, these two wonderful people, but I knew that we were going to connect again. It was just a very strong feeling that I had. We finished the night with lots of laughter and fun. We ended the night at the hostel where Dave and I snuggled in a hammock until early morning. Lloyd gave me the inevitable wake up call. I had to get up, pack and say goodbye to lifelong friends. Like I said, my life had changed. I made two amazing great friends and had three days I will never ever forget. Emma and I gave a very long goodbye to each other and Dave wrapped his arms around me, gave me one last kiss and off I went in the bus to town. Tears just started to overcome my face.
118: While waiting for our tour bus I met Mark and Richard from Austria, Grace from Ireland, Steph from Quebec, Mike from Melbourne and a family from Denmark. Our first stop was Barron Falls, is where the Barron River makes its descent from the Atherton Tablelands to the Cairns coastal plain, in Queensland, Australia. Protected within the Barron Gorge National Park. Had breakfast at a little cafe in Kuranda. We visited the curtain fig tree, a tree that grows from the top down. A see was deposited in the host tree’s crown. It germinated and the first root descended to the soil. Enriched by the soil, the fig developed aerial roots, which encircled and eventually strangled the host tree. The host tree then fell into a neighbouring tree – a stage unique to the development of the curtain fig tree. Vertical fig roots descended from the fig’s trunk to form the curtain- like appearance. Eventually the host tree rotted away leaving the free standing fig tree.
119: We visited Lake Eacham for lunch. Lake Eacham (Yidyam) and the nearby Lake Barrine, were formed approximately 12,000 years ago by molten magma. Magma from the center of the earth rose to the surface and heated the water table. The steam that resulted from the boiling water was trapped underground, until massive explosions signaled its release. Huge cracks appeared in the ground and the trees that once lathed the mountainside were leveled and burnt. Eventually, over hundreds of years, water filled the craters and the trees grew back, creating the tranquil lake today. While taking a walk around we saw shelled turtles. After lunch we visited Millaa Millaa Falls, water fall that is 18.3 meters high with a pool suitable for swimming at the base. Millaa Millaa is an Aboriginal word meaning plenty of water or waterfall.
120: Last on the list today we went to a Crocodile Farm. Here I saw really large salt-water crocodiles and fresh water little crocodiles. I held a python, which I also saw someone voluntarily get bit by it purposely. We finally made it to mission beach. It had rained all day. I called my parents after being situated in our bedrooms; I couldn’t stop crying over how special my birthday had been and how I missed my friends. Grace and I headed to dinner where the entire group ordered kangaroo as their main dish. Apparently it was the best on the east coast, which I couldn’t deny it was very tasty.
121: Today we are heading to Magnetic Island, missing most of the adventures on the way due to rainy weather. We took a ferry over to the island. Once situated, we hopped into kayaks and paddled to the point and back in the rain. It was so peaceful and the waves were huge! Steph and I drank some wine and her “baileys” and danced with the boys all night until I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. | Today we did went on the Fort Walk track hike. It was a 4km return hike where the path leads us to a point where Australians watched near Townsville so the Japanese couldn’t invade. Frat pointed out green ants “Bush Tucker” that apparently taste like lime. We headed back on the ferry to Townsville where the next part of our journey stops at the largest giant snake and mango. We arrived at Airlie Beach where we got ready for our Whitsundays sailing trip. We partied at Southern Cross Hostel bar until weee hours of the night.
122: The day has come, Whitsundays sailing trip!! This is the portion of the trip I was sold on when I chose it. I couldn’t wait to get on a sailboat. Our sailboat was called Southern Cross. The first Island we visited was Dumbell Island, where we went snorkeling. The colours were phenomenal and the abundance of fish was crazy! Next we visited Tongue Bay and on the way I saw my first whale. It was a humpback, just above the surface a very large distance away. At Tongue Bay we walked along a bush walk to a breathtaking look out point. This spot was looking out over Whitehaven Beach. The water above the beach was a swirl of sand and lush blue waters. So amazing! We anchored in Chance Bay to sleep. It started to rain pretty hard during the night that made it very peaceful to fall asleep in my bunk.
