Monday, January 31, 2011

YHA Adelphi Court

We switched hostels today for a change of scenery and went 2km’s north to Adelphi Court which was kinda way out of the city, but we already told them we would stay 3 nights. There was supposed to be tennis and golf close by according to the YHA book, but it took us an hour to get to the tennis to see how much it was. The courts were really nice over looking the ocean and Mt Wellington. We never found the golf but we had walked pretty far already and had to pick up some grocery’s and trek back to the hostel.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Lennart and I went for a trek around the town, we went to the center of the Tasman Hwy bridge and wow was it windy! After the bridge we hopped a normal looking fence and walked up to this old castle looking building thinking it was a museum or something and there was nobody anywhere until we got right up to the building and a security guard comes out and tells us we are trespassing! She said that this is the Governor of Tasmania’s house and we should leave. I told her there were no sigs posted anywhere and I thanked her for not shooting us and she directed us off the property, hahaha!!! Every city in Australia has a “botanical gardens” and Hobart’s was just as nice as all the other ones and conveniently right beside the Gov's house. We took a little look and went back into town to the hostel, just in time for the men’s final tennis.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Salamanca Market

Every Saturday Hobart has the Salamanca market at Salamanca Place, you can buy all sorts of stuff, fruit, wood carvings, antiques, books, local art and everything else. Lets not forget my Authentic Kangaroo leather Barmah Bush hat!!! A one of a kind that I hope to have for a long, long time. I also bought some nice fresh cherry’s, yum yum. Actually, after the market I went back to the hostel and had a nap cause I had a wee little hangover. In the Evening we just chilled out and watched the woman’s tennis final. 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Hobart YHA

Drove to a small bay called “Eggs and Bacon Bay” hahaha, they went back to hobart and dropped the car off. We ended up putting just under 2500KM’s on the car!!! So in the last 14 day’s I had driven around 4000KM’s on some of the most twisty, curvy cliffside, oceanside, rain forest, beautiful roads I’ve ever driven and will never forget it!!!
Checked into our hostel and and a great night out on the town that night!!! celebrating a truly awesome road trip!!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tasmania Road Trip Day 7

Kept driving west into Mt Field National park for a nice early morning walk around lake Dobson, and back down for another “Tall Tree walk” and the very impressive “Russell Falls”. We drove father west to the Lake Gordon Dam, which was the biggest dam I have ever seen, being 140 meters high and 198 meters long it was pretty awesome!!!
So back to Hobart and drove to the summit of “Mt Wellington”, which overlooks Hobart and is 1270 meters high!!! What a view!!! Drove back down and headed south for our last night and found another nice spot to free camp, with a BBQ, Oh Yeah!!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tasmania Road Trip Day 6

Drove to the “Tasman National Park” and the only Tasmanian Devil we seen was a dead one on the road, but we still seen one, technically in the wild!!! Drove to the convict site of Port Arthur and then back up north through Hobart and back west. We free camped once again at Meadowbank lake, Sweet!!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tasmania Road Trip Day 5

Went farther down the east coast to the famous “Wine Glass Bay”, that was a nice little hike to get there and well worth it!!! After we went to “Nine Mile Beach” and then to another free camp spot in a town called Dunally.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Tasmania Road Trip Day 4

Started out at the “Bay of Fires” which was amazing and stopped in at a Douglas-Apsley National Park and went swimming in the great fresh flowing water!!! Continued down the coast to  Freycinet National Park and had supper, fished and watched an amazing sunset. Free camped at the “Friendly Beaches”, very nice beach!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Tasmania Road Trip Day 3

Drove pretty much across the whole state and made it to the east coast and stayed in a motel cause of the weather and had a nice, much needed shower!!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Tasmania Road Trip Day 2

We decided to drive the Western Explorer Road, which was paved at first and then was gravel for about 200 plus KM’s, so we blew a tire over half way to the end of it but we had a good spare so no biggie. Had we known we probably wound have went the paved way cause there wasn’t really much to see, but all part of the adventure right!!! We made it to Cradle Mountain National park, where we all seen our first wild wombat, very exciting! The park was awesome and we went for a small walk. Afterwards we free camped again in Queenstown, a small but nice old mining town. But later I found out that this probably was not the best place to camp out because I was told it can be a pretty rough place!!! 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Tasmania Road Trip Day 1

