Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Australia
Living in Far North Queensland, my first trip to the big smoke involved doing all the touristy things in Sydney, NSW. The highlight and one of the most spectular things I have done to date, was the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb which brings you to the summit of the bridge, 134 metres above the harbour. Amazing views of the city and an incredible guide, made this so much fun for both me and my sister.
Ride granny bikes around Edam, Netherlands
As part of my Contiki tour around Europe, while staying in Amsterdam, we went for a day trip to Edam. As well as visiting a cheese and clog factory, we hired oldschool granny bikes and rode around the small town of Edam. With windmills and beautiful scenery, as well as trying to not fall over on the ridicolous bikes, it was a great day!
Hike Diamond Head in Waikiki, Hawaii, USA
Jason and I had plans to spend 6 months backpacking around the states and the first stop was Honolulu, Hawaii. What a beautiful place with some amazing people we met at the hostel! As well as going out to dinner at the Cheesecake factory and trying ‘deep fried macarooni and cheese’, we hiked Diamond Head which can be seen from Waikiki beach. As well as being a rewarding hike, the views of Oahu were worth every step.
Experience amazing and weird food in Osaka, Japan
Going to Japan was like nowhere else. Osaka has a reputation for being the place in Japan best known for its food and it certainly did not disappoint. We tried all types of food, with takoyaki (octopus balls) one of my favourite from street venders. We did however stumble upon a Yakiniku restaurant which ended up being a weird but memorable dining experience eating all types of meat that we had no idea what they were!
Hike the Stawamus Chief in Vancouver, Canada
Living in Vancouver, Canada for two years on a working holiday visa we wanted to make the most of our time here and see some of the spectular scenery around the area. Vancouver is an amazing city with so much to offer but one of the best experiences that I have had was hiking the Stawamus Chief in Squamish an hour’s drive from Vancouver. Upon reaching the top we had chipmunks running around everywhere, the beautiful snowy mountain tops over the water and every image I ever had of Canada before coming here, was in front of me.
Hike the Mist Trail in Yosemite Valley, California, USA
When deciding to spend a few months in the states, I wanted to see the obvious places like New York and Vegas. Yosemite Valley wasn’t on my to do list, but after visiting was one of my favourite. Living in Cairns, Australia we didn’t experience seasons and when we got to Yosemite the leaves were just changing colour to beautiful oranges, yellows and reds. I was in awe of my surroundings and a hike of the mist trail up the side of two waterfalls completed my experience. This hike is definately not for the faint hearted, 11km round trip up Vernal and Nevada Falls, 5-6 hours and 600 steps alone just to get up to the top of the first waterfall Vernal! I will tell you right now, I couldn’t walk for two days properly after tackling this hike but WOW. We even saw a bear two metres away from us in a tree (it was scared of us!), numerous squirrels and even a bobcat! What a day!
Visit Disney World in Orlando, USA
I told Jason if we were going to go to the states, I would not be satisfied unless we visited Disney World. We decided we were going to do that for my birthday. As funds got cut short and we ended up in Canada earlier then expected to start working, this trip was postponed but taken one year later! There is no place in the world quite like Disney World and this kid at heart loved every minute of it!
Ride Gondolas and see crazy bag men in Venice, Italy
Venice is on my list as there is nowhere else that is so unique. A city on water is just.. weird.. and amazing! From doing the touristy gondola ride to chasing the millions of pigeons, it was so unique. The one thing I wasn’t expecting was the bag men who carry around in a sack lots of rip-off brand bags which they sell to the many tourists. Warning from our Contiki guide was, it was illegal to sell or buy from the bag men, but once you were in possession of a fake, you woudn’t be in trouble. So the whole process of walking past looking at the bags, without ‘looking’ at the bags and quickly making a purchase was hilarious. Even more amusing was when some sort of authority would come up and they would swoop up there bags in the sack and run down the street!
Tobogganing, ice caves and snow fights at Mt. Titlis, Switzerland
Switzerland.. is just so pretty and magical, oh the swiss alps! Taking a gondola ride up the side of Mt. Titlis and not even realising we were going to see snow up the top! Ice caves, tobogganning and snow fights made this trip even more fun! The scenery is breathtaking and worth the trip.
One crazy long day in Paris, France
Contiki trips are known for how crazy time is, and that was definately not an understatement. we had one full day to spend in Paris, France and tried to squeeze in as much as possible. The day started off with going up the Eiffel tower, climbing the Arc De Triumph (I don’t know who’s crazy idea that was.. see the staircase in the picture.. so dizzy), visited the Louvre and saw the Mona Lisa, went inside Notre Dame church, then had dinner and a cabaret show. I will definately be back to Paris again one day to take it all in!