Travel Tips | How to Find a Job in Australia

Are you planning to work and live in Australia? After you get your 1 year working visa, is it time to find a job that will keep you going.

With the average hostel price at around 30 AUD a night, it won’t take you long to realize Australia is a gorgeous, yet extremely expensive country. Time to find a job! But how do you go about it, and where do you look? In this article on how to find a job in Australia, you will hopefully you get well on your way.

Drop off your CV

The majority of backpackers working in Australia work in hospitality. Restaurants and cafes are almost always looking for new staff, especially right before the start of the busier seasons (spring, summer). The best way to get a job in a nice cozy coffee place or a hip and vibrant restaurant is just by simply walking in and leaving your CV. One day a friend of mine spend a few hours walking in and out of cafes and restaurants in Bondi, and the next day she was invited for two trials. That’s how fast it can go!

Barista
Do you make a killer coffee? Tell them!

  • Tip 1:

Australians LOVE their coffee, so if you’re a barista you’re already one step ahead of the game! Don’t forget to mention this in your CV.

  • Tip 2:

Even if you never worked in hospitality, it is worth giving a try. Another one of my friends had zero hospitality work experience, but he pimped up his CV, bluffed his way through the interview and trial, and got a job at a lovely coffee bar in Sydney the next day. The minimum wage for working in hospitality is around 19 AUD (13 Euro) which makes it one of the least paying jobs. But a few good tips can definitely make up for that!

Finding a job in Australia isn’t hard, it does take some effort

Search on Gumtree

Gumtree is a local ads website where anyone can offer (almost) anything, so it is also the perfect place to find a job. You can either place an ad yourself and let the recruiters find you or you can search the thousands of ads on there. Surf to Gumtree, click on the ‘jobs’ section, select the city or area you’d like to work in, and GO! You can also specify your search by only looking for call centre jobs, or jobs in another specific field. Should you be looking for farm work to obtain a second year working holiday visa in Australia, then Gumtree is also a good place to search. I found my regional work by placing my own ad on Gumtree, and I just completed my 88 days!

How to find a job down under
88 days of farm work – working in the orange fields 

Search for a job on SEEK

SEEK is a professional website where recruiters post their job openings. You can just browse through all the available jobs by category, or you can create your own profile and hope the recruiters will find you (the latter not working as effectively as the first). I found that Seek especially comes in handy when you’re looking for a call centre job, which on average pay about 25 AUD an hour. There’s plenty of these jobs being offered and if you have a little customer service experience (again, bluffing might help) you will very likely be invited for an interview.

working

Good ol’ Facebook

There are plenty of Facebook groups dedicated to offering casual work. For example Brisbane Promo Staff , Melbourne Promo Staff and Sydney Promo Staff. In these groups you’ll find plenty of offers for casual work. In other less work-specific Facebook groups such as Australian Backpackers or (if you’re Dutch) in Dutchies in Australia you’ll also occasionally come across various job offers.

brisbane
How to find a job down under in Brisbane?

Hop around your hostel

You will find that most hostels have a job board and that is the perfect way how to find a job down under. For example, have a look through these or even go to the reception and ask them if they can find you anything. I once did this at a hostel in Sydney, and a few weeks later I got a call from the manager that they were looking for new staff. Score! Finding a job in Australia isn’t hard, but it does take some effort. If you don’t hear anything back after your first few job applications then don’t lose all hope straight away, because it sometimes takes just a little bit of time and patience.

In short, my tips on how to find a job in Australia are; to never give up, keep applying and keep on smiling! GOOD LUCK!

Love,

Evelien

More tips about living in Australia? Check them below!

Top 6 Secret Swimming Spots in Australia

Australia. One of the most vast, raw and breath-taking countries in the world. Where the forests meet the sea, the deserts spread wide and the native bushland buzzes and thrives. Summer time in Australia, while very hot, is one of the best times of the year. The sun is out, the cafes and bars are full and… so are the beaches. Instead of fighting your way to stake out a piece of bare sand, why not skip the surf altogether and head out to some of the most beautiful, untouched and some secret swimming spots in Australia.

New South Wales:

Figure 8 Pools, Sydney Royal National Park, NSW
Formed by two sinkholes that merged together and resulted in the shape of a figure 8, the Figure 8 Pools are located at the south end of the Sydney Royal National Park, situated on a rock ledge and are a photographer’s dream. However, they are not easy to access (though can be done) and require a solid trek through bush, beach and rocky headlands – so don’t forget your walking shoes!

Figure 8 Pools
Photo by @m8explorer

Tehuti Falls, Nightcap National Park, NSW
Well-hidden yet still easy to access, the stunning tri-waterfall Tehuti Falls are large with a deep pool, perfect for a swim. An important note to remember, you are not allowed to wear sunscreen or bug spray when swimming in the water, as it can cause damage to the eco system.

Tehuti Falls


Northern Territory:

Gunlom Falls, Kakadu National Park, NT
The backdrop for where one of Crocodile Dundee’s most famous scenes took place, Gunlom Falls in the Kakadu National Park is a magical spot. It is located in the southern end of the park and a steep 15-minute climb will lead you to a few more secluded swimming holes at the top of falls, including a natural infinity pool with crystal clear water and a 180-degree view of the Southern Kakadu.

Gunlom Falls
Captured by @Insta_Ines_Travels

Australia’s best kept secret swimming spots, are all natural

Western Australia:

Fern Pool, Karijini National Park, WA
Fern Pool, located on an important Aboriginal site in Karijini National Park, has a very spiritual and calm feeling. Its name comes from all the ferns surrounding the area, along with other Australian trees and plants.

Fern Pool
Photo by @Gypsylovinlight


Queensland:

Josephine Falls, Wooroonooran National Park, QLD
There is so much fun to be had at Josephine Falls, which is around 75 kilometres south of Cairns. It is famous for its slippery granite rocks that act as natural waterslides and the rainfall from Queensland’s highest peak, Mount Bartle Free is always flowing down to the falls.

