A Travellerspoint blog

Dirtroad Sinners

sunny 25 °C

FARMLYFE! That's the theme for the next three months, so expect some hashtag (#farmlyfe) overuse. We're starting our farm work to qualify for the 2nd Work'n'Holiday Visa so we can spend another year in this gorgeous country. We're WWOOF'ing (google it) on this gorgeous farm in Muchea, Western Australia which is 55 km north of Perth. Also, there should be some interesting blogs coming up with our escapades on the farm that may or may not include some heavy 90's music (Ja Rule say what), a little (okay a lot) of country music, beer, animals, vegetables, and ramping (hopefully, a lot of that too).

So you're probably wondering (or not) how we got from Wellington, South Australia to Muchea. We're kind of wondering that ourselves, it was kind of a blur. We saw so much and did so many amazing things so we'll just fill you all on on the highlights.

After Wellington, we went into Adelaide for a couple hours and just walked around a bit. It was just to say we were there really, we didn't really have big plans for Adelaide or anything. South Australia is known as the festival state and you can see Adelaide is a main centre for it from the Festival Place Centre that was near the river. Of course Adelaide seemed rather small and quiet compared to what we were used to in Melbourne. However, the market in Adelaide did not disappoint!

So over the next couple days we made our way to Flinders Ranges National Park, which is in the outback of South Australia. It was our first glimpse of the outback and really nice to see after driving through the wine and farm regions of Victoria and South Australia for days. It was also about ten degrees warmer on average which made camping there much more enjoyable! We spent two days in the Flinders Ranges, and did quite the mountainous hike up to Mount Ohlssen Bagge (923m high). We did a lot of rock scrambling, and at some points it was straight up! It was hard but so worth the view out over the breathtaking Wilpena Pound. Wilpena Pound looks like a giant stadium that was literally 'pounded' into the earth and is called I'kara, meaning meeting place, for the aboriginals of the Flinders Ranges.
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After the outback experience, we spent four days on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. The first night we discovered this random, beach side campsite and it was absolutely gorgeous! We hiked across the sand dunes and unexpectantly encountered some wild seals. The next couple nights we spent in Port Lincoln at the Lincoln National Park. These were a couple of the most memorable days of the roadtrip! We fished off the rocks, swam in waters (shark infested at that) that looked like the Caribbean but felt like the Arctic, hiked the park, saw mindblowing sunsets and just drank and ate a ton! We could have spent a week there but we had to get moving. LeeAnn and Magnus enjoyed some world famous Coffin Bay oysters (on the house) in the little seaside town that looked like St. Andrews, NB. We then spent our last night at a place called Farm Beach. As expected, there were a lot of tractors around and we got talking to the locals there so that was hilarious.
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We crossed the Nullabor Plain from South Australia to Western Australia in two days, it was pretty boring but we're really glad we did it. It is definitely one of Australia's great road journeys and Nullarbor means 'no trees' (lived up to the name). There were a lot of sweet roadsigns to take pictures with and we were driving pretty close along the South Australian Bight which from June - October you can view Southern Right Whales. We stayed at campsites at roadhouses which was kind of eerie because they are on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere.

Our last great roadtrip adventure was our two days in Cape Le Grande National Park, just outside of Esperance, WA. We camped at Lucky Bay, the most beautiful beach we've seen in Australia. It was stunning, like something you would see on postcards, and the water temperature was bareable as well. Over our two days at Cape Le Grande, we hiked 31 km through pretty intense terrain. If we weren't climbing over slippery rocks on the coast, we were hiking through the bush where snakes definitely lived. We did the coastal hike where we saw some pretty amazing beaches and views. We think we even saw a whale off in the distance!
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Leaving there, we made our way to Perth! We arrived in Perth on LeeAnn's 30th birthday so naturally we went hard. To mark the end of the most epic roadtrip ever, the boxed wine was brought out in fine fashion. All in all, it was an incredible three weeks on the road but we welcomed the non-tent accomodation, and hot showers! ALSO, waiting for us in Perth was Chris! We haven't seen him since he left Melbourne so it was so awesome to hang out with him for a couple days, we didn't realize how much we missed him!

