Month 18: Travel Summary and Statistics


Firstly, I am so excited to see that I’ve now been travelling for a year and a half! Woohoo! When I first set out on this adventure, I really wasn’t sure if I’d hate travel, be terrible at it and be home after a week, but I’m delighted to have lasted so long and to still be having the time of my life. This was 100% the right decision for me and I’ve never been happier!

I began this month in Australia, at the very start of my east coast road trip with Dave. Over the first week we drove from Brisbane to Melbourne, visiting Port Macquarie, the Blue Mountains, Sydney, Eden and Melbourne.

The highlight for me was definitely the Blue Mountains. It is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited and I loved spending a day hiking along cliffs, through waterfalls and over mountains.

Blue mountains scenery views

Next up was Sydney, a city I was excited about visiting but ended up mostly disappointed with, further confirming my dislike of most big cities. The highlights for me were getting my tourist on with a visit to Bondi Beach, posing by the Sydney Opera House and finally getting to stroke a koala — they are so cute!

Cuddling a koala in Sydney Australia

And then we arrived in Melbourne, marking the end of our road trip down the east coast. In Melbourne, Dave and I finally got a chance to stop moving as we spent two weeks housesitting and attempting to catch up on work.

I got to meet, and spend Christmas and New Years with, Dave’s family which was a little nerve-wracking… but I survived! And I had fun!

I’m a little disappointed that I spent most of my time working out in the suburbs and didn’t get to see much of central Melbourne… but I’ll be back in March so I’ll be able to explore a little more then.

I also bought some hiking boots. That’s a sentence I never thought I’d say…

Street art in Fitzroy, Melbourne

In typical Lauren fashion, it just so happened that our flight to Tasmania coincided with some of the worst bush fires the island has ever seen. With Hobart reaching 43 degrees (the hottest temperature on record) and part of the island in flames and off-limits, we very nearly cancelled our flight there… I’m SO glad we didn’t.

I ADORED Tasmania.I think it’s probably my favourite place on the entire planet. I love, love, loved it!

We began our Tasmania travels in the gorgeous city of Hobart. I hate big cities, so arriving in one that was surrounded by mountains, was by the sea and had no tall buildings had me off to a pretty good start. From there, we began our week-long road trip around the island. Here are some of my favourite photos from our drive — isn’t it stunning?

Wineglass Bay, Tasmania
Wineglass Bay, Tasmania: Yet another incredible beach.

Tasmanian beach Binalong Bay, Tasmania Lauren in Tasmania

When the time came to leave Tasmania, I found myself promising to return to live there at some point in the future (like 90% of the places I visit!). It felt like somewhere I could call home. For a few months. In summer.

And then, it was finally time to head to New Zealand.

I was ridiculously excited to be visiting New Zealand — I couldn’t wait to see Dave’s homeland and have him show me around. We flew to Auckland and have just begun our two month road trip around the country.

Over the next eight weeks we’ll be driving from the top of the North Island to the bottom of the South Island and will be seeing beaches, mountains, volcanoes, glaciers, glowworms, geysers and so much more!

Onto the statistics for the month!

Countries visited: 2

Australia, New Zealand

Cities visited: 9

Katoomba, Sydney, Eden, Melbourne, Hobart, Bicheno, St Helens, Launceston, Auckland.

Distance travelled: 6416km

Number of flights: 3

Money spent:

Australia: £952 over 28 days = £34.00 per day.

New Zealand: £40 over 2 days: £20.00 per day.

Miscellaneous items:

iPhone: £640

Flights: £342

Total amount spent: £1974 = $3130.

The next month:

Over the next few days I’ll be reaching Cape Reinga — the nothernmost point of New Zealand and from there we start our slow descent down to Stewart Island, south of the South Island!

We’ll be beaching it up in Raglan and abseiling, caving and glowworm searching in Waitomo. In Rotorua, we’ll be visiting geysers and thermal wonderlands and I’ll be going zorbing for the first time (I know…). Next up, will be a couple of days in Taupo where we’ll be going on a jet-boat…. And then… And then I will be attempting to hike the Tongariro Crossing. Yep, that’s a 20 km hike over a massive 2000 metre high mountain… I expect I’ll be recovering from almost dying with lots of rest at Lake Waikaremoana and Napier, before finishing off my North Island experience with a few days in Wellington. We’ll then be taking a ferry to the South Island for even more New Zealand madness!

Have you ever known me to have so many plans?!

Looking to follow along with my travels through my monthly summaries? You can read the previous month’s summary here, the next month’s summary here, or head on over to the monthly summary page to read from the very beginning!

42 Comments

  1. An iPhone eh? Matt and I don’t even have cell phones back home buuuut starting to consider getting an iPhone (just love the camera). Did you buy one and you’ll just buy sim cards? But hey, TASMANIA! Looks beautiful!! I’m personally not too into Australia but I have to admit it does look stunning! Happy you’re enjoying yourself so far!