Babinda Boulders, Babinda, QLD
South of Cairns lies a breath-taking spot; Babinda Boulders, also known as Devils Pool, as the Aboriginal people believe it to be cursed. There is a public swimming spot which is cool all year-round. People come here for the serenity and beauty of this special place.

Babinda Boulders

Whether you want to take a swim in rock pools, rivers, creeks, holes or waterfalls, Australia has them all! Just take a turn onto the beaten track and see what you find.

Enjoy Swimming!

Rahima

*Rahima is one of our new guest editors from Australia who lives in Utrecht and loves everything “gezellig”!  Follow her via rahimasaikal.squarespace.com
* Header Photo by @livingforsun

Dreaming of a life down under? Here’s everything you need to know!

Strolling down the Coastal walk from my house in Bronte towards Bondi beach while enjoying the amazing views and every little bit of sunshine! I moved to Sydney in April last year, meaning that I’m down under for almost a year now and ooh how time flies when you’re having fun! Here’s why it’s just so hard for me to leave Oz and what you need to know about moving here if you’re ever planning to!

Mandy in Australia
Overlooking Bondi Beach, Sydney

Visa’s
Yes, it’s not the easiest thing in the world, but once you decide you want to stay in Australia a bit longer, it’s important you apply for the visa that your eligible for. The tourist visa is used for backpackers and is valid for 3 months.It is possible to leave the country and re-enter for a further 3 months within the life time of the visa (12 months).You can also apply for a working holiday visa. There are many rules, such as your age, and the country you have been born. For all the details and to see what visa would be best for you, check this handy website.

Where to live…
Australia has everything you wish for! Gorgeous beaches of which I can never get enough of, incredible scenery, sunshine all over, great people (hot lifeguards!) and a coffee + food culture that is better than ever! Moving here might seem a big thing to do but it’s actually so easy! Obtaining a Working Holiday Visa for a year is mostly sorted in a couple hours, whereas another option is a student visa. Maybe you are even lucky enough to get a sponsorship with a company! The next step will be to pick an area for you to live in. Are you more of a city person or a beach person? Western Australia, Sunshine coast, Queensland, New South Wales, Tasmania…There’s not really one spot where you can go wrong!

Map Australia

Obviously my favo pick so far is Sydney. The city’s International diversity reflects lots of cultures in an extensive amount of suburbs. From artistic Newtown to the corporate CBD to the crazy party scene in Kings Cross to culinary Potts Point, buzzing Surry Hills or the hipsters in Bondi (to only mention a few)! Besides, the city is surrounded by water containing lots of beaches not only in the Eastern Suburbs but also in the North, like Manly, Freshwater, Dee why, Narrabeen, Newport, Avalon, Whale and Palm beach. I personally prefer to live beside the ocean to escape into the water for a surf and enjoy the laid-back and chilled-out vibes!

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Skyline of Sydney

Even though Sydney is ranked as one of the most expensive cities in the world, you will enjoy higher wages in return

Making money!
No other place in the world will bring you this great combination of a career and a lifestyle that you could only dream of! Companies invest highly in their employees and this is why you mostly make a pretty decent amount of money! (Think about an hourly wage of $25 to $30 to start with in the most casual jobs)! For the Working Holiday goers this is a perfect way to afford their next travels throughout amazing Oz, whereas others can truly try and build a career. Although Sydney is ranked as one of the most expensive cities in the world, you will enjoy higher wages in return that can make daily life very affordable! Besides, there are plenty of farmer markets to get your fruit and veggies cheaply, you can buy in season or shop at ALDI! Find out whose hiring and have a look on the next websites to catch that (dream) job! careerone.com.au, seek.com.au, mycareer.com.au, indeed.com.au or gumtree.

Australian money

Sustainable living is taken very seriously on this side of the world

Lifestyle
Aussie lifestyle is a whole different story… Thinking that Amsterdam was already up-to-date with its organic food stores and soy milk, there is still so much more to learn! Sustainable living is taken very seriously on this side of the world. Organic, cold pressed, paleo, raw, locally grown, free range and wholesome are words that describe a daily diet! Combining that with a swim, yoga, surf or an early morning run and your Aussie life is complete! A funny fact is that Australians are literally obsessed with “active wear”! Going for a run or a training with a personal coach in the park are daily activities but the purpose of the outfits changed more into a fashion statement than anything else! Shopping? “Active wear”! Going for a coffee with the girls? “Active wear”! Doing anything? “ACTIVE WEAR”! It’s kinda funny…

Bondi Swimmingpool
You live an active lifestyle when living in Australia

Aussie Slang
A thing that I had to get used to big time, Aussie slang. The way that real Aussies speak is no joke! (Or is it? I never get their jokes anyways. Thought I was sarcastic but these guys…!?) Making your words as short as possible is the way to go. Arvo (afternoon), Avo (avocado), Strong cap (strong cappuccino), the coppers (the police), Bronnie (Bronte beach), Tama (tamarama), the bra (Maroubra), undies (underwear), kindies (kindergarden)…
Watch and learn:

Food Down Under
Vegemite: not one Aussie grew up without butter and vegemite on toast and you’ll find it in every household for sure!

Pavlova: a sweet and delicious treat made out of meringue and forest fruits mostly served during Xmas
Roast: a standard Aussie dish, oven roasted veggies
Barbies: No, not the dolls you can play with but a barbeque is the main in the foodies section! On every corner, in every park and even out of the back of a truck! It’s a nice way to get together with friends and family and pop a beer.
Tim Tam slam: super addictive chocolate treat that you’re meant to eat in a certain way to get the most out of it! Bite a little piece off both ends, use the Tim Tam as a straw in your hot tea and wait till the inside melts in your mouth….I’m sure you’ll eat the whole pack now!
Flat white: little shot of coffee filled up with lots of milk and a tiny layer of foam. For good coffee look for places that use Campos or Single Origin Roasters!
Messina(!): best gelato you’ll ever taste! Can’t miss out on this one!

Aussie food
Breakfast, lunch and dinner down under is always a feast

The Rocks Sydney

Hope that I gave you a little bit of an inside in the Aussie way of life and trust me, you will never regret being here!

