Margaret River

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“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” – Mark Twain

Margaret River has been absolutely amazing and I have loved every single minute. I have met some of the friendliest, good hearted people and I have had more experiences than I can count on my fingers and my toes. Justin and Mara have been absolutely wonderful and shown me around Margaret River and the surrounding area, taking me on adventures and made sure that I have had the best trip imaginable. It has been so good to be able to spend time with them and i’m going to miss not seeing them when I get back to Jersey.


Margaret River is absolutely stunning, even more so than I had imagined. The coastline is so raw and rugged and there are so many beautiful places to discover. There are stunning beaches, perfect point breaks and huge forests which are backed by vast fields of vines for the local vineyards. The people are so friendly and hospitable and the atmosphere in the water was fantastic during each surf. I have met so many awesome people who I will hopefully meet again along my travels and it was so nice to feel so welcome whilst I was in town.

Wave wise there are so many choices it is unreal. Although I didn’t surf loads of them each one that I did surf was great in it’s own way. I enjoyed every surf from the beach breaks in Gracetown, the reef at Gallos, the fun left at Huzzers and North Point. Surfing the reefs and point breaks has definitley improved my confidence and I have been out in conditions that normally I would question paddling out in. The power of the ocean is so intense and It has helped me respect the ocean even more than I did before (particuarly as I was usually holding my breath hoping no ‘men in grey suits’ would turn up!) Surfing with dolphins almost every day has also been a highlight and something that I will never forget. It is amazing how close they will come to you and once the initial fear or spotting a fin passes it is just breathtaking watching them.

I was also lucky to be able to watch the Margaret River Pro whilst I was in town. It was so amazing to watch the top surfers in the world surf the waves of Main Break. I have always wanted to watch Carissa Moore and Julian Wilson surf and I was treated to that during the semi-final and finals days. The level of the womens surfing in particular blew my mind and It is so great to see how much they are upping the game and standing their ground against the men. The atmosphere at the competition was incredible and I met so many friendly people during the event both on site and in the water. It is definitely a massive change to compared to Queensland!

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”  ― Jawaharlal Nehru

Around the surfing I have made sure that I explore as much of the area as I can. I visited Mammoth cave and it is incredible how vast it is and how many other caves stretch along the coast. We also did a late evening cave adventure which after initially worrying that Mara may not be taking us the right way was absolutely epic. Justin and I definitely had to apologise for telling her off (we were definitely being scardy cats!)

We also visited Hamlin Bay which is one of the most beautiful places that I have been to on this trip. It is partciuarly special as huge rays come right up to the shore line as fisherman throw the offcuts of fish into the water. You can get so close to them as they do their loop up and down the bay. I loved it! On the way home from the bay we passed through the huge Kari forest and stopped off at the fairy stop off to take a few photos – it is stunning there! Mara and I also managed to fit some horse riding in around all the surfs and adventures and it was great to be back in the saddle and the one eyed pony I rode was brilliant fun!


It has been the perfect end to an absolutely amazing trip. I have made so many memories, met new friends and discovered new places. I have tested myself in so many ways and learnt so much about who I am and what I want to be. I feel healthier than I have in a long time and I finally feel completely free of stress from an experience that I had carried with me for a long time. Although it will be sad to end my travels there is so much to look forward to. It will be amazing to see my family and spend time at home in Jersey after I compete at the English Nationals next weekend. I can’t wait to see Ben again and we can start planning our next adventures which will take us to Spain and then back up to the snowy mountains. I am so grateful for this experience and I can’t wait to look back over the photographs, mementos and stories that I have collected along the way.

“A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.”― Tim Cahill

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Sydney has been a brilliant experience filled with lovely family time and loads of adventures. As it was a bit of a whistle stop tour I have been trying to make the most of each day (even with being struck down with Flu for the last 5 days :(!)

I am staying at Darling Point so there is nothing nicer than catching the ferry across to circular key and taking in the views of the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. Last week I walked the coastline around to Darling Harbour, stopping off at the new park at Barangaroo and exploring the Rocks Museum. It was a great way to see so many special parts of the city and I also managed to fit in a bit of retail therapy on the way back through the CBD. I’ve also visited the Australia Museum which for $15 is an absolute bargain. I really enjoyed the museum and there is so much to see there including a huge display of wildlife, dinosaurs, beautiful rocks and minerals as well as a really interesting display about the creatures that used to roam Australia. Definitely a must do in Sydney.

