Fraser Island – Our Tour Around The Island

Dear readers and travellers out there,

this article is for everyone who loves starry nights, long and lonely beaches, a lot of nature and camping. As some of you know, I went to Australia a couple of months ago and travelled the east coast. On of my highlights has definitely been Fraser Island, a 120km long sand island, actually the biggest on earth.

You need special permits to go on the island, or you join a camping tour, like wee did. We booked a two nights camping tour with four wheel drive cars with the Dingo’s hostel. All of the Fraser tours start in Rainbow Beach, a small town in Queensland. I can really recommend the Dingo’s hostel, since they serve vegan and gluten free pancakes every morning and oh my gosh, they were so good! We even spent Christmas in Rainbow Beach by the way and it was a great experience to be at the beach on Christmas Eve (and a little bit weird as well).

However, we started our tour on December 20th and came back on the 22nd. We shared a car with to Danish and two Irish guys, as well as with two Swiss girls. Our tourguide was a ‚typical‘ Aussie and he was so fun and knew so much! I don’t even want to tell you too much about the tour itself, hoping that you will do it yourself one day.

There are many lakes and pretty beaches and viewpoints on Fraser Island and we visited a beautiful, blue lake named Lake McKenzie, a tea-tree-oil-lake, the green Lake Wabby and we went to the Champagne pool, a ‚pool‘ that is connected to the sea and sparkles like champagne because of the waves crashing in. We also visited different viewpoints and even a shipwreck (stay tuned!!!).

We spent the nights in tents on a campground and cooked for ourselves with the food they packed together for us. The food was really good and healthy! Oh and by the way, you are not allowed two whistle on Fraser Island because it is an Aboriginal owned island and they believe that it attracts evil spirits!

Additionally, I saw the most beautiful night sky in Fraser, I’ve never seen so many stars in one night! I can’t stop talking about this wonderful island and I get quite Fraser homesick writing this. I hope you enjoy the pictures!

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Champagne Pool

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Lake Wabby

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Dolphins on our way back to the ferry

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Ps: we even saw wild dolphins on our way back- isn’t that amazing?!?

Xx, Sophie

Exploring Whitehaven Beach

Are you ready for the beach with the world’s „whitest“ sand? Then you should probably read on.

Whitehaven Beach is a beach on one of the famous Whitsunday islands near Airlie Beach, Australia. And it actually is the whitest beach in the world. In order to get there, you have to go on a speedboat or sailing trip and explore the beautiful Whitsunday’s.

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During our time in Australia, we always took a premier bus tontet around (cheaper than the greyhound) and stopped at Airlie Beach. This small city reminded me of St. Tropez because of all the yachts in the harbour and the villas and mansions in the hills.

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We stayed in the Nomad’s hostel, which was really satisfying, since the bungalows were spacious, clean and the kitchen was not as bad as expected. They also have a campground, a bar, a lounge with WiFi access and a pool. The atmosphere in Airlie Beach is really nice, you can sit in the park at the water, or chill in the saltwater lagoon.

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However, the main reason why you should go to Airlie is the boat tours. You can go sailing for two nights or do a day trip like we did. And to be honest, the day trip was really worth it! Additionally, the sailing tours will cost you about 450$ while the day trip is around a hundred dollars only, as far as I can remember.

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The speedboat tour is really funny and of course, fast. I felt like being on a roller coaster, but on a good one. They are driving you around the Whitsundays and you will stop at Whitehaven Beach and even go for a walk in the forests. We also went snorkelling and they showed us a really nice spot where we swam with a sea turtle and another one where people have been feeding the fish for decades so people are swimming between fishes that are up to around 80cm long. It was amazing! If you are travelling on a budget and if you like adrenaline and adventures, you will love this boat tour!

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I hope you enjoyed reading this, I wish you a great week!

Xx, Sophie

Two Days In Happy Hippie Byron Bay

Byron Bay is a city in New South Wales, Australia. Even though it officially has only around 5000 inhabitants, there are so many people traveling to this little Paradise.
Today I will tell you why!

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View from the viewpoint
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View from the viewpoint

We arrived around eleven in the morning and were desperately looking for an affordable campground. To be honest, Byron Bay is not inexpensive, which is why we had to search for cheaper options, instead of paying 60$ for one night. Our first try was the so called „Arts Factory Lodge„, a budget accommodation with a hippie campground for tents in collaboration with Nomads Hostel. Unfortunately, they have a waiting list for the campground and in order to get on the list, you have to stay at least one night in the hostel. We would have loved to stay there, but we neither had the time, nor the money.

