My second month in Australia began with my return to the CBD, where I was attacked by a bunch of seagulls whilst eating lunch in Federation Square.
I left Melbourne and had my first experience with an Australian budget airline. I flew with TigerAir who reminded me a lot of RyanAir. The flight was delayed by about an hour for various reasons, including seven people not turning up for the flight and the airline deciding to wait for them, and being stuck in the queue waiting for other delayed planes to take off on the run way.
During this time the rather cranky pilot threatened to turn the plane around if he saw anyone standing up to try and go to the toilet whilst we waited to get on the run way. Nothing quite like “I swear I will turn this plane around and have you arrested.” To get you in the mood for travelling.
Finally the plane took off and I arrived in Hobart to the smallest airport ever. I got the airport shuttle to my hostel and went to check in to the 16 bunk dorm I’d booked. When I went up to the dorm there was only one bunk free, which was confusing as the lady before me had been checked in to the same dorm.
It turned out that some of the guests had taken the wrong beds, and after an attempt to sort the bedding situation out by assembling all the guests staying in that dorm failed to sort it out, I was given a private dorm for the night – with an ensuite!
A happy accident, I was quite pleased to have a room to myself, and took full advantage of it by being a loner for the night. I’d also like to take the chance here to say that I thoroughly recommend The Nook backpackers hostel to anyone visiting Hobart. It’s fairly new, with the friendliest staff ever, special shout out to Jack who makes you feel right at home. It has a real family vibe and is very cosy.
The next day I decided to walk around Hobart, it had been sunny when I left the hostel, but I decided to take my cag-in-a-bag incase the weather turned, as I had been warned by a friend from Hobart who I’d met in St Kilda.
It turns out that you can rock both sunglasses and a raincoat in Hobart, as the sun shines whilst it rains.
(I don’t know about you, but I think this is a look.)
The first thing I checked out, as is becoming part of my orientation ritual in every new city, was the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, you can read all about what I thought about it, as well as MONA and Port Arthur in my Geek Guide to Hobart.
Originally I’d planned on spending a couple of days hitting up as many museums as possible, but after dedicating my first day to a museum, I fancied a change and found myself wanting to spend more time outdoors.
The one thing that made my trip to Hobart different from my travels so far was that I took quite a few day tours. I hadn’t done any proper excursions since arriving in Australia, and I was excited to try out a few. I had wanted to climb Mount Wellington, but out of laziness decided to book two tours to visit it instead. The first tour I took was the Mount Wellington Descent, the most exhilarating thing I’ve done on my travels so far.
The second involved getting a bus to the summit and I had planned to walk down by myself. Approaching the summit, the bus driver told us that the winds were reaching speeds of 80kmph. I got out and went to the pinnacle in an attempt to take some good photos before setting off on my hike down. The wind was so strong it nearly blew my sunglasses off!
I struggled to climb over the rocks and managed to get some precarious selfies, whilst being battered by the wind.
I knew the bus was hanging about for half an hour, so I set off to beginning of the trail. I reached the first signpost which said “if you don’t have a map, first aid kit, adequate clothing etc you may not want to do the walk due to changeable weather.” I looked up at the sky, clouds were gathering and the wind was unrelenting. I decided to go back to the bus, and when I reached it it had started snowing.
So much for being an intrepid solo traveller right? I got the bus back to the city and went and got frozen yoghurt instead.
I also visited MONA and Port Arthur during my stay, and these will be featured in the Geek Guide. As part of my day tour to Port Arthur I got to visit a few geological points on interest along the Tasman Peninsula, namely the Tasma Arch, the Devils Kitchen, and the Blow Hole.
Now I’m not big on geology, and my visit to the Tasmanian Museum highlighted my ignorance of geography, I had no idea that Tasmania is close to Antarctica! However I quite enjoy seeing local beauty spots, and these sites were stunning.
In a way Tasmania reminded me a lot of Iceland, the city was dense with buildings, but relatively quiet despite its size. The surrounding national parks and coast is absolutely beautiful, and just like my visit to Iceland, I didn’t spend enough time there. Hobart is a beautiful place, and I was sad to leave it.
I returned to Sydney and spent a week sofasurfing and hanging out with friends. I enjoyed a brief break from hostels, and got to finally meet Mark Rambles On! We met through BackPackYack, and kept missing each other as we travelled around Australia, before finally meeting in Sydney.
I celebrated my birthday in style going for drinks and darts, before jetting off to Brisbane for Christmas with my friend Steph and her family.
I had a great time celebrating Aussie style with a lot of fizzy wine and Christmas ham. I chose to return to Sydney for New Years so I didn’t explore Brisbane much but my friend kindly took me on a drive around the city. I’m keen to return and explore properly sometime soon!
Returning to Sydney for the second time felt very unadventurous of me, but I was keen to spend New Years with my friends. I had a lovely time celebrating New Years having a barbecue at Mark’s before heading to Balls Head reserve to watch the fireworks at Sydney Harbour Bridge.
It was a bit strange celebrating New Years on the other side of the world, greeting 2017 eleven hours before my friends and family at home. 2016 was a big year for me and as I stood on a bench watching the fireworks I felt various different emotions, pride, sadness, hopeful and happy. This year is all on me now, and I am determined to make it a great year, though at the same time it feels pretty daunting.
2017 has been fraught with trying to find farm work, and a steep learning curve in how not to assume work is readily available. I hope to find something soon, or may have to alter my plans until a job comes along. Travel, as with life is full of ups and downs, and I have no reason to be fearful just yet, I may get a job offer tomorrow. But the end of my second month has been tinged with uncertainty, and hopefully this time next month I can tell you I have found work.
Thanks for reading.
Let me know about your travels in the comments below!