One of our main goals in coming to Western Australia was to find farm work so that brings us to right now. We emailed a couple places that take WWOOF'ers and we ended up here in Muchea. We're working on an organic farm that produces organic veggies and animal products. It's quite the learning experience and it feels really rewarding to being this kind of work. We're working with four others right now, Daisy and Michael, a lovely English couple; Alan, our little Italian 'turkey' Stallion; and Elodie, an awesome girl from France. It's quite the diverse group, but we have done nothing but laugh and have a good time since we've got here. Hopefully, the next three months are as enjoyable as this past week has been!

So stay tuned for some ramping vids, I'm sure they'll be sweet! Until next time, keep 'er outta the cabbage!

Gissy and LeeLee
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Posted by freerangechicks 21:11 Archived in Australia Tagged #farmlyfe #australia #wwoof #perth Comments (0)

Bush Bandits!!!!

overcast 15 °C

We've been on the road since Monday and its been fecking fantastic! Magnus picked us up in Melbourne around lunch time and we set out for possibly the most exciting/least planned roadtrip of our lives! A little about him, he's from Germany and has been in Australia for a couple years. He's been working on farms and living the Australian dream! We found him on gumtree, which is an Australian version of Kijiji, under rideshares. It's quite common for travellers to do that down here, post ads and travel together, and now that we know he's not a serial killer we feel its okay to tell you all about it without you worrying. His ad had everything we were looking for and he seemed to want to do the same kind of trip we wanted to do, so we sent him an email and now here we are, on a crazy 3500 km plus roadtrip with him across Australia. We've actually hit it off famously with him, he likes how ridiculous we are, or he's humouring us, but either way he likes to laugh! We've been teaching him some good English words, but only the dirty ones ;) So since Monday, we've only made it as far as Wellington, South Australia! We're about an hour from Adelaide, which is about 8 hours total from Melbourne.

The first couple nights we spent in the Grampians National Park which is in Victoria. First night was at the YHA hostel in Halls Gap, and the second night we camped! It was coldddddd - probably 5 degrees! Right now, its fall time in Australia so you can imagine what it's like camping in fall at home, kinda the same! We never thought we would need sleeping bags for below freezing weather in Australia but luckily we thought ahead! In the Grampians, we did a couple intense hikes, one to the Pinnacle which was a solid 2.5km incline over rocky terrain and the other to Mount Rosea. From the car park to the top of Mount Rosea is an elevation of almost 500 metres so the hike there was intense! It was almost 5 km of commandeering the side of a mountain basically! The scenery was amazing. We almost gave up and turned around a couple times, but we managed to encourage ourselves to keep going! At the top, it started HAILING and it was cold and windy! It was how you would expect a top of a mountain to be really! It took a while to get the feeling back in our toes from that one! Overall a great time though!
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After the Grampians we stayed at this random campsite right before the South Australia border. It did the trick, not to much to really say about it , except it was another FREEZING night and it was free!

Last night we stayed in this place called the Black Cockatoo Bush Camp just north of Naracoorte, South Australia! It was literally in the middle of nowhere right between two sheep farms. It was our favourite place so far! And we got to have showers for the first time in a few days, which was amazing! Nothing like no showering plus tons of sweaty hiking to make us feel beautiful. The cleanliness was welcomed for sure! And bonus, not such a freezing night! Today we went to the Naracoorte Caves which is a World Heritage Site. There are fossils such as giant kangaroos and wombats preserved here from over 500 000 years ago. There are 28 World Heritage Sites in Australia, and it would be really cool to be able to see them all!
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Hilarious sidenote, we taught Magnus how to Tebow! And he LOVES it! So each night we do a picture of us all, tebowing next to our campfire, it's kind of became the theme of this trip! We're hoping to get a few sweet Tebow pics in cool places. Look at us, spreading the American Football love!
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Also, no poisonous or killer wildlife sightings yet! BONUS!

Tonight were at this park in Wellington! Just had a great meal and listening to some sweet tunes with a little boxed wine! YUM! We're not 100% sure what tomorrow will bring, hopefully do a little exploring around Adelaide and then on to our next camping spot! We're hoping to do an overnight hike in the Flinders Ranges. At this rate we won't get to the west coast before June, but who cares really:) We're loving every second!