123: Whit Sunday | Today we were dropped off at Whitehaven Beach to have some fun. Later that day, instead of snorkeling because it was such a overcast day, we saw humpback whales breeching. I actually could see the whole whales body out of the water and smash back down and into the water. We cruised to Butterfly Bay of Hook Island. We hiked to see a waterfall that had no water, but we did see many butterflies. Saw a golden Orb spider and made stick people out of rocks, shells, and other supplies.
126: Well unfortunately, time has come to head back to Airlie Beach. On our way the miserable weather | Today started off still with miserable weather. We visited Langford reef where we froze on the beach but found out that being in the water was actually warmer then being on the boat. | brought a little bit of wind so we tried to sail. It was fun but it just started to piss down with rain. Arrived at the hostel, said my goodbyes and got ready for the rest of my travels!
127: I felt like I was home before I even stepped out of the bus. Greeted with a big “Yeeehaa!” We had a home cooked meal right away. Then after work we learned how to crack a whip! I was pretty good at it! The next challenge was the mechanical bull. I made it to the 16th level. I was tied in second place but Lass took it home with the 21st level. We crowded around the fire and when most people went to bed our group planned an attack plan for the other bus. | Craig and I stayed up quiet late hanging out at a campfire, play fighting and being idiots but it was a lot of fun. Two AM rolled around very fast! Mark, Richard, Lass and Marie woke up and T.P.ed the other bus. Soaked the paper towel with water and soap. After 45 minutes we covered the front all windows and the tailor. It was so funny!!! | Kroombit Cattle Station | We checked out at 7 am and while having breakfast we saw the reactions on people’s faces. Frat absolutely loved it.
129: Before leaving we rounded up some goats for a rodeo. I was riding Eclipse, a trainer’s horse. It was a great feeling! We were taught how to Lasso and I actually Lassoed Craig to be funny – I got pretty good at it. We even got a try to wrestle a goat down and pretend to brand it, as well as, I got to lasso a real goat. It took me 10 seconds!
130: On our ride out the bus that was T.P.ed was still there and Frat grabbed 2 eggs and got the brothers to throw them at the other bus. One hit the window but the other actually hit the dash inside the bus. Haha!! Our next stop was Hervey Beach! After a long day drive the day before, today we are heading to Fraser Island. We took a ferry there from Hervey Beach. We met Carl, our tour guide, on the other side. Basin Lake was our first stop. The whole island is one island of sand, no rocks. Water seeps down the sand and gets filtered. However, to create these lakes, trees drop leaves and organic matter, rain water mixes with this and creates coffee rock, which is permeable to H20. This creates the lakes within the island or there are window lakes.
131: Next Central Station for lunch and then a rain forest boardwalk. This walk was gorgeous. There was a river right next to us but if you closed your eyes and listened you would never know. There are no rocks so there is no sound when traveling. Plus the water has been filtering through sand and the water we saw in the river was over a hundred years old and clear as glass. It was so beautiful and peaceful. | We visited Lake McKenzie, white sandy beaches with bright blue waters. We headed back to our rooms to cook dinner, start having some drinks and then went dancing! Met some people from Vancouver and even a guy who graduated Elgin when I was in grade 9.
132: The next morning we visited Eli Creek along the 75-mile beach, a fresh water creek that flowed into the ocean. Along the beach we also saw the Pinnacles, Coloured Sands, Champagne Pools,
133: Indian Head – a look out point that James Cook named because he thought he saw Indians waving spears, and the Maheno Wreck which was placed there to remember after the World Wars. This was the end of Fraser Island – a little disappointed as I never saw a dingo!
