Phillip Island part two: The Nobbies | photos

AS PART of my trip to Phillip Island a few weeks ago, we took a headed out to The Nobbies.
The coastal area is at the western tip of the island and showcases some magnificent views.
It’s also an important breeding area for many species of birds and, out to sea, there is a rocky outcrop called Seal Rocks, which is a breeding and nursery area for Australia’s biggest fur seal colony, which is estimated to have more than 10,000 members!

The Nobbies, Phillip Island, Melbourne, Victoria | Extraordinary Days

Breathtaking!

The area was absolutely beautiful and the day ended up being quite warm despite the cool sea breeze. I really can’t get over the colours of the mosses and grasses that cover the rocks!
The walkways were really well-maintained and it was lovely to stroll around.

The Nobbies, Phillip Island, Melbourne, Victoria | Extraordinary Days

The Nobbies, Phillip Island, Melbourne, Victoria | Extraordinary Days

The Nobbies, Phillip Island, Melbourne, Victoria | Extraordinary Days

The Nobbies, Phillip Island, Melbourne, Victoria | Extraordinary Days

The Nobbies, Phillip Island, Melbourne, Victoria | Extraordinary Days

The Nobbies, Phillip Island, Melbourne, Victoria | Extraordinary Days

The Nobbies, Phillip Island, Melbourne, Victoria | Extraordinary Days

My lovely tour guides, Justin and Kelsey!

I really want to head back to Phillip Island one day and take this all in again.

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Koalas and mazes on Phillip Island | photos

LAST weekend I was lucky enough to be in Melbourne for the second time so far this year!
My friends Kelsey and Justin live there and they always show me a good time.
This trip was no exception, with a day trip to beautiful Phillip Island!
The island is best known for its adorable animal inhabitants: penguins, koalas and seals.

Travel to Phillip Island, Victoria | Extraordinary Days

Look at that cute face!

Every evening, thousands of Little Penguins cross the beach to return to their burrows on land after a long day in the sea spent searching for food.
The island is home a colony of more than 32,000 of the tiny creatures!
Unfortunately we didn’t have time to stay until after sunset to watch them come in but I will definitely make sure to do this next time!
We arrived at the island earlier in the day after about a two-hour drive from Melbourne and checked out A Maze ‘N Things – a sort of theme park.
The centre had awesome optical illusions, puzzles, mini golf and yes, as you could probably guess from the name, a giant maze.

Travel to Phillip Island, Victoria | Extraordinary Days

The man is not the size you think he is.

Travel to Phillip Island, Victoria | Extraordinary Days

Spooooooky!

This only shows a small section of the maze!

This only shows a small section of the maze!

Next stop was the Koala Sanctuary!
I know a lot of nature places say you’ll get ‘up close and personal’ with the animals but this was really true for this spot.
We came across one koala, high up in a tree, growling louder than I would have ever thought possible from such a lazy animal.
At one point we were almost within touching distance of their fluffy, fluffy fur!
They’re just really relaxed animals and I love how much work this centre puts into teaching people about them and preserving their species.


Travel to Phillip Island, Victoria | Extraordinary Days

Travel to Phillip Island, Victoria | Extraordinary Days

Travel to Phillip Island, Victoria | Extraordinary Days

Travel to Phillip Island, Victoria | Extraordinary Days

Travel to Phillip Island, Victoria | Extraordinary Days

Travel to Phillip Island, Victoria | Extraordinary Days

Travel to Phillip Island, Victoria | Extraordinary Days

Travel to Phillip Island, Victoria | Extraordinary Days

Travel to Phillip Island, Victoria | Extraordinary Days

This one was too tired to even climb up into a tree!

All in all it was an incredible day!
I hope I can get back there one day soon and see the penguins cross the beach!
Did you catch my travel diary from my previous trip? Check it out here.

Travel tips | Seven essential items for your hand luggage

TODAY felt like a fitting time to post this as I’m headed to the airport again!
I never expected to be heading back to Melbourne so soon (I was only there last month!) but my lovely friend Catherine had flights she bought in a sale last year but wasn’t able to get the time off work. So I’m going in her place! (Talk about blessed?!)
I’ve been lucky enough to have done a lot of travelling over the last few years so I’ve gotten pretty used to packing and knowing what I’ll need on a flight.
Without further ado, and in no particular order, let’s get into the list:

Travel tips | Seven essential items for your carry-on luggage | Extraordinary Days

All packed and ready to go!

