Havey’s Australia & New Zealand Adventure
Earlier this year, I went on an epic two and a half month journey around Australia and New Zealand, visiting far away places that blew my mind away. When I arrived back home to start the next chapter of my life, I wanted to share my experiences with you in my blogs and we’re already up to 20!
After speaking with a few of you and my friends, I thought it would be good to create a summary blog of these first 20 so you can have easy access and catch up to those in case you missed them. The links are in the little bits of text so click on those to be taken to the full adventure. Strap yourselves in and bookmark this page so you can come back to it later – unless you’re hardcore and able to get through them all in one go haha!
Click here to read about how it all began – relive the thoughts, chaos and process of how I was able to travel and the long journey from UK to Melbourne! It wasn’t as straightforward as you may think and a lot of emotions, fear and doubt crept in as I embarked on my biggest getaway yet!
A grand day out in Melbourne as I visited the Shrine of Remembrance a week before ANZAC day, which gives you a great opportunity to learn about how Australia was affected by the great wars despite being the other side of the world, and nearby, the impressive Royal Botanical Gardens, with its vast array of plants and wildlife.
About a 90 minute drive south of Melbourne is the beautiful coastline of Mornington Peninsular. Coves, beaches, marinas and cafés, you really can spend all day here. Cape Schanck Lighthouse also offers a beautiful sunset experience.
The beginning of an epic 6 day trek around 100km of Australia’s iconic coastlines as we make our way from Melbourne to Apollo Bay and Shelley Beach. Prepare to be amazed by impressive views from the offset and see if you recognise one landmark we went past here.
Day 2 of the GOW started pretty badly as I was locked out my room in the night! However, the walk more than made up for it as we saw the 2nd tallest tree species in the world and a surprising rock pattern on the way to Parker Hill!
Day 3 of the GOW was probably my personal favourite. We had everything from forest scenery, shipwreck history and ending in a glorious sunset as we made it to Castle Cove. Not only that but we got up close to wild koalas and wallabies here!
An injury stopped me from walking on Day 4 but I learnt a LOT about what goes in to these adventure tours before rejoining the hike towards Gable Lookout on day 5. Steep hills made it the toughest walk but there’s some helpful tips in here should you be embarking on a steep hike yourself
The end of the Great Ocean Walk is in sight as we survived a kangaroo chase, stopped at the “Loo with a View” and paid homage to the “elephant tree”! We hadn’t quite made it to the awesome stacks of the 12 Apostles but we reached the end of the 100km hike, where we were greeted by the Easter bunny!
There are no words that can match the majesty of these stack formations. They have had a turbulent history causing shipwrecks and they may not be around much longer with the way the ocean bombards them every second. However, I did dress up as a sailor so there’s that!
And so begins the 5 and a half week adventure in New Zealand, starting at Auckland where I met new friends on the adventure trip, taking us to the highlights for three and a half weeks. There was time to potter around the harbour and the city before starting this bonanza!
We head out of the city and to the Bay of Islands via an awesome road trip stopping off at the indigenous giant Kauri tree park, scenic lookouts and a Kiwi rescue centre, where we met Sparky the Kiwi, before ending up on a boathouse for a beautiful sunset!
Sunrise, snorkelling around the corals and taking a hike up to one of the many islands in the North of New Zealand provided the fun today. Then exploring the small tourist town of Paihia whilst enjoying the local beach finished the evening off nicely.
A Maori cultural experience taught us about the treaty that was signed between the British and Moari chiefs, the conflict that still remains and some of the huge canoes that were made out of kauri trees. On the way back to Auckland, we visited the lovely Whangarei Falls.
We certainly made the most of our two nights in Raglan and what this cool surf town has to offer as we explored the EELS farm, Bridal Veil falls, learned to surf, had fun on our “musical” kayak and spotted some glowworms after sunset.
This was the day I became chief of the “Dobbler” tribe in what was quite a momentous day for everyone involved. It started off cave walking and then the most surreal experience of the glowworm caves at Waitomo where the walls were lit up like the night sky. After that, it was a trip to the geothermal town of Rotorua, hold your breath!
The day started off on a tour around the Hobbiton film set which is where Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit were filmed. Then I embarked on one of the most extreme white water rafting experiences ever as we went down a grade 5, 7 metre drop…eek!
I think we all needed a bit of a chill out after the adventure in Part 16 so we found just that peaceful tranquillity by the lake of Taupō. Awesome views across to Tongariro National Park to enjoy in the morning before heading to Wellington and the South Island.
Our first glimpses of the spectacular south island as we had an epic journey from Wellington to Abel Tasman via ferry and road. We then spent another night on the boathouse before a beautiful 16km coastal hike through this National Park.
The stunning scenery continued as we went down of the world’s greatest coastal drives – Highway 6. Dramatic scenery, seal colonies and Pancake Rock formations left us all with our mouths wide open in awe before getting to Franz Josef!
This was one “cool” experience as we hiked on top of New Zealand’s iconic Franz Josef Glacier. It is forever changing shape as one of the fastest moving glaciers in the world but sadly, it’s in a rapid retreat and may not be around by the end of the century.
So there you have it folks, a quick access to the first 20 blogs from the Australia and New Zealand adventure so far. Hopefully you find it useful and it gives you some ideas for when you visit! I’m looking forward to getting the next 20 done now as there’s plenty more to explore yet!
Until then though, take it easy!
PHC Top 3 – A Chance To Win From A Growing Prize Pool
Well, whilst I’m here, I might as well take the chance to tell you about a new contest that I’ve been a part of with the Power House Creatives called @phctop3. All you need to do is tell us what your top 3 favourites for a chance to win from a growing prize pool – more info here.