A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: etthuang

Mad Updates!

Recap of the last few months

March - June 2011
Time sure passes by real quickly. Before we know it, we've traveled more than 3000km and explored 3 states without making a single update! So ladies and gents, here's one massive update with lots of visuals ('cuz, of course, pictures are worth a thousand words :P)

After the short yet amazing few days in Melbourne, we hit the Great Ocean Road- about 250 km of scenic coastal drive along the south-eastern coast of Victoria.

Great Ocean Road start

Great Ocean Road start

The 12 Apostles
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The views
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London Bridge

London Bridge

James got a new board!

grip tape

grip tape


new board

new board

Cape Nelson, a near ocean-side village with a beautiful estuary, the last stop on the Great Ocean Road.

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Quiet dawn fishing

Quiet dawn fishing

Hello South Australia!

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We arrived in South Australia on March 7th, and the weather was noticeably warmer. We encountered a couple of hurdles trying to find a job. We rocked up in the Penola/ Coonawara region known as the largest Cabernet Souvignon region in South Australia. Wineries were left, right, and center! There were over 35 wineries on one road! It was insane! We thought for sure we'd get a job, but after dropping by the wineries and talking to the locals, we've found out ALL the wineries contracted to ONE contractor. This dude has monopoly over ALL the wineries. He turned out to be a real redneck and sketch bag- telling us that he can't tell us how much we'd get paid because it depends on how fast we work. He even told us, if we work too fast, we get paid less! Essentially, he bell curved the wages so that even the best workers just scraped by, and the rest made bugger all, while he cashed in.

We got out of that region pronto! We then drove another couple hours to the Renmark area. We dropped by an employment agency, and immediately, he gave us a number of a orange picking job in Waikerie. We were stoked! We set up camp by the over flooded Murray River.

Camp Waikerie

Camp Waikerie


Waikerie sunrise

Waikerie sunrise


Waikerie sunset

Waikerie sunset

We started the next day, only to find out orange picking sucks big time! $25 a bin. It us at least 1 and a half hours of hard work- climbing ladders, getting scratched, running to and from the bin trying to fill it up. We hardly make more than $100 a day together!! We gave it a couple days, and once again- job fail.

But Korean food success! On a really really hot day, James and I made cold buckwheat noodle soap!
mul nam yong

mul nam yong

By now, we've made some friends, and they gave us some numbers for grape picking in the Clare Valley, known for its Riesling. Off we went to Clare! Our home for the next month. We had an awesome paid-by-the-hour job with some real good people.

Red wine grapes

Red wine grapes


All different types of wine grapes

All different types of wine grapes


picking friends, lots of those around!

picking friends, lots of those around!

After a month of working, we hit the road again!

We first did the Alligator gorge bush walk in the Southern Flinder's range. It was good to be out in the nature again!
1.5 billion years old

1.5 billion years old


Mt. Remarkable- Alligator Gorge walk
the ripples in these rock are hardened sand ripples caused by an ancient sea

the ripples in these rock are hardened sand ripples caused by an ancient sea


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more of our picking friends on our walk!

more of our picking friends on our walk!

Trail friendl

Trail friendl

The two and a half week trip to Western Australia is now forever known as the Greatest Fishing trip ever! We just cruised from one jetty to another- Port Lincoln, Coffin Bay, Streaky Bay, Haslam, Smokey Bay, Point St. Claire, Esperance, Albany- we caught salmon, trevallys tommys, tunas, leather jackets, squids, crabs, flatheads, garfish, and razor fish. We had at least 68 fish (based on a tally I kept in the beginning of our trip). We were living off the hook and eating like kings and queens! We'd be eating salt and pepper calamari, seafood marinara, fresh crabs, fish fry...It was pretty epic!

Coffin Bay

Coffin Bay


Beautiful sunny day in Streaky Bay

Beautiful sunny day in Streaky Bay


Smokey Bay

Smokey Bay


Fishing off the rocks at Mad fish Bay

Fishing off the rocks at Mad fish Bay


Our camp spot past Denmark at Parry Beach

Our camp spot past Denmark at Parry Beach

Me and my almost 42cm flathead!
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Fish feast!
blue swimmer crabs

blue swimmer crabs


fish platter

fish platter


Cooking up a feast by the jetty

Cooking up a feast by the jetty


YUM-BO!

YUM-BO!

Another epic event is the loooooong drive of nothingness into Western Australia- the drive known as the Nullabor Plains.

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It's about 1200 km of nothingness with a road house (aka. gas stations) every 200 km. The cheapest petrol that we saw on the drive was $1.79/ litre! Good thing James and I filled up on fuel before the plains and we were also driving at 80kph because we realized that we get more mileage out of Lucky, our good ol' reliable wagon(nearly 300km more than driving at the standard 110kph!). We drove for about 12 hours a day for two whole days, hardly seeing a soul on the straight straight road.

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It was night time when we hit the straightest road in Australia, though there wasn't much difference comparing to the 10 hours of "not-so-straight" road. We saw a car coming, and automatically turned our high beams down, but then we realized it was a straight road, the other driver could be really far away. Fair enough, we turned our high beam and our timer on, it was almost 6 minutes before the other vehicle was close enough for us to turn our beams down!