135: Another early morning and we are off to Rainbow Beach. It is called Rainbow beach because the legend says a girl and a rainbow met everyday on the beach and one day the girl was kidnapped. She did not meet the rainbow that day. The girl yelled for the rainbow and it came after her. The one who took the girl threw a boomerang and the rainbow jumped in front of it, sacrificing itself for her life. The rainbow shattered along the beach and that is why the beach is coloured with orange, yellow, black and white sands. We sat in a circle and played the didgeridoo for a while and then we learned how to throw a boomerang. We stopped by Noosa to take a look. It contained a long lovely beach and it was the most expensive place on the east coast. Here we had some Dutch ice cream – Copenhagen. We arrived in Brisbane later that night. Grace, Mya, and I got ready at our hostel and headed to the bar “Down Under” to meet up with the boys. On our walk I had someone call my name and there and behold was Dillan, Kelly Abbots mate he traveled to Australia with. Was unfortunate that Kelly was not there with him. Partied at “Down Under” as it was our last night with Markus and Richard. | Noosa | R a i n b o w | B e a c h
136: Today was an awesome day, because we are going ZORBING! Zorbing is the recreation or sport of rolling downhill inside an orb, generally made of transparent plastic. This was so much fun. My first zorbing experience included me Marie and Lasse jumping into one ball after we were sprayed with water. The inside was filled with water as well. We started to roll ourselves down the hill and were sliding all over the place. It was fantastic. After our second try we laid down on the ground where the zorbing ball actually ran over us.
137: We stopped for lunch at Surfers Paradise. Was a cool place but the buildings are built so high that by the time its around 5 o’clock the beach has no more light from the sun. Nibin, Amsterdam of Australia was our next stop. The candle shop tour was really interesting. The town was no longer than 200m and hippies surrounded the place. I walked no more then ten steps and was offered weed continuously. Thankfully this was a short stop. Once arrived at Byron bay we got checked in and had dinner all together at Beaches Restaurant.
139: The time has come to prove to myself I could do it, I can jump out of a perfectly good airplane. The rush from start to finish is unbelievable. The morning was fine and I was totally cool until the door opened. | I saw the first two people jump out and all of a sudden someone screamed yes it came out of my mouth. Next thing I knew I was pushed towards the door and I was dangling off the plane. I forgot all my training and next thing I knew we were flying through the air - 14000ft, 70 seconds of free falling. It felt amazing. The thrill was breathtaking! We made it to the ground, landing on our bums, after spinning a bit in the parachute. | Our next adventure was the surf camp. Had a quick lesson once we arrived, grabbed a board and headed to the beach. One last lesson on how to get up on the board and we were in the water. I actually got up a couple times. Daylight was fading so we had to head back but bright and early the next day we were back to take round two. My last wave was a fantastic finish to the surf camp. I got a nice wave, balanced myself and hopped on top of the board, I road the wave all the way to the sand.
140: Barrington River Backpackers | The lodge was amazing, so cute and quant. It looked over the river and was so relaxing. The kitchen had a cozy cabin-ish feeling. They were supplying $10 unlimited pizza. After dinner we went for a kayak in the dark. We voyaged down a progressive staircase of rapids. It was a lot of fun and nerve racking all at the same time. We enjoyed the outside hot tub, which came in handy after this night rafting adventure.
141: The next day I was dropped off in Sydney where Rowans father picked me up down town. I hung out with Liam until Rowan came home from school. It was so good to see him. Tonight we went out for a nice family dinner in the Sydney Harbor. We crossed the Harbor Bridge, which was beautifully lit with white lights. After dinner we came home, had a cup of tea, watched a movie and after I was finished figuring out school I went to bed. The next day I visited Bondi Beach with Rowan and his dad. We had brunched before I said my goodbyes at the airport. Fiji here I come!!
142: Fiji | The first night I stayed at Namads Sky Lodge in Nadi Fiji. I was picked up at 7am to board the Yellow Awesome Adventure Boat. I sun tanned most of the way to “Nanuya Laila,” the first island I will be exploring. After settling in my bed at Sunrise Accommodation we had dinner and played a round of volleyball.
143: I met a guy, whom apparently thought it was his bed that I claimed and began to move all of my stuff to another bed within the dorm. Little ticked off I went to investigate. In the dorm I met Andrew Hay, from Scotland. That night it was so beautiful and windy we spent the night sleeping in a hammock.