Prost!
Giselle & LeeAnn
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Posted by freerangechicks 20:37 Archived in Australia Tagged australia roadtrip thegrampians southaustralia Comments (0)

On The Road Again

overcast 18 °C

So were leaving Melbourne tomorrow! It is the most bittersweet feeling right now. We are truly in love with this city, it hurts to leave, but at the same time we're beyond ready to get travelling again! We have so much more to see and a good 7-8 months left of this incredible adventure!

We've just been so flat out in our last month here! Lived the weekends hard, worked during the week and just did as much as we possibly could before we leave.

A couple cool things have happened, we met a really cool Canadian girl, Brooke! She's fun, friendly and you can tell she's from the same part of the world as us! And not only is she from Canada! She's from SAINT JOHN! She was working with Giselle for a couple weeks! She's super fun to hang out with and we're already planning weekend roadies for when were back in SJ! Also, met some really cool English girls, Dishali, Hatal and Amy, that we party and hang out with! They're like us, mid to late 20's, and just really chill! Also, Giselle's childhood friend, Kirsten, met up with us in Melbourne! Haven't seen each other in ten years!

Easter Weekend we went to Lakes Entrance with Candice, our Australian friend, and Sandy, our Scottish friend! Lakes Entrance is a little seaside town on the east coast of Victoria! It was so beautiful and a ton of fun. We rented a boat one afternoon and cruised the river. No license required apparently, however pretty sure we were only going about 10km/hr! Great and unexpected weekend! We met a crazy group of New Zealanders that were down there for the weekend too, they had on pirate hats and there was an excessive amount of 2-4's, enough said!
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A few weekends back we went hiking in the Dandenong Ranges with Jessie and Brooke! It was really an amazing day! We started by doing this crazy up hill hike called a thousand steps! It was like 3 km all up hill! INSANE! We couldn't walk for like a week after! After that we got dropped off at this transmitter station in the middle of nowhere, we were bit scared and creeped out, but it ended up being the coolest part of the day! We hiked along the hillside and you could see for miles out over the Yarra Valley! We even had to get the map out to get us back to the starting point, made us feel like real travellers again! For dinner, we ate at this local place, and the owners sat and chatted with us and we learned a lot about the region we were in and got a super fresh 'homecooked' meal! It was the perfect ending to a really satisfying day!
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This past week was ANZAC Day! It is a public holiday for Australia and New Zealand, it falls on April 25th, the day the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps arrived in Gallipoli back in World War I in 1915. It is the most devastating human loss for the ANZAC's in history. The day is mainly in honour of that battle, but it is also in honour of all the fallen soliders since and to recognize the soliders that are currently enlisted. So on this day, dawn services are held throughout the country at 6 am, the hour in which those brave soldiers arrived on the shores of Gallipoli. We had the privilege of attending the service in Melbourne this year at the Shine of Remembrance. It was absolutely stunning! LeeAnn and Kendall also went to the ANZAC march which lasted about 3 long hours, and consisted of a lot of clapping and waving.
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Also on ANZAC day, there are big AFL (Australian Football League) games! We went to this sports bar in the city and watched a couple, had no idea what was going on but it was really awesome to be part of a sports atmosphere again! We met this group of Australian guys, Michael, Mark, Leigh and Drew, who we hung out with until late that night! They were hilarious and a really good time! Love hanging out with locals!

This weekend, our friends all got together for a little going away last bash! Such a good time! We feel fortunate that we've made so many close friends, definitely lifelong friendships!

So tomorrow, we're getting on the road to Western Australia! We're camping the WHOLE WAY, with a German guy, Magnus! We don't have a timeline so we're just going to see what happens. We could get there in days, could be weeks! All part of the adventure though! We've both have been up and down about how we feel about leaving! Sometimes we have no desire to leave Melbourne as it has truly become our Australian home, other times we can't even contain how excited we are to be moving on! Either way, this place has given us tons of laughs, incredible friends and amazing experiences! Cheers to everyone that has added to making the last five months absolutely fantastic!

