Life eh?

5 Nov


Wineglass Bay, Tasmania.

Well. Shit.

I wanted to retrace my Tasmanian sojourn before I went overseas, yet again. I wanted to show everyone around the world how great that little island is, how if anyone hits the merry old land of Oz, we have more than just the east coast and the rock in the centre that everyone knows (Uluru). But life just got super hectic. Tasmania is a memory in the distance. But boy oh boy is it the prettiest place. Truth is. Its behind me. I don’t want to rehash every detail. Since I started the Tasmanian posts life has just got in the way of transcribing those details into blog form. So the following will be a summation of the last few months.


Tegallalang Rice Terraces, Ubud, Bali

I got back to the mainland at the start of July, to work a full week, only to pack the backpack again to journey to Bali. It was backpacking, fused with the wedding of my best friend ( see below), lugging my suit through the tropics, days lazing by a ritzy pool, hiring a scooter and riding through the craziest traffic imaginable ( virgin scooter ride btw, don’t tell Mum ).


After the celebrations I’d say fare thee well to my friends and hit the ferry to Java. There the magic of travelling re-emerged. I felt the gut churn at departing the solace of friends and the comfort of my own luxurious room to be crammed onto Balinese public transport, on my way to the most inhabited island in the Indonesian archipelago. I knew the Javanese were different as well. I’d become accustomed to the forever smiles of the Balinese. But now. I don’t know what to think. It didn’t help that I didn’t have a plan either. I knew there were… volcanoes to climb? Temples to visit? But the logistics were lost on me. Until the guardian angel that watches out for me threw Enid in my path. Here was a fellow “whitey”, on the half hour ferry across the water. Into darkness, wrote Joseph Conrad. Well at least I had company. Myself and the young German, Enid seemed to be in the same boat ( yes pun intended). However her German knack for logistics had me beat. She had accommodation and tours lined up. The things I wanted to do, she had a planned. It just took a smile and kind words and I had a new travelling partner. I was by myself for a mere couple of hours! Fast forward a few days and we’d shared an amazing time, helping each other up volcanoes, laughing and enlightening each other on our previous journeys. I’ll let the photos show do the talking.


“Acidic Kawa-Ijen Crater at sunrise”


“Climbing Mt. Bromo”


” Bromo Sunset”


Air Terjun Madakaripura Waterfall, with Enid

Reflecting on hiking volcanoes at midnight, sharing a kiss with an erupting volcano at sunrise ( I had to throw that in there), hurtling along an ashen, burnt landscape, reminiscent of Mordor in a cavalcade of Jeeps, observing simple mountain life and simple mountain people I can’t help but wonder if it was all a dream. But I know I have some pretty wicked evidence it wasn’t. I have the photos, and the new friends encountered to show others that YES I had done some amazing things. This enlivened me so much so that the hurt of saying farewell to yet another travel flame died down soon enough as Enid ventured West to Denpasar. You just got to keep on keeping on. The road was still to be travelled on.

So, alone again, I was to go West as I ventured to Jogyakarta. For here was the reason i came to Java. To climb the ancient steps of the Buddhist temple, Borobudur ( See Below). Jogya ( shortened name) is an amazing cultural city. Diverse, modern and ancient at once, I had a blast exploring it after I’d ticked the temple hike off my list. Yes, another sunset tour. Beats the crowds every time 😉


“Nirvana at Borobodur”

The final leg of my tour would take me a few hours north to Phuket, Thailand, to pay a visit to its latest resident, my cousin Rick. I’d grown up with him, being of similar age, so to share some silly adventures with one of my oldest friends, strolling drunkenly down the tourist trap hellhole that is Bangla Road, quad bike down flooded mud tracks, visit his in-laws who were locals, and to be welcomed like family, was truly a magical way to round up my adventure. Alas, back to wet and miserable Melbourne!


“Quad biking Phuket!”

I’ve moved quickly through my Asian adventures, purely because, life took a different turn on return home. Not in any dramatic way. But this situation has both distracted me and compelled me to write again. I merely shifted house. But on a whole other level this was momentous. Ill preface firstly.

After each adventure I’d come home to the same old house id grown up in and wonder if I could really travel without the added bonus of living at home. The small amount of money I forked out on expenses and rent at home meant my account accrued savings easily, but the bubble had to burst after the latest adventure. I didn’t want to be 26, having never lived out of home, me being the independent dude at heart everyone thinks they are. So, now, three months on I’m a renter, with mates, re-assessing everything that’s important. I never used to give a fuck about money, I was safe at home, and things could always be patched up. Now it’s a different matter. It’s growing up and owning yourself.

It’s doing the shopping. It’s not being reckless every weekend with your body.  I guess It’s also a happiness thing. I’ve confronted a few personal philosophies recently. I guess I’ve veered from my 23 year old New Age-y think happy thoughts, naive self and started to realise: Life is there to be taken and sitting and waiting ain’ gonna cut it.  I’m facing a purge of reckless drinking, cigarettes, occasional drug use, to build a personal temple of wisdom I can be proud of. I’m flying my own flag.

