Bottle Feeding Baby Alpacas

the post where I talk about bundles of fur..

Yep, you read that right, this post is going to be all about alpacas (and the occasional other farm animal).

After I finished my East Coast trip, I realised I was stuck up in Cairns, a place I wasn’t too fussed on. My aim was to get back down to Brisbane, and if you know Aus well, that’s about a 16 hour drive.. and I don’t have a car. Luckily I had come across Jarravale Alpacas based in Marian, about 20km inland from Mackay, and they were always looking for volunteers.

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After 10 very long raing days in Cairns, myself and Amy drove the 8 hours down to Marian to work on the farm for 2 weeks.

Oh my, I was not ready for what I saw. ALPACA’S EVERYWHERE, EVERYWHERE!!

I was in love.

 

Meet Jolene

Jolene has been hand reared by Josie since her birth when her mother rejected her. Now aged 10 months, Jolene is the life of Jarravale. When I found out I would be bottle feeding her every morning, I was over the moon. I mean c’mon, who wouldn’t want to spend their mornings bottle feeding a baby alpaca?

As well as Jolene, there is around another 30 alpacas of all ages at Jarravale. There isn’t  just alpaca’s though, they also have 3 miniture horses, a calf, 3 deer, two sheep, two goats, 4 pigs, two donkeys, and loads of birds and chickens (not to forget the 4 cats and one dog).

Initially when I came to Australia I was determined to do my 3 months farm work and stay for a second year. However, after completing the East Coast, I realised that maybe I didn’t want to stay another year. I knew that I couldn’t do my farm work at Jarravale as it’s volunteering rather than paid work, but I wasn’t too fussed. The fact I was going to be surrounded by alpacas was enough to catch my attention.

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Josie and two of the alpacas

 

The average day on the farm:

5:45 – wake up. shower. breakfast. get ready.

6:30 – prepare the bottles for the baby animals aka Jolene, the calf and the two sheep

6:45 – feed the baby animals

7:00 – rack the padocks of poop from the night before (about 5 padocks)

7:30 – feed the rest of the animals

8:00 – change all the water and collect any eggs off the chickens

8:30 – move the animals into different padocks

9:00 – clean the laneways of any poop left from moving the animals

9:15 – break

10:30 – 2 hour tour including feeding animals, photos and information

12:30 – break

1:30 – 2 hour tour including feeding animals, photos and information

3:30 – break

4:00 – move the aninals into padocks

4:15 – prepare dinner for the animals (hay, grass and special nuts)

4:30 – feed the alpacas, and the rest of the animals

5:00 – collect grass for the guinea pigs

5:30 – rack the padocks the animals have been in

6:00 – take the wheelbarrows of poop down

6:15 – finisheeeeeed

 

This was the average day on the farm, but these weren’t the only chores we did;

Giving vitamin shots to all the alpacas. Fixing the fences after the baby alpacas *cough* Diego *cough* decided to destroy them. Compress the food into barrels (this took about 3 hours and a lot of jumping). Going to the local primary school (only 12 kids in the whole school!!) and weighing mummy and two baby guinea pigs for their school project. Injections in the baby alpacas.

 

All in all it was an amazing experience. I have never before worked on an alpaca farm, and to be honest I doubt I will ever get the opportunity again. If you are ever in the area, or would like to travel to Marian and volunteer on the farm, I would highly recommend it.

 

around the world in endless days

Riding to Paradise on the Whitsundays

the post where I talk about heaven..

Just two weeks after visiting the beautiful Fraser Island, I was off on another stunning adventure.. this time to Whitsundays. My trip began on the popular town of Airlie Beach, which is the launching point for the majority of Whitsundays trips.

If you know me, then you’ll know me and boats do not get along. I struggle to be on a boat for more than an hour before I throw up, and carry on throwing up until I step off my boat again. The idea of spending three nights on a boat with 30 people, and sleeping there too, was enough to put me off going. This was until I was told about Ride to Paradise. A Whitsundays trip where you stay on a resort complex, and go on a speed boat from Island to Island and activity to activity. Bingo, perfect for me.

Prices start from $569, for two days two nights, all food and accomdation included (but I get mine in a package I mentioned in my Melbourne post).