We had to get back across the river to pick up the car and there was a little ferry that went back and fourth and cost $2.50 so that saved us a cab ride all the way around over the bridge. We had originally booked a tiny 3 door Hyundai Getz but because we used Europcar the last time we were able to get an upgrade to the next size vehicle and unded up with a brand new Holden Barina 5 door!!!So that was awesome! We had made a rough outline of which way we wanted to go and headed west up the coast. On the map it said there was a “giant penguin” in a town called “Penguin” so we had to check it out and sure enough there was a 6 foot penguin!!! Very impressive!!! Drove west along some great coast line and got to Stanley and “The Nut” which is a giant rock about 125 meters up and had a walking trail on the top about 1km long around the outside of it with great views of the sunset. We made our way back down and seen all these campers camped out on the grass by the beach and asked if they paid, they said no so we camped there too!!!and got nice free camping!!! Went for a walk down a trail after the sun went down and got to see some baby penguins right on the trail and let us get some pictures, they weren’t scared of us at all!!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sprit of Tasmania

I was supposed to go to Tassie by myself but I talked the guys into coming for a road trip and they decided to come last minute so that was great! I took their bags for the night so they grabbed their stuff in the morning and we caught the tram down to the ferry and were at sea by 9am, we bought ocean recliner tickets and they got some much needed rest and I met some more nice Aussie’s on the boat and a nice American girl. We got in to Devonport around 6pm and hitched a ride from a nice lady who worked on the ship for free to our hostel, Molly Malone’s Irish backpackers, my first non-YHA hostel. It was just fine!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Great Ocean Road Trip Final Day, back to Melbourne

We dropped of the car with about 1500KM’s on it!!! I tried to book the hostel for the three of us the day before but they only had one room left because of the Australian Open tennis in town. So I had a nice place to sleep and do my laundry. The guy’s were homeless for the night and ended sleeping in a Maccas, Hungry Jacks, and Starbucks, hahaha!!! 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Great Ocean Road Trip Day 5

Started off the day with the ”Thunder Cave” and “The Razor Back” which were also great rock formation and we saw a few other good one’s before the famous “Twelve Apostles”. They were just as amazing as the rest of the coast!!! The next spot we went to was Cape Otway, where we were told we could see Koala’s in there natural habitat, and we were NOT disappointed!!! We seen quite a few up in the tree’s with a few right close to the road so we were able to get some great pics with them, it was really unbelievable how close we got to them! Then we were off on a cliffside ocean drive to see how close we could get to Melbourne and came about a waterfall we had to walk up a trail too get to. I pulled in because I wanted to see a nice waterfall, and I got the same reaction from the girls who by now were driving us guys “CRAZY” who didn’t want to stop anywhere or see anything. Long story short we should not have taken them, they were very annoying!!! So we went to the waterfall and on the way back down the girls seen a koala walk across the path a right into a tree 5 feet up a tree besides the path and we were able to touch him and get great pictures with him!!! Back on the road driving one of the most awesome highways I’ve ever driven!!!
We made it about a half hour from Melbourne and found a side road close to the ocean and camped out for the night!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Great Ocean Road Trip Day 4

We headed to the Grampians National Park but didn’t know how bad the park had actually been hit by the floods in weeks past, pretty much the whole park was shut down and we never got to go to any of the good spots in the park. We did drive about  100 plus K’s around the whole park and got to see one of the “hot spots”, the “Giant Koala” which was right on the main highway and about 30 meters high. So we carried on and we actually started the real “Great Ocean Road” today and seen some pretty impressive rock formations in the “Bay of Islands Coastal Park”. The  London Bridge, Remarkable Arch and a couple other absolutely spectacular sites , We stayed the night at Port Campbell, the girls stayed in a hostel and we drove to the top of the rocks to a scenic lookout and cooked dinner and all slept in the car.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Great Ocean Road Trip Day 3

We continued on and came about the Tantanoola Caves Conservation Park and it looked interesting so I was the only one who paid to go in them and it was worth it, the cave was amazing! Then we were off to Mount Gambier and the “Blue Lake” which got it’s name for good reason, the color of the lake was truly remarkable.
After Gambier we left South Australia and entered Victoria. The was a great beach with a shower, cold water only! but we were getting a little stinky and all needed to get clean so we had a swim in the ocean and had a nice cold shower, but did I feel nice afterwards. We went to a nice light house on top of a great cliff side and then found a great spot to camp out for the night.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Great Ocean Road Trip Day 2