I daily want to immerse myself and building a knowledge base, steeped in science and academia. I daily listen to podcasts on History. I love learning about out ancient forbears, our Roman roots, our Celtic origins. I think the Persian Empire is beautiful. Once I started listening to Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History Podcast, it’s clear that our history is so much more interesting than fiction. I want to daily improve my body as well as mind so I exercise as regularly as possible. I’ve now realised these things are so much more important to me than sessions at the pub, days on the couch watching sport and other general lazy activities. Is this growing up?

I’m almost venting on all the things that have limited me from being the person I really want to be. For some moving out is nothing, but from that seemingly insignificant thing i realised the value of having purpose. A purposeless life is nothing but that, but now my goals are starting to shine their way before me. I still hold to some wisdom passed onto me an old teacher that “ life is coming at me and “not to worry where you’ll end up.  Just be grateful.” I guess I still have some of that New age positivity in me. I can only keep trying to change myself for the better.

So from showing off my travels to some mega, profound self realisation in blog form thats how I’ve been! How are you!?

Tasmania : Land of Endless Vistas

4 Jul

I had this word reverberating through my mind, the whole week I drove the state of Tasmania : vistas. The views that endlessly peeled past my window had my head spinning. Green expandes of rolling hills, shrouded in mist, rivers zig zagging across the landscape. The state of Victoria, where I’m from, is for the most part flat. Tasmania is all undulated. Which makes for interesting driving. My biggest challenge for this adventure was the driving. Getting from A to B meant my attention wired to road. There’s a high risk of immediate death or injury around every corner. Which made for one exhilarating trip : stay tuned for more  


Another Year, Another Journey

25 Jun

I rolled out of Melbourne a year ago on a wicked, satiating road trip to the warmer climes of northern Australia and the time is nigh to do it again.

However this time, I venture South below the mainland to a place I’ve never visited; Tasmania. I’ve always been intrigued by its surreal images of nature. The people are always the best of us. Down to earth and proud of their Isle. 

It’s winter in southern Australia and colder still in Tasmania. I will be roughing it in the back of my trusty old ute ( that’s an Aussie pick-up for you foreign readers), for a mere week. Hikes, dirt roads, camping and hopefully some fun and culture in the cities of Hobart and Launceston.
I depart tomorrow evening taking the car ferry (The Spirit of Tasmania) across the wild Bass Strait for who knows what! 

I love the mystery and the nerves are kicking in. But I’ve always felt well guided by the spirit that guides all well intentioned journeyers and I hope I can feed any readers and friends with something insight and beauty as I take the plunge wayyyyyy down again.

Oh and as an afterthought: I go to S.E Asia in two weeks for another journey so the cold will be easy to bare with that in mind. 
Peace to y’all. 

pre journey


Waltz My Matilda My Matilda All Over : Afterthoughts

18 Sep

I’m home and in a week back to the grind. Back to work. Back to early mornings and repetitive week cycles. But back to pay days, back to exercising, back to saving money, back to nights inside, back to being sober, back to my nose in books, back to what is known as everyday life.

Some folk begrudge this, but after a while, the road is a cruel mistress. She shows you so much but takes away plenty. The health is hard to maintain, the bonds are quick, but are stricken from you instantaneously.

I carry this buzz with me, the persona of the road. Brimming with confidence, laughing and making people laugh alike. I’ve got tales to tell.

But the thing is many of my mates are just:

“Hey mate, good to see you…”

They’ve got their lives, their girlfriends, their weekends away with their partners.

And me?

I’ve experienced it all this year. Within a month of returning I’d had a wedding and a funeral. The full circle of life. Hours at work, hours studying Spanish, weights sessions in my shed. It’s fair to say I’m keeping it all interesting.

I want more! I want the world. But I’m only 25. It’s still within my grasp.

I talk to Janet most days, that thing called time differences, hard to deal. At breakfast I wish her goodnight, I wish her good morning as I wind down after the day.

I’m writing this a month and a half after returning. I’m back to reality. The people in my life are mostly those from pre-journey. Theres a few odd interactions with the cast I was playing alongside of. Here and there

I look back and feel like I was in a movie, directed, produced and starring me, but co-written by an outside source. Some philosophies call it the higher self, the over soul, the witness to it all. It’s not a separate being but me, somewhere beyond the veil, throwing little chances out to the wind, divergences in the path, teachers in the guise of strange folk.
Gurus in Drag“.