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Anyway, we kept looking and eventually went to the „Belongil Fields“ campground and paid 80$ for two people for two nights on the unpowered site – still expensive in comparison to the camping fees in Australia’s national parks.
Yet we were very happy we decided to stay, since we met some cool Australian guys who took us to the city and spent the two days with us.

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the beach
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Surfboard hire for 18$ for 0,5 days

On our first day we went to the city and had a Salted Caramel Milkshake at a bar next to the vodaphone shop at Johnson St (sorry I forgot the name) – it was the best milkshake I have ever had! I would have preferred a plant based one to be honest, since I normally do not really like the taste of milk, though this one was just amazing!
Later we drove to the Beach next to the view point and spent our afternoon jumping into the waves and getting sunburned. For lunch we returned to the campground and Lina and I did (not) enjoy our canned beans based salad. Since we were running a bit out of money, we bought a lot of canned foods and beans and soups of all kinds. It was not as delicious as expected… Ironically, we spent a lot of money on food in Byron Bay 😀
We went back to the city around eight and hung out at the beach, watching the stars.

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The next day we planned to go Surfing. I was so excited since it has been three months since I had surfed in Bali. Well, it was better than expected! I got lots of waves, even green ones! I was really happy, even though we rented a 7.6 softboard which is HUGE, since the waves are quite small and weak in comparison to Bali. I realized that I simply love surfing. I love to paddle as hard as I can in order to catch the wave, to jump up and balance in order to ride the wave as long as possible. I will miss surfing a lot!

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In the evening we decided to go to the „Cape Byron Light“ Lighthouse which I have already mentioned in my last Byron Bay post. During sunset the lighthouse area is quite crowded, however I did my best to get some nice shots of this pretty building. We also did the lighthouse circuit/walk/whatever and went to the easternmost point of Australia, it was really beautiful.

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Byron Bay at night

Anyway, we had dinner at Guzman&Gomez, a Mexican fast food restaurant and had burritos with a lot of Guacamole (I love everything with avocados in it). Additionally Lina and I had the best spiced french fries in our entire life!
On top of that, we went to an ice cream place called Baskin&Robbins“ and I got peanut butter and chocolate ice cream which was freaking delicious, probably the best ice cream I had during my travels.
I ended these exciting two days in hippie paradise watching the stars, I had a good time and Byron Bay is probably one of my favourite places in Australia!

Make sure you will check out Byron if you are planning a trip to beautiful Down Under!

 

Koh Lanta, spending my 19th Birthday in Paradise

Hello together,

I hope you are alright and had a good weekend. I am already in Christmas mood, even though it is still November. What can I say? I just love Christmas.
Family time, baking cookies all Sunday long, lightening candles, eating ginger bread, listening to Christmas music, watching American Christmas movies and drinking hot tea. Anyway, I am in Darwin at the moment and 34°C and 75% air humidity make it quite difficult to stick to my German Christmas traditions.
I mean, we will probably celebrate Christmas in Brisbane at the beach, which will be very exciting I guess.
I even have to admit that we already bought a small plastic Christmas tree in KMart for 5$, all Aussies buy plastic Christmas trees – we had to adopt this tradition.
We will take this tree with us while we will be travelling the Australia’s East Coast…stupid, I know.

However, I did not plan to talk about my Christmas obsession, actually I wanted to tell you about my time in Koh Lanta.
Koh Lanta is an island on the west coast of Thailand, located in the south of Krabi.
This beautiful island was our last stop before we took a flight back to Bangkok and from Bangkok to Australia. We spent four nights in two nice bungalows and celebrated my birthday on our last day.

I never thought of celebrating my birthday in Thailand, but it turned out to be really cool. We rented a scooter and had breakfast in our favourite french breakfast place „Faim de Loup“. After we had asian food for two month, we were really excited about western food again and enjoyed good bread, croissants and cheese omelettes. It was delicious!
Unfortunately I had a cold because of the air con and took a for three-hour nap before we went on our scooter beach hopping trip.
At this point, I would like to recommend my favourite app „Maps.me“ which really helped us discovering beautiful, hidden places in Thailand and Indonesia.
The app is free and you can download maps and use them offline.
The second beach we explored was really beautiful, there were only two other travelers and the scenery was magical. We took some photos and I daydreamed a lot while watching the sunset.