G’day mates!

Love,

Mandy

*Header photo is courtesy of Mandy. You can follow her on Instagram as @littletravelbookofficial

More Australia? Check here on how to plan your backpack adventure:
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Living in Bondi » The insights

Bondi is a district in Sydney located on the coast of Australia. You may have heard about Bondi or seen the lifeguards from Bondi Rescue on television. I’ve been lucky enough to live in Bondi for a few months (and so did Elke). It was a time I will never forget. These months were just… so beautiful, in so many ways. So much growth, so much love, so much joy and I would like to share with you why living in Bondi is so special.

The Bondi Lifestyle
First of all, I want to tell you that while the beach is at the centre of the Bondi experience, there is SO much more to do beyond the beach. The neighbourhood itself is a very lively one, where locals live normal – albeit stylish – lives. The ‘hipster quotient’ is high in Bondi, which you can see by the number of organic cafes, art galleries, restaurants and bars that fill the streets. The overall vibe is very laid-back. In Bondi it is Lazy Sunday every day (after working hours). The barbecues burn in the gardens, locals and tourists chill at the beach and the surfers float in the water trying to catch the best waves. Every single morning you’re woken up by all sorts of birds singing, and every single night you hear the deafening hum or crickets chirping from god knows where. If you were blind, you’d think you were living in the rainforest.

Bondi
Living in Bondi, is it for you?

The People
It’s crazy how quickly Bondi felt like home, which is mainly due to the people. The atmosphere in Bondi is so incredibly open and relaxed, no day passes by without not having met someone new. It doesn’t matter where; if it’s in the supermarket, the bus or gym; most people are very open for a chat.
Somehow there are many musical people in Bondi, especially among the many South-Americans that live there who play instruments like guitar, iambic, saxophone or vocals which resulted in a lot of nights jamming in the living room or on the beach.

That image of a tanned & toned surfer boy or girl we all have engrained in our minds? Yeah – that’s the real thing at Bondi Beach

The Beach(es)
Bondi Beach is a wonderful place to spend your afternoon. Go and see people, stroll along the ocean via the scenic route called ‘the coastal walk’, have a swim in the Iceberg’s pool, enjoy the surf skills of others, or try to tame the waves on your own surfboard. Given that the sun actually rises over the ocean, Bondi Beach is probably better meant for sunrises. (However, I’m not a morning person at all so the sunsets were more my jam) The best is when you’re running laps across the beach, and then turn around on the north end to head back and see the sun doing crazy colourful things from behind you.

Bondi Icebergs
The famous Bondi Pool

Different festivals take place on and around the beach every year. In September the kite festival called “Festival of the Winds” takes place and from January to February there is an open air cinema on the beach. In the winter months June to August you can even ice skate. Plenty to do! Bondi has a few other beaches nearby, that are great to visit if you’re looking for a less crowded beach. Tamarama beach and Bronte are your best bet. You can get to them from Bondi if you walk along the coastline, which is a stunning sight anyway!

Bondi, is more than just a neighbourhood. It’s a lifestyle.

The Food
The healthy food trend has been going on in Bondi since like, ever. Juice bars, vegan options and acai bowls, they are here. If you check our 10-sydney-hotspots-you-cant-miss-out-on/, you’ll will find some of the best spots are located near or in Bondi.


Books and lunch at Gertrude & Alice. Shot by Daniele Massacci.

The Nightlife
Bondi Beach attracts a diverse group of locals and tourists to its bars, nightclubs, and pubs. The nightclubs in Bondi Beach have live music and dance floors to party late into the night. The Beach Road Hotel is a good spot to head for Bondi Beach nightlife. The Pub at the hotel is a long-time favourite with locals. The pub offers weekly menu specials and live band performances. Tiny, fairy lights adorn the beer garden for a festive atmosphere.
For the people who are in Bondi or are planning to go, you can check what is on here. And if you get to know some Australians, it could be that you end up at a house party in some hippie-like garden with lights and paintings everywhere. Somehow Bondi nights could be very unpredictable but oh-so memorable.

Living in Bondi also has it’s downsides of course. On rainy days, Bondi looks just as gloomy as any other town, and living costs are extremely high. That said, it remains one one the best places to spend a few months, even years. Are you convinced yet?

Love,

Iris

*Iris is one of our guest editors from The Netherlands. She’s got a big interest for fashion, poetry and traveling. She was only 3 months old when she was on the plane for the first time, and she has been to every continent in the meantime. She’s a dreamer and would prefer to be on the beach every day. You can follow Iris on Instagram.

Melbourne or Sydney » Planning your backpacking adventure through Australia

Last week you could read about the West coast and the Australian outback. But this was only the beginning! In this article I will talk about the best and adventurous way of getting from the outback to the south and Australia’s most famous cities. Melbourne or Sydney, and the reasons why you don’t have to make a choice.

Traveling with the famous Ghan train
Departing all the way from Darwin and ending in Adelaide, this is by far the coolest way to travel from the North to the South. The Ghan train is named after the infamous and originally dubbed the Afghan Express, pioneering camel riders who blazed a permanent trail into the Red Centre of Australia more than 150 years ago. These men were believed to come from the mysterious outpost of Afghanistan and were considered Afghans – ‘Ghans.
I traveled from Alice Springs to Adelaide which takes around 22 hours. If you book early you can get a good fare. If you book through the website, it will cost you about 279 Australian Dollars. http://www.greatsouthernrail.com.au/

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The impressive Chan train departing from Alice Springs

South Australia
If you like wine you’re going to love the southern region. I didn’t drink wine when I was traveling through Australia but lot’s of backpackers and wine lovers told me about the wine tours they took near Adelaide. Some of the best wines are produced here. Tours include transportation, lunch and lot’s of wine! Check here for more info. Besides the wineries, I thought Adelaide was a bit dull for my taste. You have museums, parks and a few bars where you can play pool. I left after 2 days and continued my way up to Sydney.