I’ve taken plenty back to day-to-day life with me. I know I’ve seen plenty of the country I was born in. I can relate to more of my kin. I’ve met plenty of strange folk. Other me’s. The greatest lesson I can take with me back to normal life is:

Although the journey is over, the awakening of self still happens, anywhere you are. Happiness happens everyday, not just because your elsewhere, amongst strangers, with no responsibilities. You only have to wake up happy everyday, to be happy. It’s a choice. Let emotions happen, good and bad. Because they happened on that journey doesn’t exclude them from the day to day. You can bring that buzz into everyday life as easy as snapping your fingers.

That’s all I need to do. Not make the excuse that I need to be elsewhere to be happy. It’s all here. And now.

But I’ll journey again, oh yes I will! 😉

The quote below sums up the folk I’ve met along the paths travelled. Because they’re the mirrors I see myself in. To continually see yourself in all beings is a beautiful thing. For always, travelling is about the people, the connections made along the way. I can Google Image any single one of the photos taken and present them. But the people are unforgettable. They surprise and wonder you, amaze and destroy you. They make it all what it is. Grand. Life is grand yes.

I’ll let Jack Kerouac sign me and this blog series off. From On The Road:

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn, who never say a common place thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow Roman Candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you can see the blue centre light pop and everything goes “Awww!”

Thank you all for reading 🙂


Waltz My Matilda Over Pt. 16

18 Sep


I didn’t know it but I was 3 days away from home. I figured 2 days would suffice in Katoomba, then the nations Capital, Canberra, for a overnight pit stop, stopping somewhere in Victoria for the night before Melbourne bound and home. But the trip took its last unexpected detour. That to come.

I remember leaving the Hunter Valley early Friday morning, 3 hours of driving ahead, before I was in Katoomba. It’s a small town that plays host to thousands of tourists who come for the view of the Blue Mountains. If there’s a photo to be taken in all of Australia, this would rank at the top, or thereabouts. It is a little over an hour from Sydney, which meant my drive there would take me back through Sydney and out again. I retraced my steps briefly, resurfacing on the Pacific Highway for one last stretch of nostalgic road, all the whiles playing the Queens of The Stone Age discography. Damn it’s good driving music.

Slowly approaching Katoomba I randomly turned left at the sign for ” Wentworth Falls”. I figured I’d be doing this anyway, checked in to the hostel or not. I had limited time to see it all! It was here I had my first glimpse of those majestic Blue Mountains.


This was as good a view as you could wish for. The weather was absolutely perfect, despite being high up, I, at one stage, hiking topless. The tracks around here were breathtaking, sheer cliff faces, overlooking deathly plummets into the green canopy below. The path would carve under the cliffs and waterfalls and arrive at Wentworth Falls themselves, you walking across them and around for a magical photograph. I remember briefly seeing Ollie, my mate from Fraser, that Island experience feeling like years before. After 2 hours here, I’d drive back out and up to the hostel, which came highly recommended.

And it was very cool. Flying Fox is as homely as you can get, great kitchen, backyard, and lounge area, where the fire burns, the guitars are played and everyone’s gadgets get switched off every night. Great for socialising and staying warm.

I’d quickly put my stuff down, change up and stroll to town. Oh how wonderful the hills were (NOT). Note to self. Don’t do this drunk. They were steep as FUCK. But the path lead to something truly spectacular. The Three Sisters.


This was yet more amazing scenery from my country. Everyone seemed to know it too, the cliffs crowded with slow walking tourists. But as I always do, I walked away from the pack, hugging the cliff and enjoying views for myself. Then the slow hike home, buying groceries, beer and cigarettes. I was set for the weekend!

The next day was more of the same. Hiking. I picked up a hiking guide, flicked to any page and said “Yep, that’ll do!”.

I chose the Grand Canyon walk. Not quite the American one but I’d dare say almost as stunning. A three hour round trip, it had the works: A steep climb down through a rainforest, moss and ferns lining the path, plateauing at the bottom, winding through dried out gums and bushes until one was in a river gorge that had no bottom. I wondered whether a body or two had been thrown down over the years. It’d be hard to find.

The hike out nearly killed me, but the view at the other end was to die for anyway!


So it was nearly lunch and I’d had enough hiking for one day, so I went to the pub and drank and ate, feeling very content.

Over the past week or so I’d been in discourse with Janet, whom readers may remember from Noosa. She added my friend Dave on Facebook, in turn adding me. We’d been talking and joking, me saying I’d bought her a ring and planned a wedding. As it happens, she was in Sydney for the weekend before heading home on the Tuesday. I suggested she come visit the Blue Mountains before she was homeward bound. She was due to arrive Saturday night!

Our rendezvous was awkward at first. Exchanging pleasantries and talking about the journeys we’d had. It was dark when she arrived, the sight seeing having to be done the next day. Thank god she suggested going to the pub, to break up that awkwardness.

We had a great night amongst locals, laughing and chatting and warming ourselves with many a cider. I think by this stage we were comfy with each other.

