Top 10 Things To Do In & Around Hobart

Hobart, the capital of glorious Tasmania. Just over an hour flight from Melbourne, Hobart is the perfect getaway, unless you're after a tan, then maybe it isn't for you! 
Sitting at the foot of Mount Wellington, and overlooking the Derwent River, Hobart is bursting with things to see and do with its naturally beautiful surroundings. 


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The Ultimate Guide to an Australia Working Holiday Visa

I had originally written a similar post 2 years ago; before actually stepping foot in Australia. I clearly thought I was a know-it-all. I felt it was high time to give this bad boy an update and add any extra information I feel is useful for current or future backpackers coming to Australia. Its very info-heavy so I do apologise but hopefully you can take the best out of it to help with your travels - or just skip all the words and look at all the pretty pictures I have taken. 


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Visit: Mt Wellington, Hobart | TAS


Mt Wellington / Kunayi, is the highest point in Hobart and was top of my list of things to see whilst I was visiting. 
Reaching 1271m above sea level, a visit to the summit provides fantastic panoramic views overlooking Hobart and to the Tasman Peninsular in the distance. It can be enjoyed all year round, just make sure to check if the access road is open if planning to travel in Winter as can often be closed due to ice. 
The drive up to the summit is just as enjoyable - as you climb up higher and higher you are treated to the best views (if the weather is on your side!). Make sure you wrap up warm - it can reach below 0 at the summit. It was evening snowing while I was at the top which was extra special, however I did pretty much freeze my tits off. 
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Visit: The Grampians + Video | VIC

A few hours outside of Melbourne you will find the absolute delight that is The Grampians mountain range. With lookouts galore, it is a spot where you can drive, hike and gasp at the beautiful views for days.

The Grampians had been on my bucket list for Australia for a while, & i'm actually shocked it took me so long since being in Melbourne to actually go! 
BUT I finally made the trip in the last few months .. twice!
The first time I went as a day trip with my bezzies Kat, Jonny & Alan and the great team at The Fun Addicts. 
If you've not heard of these guys, they are a Melbourne-based travel company that offer one day trips, & local night events.

The second trip was with my good pal Sydney & her housemates over a weekend. We rented a van, stocked up on wine & and took to the hills.



How to get there?
From Melbourne it takes around 3 hours to get to The Grampians.
Head for Halls Gap and you're laughing.
Theres not a whole bunch to do on the way so make sure you've got yourself a great playlist lined up,
stare out of the window pretending to be in a music video, or grab your pals and some cards and play a game of Bullsh*t.

As you finally arrive into Halls Gap, just before the turn off to follow the signs for McKenzie Falls, there is a large grass oval. STOP THERE!
Here you will find an abundance of pretty tame and friendly (well, some aren't so much) kangaroos.
Look out for the biggest of the all, but note: he gets extremely aroused when fed bread.
Don't say I didn't warn you!




What to do?

The Pinnacle 
Head on over to Wonderland car park and get ready for a sweaty hike to The Pinnacle. It says its easy-medium but there are some steep areas so take plenty of water! I actually "forgot' to take my water bottle on this hike and funnily enough only had a bottle of wine to hydrate off! 
Can never start the party too soon. 
When doing this hike make sure you follow the directions that go via The Grand Canyon (no, you don't take a detour to the U.S) but for the love of god do not go the long route to the top, we accidentally did on the way down. 
After exploring through the Canyon & up Silent Street you make it to the glorious Pinnacle. The views up here are crazy and the perfect spot to crack open a bottle of wine & those great group pics ;)








Reeds Lookout & The Balconies
Saddle up at Reeds car park and take a short walk up to the view point overlooking the Victoria Range. From the car par you can walk a further 2km through the shrubs towards The Balconies which are incredible. Its a really nice easy walk and worthwhile views at the end.
Perch yourself on the edge of The Balconies and take in the beauty of your surroundings , but don't take too long - theres lit a queue of people wanting that perfect Instagram shot behind you.





Boroka Lookout
This is up there with one of my favourite views, but be careful because the views are entirely weather dependant. The first time I went it was the most glorious day and was perfect for photographs. The second, welllll not so much haha. I just had to assure everyone the views under the fog were pretty.
The lookout is directly at the carpark so no crazy hike involved here, just crazy views, And if you're feeling brave, ignore all safety signs and hop the fence for the coolest picture ever. Just don't fall off.





