New Zealand, South Island, Part I

After spending 2,5 months in Sydney, it was time to go to New Zealand. So on the 17th of march, St Patrick’s Day, I boarded the plane from Sydney Airport and flew to Christchurch. I took the train from Central Station and used my Opal card for the journey. The journey is around 17 dollars, but the good thing is that you can go on minus with your Opal and just ditch the card, like I did.

I flew with China Airlines and got two seats for myself. The plane was comfy, but you would be bit uncomfortable with longer legs. Food was good, you got tv and movies and tv shows on board and you get headphones and a pillow.

As traveling with a passport from Finland, you don’t need to apply for any sort of visa if you are visiting New Zealand for less than 3 months. BUT, you need to have a return ticket before you can board the plane and you need to show the ticket when doing check-in at the airport. Something that I learned as I was doing my check-in at the airport. Good times.

You can check here if you need a visa for your visit.

I stayed in All Stars Inn hostel in Christchurch. It’s a modern and big hostel and the WiFi is unbelievably fast. The beds are alright, but the rooms are made as hallways and there’s no aircon so it gets bit stuffy but the rooms have balconies. The location isn’t the best one; it’s pretty far away from everything. I would recommend staying somewhere else.

Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand. The city is slowly but strongly recovering from the horrific series of earthquakes that happened between 2010 and 2012. So there is a lot of construction going on in the city, but it’s a nice city to visit and there’s quite a lot of street art to be seen around the city.

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Street Art in Christchurch

On the 21st of march my friend got to Christchurch and on the 25th we started a three day roadtrip towards Queenstown with a girl named Alice who had her own car and who we met through a facebook backpacker group. Gotta say that she is awesome and so easy to get with. Before leaving Christchurch, we went to Pak n Save to get groceries and to Kmart to buy sleeping bags and a tent. Pak N Save is the cheapest grocery store in New Zealand but you can also find cheap stuff from New World if you get the club card. Christchurch and Dunedin are the only cities in South Island that have Kmart.

Our first stop was Lake Tekapo which was the first proper lake that I saw in New Zealand. The contrast between green and blue is just amazing in New Zealand. Lake Tekapo is definitely place worth visiting. There’s also Good Sheperd’s Church at Lake Tekapo.

 

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Church of the Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo

Next up was Lake Pukaki and again just spectacular views. We camped near Lake Pukaki on our first night on a free campsite. The site is pretty big, but it’s quite hard to find a flat surface for a tent, but we managed to find one.

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The view from the campsite at Lake Pukaki

So the tent we bought from Kmart, was 17 dollars. It rained during the night so the tent was basically drenched. Note to self: always pay more for tent. Sure if you are camping during the summer and it hardly rains and it’s warm, you can manage with a cheap tent, but not during the other seasons.

The next day we spent at Mount Cook. If you can, fuel up before Mount Cook. They do have petrol Station there, but it’s quite pricey. The petrol station is close to the visitor centre where you can use the toilets.

The road to Mount Cook is something else. You’re surrounded by mountains and it looks and just feels amazing. The mountain tops were misty and full of clouds when we went through and it looked spectacular.

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En route to Mount Cook

At Mount Cook the most popular walk to do is the Hooker Valley Track. The complete track is 13 kilometres and takes about 1.5 to 4 hours. We didn’t complete the whole track because it was raining and we wanted to head to our campsite before dark. But just doing a part of the track was worth it so definitely, if you have time, do the whole track or just a part of it. The track is best when it’s sunny and clear; you’ll get an awesome view of Mount Cook.

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From Hooke Valley Track, Mount Cook surrounded by clouds

Our camp for the night was at Lindis Pass Historic Hotel Campsite which is a free campsite for any vehicle. The road to the campsite turns from the main road. It’s a gravel road which goes next to a river and through fields and few cattle bridges with gates. The site itself has the ruins of the hotel that there once was. There’s also a smaller building that has a small table inside so you can cook your food under a shelter. The campsite has a toilet and is suitable for any vehicle and for tents.

