This year has been insane. Some things were expected, many were not. Some of our 2012 travel goals were achieved, others…. well not so much.
Our Year In Travel 2012
January – March – Brisbane Australia
I wish I was independently wealthy, but I’m not. I wish I married rich, but I didn’t. I wish this travel blog made me thousands of dollars in cold hard cash….. it doesn’t. So occasionally I have to work a … *shudder*…. job. Which is what I did from January until early March in Brisbane Australia. Although I guess it still sort of counts as travelling since I am living here as an expat, but my job was not particularly exciting (it was mildly more exciting than a lobotomy), and the 9-5 didn’t open many opportunities for travel. Although we did manage to go to the Woodford Folk festival, hike the Glass House Mountains, and even get horrendously sunburnt on Stradbrooke Island on the weekends.
March – April – Pacific Islands
With all that nasty working a job business out of the way, I was able to focus on my passion – travel. I booked myself a trip from Brisbane – Samoa – Fiji – Tonga – Brisbane to relax before heading off on my big 3 month long Great Australian Overland Adventure.
My travels in Samoa went off without a hitch, I spent most of my time on the island of Savai’i, relaxing on beaches, eating umu with locals, and figuring out how to take the busses. Back on the main island of Upolu, I met up with some couchsurfers, hiked a mountain, and road tripped around the island.
My time in Fiji started out pretty good. I spent a few relaxing days on the Coral Coast and even checked out the capital city of Suva before heading back to Nadi to go island hopping. Unfortunately my island hopping plans also coincided with a tropical cyclone. Needless to say, those plans rapidly changed.
Due to the storm in Fiji, my general unhappiness, and the fact that it was now heading towards Tonga, I decided to go home instead. But Tonga was not to be forgotten……
May – July – Great Australian Overland Adventure
This trip was EPIC. I will still be writing about it for most of 2013 as well. We just did SO much in such a small amount of time. We started in Darwin, visited Kakadu national park and tried to get eaten by a crocodile (it wasn’t interested), before jumping on Greyhound and heading to Western Australia. We cruised a river in Kununurra, rode camels in Broome, swam with whale sharks in Coral Bay, recklessly drove ATV’s, spent some time on the moon, and finished off Western Australia in Perth and Fremantle.
From there we took the Indian Pacific train to Adelaide, discovered some markets, hopped over to Kangaroo Island, drove the Great Ocean Road, and even spent some time trying to get eaten by Great White Sharks.
In Sydney we visited the foggy blue mountains, did some hiking both in the city, and outside the city, and of course went to see the necessary sites. Soon we were on the road again and drove up the east coast of NSW, until we were back in Brisbane. This was where I left Lauren behind, and continued the rest of the trip on my own.
This is also where I need to start catching up on my blog posts – so you can see just how behind I am! Even posting three times a week is not enough to keep up with all the content Australia has to offer!
Heading up north from Brisbane I stopped in several places along the Sunshine coast, including Noosa, Rainbow beach, and Fraser Island. Then I started to enter the tropical north of Queensland where I spent some time on Magnetic Island, the Whitesundays, and Cairns.
After Cairns I began to move inland, visiting Mt. Isa, Tennant Creek, and Katherine, before arriving back in Darwin.
This time in Darwin I visited Litchfield National Park with a local aboriginal guide, and got to spend some well earned time relaxing before jumping on the Ghan train to Alice Springs. I hopped off the train in Alice Springs, and used it as a base to discover the red centre.
I spent several days camping near Uluru, and also spent some time in King’s Canyon and the West Macdonnel ranges.
The final leg of my journey was back on the Ghan train, as I went back to Adelaide. Thus circumnavigating all of Australia (except for Tasmania), as well as visiting the Red Centre!
August – Tonga Revisited
Knowing that I would soon have to go back to work (damn this not being born rich thing!), Dan and I decided to do a “pre honeymoon” before I started my job. Our destination?
I was so upset that I didn’t get to visit Tonga due to the cyclone, so we made a point of going back there and spending just over a week exploring the main island of Tongatapu and the island of ‘Eua. Posts on that coming soon as well!
September – December – Back To Work In Brisbane
That whole needing money to survive thing is back to getting me down, and I signed a 6 month contract as a temp in a bank. But I have still managed to go on three shorter press trips in the meantime.
The second press trip was a rather major one. I was invited along as a VIP media member on the ACT tourism #humanbrochure campaign to Canberra. Visit Canberra ran a massive weekend, where 250 journalists and influential social media users were invited to discover Canberra and tweet, instagram, and facebook as much as possible in two days. I was on the arts and culture stream and got to visit some more great museums, learn how to blow glass, and even got to see the city from the sky in a hot air balloon.
The third press trip was to Sydney where I spent the day kayaking in the lower blue mountains, got to eat the best meal of my life at Gastro Park restaurant, and learned about grass roots tour guiding through Arribaa.
It’s been a crazy year!
And of course we have also had some surprises….
Dan and I got married…. and now we are expecting a baby.
Things are only going to get more crazy at OurOyster.com!