Up North We Go! – Travelling the East Coast | Diary 009

After my cousin and I spend a wonderful week in the big city Sydney, it was time for us to drive through the countryside and explore some cute towns and cities up the east coast as we headed to Brisbane.

Unfortunately, we only had a week time to travel up north to Brisbane because my cousin only had three weeks of vacation in total, so we could only stay for one or two days at each place and had to minimise the stops.

That’s why I will probably travel this part of the East Coast once again myself and go to the places that we didn’t make it to this time.

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Sunday 4/11

Our one and only day in Port Macquarie started with pancakes for breakfast at Port Macquarie Backpackers. The hostel is super cute, very small and I really liked the relaxed and familiar atmosphere there.

We walked to the city centre, strolled through the streets and later on to the koala hospital. This is the highlight of Port Macquarie for sure and it is definitely worth to stop by.

At 3pm they do a free tour of the hospital where one of the volunteers tells a lot about the history of the hospital and its patients, how the koalas get treated, as well as some stories of already released patients.

It was super interesting and so nice to see koalas awake (they sleep about 20 hours per day, but at 3pm it is their meal time so they wake up) and very close, but without them being used as a show animal and to amuse tourists.

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Afterwards, we walked to the beach with the famous coloured stones and back to the hostel to eat and go to sleep early as we had to wake up in the middle of the night to catch our bus to go to Byron Bay.

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Monday 5/11

After trying to sleep half of the night in the bus we arrived in Byron Bay, had some struggles finding a place to store our bags for the day (because we couldn’t check in that early) and strolled through the city centre.

I really like Byron and its chilled, relaxed surfer vibes with cute little cafés, surf and bikini shops and stores with the cutes hippie chic fashion – I love it!

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In the afternoon we decided to do the lighthouse walk and started along the main beach, barefoot in the sand. Later, it got a bit steeper and it was super hot but we made it to the top and had an amazing view. I really want to do that walk once again for sunset as it must be magical lightning at that time!

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On that hike you also pass the most eastern point of the Australian main country and get to the famous lighthouse.

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On the way back you walk through a beautiful forest and see so many birds and plants.

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After the hike, we treated ourselves with some cake. I got a vegan chocolate berry cake and Lisa went for a berry cheesecake.

We checked into the best Airbnb we had on our whole trip. Super big, clean and calm.

 

 

I cooked some yummy cheesy vegan pasta. It only took me about 12 minutes and it’s healthy and delicious –  you can find the recipe and many more in my blog post on Quick, Cheap, Healthy & Vegan Dinner Recipes!

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From that day I got my first little sunburn ever :D I usually never get sunburned, but I probably didn’t apply sunscreen carefully enough. Luckily it didn’t hurt and was already gone after two days.

Tuesday 6/11

In the morning Lisa and I worked out in the Airbnb together and had breakfast afterwards.

We went to Tallow beach that was just two streets away from our home and we were almost completely alone at that beach. It is not the main beach in Byron Bay and very long so it felt almost like we had the whole beach to ourselves. But it was also pretty windy which means it was sandy and after that beach day, we had sand EVERYWHERE.

 

In the late afternoon, we walked to the city and I met Steph again who I met on the Outback tour and I was so so happy to catch up with her and see her before she left to go home to Guatemala a few days later.

 

Wednesday 7/11

The next morning we had a few hours left in the city before we drove further north to Surfers Paradise.

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Surfers Paradise is part of the Gold Coast. A part of the east coast south of Brisbane that is very long and includes many cities without endings and beginnings of new cities – they all flow into each other.

 

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At least the view from our Airbnb was nice :D

We walked through the centre of Surfers Paradise, sat at the beach and later drove to our Airbnb by Uber. That Airbnb was the least nicest and I wouldn’t recommend it, but it was cheap so we survived the two nights there :D

We went grocery shopping at Coles, cooked dinner and enjoyed the wi-fi (a big advantage for Airbnbs! Their internet is always so much better than in the hostels).

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Thursday 8/11

We worked out again that morning and had a wonderful view for our daily breakfast: porridge, cooked with oats, cinnamon and water, with fruit and some nuts on top.

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Then we walked to the city which was another good workout (1h 15 min) and talked a lot which made it way shorter and more enjoyable. Because the weather wasn’t that great, we sadly couldn’t make a beach day on the Gold Coast…

For lunch we decided to eat very unhealthy that day because we wanted to (and we deserved it :D ) and we had Domino’s pizza. They have a 5$ deal here in Australia with a few of their pizzas and I tried their pizza and their vegan cheese for the first time – and it was great! If I ever crave pizza again, I’ll eat that one again.