There isn’t a lot to say about Whitsundays apart from OMGGGGG. I was so so lucky that when I went it was clear blue skies, perfectly still water, and hot.

 

Instead of going into massive depths about the clear waters, pure white sands, snorkelling with turtles and sting rays (did I make you jealous?) I’ll let you look at some photos instead.

 

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unfortunately all my gopro footage from the snorkelling is currently stuck on my gopro.. but that will be uploaded as soon as I’m able to transfer over

 

around the world in endless days

Five Favourite Things about Fraser Island

the post where I talk about beauty..

At the beginning of January I travelled to Noosa to do my three days on Fraser Islands with Nomad Tours.

Even before I came to Australia I knew Fraser Island was definitely something I wanted to do. Everyone that I knew that had been to Aus had said Fraser Island and the Whitsundays are incredible. So it was only right I did it too.

These are my five favourite things about Fraser Island

 

4×4 Driving

This was something I had never done before. Growing up in the countryside of England, beach driving isn’t something you really get to experience. Unfortunately I hadn’t had my licence long enough to actually drive one of the 4×4, but that was probably a good thing (didn’t want to be responsible for killing people..). The beach driving was so different to driving I had seen before, one minute it’s so smooth, then you’re crashing through puddles and jumping across the dunes.

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Nomads 4×4

 

Lake McKenzie (Boorangoora)

Wow, where do I even begin with Lake McKenzie? It is a fresh water lake on the worlds biggest sand island. The water is completely clear, and because it’s fresh water, it means you can open your eyes. I have never seen a sight as beautiful as Lake McKenzie. My pictures don’t even do it justice and I would kill to be back there now. The sands around the lake are composed or pure, white silica and the water in the lake is also so pure that it is unsuitable for many species.

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Lake McKenzie

 

SS Maheno Shipwreck

The SS Maheno was an ocean liner that was washed ashore on Fraser Island by a cyclone in 1935, and has remained as a wreckage ever since. Over the years the wreckage has sunk further beneath the beach, and just the top remains. However it’s an incredible sight. In its time, it was the second largest ship after the Titanic.

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Team Nomads next to the wreckage

 

Dingoes

Unfortunately we weren’t able to see any, but we did hear them. A couple of us went down to the beach at night to stargaze, and we could feel we were being watched by the dingoes from the dunes. Even if you keep completely still and silent, they know you’re there, so its unlikely they’ll come near you (unless you leave food out then they’ll probably do anything to get that off you)

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google images (not my image)

Peacefullness

Although I was with a group of about 20 people, you’ll be surprised at how peaceful the island really is. Especially as it is 250km long, if you did go in a small group then there is definitely stretches of beach where you won’t find any other people. This is something I probably loved the most. Even moreso when you go up Indian Head and can sometimes see the sharks in the water if it’s calm enough.

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view over Indian Head

 

There’s probably so much more I can say about Fraser Island, but the title says ‘five favourites things’ (mainly because it rhymed better than 6).

I would highly recommend doing Fraser Island as part of your East Coast trip. Although it can be pricey, it is definitely worth it, and something I would love to do again.

 

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The Koala’s of Port Macquarie

the post where I express my love for koala’s

Sydney to Port Macquarie was my first journey on my Greyhound hop on hop off pass.

I had already seen a couple of Koala’s at Featherdale outside Sydney, mentioned here, but I was eager to see more. I had heard about a Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie that rescues and rehabilitates injured koala’s.

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In Port Macqaurie I was staying at Port Macquarie Backpackers (highly highly recommend) and they kindly drove us down to the Hospital which is free to get in.

Once you get to the hospital you are taken around in tours where they tell you detailed information about the individual koala’s they there, and their release times (if they can be released). Unfortunately some of the koala’s will be living there permanently, like Barrington Xavier who is permanently blind.. it’s much kinder for him to be cared for there.

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Barrington Xavier

Before going travelling I was always really sceptical about these sort of ‘sanctuary’s’. You know the ones you see on the news where they say they’re helping the animals, then someone releases a BTS video and you see the animal being abused. Well thankfully this wasn’t the case with the Koala Hospital. I can safely say this is a genuine sanctuary where they try their hardest to release as many of the animals as possible.

