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Travel Tales from a Land Down Unda’ – Part III

Travel Tales from a Land Down Unda’ – Part III

This week on Travel Tales we bring you four short stories about travels and life in Australia. First comes from Jon-Leo, a young Norwegian who studied abroad in Brisbane. Second is Didier’s French style Australian adventure! Third is a great write up by Lawrie Shaban on a quick jaunt in the Outback. …and lastly an incredible account of a unique Canadian travellers experience on Kangaroo Island in South Australia (where I’m hoping to be going with a win as Wildlife Caretaker)!!

So have a look and share, share, share. Australia has so much to offer as a destination for the intrepid traveller and truly these testimonials speak for themselves. Another set of awesome accounts from days past and life long memories forged.


Jon-Leo – Norwegian who lived in Brisbane on a semester abroad program

Going to Brisbane for a semester abroad was one of the most fun and life-changing decisions I ever made. In addition to what I was taught at QUT, Australia taught me to enjoy life, to live fully and best of all, make lemonade. Among all the incredible experiences i had during my five months living in Queensland, either my 3 day live aboard dive trip on the Great Barrier Reef or my week long climbing trip with fellow students in the Bluies stands out as the best one.

Rocking up in Scubapro III made most of us a bit seasick, but after a few hours and the promise of diving at one of the world’s best dive sites the excitement quickly over manned the seasickness. The next few days would consist of diving, eating sleeping and diving some more. Eleven dives later we had seen giant turtles, reef sharks, clown fish, girls in bikinis, played with light sticks, finished our advanced course, swum through arches, sunbathed and had some beers, all in the scope of about 60 hours. The Prodive crew left us at the dock with sealegs, a sun burn and a slim wallet but also some of the best memories we will ever have…. priceless!

Just as the Great Barrier Reef is every divers dream mecca, so are the Blue mountains for climbers. Super grippy limestone offered us endless opportunities to challenge ourselves and each other for as long as we wanted without having to do the same route twice. The only limitations were the skin on me and my fellow climber’s fingers and our forearm stamina. Evening cooking at the cabin gave all of us a taste of everyone else’s culture (and varying kitchen skills). I was happy to see that everyone enjoyed my Norwegian “meat cakes”.

These, among many others, are the experiences that have given Australia a special place in my heart and left an enduring wish to return someday.



Didier Dang Ngoc Chan – French Traveller in Australia

For a French guy, going Down Under is quite a big adventure: from Europe the flight time is over 27 hours… but as soon as you jump into the Quantas airplane, you know that everything is going to be alright. A nice cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows before a long sleep, I never had that before up in the air… Great!

… As you soon as you land, you notice that everything is upside down: Easter is in Autumn, the stars in the sky are totally unknown, and people buy a winter sweater in May, that’s how you properly start an incredible journey full of unforgettable experiences. Meeting kangaroos on a football field, seeing jumping crocs on a boat trip, discovering a thorny dragon in the middle of nowhere, swimming with a giant turtle in the ocean, almost adopting a tiny joey… Terrified of heights, I had the time of my life skydiving over Wollongong: 14,000ft over the sea level, that is the real spirit!

Incredible landscapes, friendly people, yummy wines and foods (and it comes from a French guy, so this is nothing but the truth!), I’m more than ready to come back again! Thers’ nothing like Australia!!



Lauwrie Shaban – 19 year old solo British traveller

My favourite part of Australia was the 3 day “Rock the Centre” tour of the Outback. This is due to it including one of, if not, the most iconic image of Australia, Uluru (Ayers Rock).

Within this 3 day tour the 2nd day was my favourite despite the 04:30 start. I rolled out of my swag under one of the most impressive night skies I’ve ever seen, got breakfast, packed up camp and headed for Kings Canyon. We started our 7km exploration with a climb up heart attack hill, as we reached the top the Sun began to rise, Its rays appeared to ignite everything they touched. As we continued we stopped at several lookouts and got multiple perspectives of the Canyon. It was amazing that such an arid area could care for so many trees! However the most stirring thing was the pure size of the Canyon and colours of the rock!

We then pushed on to Uluru in the air conditioned mini bus. It took a few hours but then out of no were this massive orange monolith appeared on the horizon. We entered the national park and as we explored various historical/natural sites our guide explained to us about the Aboriginal myths & legends as well as their way of life. We then walked around the base of this almighty structure which stands 345m high (Taller than any building in the Sydney skyline). And finally we retreated to a secluded spot to watch Uluru change colour as the sun set.

We then returned to camp and the group collectively made dinner, which consisted of Kangaroo steak, Camel sausages and an array of salads! Truly, for me, there was no better way to experience Australia.

Safe Travels,

Lawrie Shaban


Dave and Deb – The Planet D International Travel Blog –

We first heard about the Best Job in the World being on Kangaroo Island, while visiting Kangaroo Island. Our guide, Terry from Kangaroo Island Wilderness Tours told us that the next “best job” is taking place here! How cool is that? We couldn’t think of a better setting.

There is a reason that this is South Australia’s top attraction, it has it all. We saw plenty of kangaroos, koalas and wallabies on KI, but we also saw spectacular landscapes. It is here that we witnessed the aptly named Remarkable Rocks, played on Giant Sand Dunes and trekked along the rugged coastline. It has some of the best beaches in Australia and you’ll be hard pressed to find a soul on any of them. Not only is it beautiful, there are a lot of conservation efforts going on here too, from the Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary to the Kangaroo Island Birds of Prey show run by Dave Irwin, the late Steve Irwin’s Cousin.

When we heard that Greg was the only Canadian left in the race, we were so excited. We feel that Canucks and Aussies are kindred spirits. We’re two countries located at the ends of the earth. Canada in the far North West, Australia in the Fart South East. We both have a crazy sense of humour and never take ourselves too seriously. If someone is going to be a caretaker of beautiful Kangaroo Island, we sure hope it’s a good old Canadian boy. Go team Canada. We don’t win much when it comes to International Sport, but man, we can travel the world with the best of them.

D&D – The Planet D –


Such an awesome overview of four great experiences within Aus. Have you been to Australia? Got a unique and funny as story you wish to share? Feel free to email me at gregorsnell@ and I’ll be sure to schedule it in for publication. Lets share the best of travel in Australia with the world.

Cheers from Kingscote, Kangaroo Island, South Australia!!!



11 thoughts on “Travel Tales from a Land Down Unda’ – Part III

  • WOW… so much information here, I will have to come back to absorb everything… 🙂 Great work everyone… Enjoy your adventures.. Have a fabulous day… 🙂

    • 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!! I thought about breaking it into 2 but figured they were all good enough and about the right size to fit four in the one post. Cheers!

  • Love the Canadian support!! So true that “Canadians can travel the world with the best of them”!!

  • Another Canadian here vying for the fact that Canadians and Aussies are Kindred Spirits (I’m dating an extremely charming Aussie) Just wanted to say congratulations! on your win. I’ve been following your photography website and blog for about a year now. We actually were introduced very briefly in Sucre in 2011 (I was traveling with a friend who was a Southern Cone Leader) and he showed me your photos. You have an incredible talent with photography and I know you’ll showcase AUS like a pro. Looking forward to the posts to come! (Go team Canada!)

    • Hi Alex, right on great to hear from you! Thank you for following the story and for being stoked on the Aussielandia Canadia connection!! It is a sold one eh.

      I couldn’t be happier to be pursuing the chapter of my life in Australia and knowing there are people like you along for the ride, makes everything so worth it. Cheers!!

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