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The ruins of the hotel from the Lindis Pass campsite

After waking up and packing our stuff, we were on our way to Wanaka. The town is quite small but a nice ski and summer resort. The best part is that it’s situated right on Lake Wanaka and home to multiple mountains so the views are pleasant.

 

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Lake Wanaka

We spent the night at Wanaka Kiwi Holiday Park & Motels which was 22-23 dollars per night per person. The campsite is about 5 minute drive from the town centre and is a nice site. They have tentsites, powered sites for campervans and unpowered and cabins. There’s laundry facilities, common area building which includes kitchen and lounging area and spa which has two jacuzzi’s and a sauna. We were lucky and got our own almost private tentsite and could park the car right next to the tents.

Wanaka is also home to the famous Roy’s Peak hike. The hike is 16 kilometres return and takes around 4-6 hours to complete. We did in six hours. At the bottom of the hike there’s a small parking lot and also space to park your car next to the road and a toilet. The hike was exhausting and something I’ve never done before. My legs wanted to give up but the views are worth it; at the top you got 360 degree view and every angle is different.

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Wanaka as seen from Roy’s Peak

After completing the hike, we stopped by Coles to buy Coke and sweets and were off to Queenstown. Every person that I’ve met that have been to New Zealand always say that they love Queenstown. And now I understand why. Queenstown is a resort town built around an inlet on Lake Wakatipu. There’s few walks and hikes you can do. Ben Lomond is a popular hike which is 40 kilometres in total and requires a moderate to high fitness level. There’s a shorter hike, Queenstown Hill Time Walk, which is 4,2 kilometres and is pretty much for everyone. There is some quite steep paths though.

 

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The lovely Queenstown

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From the Hilltime Walk

We stayed in Nomads Queenstown for about 6-7 days and it was alright. Even though it is a party hostel, but the price was good and the location is perfect as you have everything on your doorstep. The hostel has alright kitchen, nice common area and a sauna (which is not really like back home). I could stay here again, because of the location.

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Sydney

On the 11th of january 2017, I hopped on a train from Melbourne’s Southern Cross station and went to Sydney. The train was an overnight one and it took somewhere around 12 hours. It was easy to get the train because I could just walk to the station from my hostel, King Street Backpackers, and didn’t need to do any check-ins and could just walk to my hostel from the station in Sydney. But honestly don’t take the train, if you are going from Melbourne to Sydney, please fly. It only takes like 1-2 hours.

Sydney, the city everyone knows and desperately wants to visit to go surfing in Bondi and take a photo of the Opera House. Sydney is Australia’s biggest city with population approx. 5 million. It is one of those places you just have to visit.

When I got to Sydney, I got off from the train at Central Station. I had booked a hostel for three nights from the CBD, because I thought it was the easiest option for the first days; to get to know the city bit more and could easily walk to the hostel from the station.

I stayed in The Downing Hostel which is on Castlereagh Street. The location is quite good, but I didn’t really like it though because the area was really busy as it was in the CBD. The hostel itself is quite small and has few levels. On the ground you got this tiny space for reception and then you need to go up two or three levels and then you get to the kitchen and rooms. There is no aircon and it’s right in the CBD surrounded by tall buildings so during summer it gets really hot. On my first week being in Sydney it was 35 and more celsius degrees and everyone was just sweating in the hostel. I wouldn’t recommend staying there.

As I noticed that I didn’t like being in this hostel, I started to look for other hostels. I was also looking for work for accommodation positions in hostels since I was planning on going to New Zealand after Sydney so I could save up some money. As I went trough Hostelworld, I saw two hostels I liked; Secret Garden Backpackers and The Village Glebe. Secret Garden didn’t have any availability so I decided to go to The Village Glebe.

