Archives for October 2012



After leaving Sydney, we set out on a little mini-roadtrip. (We thought we would need to be back in Sydney after a few weeks for a mandatory teaching interview that wasn’t actually required in the first place…long story.) Our first stop was Newcastle.

Newcastle is where Mike completed his teaching certification way back 6 or so years ago. It was really fun to see the places that he often talks about. Plus, it just felt comfortable to be in a place that felt somewhat familiar. We felt so comfortable there that after our road trip we ended up staying in Newcastle for nearly a month!

While I really liked Newcastle, it has a bit of a reputation. It is currently the world’s largest harbor exporting coal. As you can imagine, that’s not very pretty. It also has had a fairly rough nightlife in the past. For example, shots are no longer served at the bars because patrons had a tendency of getting out of hand. I’ve heard there have been great improvements but unfortunately one of our German friends had a scary night out. A drunk Australian guy tried to pick a fight by saying he was Jewish and then blaming the German for the Holocaust? Not really sure what happened but it involved 5 or 6 Aussie guys trying to fight our friend, and searching for him all night. Fortunately, it didn’t amount to anything and didn’t happen again.

So it started to make sense why people seemed so confused when I told them we were staying in Newcastle voluntarily. But really, it’s a nice place! It has more artists per capita than any other city in Australia, beautiful beaches, plenty of live music, and a laid back vibe (in general).

One of my favorite features in Newcastle were the Ocean Baths. I know a lot of places along the coast have saltwater pools filled by the ocean…but these ones were just so stylized. While it was far too cold for me, Mike went for a swim in the baths most days.

I have a feeling we’ll be back in Newcastle at least one more time in the coming months.

xo, jill 

A day in Sydney.

The classic sights.

I have to say… getting motivated to go sightseeing in Sydney was tough. For me, the big Sydney sight is the opera house. Well, we were lucky enough to get an incredible view of it from the Manly ferry on our very first morning. We hadn’t even arrived at our final destination yet! Plus, a ferry ride into town is $14AUD return… and that’s kind of a lot of money when you’re on a tight budget.

from the ferry

It took a little effort but we finally did do a proper day of sightseeing, beginning at The Rocks. Here we learned a bit about Australia’s convict past and the beginnings of Sydney. We also visited an art museum in the area.

Later in the day we strolled over to the Sydney Opera House and looked across to Sydney Harbour Bridge. I must admit, I didn’t know the bridge was such a big deal… but Sydneysiders are quite proud of it.

From the opera house we walked to the Royal Botanic Gardens. It’s always a treat to visit green spaces in large cities. Considering that it was very early spring when we visited, I was pretty impressed with the amount of blossoming plants.

It was definitely a well-spent day in the city.

xo, jill

From the Hip Friday

The look.

Today’s photo from the hip comes from Naomi at Anywhere But Home. She’s currently on a crazy round the world trip with her next stop in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Naomi snapped this photo while at the Topkapi Palace in Instanbul. She intended to capture the tour group in the background, but ended up with this woman and her camera as her subject. I just love the look on that woman’s face.

Thanks, Naomi!

xo, jill

From the Hip Friday features photos taken without the use of a viewfinder. If you have a photograph that was taken from the hip you’d like to share here, please contact me!

Update / Blue Mountains

So you know.

The past few days Mike and I have been enjoying the amazing Blue Mountains. I wish we could spend even more time here. I want to hike every trail! It’s especially nice because while it’s spring here in Australia, the chill in the air lets me pretend that it’s actually fall. Plus, we are staying in a super cozy guesthouse that has central heating! The first place to have it in 2 months!

Here are a few instagrams from the Blue Mountains:

Clockwise R-L: 3 Sisters / poppies / sunset over the mountains / Wentworth Falls /  sunset with cloud / pink flowers

In the next few days we’ll be heading further into the interior to try our hand at fruit picking. We’ll be in a very small town and have been warned that we may not have access to the internet or even mobile reception. I’ll do my best to keep things up and running here, but if you don’t hear from me, you know why!

xo, jill

PS. I’m cox_jill on both instagram and twitter if you’d like to follow me!

Sea Shepherd

At Sydney Harbour.

Back when we were still in Manly, Mike checked out events for the day and saw that Sea Shepherd was docked in Sydney Harbour. We rode the ferry into the city and queued up for a tour. It turned out to be quite a long wait complete with a bit of a skirmish. Why do people try to cut in line?

The tour itself was about 30 minutes. We were walked through various parts of the ship and even got to smell the yucky vomit stench from their butryic acid capsules. The end of the tour included a video about Sea Shepherd’s current campaign to protect the Kimberley Whales.

While I’m all for protecting whales, I can’t quite decide where I stand on Sea Shepherd. Their tactics have been highly criticized and some categorize the group as eco-terrorists.

One thing is for sure, they are very passionate about their cause.

xo, jill

Moored up in Manly.

 Touch down.

The first 10 days of our Australian adventure we spent in the cozy Sydney suburb of Manly. Manly is a popular day trip destination for tourists because of it’s beautiful beaches and small town feel. While it doesn’t have the hustle and bustle of the CBD, I think it was the perfect place to rest up, adjust, and figure out the important bits (tax file number, bank account, mobile, etc).

We felt very fortunate to be able to stay with one of Mike’s friends from teachers college because Sydney is expensive! (Manly actually has some of the highest real estate in all of Australia.) Plus, it’s always nice to see a friendly face when you’re new to a place.

xo, jill

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...