Josh and I had decided to Hire a car so that we could drive up to Palm Beach (The home of Home and Away). After a palaver trying to get out of the city without being rammed by crazy Sydney drivers we were finally on route towards the Northern Beaches. We stopped off on route at a few beaches and bays before hitting the end of the peninsula at Palm Beach. We made the decision to do the 2km walk up to the Lighthouse where we were treated to some absolutely incredible views of the peninsula. It was amazing! You could see for miles in both directions, spotting small Islands and headlands to the North and looking back at the Palm Beach Peninsula to the South where the Ocean and the River Mouth met. It was definitely worth the warm walk to the top! On the way back we wanted to stop off for a surf but the wind had picked up at most spots. After a quick lunch stop (and some VERY off cheesecake and carrot cake – yuk!) we decided to head in for a wave at Curl Curl. I probably didn’t think about the fact that it was very rippy, pretty huge and basically a shore break as I dragged Josh in telling him it would be all good. Unfortunately a rogue set came from nowhere and the next thing I knew Josh was gone and his board was tomb stoning. My heart was definitely racing and when I finally saw him come to the surface and head in, I followed to. He definitely had a fright but I take my hat off to him for paddling out in the swell after only learning to surf a couple of months ago and managing to handle himself so well in the situation. Fair Play Josh! Luckily, we had a great bit of entertainment to take our mind off it. After watching a guy running around the edge of the swimming pool looking for a spot to jump off into the surf, we couldn’t quite figure out where he was heading as there were huge rocks underneath him. The next thing we know, he has launched himself into the water only to stop dead in the water under the wall (I assumed he had hit a rock). Oh no, he had not hit a rock, he had wrapped his leash around the railings and was hanging off the wall by his ankle. The next thing his board flipped 360 degrees around the railings, he managed to undo his leash and he plopped into the sea with dignity no longer in tact. We didn’t know whether to laugh or cry – we were both just silent. Luckily he seemed ok and with his tails between his leg he tried again – and this time succeeded!

I have also managed to escape the city and get out to the Blue Mountains. I hopped on the train and took the 2 hour ride out to Katoomba which is one of the main destinations in the Blue Mountains. From there it was a short bus ride out to Echo Point and the Three Sisters where I was greeted with some of the most beautiful I have ever seen. There is a strange blue haze over the canyon and the intensity varies throughout the day. I decided to walk to the Katoomba Falls which took a couple of hours along a path hugging the edge of the canyon which then dropped deep into the rainforest as I followed the Furber Steps (around 1000 steps down!) From the bottom I decided to hop on the scenic railway line which is the steepest railway in the world; it definitely lived up to it’s name and was amazing! On the way home I stopped off at Featherdale Wildlife park where you can get up close with a range of animals including Koalas and Kangaroos. There is a Koala Kindergarten – I have never ever seen anything so cute!


Over the last couple of days I’ve managed to get a fair few surfs in. I spent a beautiful sunny day at Manly enjoying the beach and the waves and it was great to share the day with Connor and catch up on the adventures he’s been having on route down here from Noosa. Although the surf was only small it was still great to get in and Manly is just such a beautiful place.

I headed across to Bondi this morning in the hope of a few fun waves and I definitely wasn’t disappointed. It was extremely glassy and pretty quiet out in the surf with 2-3 foot sets coming through. It was still pretty high when I first paddled out but with the dropping tide the waves lined up nicely and I picked off loads of really fun ones which was great. After a couple of hours in the water I headed out, treated myself to an Acai Bowl and sat watching the waves. Perfect! This afternoon I headed to Chinatown to experience some culture. It was absolutely amazing how you can feel as if you are actually in China and miles away from central Sydney, definitely somewhere worth checking out. There was also an evening food Market so it was great to try some of the street food and check out the stalls on the street and in the famous Paddy’s Market.

