Saturday, 22 February 2014

New Chums Beach - Coromandel, New Zealand

So during our time in the Coromandel it was decided that we would spend considerable amounts of time beach hopping, as the area is meant to have some of the most beautiful beaches around.

Our first trip was to New Chums Beach, rated as one of the Top 20 beaches in the world in 2006. Yes that was a while ago now, no we didn't really care.

(Whangapoua Beach)

So - New Chums Beach is in Wainuiototo Bay. Head to Whangapoua beach, where you have to take a bit of a trek across rocks and through forested areas to make it to the amazingly unspoilt and tranquil New Chums Beach.

(walk across the rocks)

There is no food, no drink, not much of anything there but sand, sea and sun if you are lucky (we were). Be prepared and take food and drink with you, and be ready to carry it for approx thirty mins to get to this gorgeous beach.

We spent our afternoon sunbathing, swimming and playing volleyball with a portable net we had taken with us. T'was a glorious day, and being my first real day in the sun, I inevitably got sunburnt, despite reapplying suncream about ten times in the hope I could avoid angry red skin!

(volleyball times)

Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of the beach as a whole, so I've borrowed this glorious picture below to show you how nice this beach actually was.

Beautiful, right? Well worth the walk, very quiet and a lovely place to spend your day.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Coromandel weekender!

So, the day after arriving in glorious New Zealand, we were off and away for a long weekend in the beautiful Coromandel region of New Zealand. No time for jet lag here!! The drive up was absolutely gorgeous, taking you through lots of twists and turns in the mountains and then running alongside the sea for a large portion too.

(sunset over the sea, picture taken from the car whilst moving!)

We stayed in a lovely place called Matarangi, in a huge Bach (rental holiday home) which was beautiful and more than ready for the onslaught of 11 holidaymakers!

(picture borrowed from Book A Bach website linked below)

The Bach we stayed in can be booked via the Book A Bach website HERE and if you have a big group and are heading up that way, I would 100% recommend this as an excellent place to stay.

Although we spent most of our time out and about exploring other areas of the Coromandel, the Matarangi beach is a two minute walk from the house and the nearby town of Whitianga is a short drive away for stocking up and eating out.

(Group shot the morning we sadly had to go home)

So whilst we were in the Coromandel we visited numerous other beaches, including New Chums Beach and the Hot Water Beach, posts to come about these!

Monday, 17 February 2014

Bon voyage to me!

So the day finally came.. Tuesday 21st January, time to fly fly fly away again but off to New Zealand this time...!

Mum and Louise took me to London Gatwick, and after a lovely goodbye fryup breakfast I was on my way through security. Apparently they waited to wave at me but I didn't turn round.. oops. Sorry!

My flight was definitely the long way round.. London - Dubai. Dubai - Singapore. Singapore - Brisbane. (+7 hours in Brisbane airport!). Brisbane - Auckland.

Seriously by the last leg I was so desperate to just bloody get there! Although I did have a stroke of luck, and on my flight from Singapore to Brisbane I was upgraded to business class with Emirates. It made the whole 36 hours of travelling worth it. Kind of.

But then finally on Thursday 23rd January, 3pm local time, I arrived at Auckland airport, with a nice quick trip through customs I headed out to find Gavin (my friends hubby) who had arrived to pick me up. YAY. I was here!

It was sunny too - awesome after the rubbish weather I'd left behind in the UK. On the drive from the airport to Sam and Gav's house in Mission Bay I think I was seriously just dazed out, I couldn't believe I was actually here.

HELLO NEW ZEALAND! IT'S NICE TO SEE YOU! :D And yes.. you were definitely worth the 36 hours of travel. Promise.


(1. Lovely day to leave the UK! 2. Obligatory boarding pass shot. 3. Busy busy plane!  4. My one and only photo of Business class. 5. Brisbane airport - pretty, but I was a bit sick of it by this point! 6. Chocolate heaven at Dubai airport.)

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

The age old travelling question... Suitcase or Rucksack?

So.. having decided I was once again to jet off, my mind came along to the age old problem of do I take a suitcase or a backpack?

When I went to Australia I had my Dad's old 85l rucksack, and while it was a godsend at the time because I didn't own one of my own, it was made for a man, it was heavy, and I definitely overpacked it because half of my stuff stayed at the bottom and never saw the light of day!

So when I decided to go again, I knew several things. If I took a rucksack again, it wouldn't be a toploader, and it would be made for a woman. And also ... that maybe I might just take a suitcase instead!

I've had a good hunt round some travel blogs and some travel websites and I have come down to two options..

