I have taken a step back from the blogging these past two months.
The break was mainly due to a trip back home to England after 3 years in Australia and a visit to my boyfriends home, Ireland. I just logged back on tonight. I find writing about all the stuff I get up to therapeutic. Not sure whether people enjoy the blog or not but now I think its more for me.
Well WordPress and I have been writing together for 3 years…I have blogged my trip around South East Asia and all the adventures and trips I have done in Australia.
Big changes happening in the personal life, moving in with my boyfriend, visa’s (whats new) and trying to get fit!
We have booked our Christmas holiday to Fiji and started hiking for our base camp hike next year. Looking forward to those trips…I am sure there will be a few small ones in between with the trusty tent.
A few blogs to tackle about our trip home and moving..these will be after I have tackled the Ikea furniture in our living room. I have realized I was not meant to be a Ikea customer as we have had a few issues putting everything together.
I also ran/ walked the City2Surf this past weekend to raise awareness and money for MS. Our family has had a personal connection with this disease it felt good to help raise some funds. If you would like to give to my donate page click on the link below…everything helps!
Its the time of the year when the CBD is packed every weekend with people wanting to get that perfect picture of the sky line lit up!
Vivid Avoiding Crowds
My boyfriend was down last weekend from his project and he had said I don’t like crowds I don’t want to go to vivid. A small min trick later I had him in the Rocks and loan behold we were technically in Vivid but without the crowds.
I am fine with crowds they do not bother me and I love the vivid festival so I really wanted to go especially as he was down from Coffs for the weekend.
We got off the train at Martins place around 5:30 so it was dark and we walked down to the Rocks and through to the Palasides. I showed MC the view from the top of the bar which is a spectacular view of Sydney and its also a different view of Sydney Harbour.
We settled in the pub downstairs near a window and we could see the Vivid lights on the Shangri – La. We were joined by a few friends and had dinner in the pub which is good pub grub. Around 9:15PM we walked around to the the Theatre Bar. Yet again another great view of the Harbor Bridge and Luna Park. It was great watching all the boats on the water with there lights on for Vivid. The bar was very quiet and relaxing.
When you come out of the bar turn left and walk down the road a little way to the steps going up. At the top of those steps is a amazing view of the Sydney Opera House Sails.
Walking back through the Rocks we got told by a passer by to go up the alley way down the side of the pub ‘ Phillip Foote ‘ there is a Vivid exhibit using 3D graphics….it looks very cool on Boomerang app. Check out the video on my Instagram Keeks9272016
Vivid By Boat
I did a boat trip on Sunday with my house mate and it was fantastic. We bought the tickets through Groupon for $38 each. The boat was a catamaran and seated 30 people. You could bring alcohol on board if you wished. The boat supplied soft drinks wraps and sandwiches.
The boat was massive with room to walk about to get the perfect photo. The route went around to Darling Harbor where we caught the water show then back round to the Opera House and around the botanical gardens. Its a lovely way to experience the lights on the water. The company we went with was Sea Sydney Harbour.
Vivid By Foot
I am going by foot this week to Vivid with my friends since as MC is not a crowd lover. Once I have gone by foot I shall update this section. Hopefully going to check out the Botanical Gardens, The Rocks and maybe Martins Place!
Drink with a View – Dress up after dinner and go for a fancy drink. Find a reason to get your best on and head into the CBD. My favorite places for a treat would be the O Bar and the Shangri-La. We waited for a table with the Shangri-La and it was worth it, plus I think it was only a 15 min wait. Vivid starts soon the sky line will look even better.
Open Water Course – Get a new hobby under your belt. I know its getting cold but don’t worry they provide you with wet suits and the course is cheaper in the off season. I did mine with Pro Dive in Coogee it was a great weekend. Early starts and long days but I felt extremely comfortable and confident with my diving skills by the end of the course. they have weekend and week day courses on offer.
Glebe Markets – The market is every Saturday and it is full of retro vintage treasures. There are lots of creative stands and second hand clothes. If your into vintage and recycling clothes check this market out and of course there is always a coffee stand so you can grab a hot coffee to keep you warm walking around the stalls.