All in all Sydney has been pretty epic and I have been able to fill it with loads of different experiences. It is a really unique city and it is so amazing to be able to go surfing in such a major city and be surrounded by the water. It’s been so nice staying with Margy, Ashley and Henry and I am so grateful for them putting me up (or should I say putting up with me) for the trip. Thank you!


The Final Stretch


The last few weeks in Noosa were probably some of the best. We were lucky to be blessed with waves each and every day and I even managed to get a number of completely empty surfs – something that hadn’t happened until that point. The crowds definitely thinned after the festival and I made the decision to keep away from Tea Tree and surf at Nationals where I always found a friendly crowd. After a lot of upset in the water during the trip which included me ending up in tears as a woman went on at me asking why us ‘Internationals’are allowed into her country, I made the decision to always find a friendly person to surf with and stick with them. This positivity paid off and I met some amazing, friendly people and have left Noosa feeling content.

We made sure that we made the most of our final stretch in Noosa and ensured that we filled our days with adventures and experiences. We headed up to the Mt Tinbeerwah viewing platform which gives you a 360 degree view of the surrounding area from Sunshine Beach, through to Noosa then up to Double Island and back inland. It was absolutely incredible. I spent any of the time when I wasn’t surfing enjoying the beaches and national park, going on explorations and swimming in the gorgeous water. I did managed to average 7 hours a day in the water though but with early mornings there always time to fill in the gaps!

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I am now in Sydney staying with my lovely family and making the most of what this beautiful city has to offer. As I am writing this I am sat in the sunshine looking across the harbour from the garden with views of the Opera House and the bridge. It’s fantastic! I explored the coast around Bondi a few days ago and managed to get a few waves there and tick it off my list. I’ve also spent a day exploring the city, doing a bit of retail therapy and investigating the older areas of the city and it’s museums. I think my highlight so far however was my trip to Manly yesterday. I decided not to take my boards as the surf shops advertised that they had a huge range for all levels and I decided to go for the easy option of hiring one rather than lugging them across on the ferries. After a worrying start and only being able to find plastic boards in terrible condition for a HUGE amount I lucked in at  ‘The Shop Next Door’ and the lovely girl Emily sorted myself and Josh out with a Bing Dharma and an extremely fun twin fin fish. The day was saved! We spent much of the day enjoying the waves and lounging on the beach, feasted on Mexican tacos and explored the town. It was a brilliant day and we went home knackered, sandy and full of smiles and contentment.  We’ve hired a car for tomorrow so that we can drive up the coast a little bit and explore the beaches, bays and scenery. Hopefully we will find some fun waves and beautiful spots for a picnic!


Waves, Turtles and Sunshine


The Noosa Festival of surfing can be described as a hell of a roller coaster ride for all of us. With the festival looming everyone had been hoping that a good swell report would be on the cards but unfortunately that was not the case and there was little swell around throughout. This meant that nearly the whole competition was held down at Access 11 – a closeout beachbreak. I was absolutely gutted that I had paid so much for the event and had been so excited for such a long time about surfing uncrowded first point and never had the chance to paddle out there. My first heat actually had relatively ok waves however I had drawn 4 of the pro girls who all ended up being in the semi final or final of both the pro and amateur divison! I surfed as hard as I could and I came out happy with what I had put in to the heat however I just missed out on a spot in round 3. We were back at Access 11 the next morning for first light and with the tide being low there was nothing but close outs being available. We all struggled to find something surfable and I was gutted to loose a spot in the rest of the event by 0.25. I wasn’t happy with the result but after a few tears I was ready to move on and support everyone else left in the competition. As far as Ben’s experience in the competition went it was definitely one of massive ups and downs. He achieved so much, surfing incredibly well against the best loggers in the world but after an almighty screw up by the judges and officials he had his heart broken. After needing a 6.5 to get through into the final and taking the best wave of the heat he was told he was not going to get his place. He was gutted but came around to the idea that he was 5th and had beaten a number of big names to get there. That night his name appeared on the website and competitors board which stated he was in the final. Assuming that they had read the results out before his last score had dropped we went to check with the contest director to see if this was the case. The next morning his name was off the list and he was absolutely gutted. With no apology from the officials and little sympathy from any of them it was definitely a day that we all want to forget and instead we just want to make him realise what a MASSIVE achievement he has made taking 5th at the event. The highlights of the festival however were definitely surfing dogs and the fact that Sophie and I got to watch the tandem couples practicing one evening at the beach. It was absolutely incredible and mind-boggling. As far as the dogs go I have never seen such a huge crowd in one place, people were pushing to try and get a spot to watch them and every inch of the beach and rocks were covered with spectators. The dogs definitely put on an amazing show and I think I need to get myself a surfing pooch when I get home!