Option number 1! Dakine Girls Split Roller Large suitcase. So.. what attracted me to this one? Well, firstly, it's a split level suitcase, which as you can see from the pictures means there is space to pack your stuff on both sides. The Dakine suitcases have some really great reviews. The top level of the suitcase has three compartments to separate and keep your things organised. IT HAS WHEELS! (I like wheels..) And also... it comes in some really nice designs (pictured is the 'Juliet'). It's also available in either a 65l or a 100l option (100l pictured).

Price? This varies a lot between size and design. A plain black 65l will set you back £112.50 on Amazon, whereas a 100l in the Juliet design as pictured will cost you around £140. Not too shabby for what seems to be a pretty decent piece of kit.

Option number 2? The traditional rucksack! Vango Freedom 60 + 20 girls rucksack. So.. what were the benefits of this lovely piece of kit? First off.. it's available in purple. Anyone who knows me, knows that this is a big pro! (my laptop is also purple!) So other than the glorious colour, it is also a side loading rucksack which means it unzips around the side and opens up like a suitcase, making it a lot easier to find what you need than the standard top loading rucksack. It has a detachable daypack which would be extremely handy for trips out and about. It has an adjustable back system made for women, which will help prevent back pain. And it equals out at 80l total, which is a more than reasonable amount of storage space.

Price? On Amazon right now it's priced at £69.99 but I have seen it for £60 on some other sites, so it's a pretty good bargain in my eyes.

So... my decision? Well I've decided to go with long term investment potential, and I don't know if I'll be going travelling again when I come back from New Zealand. I've decided to go for the Dakine split roller as I can use this for a million different things, when realistically I'm not going to use a backpack to take on a sunny beach holiday!
The only thing now is do I need the 100l or can I condense myself down to the 65l? Oh, this is the tough bit...

[links not sponsored, all opinions are my own]

Here we go again

So, in July 2010 I was full of exciting plans to fly away to Thailand and continue with the travel bug that I had caught at the time.

That didn't happen - I carried on with my normal job, living my normal life and didn't fly away anywhere for quite some time.

However now, I am biting the bullet and heading back off on my travels - come January, I'll be heading to New Zealand for the second (slightly belated) leg of my around the world tour.

So how did this come about, I hear you ask? My best friend moved to New Zealand in June with her other half, as part of a two year secondment he was placed on with his company. I'd booked a flight to go and visit her for three weeks in January - why not, right? And then... I got a bit bored of my job. I got a bit bored of my life, period. And I thought, lets just do it.

So now, my notice has been handed in, my savings account is slowly accumulating funds and as of January 19th I will be off to New Zealand to try and find myself some work. Hopefully... it will go slightly better than my Australia work experience did!!

But hey... even if it doesn't work out and I end up home after five months like last time.. I'm sure it will be far more exciting than life at current!

So here we are... if you're still here and you were desperately hoping for some awesome travel updates from me, you're in luck!

If you've just joined me.. please don't read back through my Australia blog. I was only 21. It's mildly embarrassing...

63 days and counting!

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Only just got back and planning next years trip - oh yes!

So, I'm over my short period of self indulgence and feel its time to move on and start thinking about my next trip. I've yet to actually find employment and therefore any money to fund this trip, but I'm trying to ignore that irrelevant piece of information and look at fun things to spend said non-existent money on instead.

The plan so far is to go to Thailand for 6 weeks. Explore the main parts of Thailand itself for three weeks, and then head down to the islands and chill and party for the next three weeks. Sounds like a plan to me!

We'll land in Bangkok and then head up to the northern areas - Chiang Mai and Lampang, and its around here we'll spend a good portion of our time as my friend Hannah has yet to really see these places (And I've not seen any of it!)

I'm really tempted to jump the border and also do a little bit of exploring in Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. Not sure how realistic this is as obviously we're gonna have a set amount of time to do things in, but hopefully we'll manage somehow!

Last but most definitely not least, we'll be heading down to the islands of Ko Samet, Ko Pha Ngan, Ko Samui and Ko Tao for beautiful beaches and partypartyparty :D We'll most definitely be timing our trip to go to an infamous Ko Pha Ngan Full Moon Party - and can I say I'm a little excited about this already?!

Needless to say.. I can't wait. Its a good way away yet, but fortunately that gives me time to somehow find that earlier mentioned fundage - wahey!

(images in this post = not mine)

Friday, 16 July 2010

Suddenly it feels like Australia is a million miles away, was a million years ago.

Makes me sad. I miss it so much.

I don't want to be one of those really irritating people who just dwells on the past and doesn't let go, but I really do wish I could just flyyyy away and go back.

(I'll shortly be over this period of feeling sorry for myself, please bear with me)