About Lucy

Pretty awsum

Sydney, Revisited

Alex’s Note: Yes, it’s been quiet on the blog front for quite some time now. But after our return, life barely gave us a week to breathe before it all got crazy again. Yet we can’t just leave the ending hanging in the balance, so onward to the conclusive entries!

Return to Sydney


I’m pleased to report that the luggage key for the Indian Pacific was eventually found and once we were reunited with our luggage the search for finding a hostel for a night begun. It then ended shortly afterwards as our first stop, the Railway Square YHA (as the name suggests, located right next to the station)  had a couple of nights availability. So we settled in, enjoying a 5-bed dorm all to ourselves, and had a think about what we do over our last few weeks.

Whilst reaquainting ourselves with Darling Harbour we popped into the Tourist Info centre for a few ideas and Alex spotted information about the tall ship, “James Craig”. Originally from Sunderland, England, she had a long and busy working life before being abandoned in Tasmania in 1932. After sitting there for forty years, she was rescued and lovingly restored by the Sydney Heritage Fleet. It took 20 years and lots of labour (mostly from volunteers) but she is now in magnificent working order and is the only ship of her kind to regularly make trips out to the ocean. As Alex has wanted to travel on such a ship for quite some time now it seemed a most fitting activity, and what a ship to experience going under the Harbour bridge in. We only did a day sail but you could get involved as much, or as little, as you liked and they provided lunch and drinks for the day. Alex was available to help with anything and I believe he was told to be careful as if he carried on being so helpful he might end up on the crew! I helped out every now and again, mostly heaving on the ropes to move the sails. At one point when I went to offer a hand, the captain of the James Craig tapped me on the shoulder and asked my name. He then told the guys already on the ropes who I was and that I was here to sort them out, hehe. Well, I’m not sure it was my sorting but together we got the sails where they needed to be. Very satisfying. The weather was beautiful throughout the day and added to it being thoroughly enjoyable, however I have got a bit ahead of myself as we sailed the James Craig on Saturday 10th but I’ve neglected to tell you what we did on Friday 9th.

During the day on Friday 9th we met up with another familiar face, Toby, who we had first met in Airlie Beach was in Sydney for just the one day before catching his flight home. We had moved to a hostel across the road (no availability at the YHA over the weekend) which has a cafe at the front so there we were sitting enjoying our breakfast. I had sent a text to Toby to see where he was when just a short time later he appeared right next to us. We then proceeded to spend the rest of the day moseying around Sydney city, slurping on Slurpees and on the hunt for cuddly Australian animals (no not literally, the stuffed toy counterparts). As evening began to set in we parted ways, Toby was meeting up with another friend and Alex and I had a date with a bridge.

We ended up actually having to rush a bit between leaving Toby and getting to the BridgeClimb in time as it took longer to walk back from the Circular Quay area than we remembered – but fear not, we arrived at the bridge with just enough time to peruse the gift shop! Climbing the Bridge was an unforgettable experience that we both felt was well worth it. The harnesses and jumpsuits, in addition to the industrial surroundings, made it all quite different and exciting. Though we couldn’t take our cameras up (due to potential murder by falling camera), we still had a beautiful picture to remember it by.

We had a couple of weeks in the Sydney area so there was plenty of time to check out another nearby must-see: Katoomba and the Blue Mountains.

Continue reading

A Five Day Tour of W.A

We left Alice Springs the morning after our Rock tour ended, we were headed to Perth, WA. The plane journey was nice and easy, though it felt strange not having to show your passport for the flight, particularly as it would take three and a bit hours, but that’s just how crazy big Australia is.

We had arranged to stay in Perth YHA for a night before embarking on our mini-adventure down the South-West coast. It was alright, nothing to shout about. It looked like it could be great but there was just a bit of a ‘feeling’, perhaps influenced by our roommates having had their food stolen from the fridge – doesn’t fill you with confidence. It was situated beside the main rail lines into Perth, between McIver and Perth station. The trains were interesting to watch, not all that noisy either (as several Trip Advisor reviews suggested).