And as a dessert we got the Churros from Dominos that were pretty good as well, but not as good as the ones from the Churro shops here.

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Even though that day wasn’t that exciting, we were super tired and exhausted from all the walking (and eating :D ).

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Next day we went to Brisbane and I’ll tell you all about our days in Brisbane in the next post!

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Off to Australia! 24 Hour Journey and my First Day in Melbourne | Diary 001

It’s already over one week ago since I said goodbye to my parents and flew to the other side of the world. I still haven’t realised completely that I am in Australia on my big adventure now. On the other hand, I kind of already feels settled here.

I have some friends and people to hang out with, I know where to go and what tram to take, I already saw a lot of places and I got used to speaking English very quickly.

Maybe it’s just because of the cold weather that it doesn’t really feel like Australia for me. Or maybe because I haven’t seen any typical Australian nature yet – cause the city of Melbourne could be a European city as well…

Now that I have a lot of amazing experiences and exciting things to do and talk about every day, I thought I would start writing a diary here on my blog to update you on what I am doing, seeing, eating and feeling.

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A few days before…

There was a time (around 2 weeks before my flight) where I felt a bit insecure. I had very mixed emotions with leaving all my friends and my family back home and being alone on the other side of the world. I got a bit scared about my safety and if I would find people to hang out with, if I’ll be able to find the way in a huge city like Melbourne or if I will get lonely and homesick. Of course, I was still excited about my adventure, but scared at the same time…

Luckily a friend of mine has been in the same situation two years ago and he could give me some good tips and ease my fears and doubts.

 

 

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A few days before my flight I wasn’t scared at all anymore. I kind of felt like in trance – I just could not realize that the time I have been waiting for for so long is actually there and that I’ll be flying soon. I packed my backpack but wasn’t really in vacation mood as I usually am when packing my bag for a trip. It was more like seeing someone else doing it – I didn’t really felt like I was present.

If you want to know what I packed and took with me for one year of travelling through Australia and Asia, have a look at this blog post!

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Wednesday 19/9

Backpacks where ready, I already said goodbye to all my friends and family (more about my last weekend with my best friends in my September Review) and drove with my parents to Frankfurt. We had a beautiful last dinner together and I had a last good sleep on German ground.

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Thursday 20/9

Early in the morning, we drove to the airport, I checked in my backpack, ate avo bagel for breakfast and had to say goodbye to my parents. This was for sure the hardest goodbye of all.

At 11 am my flight took off and I left my home. Luckily, I wasn’t sad at all – just excited for what is about to come. I flew with Qatar airlines which is a super good airline that I booked an open-return ticket with (which I highly recommend for long trips like mine because you never exactly know when you want to return).

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For my first flight to Doha I had a whole row to myself which was super nice and also the vegan food that I asked for before via email was the best plane food I’ve ever had!

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After 6 hours I landed in Doha and when we left the plane it was like a hot hairdryer that blows into your face, even though it was the late evening, it was still super hot. In my three hour layover, I just walked around the airport a bit and used their Wi-Fi to tell everybody at home that I landed in Qatar safe.

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Then I had to get on my 1- hour flight to Melbourne which wasn’t as comfortable, but I could still sleep pretty well and I watched some movies. The food again was amazing and I have to say that I really enjoyed my flights – nevertheless, they were long.

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Friday 21/9

On Thursday me and my backpack (thank god!) arrived in Melbourne at around 6pm. To get to the centre I had to take the Skybus from the airport which was 19$!! Only for a 20-minute bus ride. But I arrived at my hostel and quickly met my roommate Sabrina from Italy, that I still spend a lot of time with.

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Saturday 22/9

My first day in Melbourne was kind of overwhelming and I quickly felt like I didn’t like the city that much because it is busy, loud and lots of people. But I fell in love with the city more and more every day!

First thing I did was going to the bank to open up a bank account at get my card delivered to my hostel as quickly as possible and afterwards I just scrolled through the streets to get an idea of the city.

I felt like my jetlag wasn’t very bad because I wasn’t tired at all in the day, but the first 3 or 4 nights I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t fall back asleep for hours which was annoying but it’s all good now.

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The weather here in Melbourne is not as I wished it would be. I freeze even though I wear all the clothes that I have with my (longsleeve, sweater, down jacket, softshell jacket and a scarf). The wind is pretty strong and especially in the shades it can be freezing. We have around 16-18° Celsius most days and in the sun it can get warm, but I am probably just not used to the “cold” after this hot summer in Europe.

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