One good thing about the whole event has been that the crowds have seemed to reduce (oddly) and since the festival has ended the whole of Noosa seems much quieter. I’ve definitely been enjoying surfing here a lot more without such huge crowds and so many angry people and just the other day I was joined by turtles in the line up which really made me appreciate where I am right now. On finals day a new swell arrived which was the best that we have had since arriving 6 weeks ago. It was absolutely pumping and I was lucky to get some of the best waves of the trip, which has left me on a massive high. The other night I scored the longest wave of my life from boiling pot down to little cove beach (for those of you who don’t know noosa that’s a looong way!) I couldn’t believe I made it through and didn’t get dropped in on! I was smiling from ear to ear and I just hope I can get a few more of those before we leave. The swell was topped off with large tides, which meant that Tea Tree was breaking insanely good. It was peeling along the low tide sand bar and producing the most perfectly shaped waves. Awesome!

On Monday we all packed up the car and headed to Double Island Point again as Ben and Callum were leaving later in the week. Although the surf wasn’t quite as good as last time it was really quiet and it was nice to be able to spend the day sharing waves with good friends even if some of those ‘friends’ decided to put a MASSIVE huntsman in Connor’s car. Not amused!! After I was chased around the car by my ‘friends’ carrying ‘Harry the Huntsman’ I finally persuaded them to release him back into the bus and not let him move into the car for good. After a long day in the sun and a LOT of sunburnt faces and bodies, we all headed home surfed out and ready for a relaxing evening. It was so good to get away from the points for the day and I couldn’t have asked to spend the day with a better bunch of people.

I’ve got just under 10 days left in Noosa before I head off to Sydney then Margaret River. I’m hoping that we get some good surf to finish off the trip on a high and then I look forward to doing a few touristy bits in Sydney and spending time with family.







The last few weeks have definitely had their ups and downs in regards to the surf. We have had waves every day but the crowds have been unbearable most of the time. I have managed to score a couple of surfs at high tide or during midday when the crowds reduce a bit and this has definitely helped me keep my sanity! Sophie, Phoebe and myself managed to score some really nice waves on Friday at Little Cove. Everyone was sitting out waiting for the sets and we found ourselves a little spot on the inside where we could pick off the waves that everyone else fell off. It was definitely a bit sketchy though as people here ditch their boards all the time. I definitely was worried I was going to loose a chunk of my board or body at some point – luckily I managed to keep out of the way!


The swell of the decade was due to hit on Saturday & Sunday, which meant that every man, his dog, his uncle and his cousins twice removed, were out at Noosa. Although the swell wasn’t anywhere as big as expected it was manic. There were cars parked on every piece of road blocking the access into houses and down to the beach – the police had a field day ticketing and towing the cars! We surfed for 2 hours and both Ben and I only managed to catch one wave. It was so frustrating as it was some of the best surf I have ever seen yet it was unsurfable and there were a LOT of angry people because of this. I have never seen so many damaged boards in one area before after people were getting pushed into the rocks and crashing into each other – carnage!


We did manage to get a day of peace when we headed up to Double Island Point. We left the house at 5am with the 4×4 packed up with boards, food and water for the day. You hop on the ferry across the Noosa River, which takes under a minute and brings you out onto the track, which takes you up the beach to the point. It is a 45-minute drive along the beach with a stunning backdrop to take in – ocean on one side and huge sand dunes to the other. At the end of the beach it is just a quick hop through the bush track and you are greeted with stunning scenary and the most perfect waves I have ever seen. The wave looks as if it is being pumped out of a machine with every right-hander coming through perfectly and peeling down the beach. It was so quiet that you can just drive up and down the beach until you find the peak that you fancy surfing, park up and head in. We all had so many waves and were stoked by the end of the day. I think I had more waves in that one day than I have had the whole time I have been in Noosa. I am already excited about our next trip up there – I wish we could surf there every day!IMG_5031