The hostel is located in the Glebe suburb and you need a bus to get anywhere basically. The closest supermarket (Coles) is 1,3 km away. The hostel is like a one big houseshare and I really liked it. They have aircon in rooms, comfy beds, lockers under your bed, clean rooms and good free breakfast. You get 500mb free WiFi when you check-in and after that you need to buy more. The outside area closes at 10pm and after that they have a security guard outside. So safe to say, the hostel is safe!

Glebe area itself is really nice. The hostel is located on Glebe Point Road which has a lot of different coffee shops ans restaurants. There is also Glebe Markets every saturday. I would recommend this place even though the WiFi is a minus.

As I was staying in Glebe Village, I got an email back that I could work for accommodation at the Secret Garden Backpackers. So I left the next day, 17th of january, and started working there right away.

Now, Sydney was the first place where I actually went alone without knowing anyone and I met one of the best people in this hostel. The atmosphere that this hostel has is so good that you want to stay longer right away. The beds are comfy, rooms clean, there’s big garden, two kitchens, free breakfast and free unlimited WiFi. But there is a lack of bathrooms and toilets as there is seven of both. The hostel is located in Redfern approx. 7 minute walk from the Central Station and right next to Prince Albert Park. You got Coles and Woolworths in opposite directions about a 10 minute walk away. In this hostel, I felt like home. I would highly recommend it!

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You can play tennis, basketball, swim and do a workout in Prince Alfred Park

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Secret Garden Backpackers garden

Back to talking about Sydney. I would say that you can do Sydney in just few days to see the main places; Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Botanical Gardens, Two Rocks and Bondi Beach. All of them are close to each other only Bondi being further away from the others. You can walk to these spots or use public transport for which you’ll need Opal card that you can get from 7-eleven’s. If you’re on a budget, then walk, Sydney public transport is stupidly expensive.

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Opera House and Harbour Bridge from the Botanical Gardens

 

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Bondi Beach

If you have time, go and visit Manly and take the ferry there or/and back! Manly is located north from the CBD. It’s a nice beach side suburb with a relaxed holiday vibe. You got clothing stores, coffeeshops, restaurants and two beaches; one where you can surf and one where you can swim. The ferry from the harbour is 7 dollars one way, but if you wanna save, go there on a sunday when the public transport is 2,50 for the whole day.

While I was staying in Sydney I also went to Blue Mountains. And of course on a sunday. Me and my two friends took the train there which took approx. 2 hours. When you get of the train, you need to walk a bit and you come across a bus stop which will take you to the Three Sisters. When we went to Blue Mountains we only saw Three Sisters and did a bushwalk, which was really nice, because everything else is quite far away. So if you have a car or can rent one, go there with a car; you’ll be able to explore more of the area.

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Three Sisters

Lastly I have to talk about Sydney’s nightlife. It is quite strict. You can’t be too drunk while getting in which is fair enough, but so many of my friends got kicked out of the clubs and bars because they were sitting down in a dance area or were on their phone. There is also a lockdown at 1:30 am which means that you can’t get in the bars and clubs after that. So fair to say, don’t get too wasted while you’re out clubbing in Sydney!

Great Ocean Road & Grampians roadtrip

While I stayed in Melbourne, I really wanted to do a roadtrip to Great Ocean Road and Grampians National Park. I started to look for possible travelmates through facebook backpacker groups and also posted myself about it on one of the groups. Me and four other people had the same plan so we met up, organised our five day roadtrip and hit the road. I also documented the whole roadtrip and made four videos in total. You can see all the videos from below.

We hired a car from Kollektivehire. It was Toyota falcon, a hatchback. The car itself was amazing. It used both petrol and autogas which the latter one is really cheap even though it runs out quicker. There was USB charger for up to three phones, two drawers in the booth which were full with equipment like cutlery, flashlights, pot, pan, gascooker, gasbottles. On the roof we had a roofrack that had three tents, five sleeping mattresses and five chairs inside. So the only thing we needed to buy for the roadtrip was sleeping bags.