Melbourne or Sydney?
There’s a competitive vibe going on when you talk about the 2 most famous cities in Australia. 
Which one is better? It’s the question that always arises when you travel through Australia. Both cities have been voted as one of the most liveable places in Aussi and even though their population is large, there’s a lot of room left and doesn’t feel overcrowded. It really comes down to what kind of traveler you are. Do you feast on Culture, arts and a buzzing nightlive? Then you will love Melbourne. Do you seek delicious (and healthy) food options, nature and shopping? Then you might prefer Sydney.


It’s worth walking up the hills of Melbourne to experience views like these

Melbourne or Sydney? It’s the question that always arises when you travel through Australia.

I visited both and I must say I fell in love with Sydney. Over and over again. For me it has everything. City life, amazing beaches, beautiful landmarks and hot surfer dudes! (must not forget to mention this! haha) The incredible blue mountains are just over an hour away and it’s the city where I learned to surf. I stayed in Melbourne for 2,5 weeks and in Sydney for 5. Whichever city you prefer, one thing is for sure; you must visit them both!
I took the bus full of backpackers from Adelaide to Melbourne and did the same from Melbourne to Sydney. It’s low cost and only a 13 (!) hour drive..
Tip » take half a sleeping pil and you will wake up with only a few hours to go 🙂
The Greyhound bus service is the common service to use but if you’re planning to stay in Australia for a year or so, you might as well drive up there yourself! 
My boyfriend lived in Australia for 1 year and bought himself a small campervan and traveled around. Probably one of the best ways to see Australia!

Australia's Sydney
My nr. 1  city in the world..Sydney

I advise you to stay in Melbourne or Sydney a bit longer than the other regions. Simply because there is so much to do. 

  • For New Years Eve » Sydney (the best fireworks everrr)
  • For easy access to Tasmania » Melbourne
  • For jungle fever » Sydney (Blue Mountains)
  • For the biggest clubs » Melbourne
  • For the best beaches » Sydney
  • For theater and street performances » Melbourne

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Just about 1 hour away from Sydney..the stunning blue mountains.

Tip » Enjoy the beautiful coastal drive from Melbourne to Sydney or the other way around. In between the 2 cities you can find deserted beaches, cloves and national parks. The drive takes about 13 to 18 hours, depending where you will stop. There are several travel companies that arrange tours like these, but if you can arrange your own vehicle, the experience is going to be twice as good.

Looking for a Visa? Check https://visumbuitenland.be/australie for more info!

Love,

Elke

12 x lesser known spots in Australia you should visit

Most backpackers and travellers will pay a visit to beautiful Australia once or twice in their lifetime. With 8.7 million visitors in 2017, it’s one of the most visited continents in the world. Rainforests, desserts, mountains, beaches, cliffs, reefs, dunes and more, Australia has it all. 

Down Under is by far one of my favorite places in the world and the perfect destination for traveling by yourself. But we all know about Bondi Beach, Fraser island, The Twelve Apostels and the stunning Great Barrier Reef. We think there are a few roads less traveled you should know about..

Western Australia

Most backpackers fly directly into Melbourne or Sydney and travel along the Eastcoast but the Westcoast is something you shouldn’t miss out on. It’s the side of Australia where the sun sets into the sea, where you can swim with whale sharks and it has less tourists.

  • Coral Bay
    Coral Bay is a tiny town on the coast, 1,200 kilometres north of Perth. It’s a special spot because it’s full of marine life. Whale sharks come to the area between March and June and from June to October you can watch the migration of the Humpback Whales. It’s not a town full of restaurants and café’s so you should go here to unwind and enjoy the stunning nature.
  • Rockingham
    Another great lesser known spot in Australia is Rockingham. I swam here with wild dolphins. You simply head out to sea, jump in the water and watch them play. No pool, no touching, no trained animals. You just enjoy these beautiful creatures, A must do!
  • Rottnest Island
    Just offshore from Perth, you will find this small lesser known island. Go here for snorkling, swimming or sunbathing. You can rent a bungalow for the night and there is even a small centre. It’s also home to the quokka, a small wallaby-like marsupial.
  • Dunsborough
    I arrived in Dunsborough about 9 years ago but I still remember it as it was yesterday. I had never seen such a long stretched beach without people on it! The water is crystal clear and the people here are super friendly. You can also find the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park here, where you can spot some of the tallest trees in Australia. Enjoy coastal walks, whale watching and at night you can visit plenty of the pubs and wine bars. It’s a few hours drive from Perth and close to Margaret River. 


The stunning colors of Dunsborough, western Australia. Photo credit: @arigoestowonderland

Northern Territory

If you want to experience the real Australia, you should definitely visit the Northern Territory. Endless roads without seeing one person except for a couple of kangaroos. The spiritual and sacred land of the Aboriginals has more to offer than Uluru.

  • Devils Marbles
    The name is already cool enough to check these babies out! If you go to the Northern Territory you probably visit Uluru and Alice Springs but most people forget about the Devils Marbles. The round stone balls are a special sight and of spiritual significance to the traditional Aboriginals. The rocks are million of years old and due to erosion they have turned into giant boulders. It’s possible to camp on site and enjoy the unusual shapes at sunrise.

lesser known spots in Australia. Northern Territory
The spectacular Northern Territory

This spectacular natural sinkhole is something that reminds us of a scene from Avatar

South Australia

This part of Australia is famous for it’s wine regions, Adelaide and Kangaroo Island, but there are a few hidden treasures that are lesser known but certainly deserve your attention.

  • Lake Bumbunga
    This lake is used to extract salt from and turns pink during some seasons. It’s located in an area that is lesser known in Australia so you could say that this Instagramable pink lake deserve a spot on our list!
  • Umpherston Sinkhole
    This spectacular natural sinkhole is something that reminds us of a scene from Avatar. The Umpherston sinkhole as once a normal limestone cave located at Mount Gambier, that was formed by the corrosion by seawater waves. The sinkhole was naturally created when the chamber’s roof collapsed. It’s now home to a beautiful garden that you can visit.

pink-lake-australia
Lake Bumbunga Source


The amazing Umpherston Sinkhole Photo credit: @dubstamatic

Australia’s Eastcoast

Visited by most, but some area’s are still overlooked. Here are 5 amazing lesser known spots in Australia’s East Coast that you will love!

