Australia.. Part one!!

Hello, hello! 

Finally, i've gotten around to being able to do this blog. After numerous technology problems, I was ready to give up. But this was something I really, really, really wanted to blog about so here it is. We did so much in the almost 3 weeks we were there, so you can imagine the hundreds of pictures ol' camera happy me took - haha! But it's a wonderful way to capture memories, and it's exactly what I did. Here is part one, part two shall follow shortly.. hope you enjoy, Paige xxx



We flew to Australia via Singapore and departing from London Heathrow. It was such a long trip from start to finish, it's definitely something you need to get yourself prepared for in advance. For the journey that we took, I have to say it was as pleasant as it could be. The service from Singapore Airlines was wonderful, we really couldn't fault it (though for me, I wish we could have had free/working wifi at least to watch Netflix, i'd have been in my element then ;)) and the food apart from a few meals were wonderful... though it's hard to stomach sweet and sour prawns and rice at silly o'clock in the morning - haha!

We left on a Sunday morning, and arrived in Brisbane on a Tuesday evening.. It really is a crazy journey. It took me just over a week to begin to get over the jet lag, though for the whole of the holiday we were sort of awake from around 4/4.30am everyday. Absolutely exhausted by the evening, so we had a good few early nights (and lots of chill time in the cinema room at George's uncles' place... amazing!!) so it enabled us to cram in as much as possible!! And Australia seems to get so dark extremely early, or was that just me!?

Above features a photo of myself and Hannah on day one, we were all pretty exhausted but ready and raring to explore Brisbane. Unfortunately it rained for the first 3 days (typical!) but it was still so hot!! We headed into Brisbane City for the day, had a wander around the shops and there happened to be a little food market (I forget the name, doh!) on as we were walking through - it was heavenly. So many different foods from cheeses, to peanuts, fresh fruits and juices, cakes, macarons, pulled pork, fish.. just so much! Needless to say we couldn't leave without buying something so we got some 'Lamington' cake for tea and treats that evening. Before we headed back we stopped for a wonderful late lunch at a place called Moo Moo - Wine Bar and Grill - food, my favourite!

Day 2, and we were still pretty exhausted. So we went to make ourselves insanely jealous by looking around a complex of show homes. It is insanely cheaper than the UK, and for a brand new home too. The finishes, the outdoor style living I just loved them, and they build everything around the heart and soul of the home.. the kitchen. I love everything about these homes - especially the idea of the pantry. George's uncle had one too - you can pop everything in the pantry, i.e all food and drink including the kettle and all of the mess you clutter on your kitchen sides.. and so you leave your actual 'cooking' area kitchen looking pristine. I need an island in my next home!!

And I love how you can just pick a style of home, whatever colours and finishes you like and then pick your own land too - we were ready to purchase then and there.. but I concluded, Brisbane was too quiet for me, so don't worry UK - i'm not going anywhere! I mean trust me though, I managed to find a pug in the home we liked the most... okay, it was just a photo haha - but she was the perfect match for Arthur! ;)



Later we headed to the City again where we had a little time to kill before doing the Story Bridge climb (exciting!). We took the City Hopper (I think that's what it was called!) a little free boat/ferry ride along the water, some wonderful views...  (this is Story Bridge by day)


The buildings are amazing, I fell in love with the gold one, it was so cool! But the funny thing about all of the cities, there are such tall, modern buildings .. and in the midst of it all will be a beautiful old building all by itself. Such a beautiful mix of architecture. Once we got off the boat, we stumbled across a Max Brenner. None of us had heard of it before and boy was we missing out - just so, so, so good. I am a total choco-holic and this was just all of my dreams come true. I regret not purchasing a 'Hug Mug' or the 'Drink Me' cup too - they were really cool, and I'm a sucker for a mug (of the china kind, not the idiot kind haha). Naturally, I had a hot chocolate.. pure chocolate heaven. Whatever you do in life, make sure you visit and have some 'chocolate by the bald man'.



The bridge climb was exhilarating. If you ever visit and end up doing the climb, I highly recommend to climb at around 4pm. You get the best of both, you climb up the bridge and see the views in the daylight, and by the time you view from the top and begin your walk back (takes around 90 minutes in total) it begins to get dark and you can see all of the lights from the city and the bridge turn on - it was amazing. It was very strict for health and safety (naturally) and so no cameras allowed, I'd have loved to have taken some shots from the top, but hey ho, no can do! But we did get our photos taken by the walk leader at the top of the bridge so here they are.. not looking our best haha. Notice the strings to keep my glasses safe! Nice!



It was a brilliant experience, I would love to try the Sydney Bridge climb next. It was a pretty straight forward climb, and you was well harnessed in. But looking at metal steps the entire way up with gaps between them... a little scary and makes you a little dizzy (I probably shouldn't have done it, but thankfully I was okay). Here is a little view of the city on our way home, this is what we got to see be switched on. We were told you could pay to change the colour of the bridge lights for something like $4000 for one evening - cool, but i'll pass!


The next day, Friday.. what an incredible day! It was ZOO day!! I can honestly say it was the most magical day and it lived up to everything I had hoped for (apart from the total disappointment when the meet and have a photo with a tiger AND the feed the Zebras sold out.. honestly, I almost cried. I was SO looking forward to both, especially the Zebras as aside from Pugs, they are my favourite animal!!). The legacy that Steve Irwin left behind, you could feel it everywhere you walked. Truly amazing.



