Wayalailai

Wayalailai Resort is one of the only resorts in the Yasawari Islands that is owned and run by the local people of the villages on the island and it showed.  We arrived to the staff singing and welcoming us, we were taken to be checked in before going to the dinning area for afternoon tea.

The resort was beautiful and there the locals were pottering around and always had a "Bula" ready when they saw you.  The resort was made up of several little huts made in the traditional Fijian way with thatched roofs, wooden beams and banana leaves as a layer between the thatching and the beams.  The bedrooms were very simple with slats for windows and mosquito nets over the bed to protect us from the nasties.  We stayed in a room of 4 people, there was a shower and separate toilet off to one side and a basin in the room for us all to share.

As we arrived at the resort mid afternoon there was not to much we could do except lie in a hammock until it was dinner time (Trust me we weren't complaining)

Dinner was a lovely buffet that catered for everyone and we spent the evening dancing and playing relay games,  I loved learning the Bula dance, I think, this was my faveourite pat of the evening.

Day 2 at Wayalailai Resort and we went swimming with sharks!! It was an early start, on the beach and off by 8:30am.  We had about a 30 minute boat ride, it was so rough it was like a rollercoaster! The boat was going over some big waves and just flying before coming back to the water with a bump. I have a sneaky suspicion that they were going over the big waves on purpose.

We made it to the reef despite our rollercoaster of a rider.  The reef we had stopped at made almost a perfect circular area which is where we planned to snorkel and see the sharks.

Once in the water, within minutes we saw our first shark! Our guides were amazing, they swam down to the sea bed and knocked a couple of rocks together, the noise drew in the sharks and several sharks came swimming up. The guides kept diving down and making noises, more and more sharks appeared and soon there were 7 or 8 sharks swimming around. As the Sharks became more comfortable they came closer and closer.

It was amazing to see the sharks so close and the guides did the crazy thing,  they were grabbing the tails of the sharks!! They brought them closer and we got the chance to to touch them!! As the swam past we held put our hands and the sharks swam past and brushed our hands. Unbelieveable!!

We got back to the resort to only find that it was 10:30am and had the whole day left.  We spent the rest of the day relaxing on the beach, sunbathing, reading, chatting to some lovely girls we had met on the boat to Wayalialia.  the sun was so beautiful and hot , taking a dip in the sea when we go too hot and switching between lying on the beach or getting a little bit of shade chilling in a hammock.

The evening was a beautiful dinner followed by more bula dancing and star gazing, it was lovely, a mat was put on the grass and we all lay there, including the staff and looked up at all the stars, there were so many and it was lovely just chatting and laughing with the staff before bed.

Our final day in Wayalialia had a slow relaxed start.  We checked out our room before grabbing our towels and heading to the the beach.  After a day in the sun the day before I was ready for a bit of shade and so spent the majority of the morning in a hammock under a shady pergalore; with a view of the sea I was set.

After lunch we relaxed on the beach one last time before getting too hot and spending the last couple of hours in the shade of the open air dinning area, playing cards, chatting and enjoying the last few hours at this beautiful resort.

It was a sad moment leaving Wayalialia, the staff were so friendly and were always keen to talk to you and we met some lovely girls, we will definitely keep in contact with.

As we moved on to our next island we were reunited with a couple of friends we had met on Korovou, it was lovely to catch up with them and what they had been up to, we were also spending the following few days together and were really looking forward to having some fun together.

3 islands down 3 to go and I have fallen in love with Fiji!!

Chasing waterfalls 

Cairns we have been and gone; we had a busy couple of days. There were 2 main things that we wanted to do while in Cairns. The first was a tour of the waterfalls around cairns and the tablelands. Over the course of the day we visited 7 places and saw 3 waterfalls.

It was an early start and we were collected by the tour bus from our hostel. Our tour guide for the day was Jordan, an enthusiastic and entertaining guide. We drove for about an hour to our first stop Babinda boulders. Jordan warned us that if we were male and between the ages of 18 and 25 to keep your wits about you as the place was cursed. 

The story goes that there were 2 tribes living side by side when the wife of one tribe leader fell in love with a handsome man from the other tribe. As the girl was married they met in secret. One day they were caught and as punishment the couple we dragged from each other never to see the other again. The girl managed to escape a jumped into the river to escape. She cried for him to return but he never did. While she was crying and calling out for her love the land shook with “terror and sorrow” causing rocks to appear from the earth. Her tears became a rushing water covering the rocks and the whole area. The heart broken girl disappeared between the water and the rocks becomeing part of the rocks.  The ledgers goes that the girls spirit still remains at the boulders. She cries out for her love and she calls to the wandering traveller into the water in the hopes of reclaiming her love again. So boys you have been warned 😉

After Babinda Boulders we went to Josephine falls. I think this was my favourite stop of the day. It was a natural water slide! We spent quite a while there just having fun and getting to know the group we were with for the day. Harriet and I went down on an inflatable watermelon 🍉 With a little help from our tour guide, Mikey, we both successfully got on without loosing either of us. 