We wen back into town to pick up the girls and hit the road, I rented the vehicle and was listed as the only driver so I was going to do all the driving. We started out down the coast past Aldinga beach where I stayed at Judy’s and then headed inland. We stopped by a store a bought some stuff for a BBQ hoping we could find a place to cook the food and we ended up in the middle of nowhere, but did find a BBQ at a little dingy motel that we could use for $5 so that was fare. We kept driving and it was getting dark so we found a field of the side of the road the set up camp for the night.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Great Ocean Road Trip Day 1

The three of us Lennart, Marco, and I got our stuff organized and they organized all there “free food”, which is food of all sorts, mostly pasta left in the kitchens of all hostels. The guys had collected two big shopping bags full of stuff for the trip. Down in the lobby there are bulletin boards where travelers can put up notices for lifts or selling cars or whatever. There was a note from two German girls, Hana and Brita,  who wanted a lift to Melbourne, so we gave them a call and told them to meet us in the hostel for a little meet and greet so we could make a decision on wether we would take them with us. After a five minute chat we all decided to go together, but they had paid for the hostel already so we went and picked up the car which was a Subaru Forester and drove north to Port Adelaide. We stopped in to KMart and bought a tent for $15, a couple of sleep mats, steel bowls, and a fishing rod!!! We slept in the car in a car park by the ocean.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Pt Elliot Day 3, back to Adelaide

Caught our bus back to Adelaide and are making plans to do the Great Ocean Road! down to Melbourne. We have a SUZUKI GRAND VITARA rented for tomorrow for the start of another adventure!!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pt Elliot Day 2

It was much warmer today so we decided to walk to the next town of Victor Harbor and back, about 6km’s down the beach, we got about half way and couldn’t walk on the sand anymore because it was to course and your feet were sinking in, making walking a hard task. We just went up some stairs and there was a bicycle trail following the coast to the city anyway and then we seen a old touristy train go by back to Pt Elliot so we knew how we would be getting back!!! When we did make it to the city we were tired and hungry so we had a break and had a sandwich we had brought with us. Across from the city was Granite Island, you could catch a horse drawn tram, but we just walked across and did the trail around the island, about 1.5km’s. One of the signs said that if the island would have been limestone like most of the country, and not granite, it would have been washed away by the ocean long ago. We made it back to the super market to buy meat for the barbie and just made it to the “Cockle Train” Australia’s Oldest Railway Line, for a train ride back to Port Elliot. Back at the hostel we cooked up a great BBQ, filled our bellies and just chilled out for the rest of the night!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Port Elliot Beach Bliss

Lennart and I caught the bus at noon to take us down south to Pt Elliot for two nights as part of a “Beach Bliss” package but the weather was not co-operating for us as much of the country as you have seen on the news with the flooding. But I have just loved the weather I’ve gotten so far, just been perfect as far as I’m concerned. The two of us went for a walk through town, went for supper at the Pt Elliot Hotel, bought a few beers and just relaxed. We met some nice locals and backpackers, and had a good night.

Monday, January 10, 2011

KI Day 4, Ironstone Hill Hike

Check out is usually at 10am at the hostels so after I pack up my stuff you can usually store it for free, which I did. I asked Libby where there was a good hiking trail and she sent me in the right direction because it was a great trail to the top of “Ironstone hill”. The view from up there was very nice and great history, with the first house built on the island in the 1890’s and a grain crushing silo up there. I seen wild wallaby’s and I walked along the jagged coastline on the way back and I’m so glad I did because a massive pod of dolphins came swimming and playing along the shore!!! I’m getting really good at talking my own picture and I ended up getting some great pics of myself with the dolphins in the background jumping out of the water!!!!! So that was definitely the highlight of the walk for me!

I needed to kill some time when I got back to town so I went to the local winery “cellar door” and tasted all of their wines then went to the famous fish and chips place called “Fish” for a bite, it was really yummy!!! Went back to the hostel for a shower, said by to Libby and caught the ferry back to mainland and the bus back to Adelaide.

On the bus I met a very nice woman from Amsterdam, Franka who had just done the one day tour of the island. I mentioned the bar Grace Emily’s where I was headed when we got to town and she said she was also headed there to meet some friends so I said I’d see her there. I put my bags in my room and ran into the regular bunch at the hostel, including Lenart, who I was heading to Port Elliot tomorrow with.

At the bar I ended up meeting Franka in the line to get in, and once inside I found Julia from our KI adventure there so we hung out a had a drink, said bye again and they enjoyed the live music with Franka and her friend Marie, also from the Netherlands, until the bar closed down, then walked back to the hostel.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

KI, Day 3 Golf, oh yeah!!!

