Thredbo 2017

So, the soccer season ended early as we got knocked out by Dandaloo in the semi-finals which meant I could go for the second time ever snowboarding down to Thredbo.

A group of us left Friday afternoon and did the 6-hour drive from Sydney and each of us having turns being the car DJ. A long drive, a wrong turn, a speeding fine and close call in hitting a wombat we managed arrived safely at the River Inn.

You can’t ask for better accommodation really! Breakfast included, an outdoor bar to party after the day’s activities and It’s basically attached to Gunbarrel Express lift so you can get to the top without any hassle.

I had purchased a InstaAir 360-degree camera which you attached to your mobile so the video below is footage taken on it.

We had perfect conditions according to me and most people.

Day 1 – Saturday it was snowing and it was breathtaking. Fresh snow in Spring! Mother nature was showing off!

Day 2 – Sunday it was clear blue skies with sun. Again, another delightful day and Mother nature showing off once again!

8 hour layover – Los Angeles

Ok, I love to fly! When I start researching my trip, I’m actually also preparing for the following trip too, so that’s why I like the long layovers. It allows me a glimpse of the country/city I am in without dedicating my holidays to that destination. And if that glimpse makes the cut, it will be added to the never ending bucket list!

Long layovers, anything over 6 hours allows me enough time go visit the city I am currently in, as long as the airport is not hours away from civilization or they have good public transport.

I have already been to Los Angeles and seen a little bit of the United States but it’s been over 5 years.

Do you know LAX (Los Angeles Airport) doesn’t have storage facilities or showers. Come on!

Things to do in Los Angeles with a 8 hour layover:

  • Hire a bike and ride along Venice beach boardwalk
  • Watch a live performer on the walk
  • Go to Muscle Beach Gym and go for a workout
  • Go visit Pacific Park at Santa Monica Pier
  • Try some food
  • Do some light shopping

I caught an Uber from LAX (departures level) to Santa Monica and the 23 minute trip cost $17.43 USD / approx $25 AUD. The US don’t seem to like Uber drivers. The Uber drivers have an Uber logo on the back window of the car and at the lights my driver received a few comments like ‘Uber drivers are the worst!’.

Once there I hired a bike (comes with a bike lock) and it was super easy and many places to hire from. I hired it from 7:30am till 12:30pm and only $20 USD. I just had to leave my ID for bike security (I left my Australian licence and not passport). Then I just rode the whole bike strip from one end to the other. It was an easy flat ride but that area has plenty of homeless which is a shame. A fair few live music performers and other locals on rollablades and bikes pumping music through there portable speakers hehe.

I locked the bike up and checked out Pacific Park on foot. I did some shopping mall and purchased a cool top and had for breakfast a traditional American burger. Damm it was nice! Americans can make a burger! By chance I ended up at Santa Monica Markets and tried a delicious vegan Mexican inspired dish from Cava. Highly recommended.

I was getting tired as by this stage it was 5am in Sydney Australia so dropped the bike of but before I ordered another Uber back to LAX I went and got myself… A muscle beach gym singlet hehe!

Once back at LAX 2 pints of Angry Orchard Crisp Apple Cider and 2 Tacos was the perfect ending before a long flight were sleeping was scheduled in!

Uluru (Ayers Rock) – Red Centre

I have been waiting to visit Uluru (Ayers Rock) for ages but always went abroad because I thought it will always be there and it’s so close! But finally, I made the decision to go visit and it was well worth it. Highly recommended! It’s one of those places, once you have been you will not need to visit again but it’s an inspirational place.

Before booking my flights to Ayers Rock I did some research and found a 4-day tour that I was interested in but it was a return trip from Alice Springs and day 1 was essentially a 5-hour drive from Alice Springs to Uluru (Ayers Rock) so I decided to skip the drive and fly direct to Uluru and meet the tour there.

I have never ever booked a tour and have always done my travels at my own pace and schedule but for this remote area of Australia and the world I thought a tour would be the best option. That way I could just enjoy the magical area and not worry about driving, food and most importantly water.

I booked the 4-day Red Centre Adventure ex Yulara (Original) tour on the Intrepid Travel website which was actually guided by My Adventure Travel and included everything that I wanted to see and do:

– Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) – Guided walk tour
– Uluru (Ayers Rock) – Champagne sunset, Self guided 4-hour base walk and Aboriginal guide and stories
– Watarrka NP (Kings Canyon) – 4-hour rim walk
– Western MacDonnell Ranges – 2-hour guided walk
– Alice Springs
– Camping under the Stars
– Camel riding
– Glenn Helen Gorge
– Ellery Creek Big Hole

I enjoyed the whole experience of the red centre from the amazing walks to camping under the stars but the highlights for me was Uluru (Ayers Rock) base walk with the Aboriginal guide and swimming at Ellery Creek.

All days started with 4:30am wakeups which is a must to avoid the heat. The temperature in March was meant to be low 30’s but I experienced high 30’s but it was a dry and bearable heat. Uluru (Ayers Rock) base walk started with a magical sunrise and the 4-hours felt much less as you are distracted by all the beauty around you. I was so surprised to see so many green fresh and healthy trees, birds flying and singing and water!

The most negative aspect was the flies! Always buzzing around your face but to solve that problem you can buy a fly net from any petrol station for around $5.

I saw a post on Instagram about Ellery Creek and that’s how I found out about the place and I was like I must visit it. There is something magically about swimming in spring water in such a dry place surrounded by mother nature and all the sounds she brings. It was so relaxing and a cherished peaceful moment.

I enjoyed the whole time spent at the red centre and highly recommend everyone to go visit it. Sometimes we don’t visit places that are so close to us! Book it and go see the Big Red Rock!

Date: 23rd – 27th March 2017
Cost: $880 tour + $600 flights
Weather: High 30’s °C