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Our second waterfall of the day was Mila Mila falls, this is the waterfall they use in the Herbal Essences advert. Jordan, our tour guide, played some big and dramatic music for the big reveal of the waterfall as you could drive right up to it! Everyone wanted to do the famous hair flick so we spent a bit of time just watching every one throw their head in the water and then out again trying to get the flick, Harriet had a go a we got the perfect video!


After Mila Mila falls it was lunchtime! The day was flying by, we stopped at a one of the oldest wooden pubs in Australia. We had a much deserved lunch ready for the afternoon ahead.

Mount Hypipamee National Park was our next stop. As we got off the bus our tour guides began looking for really big rocks. We wondered why. A short walk to a large crater, didn’t shed much light on the rocks but it was amazing.  It was really deep and the walls of the crater were also fee nominally tall. So when our tour guide said that he was going to throw the large rock he had carried to the crater we all watched. It was not what we saw that was amazing but what we heard. As the rock hit the water there was the most realistic gun shot sound and it echoed around the crater too which made it cooler. 

A short walk on from the crater was Dinner falls. Dinner falls was quite a fast flowing waterfall. Our tour guides told us about a small cave behind a part of the waterfall and how cool it was to get into the cave. So a line of people attempted to get threw the waterfall and into the cave.  It looked really hard, even the tour guides struggled a bit and in the end they were dragging people through.  I didn’t go in this time by the time I had lunch I was ready to put in dry clothes and just watch the fun unfold.

Have you see Avertar? If you have you will hopefully know the tree of life? Well the Curtain Fig Tree inspired the tree of life in Avertar. This was our next stop. I found it really interesting how the Curtian Fig Tree grows, a seed begins to grow on a ‘host’ Tree.  The Fig tree grows roots which run down the ‘host’ tree to the ground, more and more roots begin to grow and eventually they strangle and takeover the ‘host’ tree. The Curtian Fig Tree was formed as the ‘host’ tree fell onto another tree, the Fig tree then took over the second Tree strangling and taking over the second tree and creating the the curtain-like look of the tree. It was a very old looking tree but understanding the way it has grown was fascinating – showing the inner geek in me 🤓


We hoped to see a platypus at Yungaburra but unfortunately they were feeling shy and didn’t come to say hello,  it we did see a small turtle popping up for some fresh air.

Our final stop on the day was the beautiful Crater lakes.  The water was th colour of a jade stone and you could jump or dive off a pontoon into the water.  A great end to the day.

The whole day was so much fun and it is something I will never forget! Jordan and Mikey were ace as our tour guides. They knew the area but were also so much fun. I can’t believe this is their job!! How lucky!! 

Day in the Daintree

One of the things I love about Australia is the variety of places/ environments there are. You have cities, beaches, out back, forests, mountains and rainforests. I hope that over the next couple of months we get to see these amazing landscapes. 

While in Port Douglas we checked of one of those landscapes, Rainforests. 

We had been looking at different tours in the area and they all looked amazing but as we are travelling and only at the beginning of our adventure we wanted to costs down. While speaking with the couple we were sharing a room with they mentioned renting a car for the day and doing the trip themselves and they invited us along. This seemed a great idea, the car hire was very reasonable and although we still had other expenses between 4 of us it was much more reasonable and affordable that the tours.  

Let me take you through the day. 

It was an early start as we wanted to do as much of the trip without the rain. When we got to the car hire place there was a bit of a faff with deposits and things so we left about 9ish. 

Our first stop of the day was Mossman Gorge. As gentle gorge surrounded by beautiful greenery. The was also a suspension bridge that you could cross to see the gorge from a different viewpoint. 

We drove on about 30 minutes to the Daintree River and the ferry crossing. The River was so still it was a very smooth and easy crossing. 

Our first stop was the Daintree Ice Cream Company. They made fresh ice cream from exotic fruits. For about $6 you could try the days collection of flavours, we had coconut, passion fruit, wattleseed and black sapote. My favourite was the passion fruit flavour, it was sweet, juicy and tasted like it was eating fresh passion fruit. Just mouth watering!! It was a nice and refreshing stop after being in the car for a while. A chance to stretch your legs and enjoy the sun. 

Being in the car, driving at your own pace, you get to see so much of the beautiful Rainforest. However, you do get a much better view/feel of the rainforest by walking round it, experiencing the sights, smells, sounds and the heat is definitely the way to explore the Rainforest. We found Marrdja Boardwalk, a 30 minute circuit that you could wander. During the walk we saw a number of spiders and a couple of crabs 🦀 too. The circuit led you to a viewpoint at Noah Beach, a peaceful spot to take a moment.

