oz recap part 4: cairns
wow, it’s hard to believe that almost 3 months later i’m still recapping my trip to australia … guess that means i used my time there well! … right?!
after spending almost a week in beautiful broome, my friend anna and i headed to cairns, in queensland, to snorkel the great barrier reef … making a major dent in the bucket list with this one! there wasn’t a whole lot going on in cairns … it almost reminded me of a jersey shore town, with all of the night clubs, hostels and backpackers … but it was a great launching point for the reef!
i don’t have many good pictures of the airbnb we stayed in, but i just needed to highlight how freakin’ cute this place was … the outdoor patio with the lanterns was magical in the evenings and it was such a nice little retreat.
one highlight of cairns for me was rusty’s market, which was filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, natural product vendors and, of course, fresh coconut water!
[coconut stand at rusty’s market][fresh fruit at rusty’s market]
the esplanade, which was down by the water, and the cairns marina offered amazing views. how cool are those fish statues?!
[cairns esplanade][cairns marina]
now, most importantly … let’s talk about our day trip to the great barrier reef! we went out with seastar cruises, and i have to say, they were fantastic! they served us coffee, tea and muffins in the morning when we arrived on the boat, a pretty solid lunch in the afternoon, and cakes on the return trip. the staff was super friendly and knowledgable, and overall the experience was great.
unfortunately, we had pretty choppy water and a lot of wind that day, and after the two hour trip to our first stop, michaelmas cay, i was so ready to get in the water! even though it was winter in australia, the water was like bath water … literally the perfect temperature for swimming, no wetsuit required! we hopped out onto the beach [there is a small section that people are allowed to go on, while the rest of the cay is reserved for wildlife], put our flippers and masks on, and quite literally, dove in!
[ready to go!]
[bluest water ever!]
we spent about an hour at michaelmas cay, got back on the boat and headed another hour out into the ocean, to totally open water, where we snorkeled hastings reef…this was where we were able to see huge coral walls, which were about 30 to 40 feet high. un.real.
besides the amazing reefs, we saw the most colorful fish … literally fish of every size and every color you could imagine … a massive fish [see the picture below], a giant barracuda [so scary!!!!] and my favorite and definitely the highlight of the day … sea turtles!! we also got to do a glass bottom boat tour, which was way cooler than it initially sounded, i promise. all in all, the day was great and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience!
the images below are really all that i have [i took some underwater video and snagged these pictures from seastar’s facebook page] … but i think you can get a feel for what it was like!
[smiling faces after an amazing, once in a lifetime experience!]
unfortunately, because of pollution and global warming, the coral is not nearly as vibrant and colorful as it once was and a lot of it is dead. the beauty is still there, but it was pretty depressing to really see what we’re doing to the planet with my own eyes in a way that was super easy to digest.
on that note, there’s one last thing i want to leave you with … not to get all political or anything, but please, if any part of you feels sad or upset about what is happening to the great barrier reef … or even if you’re unclear on exactly what is happening, please check out this link and sign the petition if you feel so inclined. we need to make sure we’re doing something to preserve this natural wonder … before it’s too late!
my next recap will be for brisbane [koalas and kangaroos will be covered] … i really loved this city and can’t wait to tell you all about it!
oz recap part 3: eco beach + the wedding!
finally time to do another australia recap! today, i have a bit of a photo diary for you. i mentioned in my previous australia-related posts [here, here, here and here] that the main reason I was in australia was to attend my friend from college’s wedding. i love weddings to begin with, so imagine my excitement when i found out that this wedding would not only be in australia, but was going to take place at a secluded eco resort on the north western coast of australia.
the resort, eco beach, is located about an hour drive from broome and the place is actually paradise. they run on solar power, have an organic garden, chickens, a restaurant and bar serving amazing, fresh food, lots of activities [including yoga!] and, finally an infinity pool. we stayed in a four person villa, which was massive. it had one bedroom, a big bathroom, an oversized living room with bunk beds and a wrap-around garden view patio. this place was absolute heaven.
[garden view patio…perfect place to sit + drink a cup of coffee in the morning!]
[early morning yoga with a view]
between the beach, the cliffs, the color of the ocean and the infinity pool, the views at eco beach were like nothing I’ve ever seen before. the sunsets and sunrises? FORGET IT. the sky was so clear and there was no light pollution, so at night we could see the milky way. we even got to witness a staircase to the moon [which no photo i could take could do justice]. again … this place was absolute paradise.
[um, talk about the most epic sunset of all time. HASHTAG NO FILTER.]
[woke up early to catch the sunrise on our last morning in paradise. worth it.]
finally, i want to show you a few pictures from the wedding. the wedding took place on the beach, with the ocean and the cliffs as the back drop. the bride and the bridesmaids casually arrived via helicopter. yea, you read that right. the ceremony was beautiful and the party started right away, with the celebrations carrying on way into the early morning hours. shoes were not worn at any point during the evening, as the reception was also on the beach. there were twinkle lights, paper lanterns, a lounge area with a fire pit. everything was absolutely picture perfect. oh, and did i mention that the bride was stunning?!
[goofing around + drinking “champers” after the ceremony!]
[barefoot beach reception]
[drinks, food + dancing!]
[our table’s centerpiece]
[photo booth fun!]