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The car

The first day we pretty much just met up in one spot, went to buy the sleeping bags and food and drove to the first free camping site on our route. We stayed in Mount Moriac truck stop. It had picnic tables under a roof, toilets and running water. When we got there, there wasn’t that many people so we all fitted in there. We build our tents, cooked and ate and just as we were going to sleep, my friend got in to our tent and suddenly froze and then leaped out of the tent. There was a huntsman, one of those big spiders, in our tent. Ah, what a nice start to the roadtrip.

On the second day, we drove though Torquay and then carried on to our first stop, Bells Beach. It’s a surf beach and home to Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach the world’s longest running surfing competition. You can pretty much spot surfers there all year round.

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Bells Beach, the weather was cloudy but warm

We carried our way and drove to Split Point Lighthouse. The lighthouse is located in Aireys Inlet and is a functioning lighthouse. You can climb up the lighthouse at a cost of 14 dollars (adult). We didn’t go up it though because the view was good enough from the ground.

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Split Point Lighthouse

So the next stop was probably the one that everyone was waiting for; Memorial Arch at Eastern View, the Great Ocean Road sign. There is a small parking lot right next to the sign so that you can get that photo that everyone has of the sign. They’ve even build a small platform which you can stand on to make sure you get the best picture.

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That famous photo from the Great Ocean Road

After seeing the sign and getting our photos, we drove to Sheoak Falls.There’s a small parking lot where you can leave your car and then take a walking path to the falls. The walk itself is worth it. It is quite narrow at times and there’s few stairs. If you’ve seen waterfalls before, it’s not gonna blow your mind.

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The view from the path to Sheoak Falls

 

Next we drove inland to visit the Otway Fly Treetop walk. The treetop walk is 600 metres long and it’s 47 metres high at the top of the tower. It’s world’s longest and highest of it’s type in the world. Ticket per adult is 25 dollars, but we got the student price, about 22 dollars, even though we’re not students, but they didn’t ask any student card or anything. The walk is pretty cool since it’s quite high and you can see under your steps. There’s also a bushwalk. If you’re not too keen on walking high and paying for it, I would recommend skipping this and going to Apollo Bay and so on after the Great Ocean Road sign.

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Otway Treetop Walk

After the treetop walk we hit the road and camped at Beauchamp Falls free camping site for the night. The campsite is really nice and there’s a lot of Australians that go there for the weekend or when they got days off. There’s also a nice walk to the actual falls.

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Beauchamp Falls

Next day we walked to the Beauchamp Falls and then carried our way. We stopped in Princetown to buy some food and then went to the world famous site, The Twelve Apostles. The Twelve Apostles is a collection of limestone stacks which were formed by erosion. Despite it’s name, there’s only ever been nine limestones and because of the erosion, only six is remaining. We went there during the day and it was crowded. So be quick when you see that photo opportunity. There is quite a big parking lot and the visitor facilities have multiple toilets, opportunity to buy souvenirs and snacks.

For the night, we camped near the Twelve Apostles because we wanted to see the sunset over there. We checked our first campsite out, ate and then headed back to the Twelve Apostles. If you can, definitely go there during the sunset. It was quite a view. There also weren’t that many people as there were during the day.

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Sunset at the Twelve Apostles

We went back to our campsite but got told that you’re not allowed to stay there overnight. So we found another free campsite somewhere near Timboon. Next day we left the campsite, fuelled up in Timboon, stopped in Port Campbell to recycle and head back to the route.

We stopped by The Razorback, Loch Ard Gorge and The Grotto. They are really cool looking rock formations, but after The Grotto we went straight to Warrnambool. There is few other formations after The Grotto, but all of them are really close to each other and requires short distance driving and several stops so we got bit tired of that and it was also +30 celsius degrees.

