A Travellerspoint blog

A New Zealand Decision

2 days before we flew to NZ, we didn't know we were going to NZ

Ever heard of a relocation deal? Car companies give a discounted rental price if you drive their vehicle where they need it to be, within their time frame. You just cover fuel and, depending on the deal, any extra mileage you go over what they allot for the trip, plus insurance if you want full coverage instead of basic/standard coverage.

What's the catch? There doesn't seem to be one. You just need to have a flexible plan of where you want to be when, or maybe find a relocation that fits your plans if you're lucky.

Rewind for a second, we're just outside of Sydney after turning down jobs in Sydney and have no clue what we're doing. On our list was New Zealand, particularly in the summer months. Since we didn't have a Christmas/New Year's plan, we thought, why not New Zealand?!

One of the things we wanted to do in New Zealand was to rent a camper and explore the countryside. Well, we didn't have more of a plan than that, knowing we wanted to explore both the north and south island, so we started looking into relocation deals after trying to look into campervan rentals and finding that overwhelming, trying to find the best deal for an undetermined amount of time.

After hearing a couple good reviews about helpx, a website that links travelers to work exchange opportunities (ranging from wwoofing, hostels, etc) and luckily 1 membership covers Australia, New Zealand, most of Europe, Canada, and the US. Most of the work exchange programs involve working a couple hours in exchange for accommodation, sometimes food is included, and work varies from hostel, to house to farm work.

Emailing a couple places just outside Christchurch (South Island) and getting promising responses, we decided to go for it all.

New Zealand, relocation, and help exchange.

We booked a plane ticket for 2 days away. Reserved a relocation from Auckland to Christchurch for 3 days away. And let the realization sink in that, we were going to New Zealand in 2 days!!!

Posted by smr1188 17:57 Archived in Australia Tagged planning last_minute Comments (0)

A weekend getaway that turned into a week and a half stay...

(Well, I'll try to catch up (to at least the right coutry after this post, but I couldn't resist one more of the Blue Mountains)

What was originally a 3 night jaunt out of Sydney, turned into working at an awesome hostel for a week in exchange for our stay. We fell in love with the hostel, and are now spoiled as we continue our travels, comparing everything to that one. Called the Flying Fox, it had a woodstove, a cat named Guano, an easy kitchen, welcoming living room (where said woodstove is), and a back patio with a picnic table, bbq, and a firepit.

Living Room of the Flying Fox

Living Room of the Flying Fox

Backyard of the Flying Fox

Backyard of the Flying Fox

Our bedroom at the hostel

Our bedroom at the hostel

Flying Fox beds

Flying Fox beds

We fell for the place, the atmosphere, and the people staying there, and asked the owner to put us to work! We'd work 3-4 hours a day for our stay, mostly cleaning the kitchen (an endless job with so many people cooking), vacuuming (with a terrible cheap $50 vacuum—sidenote, never buy a cheap vacuum!), cleaning bathrooms (those were the cleanest hostel bathrooms ever! Cleaned 2-3 times a day!), and remaking beds/laundry.
The hostel held about 30 beds, plus some campsites out back for tents and free internet and breakfast. Sometimes we even made pancakes for breakfast! Not just cheap cereal and toast. What more could you ask for?!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jofNR_WkoCE

Katoomba's a cool town too. Main Street doesn't give off a touristy feel, there's mostly normal shops and restaurants there. It reminded us of Saranac Lake some, a small town in the mountains.

Staying a week and a half gave us time to get used to the town, and enjoy the varying weather. On sunny days we'd get our butts out on a trail somewhere, and look forward to a rainy day where we could rest and recover. There were awesome rain and thunder storms that passed though, and nothing beats a thunderstorm in the mountains.

We went hiking in the rain too...and then went back the following day to see it in the sunshine...what a difference! We really enjoyed hiking in the rain and the wind blowing the mist everywhere.

Cliff Overlook -Rainy Day

Cliff Overlook -Rainy Day

Cliff Lookout-sunshine

Cliff Lookout-sunshine

Sunshine Views

Sunshine Views

Top of Wentworth Falls -Rainy Day

Top of Wentworth Falls -Rainy Day

Rainy Day

Rainy Day

Sunshine Views

Sunshine Views

Wentworth Falls

Wentworth Falls

Wentworth Falls

Wentworth Falls

Wentworth Falls Lookout

Wentworth Falls Lookout

Ladders!

Ladders!

Wentworth Falls Lookout

Wentworth Falls Lookout

Posted by smr1188 19:34 Archived in Australia Tagged hiking hostels blue_mountains Comments (0)

Blue Mountains, Part 2

Sorry the picture to word ratio is heavy on the picture side! More words next time!

Our 2nd Day in the Blue Mountains was a epic one.

Words can't describe our hiking for 8 hours (and who knows how many kilometers and stairs!) and all that we saw, explored, found, and the vastness of it all. But here's lots of pictures...

Witch's Leap

Witch's Leap

Cockatoo enjoying a drink and a bath

Cockatoo enjoying a drink and a bath


Three Sisters

Three Sisters

Trail in the Blue Mountains

Trail in the Blue Mountains


Lyrebird

Lyrebird

Gorgeous Waterfalls

Gorgeous Waterfalls


Gorgeous Waterfalls

Gorgeous Waterfalls

So many stairs

So many stairs

A beautiful crimson rosella

A beautiful crimson rosella


Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls


Aftermath of a bush fire from a couple years ago

Aftermath of a bush fire from a couple years ago

Gordon Falls Lookout

Gordon Falls Lookout

Posted by smr1188 00:07 Archived in Australia Tagged hiking blue_mountains Comments (3)

Blue Mountains, Part 1


View Adventures in the Southern Hemisphere, Part 1 on smr1188's travel map.

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It all started with a reason, and an excuse, to get out of Sydney. Feeling like 8 days had been more than enough to explore Sydney, we started looking for other options, but until something jumped out, we continued to extend our stay with The Original Backpackers Hostel one night at a time. Eventually we waited too long to tell them we wanted to extend and after 9 nights there, they were booked and we needed a Plan B.
We'd heard about the Blue Mountains, only a 2 hour train ride from Sydney, and decided to head there. We found a hostel that sounded cool, booked 3 nights there, in some town that was in the 'Blue Mountains' region, and set about packing our stuff up again. The next day we hopped on a train and headed west.


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The Flying Fox.
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After finding the hostel we dropped off our bags, grabbed a paper map, and headed out to find some trails!

We found some minor waterfalls and the iconic Three Sisters looking out over Jamison Valley.

Jamison Valley
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Katoomba Cascades
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The Three Sisters
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PS> Happy Thanksgiving to those stateside! =)

Posted by smr1188 03:39 Archived in Australia Tagged blue_mountains Comments (0)

The Last of Sydney for awhile...


View Adventures in the Southern Hemisphere, Part 1 on smr1188's travel map.

No major stories, just some pictures :)

Walking and views from the Harbour Bridge.

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Sydney Opera House

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Posted by smr1188 01:48 Archived in Australia Tagged sydney Comments (0)

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