McKenzie Falls
One of the biggest falls in Victoria and a decent walk to get to. If you can't deal with steep stairs and big drops maybe this isn't for you.
Take a walk down the zig zag pathways towards the top of McKenzie Falls then clamber down single file the steep steps towards the base. Here you'll find the iconic hopping-stones and lonely rock.
It actually is alot harder to climb the rock that you'd think - I personally haven't done it, but the effort my friend Alan put in to get up, it didn't look easy. Plus he slipped just walking into the water so wasn't selling it for me.
Take your time at the bottom here because you've only got to drag your ass back up to the top.
FYI, on a hangover it ain't cool.




Where to stay?
Easiest place to stop-over if you want to make a weekend of it is at Halls Gap. There are plenty of hostels & hotels along the main road for you to choose from.
We rocked up to Brambuck's Backpackers Hostel and it was great. We were a pack of 10 so got a whole dorm to ourselves and there was only one other group staying in the hostel.
There is a large kitchen to make you own food and a massive lounge area with fire and comfy sofa where you can stay until the early hours of the morning drinking wine & whiskey and playing all sorts of drinking games finding out ridiculous stuff like who you'd want to eat in the group ... sorry Sydney.

The Grampians was an utter bloody delight and I think you should go now.
Like right now.

If you want to SEE what I got up to with The Fun Addicts you can watch my video below. I sadly don't have an updated version with both trips, because well tbh I can't be arsed.

G Goes Global - Australia #15 The Grampians - GoPro Hero 3+ Silver from G Goes Global on Vimeo.

If you liked The Grampians, maybe The Blue Mountains are for you:
 - Read my Blue Mountains guide HERE

Thanks for reading & happy travels 


♡ G

Join me on Instagram @gemwills 

& follow me on my current Australian Adventure! 


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Sydney to Melbourne; driving the coastal route + Video

The coastal stretch from Sydney to Melbourne is often overlooked by travellers and backpackers as 'there's nothing there', much like Western Australia apparently
But this is wrong god dammit!
This is a great potential road trip and one I encourage you to take instead of flying, getting the train or cutting inland from Sydney to Melbourne or vice versa. 

Me & my friend Emily who was in Australia visiting needed to fill some time with fun activities between Sydney & Melbourne. 


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#TBT - Interrailing Round Europe Photo Diary

I currently work for a company called Rail Plus in Melbourne and each day I help agents & members of the public plan and book their international rail travel. & more often than not its people purchasing Eurail (Interrail) passes and planning their routes for the summer exploring Europe. 


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You Know You've Completed Your 88 Days Farm Work When ...





So you are like Australia yea?
You’d like to extend your working holiday visa for another year?
To do so you’ll need to complete 88 days of slave regional work. Up for the challenge?
I was lucky enough to find farm work pretty quickly, completed my 3 months (and then another month for the lols) in one go on the same farm & I am now into my 2nd year. 
Everyone will have a different experience but here’s a few things you should expect:

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Visit: The Blue Mountains + Video | NSW


The Blue Mountains; a stunning natural beauty, making this World Heritage region a true Australian highlight. A day trip to this region is one of the most popular from Sydney and for good reason!
The slate-coloured haze gives the mountains their name and with a blue horizon of eucalyptus trees that seem to stretch forever you will be be enchanted by the setting. 

The Blue Mountains World Heritage area is about two hours drive west from the city of Sydney. It can be reached by car, train, coach or via a tour group. 

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10 Reasons to Visit Australia

HAPPY 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY 'STRAYA


& what a year its been! 
To celebrate my 12 months away living in Australia I thought I'd try and convince everyone else why it should be a destination top on your bucket list! 
I have fallen in love 10 times over with this country and I've still got more I need to see! 

If you're considering coming to live and travel in Australia check out my post here on all my tips on how to get yourself ready from visas, bank accounts, flights etc. 



Australia is up there as one of the most remote countries in the world, but despite that, is one of the most popular places to visit for backpackers and for bloody good reason


If you don't mind long flights, and getting to stop off in new and exotic places along the way, then Australia is for you! 

REEFS
Australia is home to the world's largest, and most famous reef system in the world; The Great Barrier Reef
Fact: it even has its own postbox! 
It is famous for its abundance in marine-life, world-class diving and beautiful corals (which unfortunately have been dying off at alarming rates!). 
Cairns is the most popular destination to reach the Great Barrier Reef and here you can book on 1 day snorkel trips, boat tours, dive tours the lot! 
A reef that unfortunately gets overlooked by its Eastern sister, is the Ningaloo Reef, found along Western Australia with access from Coral Bay & Exmouth. I was lucky enough to spend a few days here and it is not to be missed. The coral is thriving, and although not as colourful as the Great Barrier Reef, it is alive and kicking. 
I saw turtles, reef sharks, tiger sharks, dolphins, stingrays, manta rays and all kinds of weird and wonderful fish whilst enjoying boat trips and snorkel swims.


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