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From Loch Ard Gorge, Tom & Eva Lookout

In Warrnambool, we topped up our groceries before heading towards Grampians National Park. When we got to Grampians, we pretty much drove straight to the campsite and set up our camp and stayed there for the rest of the day. The campsite is called Plantation Campground and it’s around 30 minute drive north from Halls Gap. It’s free, there’s toilets, a bucket shower, picnic tables and places to start a fire.

Next day was our last day on the roadtrip. We went to do The Pinnacle walk. The walk is 4,5 kilometres return and it’s uphill and parts of the walk is on the cliffs. Bring water, camera and some good enclosed shoes! Trust me the walk, even though it’s pretty long and heavy, it’s worth it. The view from up there is amazing.

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The view on top of the PInnacle walk

 

Jaws of Death was our next stop. The place is found as Reed Lookout & The Balconies. In here you can sit on a rock that works as a balcony. Both, the Pinnacle walk and Reed Lookout & The Balconies are right next to Halls Gap.

 

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Reed Lookout & The Balconies

Last place on our trip was McKenzie Falls which is also relatively close to Halls Gap. You need to take few steps down before you get to the bottom and the stairs are bit narrow and can be quite slippery so watch out. Once you get to the bottom, you can see the whole waterfall and a rainbow at the bottom of the fall. Now, there is a sign that says ‘no swimming’ but we did take a cheeky dip as there were other people doing it too.

The night we stayed again in the Plantation Campground. Next day was just all about packing and driving back to Melbourne.

The whole roadtrip was an amazing experience. We had the best group and the weather was on our side. If you ever have chance to do the Great Ocean Road and/or visit Grampians National Park, I higly recommend it!

About Melbourne

Melbourne is the second biggest city in Australia, but the CBD being in a rectangle shape, it is really easy to navigate.

Melbourne has a good tram system and the whole CBD’s tramzone is free. Using public transport is easy. With Myki card even easier; touch on when you get on the public transport and touch off when you get off.

When you think about Melbourne, the first thing that comes to most people’s minds is the weather. Melbourne is pretty famous for having “all the seasons in one day”. But the city is also known for its street art. In CBD, there’s a lot of graffitis all around the little alleys and some on the bigger streets. As the CBD is quite big and the street art is spread out, the easiest way to go graffiti hunting is to use one of those graffiti walking maps you can find online, like this one. If you are lucky, you might also catch a glimpse of work in progress.

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Trump 

 

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Angry Donald

Melbourne has everything you would possibly need and it’s a good place to live and work. There’s Yarra River going through the city and the surrounding area next to the river is nice. The huge outlet mall, DFO, is located next to Yarra River. You can also find several restaurants, cafes and bars next to it.

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Yarra River as seen from DFO end

Queen Victoria Market is definitely worth visiting while in Melbourne. You can buy vegetables, fruits, nuts, clothes and accessories from there. Vegetables and fruits are cheaper in the market than in supermarkets and if you go in the last hours, you can get it even more cheap. There is also differences in the qualities of the vegetables. Every summer Wednesday the market turns into a night market. It’s more lively and there’s few artists performing songs.

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Queen Victoria Night Market

Even if you’re not big fan of libraries, definitely visit State Library of Victoria while in Melbourne. It was established in 1854 and holds seven different reading rooms all different from each other. It also houses the original armour of Ned Kelly, Australian bushranger who became a famous outlaw.

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The one photo you just have to get from the library

St Kilda is located south of CBD and is about 15 minute tram ride away. It’s away from the hassle and has a nice relaxed vibe to it. Albert Park offers lots of different activities and has a great view to the city. You can also find black swans in the park.

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St Kilda beach

St Kilda is known for Luna Park but also for it’s penguins. The penguins start coming to the shore after the sunset. St Kilda pier is the place to go looking for them. It is crowded since everyone wants to see a glimpse of these cute little creatures but it’s worth it. You are not allowed to use flashlight as this harms their sight. There are staff members who have red lights, which aren’t harmful for the penguins, so that people are able to spot them.