Your electronic devices:
This one is kind of a given but you’d be surprised at the amount of time I’ve heard people say their phone/iPad/music player is almost out of battery just before they board.
Not every plane is equipped with those fancy TV screens in the back if the seat so you’re in for a boring flight if that’s what you were relying on to keep you entertained!
Also, it has to be said: don’t forget your headphones! Unless you want to shell out for a crappy pair at the airport, that is.

A good book or some magazines (or both!):
Perfect for when you’re trying to conserve the battery in your devices if you’ve got a long haul ahead of you or when you just can’t look at a screen any more.
Magazines are easy to digest between naps or in-flight meals and an interesting book can help you while away the hours.

Travel tips | Seven essential items for your carry-on luggage | Extraordinary Days

A good book or a magazine can make any flight go faster.

Something to hold all of your important documents in:
Itineraries, boarding passes, hotel bookings, passports – all of these are way too important to have float around at the bottom of your handbag.
I like keeping everything important in one place and this Typo documents folder that my lovely friend Amy gave me before my Europe trip last year fits the bill perfectly.
There are slots for everything and the whole thing zips up so nothing will fall out.

Travel tips | Seven essential items for your carry-on luggage | Extraordinary Days

A documents folder will help you stay organised.

A notebook:
Need some quiet time to get your ideas in order? A flight is the perfect place to do it.
You won’t be distracted by the internet (if your flight doesn’t have it) and as long as you can drown out the child crying three seats ahead with some music, you’re in for some quality thinking time.
This can even be as simple of a list of the things you want/need to get done on your trip, or in my case, more blog post ideas. (I never stop planning!)
Make sure you’ve got more than one pen, though.

Extra interesting things to do:
People may give you funny looks, but a colouring in book is an amazing way to while away the hours!
I like taking a crossword book too but I can neither confirm nor deny that I look at the answers to finish off the last few tricky spots.
Snacks can also help while away the hours. You’re probably going to be looking at the clock a lot less if your stomach isn’t rumbling.

Any camera film:
It’s recommended that you always take film in your hand luggage because the strong x-ray machines at the airport that scan your luggage can damage it.
I’ve read that many professional photographers don’t even let their carry-on luggage go through the scanners at security checkpoints, but instead request for their bags to be checked by hand.
This is probably not something you have to worry about if you’re not carrying a lot of expensive film, though.
My Instax Mini and the film for it are the first things I put into my hand luggage so I don’t forget!

Any toiletries or medicine you can’t go without:
My golden rule for travelling is not to put anything in your luggage that you can’t live without.
(My boyfriend found this out the hard way when we landed in Venice last year! It took two days for them to deliver his bag.)
I wear contact lenses so I always carry a small bottle of fluid and a case so I can take them out if my eyes get tired.
An eye mask is always handy if you know you’re going to want to sleep.
Hand cream, a lip balm, Panadol, motion sickness tablets, ear plugs and sleeping tablets are all in my hand luggage too.
And please, for the love of god, bring some tissues and don’t keep sniffing! It will make me want to murder you. I will embarrass you by handing you a tissue and asking you to stop.

I have just double checked my own hand luggage for all of these things, so it’s time to finish off my packing and head to the airport!
What are your essential items that you can’t fly without? Let me know in the comments!

 

A trip to Lake Clifton | photos

A WHILE ago I took a drive out to Lake Clifton to see the thrombolites.
These ‘living rocks’ only exist in a few places and can be thousands of years old.

Lake Clifton thrombolites Western Australia | Extraordinary Days

The thrombolites are made up of calcium carbonate structure and a thin film of bacteria on the top and they’re extremely delicate, as well as rare and critically endangered.

Luckily, there are lots of signs to tell visitors just how much damage can be done if they touch the thrombolites.

When I visited a few months ago, the water levels in the lake were still too high and the thrombolites were submerged, but I was lucky enough to be able to see them through the relatively clear water.

I’ve read that late summer and autumn are the best times to visit because the water is low enough that the thrombolites stick out of the water so I’ll have to make another visit soon.

Lake Clifton thrombolites Western Australia | Extraordinary Days

Lake Clifton thrombolites Western Australia | Extraordinary Days

Lake Clifton thrombolites Western Australia | Extraordinary Days

Lake Clifton thrombolites Western Australia | Extraordinary Days

Lake Clifton thrombolites Western Australia | Extraordinary Days

It was an incredible afternoon!
I only had a short amount of time before it got too dark but the sunset, alth0ugh it was cloudy, was beautiful.
I’m really enjoying exploring in my own state more, just like when I went to Fremantle a few weeks ago.
Keep an eye out for more of my local adventures  in the future!