The days are getting shorter and the beach is no longer a option to pass the day. Just put a few idea’s below on what you can do during the winter weekends. Ill add more each week.
Sydney by Kayak – This is where I did the sunrise Kayak trip with a coffee. They have many trips for you to book on to. Just remember your hat and jacket its a bit cold out on the water.
Doggie Rescue – Become a volunteer walker for $10. If you have a car you can head up there on the weekend between 11AM-2:30PM to walk a pup. Its also not far from Palm Beach and even though its colder now its still a great location for a walk and some lunch.
Vivid – It is Vivid soon and I will be writing a separate blog about all the activities to check out. I have just booked on to a Vivid Cruise through GroupOn there are lots of deals on there at the moment.
Cocktail Week – Next week lots of bars are celebrating cocktails with tastings and classes. They have events on the weekend and during the week.
Cinema with a Twist – Golden Age Cinema is my favorite cinema in Sydney. It plays all sorts of movies and has a very small screening room. Before the show you can grab a drink and bar snack in the lounge before taking your drink into the cinema. Its a very small cinema much more personal viewing experience and cost about the same as going to a big chain cinema.
Here are a few things to check out I shall add more each week! Just adding a few photos of the city I took on my walk home from work. Sydney is very camera friendly
As my boyfriend is working away we decided to meet somewhere in the middle to avoid flying with the high prices. We decided on South West Rocks. It is about five hours north of Sydney and a hour and a half south of Coffs. We had our new camping gear to test out as well. We bought everything for camping from Kmart . Everything we bought was brilliant everything worked well I would recommend it to anyone getting into camping.
We stayed at Trial Bay Gaol Campsite which has a over flow part. It was one of very few campsites which did not have a weeks minimum stay. My boyfriend got there first and set up the tent as I traveled up with the rest of the gear and food. Worked out very well as the tent was all set up when I arrived. Our spot was surround by high rocks and the sea just at the other side of it. As soon as the air bed was up and the table and chairs set up we had a walk around the campsite. The bathroom was just behind us but we had a short walk to the showers with hot water. We did a quick trip to IGA and then returned o start to cook diner. We had a small gas stove (Kmart) to cook our tea on and we made chicken and pesto pasta. I didn’t do the cooking I was more the assistance passing things to him and getting a beer. After food he went up on to the rocks and had a look I stayed down on the ground cos I get bad jelly legs with heights. It was a early night for us after a bottle of red because we had a day of diving ahead.
I had been recommended South West Rocks by a friend because it is suppose to be one of the best diving spots in New South Wales. We booked our diving with ‘South West Rocks Diving Centre‘. It would be my first dive after my Open Water course and it would be my boyfriends 16th/17th dive but he hadn’t dived for a few years. We arrived at the shop at 10:30AM filled in the paper work and got our equipment sorted. We grabbed a coffee and met the dive crew at the jetty. We met the people on our trip and we got on the boat. Two very friendly dolphins appeared next to the boat. I don’t think I have ever seen a dolphin in the wild so close!
The boat ride was 40 mins out to Fish Rock. We left the river and hit the ocean then the water became very rough. The boat ride was a lot of fun, had to hang on a bit when we hit the waves. Once we had anchored at Fish Rock we got split into groups of five. The first dive was down to the gutter where the Nurse Sharks lived. The dive brief was given then we got our equipment on and I did my first boat dive. We descended down the mooring and swam over to the gutter. We stayed on the edge of the gutter holding on to rocks so the current didn’t drag us. There was three grey nurse sharks swimming around along with school of fish. When we were swimming back to the mooring we swam over a massive Wobbegong shark. We ascended to the surface doing our safety stops and then had our break on the boat. I got extremely sea sick on the boat when had our break. Luckily someone had sea sick pills on the boat and let me have one which helped a lot.