The next day I more or less backtracked all of the places I’d visited on the previous two, showing her the Grand Canyon, Wentworth Falls and the Three Sisters. By the end of the day, we were both very much worn out and she had to slowly head to the train station, back to Sydney. Her flight was early the next day.

It was at this stage I knew it had happened again. Inevitably it had to happen. I had to fall for someone, whilst travelling, whom lived on the opposite side of the planet. I’d gone nearly to the end without romance, which was fine. Because the goodbyes fucking sucked. And sometimes you wish the hellos never occurred.

So having a few ciders together, me checked out with no plans, she needing to head to Sydney I made a half joke, not sure of the intention:

I should just drive you to Sydney ey….”

Yep, you should!”


Fuck it why not! “

So booking a room at her hostel, I was now heading to Sydney, to spend one more night with Janet, intending to see her off in style. Which we did.


We got super drunk, danced, went to bed late and got up far too early.

And here it was. The goodbye. Definitely hard. Hard as any I’d done. I think only the fact I had to think about what was next on my agenda helped me not get overwhelmed. Goodbye. For now.

Sitting in the hostel cafe getting breakfast ( it was only 7.30 am), the dude working there asked my days plans. I didn’t think about it too long.

I think I’m going to drive to Melbourne!”

He was a little stunned. I was going to drive home. Home?! Melbourne, was 10 hours away.

My travelling energy had all but wound up. The end of Janet’s journey coincided with mine. I didn’t want another night wondering about bedding, food and the cold. And the “you only live once” side of me wanted to do that drive in one day. So with a full tank of fuel I ploughed on home.

It wasn’t hard. There were times I’d slap myself awake, but I was driven to get home. There were emotional moments, songs reminding me of the last few days with Janet, the last few weeks since Fraser, and the journey itself. For this one had come full circle. Almost.

I pulled into my aunts’s about 5.30 pm. It was here, some three months prior, after that day hiking, I’d decided to do this trip. And her place was on the route home. I expressed this to her.

So you’ve come full circle then!


Home was another 40 minutes. After 10 straight hours, 40 minutes was like a second. And after that extended second, I was home, just in time for mama’s cooking. My bed was never greeted so kindly that night. And I was smiling till I drifted into an undisturbed sleep.

( Me and Ruby just after walking in the door)


Waltz My Matilda All Over Pt. 15

14 Sep

(Dorrigo National Park)

So the journey was to continue in an unexpected direction the next day. Excited about not backtracking I burnt out of Coffs very jovial indeed. . An hour away was Dorrigo National Park, a heritage listed rainforest, in the mountains above Coffs. My first destination.

I stopped in scenic Bellingen for coffee, small town, high on charm. Tamworth was a fair drive away so I couldn’t spend too much time adoring the scenery as much as it pained me.

After Bellingen the road steepened, winding higher into a green canopy. Waterfalls would splash down above the path, streaming under the road. All the while climbing higher, winding round and round until a plateau. It was colder now, the air cleaner and crisper.

I arrived at the National Park. I did a brief yet beautiful bush walk, admiring the flora and fauna. Pure isolation, amongst trees older than time. Gorgeous views back to the Pacific, a glimpse of Coffs.

Beyond here the Waterfall Way beckoned. I travelled through some of the highest situated cities and towns in the whole country. The air whipped into my car and freshened me. The road was, narrow, winding and exhilarating. I had to remain on the ball, a far cry from the cruise control of the straight, three lanes of the Pacific Highway.

This was at Ebor Falls (below). A fine stop for lunch. I could’ve stopped at a number of places such as this but my destination was some hours in front.


I arrived in Tamworth, the country music capital of Australia, about 4 pm. A brief beer and stroll around town then I’d go to Kate’s house for the night.

It was an awkward moment meeting her sister and mother. I’d met Kate in Portugal the previous year and we got along well, but truth be told, we didn’t know each other. So to be in her house, was strange but this is a great facet of travelling. Sustaining connections, however brief, can win you favors and I appreciated this so much. I was given dinner, wine, a clean bed and shower and her mum was ultra cool. We stayed up late, got drunk, exchanged stories then to bed I went.

Leaving early the next day, thanking her continually I was back on the road, South through the heart of NSW to the Hunter Valley. Known for it’s wine and produce, it would be here I’d gorge my senses, and observe its scenery.

The hostel was amazing (Hunter YHA). It was modern, well spread and good facilities. The only down side was it was quiet, it being winter.

I immediately booked a wine tour for the next day then explored. I drove to a few lookouts, winding dirt tracks up steep slopes to observe an absolutely amazing scene. Far away from the ocean, this was the inland view I’d salivate over. A different side of the country. Equally as amazing.


I drove past the Hunter Zoo and thought ” fuck it why not!”. It hosted an abundance of creatures, local and exotic, many of whom I’d be able to get up close and personal with. The kangaroos, wallabies, koalas and emus were all there for show. I had to laugh at the emu enclosure adjacent to the ostrich enclosure. The big birds of the world, face to face.


