In February 2013 my boyfriend and I decided to put practically everything we owned in storage, leave our jobs and travel halfway across the world to the land of Oz. We were both fed up of the horrible weather in the UK, both stressed at work and in need of a change so we took the leap.
Well as you can imagine we were super excited! Probably the hardest part for me, apart from leaving my family and friends was packing. I had to pack everything I would need for a years travelling into a suitcase! Being a girly girl made this task even more difficult.
We arrived in Perth in May 2018. Perth is an amazing mix of city, water and greenery. We had booked a youth hostel for the first few nights- I like to think of myself as spontaneous but the thought of turning up in a new country with nowhere organised to stay filled me with fear! So after a lot of googling I booked a hostel called the Witches Hat.
Staying in a hostel was a bit like being back at Uni. There is so much to see and do in Perth. One of my favourite things was Perth Zoo. We spent a couple of weeks exploring Perth, soaking up the Rays and having a bit of a holiday before travelling further north to Freemantle or Freo as the locals call it. Freo is an amazing little city, it has a very bohemian feel.
There were plenty of hidden treasures to be found in and around Freo. There are some great vintage shops in Freo and the market is definitely worth a visit! Little creatures down by the docks is a cool place to sample a beer or some Aussie cuisine. Freo boasts some beautiful beaches and there is a free cat bus that will take you to most of them.The Jail is also worth a look!
Just down the road from Freo is Mandurrah a great place to spot some Dolphins and sample some yummy fish and chips. Take a boat trip to try and spot some Dolphins and check out the Million dollar waterside properties, a girl can dream!
After all our exploring and relaxing came job hunting. This took us too the mining town of Karratha. Chris found a job as a joiner and I worked for a family day care centre . Karratha is a developing town in the middle of a desert but surprisingly it is the place I have the fondest memories of.
Karratha is a mining town in the middle of no-where! It’s hot and dusty but oh so beautiful. Most of the locals are “fly in, fly out” and there are around 10 men to every women! I made some wonderful friends in Karratha, Chris made some serious money and there are so many hidden gems.
Some of my favourites include:
Karratha leisureplex An amazing outdoor pool complex, Australia doesn’t do indoor pools-it’s far too hot! I spent most of my days off here.
Moonrise outdoor cinema The only way to watch a movie in oz- outside! Simply rock up with a camping chair, picnic, blanket etc And enjoy the amazing experience of watching a movie under the stars- there really is nothing quite like it!
Aboriginal Rock Art
On the way to the beautiful Hearsons Cove you can turn off and explore some Australian history and if you’re lucky you might see some kangaroos also.
Hearsons Cove This is one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve visited, a great place to have a bbq, soak up some rays and go fishing.
Soul Cafe The best place to go in Karratha for some yummy food- bring your own alcohol and enjoy the quirky atmosphere of this little gem.
Dampier yacht club A fab spot to enjoy a cocktail and admire the view. They also do a great seafood basket. Stop off and see the Red dog statue on the way.
Coral bay is described as the Great Barrier Reef without as many tourists. It really is a little slice of heaven-clear waters, sandy beaches, amazing sunsets and one of the best places in the world the snorkel. Coral bay very nearly tempted me to stay in Australia for ever. I even picked up an application form for a campsite there.
Our next stop was to a cattle farm close to Derby, the most challenging part of my time in Australia! However I will not dwell on the intense heat, the horrible living conditions or the flying beetles. In Derby you don’t eat the cattle, they try and eat you! I will share with you the nicer moments. From looking after a pet camel to sleeping under the stars I experienced so many things I never would have anywhere else.
Whilst there we took full advantage of its delightful offerings:
A sea kayak, camel ride, trip to Matsos, ride in a hovercraft to see the dinosaur footprints, visit to the crocodile park, shopping at the markets and relaxing stay in a lovely hotel were some of my favourite things about this City. Matsos alcoholic ginger beer is very drinkable, as is their mango Beer and the food there is yummy.
After our stay in Derby we had a little trip to Asia before heading up North to Darwin, our final stop. Darwin is an amazing place again a great mix of beautiful beaches, city life and greenery. Being in such a hot and humid place over winter was very strange and I really did start to miss back home! Darwin is a very unique place, it is the capital city of NT and experiences very tropical weather! In the wet season its population is a lot smaller than in the dry.
One of the things I loved about Darwin was the mix of people, no-one who lives in Darwin seems to be from there. This mix of people gives birth to things like “orphan parties” parties over Christmas and New year for travellers who find themselves away from family. In Darwin we also did a lot of BBQ-ing and tried kangaroo and crocodile! There were some great op shops in Darwin (their name for charity shops). In the city center I would recommend cold rock ice cream parlour for the most amazing treat! A bit further afield the waterfront is beautiful and bursting with cool shops and bars. The wave pool there is lovely too they even have a sectioned off part of the ocean for safe swimming.
I absolutely loved our travels around Australia but I did miss my family and friends back home. I would recommend travelling to everyone. It’s not as expensive as you might expect and you can pick up work and even make good money. This blog entry is a very brief overview of our trip, let me know if you’d like any of my future blogs to go into detail on any areas about travelling or Australia? Have any of you been to Australia, if so I’d love to hear from you. X