Continue reading

Journey to the Centre of Australia

Another Quality Entry brought to you by… Luce De Spruce!

Alice Springs

It was just after midnight when we headed for the Greyhound stop, it wasn’t due to leave for another half hour so we were surprised to see it waiting in the bay already. What was even more of a surprise though was bumping into a couple we had met on the boat on the reef over New Years. It was great to see them and it turned out we had been allocated the seats next to them on the coach anyway so we had plenty of time to chat (though as it was past midnight we were all a bit on the tired side). It was a bit strange having allocated seats on the Greyhound though, in our numerous trips this was the first time we were told where to sit and the driver didn’t seem to be the happiest of people. The first leg of our four bus journey to the Red Centre took us back South along the coast to Townsville. For the majority of this stretch I was in the Land of the Zzz’s, with only fleeting moments of consciousness, however during those moments I felt a little uneasy with the style of our happy drivers driving skill. Alex, who unfortunately had to endure the experience conscious as he doesn’t tend to sleep on vehicles, described his driving as having all the finesse of a brick propelled by firecrackers – and I have to say based on the glimpses I had and the reaction of our two friends when we got off the bus at Townsville confirms this as pretty accurate. At this point we parted ways for the second time, they were headed further South whereas we were about to start heading West.

During the remaining journey (a journey which lasted thirty-something hours in total) we met Natalie whilst sharing a table at one of the various rest stops along the way. It turned out that she was also doing the Rock Tour on the same dates that we were, though she was staying at a different hostel in Alice Springs. When we did finally arrive in Alice Springs it was nine in the morning. The YHA where we were booked to stay was a short walk from the bus stop so we loaded ourselves up and headed off. As we were a little early to check-in we just left our main bags in their luggage room and headed off to sort out some errands. This ended up taking most of the day and although we were ready to drop at any point from the lack of proper sleep on the coach (particularly for Alex) we kept going until all was sorted. We knew that we had an early start the next day (we were being picked up at 5am) so we headed to a local pub for dinner. It was actually raining at the time we headed out – turns out the week we were there was during Alice Springs wet season, which lasts a whole 2-3 weeks – and so when we saw the pubs blackboard advertising a roast our taste buds were tingling at the thought. After placing our drinks order, we then waited half a century for someone to collect our food order, then proceeded to wait the remainder of the century to be told that in fact the roast was no longer available. Gutted. At this point we would have left however in the year leading up to the turn of the century our drinks had arrived so we kind of had to stay. We had a brief look over the menu and made our second choices: for me, the good old Aussie burger and chips and for Alex, a salmon salad. This was put through the kitchen quickly and I’m pleased to say the food was actually rather good, it was just a shame the service didn’t match it. Anyway! Once we were fed, it really was time for sleep (unfortuantely the delays at the pub had led to it being a bit later on in the evening than we had hoped but nevermind!).

The Rock Tour

The next morning we were waiting at the front of the YHA at 5am awaiting pick-up for the tour, it was here that we met Sabrina and Laura; two friends travelling together from Germany, they were also coming on the Rock Tour. Our hostel was the first pick-up of the morning so we got comfy in our seats and started chatting to Adam (aka Cow); our guide for the next few days. By the time we had completed the hostel pick-ups the bus was about half full (including Natalie who we had met on the Greyhound). The rest of the group would be picked up from Ayers Rock Airport later in the day. Continue reading

Townsville – Reef Lodge

Hello there once again dear readers. In this installment I shall be portraying our time spent in Townsville. Although only there for 2 nights we packed a fair bit in so there are a few tales to be told.