It is under a week now until the festival and everyone is starting to arrive. There are some massive names in the event such as Harley Ingleby, Taylor Jenson and Josh Constable so it is going to be incredible to watch. I am looking forward to experiencing the festival both in and out of the water and we have entered the team event that kicks off on Sunday. It will hopefully be a good way of meeting some other people and lapping in the atmosphere of the festival. I am due to surf on Wednesday so hopefully I will be able to sneak in a few waves at Tea Tree or Nationals beforehand. The swell has dropped right off now and isn’t looking too hopeful for the rest of this week however the festival organisers are saying that there should be some swell pushing through for the event. Fingers crossed!




Dolphins, Rays & Turtles

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During the flat spell we had decided to hire a car for a couple of days at the start of the week so that we could go and explore further down the coast or have a few days out and about. We all made the decision to head to Australia Zoo on the Tuesday, as this was the day where there was the smallest amount of swell forecast. This was such an amazing day out. It is nice to see a place where everyone is so passionate about the animals and they all have a lot of space to roam and explore. I finally got to stroke a Koala and we also met a spikey friend called Fatty who is the strangest little thing that I have ever seen. There was a Wombat heading out for her afternoon walk as well as kangaroos that would come for a scratch. At mid day the zoo holds a animal presentation at the ‘Crocoseum’ and this was absolutely amazing. There was a demonstration with the huge croc called Moses and I have never ever heard anything like the sound of his jaw snapping shut. The keepers also released loads of amazing birds that would fly around the arena right around our heads. It was awesome! There is also a baby rhino at the park and it is amazing to see that their breeding program is a success.

Over the last week there has been much more swell around which has meant that we have been able to get 2 to 3 surfs in each day. There have been some lovely lady waves and I have managed to get a few waves at each of the points and I feel that I am slowly learning more about how each one works. Although it hasn’t been as big as was forecasted it has been a massive relief to finally get some solid days of surfing in before everyone arrives for the competition. It is so busy already and there is absolutely no etiquette out here so I am kind of dreading the influx of more people. It will be amazing to see the professionals surfing though and hopefully I can learn a lot from them. I can’t moan too much though as I managed a 5 hour surf yesterday (somehow without getting sunstroke) and also a day filled with waves today. We all packed up our bags with food, water and the cameras and headed on a family day out to Tea Tree. It was nice to be able to hop in and out of the water and take a break between under the trees. We did however have an incident where a thief unzipped my bag, took out my clothes and then ran off with the video camera – that thief was a bush turkey!

After so much rain and constant storms over the first couple of weeks we have been having some gorgeous weather meaning that the water is as clear as can be. We have shared the waves with shoals of colourful fish, playful dolphins and sea turtles – incredible! We’ve also bee lucky to see a pair of Manta Rays moving between Tea Tree and Boiling pot and see Koalas up in the trees. It is definitely paradise. There was a shark evacuation at the beach a couple of days ago (sorry mum!), which definitely gave me the heebie-jeebies. I found it crazy that no one got out the water at Nationals where I was surfing but I definitely kept my feet out of the water until the lifeguards gave the all clear – I don’t know how much it helped but I didn’t become shark bait! Between surfs we have been enjoying the beach and pool, exploring Noosa and enjoying all of the ice cream on offer!

There is an easterly cyclone swell expected at the end of the week so we are all hoping that it will result in more size on the points as the SE swells haven’t quite managed to make it all the way in over the last week or two. Fingers crossed!


Waves, Waves, Waves


It had been a frustrating week with no surf on the points and very little surf on the horizon. Each morning we had eagerly headed down to the national park in hope of some swell showing but we kept getting disappointed. We made the most of our time however, exploring the area and going on day trips. We spent a day at the Wet ’n’ Wild Waterpark (where the Inbetweeners was filmed), riding huge waterslides, floating down the lazy river and being dropped out of a tube onto a super fast slide. It was an awesome day and we scored it on a quiet day due to the rain (yes the rain is STILL here!) It was so much fun and we were all pooped by the end of the day after riding so many slides. A rainy day is definitely the best option as it means no queuing and more time riding!