A wonderful trip to Melbourne | photos

I’VE just got back from a few amazing days in Melbourne!
One of my lovely friends Kelsey moved there a few years ago and since her wedding is fast approaching and I’m one of the bridesmaids, I headed over with our friend Lisha to help her begin looking for wedding dresses.
It was a jam-packed few days but I would do it again in a heartbeat!
Today I wanted to share some of my photos with you and take a look back at this trip.

Melbourne holiday | Extraordinary Days

Oh Melbourne!

Melbourne holiday | Extraordinary Days

This is a good way to fly. An incredible magazine, too.

Plane views over the clouds | Extraordinary Days

I love getting the window seat.

Holographic handbag and black floral dress | Extraordinary Days

I love holographic bags.

Melbourne holiday | Extraordinary Days

It’s not Melbourne without a funky cocktail bar – this was at Cabinet in the CBD.

Melbourne holiday | Extraordinary Days

A sequin skirt and sandals for a busy day of shopping!

Melbourne holiday | Extraordinary Days

I love dessert!

Melbourne holiday | Extraordinary Days

Arthur’s Seat views. Breathtaking!

Melbourne holiday | Extraordinary Days

The beautiful restaurant at Arthur’s seat.

Melbourne holiday | Extraordinary Days

I was asked if I was a make up artist when I bought all of this! Needless to say I was VERY flattered.

Melbourne holiday | Extraordinary Days

Out for breakfast!

Melbourne holiday | Extraordinary Days

I love a big breakfast.

Melbourne holiday | Extraordinary Days

The Tea Salon in Emporium. This place is just adorable!

Melbourne holiday | Extraordinary Days

Cakes at The Tea Salon.

Melbourne holiday | Extraordinary Days

Luxurious ice tea from The Tea Salon.

Melbourne holiday | Extraordinary Days

Beautiful!

Melbourne holiday | Extraordinary Days

I love these ladies!

Melbourne holiday | Extraordinary Days

MY FAVOURITE PLACE.

Melbourne holiday - black sneaker heels | Extraordinary Days

I wore these new babies on the plane and felt pretty cool.

Melbourne holiday | Extraordinary Days

I kept busy on the flight home with A Beautiful Mess’ blogging course and Firefly.

Melbourne holiday | Extraordinary Days

Sort of caught the sunset.

I had such a good time! The wedding dress shopping was successful and we got our bridesmaid’s dresses sorted.
We also took a trip out to the Peninsula Hot Springs – this was an absolutely incredible experience and deserves a post of its own – so stay tuned for that.
If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen I bought an incredible handbag while I was away… but this also deserves a post all to itself! It’ll be up as a bonus post this week.
And best of all I got to spend lots of quality time with two of my favourite friends, who always know how to have a good time.
Every time I visit this city I just want to pack my bags and move over there. Maybe I will, one day.

Have you ever been to Melbourne? What did you think?

 

Ten things to make your trip to Paris unforgettable

I’VE been thinking a lot about Paris lately so I wanted to share some of the amazing things to do there, some photos and some tips!
It doesn’t matter if you’re only staying a few days or a few weeks – this list will help you check off the best things to do in this city.
In no particular order, here are my top things to do in the city of love.

Paris | Extraordinary Days

Paris.

Get lost in the Louvre:
Although this is on most people’s list for Paris but it is possible to get away from the crowds in this massive complex.
When my boyfriend and I visited last June we ended up finding a beautiful quiet wing, which was infinitely better than pushing and shoving our way to see the Mona Lisa with the rest of the world.
This was mostly because we wandered in the wrong direction but it made for a perfect afternoon.
Make sure to book your tickets in advance though, especially during the height of the tourist season or you’ll be in for a long wait in the sun.

The Louvre | Extraordinary Days

Beautiful.

The Lourve | Extraordinary Days

The Louvre.

Walk as much as you can:
One of the best ways to see a city is to walk through it and Paris is no different.
Make sure to take a stroll along the Seine and look at the tiny book stalls that line the banks.
There’s something magical about walking along the river in the heart of Paris, especially in the evening.

Paris | Extraordinary Days

So many little streets to explore!

Pick a random place to eat:
I’ll say this for most of Europe – rather than agonising about where to eat, just pick the first decent place you see.
In my experience (especially in Paris), the food will be great and it’s more of an adventure.

Paris | Extraordinary Days

A beautiful place to be at night, too.

