Today it’s been a year since I arrived in Australia. In fact, yesterday marked the day that my visa expired and would have had to leave the country. If I was still using that same visa that is. Which I’m not. Yes, I have a so-called 457 or Temporary Business Entry (Class UC) Work (Skilled) (Subclass 457) visa now for Australia. Regardless of the strange bureaucratic behaviour of using a crazy name and then only focusing on the number, this means that I (and Kelsey as she was the secondary applicant on it) can stay here for 4 years as long as there is a company sponsoring me.
It’s been a long time since I’ve updated this blog, and I’ve decided to jump forward to the present time. I’ll post about all the earlier happenings as well, but for now I suspect it’s more interesting to know what I’m up to at the moment. So, without further ado, here’s a short post about Tasmania. Tasmania Map of Tasmania For the past 7 months we (Kelsey and myself) have mostly spent our time in Melbourne.
Viti Levu This Saturday, June 30, I’ll take a plane to the Cook Islands, where I’ll spent almost two weeks enjoying the sun, after which I’ll take a flight out to Fiji. Everything I’ve read about these lovely places indicates that it will be very expensive to make phone calls or use the internet on the islands there, so I have no intention of doing either. Instead, I’ll just enjoy the sun, the beaches, the ocean, and generally the whole not doing anything except enjoying myself.
After Kaikoura I went to pick up Kelsey again. She had spent her time at a farm in the southern part of the island, doing some work there. I stayed with her there during her last two days, pretty much watching other people do work and realizing I really didn’t want to do any work on a farm. It’s not even the work that bothered me, but you had to get up so early… Our plan was to go to the North Island after this, and that’s what we were going to do.
One of those things you’re supposed to do when visiting New Zealand is to go whale watching. Of course, you don’t have to, but it is an interesting experience nonetheless and the best place to do it is Kaikoura. So, that was my next stop after Abel Tasman. I didn’t go alone either, as Laura decided to come along before she was going to visit the North Island. Jeroen decided to go there immediately, so it was just the two of us.
As explained in my post about the glaciers, I met a couple of people there who were willing to join me in doing the Abel Tasman coastal track. So, after we had finished doing what we wanted to do at the glaciers, Jeroen, Laura, and I got into my car and drove North. Pancake rocks at Punakaiki For the first part of the trip however, the weather from the glaciers seemed to have followed us and we spent that time in the rain.
19-01-2012 until 21-01-2012 So, let’s talk about glaciers. On the South Island the two most famous and accessible glaciers are the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers. As I already had my car and they are located about 20 km from each other it was easy to visit both before I made up my mind about which one I was actually going to visit. Yes, unfortunately this was an I as Kelsey was not with me for this part of my trip.
The Catlins are an area stretching pretty much between Dunedin and Invercargill, and is supposed to be one of the most beautiful areas to travel through in New Zealand. Of course, by now I’ve come to suspect that pretty much every area in the country is described as that, and it’s hard to say if those claims are true because it’s all very nice. Anyway, the Catlins are best travelled by car as that gives you the time to stop where you want and just take your time admiring the scenery without being on a specific schedule.
In the beginning of January Kelsey and I ended up in Greymouth, a small city on the west coast of the South Island. Actually, we came here on purpose as we wanted to go Christchurch as that was the place where I wanted to look for (and ended up buying) a car. So, why go to the other side of the country for that? TranzAlpine Express route The answer is pretty simple actually.
Well, as promised, the first post detailing some of the things I’ve done in the last couple of months. First up, all the stuff my mom didn’t want to know about in advance. Bungy Jump Bungy Jump Kawarua Bridge Bungy jumping was an interesting experience. I did it from the Kawarau bridge near Queenstown which was the first commercial bungy jumping place in the world. Strangely enough I wasn’t really nervous about doing it until I was actually on the ledge and looking down.