One of our friends had been told about a beautiful swimming hole that was a local secret. It was naturally formed and definitely a spot to visit. This was something that we didn’t want to miss, which we nearly did the shop was tucked behind a large tree. I am so glad we didn’t though as the swimming hole was indescribable and my photos to not portray the beautiful of this hidden gem. The water was a beautiful temperature to cool off and trees towering over the swimming hole provider a natural shade from the mid day sun. There was a large vine that hung from a branch that formed the perfect swing. It was the perfect picture for me and my sister.

This sport was truly magical and the sort of spot I have dreamed about visiting. I hope that I will get the chance to visit many more magical places like this.


The most northern spot on our trip was Cape Tribulation Beach and lookout. This Beach was like Bay taken from a photograph, an empty Beach, soft sand, beautiful water and green Rainforest as far as the eye could see. A short walk through the trees took you to the edge of the Bay and to the look out giving you an amazing view of the Beach, the Rainforest and the sea. Just beautiful!

We then began the beautiful journey back to Port Douglas. It was lovely to just drive and watch the trees and the glimpses of the coastline pass up by. Just before we reached the river ferry we stopped off at Alexander lookout, something we had missed on the way up.  You had an amazing view of the Rainforest as it met the sea, of the Daintree river and if you looked closely you could see Port Douglas. A great way to end the day!

I am glad that we didn’t go with a tour group, although there is nothing wrong with the tours, we got to travel at our own pace, stop where we wanted and see some of the spots that the tours would not visit. I also feel that while we were exploring we were experiencing the peace, tranquility and the stillness of the rainforest something that I don’t think we would have had if we were travelling in a larger group.  

If you every plan to visit North Queensland the Daintree Rainforest is definitely a must see. I would recommend hiring a car and exploring yourself as it is cheaper and you can travel at your own pace and see some truly magical places that the tours do not go. The Daintree Rainforest will be a highlight of my Australian adventure that I look back on with a smile 😃

Port Douglas

So we have now left Sydney after an unforgettable Christmas and New Year. After a short flight and drive we arrived in Port Douglas, the start of our east coast adventure. Port Douglas is a cute little town that has not yet been massive hit by the tourism industry it still has, in my opinion, that cute-little-town feel. 

We were collected from Cairns airport by our hostel’s shuttle bus. The drive along the coast and gives you stunning views of the beaches, the coast line and, of course, the rainforest. Our driver took us on a little tour of Port Douglas to help us get our bearings.  We stopped at  Flagstaff Hill, a view point at the top of a really big hill, giving amazing first views of the rainforest as it meets the coastline and the gorgeous Four Mile Beach. The sky was a beautiful blue and contrasted with lush green forest surrounding it.

Moving from our comfortable house in Sydney to a Port Douglas hostel was a little daunting. I was a little worried, de to stories from friends, about the basic and sometimes uncomfortable shared accommodation of some hostels, but our hostel “Dougies” was so nice. With an open kitchen/dinning/hangout area/bar, it was fabulously clean with good facilities and good cooking and food storage. The hostel was very cool with wooden walkways between the different accommodation areas and lovely verandas. Most of the main accommodation was open, making it feel very tropical!

We shared a 4-bed dorm and the couple we shared with were lovely.  Our room was basic with 2 sets of bunk beds and a set of cupboards for each person which was ample space for the four of us sharing.


Our first evening we took a short walk to Four Mile Beach and I, within minutes of stepping onto it, absolutely loved it;  soft sand and warm water = perfection! With no sunscreen, we only spent about 10 minutes on the beach before returning to the hostel via the shop for our evening provisions. On our way back, we were caught in a tremendous downpour getting completely stacked with warm but very wet rain! 
After this we realised that because we were visiting in the “rainy season”, it  was normal for the morphs to be clear and sunny and the afternoons and evenings for it to rain, possibly heavily.  So this focused our daily intineries As we had to use the mornings for our sightseeing and activities, knowing that the afternoons could be very wet and we didn’t want to get everyday! But of course, best laid plans don’t always work and that was what happened and we got wet most afternoons!  However, it meant we used the our evenings to just chill and plan for the next day and, of course, blog!  

Day 2 in Port Douglas we hit the 4 miles of sandy beach again; this time early and with the sunscreen; and it was the perfect beach! Being North Queensland swimming is restricted, so we swam in the small netted off area, which is safe from deadly jellyfish and other unmentionables! It was a beautiful place to swim and to soak up the warm sunshine. Small fish (which somehow made it through the net!) swam around our legs. It was also to walk along the sea shore, allowing the gentle waves to lap at our feet.  The water was so warm! I’m sometimes a little hesitant when water is cold, so this was just perfect! 