  • Moreton Island
    If you plan to visit Brisbane, you might as well take a day trip to Moreton Island. This protected sand island is the smaller and lesser known sister to the popular Frasier Island. Known for it’s steep dunes, it’s perfect for sand-boarding and spotting shipwrecks.
  • Noosa Everglades
    When I arrived in Noosa, it immediately felt like I was in another climate. You will arrive in the tropics and you can enjoy some fantastic beaches and forest walk. One thing that not every traveler knows about, is the Noosa Everglades. One of Queensland best kept secrets. Take an adventurous canoe trip or camp into the wilderness. The everglades are gaining popularity fast, so be quick before it’s becoming a tourist attraction.
  • Brooms Head
    It is one of those places you go to for total relaxation. It’s perfect for surfers and only an hours drive from Byron Bay! Bromms head is often overlooked because of the popular destinations surrounding BH, but this untouched paradise is worth the extra stopover and perfect for a few days camping near the beach.
  • Tin Can Bay
    This seaside village is tiny but has one thing that people come back for. The humpback Dolphin. Travelers and locals get an unique opportunity to hand feed and interact with these rare dolphins. It’s done with great care as they are a protected species. You can also enjoy the wonderful beaches, campsites and terrific seafood. You can also rent houseboats, take a beach drive or visit one of the lively markets. You’ll be surprised about the amount of backpackers that haven’t heard of this place. Don’t be one of those people 😉
  • Somersby Falls
    I’ve gotten this  inside tip from a local Aussi, so you know it has to be a hidden treasure! Somersby Falls is a picnic area with a stunning waterfall as your main view. Like all great parks in Australia, the location has several bbq’s lined up with picnic tables surrounded by rainforest and beautiful walking tracks. It’s located on the central coast just 1,5 hours from Sydney.

noosa-everglades. Lesser known spots in Australia
The Noosa Everglades

It’s more than you can ever expect it to be, one reason being, that there are so many new places to discover..

Enjoy it Mate!

Elke

More Australia & New Zealand here!

The adventurous South Island of New Zealand

As the ultimate New Zealand ambassador (seriously, if the immigration laws weren’t so impossible, I would already live there) I would highly recommend to visit every part of this beautiful country. But I also know that you need at least two months to fully explore every corner. Reality is that a lot of (short-term) travelers have to be selective on where to go and pick the South-Island of New Zealand as their go-to destination. With reason, it’s a dream to drive the long roads, stare at the ridiculously gorgeous and ever-changing scenery, wander through the cozy towns and have fun with the hilarious, straightforward locals. Next to all this beauty, there are also a ton of opportunities to have some adventure. I’ll let you in on some of the ones I experienced.

Oh and by the way, if you are going to travel the whole country (you lucky bastard), make sure to check out our insights on the Stunning North Island as well!

The North Island of New Zealand
The North Island of New Zealand

Pick Picton
Easily overlooked by many, little port town Picton (where the ferry from the North Island arrives) is worth to stay for a few days. Where the town is small, the nature is grand! the maze of the Marlborough Sounds with it’s valley’s, peaks, beaches, birds and crystal clear waters just scream for some exploring. Be prepared to feel really small when walking (pieces of) the Queen Charlotte trail. If you are not a hiker, there are also plenty of kayak and bike tours, as long or short as you like. Also, if you’re into sailing, make sure to ask around in town if the local sailing club still has training nights and if you are allowed to join. It’s what we did and it resulted in an epic afternoon of high speed sailing on an amazing sailboat, sarcastic jokes and home-brewed rum by the crew included. You can find more info about Picton here: www.newzealand.com/nieuw-zeeland/picton/

The seals of Abel Tasman
Of course you are going to visit Abel Tasman National Park. Golden beaches, lush nature, secret waterfalls, they have it all here. Whatever you have planned for this park, make sure to add some kayaking even if it is just for a few hours. It’s paddling on open sea and therefore pretty damn exhausting, but you’ll forget about that when you look around you. The occasional seal will lazily float by your canoe, enjoying the sun as much as you’ll do. I did a two day tour, with one day of kayaking to a campsite (the tour agencies will provide you with a fully stocked kayak, tent included) and walking back to following day. This really was a magical two days, bonfires included!


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Kayaking at Abel Tasman National Park

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Roadtrip
If you have been doubting whether to hire a car to get around or just take the easy way and buy a buss pass: hire a car!! This coming from me (the most scared car driver alive) says something. The South Island offers not so many roads, and they are also not that busy. But men, they are breathtaking. And at some parts also quite adventurous, with mountain passes, hairpin bends, cliffs, no gas stations for miles and of course driving on the left side. Having your own car gives you the opportunity to really wander off the main roads, stop to gaze at your surroundings wherever and whenever you want, travel at your own pace. Oh and perhaps getting chased by a herd of cows and losing some hubcaps in the process, like happend to us. But hey, that’s a story for another time. Trust me, take the car. Car rental Picton (you can rent the car her, and drop it off in several other cities, Christchurch for instance): https://www.omegarentalcars.com/car-rental-picton/

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Adventure capital of the world
The true thrill seekers will know this: Queenstown is the place to be if you are looking for adventure (and for a scandalous pub-crawl). This town does, In my honest opinion, no real justice to the rest of the country since it pulls in a lot of tourists who just want to get hammered. But hey, it’s good fun for a few days and it still looks magnificent. Also it’s the best place to book a trip to Milford Sound, a mystical fjord which seems to come straight out of a movie (remember that movie with elves, a ring and some bad orcs 😉 ). But back to the adrenaline, this town will get you pumped with it. From jet boating to luging to bungeejumping, make sure to save some of your money to engage in at least one of the adventures on offer. If you have some real guts, do the bungeejumping. You have multiple bungee sites to choose from. The Nevis bungee let’s you fall ‘ only’ 180 meters, The Ledge offers cool views on Queenstown (but not sure if you’ll be aware of that if you are about to make a free fall with nothing but a rope around your ankles). I did the Kawarau Bridge jump, since this is the first commercial bungee site in the world and my inner nostalgia bubbled up because of this. Imagine jumping of an old bridge, in the middle of a gorge, dipping into turquoise water. And of course being pulled back by that gigantic elastic. I was scared, I screamed, I was terrified. And I would do it again any day.