The day before I asked the nice lady, Libby, at the hostel about the golfing in town and she said she would bring her clubs in for me, sure enough she did and they were about twenty years old which made it that much better of am experience. The club house had a box with envelopes, receipt book, score cards and a slot in the wall to put the money in!!! $10 for a round!!! It was a very interesting course, all run by volunteers, and instead of greens, because of the lacking water situation they had “Scrapes”, which were still the same size as a regular green but were made out of a course sand cover by tar or some black chemical. I forgot to ask, but nonetheless it was something to see. I even managed to get one legitimate par putting on that stuff so I was very impressed with myself!!! There were some great views from the top of that course as well.

After golf I was headed to the beautiful tropical like beach minutes from the hostel and met a very nice woman staying at the hostel from Switzerland, Colette. We went swimming and sunbaked on the beach for a couple hours. I asked her if she played tennis and she did so we went and played for couple more hours and had great fun playing in the hurricane like winds coming over the hill. After tennis I asked her if she would join me for dinner at the Penneshaw hotel, so after dinner we went back to the beach to try and see some penguins come out of the ocean and go up to there little homes on land. We never got down there till about 9pm and didn’t see any come out cause they said they come out between 8 and 8:30pm, so we walked up the hill a little bit and ended seeing one hiding under the bush, YAY!!! We really wanted to see just one and we did!!! She was off on the morning ferry and I on the evening ferry tomorrow so we said goodbye and farewell.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

KI Day 2, Flinders Chase National Park

Up early and off to Flinders Chase National Park, in the rain!!! oh well. We went to see some Koalas at Hanson’s Bay koala sanctuary before the park where we ended up only seeing one Koala in the pouring rain and we all got pretty wet doing it! But I did get to see a Koala in the wild which was another check off my to do list.
We drove to the end off the island where the “Remarkable Rocks” and “Admirals Arch” are and again got soaked again but it didn’t really matter cause we were all having fun and we got some great pics cause all off the pics you see of them are usually during nice weather, never the rain!!! They were two truly amazing places that you just can’t miss if you are in South Australia. We drove back to the beginning of the park to the visitor center and had a nice warm cup of coffee and lunch on the barbie.
Go figure the rain stopped once we left the park and we were ahead of schedule so Dave took us up the north coast for some amazing views and to his favorite beach on the island “Stokes Bay”. To get to the beach you had to follow a trail through the rock that had formed little caves, it was very cool!!! Once at the beach there were the biggest waves I’ve seen yet in the country and Dave didn’t have any bogie boards so just him and I went body surfing which was super fun and I got a mouthful or two of water when I tried to look up when I was catching a big wave.
We drove to Kingscote, the largest town on the island to go to see a honey bee farm which was special cause they are the only pure strain of ligarian??? bees from Italy. I think thats what they called, I never took a picture of the name, just the bees, haha!!
After the bees we went to the harbor a watched the Australia pelicans, the biggest in the world, get fed. WOW!!! We dropped of Jerome at the Kingscote airport and the rest of us drove back to Penneshaw where I was staying at the hostel for two days and the rest of the bus was catching the 7:30 ferry back to mainland. I said my goodbyes to the girls and told Julia to meet me at Grace Emily’s bar when I get back to town, she said she would try to make it. The hostel was very nice and I had to get a good sleep because I was to go golfing in the morning!!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Kangaroo Island, aka KI, Day 1

Had an early morning to be on the bus for 6:40 and started off on my KI adventure. It started off great because I asked to sit down by a young woman and expecting a german or european, I was pleased to find out she was a fellow Canuck! So we chatted for the ride, she was just doing a one day tour and I was doing a two day so I figured we would be on different buses and I was right. When we got on the ferry I ran into the U.S. woman doing the one day tour who had met a german woman, Julia, doing the two day tour, as was I. So when we got off the ferry we found out we were on the same bus so while I gathered my bag I asked her to save me a seat, smooth right, haha!! I sat next to her on the bus and we met another german woman, Anikka, and a Swiss man, Jerome. All three were very nice and spoke english so that was a relief knowing I wasn’t going to be stuck with a bunch of people I couldn’t talk to. 
Our driver/guide was named Dave and we got underway and headed to Rob’s sheep sheering farm and got to watch his dog round up 10 sheep and herd them into the barn and watched him cut all the wool off one of the sheep, which was actually very neat to see!!
After the sheep farm we headed to and beautiful bay for photo’s and them to Emu Ridge Eucalyptus farm, the last one on the island of about 60 of the past. We got to see how they extract the oil from the leaves and had lunch there as well. Then off to Seal bay to see the sea lion’s on the beach, which was very special cause it is one of the few spots in the country to see them!
Then we were off to “Little Sahara” to go sand boarding and I wiped out pretty good and got sand where sand probably shouldn’t be!!! But it was a very interesting little desert in the middle of the island.
Little Sahara was our last stop before we were off to “Vivonne Bay”where we were to stay the night and I had read the beach there was rated the best beach in Australia by the University of Sydney in a study done last year, so we all had really high hopes but it turned out to just be a nice beach as we had all figured we’d been to nicer beaches so far!! and were going to nicer beaches in days to come. The place had just been renovated last year so it was all pretty much brand new which was great. Dave cooked up some steaks and sausages with beet root salad and had a great meal.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Adelaide City Highlights Tour