Before even starting on Townsville a mention should be given to the Greyhound driver who brought us to Townsville, as he was a bit of a character; Alex named him “the Book”. Up to this point the journeys on the Greyhound had been fairly easy going, everyone just piles on, finds a seat and sprawls out if they can … not on this coach though. The driver (I don’t recall his name) was adament that you were NOT to stretch over the seats; you were NOT to have your legs, arms and bags encroaching on the aisle space; you MUST wear seatbelts as it is the law in QLD and if you chose not to you would get a fine and be taken off the coach at the next available phone box. This of course is the shortened version of the rules, for if I was to go into detail you would be here for an extra half an hour and we still haven’t even reached Townsville, which is to be the central piece of this entry.

Continue reading

Rockhampton – YHA

When we arrived at Rockhampton it was a little after midnight. We collected our luggage and called for a taxi to take us to the YHA. After waiting for about ten minutes a taxi pulled in to the forecourt,  Alex went to see if it was the one we had booked, but as he spoke to the driver at his window, a drunk guy opened the passenger door and plonked himself in – meanwhile gesturing to his friends to get in. The taxi driver immediately told them to get out (turns out it was our taxi) and luckily the drunken party left of their own accord, mumbling complaints under their breath about the taxi driver being rude. Once we had packed our luggage into the taxi we were on our way!  As we were arriving at the hostel out of hours, we were in possession of a secret code that would grant us access to our dorm key. We found the room and entered in to darkness, we could see that both bottom bunks were taken and the occupants already asleep. We tried to be as quiet as possible but when you have to climb onto the top bunk, noise was inevitable. They didn’t seem to complain though, in fact they didn’t say much at all as they checked out first thing the next morning.

Our reason for coming to Rockhampton was the Olsen/Capricorn Caves. However it wasn’t until we were chatting to one of the staff at the hostel that we realised just how difficult it could be to get there. No public transport goes to it and hiring a car for the day would cost us around $90. The manager of the hostel did however know someone who would come and pick us up, wait while we explored the caves and then bring us back to the hostel again. This sounded great but we needed to wait until the manager got to the hostel which wouldn’t be for another half hour. Therefore we decided to go into the town that day and out to the Botanical Gardens and Zoo and that we would speak to the manager later about arranging the Cave trip for tomorrow instead.

Continue reading

Noosa Part II

Loyal readers, it is time again for another installment with Lucy *crowd goes wild* so if you’re sitting comfortably then I shall begin…


We pick up the story as Alex and I embark on an adventure to Noosa North Shore, a short journey from Sunrise Beach and ultimately reached via a little car ferry. And what, I hear you cry, was the purpose of this trip? … For me to go horseriding on the beach! Yeah! It’s an activity I’ve always wanted to do and considering how beautiful the rest of Noosa is, I figured it was a good place to give it a go. Alex wasn’t going to join me on this trip but he chauffeured me there nonetheless. The ride consisted of 6 people including the guide, my horse on this occasion was an Australian Stock horse called “Briggalo” or “Brigsy” for short. The best bit of the ride by far was cantering along the beach through the sparkling water, Brigsy had needed a little encouragement to get his feet wet but once he was in we were away! The ride lasted an hour and a half and once we were back at the stables I was looking forward to a cooling refreshment… enter Maxibon! Mmm… ice-cream sandwiches ftw. So after Alex and I nommed are way through an ice-cream each we were ready to head back to Sunrise Beach and proceed with the important business of chilling out for the remainder of the day.

Continue reading

Mt Coot-tha & Rural Brisbane

In the closing week or two at Brisbane we headed out west (and north-west) to the inland must-see spots of Mount Coot-tha and to Slickers horse riding’s near Dayboro.

Alex has been busy working to bring in a little money as well as writing his novel so hasn’t had the chance to write up a new blog entry so I offered to take the reins and update all you lovely people on our latest adventures. I should warn you in advance though, it has been suggested by some that I have a tendency to ramble and so with this in mind I would ask you to stop reading, go make yourself a cuppa and when you’re back make sure you’re nice and comfy.

Okay. Are you ready? Then I shall begin…

Continue reading