We also spent a lot of time exploring the national park and the local Noosa area. On the first Saturday we headed to Emundi where there is a huge local market, which has hundreds of stalls where you can pick up local gifts and produce and taste gorgeous fresh food. It is so vast and is on every Wednesday and Saturday so it is definitely somewhere we need to revisit.

A few of us headed out to Boiling Pot where there are a few rock jumps and a mermaid pool with a blowhole that fills and drains with the swell. It was fun to get in the water and cool down even though there was still minimal swell around.

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We were lucky that Tom had a car so we did try to hunt for waves on a few occasions but didn’t manage to score much. We had a little surf at A-Bay and also managed to get a few waves at Sunrise but there was not much to write home about! We headed to the groins at Noosa on Saturday and after a pretty average surf all round the morning (nearly) ended in disaster. The boys were loading the boards onto the roof and decided to go and check out their hair (as they do), before strapping them down. The next thing I saw was a HUGE gust of wind life Ben’s and Connor’s brand new single fins into the air, spin them round and then plant them straight into the tarmac carpark, banging into another parked car on route. It was sickening to watch and I have never seen two boys so close to tears! Luckily they both got off relatively well; by that I mean Connor’s glassed in fin wasn’t snapped and the boards were in one piece, be it with a number of big holes and cracks on both boards. After a few minutes silence we quietly strapped the boards onto the roof and returned home in a somber mood. Lesson of the day – tie the boards on and then do your hair! Luckily on closer inspection the boards weren’t as bad as first expected and they managed to patch them up ready for the swell to arrive.


Sunday started with everyone in a much better mood knowing that there was the real hope of swell. We all headed out in the morning to surf Tea Tree and it was so great to be back on some small clean waves with a relatively small crowd. After a good session we headed back to grab some food and rest before heading out again for a marathon surf. Tea Tree was still pretty small and there were a number of fins lost and numerous occasions where people bottomed out their board on the rocks. I nearly hit the bottom on a couple of occasions and all I could think about was trying to save my pretty flamingo board! As the Sunday crowd filled in at Tea Tree we made the decision to walk round to Granites to see whether the swell had made it in there. We got lucky as there were only a few other people out and the waves were overhead on the sets. As the swell was coming from the South much of the swell was missing the main points but Granites seemed to be at just the right angle to pick off this southerly swell. We ended our day completely surfed out with smiles from ear to ear and a feeling of satisfaction that we had not felt in a while.

Yesterday we go super lucky scoring some extremely fun waves at both Tea Tree and Granites. My friend Becky had come to visit for the day so we all headed to the beach with the cameras, snacks and our boards ready for an afternoon of waves. After a quick surf at busy Tea Tree we decided to head round to Granites where we scored much bigger waves with way fewer people. After a fun surf on the point (albeit with a few angry old locals as always) we headed to the inside where we found our own perfectly peaky right hander which we kept all to ourselves. I had some of the best waves of the trip and we had loads of fun taking it in turn to take a wave. We all definitely had a case of noodle arms by the end of the day and after the 40 minute walk back home we were all pooped and ready for the big Fajita dinner that we cooked up. We ended the evening with our slap up meal and a few cold drinks with great friends and great memories of an awesome day!

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“Mustache: The hair growing on the human upper lip especially such hair grown and often trimmed in a particular style”

We have arrived in Noosa, and so have the Moo-Staches (otherwise known as mustaches!). Long hair, tattoos, short shorts and a moo-stache is definitely the look in Noosa and I am even debating growing one to fit in. The Hipster trend has most definitely landed and I really can’t get my head around it!


We arrived in Noosa a week ago and were greeted with paradise. The water was crystal clear and small waves rolled into little cove backed by the national park. Ben, Soph and I headed up to our house above Little Cove and checked out the lush pad that we would be calling home for the next two months. Being a short walk to the entrance of the national park and the town makes it the perfect spot to enjoy all that Noosa has to offer.

We headed off to pick up our new longboards from Classic Malibu and I was stoked with how stunning my single fin was. Perfect pink with gorgeous flamingo fabric on the bottom – amazing!