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Luna Park

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St Kilda penguin

Melbourne is worth visiting, but you can see the whole city in a few days in my opinion. If you’re staying long term in this city, you will get bored if you don’t work or study there.

Where I stayed in Melbourne

Okay it’s been quite a while since the last post and I apologize for that. I’ve been travelling and enjoying my time with people I care, but I’m gonna try my best for now to post more often to catch up to the present.

This post is just gonna be about accommodation that I had in Melbourne.

After spending one and half months on the west coast of Australia in Fremantle, it was time to see something else. On the 15th of november I took a plane from Perth to Melbourne. The flight was at midnight and only took three to four hours. I didn’t sleep at all on the plane and when I finally got to my hostel after a train and a bus, I was pretty tired. I was staying in a hostel called Europa Hostel. I get there around 7-8 in the morning. Of course like in most hostels, you can’t check in before 2pm. So I had to wait around until that time barely able to keep my eyes open. After checking in, I went straight to bed and slept for five hours and then got some food.

Europa Hostel was in it’s first month when I stayed there. I didn’t really feel comfortable there, it didn’t really have an atmosphere and the only common area was the kitchen/dining area. The rooms were in a hotel like hallway. The only thing I liked was the location, it’s on Queen St which is close to the Flagstaff Gardens and Train station.

The next hostel I stayed at was Discovery Hostel. I changed to this hostel because it was cheaper and my cousin was staying in this one. The hostel is a big one; they have five levels and have rooms in three of them and fifth level is the rooftop where you can chill. The hostel offers a free WiFi and breakfast. The breakfast ends around 10 and if you go and get it between 9-10, it’s usually gone. The WiFi was pretty okay though, it even worked in the rooms. But as the hostel is big it means also that there’s a lot of people cooking and the kitchen was really dirty at times. The rooftop wasn’t nothing special; huge area with two tables and chairs but a nice view. Again, the location was pretty good since it was right next to Queen Victoria Market.

After staying in CBD, me and my friend wanted to try St Kilda and see how it is in there. We stayed in St Kilda Nomads for three nights. Even having the reputation of being a party hostel, this one wasn’t too bad. The beds were really good; you had your own little privacy curtain, plug socket, USB and your own little reading light. The kitchen was pretty small but so is the hostel so it wasn’t too bad. Dining area was nice and spacious. Only thing was that there were these big fans that made really loud noise and that mixed with music, it got bit annoying. They also have a small rooftop which is quite a climb up. The hostel’s location is good as it is next to tram stop and only a short walk to the beach and Luna Park.

After St Kilda, we moved to Airbnb apartment for 3,5 weeks. The apartment was located in Abbotsford which is one of the eastern suburbs in Melbourne. The apartment was modern and small but convenient. Me and my friend had our own room. We also got an access to the buildings gym and pool which were in a really good condition. The couple who owned the apartment were really nice and welcoming. Our stay with them was overall really good.

I also stayed one night in Nomads CBD before doing a road trip to Great Ocean Road and one night in King Street Backpackers after the roadtrip. Nomads CBD was alright for one night, the rooms weren’t comfy or nice at all. They have a bar downstairs and a little patio area outside which seemed nice. King Street Backpackers felt bit too crammed in as they didn’t have any other common area than just the dining area which was in the same space with the reception. Again rooms weren’t comfortable or nice. The hostel is located right next to the Southern Cross Station which is convenient.

When it comes to deciding where to stay in Melbourne, I enjoyed St Kilda the most even though I didn’t spend that much time in there. It’s nice area close to the beach and Albert Park. The tram runs quite often between St Kilda and CBD. You have grocery store and some nice looking bars, cafes and restaurants in there too. But if you are planning on staying a week in Melbourne, I would advise to stay in the CBD as everything is in a walking distance or use the tram since the whole of CBD is a free tramzone.