So not sure where we'll be writing from next time! So until then!
Giselle & LeeAnn!
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Posted by freerangechicks 22:41 Archived in Australia Tagged melbourne australia anzac Comments (0)

Weekend Warriors

overcast 20 °C

STD!!! haha its not what you think... according to our awesome Canadian friend, Anthony, its the new theme for the trip... sun, tan, drinks... we're getting our own reality show here soon ;)

So since we are both working 9-5 (barf) we have been living for the weekend! Starting with Australia Labour Day Weekend! It was such a busy weekend and with the temperature in the high 30's the whole weekend we really felt this one for a few days after. On the Saturday we went to GORGEOUS Phillip Island! Giselle won a tour at a trivia night and we decided to take advantage of it! We really enjoyed the experience but tours aren't really our thing... especially if you really want to explore a place, it can be hard on a set schedule! However we did meet some pretty sweet Irish girls and our tour guide Chris was quite entertaining and full of information for us to take with us on the rest of our year! We did see some nice things though, like the Phillip Island Chocolate Factory (shout out to the SHC girls), the super beautiful Woolami Beach , Seal Rocks, and the Penguin Parade! We also went to a injured animal reserve and LeeAnn pretty much fell in love with the donkey there, she was basically trying to free him from his cage.. ! We would have liked to spend more time on Phillip Island but since we don't have much time left in Melbourne we probably won't get back there before we leave.
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Sunday we went to the Melbourne Moomba Festival which is the biggest free community festival in Melbourne... we saw an international water skiing competition which was just unreal and then this really cool random band that played a mixture of ska, reggae, rap and pop. It was little bit of a trip but whatever! Since Monday was a holiday, we went to our local watering hole after the festival. It was an okay night out.. not the best cause we were dead from it being about plus 300 degrees! Not having to work on Monday was amazing, it was the hottest day ever and we just baked at the beach... it was almost to the point of being unbearable but at least its not snow and ice ;) so we'll take it!

Last weekend we went out with our Canadian friends, Jessie and Anthony, for pre-St. Patty's Day and St. Patty's Day celebrations! It's so nice to hang out with people from the same part of the world! Not that meeting new people, and experiencing new cultures isn't awesome because it truly is but its nice to have people around that understand our humour and that get what we're talking about when we make Canadian references! We hit a couple Irish pubs on our adventures, Bridie O'Reilly's and PJ O'Briens! We were so ready to go hard for the best drinking day of the year... Since they don't believe in green beer here - Anthony even brought his own green food coloring to the bar! St. Pat's Day is noticeably not as big here as it is at home, but we made the most of it!
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Jessie and Anthony have been staying with us for the last week until they found a place and we really enjoyed having them around:) This weekend we just all kind of chilled and decided to take it easy, which was well needed! ;)

So the last few weeks have just flown by it seems, which means the closer we are getting to hauling out of Melbourne! We have mixed feelings about it! We are super excited to start the more backpacker part of our trip but we feel like Melbourne is our Australian home so it is going to be an emotional departure! We are leaving the end of April.... on a train bound for nowhere/everywhere basically. We don't really have a set schedule... or plan... we just know we're going to do our regional work for our second year visa's somewhere, going to open water dive with some sharks (and other creatures) on the beautiful Coral Coast of Western Australia, and eventually party our way down the infamous Australia east coast at the end of this already fabulous year. So with four months down, we still have have another fantastic 8 months (or more ;) ) ahead and the thought of whats to come gets the adrenaline pumping! There will probably be some very interesting blogs to come!

Peace out til then!
G-Town and L-Dogg! Xx

PS. Can anyone think of a cool challenge for us to do over the next 8 months? :) Some of our travelling friends have had challenges from friends at home and we want one for us! lol

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Posted by freerangechicks 22:27 Archived in Australia Tagged melbourne travel australia stpatricksday Comments (0)

Go Big or Go Home

sunny 30 °C

So since we've been so busy living the dream , we've neglected our blog a little bit! Sorry to y'all back home who have been asking for updates regularly, we're gonna try to be way less slack with our blog writing!

So we'll start with moving out of our house sit which was about a month ago now! We really enjoyed our time there, it was nice to have free accomodation for four weeks! We got a little attached to our little adopted kitty Maggie (even Giselle) so it was hard to have to leave her behind.
To compliment moving out of our house sit was the arrival of the Canadian stallion himself... Simon!! He told us approximately four days before he got here so we had to get ourselves sorted in record time! We basically had to sell our limbs to find accomodation since it was during the Australian Open and everything was booked solid! We ended up staying at this hostel called the Nomads backpackers.. which was a little step down from the YHA but we enjoyed it anyways!