On this day, I realised that it only matters to a certain extent where you are on a day like your birthday. What matters the most is the people with whom you are spending your day. I am still really happy that I was able to celebrate my birthday with Lina, I missed my family a lot that day but she put a lot of effort into this day and made it really special.
We had a great day together, even though it is not the same as waking up early in the morning and having cake for breakfast with my family.
However, Lina and I enjoyed it to the fullest. After we had spent our afternoon at the beach, we had dinner at our favourite beach bar, the so called „Moonwalk Bar“, where we enjoyed cheesy Pizza. The evening was great and I will always remember it as the most extraordinary birthday I had in my life so far.

Now, I proudly introduce you to Nui Bay, my birthday beach:

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Have a good week!

Love, Sophie

The Bukit Peninsula – My rainy Beach Hopping experience

Bali offers a huge variety of things you should see, you would probably need a couple of months to see everything. As you may know, we went to the north of Bali (click and click), which was amazingly beautiful. We saw waterfalls, rice terraces and monkeys.
Today, I would like to share with you my experiences on our day trip to the south of Bali, to the Bukit Peninsula. We booked a driver for a whole day who picked us up around 8:30am and we came back around 6:00pm. Our tour should have included Balangan Beach, Dreamland Beach, Bingin Beach, Padang Padang Beach and Uluwatu Temple with the famous Kecak Dance. However, the weather upset our plans. It started to rain and we were only able to do half the trip. Consequently, I will talk about the beaches we were able to visit today, and I will show you some other pictures we took on this day trip in a couple of days. So, this post is supposed to be a little „Beach Guide“ for the Bukit Peninsula.

Balangan Beach Area

Our first stop was Balangan Beach. We arrived on a hill and walked around, explored the location. We found some cool cliffs, a hidden temple and had a nice view on the beach itself.

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On top of the hill, we observed the fishermen, who must have climbed to these rock spurs in order to fish. It looked so idyllic!

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When we climbed down some rocks, in order to take pictures of the sea, we found this little temple that is hidden in the rocks. Unfortunately there was a lot of garbage, however the experience was really cool! There was a little wooden house in the temple itself and the view on the sea.

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There was another temple on the way to Balangan Beach, with traditional statues in front of it:

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In order to get to the beach, we had to walk down some stairs and climbed over some cliffs. The view was amazing, the water clear and blue and full of advanced surfers.
As we walked along the coast, we discovered some nice „Surf Warungs“ and coincidentally met friends from the camp, who were joining an intermediate/ advanced day trip to Balangan Beach. We sat down together and had lunch, since the sky already gave the impression that it was about to rain.
After half an hour, the rain had reached the shore and we were stuck in the Warung for almost three hours. Although it went quite cold and stormy, the atmosphere was still idyllic and nice, since they played good music and we were able to talk to our surf guides and friends. The Balinese and Indonesians were crazy, they would not stop surfing and enjoyed the messy waves, although it was raining heavily.

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Dreamland Beach

After three hours of waiting, eating and talking, we finally went back to our car and asked the driver to drive us to Dreamland Beach.
However, I unfortunately have to disappoint you, Dreamland Beach is not a dream at all.
In order to get to the beach, you have to take a free shuttle bus and still walk past some markets to get to Dreamland Beach. Although the water was very blue and turquoise, all the Air Asia umbrellas disturbed the view and the atmosphere. Still, it may be a nice beach on a sunny day, but our expectations were higher than reality. Additionally, there were many people at the beach, even though it was still raining.

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Padang Padang Beach

Our next stop was Padang Padang Beach, since we decided to skip Bingin Beach. Well, we did not get out of the car, as it was still raining a lot. However, I suppose it will be a very nice beach if the weather is good and it is also a well known surf spot!

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Even though the weather upset our plans, it was still a very nice trip!ve
I hope you enjoyed reading this.

Have a nice weekend!

Sophie

Thailand 1992 – Koh Mat Sum

It’s time for some vintage photographs again! Maybe you have already read my last Thailand post, where I shared some pictures of my Mum’s Thailand trip in the nineties with you. Last time, I published photographs of Koh Phangan, Chiang Mai and Koh Samui. Today, I will be sharing with you impressions of the island named Koh Mat Sum. Turn on some nice music and imagine walking down these lonely beaches and enjoy the view.

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xx, Sophie