This chapter of our journey is something we have both been extremely excited for; James joining us in Australia. It took weeks of Skyping him and expressing just how amazing this place is, but he finally took the plunge and decided to come over here and experience it himself. This time it isn’t just for a holiday, he has the full year’s working visa like us!
Of course we have already done our Gold Coast trip which was more like a mini holiday. After that it was back to reality for us working our Mon-Fri office jobs while James searched for work himself. After a week, we knew that going to see Ash and seeing more of the country and instilled the travelling bug back in us with renewed vigour! So we decided to pack up and go do our farm work which in turn means we will be able to apply for a 2nd Year visa in Australia if we so wish! We were pretty lucky as we got a call back quite quickly and we bagged ourselves some regional work in Queensland due to start towards the end of April.
As I said we were pretty keen to get back on the road so we all agreed that the best plan of action was to leave our jobs once Liam’s contract ended and then slowly travel up the coast over a number of weeks until we reach the farm, thus feeding our hungry bug for a little while. As we knew then that we had a time restriction on our time in Sydney we had to literally pack as much as possible into our weekends before we left.
We finally actually went in the National Maritime Museum and got to explore a few different ships including of course the replica HMS Bark Endeavour, the ship that started it all! It’s crazy that this tiny little ship with basic amenities and cramped conditions made it all the way here! We also got to look around a much larger Australian Navy Ship and a submarine as well. I can’t even comprehend how people can spend such a large amount of time on these kinds of vessels, so fair play! After the Museum we decided to squeeze in a trip up the Sydney Tower Eye as well to see a bird’s eye view of this gorgeous city!
James time in Sydney wouldn’t have been complete without visiting the stunning beaches that it’s so famous for so one of the days we headed off for some tanning time down at Bondi. We got ourselves some food to cook on the free barbies’s and even did the coastal walk finishing in Coogee again.
We also visited Manly beach for the first time too, it’s a little more out of the way than the other beaches so we’ve always put it off but it was worth the ferry ride over in itself and the beach of course was beautiful. Before we got the ferry over to Manly we tried a very different way to view the harbour and surroundings; we caught a Jetboat from Circular Quay. Basically it’s a super-fast boat that spins you around and gets you absolutely soaking wet from head to toe! It was really good fun and took us right out into the bay so we got a cracking view of Sydney.
I finished my job a couple of weeks early so I could dedicate my time to organising our trip up the coast, something I do best! I also spent a lot of time documenting and scrapbooking our trip so far, it’s been good to reflect back on just how many places we have
been and everything we have done and of course build the excitement for the many more memories we are going to make! On a few of the days while Liam was at work the poor thing, me and James did some touristy stuff, we did a little shopping and visited the Australia Museum, St Mary’s Cathedral, Hyde Park and the Anzac War Memorial.
I had personally been really looking forward to visiting the Blue Mountains, I know we would have been really disappointed if we had missed it while we were here so on our last weekend we got up extremely early and hopped on a train for 2 hours to take us right out into the sticks. We had a hop on hop off explorer bus to take us around the main parts of this humongous national park. We also went to Scenic World which consisted of a cableway taking you over the valley, a railway which is the steepest in the world taking you from the top to the bottom of the valley and a Skyway taking you back up again. It was definitely the best way to view the mountains and it was cool being able to delve deep down into the jungle below and see the remnants of the old mines. We also walked quite a way of the mountains as well when we exploring the area around the 3 Sisters and also the Leura Falls. It was one of the most stunning places I have been and that’s saying something as we have been to some pretty awe-inspiring places!
We couldn’t possibly have left Sydney without saying a proper goodbye to our most helpful and first point of contact in Sydney, Ritchie. He started out as our couch-surfing host and has turned out to be a good friend. As well as helping us out when we were in-between moving flats and letting us stay he has also been gracious enough to let James stay for the duration of his time in Sydney! So on our last Saturday in the city we took him to Darling Harbour for a meal and of course to watch the wonderful fireworks! We also had various other nights out of course before leaving; the boys had a productive night at the Star Casino while I went for a night out in Kings Cross with my girls from work. I also had a pretty hectic night out to the Ivy which is a huge bar/club in the centre with the girls the night before we were due to catch the bus. Safe to say I was feeling extremely sorry for myself on the coach ride to Byron!