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Queenstown

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It’s the perfect place for thrillseekers

Stewart Island
Most people know about the North and the South Island, but forget the third island of New Zealand: Stewart Island. I’ll admit, it will steal some days of your travels to get there, but if you have the time and you’re looking for nature in it’s purest form, go! While on the island, we had the privilege to actually spot a real life Kiwi (the bird which functions as New Zealand’s national symbol). They only live in the wild on Stewart Island and are hardly seen. We just happened to trip over one while we are arguing about the scary and dark forest path we were taking. Its all possible here. Same goes for the little penguins that show up at dawn in the harbor. Getting to Stewart Island is possible by ferry boat. But if it has always been your dream do go cage diving with great white sharks, you can also book a (really expensive) tour which offers you the cage as well as the transfer to the island. It’s what we did because my sister had this crazy desire to face the shark of death. Be careful when booking a trip like this, my sister actually ended up not seeing the shark in the water at all (while I had a pretty clear sight of the monster when I was just lounging on the deck). But hey, if it’s your dream..

Meet a sea lion
Another place that a lot of people skip is student town Dunedin. Which is a shame, since they have a chocolate factory! Jokes aside, it’s a very laid-back city, home to the worlds steepest residential street of the world. More importantly, it’ s also home to the Otago peninsula, where you can drive around and spot marine wildlife. Think penguins, albatrosses, seals and sea lions. We encountered two sea lions of which one was surrounding a bird watching hut to ensure that the people in there, would stay in there. The other sea lion (which we named Claude) was actually chasing us. Quite the adventure, but I guess that’s what the South Island of New Zealand is all about.

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Claude chasing us!

This is only a small list of everything you can do on this amazing island. there is whale-watching in Kaikoura, climbing Franz Josef glacier, Mount Cook. spotting dolphins in Greymouth, hiking around Lake Wanaka, the TranzAlpine train ride, Christchurch, Akaroa, and so so so much more. Go there, and make me jealous.

Love,

Jill

*Jill is one of our guest bloggers living in Amsterdam (@jillgwendolyn) where she works as a content manager for a digital agency. She’s Crazy about traveling and has spend her studies in New Zealand . You can read a new article from Jill in every 3rd week of the month!

The Stunning North Island of New Zealand

I’m pretty sure it’s on the bucket list op 90 procent of all travelers, and if it’s not on yours it’s probably because you have already ticked it off or because you are insane ( but hey, no offence, nothing wrong with a bit of insanity). They call it the land of the long white cloud, Aotearoa or simply: New Zealand! There is so much to see but for now, i’ll take you around The North Island of New Zealand.

As you can already tell after two sentences, I am quite fond of this country that’s hidden at the end of the world. And end of the world it is! If you are lucky (or have enough dough) its possible to fly there in about 26 hours. However, cheap bastards like me need 48 hours of flying, lay­overs and bad airplane food to touch NZ soil (but then you did save 300 euro’s on the tickets, which is all the more spending money when you are there). New Zealand is known for their sheep, kiwi fruit, Hobbits and friendly people (called Kiwi’s). But those sweet people are also batshit crazy thrill seekers. It is with a reason that they opened up the first commercial bungeejumping location in the world ( Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge near Queenstown in the South Island of New Zealand ). Soooo, I would advise you to soak up that NZ spirit and take on some adventures for yourself once you are there, mate. Since almost all European flights connect to Auckland, on the North Island of New Zealand, I’ll cover that part first. You’ll have to come back here later to find out about the South Island shenanigans. If you are heading for New Zealand, make sure to check out Grab One on a regular basis, its the NZ Groupon and they offer pretty sweet deals, also on a lot of adventures! www.grabone.co.nz

Getting around
First things first, the distances in New Zealand are quite far, so make sure to get yourself some solid transportation around the islands. Of course it’s most adventurous to rent a campervan. But a normal car is also pretty cool. On a budget or on your own? Take a look at Stray Travel, they offer up some nice itineraries to get around by bus (and find travel buddies). Armed with a Lonely Planet or booking.com you’ll be able to book some sweet hostels. Be aware though, it’s a pricey country.

Bay of islands
Okay, ready for your first adventure? Drive or bus up to Northland, about 3 hours from Auckland. It’s where you enter the Bay of Islands, which is full of breathtaking views and cute small villages. And it’s also the place where you can get yourself thrown out of an airplane with a sassy Kiwi on your back. Of course accompanied by a parachute, it’s perfectly safe (although you won’t feel that way when you are hanging out of the plane on a 5 KM height). Skydiving above the Bay of Islands is gorge! The grassy hills and azure waters dotted with islands will cause some serious neck pain from wanting to look all around you. You almost forget that you just tumbled down the sky and you are floating with just a thin piece of fabric behind you (oh right, and of course that sassy Kiwi). If you ever had just one fiber in your body thinking about doing this, the Bay of Island is the place to go! While you are in the area, there are tons of other nice things to do and to explore. Visit the most northern part, Cape Reinga, where the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman sea collide. Or book a day trip to 90 mile beach. This usually includes sand boarding on some steep dunes, another must for adventure seekers! skydivebayofislands.com

Bay of Islands New Zealand

Coromandel
Just like most of the country, the Coromandel is beautiful and very different from other areas. From Auckland you can get there in 2,5 hours, enjoying the scenic road or take the ferry (but that leaves you out of transport once you arrive). This is where super famous cathedral cove is located and a ​ great spot to do some hiking or canoeing. Make sure to touch down at hot water beach. Yep, this is the place to start digging some holes to create your own hot tub (or boil some eggs) as the underground hot springs warm up the water that comes up when you start removing the sand. After chilling in the warm water, it’s time to actually get some thrills (and chills). Leave the beach behind you and make way for the extremely freezing water. Yeah, the contrast is quite big, but the massive waves will make up for it. This is the time to jump and scream around in the water, as if you are ten years old again. It’s a pretty mean surf spot as well.