Roadtrip to the Pinnacles

There’s quite few things to see in Western Australia; Margaret River with it’s wineries, Exmouth’s coral beaches and the limestones of the Pinnacles. I myself went as far north as the Pinnacles. Me and three other people who I met in my hostel, and one of them became a really good friend, did a day roadtrip to the Pinnacles which is Nambung National Park.

Our goal was to get to the Pinnacles for the sunset. The day started off nice, we also had the weather on our side. Well, we got out of Fremantle to the next small town in Perth region. We were driving on a highway behind a truck. Everything was going well, but then we heard a phoosh noise, a one that you hear when something with air inside breaks, and soon we realised that the other back tyre was flat. Fortunately, we just came to an intersection and drove to this little shop. Securing the car in place with brick blocks that we found from a construction site near us (we took them back later of course) and then changed the tire and we were good to go again.

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A piece of metal punctured the tyre

Our first stop, on our way to the Pinnacles, was Yanchep National Park which is approx. 56 kilometers north of Perth. When you drive in there, you need to pay 12 dollars for parking per vehicle. The National Park itself is really nice. They have a souvenir shop there, a coffee shop and you can do different things in there like a tour of the Crystal Cove, bush walks and see koalas.

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Yanchep National Park

After visiting Yanchep, we drove straight to Cervantes which is approx. 200 kilometers north of Perth and also the place where Nambung National Park is. We stopped there to eat and to have a drink and carried our drive to the Pinnacles.

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Cervantes, WA

As we got to the Pinnacles quite late, just before sunset, there was only two other people in there and we didn’t need to pay any parking fees. Before you get to the area where the limestones are, you need to walk approx. 5 minutes. It’s a good pathed walk that is accessible also for disabled.

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You can also get some funny looking limestones

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I have to say that seeing the limestones isn’t a life changing experience. I went there because people who I know were planning on doing a roadtrip to the Pinnacles and I thought why not? Should you go there or not, I will leave to you. But if you are staying in Perth, it’s a nice roadtrip that you can do in one day. The drive from Perth to the Pinnacles is pretty much a straight road in the outback on a sealed road. But I must say that when you get back after the sun has set, there is quite a lot of kangaroos standing on the sides of the road ready to hop across the road. They like to start moving during the night and they move in packs so make sure your car is reliable. But the positive side is that in the outback you can see the stars more bright and also the milky way.

A day at Rottnest Island

The one thing you should have on your must do list, when going to Fremantle, is to visit Rottnest Island. It’s a small island, with a permanent population of around 100, 18 kilometers off Fremantle’s coast and it’s an A-class reserve, the highest level of protection afforded to public land (Wikipedia). It’s a popular holiday destination and you can catch the ferry from Fremantle.

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In my first week on being in Fremantle, my cousin and I heard about Rottnest Island and decided to go and visit it as it sounded really nice and looked gorgeous. A lot of people in our hostel had already gone there and so they were telling us that tuesdays you get the ticket half price so of course we went there on a tuesday.

The ferry terminal was a short walk from our hostel. We took the ferry around 8-9 in a beautiful morning. The ferry takes approx. 35-45 minutes. We got our ferry tickets from this website and hire mountain bikes here. Now you can take your own bike, hire the bike with your ticket so that you get it right away from the harbour once you arrive or you can hire it from a separate bike hire place. I would recommend hiring the bike from one of those bike hire companies where you can get a mountain bike.

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So we started our little cycling around and as soon as we got out of the bike hire place, we spotted our first quokka. Quokkas are small native marsupial found in Rottnest Island and very few other places. They are said to be the happiest animal because they look like they are always smiling.

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There’s a lot to see in the island and we spent a whole full day exploring the beaches and many many little bays that the Island has to offer. We also got really lucky with the weather, as it was clear blue sky.

I would also recommend taking your own snack with you as the food might be quite pricey in the island. Just to save a bit of money.