After our break it was time to do the cave dive, which I was nervous about. We had our dive brief where we found out there was a ridge of reef we would have to drag ourselves up and over and pull ourselves down due to strong currents. We could only go in a small way into the cave because the swell at the other side was to big. Once we had our equipment back on with our flash lights we were going down again. This dive was very intense gripping on to the reef so you were not sucked up to the surface. The ridge was tough everyone was flying into each other and hanging on trying to avoid sea urchins. I made it to the cave and the current dropped a little it was pitch black inside. Flash lights where on. In the cave I saw bright pink fish, eels and more Wobbegong sharks. After the cave was done it was back to hanging on the reef and battling the current over the ridge. When we were back on the boat I got a fist pump from our dive instructor as he knew that was only my second dive. My boyfriend even said to me that was one of the toughest dives he has ever done….so I was pretty chuffed with myself.
That night we met up with the people from our dive trip the Sea Breeze. It was the only pub open in South West Rocks over Easter. Its a lovely pub with a nice area to sit outside and have dinner. The only down side was the line for food was a hour then we had a hour wait on top of that. Safe to say we were ready for dinner when it arrived.
Easter Sunday we went to Smokey Cape Light House after a lovely breakfast at The Heritage Cafe. The views from up there are beautiful. We walked up to the light house and could see Fish Rock from the top. After the light house we headed to check out the Prison ruins Trial Bay Gaol prison near our campsite. The prisons ruins were interesting and they had kangaroos in the grounds. The beach on the campsite was were we spent the afternoon dozing and going for a paddle. We drove into the town to catch the last bit of sun walking around the beaches and had a cheeky drink in the Sea Breeze.
We decided to not cook that night and headed to the local Indian ‘The Royal Tandoori Indian‘. The food was good but the service was very slow and painful to say there was only us and another couple in there. If your looking for a quick tea I wouldn’t recommend this place. That night we spent drinking wine and talking outside the tent listening to the sea.
On the last morning we had breakfast guests. Our friends where driving back from Byron Bay and they called in for breakfast. My boyfriend made a amazing breakfast with our very little bit of food we had left. The tent came down and we packed up our cars. Before heading off back to Coffs and Sydney we decided to grab a coffee at ‘The Smokey Cape Guest House‘ which was a lovely little cafe hidden away. We shared a cake and I had a tea and he had a milk shake. Once refueled we said see you later and hit the road.
My five hour drive back to Sydney turned into a seven hour drive back, but made it back in one piece and at a decent hour. I have to admit it has taken until this weekend to clean all the camping equipment and pack it up. Going to do two extra blogs about what we took/should have taken, and what we ate.
I went up to visit my boyfriend again in Coffs. The weather in Sydney had been terrible and it was not much different up there. After a hour and a half delay from Tiger Airways I was off. The landing was a bit bumpy. It was St Patrick’s Day and with that we headed into Coffs to the Coffs Hotel for the night. A lot of green and a lot of Guinness. On our way home the heavens opened and the rain did not stop all weekend.
Coffs is very much a outdoors place and with the weather being wet it was very hard to find something to keep us occupied. After breakfast we headed to a bowling alley. If you are ever in Coffs Visit here Coffs Coast Kegel 9 Pin Bowling. It is old school bowling. There are games to play with the bowling and the bowls are brought up after every go by string. The place is decorated in airspray art and there was not a sole in there. You can grab a coffe or tea for two dollars off the trolley. It was a lot of fun. That evening we ate at a restaurant in Sawtell called The Spare Rule. The food was lovely and we had great service. If you want a nice date place in Coffs I would check it out. After dinner the rain was still coming down strong.
Sunday we headed to the beach at lunch time but the sea was not a good colour with all the storm debris floating around in it. After a walk around the coast line we headed back to the beach opposite my boyfriends unit. The water looked clear here so we had a little dip, we didn’t venture to far as the waves out at sea were wild. The sky was black and I have to say I was not looking forward to flying back to Sydney. I left that afternoon and the sky had cleared a little and the take off was fine. It was nice to see the sun when I landed back in Sydney. I did learn that you can now order a Uber from the airport you just have to go to one of the pick up locations….it is a great relief as I hate getting into a taxi at Sydney airport and having them try to rip you off.
It was not the best weather to visit Coffs in, but it did mean we got stay in cook meals and be a normal couple for a weekend and as we haven’t got to do things like that in a while I really enjoyed it.
I am about to give everything up to see the world…