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Cathedral Cove

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Endless walks on the beach

Tongariro Crossing
Lord of the Rings fans, pay attention! Here’s your chance to pretend to be Frodo, Lord Sauron or some other kind of Ork and walk around Mordor (with or without a ring). Near Lake Taupo, in the middle of the North Islands lies the Tongariro National Park. Mt Ngauruhoe appears in the movies
as Mt Doom and is a part of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. This (approximately) 7 hour hike will lead you through a volcanic wasteland and you will definitely recognize Middle Earth at it’s finest. Although the hike very is do-­able, make sure you have good walking shoes (leave your beloved Converse in your backpack) and watch the weather forecast as it can get a bit spooky (and dangerous) if the conditions are bad. But men oh men, this is one cool day trip. From Emerald lakes to snowy mountain tops and sliding down black ashes from the latest eruption, all of it will make you feel amazed and full of wonder. A beer at the end of the day is much deserved (and needed).


The Emerald lakes

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Wanganui River
Where most travelers continue their trip south after completing the Tongariro crossing or lounging at Lake Taupo, I advise you to stick around for a couple of days. Why? Because canoeing the Wanganui river is almost a life changing experience. Imagine a river, surrounded by lush green forest, high stone walls and bird songs. And then imagine paddling for 3 days through it with just you and your canoe buddy. That’s what happened to me and it was astonishing. Okay, it did rain a bit every once in a while, and the huts you sleep in along the way are no 5­star resorts, but it’s just you and nature. Stress does not exist and complete peace of mind is guaranteed. As well as your imagination running wild, thinking there might be fairies and other magical creatures hidden in the forest. If you are very lucky (like me) you run (eeh paddle) into a group of Maori’s (original New Zealand inhabitants) and you get to spend a bonfire night full of spiritual tales and laughter. After this trip, without showering for a few days, it’s perfectly normal to pamper yourself a bit in a city like Napier or Wellington and enjoy a more lively environment. Find a nice little bar and reminisce about all the adventures you’ve experienced on the North Island of New Zealand, memories for ever. I still think about it all, every day. And then I haven’t even told you about all the geothermal parks, surfspots and that place where the hobbits live… I guess you’ll just have to go find out for yourself!

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Crossing the Wanganui River

Love,

Jill

*Jill is one of our guest bloggers living in Amsterdam (@jillgwendolyn) where she works as a content manager for a digital agency. She’s Crazy about traveling and has spend her studies in New Zealand . You can read a new article from Jill in every 3rd week of the month!

10 signs Australian Summer is here

The heat, the flies, the joy, the red skies (and skin) and Tim Tams for life. Australian Summer has arrived. If you’ve ever been in Australia during summertime, you’re very likely to relate to the 10 signs below…

1. Santa what are you doing here?!
Oh right, Christmas is in the middle of summer instead of during the cold, dark days. It feels so surreal seeing the first Christmas decorations appear in shops whilst you’re swapping your jeans and shoes for shorts and ‘thongs’ (the Australian word for flip-flops). Have you ever seen a Christmas tree at the beach?

2. Chocolate or chocolate milk?
When you’re craving Tim Tams and you discover that these delicious cookies turned into fluid, melted chocolate because you forgot to store them in the fridge… Oh well, I guess I’ll grab a spoon!

3. Air-con becomes your best friend
When it’s so hot outside you just don’t know what to do with yourself, and sitting in an air conditioned room is the only way you can get by. Yup, Australian summer is here!

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If you think: “ahh, a nice little breeze to cool off!” you better think twice.

4. The wind makes it worse
One day the temperature rose to 38 degrees and it was very windy that day. If you think: “ahh, a nice little breeze to cool off!” you better think twice. It is literally like someone is pointing a blow dryer straight at you. Aaah, make it stop!

5. Bug off, you filthy flies!
Flies. Flies everywhere. Their favorite spot? Your eyes! As soon as the days get hotter they make an appearance, zooming and annoying the shit out of you. At first you keep hysterically flapping your arms around to get rid of the little bastards, but after a while you give up and accept that if you want to be outside, you’ll always have a bunch of flies accompanying you.

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Damn you flies.

6. Red is totally your color!
No matter how many times you reapply, no matter the factor of the sunscreen and no matter the amount of time you spend in the sun: You. Will. Burn. I’m quite the sun addict myself but even I cannot stay in the Australian sun for too long. You literally feel its rays burning your skin. As soon as the lobster-like bodies start popping up you know it’s summertime.

7. Mmm, ice cream!
I love coconut ice cream. And pineapple. Oh, and lemon! And frozen yoghurt! If you’re after some refreshing ice cream during an Aussie summer, make sure you don’t get a cone but get a little cup instead. Otherwise it’s a battle between you and the heat, and you’re licking for life before the sun melts your scoop of ice away.

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8. Get in the car!
“AAAAHHH, sauna! Quick, turn on the air-con! No, no, that doesn’t help, I’m melting! Let’s open the window! Nooo, the blow dryer breeze again! Okay, air-con attempt number two. Water, I need water. Ok, that’s better… The air-con is starting to work… hallelujah!” Ever wondered why you see so many white cars in Australia?

9. A cold, refreshing shower
Aaaand think again. The water in the pipes has been warmed up by the sun, which gives you the delight of being soaked in hot water. You can let the shower run for a bit before you step under, but with all the bush fires around, water is precious…

10. Summer is really summer!
Coming from a fairly cold country like The Netherlands, where we only have a few ‘hot’ (over 25 degrees) days a year, I happily cope with the 9 struggles listed above. Australian summers are filled with sunny days, long nights and (if you’re careful) beautifully bronzed skins.

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How many of these points can you relate to, and what is a typical Australian summer -struggle for you? 🙂

Love,

Evelien

*Evelien is one of our guest bloggers who currently travels and lives in Australia. Follow her on Instagram (@eefexplores) or check out her website!

The Ultimate Australian Surf Roadtrip!