I chilled that night with the few inhabitants, drinking too much local wine and awoke still quite drunk to board the bus for the wine tour. It was a great day out, sampling wine after wine, mixing it up with cheese, olives, chocolates and vodkas. We’d finish at the brewery near my hostel. I’d stay longer and walk home, stuffed to the brim. Sleep was delicious afterwards.

The Hunter is a special place. A fine example of nature supplying an area with Goldilocks like conditions : just right. It gets hot enough, it gets cold enough, the soil is rich, and there is usually enough rain. Everything explodes with taste and and hasn’t spent hours being imported from elsewhere.

The few days I had post Coffs came about because I had made a connection with someone who was like minded and whom recommended places I didn’t think to travel to. I thank her, but mostly thank myself for trusting my intuition. The randomness of travel blows me away. I didn’t know where I was going but I liked it.

But now I was almost home. The final leg approached. And it was equally as amazing as anything is seen so far! 🙂


(view from Audrey Wilkinson Winery)

Waltz My Matilda All Over Pt. 14

11 Sep

Driving south immediately hit home. I felt like I was driving against the breeze, surfing back through the wave; this thought highlighted by the change in weather. An hour out of Noosa it was hella shitty. In the sub-tropic climates the rain hit hard. But my spirits couldn’t be dampened. I’d experienced so much, particularly Fraser. The highest point of the climb held the best view. Now I was on the slow march home. But I would venture back down, quicker than the climb up. I’d estimated to get home, for work, I’d have to roll out long hours in the car. There were things I still wanted to see ( Katoomba for one) but I didn’t necessarily want to rehash the same experiences. Returning to Byron was symbolic for the send off. Enjoying some nice times with this family I’d gotten to know over the past few weeks, was on the cards.

Arriving in a rainy car park at the Arts Factory, swapping shirts for a jacket and beanie, I proceeded in and booked a few chilled out days, planning to crawl back down the highway through Coffs, Port Macquarie and so forth. The rest of the gang arrived and would be in their own quarters, me opting for a cheap dorm. I walk into… well… a young mans paradise. Four attractive women! They were smiling and welcoming, the rain was pouring, so I had a grand excuse to stay dry. We chilled out, chatting, I, attempting a nap and plain old doing nothing. I’d venture to see the gang, who’d made a trip to Nimbin for some herb. We’d chill amongst the trees, by the swamp and smoke and laugh and chat.

( The tents amongst the swamps – The Arts Factory)

A change had come to me. I’d left the party behind, back north. Sensible Adam had to come to play now, the wits to be kept for driving the long hours south. I liked a high every now and then, but couldn’t afford carryover highs that’d impair my driving.

Heading back to my room I decided to stay in that night, my companions, wanting to watch a movie and keep dry. Plan.

The next day, my last, was spent with Sara, Amelia, Ayla and Jennie, hanging on the beach, preserving money and energy. New company was nice, particulary pretty company. ( Hey, a boy can look right?)


The others were staying longer in Byron, they, grocery shopping, I, back to solo going by the next day. We’d hang later, for one last time. Another smoke, more laughter. I suggested we go out, for I was down as a clown. See off Byron, Yknow? There was mixed feelings, but I’d be there.

The night was fun, not too adventurous. I’d sleep well and be refreshed for my next journey. Packed and ready, I waited for the inevitable goodbyes to new and old. It wasn’t as hard as I thought. I think the realisation that this was a journey and people come and people fall away, is all part of it. Travel was the microcosm of life. People you feel close too, disappear instantaneously. Our energy as a group had wound up, where it started. I’d always and forever love our group as it was. An amazing ride.

( from left – Kirsten, Cris, Katie-May, Me, random Swede.)

So fare thee well Byron! Southbound be I!

The drive to Coffs was about three hours. I’d finally decided to play an audiobook I downloaded, pre trip. It was “A Spiritual Journey” by Ram Dass. This was a normal man (Richard Alpert, Harvard Psyche Professor), that journeyed to India and came back, different name, different attitude, but still grounded enough to speak simple and profound truths, to anybody. The entirety of the book was like a gift to me, a rehash of the last month and a bit. Everything he was saying, I’d thought along the way. Enlightenment could happen through any means. It made that drive so easy, so enlightening. I’d go home and extract quotes from it, important messages like this one:

“As you quiet and listen with open heart and quiet mind the journey will unfold right before you. And it will be a journey in which there is no falling off the path, because even the experience of falling off the path is just part of the process. May you be surrounded with blessings in your journey and may every part of your life experience feed the awakening of the spirit”.

Poignant. So relevant to my here and now. Onwards I’d go.