Go on a river cruise:
One of the best ways to see this beautiful city is from the water.
Many hour-long cruises leave from the port opposite the Eiffel Tower (don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about the city’s biggest attraction!) and have audio guides available in a range of languages.
This is a great way to learn more about the city’s rich history, it’s many bridges and some of its most important buildings and areas.

Paris | Extraordinary Days

The Seine!

Walk along the Champs Élysées:
This beautiful tree-lined streets gets about 50,000 visitors every day and it’s easy to see why.
All of the world’s biggest fashion brands have a spot there and there are plenty of more minor stores too.
With the Place de la Concorde at one end, you can great a great view of the Arc de Triomphe as you walk along this world-famous avenue.

Champs-Élysées Paris | Extraordinary Days

The Champs-Élysées is a busy street!

Climb the steps at Sacré-Cœur:
This one is not for the faint of heart!
Situated in Montmartre at the city’s highest point, this basilica makes for an amazing panoramic view across the whole of Paris.
Climbing the 270 steps up to it is not for everyone, so there is a funicular car for those who don’t feel up to the challenge.
Once at the top the interior of the basilica is open to the public, include the dome at the very top. (I’ve never been inside but it’s on my list!)

Sacré-Cœur, Paris | Extraordinary Days

Sacré-Cœur.

Go to Shakespeare and Company bookstore:
This tiny bookstore is almost hidden in a small street near the Notre Dame cathedral but it’s well worth seeking out.
Booklovers need to go here!
The shelves are packed full of a wide range of books and upstairs there is a reading area, perfect to while away some time in.
On the day I went with Michael there was a man playing something beautiful on a piano as a breeze came in through the open window – I actually thought I was in heaven.
If you’re buying a book don’t forget to ask for the attendant to stamp it with the Shakespeare and Company stamp before you leave.

Paris | Extraordinary Days

Book lover heaven!

Go to the Pont des Arts (love lock bridge):
It’s a well-known tradition for people to visit this famous bridge, attach a lock and throw their key into the river (ensuring good luck and that their love will last).
However, in recent years the Parisian government has tried to make people aware that this tradition is also slowly destroying the bridge, as it cannot cope with the weight of thousands upon thousands of metal padlocks.
Just before I visited last June a section of the fencing along the bridge collapsed and fell into the river below because of the weight.
While that did mean there was a nice empty panel for Michael and I to put a lock on to when we arrived, I would think twice about this if I visited again because at the end of the day, I don’t want the city to take stronger measures to protect part of its history and take all of the locks away because the bridge is on the verge of collapse.
(As it was, when Mike and I were leaving the area we saw council workers with a ute tray FULL of locks pull up, ready to cut away bicycle chains full of locks that had been fastened to the bridge.)

Paris | Extraordinary Days

This section was quickly filled!

Take a day trip to the Palace of Versailles:
This is for those on a longer stay in this city and it was well worth a visit.
While our tour tickets cost about $100 Australian each, we got to travel from Paris in an airconditioned coach and have a guided tour throughout the palace and grounds.
A guided tour is something I’d definitely recommend as the guides know exactly what to point out in each room and the most important and entertaining information to give you.
I can only imagine what it would have been like in its prime!
As it was peak tourist season it was packed with people so anyone who is claustrophobic may want to give this a miss, or come at a quieter time of year.

Paris | Extraordinary Days

Gates at Versailles

And last but not least, visit the Eiffel Tower.
This was a given and I’d be surprised to see a list of things to do in Paris that didn’t feature it.
This monument is truly worth a visit and if you don’t want to wait in line to climb up into it, spending time around the base is just as lovely.

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Take me back!

I really hope you’ve enjoyed this list — I enjoyed writing it!
I can’t wait to book another trip back to this amazing city one day.

Do you have any things on your Parisian bucket list? Or something I haven’t mentioned here? Let me know in the comments!

Bali is beautiful | photos

LAST weekend I took a whirlwind trip to Bali with my family to celebrate mum’s 60th birthday.
I could only stay for three days but it was good to be back, even just for a short while.
These shots were taken around the grounds of the amazing hotel we stayed at – the Patra Jasa in Tuban, near Kuta and the airport.
It had stormed the night before so everything was wet but the weather was still extremely hot and humid.

Bali Indonesia palm trees
Bali 2
Bali 3
Bali Indonesia beach
Bali Indonesia
Bali 4
Bali 6
Bali 9
DSC_3673
If you’ve never been, I hope these photos inspire you to make the trip! (Or someone equally as tropical.)
I want to organise another trip to go back already!

PS: Did you catch the post with my outfit for the plane? See it here.