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Mountains

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Kosciuszko National Park: Thredbo

Before the snow hits Kosciuszko National Park, NSW, Australia, we decided to get some camping in. This beautiful alpine region has many campgrounds, we stayed at Diggins and Ngarigo, which we had to ourselves. Guess not everyone likes the cold, but we love this area, summer or winter. It is so beautiful here and there is just so much to explore. 

From these campgrounds you can drive 10 minutes to Thredbo, a gorgeous alpine village. The weather was a bit rainy one morning so we drove up there, sat at a cafe overlooking the mountains and had a hot coffee. Such a peaceful way to start the day. There are also trail heads from these campgrounds, so you can start your day with a hike from there. If you like fishing, Diggings campground is one of the best spots to catch trout, we spied a few guys fly fishing.

Australia is such a beautiful country, we are so lucky to have such stunning alpine areas. There is something so special about spending time up in the mountains, with hardly anyone around. You are able to unplug from the hustle and bustle and reconnect with the real you.  

Jonny in Thredbo, looking at the snowless ski fields.

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Kosciuszko National Park: Main Range

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Kosciuszko National Park: Main Range

Today we drove to the end of Kosciuszko Road to reach the trail head of the Main Range track. This amazing hike takes you through a stunning alpine setting where you will see snow capped peaks, rivers, wildlife, alpine lakes, rainbow gum trees, wildflowers in summer and breathe in some of that fresh mountain air. 

It is a magical place that can get very crowed in the summer months but today we had it to ourselves, although this seems to happen to us often it is not by accident. The purpose of escaping to nature is to truly disconnect, we try to time our visits to popular places out of season, so we can avoid the crowds. Don't get us wrong, we love seeing other people enjoying nature and its always nice to stop and chat with someone on the trail, but there is something truly amazing about walking for hours through a mountain range and not seeing a single person. It somehow rejuvenates the soul, puts things into perspective, lets you think about life and if your truly living a purpose filled one. There's no where to hide your thoughts out here, no Facebook to distract you, no TV to tune out to, no work to bury yourself in, you are free to think for yourself and work out what makes you truly happy? Deep, we know but it is something we try to do regularly so that we keep making changes to keep living a purpose filled life. 

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Yosemite

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Yosemite has been amazing! From the moment you drive in, you cant help but be in awe. This national park is the most majestic we have visited, truly a place of beauty. Its hard to describe the feeling we get when we visit a place like this, its a child like excitement and wonder mixed with extreme joy. Nothing keeps our spirt alive more than discovering and exploring a new place, something about the experience just brings out the best in us. 

We drove into Yosemite via the Eastern Tioga Pass Entrance, which takes you through an amazing mountain range and alpine lakes. From Tioga Pass we made our way through the park to Yosemite Village to find our camp for the night. We could have spent days driving in on this road, stopping and exploring the whole way in. There are so many valleys and peaks to explore, after spending some time walking around some of the crystal clear lakes, we climbed to the top of one rock, which rewarded us with the most magical view of the park. 

That night we scored a great site right on the edge campground, giving us a lovely view of the forest. This park is in bear territory so it is important to keep any food or scented stuff in the bear lockers. As we unloaded our gear and set up for dinner we joked about the bears and thought its probably all hype to scare the tourists. Five minutes later we sat down for dinner and about 20m away in the trees something caught our eye. A black bear! We both turned and watched this magical creature walk past us. It was a surreal moment as it was the first time either of us had seen a wild bear. Thank goodness he wasn't interested in our vegetable stew, or us for that matter. 

The next morning we set out ready for a day of exploring and stairs... 600 stairs! For some reason we thought it would be fun to spend hours walking up many, many stairs. It was fun, until we couldn't stop our legs from shaking and had to rest every few steps haha good times. But every rest was a good opportunity to take in the amazing views around us. Our hike took us to the top of Vernal Falls and just past that, Emerald Pool, where we sat for a very long time before we dared tackle the 600 stair decent. What an amazing spot to rest up, have our lunch and watch some squirrels, definitely worth it.   

Before leaving Yosemite we took the morning to walk around the valley. What an amazing experience to gaze up at the towering El Capitan and half dome, some of the most famous rocks to climb. A drive up to Glacier Point is also a must, you get the most spectacular and different view of the valley. You can really see how the glacier forged its way through, to form this amazing place. It was hard to leave Yosemite, we could have stayed for another week, there is just so much to see and do here. But what an amazing few days we had, we are so happy that we made it here and got to experience this magical part of the world.

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Iao Valley

Iao Valley lays on the edge of the West Maui mountain range, an extinct volcano which is now covered in lush rainforest. It was an amazing place to explore. We found a track which lead away from the hustle and bustle of tourists and takes you on your own little adventure. The path followed a beautiful stream, which flowed down from the mountains. When we were up away from the crowds we found the perfect little swimming hole, nothing more refreshing than a freshwater swim after a long walk. We have been blown away by Maui's landscapes, so different from anything we have back in Australia.  

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Pill Box Hike

Pill Box Hike on the island of Oahu, Hawaii has to be one of the most amazing hikes we have done. It is just so different to anything we have in Australia. With turquoise ocean on one side and volcanic mountains on the other, you are surrounded by beauty. The hike is quite steep and before you know it you are high above the town of Lanikai, how amazing for the locals to have this hike in their backyard.

There are world war 2 bunkers still standing along the trail, now covered in colourful graffiti, they are a reminder of what soldiers went through to keep their families and country safe.

After sweating up a storm hiking on this particularly hot day in Oahu and spending the whole walk staring at the ocean, we finished the trail and raced down to the beach. There is nothing better than finishing off a hike with a refreshing swim. 

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