Arriving at Coffs, purely for a bed and kitchen, it was here the trip would take another turn. On arrival I spotted Lucie, my French gypsy, mademoiselle I’d met in Newcastle. We reminisced and informed each other of the journeys we’d had. She said she was going inland to Bellingen. She painted a beautiful picture of the Coffs hinterland.

“You should go! And visit the Hunter Valley! There’s a special energy there.”

No sooner than I spotted her, she was being picked up, within the hour, to head inland. This was significant. Here I was, planning to retrace my steps. No! Silly! The journey was still alive. If I went inland, I’d still get home eventually. Seeing yet more, strange wonders, and getting a taste for the country side exhilarated me.

It took a Scottish lass, who’d just come from the hinterland to tell me it was well worth it all. She’s driven the “Waterfall Way”, with great appraisal. My apparent next route.

Doing some research I figured I’d aim for Tamworth for the next night’.s accommodation. Remembering that a travel friend from my Eurotrip was from there I messaged her, asking some basic questions. She was residing in Scotland at that moment. She however called me!, suggesting I stay at her mothers. How could I refuse! Yes sir-ee!

So within 2 hours I’d change my mind, my route, my overall bearing (tomorrow was due west) and I’d already found a free bed for the night. Thanks to a chance meeting with Lucie. See, I almost didn’t stop at Coffs, Port Macquarie only another 2 hours drive and within my grasp. If I didn’t stop at Coff’s and met Lucie at that hour, I wouldn’t have changed my mind. In the eyes of fate, the choice was already made, I just had to live out the making of it in real time.

Magic was again afoot, synchs aligning, heart beating, smile increasing.

The journey had twisted again.

Waltz My Matilda All Over Pt.13

10 Sep


I awoke freezing, with the morning sun, it not being past 6am. I shook some dreams away and had to double take my surroundings. Where?…

“You slept under the stars remember!”

I staggered back into my dorm, disturbing my room mates.

“Oh Adam’s Home! Where you been?”

“Slept in the bush, under the stars lads.”

“Oh Cool!” Back to sleep they went.

So I was buzzing, telling people what I did. For them, I was probably a crazy Aussie, but its something that I had to do! I got a good reaction.

What would this last day on Fraser be like? As the rest of the trip had panned out, everyday was a mystery. I didn’t gloss over the itinerary at all. We’d be down the beach, hurtling along.

“Oi Kev! Where we going?”

Today it was Wobby Creek. Significant for its sand blown, dunes that tumble down to a fresh water lake. So in Kev fashion he offloaded us and sent us up the track into the bush. I, as before, lead the way, not caring for the banter. I wanted to be out in the bush alone, with occasional company. This time it was Jess and Ollie. It was nice to break away from the pack. The walk was 45 minutes until you emerged into what flet like Arrakis from Frank Herbert’s  sci-fi epic, Dune. In fact as I later realised ( for those who know Dune lore) I was in the company of Jess and Oliver (last name) Duncan. In the book is Lady Jessica and Duncan Idaho, strolling the sand (below). Synchronicity follows me everywhere.


Myself and Joris, another Dutchman, hiked further than everyone, through the bush, to the lookout above all of this. We sat above a spectacular scene, with the dunes rolling into the water, beyond the scrub we traversed, right back to the blue Pacific. Amazing.


We hiked back down, me faster than him. I played my music, wanting a music-scape to hike to. From the start of the track I played ” Reflection by Tool, an Eastern style, prog-metal masterpiece. As I emerged back into the dunes it culminated to such perfection, I was ecstatic. (10 minute walk, 10 minute tune).

We all swam, chilled and chatted. Fraser was almost finished. I hiked back solo, with my music, in deep thought. It was like meditation. There was movement up ahead. Not our crew. As it turned out, the stag party from the night before was on the way. Seeing all theses faces, sharing a wink and a smile, it was “Wog”, the drunken rambler who offered me a beer.

“Here mate, its thirsty work, this walking!”

“So, you don’t remember me Wog! I walked you home last night”

” So you did! Hey cheers! Enjoy!”

So, back on the beach, drinking XXXX Beer ( Queensland’s beer of choice) I saluted Fraser, waiting for the crew. It was now time to depart, back to the mainland.

On the way back, we snapped a Dingo, curious as to our goings, as if to send us off.


The ferry back lasted merely 10 minutes, yet we managed to spot a dolphin pod, behind the boat. Magic followed us everywhere. Driving down the roads we were only on 3 days prior, yet I felt it to be years ago. what a magic few days. I was still barefoot. Still in my Fraser element. I wouldn’t don my shoes until back at Noosa.

Farewelling Kev, cleaning the cars, and on the bus back to Noosa. Everyone was friends now, smiling, reminiscing. I enjoyed the bus trip. I remember Jose Gonzalez’s music playing the whole way, enhancing a serene drive, and everyone’s mood.

Back in Noosa, for another night, back amongst the Byron crew, exchanging stories, recommending Fraser, buzz still humming. Katie asked how I was.

