A Few Days on the Great Ocean Road

One of the things we knew we had to do when family arrived was go road tripping down Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, touted as one of the coolest road trips in the world. Even though a direct trip would have taken less than ten hours, we saved two nights for the Great Ocean Road because of the sheer number of sites worth seeing along the way. The main attraction is the Twelve Apostles – of which there are not twelve, nor do geologists think there ever were…

2 years ago
Our VW Transporter Campervan parked along the Great Ocean Road

A Month in a Van

John and I just bought a van. A 1998 Volkswagen Transporter with 400,000km on it (roughly 250,000 miles). It’s scary and exciting, and we have no idea what to expect. We’re currently driving from Sydney (where Mom flew out) to Airlie Beach, Queensland (where Dad & Rachel will fly in). Originally, we’d hoped to take the long way around…

2 years ago

A Day at the Shire

Somewhat unexpectedly, I accompanied Mom to New Zealand this week. John stayed behind in Australia. (He was meant to have a fantastic trip from Melbourne to Sydney along the coastal road, popping in for a hike at the Blue Mountains and having a grand ol’ time, but sadly the van’s coolant hose had other ideas for his solo days.) Mom and I, on the other hand, had a fantastic time in Auckland. First on Mom’s list of things to do in New Zealand was…

2 years ago

Melbourne Must Do: Penguins & Sunset at St. Kilda Pier

Last Friday night, we spent the evening at St. Kilda Beach & Pier, just south of the city center. We spent our first two weeks in the more residential part of the St. Kilda area, so we knew we had to make time for exploring the commercial/tourist center. And we picked the perfect night to do it – the sunset was gorgeous. Everyone – kids, fishermen, city employees, everyone – had to stop and admire the pink…

2 years ago

Melbourne Day Trip: William Ricketts Sanctuary

Today we went to William Rickets Sanctuary, a tiny part of Dandenong Forest National Park. We were excited to learn that this magical spot is accessible by public transportation! So, after some minor public transport difficulties, we arrived at the sanctuary. William Ricketts was an Australian artist who…

2 years ago

A Week in Sandford

On New Year’s Eve, we flew to Hobart and were picked by our host for the week at the airport. We found our hosts through the HelpX program, which is designed to link up travelers with potential homestays. HelpX is similar to other programs such as WWOOF and WorkAway, and is basically an agreement to work 4-5 hours a day for 5 or six days a week in exchange for room and board. The best part

2 years ago

Christmas on Stradbroke Island

We never really felt too Christmas-y with the whole hot, sunny, beach-y weather during December. They have Santas on snowboards alongside fake snow in shop windows. There’s none of the dark, cold nights with lights and carols and, well, cheer. There’s condos on the beach and surfing lessons alongside family…

2 years ago

Day Trip Tokyo: Narita

We visited Narita back in November. As an accident. We missed our flight on the 19th and ended up at a hotel near the airport and a whole extra day to go enjoying outskirts Tokyo. It’s the first flight either of us have ever missed in our lives! After the moment of shock and the reasonable payment to change it, we …

2 years ago

Surfing Christmas + Exploring Tassie

Well, it’s been awhile. For folks that have followed my past travels, you might notice that we don’t blog as much as I used to. In fact, we’ve stopped blogging almost entirely. It’s been an ongoing topic of discussion, and we don’t have many succinct reasons. For one, we were working in Brisbane, which means the most interesting thing we had to blog about some weeks was that the…

2 years ago

Day Trip Tokyo: Kamakura

John and I had a fantastic time at Kamakura, just a couple hours’ train ride outside the city. I’m pretty sure John, especially, was in heaven. We got off at Kita Kamakura, the station on the northern outskirts of town, and walked to the center of town – the walk paid off, as we got a view Mount Fuji along the way! The first temple we went to was the largest in the area, and it was…

2 years ago