Before Simon got here late on Saturday night, we checked in and kind of relaxed in the city all afternoon! When we got back to our dorm we found we had two awesome Swedish guys, Johan and Andreas, as roomies, and if you know us... you know we'd talk to anyone so within an hour of meeting them we found ourselves having dinner with them at this AMAZING greek restaurant! We really had a fun time and we laughed our faces off, and shared a few bottles of wine...it was the beginning of some really cool and special friendships:)

We went back to the hostel to wait for Simon.. and the night just got better and better... there was champagne and irish car bombs and drinking games... so you can imagine the level that the night escalated too... and in true fashion when Simon got here just after midnight he was greeted with screams and hugs! :) lol So Simon being Simon and just being hardcore... after travelling for 24 hours... was ready to go! We went out and had a fantastic night and it was so good to just have him here and to have a good time with our new friends! It's the people that make the party, really! Needless to say it was probably one of our most unforgettable nights...
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Simon's time with us was brief but sweet! The first day we spent at St. Kilda beach and just relaxed in the beautiful Australian sun! The second day was when it got interesting.. the Australian Open was in town so the three of us got ground passes to just check it out. The atmosphere there was bumping, it was almost comparable to what an NHL game would be like at home. It was way more than we expected and we ended up having a really good time! We checked out a doubles match that Daniel Nestor was playing in, and it was really cool to see little Canadian flags in the stands.. we know tennis isn't overly big at home but we were proud Canadians anyways!:) That night we went back to the beer garden there to watch Milos Raonic play Roger Federer on the big screen. Raonic lost (sad turkeys) and what started as a joke ended up with Simon being escorted out of the Australian Open! It was soo funny.. and the crowd was loving it...seriously can't go anywhere without some sort of scene. And if that wasn't bad enough.. there was a little jumping in the Yarra River.. which is safe to say is not the cleanest river in the world. But bonus.. there was no legit arrests:) and we all made it home in one piece!
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The next few days we spent just hanging out.. went to the beach in Frankston which is about an hour away and is so much nicer than the beaches closer to Melbourne! It was definitely worth the trip down there! Then on Simon's last night here he got introduced to our beloved nightmarket! We were so excited to take him that LeeAnn even convinced him to stay an extra night just so that he could experience it! It was a great way to spend his last night in Melbourne.. we wish he could spend the entire year with us:)
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So besides that since our last entry there was Australia Day Weekend, which we actually spent apart! Giselle took a little roadie down the Great Ocean Road with the Swedes and LeeAnn stayed and celebrated Melbournian style! But more detailed blogs on this crazy weekend to come in the next few days:)

We also moved into a cute little one bedroom apartment in an area of the city called Prahran. Its close to the really popular Chapel Street area of Melbourne.. there are some sweet pubs and restaurants and lots of shops around! We like it:)

Also, Giselle started working at a private radiology clinic! Holiday's over:( back to the working world! But its only for a couple of months until we move on from Melbourne!

One hugely notable event was Hayley leaving to go back to the UK! We loved that girl and it was soooo sad to see her go! We know we'll be friends with her for a long time because it was just that type of connection but Melbourne definitely does not feel the same without her. She's the type of person that just has that presence when she's around.. it feels good to spend time with her and you can always count on a good laugh! We miss her dearly and hopefully it's not long before we see her again.
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And this past weekend Johan and Andreas came to stay before they headed up the coast to begin their amazing travel adventure! It was a weekend for the books! Two fabulous nights with great music, some excellent food and it was nice to just hang out with them before they left! We've grown to really consider them good friends and we really like hanging out with them! It's always fun, genuine and easy and thats what you look for in people you chose to spend time with! We're gonna miss them! But we have a feeling our paths will cross again!:)

But besides all that we've basially kind of settled into life in Melbourne.. we go for drinks with our friends... hang out... go to work...and try not to get arrested. We're both looking forward to the next part of our Australian adventure to start in April! But until then we're gonna enjoy where we are:)

Til next time homies! xoxo
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Posted by freerangechicks 22:57 Archived in Australia Tagged australia sweden australianopen Comments (0)

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