“Katie mate, I am BUZZING. Buzzing on the beauty of this country. That was spectacular.” 

She laughed at me. She didn’t get it. But we’re all different.

I went out that night, wanting to celebrate with the Byron crew and the Fraser crew. We all ended up at the same club. I wouldn’t see most of them again.

The next day I was content. Leaving. But strange enough. South was my bearing. For the first time in a month and half I was travelling down the coast instead of up. strange feeling. For me, Cris, Kirsten and Katie-May (Dave was still journeying north) were on a familiar route. Way back to where we met. Back to Byron. Back to – The Arts Factory

Waltz My Matilda All Over Pt.12

8 Sep


Saturday morning dawned deliciously. I wasn’t sure whether I’d somehow slipped into the northern hemisphere for summer or it was perpetually perfect up here on Fraser.

After breakfast we saddled up the cars and journeyed further up the beach. I loved it. With a varied playlist blasting out the window, sea air waking everyone up and the sun warming our faces it was joyous. A fun game was staring at the ocean. For it was alive! Crawling with marine life. A whale spouted and we got excited. Then boom! One jumped. After about half an hour we spotted enough for us to not shout but simply gaze. This was everyday Fraser.

We arrived at the Maheno Shipwreck mid morning. It’s the most photographed shipwreck in the world. You could literally walk amongst it, if it wasn’t so dangerous. It had been wrecked on purpose early in the last century and was left to ruin. Scavengers had stripped it of it’s wares and time had eroded it slowly. Glorious.

A further trip back to Eli Creek was amazing as well. Pure fresh water floated out of the inland to meet the shallow pools on the beach. You ran along the boardwalk, some 200 metres, jumped into the creek, slow moving and shallow, drank as you waded and emerged ecstatic on the beach. I’d run across the sand highway and swim in the ocean then return to the fresh water, face beaming. This was life. For a winters day it was warm. No shoes or shirt. Just sun and fun.


After here it was an hours journey back down the beach to the Champagne Pools, a rock pool teeming with life, where the waves crashed over it’s lip to refresh the water, creating a fresh bathing area, un-stagnated. Swimming amongst crabs and fish and diving I to deep water.

Whilst driving we observed a small shark beach itself, chasing bait fish. We thought it’d committed suicide till it wriggled back to freedom. There was also the curious stingray that was meters from the shore, observing this band of curious humans. And the fishing? Too easy! Kev, had randomly pulled over, got his rod and pulled in 4 – 6 Tailor fish in 5 minutes. They were leaping from the water!


Our next stop was lunch. A short and sweet picnic. I only mention this because of the wild Kookaburra I was hand feeding like a tame parrot ( below). The Jackasses of the bush. I loved waking up to their silly laughing calls everyday.


After this we ventured to Indian Head, at the tip of Fraser. Kev simply let us stroll up a pathless, jagged cliff face to who knows what.

” Let me know how many animals you spot from there!”

This was the only part of Fraser one would need shoes but I was still barefoot. This aspect I felt important. Connecting to the land. We walk on leather or rubber all day and don’t feel the earth between our toes. It energised me for certain.

So, here at the Head you are gazing down into the shallows between two cliffs, beyond are boats sailing, sailing the Sapphire Pacific, whales leap from the water, dolphin pods are feeding and frolicking, stingrays are chilling and getting their sun and I’m SURE a shark lurked below it all. All I could do is sit in wonder. I couldn’t fathom somewhere more beautiful and lo! And behold my camera was full up. Surely a sign for me not to tarnish this beauty with sub par photography.


I walked back down shaking my head:

” It’s all too beautiful “

I enjoyed my last night on Fraser amongst the travel crew and a wild bunch of gentlemen on a stag night. We prepared the caught fish for Kev and he cooked the greatest fish I’d ever eaten. The hunter gatherer life indeed.

I alternated between drinking in the dorms and the pub. The pub was crazy, a gallery of drunken Queenslanders. I felt very Australian, dancing to AC/DC, then heading back to the rooms to mingle with the other crew. A bunch of us walked a drunk home, as we were scared for his safety after dark. For Fraser has a significant amount of Dingoes, wild dogs that although look cute, aren’t to be underestimated. Earlier that day we witnessed one chasing a young foreign couple down the beach to which Kevin interfered and rescued. Like a documentary in motion. A funny sight, but potentially a tragic one.

As we walked the drunk home (he was nicknamed Wog. A somewhat derogatory term for a person of European Descent or birth, but in this case an affectionate term for a nice guy, by his mates. Bloody Australians! Insults are generally signs of affection) I observed the stars in all their glory. I couldn’t believe it!

We wandered after dark onto the beach and observed them, away from the light pollution from camp and civilisation. Drunk on cheap wine, the stars and an unforgettable day we were all joyous. Jess said:

” Adam you are SO lucky to live here”.