144: Today was Sunday, Church day. Jo, Hanna, Ben, Andy and I got dressed up in Fijian clothes! We participated in their church ceremony; the songs were amazing to listen to but not so much the guy who talked for 45 minutes straight. After the ceremony was over we all gathered outside the church not knowing exactly what we were suppose to do. Next thing we knew little kids that were just standing around were picking us to join them and their families for lunch. I was led to a home where I met a mother named Sarah, a Dad named Sam, a 13 year old boy named Mas, a 12 year old girl named Taina, the youngest son and Ronnie, the eldest boy around my age. This experience was amazing. Sarah provided a delicious meal out of the fish Mas caught that morning. After lunch Taina was to do the dishes so I went to help her. The family all laughed but I really enjoyed the experience. I even got to see the pigpen! Sarah wanted to keep me for the night, I was pretty much | adopted, and she wanted me to meet her eldest son! Well next thing I knew, walk in Ronnie. Ronnie and Sarah were talking and then looked at me, I think she was trying to set the two of us up because after he left she said he was going to say hi at Sunrise later that night. Before I left the family gave me a necklace and took lots of photos.
145: Blue Lagoon Beach | Blue Lagoon, is where the name Blue Lagoon movie came from, which stared Brooke Shields starred in, but it was actually filmed at Turtle Island. We hung out here until sunset. Back at Sunrise we ate dinner and Andrew asked me if I would adventure to the other island with him. I thought it through during the Cave trip the next day before I gave my answer!
146: Ratu was a crazy guy. He was full of energy, always flirty and never failed to put a flower in my hair. He was a sweet guy but not funny when he scared me with a huge spider. On our last day he gave me a coconut to drink out of.
147: The Caves were so neat. My water camera didn't produce any great photos but I sat right where Brook Shields sat on the rock in the movie. We arrived back from the caves and I decided sure, why not, I’d take another chance. Andrew and I headed to Nacula, the furthest Island among the Yasawa Islands. | We stayed at the Oarsmans Resort. While taking a private water taxi just the two of us Andrew told me to place the flower in my opposite ear, meaning that I was now taken. The beach we arrived at was so crisp, clear and blue. It was breathtaking. After being situated in the dorm we went for a swim and relax time in a hammock. The wind started to pick up and in a couple of minutes we were covered in sand. That night our team won the quiz, which congratulated us with a sunset cruise the next day. Ended the night with Cava, a traditional drink made from a plant root.
148: Today was a special opportunity. We were going to visit a village close by. On our tour we saw the Chiefs place where Cava and meetings are held, the church, market and children’s school. In the schools the children were singing us songs. I even got to see Taina and Mas again. I said my last goodbye to them before I left. That afternoon Andrew was feeling really sick so we just relaxed at the resort. Unfortunately we missed the sunset cruise, which I heard was gorgeous. Andrew became even sicker during the night. I tried to comfort him.
150: Andrew said no when I asked him to join me on another island but apparently I wasn’t worth the long trip to the smallest island. We relaxed for our last day together but he never really got over the sickness before I left. I packed my things said my goodbye and the next day I boarded the big yellow boat to travel the rough sea to the South Sea Island. I met Johanna on the boat and we headed to the island together. We met Jessi, Annetta and Matt on the island. We played drinking games all night, such as the famous crab races! | South Sea Island | The island was so small that it actually takes only 4 minutes to walk from one side to the other. Before I left I participated in as many activities as I could. I fed some fish, snorkeled, submarined, sun tanned, kayaked and played volleyball before heading back to Nadi.
151: Sydney, back with the King family. We watched Rowan play two rugby games and he played so well. That night I was told to dress warm and put on a jersey, we were going to Rowan’s favorite place, but no one would tell me where it was. We were heading to the 2004 Olympics Stadium also known as Telstra Stadium. We were here to watch a live Bundaberg Rum Rugby Series, Qantas Wallabies vs. South Africa. We won 20-18, what a close game.
152: Sydney Harbor Bridge
153: Today I finally get to explore Sydney. Adam, Rowan and I jumped on a train and headed to central Sydney. We visited some markets; saw the space needle of Sydney, the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Photo op!! During this adventure with Rowan’s family we visited Palm Beach and their cabin on a golf course (where I got to drive on the other side of the road on the way back). | It was time to leave Rowan and his family. Rowan took me to the airport where we had a long goodbye. It was time to say goodbye to my adventure and remind myself now, in this book, of the many memories, friendships, heartaches, and amazing experiences. It will never be forgotten, as this was my first trip I experienced all by myself and only I know what happened in between the lines.