“There’s nothing that a good day of surf won’t cure” Willie Morris once said… And that’s why a surfer always lives in search of the perfect wave. I went “North to Noosa” (see movie at the end of this article) I planned an Australian surf roadtrip (or surf roadie, how they call it here) along the East coast and discovered the sweetest spots! Wanna do the same!? These are my favorite spots to catch a wave, enjoy good food and experience those cruisy vibes!


Thinkin’ bout the waves

1. Crescent Head (NSW)
Surrounded by stunning nature…After a long ride (5 hrs) all the way from Byron we finally arrived in longboard heaven! My friend and I weren’t the smartest, as we flew from Sydney to Ballina to join the Byron Bay BLUESFEST(!), whereafter we started our campervan journey back to NSW to find some waves in Crescent Head. Normally I would suggest you to start driving up North from Sydney in order to pass Crescent Head first and then continue your way up to Noosa. Anyhow, most challenging here was probably our campsite in the middle of Hat Head National Park being totally back to basic without any lights at night and with barely any facilities, but hey?! what else do you need besides your bikinis, a surfable board, wax, sunscreen and an uncomfortable bed built inside your car!? The waves at Main Beach were small but clean and gave us a fun early morning session. Our plans for the rest of the day? Nothing really! As there’s not much more than the beach and two coffee spots Green Room Café & Two Tails Wagging that I totally fell in love with. We charged our energy levels (+ phones!) and read the oldest surf magazines ever! Life’s good….

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Surfboards at Crescent Head

Mandy's van on her surftrip
A van is the best transport for an Australian surf roadtrip

2. Lennox Head (NSW)
At the Southern end of Seven Miles Beach…Upcoming but still quite unknown by tourists. This cute little coastal village offers just about everything you need to relax, unwind and perfect for an Australian surf roadtrip! From Byron to Lennox its only a 20 min drive through breathtaking scenery. It’s a perfect spot to park your van at night, save money on expensive campsites in Byron and enjoy peaceful environments with the Australian locals.

3. Byron Bay (NSW)
Byron how did you put that spell on me!? I could absolutely write a book about you, but unfortunately I only have a couple more hours before I need to hand in this blogpost. It’s one of my favorite places on earth, I kept coming back and then always stayed longer than planned. Despite all of the shark warnings and my own fear, I never stopped surfing these clean and beautiful waters. From The Pass, which is so super crowded, to Wategos and The Wreck at Belongil..surf is so much fun! I need to mention Black Dog Surfing here for sure as they have always been supporting me with surfboard hire deals and great kindness! Besides surfing we went on adventures…My friend and Byron Bay local Jessie Ehrenburg (check out her beach tipi’s here http://www.gingerandgilligan.com) showed me a secret route to get to amazing white sandy beaches such as “Whites Beach” hidden away from the crowds. For great foodies and coffee we couldn’t stop hanging out at the Bayleaf Café downtown or FOLK a little out of town. After amazing sunsets we mostly finished off our day with a Pacific Ale (Byron brewed beer) and a local band at either The Great Northern or Railway Friendly Bar. Good times guaranteed!

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Whites beach byron

Bayleaf Byron Bay
Great coffee at Bayleaf

4. Coolangatta/Burleigh Heads (Gold Coast)
One of the Gold Coast’s favorite surf destinations must be Coolangatta. Other than the overrated Surfer’s Paradise, Coolangatta offers super chill vibes and great waves! The superbank (a 2km long sandbank) can be ridden all the way from Snapper Rocks towards Kirra Beach making it one of the longest waves in the world. Personally I loved surfing the Greenmount Point with its long stretched beach good for beginner surf (still some strong rips), but I also had great experiences at Kirra. A good hangout is the Quicksilver Boardriders store with a café, board hire and a barber shop right across the beach on Marine Parade. If you drive further down the coast you’ll end up in Burleigh Heads which is another coastal village with nice beaches, sweet surf, hiking trails and a lovely café called Burleigh Social with delicious juices and nutritious after surf foodies!

Gold coast surf roadtrip

5. Mooloolaba/Caloundra (Sunshine Coast)
How travel creates friends and friends create networks! (I wanna wipe away a little tear right now knowing that my friend is literally on the other side of the world and I miss her lots!) On the road, she introduced me to a lovely Australian couple that hosted us for a few nights down the Sunshine Coast. It wouldn’t have been Aussies if there weren’t any surfboards in the house, and gosh how new and fresh they were! Thus, man of the house took us into the waters of Caloundra at 6am and it was tough but absolutely thrilling! Best & beautiful beaches are: Currimundi, Dicky, Kings and Moffat.

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6. Noosa (Sunshine Coast)
Blessed with a beautiful array of nature, clear blue water and pristine beaches….we arrived at our final destination: Noosa! Behind all the beauty, Noosa has a prestige sort of flair with upper class tourism in which I find myself almost uncomfortable when walking out of the surf without make up and frizzy hair, thus I wouldn’t call it a chill surf town but once you walk up to the National Park and find these amazing hidden beaches you know that it’s all worth it! I remember that I sat on my longboard at Tea Trees (a right hand point break) while the sun was setting over the water….no words even describe that magical moment and it made me realize again how lucky I was for being there! During a little ride through town we found Husni Ridhwan’s (one of the main characters in the “North to Noosa” short film) surf store and we couldn’t resist to go in and have a look and little chat with this Javanese wave rider. Another gem that we found was Belmondos Organic Market with Clandestino Coffee Roasters, a crazy cool roastery that is a must on your Noosa To-Do list!

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Clandestino Coffee Roasters

As moments fade away and memories last for ever, great friendships were made and an unforgettable journey states in our hearts. As road trips are the foundation of a surf culture, this has been a voyage of discovery that I can only pass on to you! Unfortunately ours lasted as little as 2,5 weeks but if only it could take a bit longer… Till next time!

Watch the short film: North to Noosa here.

-X-

Mandy 

*Mandy is one of our guest travel bloggers that has lived in Australia for 1,5 years, she is now back in Amsterdam planning her next adventure! Read more of her articles here!