I could not agree more.

At this stage I felt bold. Bold enough to fulfill that nagging idea planted by my friend Colin all those weeks ago.

” Find somewhere like this, somewhere you won’t be bothered and sleep out under the stars. You’ve got a sleeping bag man, do it!”

I went back to my room and grabbed my sleeping bag and just strolled off into the bush, quite safe behind the dingo fence. I plugged my iPod in. The last thing I remember is falling asleep under a billion stars with the song ” Under The Milky Way”, by The Church, one our countries finest tunes.

This was heaven. Up there and on the ground.

Waltz My Matilda All Over Pt. 11

7 Sep


To go onto Fraser Island, one needs a Four Wheel Drive. Being entirely a sand island, the worlds biggest, it is a treacherous place for all vehicles, so skilled drivers are required. I had no plans to drive. All other members of our group, ( a little over 20 folks, plenty British, some Dutch, Austrian, American and Israeli) had that opportunity. We were in 3 cars with the first being lead by Kevin the tour guide, an interesting dude, one i got to know and learn from.

Our first stop was Rainbow Beach, situated on the mainland near the southern tip of Fraser Island. We had a safety brief and we then got appointed our cars. I saddled up front, amongst Dutch and Austrian girls and an American couple.

After a short drive we emerged onto a sand bank, our first experience with sand driving. The three cars were then parked on a ferry, which navigated the short stretch of water towards Fraser.


You drive off, essentially into the unknown. The cars need to stay close to the wet, tidal water on the hard sand, but driving into the water will essentially void the insurance on the cars, the salt water ruinous to the cars exterior. Kev gives no indication of how far we are to travel, where we are going. Just endless miles of sand. I found it to be supremely bizzarre. No roads, signs, buildings, only the occasional vehicle. It was like the experience of seeing a mirage in the desert. No real backdrop to give one perspective. Just endless miles of sand.

We rounded a corner then went inland into the main town of Eurong. We had some lunch and dropped our gear off and were straight to Lake Mckenzie, further inland. The going is slow but very beautiful. Trees are changing from gum to pine, the roads are dunes, one way and narrow, the maximum Speed limit is 30km. Any car coming the other way must navigate back to an inlet in the road for our caravan to pass. It’s a different world man…


Lake Mckenzie is one of the biggest perched lakes in the world. ( A perched lake is made of pure rain water, the layers of sand and vegetation underneath making a bed for the rain to stay and not filtrate below. There are no tributaries that feed it). In the world are approximately 45 of these lakes. Fraser Island has 33. It’s honestly one of the most stunning places I’ve ever witnessed. The water is fresh and pure, not irritating like salt water, and cleansing to swim in. The group, in an effort to get to know each other proceed to make a human pyramid. (I’m on the second layer on the most right!)


We then drive inland after the Lake, to Central Station to go on a rainforest walk that blew me away. This was the central logging area on the Island and the trees here are enormous, varied and very spectacular. Kev instructs us to walk along the track for 30 minutes. He and some other members would take the cars to the other end. As the token Aussie I took charge. I felt a responsibility to lead from the front. I had this strange persona from here on. I was extremely friendly to everyone but I felt this was my time for self exploration. I ventured away from the group and observed the natural beauty. The deep green of the forest, shining into the clear waters of the stream below. Bare footed ( for all of Fraser was sand. I barely wore shoes for 3 days.) Dancing along sandy paths, skipping across massive logs, I was giddy. I was in my own head. My smile emanated outwards. I thought:

” This is still Australia. It’s not Victoria, but it’s still my land more beautiful than I’ve ever seen it. “

Everyone is starting to be friendly and I see bonds forming. It’s nice. But I can’t help but draw away and explore. Kev, our guide has done this all before. He hangs back and smokes and occasionally naps. He is a fellow Aussie so we share a few private laughs, watching the Europeans operate. He’s a bit of an enigma. He’s an Aussie ” bloke” but he’s definitely a decent fellow too. He’d fish the next day like a boss, dragging in fish after fish and reveal he’d owned a seafood restaraunt as he slices a fish like a pro. He had travel stories. The gentleman. And the mans man.

That night we, as a group enjoyed beers at the one and only pub on Fraser, next to our dorms. I was loving the casual atmosphere, the faces around, becoming more familiar. There was nice chats with the young American couple from Washington, Jack and Mary. It was good to see Americans out and about. They seem less represented than our European cousins. But a hoot nonetheless. They dragged in a wild child from South Australia, Matty, who was holidaying by himself. He gave us some good old green. Jack declared his love for Matt, who didn’t as yet, score some weed in Oz. We got high, laughed, played pool and drank. I made friends with the bar man Corey, who would put on any song for me and supply us with free shots.

We had to get some sleep, with more adventures the next day and more eye opening scenes.

More Fraser to come 😉