    • January 25, 2013
      Reply

      Yeah, I bought an unlocked phone and pick up SIM cards wherever I am :) It was a tough decision for me as I’ve loved the freedom of not having a phone for 18 months…

      Tasmania was wonderful! I wasn’t expecting to like Australia so it was a pleasant surprise!

  2. George
    January 24, 2013
    Reply

    Wow extreme sounds really exciting good luck girl!

  3. Tom Bartel
    January 24, 2013
    Reply

    I love your feature about how much you’re spending. I’d put one on my blog, but it would be embarrassing. Oh, to be young and frugal again…Happy Travels. Hope to run into you again some day.

    • January 25, 2013
      Reply

      Thanks, Tom! I find that publishing the amount I spend also helps me to spend less :)

      Hope to run into you too!

  4. Gisela
    January 24, 2013
    Reply

    This sounds exciting Loz!!!! I envy you very much :). Hope you’re having fun and stay safe! Xoxo

    • January 25, 2013
      Reply

      Hi Gizy! :) I’m pretty excited :) Hope to catch up with you soon!

  5. Scarlett
    January 24, 2013
    Reply

    I love your life! So many plans, it’s so exciting xx

    • January 25, 2013
      Reply

      Awwww :) it’s not as glamorous as it sounds!

  6. January 24, 2013
    Reply

    Sounds amazing! We have 2 weeks planned for New Zealand, mainly the South Island. Then 2 weeks in Austrailia 10 days in Whitsunday Islands and 5 in Sydney. You mentioned you didn’t care for Sydney, do you think we should swap this with Mel. or just shorten it? We talked about going to Tasmania but weren’t sure. You seemed to love it, about how many days would you suggest? Thats great HostelBookers is working with you. We are hoping to work with hostelworld or hostelbookers during our trip! Keep up the safe travels and posts!

    • January 25, 2013
      Reply

      My dislike is more of a personal preference in that I despise cities. If you also hate all cities you’ve ever visited then by all means skip it, but Sydney is probably a much better place for tourists — lots more to see and do.

      I’d recommend a week in Tasmania, it was the perfect amount of time for us! We spent a night in Hobart, two in Bicheno (day at Wineglass Bay), one in St Helens (Binalong Bay), two in Launceston (day at Cradle Mountain) and one more in Hobart. Loved it!

  7. nomadic translator @LatinAbroad
    January 24, 2013
    Reply

    £640 for an iPhone?! Oh, all my Lauren, that was quite painful to read! But at least you love it ;)

    Otherwise, quite impressed at how low the costs were! Sponsorships/partial media trips rock :D

    *swoons* New Zealand… Soon enough my friend, soon enough…

    – Maria Alexandra

    • January 25, 2013
      Reply

      Yeah, it was unlocked and 32GB so expensive… but I’ve found it to be worth it so far with having data everywhere I go, and being able to call people in emergencies and whatnot.

      New Zealand is amazing!

  8. January 25, 2013
    Reply

    I love Australia and loved Sydney.

    I always thought Tasmania has the same weather as England so that put me off going but from those photos it looks like it is definitely worth a visit.

    Do you carry a dslr with your or just use a compact camera?

    Good luck for NZ.

    • January 28, 2013
      Reply

      Our weather in Tasmania was wonderful! All blue skies and sunshine and the complete opposite of England :)

      I travel with an SLR, a Canon 550D.

  9. Tom Bartel
    January 25, 2013
    Reply

    Did you climb Cradle Mountain? I did it, and very near the top I said to myself, “Tom, you’re too old for this shit.”

    • January 28, 2013
      Reply

      Haha! We just walked around the lake at the bottom of Cradle Mountain. I had a blister so didn’t venture any further (and was secretly pleased about that)

  10. January 25, 2013
    Reply

    It’s slightly scary to see how much you spent in Australia and New Zealand (even minus the iphone cost!). My bf and I are starting our travels in those two countries and are trying to mentally prepare for how much it’ll cost us; I’m sure it will be worth it though. We’re doing many of the activities you mention in New Zealand and I’m so excited!

    • January 25, 2013
      Reply

      Yep — and those costs are pretty much food and nothing else as I didn’t do any activities! I think Australia and New Zealand are the most expensive countries I’ve visited.

  11. Anne
    January 25, 2013
    Reply

    Australia and New Zealand are so beautiful!! I’ve never really known much about Tasmania but it looks fantastic :)

    Congrats on the Iphone haha! They’re kind of good and bad at the same time – ever since I first got mine last year it has made life a lot easier, but at the same time I am way too addicted to it. I don’t think I go anywhere without it!