Visitors are welcome at the koala hospital from 8am to 4:30pm where you can walk around and see the koala’s they care from. At 3pm you can get a guided tour where you will see the animals being fed by the volunteers.

Photos are allowed, but no flash photography.

I would highly highly recommend the Koala Hospital are a free and fun activity in Port Macquarie.

 

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3 Days in Sydney

the post where I talk about my Sydney experiences..

Sydney.. hmm where do I start? I had a love hate relationship with this city.

If you’ve travelled Australia, or thought about travelling Australia, then you’ve probably heard this ‘people either love Melbourne or Sydney’, and I definitely preferred Melbourne.

I think I need to paint a picture here of my 3 days in Sydney for you to fully understand my point.

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I arrive in Sydney on a rainy rainy morning, it’s 6:30am, I have just finished a 12 hour coach journey from Melbourne and I’m pretty exhausted and hungry.

I realise I actually have no idea where my hostel is from the train station, so as I squat under a tiny bit of shelter to avoid the rain, I discover to my horror the hostel in a 30 minute walk away. 30 minutes isn’t that far, but when you’re carrying 15kg on your back at 5:30 in the morning on hardly any sleep in the rain, it seems like a bloody marathon.

 

After a train ride (super lazy) and a 10 minute walk, I arrive at Base Sydney, and I’m greeted with the usual, ‘you cannot check in until 2pm’. YAAAAAS.

I mean this isn’t the end of the world because they do let you leave your luggage in the holding room, but all I really wanted to do was lie down. So grumpily I bump my stuff and decide to go and find the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

In all honesty, I do understand the hype with the Harbour Bridge, it’s crazy and like bam in your face. The Opera House was smaller than expected, but still pretty interesting.

 

I’m not going to dwell too much on my first couple of hours in Sydney, because if my situation had been different with timings and weather I’m sure I would’ve appreciated the city a lot more.

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view over Bondi beach

Accomodation – Base Sydney, $29 for a 10 mixed dorm. They do pretty good deals and events at the hostel. Weekly BBQ in the bar next door, weekly day trip to Bondi and Bronte beach, competitions (all of these are free).

Transport – I didn’t uses any public transport in Sydney (apart from my train to the hostel) because the hostel was pretty central.

Food – Coles and Woolies are probably your best bet. Many of the hostel bars do a meal for $10, steak and chips, pizza, etc

 

Things to do in Sydney

Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge are definitely must sees. You can’t really go to Sydney and not see these iconic landmarks.

There is a lovely walk from Bronte to Bondi beach you can take that is only about a 30 minute leisurely stroll. Also there are free BBQ facilities on Bronte so make sure you take some food with you.

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Sydney Bridge Climb is another must do, probably not for the faint hearted though. Prices range from  $178-$378 depending on when in the day you want to climb. The most expensive, and most popular being ‘twilight’ where you can see the sun set over the city.

Blue Mountains is amazing day trip that takes you up to the mountains and around the landscape. I booked my tour with Mad Travels and this price mentioned in my Melbourne post also included the entrance to Featherdale.

 

All in all Sydney wasn’t the worst place in the world, but I wasn’t a massive fan of the CBD. To me it reminded me a lot of central London. Everyone rushing around to get to work in their suits and running trainers. This is probably why I made the effort to get out of the city as much as possible as do trips such as Bondi beach and the Blue Mountains.

 

around the world in endless days

 

 

 

 

Mundane to Melbourne

the post where I talk about my first Australian city

I MADE IT TO AUSTRALIAAAAAA

I had been waiting for this day for so long. If you’re from the UK, then you’ll probably know that so many people go to Australia for a gap year after they finish sixth form/college before uni. I am just as cliche as everyone else.

 

Flight: $550 AUD from Heathrow to Melbourne via Delhi with AirIndia

Hostel: $24 a night at All Nations Backpackers which included wifi, pancakes for breakfast and pasta/rice

Transfer: $17 from Melbourne airport to the coach station

Phone: $30 a month on Optus (should’ve gone with Testra!!!)