It was night time when we hit the straightest road in Australia, though there wasn't much difference comparing to the 10 hours of "not-so-straight" road. We saw a car coming, and automatically turned our high beams down, but then we realized it was a straight road, the other driver could be really far away. Fair enough, we turned our high beam and our timer on, it was almost 6 minutes before the other vehicle was close enough for us to turn our beams down!

Entering the Wild Wild West
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Everything is bigger in the west, including their trees! We went to the Valley of the giants, a preserved forest area near Denmark, WA. These tingle and jarrah trees can be up to 1000 years old, and some are as tall as 130 feet with a 16m base circumference!
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So that's the update. Time moves pretty fast. Soon new decisions will need making, we'll let you know when we know ;)

Searching for gold, we don't have to look very far.

Searching for gold, we don't have to look very far.

Posted by etthuang 17:20 Archived in Australia Tagged great_ocean_road fishing western_australia nullabor south_australia orange_picking grape_picking clare_valley waikerie alligator_gorge mt_remarkable Comments (0)

Goodbye Tazzie...Hellooo Melbourne!

Back to civilization

Picking up after our last blog entry...

end of February 2011
We headed up towards Bay of Fires on the northern east coast of Tasmania for a couple days. It’s scenic and the best part was that it’s warm! (well..warmer anyway...)

With only a couple days left in Tasmania, We headed down to Bruny island- off the south east coast of Tassie. It was a few days of solid fishing- we caught heaps of squid and mullets. Calamari and fried fish…mmm.

fishing gear

fishing gear


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fresh calamari

fresh calamari

Having a feast of fresh fish

Having a feast of fresh fish

Melbourne- artistic hub
Beginning of March 2011

Melbourne was 3 whirlwind days of fun. Since I took a flight to Melbourne to save some money, and James took the ferry. We had our first long hours apart since we started traveling. I slept in the airport for the first time in my life. It wasn’t at all comfortable, so I left to explore the city wee early in the morning. I walked all around downtown Melbourne- from the southern cross station to Queen Victoria Market to the State library to China town with all the delicious smells and food. It was quite exhausting and I saw more people than I have in months! Melbourne is hands down one of the coolest cities I’ve been. Next to the awesome people we met and the awesome fun we had, the city itself has such an artistic zing! James and I enjoyed a sunny day just walking through the graffiti covered alley ways in Fitzroy.

T.O meet Melbourne, keep it fresh, yo

T.O meet Melbourne, keep it fresh, yo


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Highlight of Melbourne for me was the ‘Tattoo and Pizza party.’ We met a Korean tattoo artist named Wan Lee while camping in Tassie. He and his girlfriend captured our attention with their cross Tassie trip on their scooter. When we got back to Melbourne, he was available for a tattoo, but we had no space to do it in. On our last day there, his wonderful friends let us use their place and we got a slab, 4 pizzas, and tattooed away. I ended up getting the tattoo that I once had a dream of- I had a rough sketch, Wan made it into art. Though it was one of the most excruciating, agonizing painful experience I’ve ever had in my life. At one point of the night, around 11pm, I sounded like i was giving birth to sextuplets, Wan was droning out my scream with calming "ahhs," and we had Bob Marley blasting in the background. Geez, I wonder what the neighbours were thinkin'.

Travel Tattoo Kit

Travel Tattoo Kit


Before...

Before...


...during...

...during...


..during..and enduring...

..during..and enduring...


...enduring the pain...

...enduring the pain...


...After, nicely healed

...After, nicely healed

Now it’s all healed, I don’t regret it one bit.

check out Wan Lee's work on Facebook- tattontravel

Posted by etthuang 22:05 Archived in Australia Tagged melbourne fishing tasmania tattoo graffiti fitzroy squid calamari bruny_island tattoo_and_pizza wan_lee Comments (0)

Wurrumbungle National Park

Kangaroo Heaven

semi-overcast 20 °C

November 12 ~ November 14, 2010

Work Dubbo is finished, we're off to do a bush walk again. The Wurrumbungle National Park is located a couple hours north of Dubbo, or a few hours inland between Sydney and Brisbane. It has beautiful gorges, deep valleys, and wonderful rock formations left over from 17 million years of an eroded volcano - according to the guide.

So far, I (Erica) have seen about four Kangaroos the entire time I've been here. The Wurrumbungles were a heaven of Kangaroos. Within minutes of being in the park, we were greeted by different packs of kangas!

mama and her joey

mama and her joey


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We planned to do a 3 day, 2 night hike. We started and finished at the Pincham carpark.

After a few hours of hot and hard hiking, we weren't especially impressed.... though there were a few beautiful lookouts!

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Can you spot James?

Can you spot James?


James asking the great rock for wisdom

James asking the great rock for wisdom


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The best part of the trip was our camp spot at the Nuada Campsite. The spot was right on the creek and encircled by trees. As soon as we got there, we set up our tent, and had a extremely cold water sponge bath by the river. We gathered firewood and made our camp dinner, though after dinner we were both too exhausted to make the fire.

We woke up the next day to a solemn sky.

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We decided to cut our hike short and head back before the cats and dogs come pouring down.

On our way back, I had the honor of being within a couple meters of dinning kangaroos!

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The rain clouds hung on for the rest of our hike, until the end, the sun came back out... so we finished our trip with a dip in the water.

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Posted by etthuang 16:50 Archived in Australia Tagged hiking trekking camping kangaroos bushwalking wurrumbungle_national_park camp_nuada Comments (0)

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