[soul sisters. the end.]
oz recap part 2: broome
time for another australia recap! i love doing these posts and honestly, if i had more time and money and less responsibilities, i would definitely be a travel blogger. so, any chance i have to share some pictures from a trip… whether it’s a big one or just a small weekend getaway, i jump at… hope that’s okay with all of you!
i posted a mini-recap of the 15 hours i spent in perth a few weeks ago, which was my accidental first stop on the trip due to flight delays. today, we’re talking about broome, a small coastal town in western australia where i was headed to see my friend get married!
i arrived at the broome airport [one gate, one baggage carousel, etc.] to find my friend, désirée [and the bride!] waiting for me right inside the gate… such a surprise to see her right there. air travel in australia is so much more relaxed than it is in the u.s. and europe… not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing… but, anyways. it had been seven years since we had last seen each other [seven!]… what a reunion, right?! definitely cried a little. whatever.
we headed straight to the house that a bunch of the girls who were in town for the wedding were renting, which was being referred to as the hen’s mansion and wow, was this place was amazing. not only was it a gorgeous, open space with literally everything we needed, but we also had an amazing pool in the backyard that the sun hit all. day. long. it’s safe to say we spent a large amount of our time lounging poolside, drinking champagne and behaving exactly the way you would expect ten girls on vacation in australia for a friend’s wedding to behave. look at this pool… our own private paradise!
after getting settled in house, we drove to gantheaume point, a coastal area of broome known for its sandstone cliffs and scenic views. guys… this place was just un.real. i have never seen sand this red or water this blue. i’ll let the photos speak for themselves.
[a few of the ladies at gantheaume point]
the other thing that is really noteworthy about broome is the sunsets. my friend’s hen’s night [what they call bachelorette parties in oz] was held at a beach bar, zander’s, where we sat outside and had a perfect view of the beach as the sun went down. and obviously we had the best time ever at the hen’s night. again… is this real life?
[a selfie just for good measure, because DUH]
finally, the day before the wedding, we decided to partake in some tourist sh*t and take a morning camel ride down cable beach. when in rome, right? while this wasn’t the most exciting thing i’ve ever done, it was super relaxing and you can really tell that the company we went through, red sun camels, loves and cares for the animals, which always makes me feel good. our camel, juan, was hilarious and had so much personality… i mean how cute are they?!
[juan the camel… so cute]
[me + anna, enjoying the view!]
[again, when in rome.]
while broome is a place i would say most people haven’t heard of before [i definitely hadn’t!], in my opinion, it’s one of australia’s hidden gems and was certainly the highlight of my trip based on the landscape and scenery alone. also, keep in mind that i was here during australia’s winter and it was still 90-95° every day… so to everyone who questioned why i was going to australia in winter… well, haters gonna hate.
oz recap part 1: perth snaps
ahhh, australia. let’s talk about australia. i gave you guys the rundown on everything i ate in the land down under last week, but now i want to really start talking about my trip. where i went, what i did… and of course, show you some pictures!
my first stop on this trip was [supposed to be] broome, where my dear friend from study abroad was getting married. broome is in western australia, so saying that getting there was a hike is an understatement.
long story short, my flight to brisbane was delayed getting out of l.a.x. and i ended up missing my connecting flight to broome. because broome is super small [one baggage claim at the airport, one gate, etc.], there is only one direct flight a week from brisbane to broome, so they had to reroute me via perth. i had to stay overnight and fly out the next morning, but qantas put me up in a really nice hotel, the pan pacific, took care of transportation to and from the airport and gave me a $50 meal voucher, which was great.
unfortunately, by the time i got to perth and the whole ordeal was worked out, i was really only there for a few hours on a sunday evening, so i didn’t get to see much. i did get a chance to walk around down by the water during sunset and see the city skyline… and just not being on a plane was a much appreciated change of pace after over 30 hours of traveling! it was a welcome surprise to spend a little time in a city i hadn’t planned on visiting, even if it was only for a short time. pretty, right?
[view of swan river from langley park]
[palm trees along the walking/bike paths in langley park]
[the bell tower]
[view from my hotel room]
hopefully i will get to go back to australia some day in the future and really see perth, but this mini-visit was still beautiful! next week, we’re going to talk more about australia with a recap of what is easily the most beautiful place i’ve ever been… stop numéro dos… broome!
off to oz!
well, the day is here. as i mentioned on wednesday, i’m headed to australia, the land down under, for the next two weeks! i’m literally bursting with excitement at this point and i don’t know how much longer i’ll be able to contain myself. getting there is going to take me nearly 40 hours [i leave tonight and won’t be stepping outside of an airport until sunday afternoon… yikes], and i’d be lying if i said that wasn’t freaking me out and giving me quite a bit of anxiety. the good news is, i’m headed to what might be one of the most beautiful places on the planet and based on what everyone has told me, australia is beyond worth the exhausting travel situation.
my first stop is broome, where one of the best humans i have ever known is getting married! the wedding is at an eco resort tucked away on a secluded stretch of beach about an hour and a half drive from broome proper, and from what i understand about this place, it’s quite possible that i might never leave.
after the wedding, a friend and i are heading to cairns to check a major item off of the bucket lists: snorkeling the great barrier reef! after that, we’re venturing down to brisbane and then i’m flying solo for the last few days while I explore sydney.
i have a variety of posts scheduled to go up while I’m away, including a guest post from another badass chick in the wellness world that you guys will love, so be sure to keep checking back as always! and, you better believe i’ll be instagramming the sh*t out of this trip. expect lots of beach/ocean pictures, baby animals [i’m not leaving ausitralia without pictures of me playing with koala bears and kangaroos] and many a #eatingfortheinsta.
obviously i plan on doing recaps of each place i visit like i did for my eurotrip here, here, here and here, as well as a what i ate wednesday post [which is pretty much guaranteed to be epic] when i return, but as per usual, you can keep up with me in realtime on all of my social media channels [instagram, facebook, twitter]. i also recently created a bananas + bellinis snapchat [username bananasbellinis] and hope to get some fun snaps in over the next few weeks, as well!
have an amazing weekend… i’ll catch up with you in a few days… from broome!
image courtesy of nga
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