Bank: ANZ (set up before landing in Aus, so my card was ready for collection)

 

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Melbourne street art

 

I was in Melbourne for 5/6 days, and it was pretty much a blue. This was a mix of jet lag and utter confusion that I’m alone in a completely new country.

In all honesty I didn’t do a lot in Melbourne now I think about it, as a lot of that week was planning the rest of my East Coast journey.

I booked it all through MAD travel that was connected to my hostel, and I actually got a pretty good deal. I believe I paid around $1800 AUD:

  • overnight coach from Melbourne to Sydney (12 hours)
  • 3 months Greyhound hop on hop off coach pass from Sydney to Cairns
  • Neighbours tour
  • Featherdale Wildlife Park
  • Blue Moutains
  • Fraser Island (3 days 2 nights with Nomads)
  • Whitsundays (2 days 2 nights with Ride to Paradise)
  • 4 nights accomdation
  • 10 nights Base accomdation card

This package had pretty much everything I wanted to do on the East Coast, minus a skydive and Cape Tribulation.. but you can easily purchase those separately.

 

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Accomadation:

All Nations Backpackers, 2 Spencer Street, Melbourne. $24 for a 8 dorm mixed room. Free pancakes 8am-10am, free rice, pasta, tea and coffee. Free wifi in the communal areas from 7am-7pm. Ubar next door.

 

Transport:

Free tram line runs from outside the hostel to the CBD and a 20 walk to CBD.

 

Food:

Coles and Woolies are only a 15 minute walk away from the hostel. 7/11 just next door, but that’s quite expensive to be getting regular shopping. Dominoes just around the corner ($5.95 for a basic pizza, yaassss).

 

Activities:

Neighbours tour (highly recommend.. however if you aren’t too fussed about seeing the set, then you can just drive to the street yourself, but there is security guard permanently on the street)

Penguin Island is just a short ferry ride away where wild penguin are seen on the beach

Luna Park is a massive world famous theme park that is free entry, but rides are priced individually once inside

St Kilda beach is just next to Luna Park, about a 20 minute tram ride from the CBD. If you go down the pier at sunset then you can often see miniture penguins who live in the rocks.

The Botanical Gardens are a lovely free activity where you can chill and have a picnic.

 

I wasn’t in Melbourne for long so I didn’t get to see many things, but the time I did spend there was lovely. Even though it is Australia and it is summer in December, Melbourne is one of the cooler cities, so make sure you have a cardigan or jumper for the evenings.

 

around the world in endless days

Where have I been??

the post where I apologise for being crap at blogging..

Hello, I’m back *hides face in shame*

The whole point of this blog was to document my travelling. Well I’ve been travelling for 5 months now and I’ve made precisely 0 blog posts. Zero, nothing, nought, none.

I know I know, terrible. But I do have an explanation, well more of an excuse really.

I’m new to this whole travelling malarkey. It was my first time in a hostel, and to be truthfully honest I have no clue what I was doing whatsoever. As you can imagine, flying 24 hours around the world by yourself, landing in a brand new continent can be pretty overwhelming. I did plan to blog, but yeah, that didn’t happen.

Well enough of me trying to justify my actions, I will now try and get into what I was going to say.

WHERE HAVE I BEEN?

So on the 29th November 2016 I left raining Cheltenham to flew to Australia. I landed in Meblourne on the 1st December at 7:30am, and I had no idea where the hell I was. Since then I have travelled Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. I’m not going to go into too much detail here as I am (hopefully) going to make individual blog posts on some of my adventures up the East Coast.

Brace yourselves people, this is where it gets good. I have made a friend here (I know, exciting), and when my visa expires in December, we are going travelling and she is coming back to England with me. Hopefully by then I would’ve worked out how to hostel and blog at the same time, and I won’t leave it 5 months until you hear from me again.

But yes.. that was the reason for my blog post today. So people (mainly my mum) know I’m alive and well, and just merely go so side tracked with life that blogging wasn’t something that came to mind *I did try and do vlogmas, got to day 5 and realised I can’t vlog*

In order for this blog to work I really do need to try and jazz it up a bit, you know make it all fancy so people think I’m a professional (fingers crossed anyway).

Until next time

xox