I had my outfit planned for this day since before I'd even started packing for Australia. My Cath Kidston Safari playsuit of course. Call me sad, but I was like a kid in a candy shop and I don't care ;) haha. I do love animals anyway, but it was all the more amazing to see the wild and zoo life of Australia. I think I can let the pictures do the talking for just how amazing they all were.







And another magical element of the day was being able to see Senna (George's niece) visit the Zoo for the first time too. She loved it, and was outstandingly confident - she wasn't afraid of anything!! The girl walked straight up to the Kangaroo's like they were humans, swung her arms around their necks and pulled them in for a hug. Fearless, and I love that about her! To top it all off she is insanely cute and so photogenic.



Here is the little lady herself, standing up to a Kangaroo with her new pony she managed to sweet talk George into buying for her ;)! And look - Zebras!!! (insert a million heart eyes here)





I cannot explain how amazing it was to feed the Kangaroos. They are in their own little woods/park enclosed of course to keep them and us safe. But they totally ruled the roost and had so much space. You purchased a bag of 'roo' food before you entered to feed them all. They were all very friendly (except for the angry Wallaby who almost bit George's hand off haha!) and the little Joey's were just so adorable. The mothers were very protective, so you couldn't get too close to them but one did pop along for a nibble of food.



As you can see, this little chap was extremely chilled out. I think he thought he was a male model.. haha! He did at one point get up on one arm and lean on the one side, it was like Rose from the Titanic when she's modelling on the sofa - so funny!




Another amazing memory... and something i'd been soo looking forward to since before we'd even booked our flights.. holding a Koala!! I was squealing like a little girl in the queue to hold this little fella. I never knew but Koala's sleep up to 20 hours a day.. bit like how much I wish I could sleep for sometimes. They alternate the Koala's every hour so as to give them each a break, and only did a few hours a day - but I felt so sorry for the one I held, the poor little mite every time he got into someones arms, he began to fall asleep straight away and looked just so cosy.. and click, photo taken and he got pulled off and woken up again haha. He was extremely cuddly and soft, but they do have one almighty grip. I thought he was going to pierce my arm with one of his claws (is that the correct terminology!?) it was a tight hold, and he was pretty heavy too... but oh my god, THEY STINK! Not even a little bit stink, like they full on leave you stinking of urine for the rest of the day. I also didn't know, but the males have a little stripe of pores down their belly so that they can leave their scent up on the trees etc for the females to be attracted too (at least that's what I was told) so they just smell like pissy pants all the time - poor little mites, all that eucalyptus! But if the girls like it, he doesn't have much to worry about does he! (Thankfully I had a body spray in my bag, which sort of hid it.. but whatever, it was worth it!)



Look at him, look how snug he looks. In the actual 'offical' photo taken by the Zoo he had shut his eyes at that point. Snug as a bug! I also met this big guy!!! He felt funny!



It was truly an amazing day, if you haven't already got that message ;). I would love to go back and would highly recommend visiting!! An emotional end to the day was visiting the Wildlife Hospital. We paid more for the entry so that we could make a donation to them, it's truly worth every penny you can give. You can only see a small section but that's enough to make you weep like a small child. They care here for all types of animals from the wild who have had accidents or have been spotted to be unwell. Whilst we visited there was a poor Possum who had walked across an electricity wire and had badly burnt her hands and feet, as well as electrocuted herself and fallen to the ground. Another who had to have it's tail amputated, which they were concerned about letting back out into the wild. They explained that once back to full health they will put the animals back into the wild within 10-30 meters of where they were found, but when they need continued care or wouldn't be able to survive in the wild they take them under their wings and give them the care they need! The Koala on the table was just killing me. He had just arrived around 10 minutes before we did. He had fallen from a tree and had a possible cracked skull and eye socket among other injuries. It's extremely unusual behavior for a koala to just fall from a tree, from what they could gather they think the koala was hit by a car and then injured he tried to climb the tree to safety but was severely concussed and so he fell to the floor. Poor, poor little mite, I don't know the outcome of the koala but from the care I saw given to all of the other animals, i'm certain he was in safe hands and would be well cared for!



So not to leave you on a sad note, I'll leave you with the cutest photos I captured of George and Senna. She absolutely loved having us all visit. The last time we saw her she was 10 months old, so it was like meeting for the first time again for the both of us. She is such a little character, so confident, so adorable.. and has a better sense of humor than most people! She knows how to play sarcasm.. at just 4 years old! She had us in fits of giggles the entire holiday. She, of course, like many 4 year old girls just loves Peppa Pig. She found it utterly hilarious that George had the same name as George Pig... so that was what she called him entire holiday. She really had him wrapped around her finger, they were so cute together. The funniest comment i'll forever remember was 'I love your beard George Pig, but where is your chin?' haha!!! Love her !! 

I'll leave that as my part one, as I've tried to split my photos evenly. I'll post part 2 asap, but for now I hope you enjoy! 

Paige Gillard

3 comments:

  1. Awwww..Such a wonderful trip you had! Thanks for sharing your precious memories with us! Can't wait for part 2!

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    1. Thank you for reading, Kim! I love being able to blog, else your photos end up stuck on an SD card somewhere gathering dust! Brilliant outlet to treasure the memories!

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  2. OOOO .. you went to Australia Zoo .. it always a bit bitter sweet when I go there ... Poor Old Steve. (Melbournianmama)

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