The bus tour guy was very informative and I got to see a few new things I hadn’t seen yet, like the Adelaide oval, a chocolate factory we got to tour and get some tastes and a nice little hill on the north side with a view of the city. Nothing like the view from Mt Lofty obviously!!! We went back to Glenelg beach to end it off, and I remembered I left my water bottle at a supermarket after we went to the beach last time I was there a little over a month ago so I figured it couldn’t hurt to ask right???
It obviously wasn’t there and the lady looked at me like I was crazy!!! HAHA
We had the option to be dropped of at Rundall Mall on the way back so I got of there and bought myself a nice Australian Flag beach towel for the Summer beach season.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Back to Adelaide YHA, again!!!

I said my goodbye’s to everyone and Peter gave me a ride back into town. After I put my stuff in the room I went right away to book something for Kangaroo Island and was set to leave in two nights on a two day/ one night bus tour of the island with an open ended return ticket so I don’t have to return to Adelaide the 2nd day and just stay on the island for a couple nights at Kangaroo Island YHA. Even though I have seen a lot of Adelaide already I got a “FREE” City Highlights tour to do the next morning for booking the KI tour, so that was a plus!!!  When I got back to the hostel I ran into Lenart, from Germany, and Simon, from Scotland, who I had met previously in Adelaide. Lenart and I made plans to go to Port Elliot YHA beach house for a couple days after I got back from KI.
After I got all of that settled I decided to go and try out the Par 3 North Adelaide Golf Course, only cost about $20 for a round. Even after not playing for a while I still can hold my own out on the course, got one birdie and about a dozen par’s so that was a successful round. A few of the holes were right besides parking lots and main roads so you had better make sure you hit the ball straight. I’ve never not lost a ball playing a round of golf and with only 3 holes left I hadn’t lost a ball yet, and kid you not, about a minute after I thought about actually finishing without losing one, of course I hit one into a tree and it didn’t drop out, the tree ate my ball!!! I swear!!! I looked everywhere for it! Maybe next time. KI has a course right by the hostel, but it’s not gonna cost $20 to play, that’s for sure!
Later that night was pizza and a beer night that the hostel organizes, I met some more great people, a girl from Colarado, a couple guys from Germany, and a couple people from London. After pizza a few of us went out for a couple drinks to Grace Emily’s where I met those great locals who took me surfing to Middleton beach.
One girl I met, Kelly from London and I seemed to hit it off and get along really well, it would have been nice to spend some more time with her, but in the world of backpacking, go figure, she flew out to Sydney the next morning. So If I’m ever in England she said give her a ring and I’d have a place to crash.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Last Day on the Ranch

The girls came back to the ranch on schedule, ever though Ali, who feeds the horses, didn’t show up until about 7pm. She had me worried cause I was so ready to leave the next day. We had another big BBQ on my last night there, so that was great. We had steaks, bratwurst, chicken sausages, cajun green beans, smashed potatoes( which are apparently halfway to mashed), and salad. Yummy!!!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Mt Lofty, 700m elevation, 4km hike

I was told I had to climb Mt Lofty, so I tried to drive to the bottom of the hill, I mean MOUNTAIN. I took a wrong turn a ended up at the top first so I decided to just walk down Lofty first and then I would have to climb back up to the car. By the time I made it to the bottom I was already soaked with sweat so after about a half hour break chillin by a great waterfall I decided to make the trek back up, right about one o’clock when the sun is at full force, smart eh!!! The was a nice breeze coming in of the ocean but it was still between 25-30c. My calfs were so sore about 500m from the top and there were people twice my age flying by me jogging up the dang trail!!! And I consider myself to be in pretty good shape, but slow and steady worked just fine for me and I conquered “Mt Lofty Summit”!!!