As soon as we were back from picking up the boards we finned up and headed in. It was still the summer holidays and Australia Day was the next day so the surf was insanely busy. I managed to pick off a few fun ones though and it was fun getting whoops from the local girls in the water. I’ve met some lovely girls so far and it is always nice to see some smiling faces when you paddle out.

We scored some really fun waves over the first few days getting at least 3 surfs in each day. My arms were definitely like noodles but I was grinning from ear to ear! Sophie, Connor and Josh arrived on the Wednesday so the house was full and it was nice to have other friends to surf with. We all made the most of the area exploring to get our bearings and enjoying a great meal at the surf club which included Tom Major having to Sing Taylor Swift’s 22 on the Karaoke machine after loosing a bet that Soph couldn’t finish all of the chips (it was a LOT of chips!) I don’t think I have ever laughed so hard!

On Thursday the storms came! I have never ever seen rain like it in my whole life. The heavens seemed to have split open and released a torrent of water, thunder that shook the windows and huge strobes of lightening! Sophie, Connor, Josh and I had decided to go for a walk through the national park to see if there was a bit more surf at granites as the swell had dropped off. We ended up getting caught in a MASSIVE thunder and lightening storm which was incredible to watch if not a bit scary as it was moving towards us so rapidly. We managed to get up to the house just in time as it seemed as if the storm was sat right above us. We did see a Koala on route though so that has made getting soaked in the storm completely and utterly worthwhile – he/she was SO cute and so close!

The storm stuck around for a few days and after walking to A-Bay to try to find some waves we were baffled that the surf could go so small (flat) when there is such unsettled weather. In the UK it is normally the opposite way round with storms resulting in a big swell pushing through.

We have definitely been rained out but at least it is warm, we are in paradise and there is some sign of swell on the horizon (fingers crossed). If not we have plans to head on a camping trip to double island point, check out Australia Zoo and drive down to a huge water park, which will definitely keep us occupied for a few days. So far so good!

The Final Stretch


We spent our last few days in Mount Manganui and Papamoa, spending time with some friends who showed us the ropes and gave us the local knowledge we needed to find some amazing waves. We headed up to Whanghamata Bar, which was about an hour and a half drive north. We absolutely scored it and although it was only about shoulder to head high it was peeling perfectly from the estuary across the bay with only a few friendly people out – something that we heard doesn’t happen often! The next day we headed to Papamoa beach where it was pumping -solid 6 foot and glassy. I definitely freaked on a couple of occasions before managing to catch two set waves to the beach and heading back to the beach stoked and happy I was in one piece! We drove slightly south to check out Mokatu beach where there is a right hand point break. Unfortunately the wind had really picked up but it was a gorgeous beach and estuary and the Fish & Chips were worth the drive! We spent the evening at Dinner on the domain, which is a weekly food festival in the park by the beach. It was so busy and also included a petting zoo, pony rides, music and a range of cooking demos. The food was amazing and there were so many choices from Japanese cuisine to Mexican, Health foods to wood fired pizza. It was brilliant and I wish we could have events like that in the UK; it’s a shame that our weather is so changeable.

We decided to spend one of the days in Roturua so after a morning surf we made the hour drive across to the eggy smelling town. We stopped off at huge waterfalls and then explored the amazing lakes of Trawera and The Blue & Green lakes before heading to Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. I don’t think I can even describe how amazing this place is. There are bubbling mud pools, yellow sulphur crusted caves and huge pools in every colour of the rainbow all skirted by huge pine forests. The photos don’t even do the place justice; it is incredible! Go there is you are ever in Roturua – it is worth way more than the $32 entry fee! I’m so glad we made the effort to go there as often it is so easy to not bother if the surf is good.


Our final day for me was the best day of surf, possibly of the whole trip. We had free camped at the beach and woke up to more pumping swell. I couldn’t face another big paddle out so our friend Cole who is a photographer suggested we drove down the beach a little way to a quieter spot. The further south you go the smaller it gets and we found a perfect 3-4 foot glassy peak with no one in so we headed in. In Papamoa and a number of spots in New Zealand people actually call friends to try and find someone to surf with – it’s crazy and so different to the UK! The waves were so fun and consistent. They walled up perfectly then went really bowly on the inside. I am still stoked and smiling from that surf and don’t think I will forget it! It was amazing to get such a good surf in before heading to Auckland for the last day.