    • January 28, 2013
      Reply

      More people need to go to Tasmania, Anne!

      I felt comfortable getting a phone because after 18 months of travelling phone-free I knew the benefits of disconnecting and hopefully won’t get addicted anytime soon!

  12. Amanda
    January 25, 2013
    Reply

    Funny that Amy said above that she was surprised at how much you spent in OZ and NZ. For me, it was the opposite – I’m surprised by how much you DIDN’T spend, as both countries can be pricey.

    Tasmania looks AMAZING! I’m definitely hoping to visit there next year.

    And eeeee, you’re in New Zealand! I hope you love it!

    • March 23, 2013
      Reply

      Yep, I was also pretty surprised at how little I spent. I know that most people seem to average $100-$150 a day in Australia!

      Tasmania is the best and you need to go! :-)

  13. Beck Wanderer
    January 25, 2013
    Reply

    I’m also disappointed you thought Sydney was like any other big city. :o( It is actually known as the “City of Villages”. I have been living here for almost 10 years and I do feel like Ilive in a village :o). This morning I had a run in a national park and then swam in harbour – there are not many cities in the world you can do that. I think with any city the secret is to hangout with some of the locals otherwise you will just be a tourist. If you are ever passing through again drop me a mail, I will take you on the Spit Walk where you can get some more use of those new boots. I assuming you are planning on doing some treks in NZ, if you have chance check out the Heaphy Track. Happy travelling, Becks :o)

    • March 24, 2013
      Reply

      Yep, that’s true… I did want to like Sydney but wasn’t surprised when I didn’t. I’ll be sure to let you know if I head back there in the future though :-)

  14. Jay
    January 26, 2013
    Reply

    Congrats on all that time away Lauren!! :-D hope i can adapt to being a backpacker just as well!!

    You’ve introduced me to yet ANOTHER place i want too see -Tasmania! Ive never seen such blue sky and sea!! :-O the list grows…

    • March 24, 2013
      Reply

      Thanks, Jay! I found I had adapted to the backpacker lifestyle within about a week of being away from home!

      Definitely make the effort to go to Tasmania. It’s incredible…

  15. 2 Digital Nomads
    January 26, 2013
    Reply

    So you bought the iPhone at the end :)

    I’m still surprised on how much you spend, as a couple we do much less than that!

    • January 28, 2013
      Reply

      Wow! Do you couchsurf when you travel? Or eat?! I’m absolutely astonished that you could both travel through Australia for a month on less than $700 each…

  16. January 27, 2013
    Reply

    If you loved Tasmania then you are probably going to love New Zealand.
    Melbourne is my favourite city in Australia, so I hope you enjoy it in March.
    If you prefer smaller cities, you can try Adelaide (my home city) which could be reached via the great ocean road from Melbourne.

    • March 24, 2013
      Reply

      I liked some parts of Melbourne and it was probably my favourite city in Australia (but given I don’t like cities that isn’t too much of a glowing review!).

  17. January 27, 2013
    Reply

    ah ah! you bought the Iphone…well i don’t blame you! i had it for 3 years from work and when i quit there wasno way to keep it :) missing it. But happy i don’t have it anymore…it became an addition!!
    I’m always wowed on how little you spend! lucky lucky girl! have fun :))

    • March 25, 2013
      Reply

      Yeah, it’s great not to have a phone, isn’t it? It feels so liberating! But, well, I definitely made the right decision to buy one in Australia — I wouldn’t have been able to get any work done without one!

  18. Elle of Solo Female Nomad
    January 27, 2013
    Reply

    Wow! What an exciting year that you have had, and more good times ahead. New Zealand is a fantastic country to trave through.I wish that I had spent longer in the country. Do make sure to swim with the dolphins on the south island

    • March 25, 2013
      Reply

      Thanks Elle! I’ll try and swim with dolphins but I find the thought kind of scary…!

  19. Hogga
    January 28, 2013
    Reply

    Gah, LOOOOVVEEEE koalas!

  20. Nate
    January 31, 2013
    Reply

    Choice bro!

    • March 25, 2013
      Reply

      Thanks! I’ll pretend to know what that means! ;-)

  21. Gayla LaBry
    February 12, 2013
    Reply

    A friend of mine here in the Netherlands spent a few months traveling across Australia and had such wonderful things to say about the country and the people. That just reaffirmed my wish to visit someday, too. I would just love to see Tasmania. It looks amazingly beautiful.
    I confess that I don’t know much about New Zealand (other than it’s named for the Dutch province of Zeeland), so I’m looking forward to getting to read all of your posts (and Dave’s) about your time there. Thanks!!

    • March 25, 2013
      Reply

      New Zealand is incredibly beautiful so I can’t wait to share all of my posts about it with you! I think it was recently voted as having some of the friendliest locals in the world so that’s great too!

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