 
For our final day in Port Douglas, we hired a car with another couple and road tripped up through the Daintree Rainforest to Cape Tribulation. But that’s a story for another day 😉

Hello 2017!

For me welcoming the new year is always a chilled occasion with friends and family. This year was no different, we celebrated with friends however we were on the beach!!!

Mid afternoon we made our way to Dee Why beach with a picnic and a few beverages. We lay out in the sand and chatted; this then turned into a handstand competition which then became a wrestle between 2 friends. One friend picked up the other in the end and went down to the water and fully dunked her!! 💦 

Later on in the evening we met up with the family friends we spent Christmas Day with. They had made camp on a grassy verge just off the beach, again we just chatted and had a few drinks. 🍹 At 9pm there were fireworks, they were let off from a boat out at sea. I love fireworks all the colours and how they light up the sky. 

 

We then went back to a friends house to chill, drink some more and also to watch the new year come in. At midnight the TV was on and we watched the Sydney Harbour Bridge light up. However we had the added bonus of seeing the fireworks along the Sydney River. They were spectacular but you didn’t know where to look; outside at the river or the TV and the bridge but wherever you looked they were amazing. 

 

The whole day was amazing and relaxed. It was a perfect way to bring in 2017, the adventures and fun that’s coming too!!

The Hills are Alive!

While in Sydney my sister and I took a day trip to the Blue Mountains. We took the train to Katoomba, a cute and busy town. You could take one of the guided tours or the hop-on-hop-off bus to see all the sights but we chose not to do that. We chose to stay in a main part of the Blue Mountains.   

A 30 minute walk brought us to Echo Point Lookout, from there we could see the Three Sisters a beautiful view and something you have to see to fully appreciate it.   

A short walk led us to the Three Sisters and a steep set of stairs took us to the Honeymoon Bridge giving you a beautiful view of the surrounding area and a close encounter with one of the Three Sisters. 

The views from both the Lookout and the Honeymoon Bridge were awesome and breathtaking. The landscape was so green and stretched for miles and miles. 

After seeing the Three Sisters we ventured over to Scenic World, but rather than go via the main road we chose the Prince Henry cliff walk. The route took us along the edge of the cliff offering spectacular opportunities for beautiful photos. It was a 1.2km walk and with the heat of the day it was quite a long and tiring walk but the views definitely made up for it. 

At the end of the walk was Scenic World, a great opportunity to experience the rainforest from the ground. We took the scenic railway to the rainforest, the train is the steepest train in the world! You are sat at a 52 degree angle as you descend the cliff into the rainforest. Only a 5 minute ride but a fun 5 minutes; check out the video below.
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We took a gentle walk around the rainforest. It was such a peaceful and beautiful place and being amongst the trees was amazing.

Some trees grew through the board walk making the pathway fell natural and so it doesn’t disturb the rainforest much. 

There was so much to see and it was such a beautiful place. It is a place that if you go a second time you would see things you hadn’t seen before. 

A smooth cable car ride took us back up to the top of the cliff. Again the views going up were spectacular and so many shades of green!!!

We finished the day with the Skyway, a swift cable car ride over the rainforest. You could either go one way or take a return journey. Taking the return journey allowed us to see the panoramic views of the Three Sisters and the Jamison Valley; on the way back we stood on the glass deck and managed to see the tree tops from a completely different angle. 

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The Blue Mountain and Three Sisters was an amazing piece of nature that you can experience from all angles!! I would definitely recommend going to see this natural beauty. It’s one of a kind. 

Christmas with a Difference 

So rather than my normal Christmas of opening gifts with family, Christmas turkey and cozying up by the fire this year Christmas was spent in 35 degree sunshine on the beach, no turkey and defiantly no cozy fire (unless you count the BBQ) 

Waking up to the sun shining was definitely different and putting on shorts and t-shirts was strange but once you got used to the idea it became a beautiful day (it didn’t take me long to get used to the idea believe me!)

After going to church to celebrate the birthday of Jesus. I, my sister and her friends went to North Curl Curl beach. It is a gorgeous sandy beach that stretches 1.2km. The water was the perfect temperature to cool off from the scorching sun.  

We met up with some family friends and after a swim and a glass of champagne 🥂 we headed back for a very chilled afternoon. 

We had a beautiful sea food and BBQ dinner, completely different to the turkey roast dinner I’m used too. Eating outside was also different no cozying up to the fire this year. We spent the day eating, playing outdoor games and enjoying everyone’s company. 

Overall it was a great Christmas, very different to what I am used to but with good food and good company we can celebrate anywhere!!