We left Papamoa in the afternoon, absolutely surfed out. After dropping the van off we checked in to our hotel and had a mooch around the city. We found a festival under the famous Sky Tower where there was food and amazing music. We headed up the Sky Tower at sunset to check out the views that were absolutely incredible. Definitely a must see in Auckland and it is so worth paying an extra $4 to get double entry; once in the day and once at night as the views are so different. With one day left in Auckland we enjoyed a day around the city, finding an amazing busker and hidden spots away from the tourist buzz.

New Zealand has been absolutely amazing. The country is breathtaking and so diverse. Each day it took my breath away and I feel so fortunate to have been able to experience so many amazing places. The memories from this trip will stay with me forever and I look forward to visiting New Zealand again soon. Next stop, Noosa!


Here, There and Everywhere

IMG_3110I feel like we have covered miles and miles over the past few days. On our final night in Taranaki we headed out to the Festival of Lights in New Plymouth which was absolutely amazing. They fill the Pukekura Park with light displays including illuminated waterfalls, giant floating luminescent balls on the lake and glitter globes to name a few. The festival is free for everyone and runs from the middle of December to the end of January each evening with live music from 8:30pm. We were stoked that the lady in the campsite had told us about this as it was one of my highlights of the trip – absolutely stunning and an amazing vibe!

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We left Taranaki the next morning after a surf check provided us with little excitement so we made the decision to head back to Raglan for a couple of days. Luckily the tides were right for the 3 sisters beach on route, so we stopped off and took in the sights. It is such a stunning beach with amazing walk through caves, crystal water and interesting rock arrangements. I am so glad that I got to see it!


After arriving in Raglan to small surf on the points we headed to the beach for fun surf (and wash off from the hot journey!). The next day was  spent mooching around Raglan town, enjoying the small but fun waves and planning our next move. After checking the reports the decision was made to head to the Coromandel to visit Hot Water Beach and Cathedral cove.

It was an early start but gosh it was worth it. We reached Hot water Beach and checked in to the local campsite so that we could re-stock the van and have a shower. After a swim and a bit of sun time we headed back for some food whilst we waited for the tide to drop out so that we could go and experience the ‘Hot Water’. When we first arrived at the beach we didn’t quite get what everyone was so excited about but as all we could find were cold patches. After heading into the back of locals and tourists sitting in freshly dug pools we quickly found the ‘hot spots’ – bingo! It was insane how hot the water actually is and it is amazing to think that this water is being heated from the lava deep underground. It is definitely another place to tick off the list of awesome experiences not to be missed! We set the alarms for an early start to get to Cathedral Bay before the hoards of tourist buses arrive. This was definitely the best decision we made as we had the beach almost to ourselves. It is one of the most incredible places I have ever been. The massive Cathedral Cave opens up into a second bay with amazing rock stacks, azure waters and white fluffy sand. You can swim out to caves which have beaches inside and play in the shore-break -idyllic! We stayed for a good few hours before walking back with stop offs at Stingray and Gemstone Bay. We passed so many people on route so were just glad that we had a bit of paradise to ourselves before they all arrived!


The next day we slowly drove down the coast from the Coromandel, stopping off at beach towns along the way to check out the sites. Our first night was spent at a campsite near Mount Manganui, which is famous for it’s mountain at the end of the bay known by locals as ‘Mauao’ or ‘The Mount’. It sits 232m above sea level and has amazing views across Pilot Bay, Tauranga and Moturiki Island when you walk up to it’s summit (a very sweaty walk !). The area is absolutely stunning and the long white sand beach is backed by gorgeous homes with incredible views. A storm was due to come in so we were lucky to get up and down The Mount before it hit although we did spend the night listening to the battering rain on the van roof hoping we would get a bit of sleep!


We are now in Papamoa staying with friends and enjoying the local knowledge of the best places to surf, eat and enjoy the scenery. It has been incredible to be in a proper bed and have space to stretch out! With only a few days left we are making sure we make the most of each day, filling it with more exciting activities to take home as great memories.