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National Park

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Framping: Great Otway National Park

The Great Otway National Park is just before the 12 Apostles on The Great ocean Road, Victoria, Australia. It is a perfect halfway spot to set up camp and its free (free camping = framping). The trees are a stand out with their wiry branches setting a creepy mood on dusk and the beautiful lake walks are a must on sunset.  

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Kosciuszko National Park

Snowshoeing through Kosciuszko National Park, one of our favourite places, was an amazing experience. Once we got the hang of it, which included a couple of face plants, we were off into a white wonderland. It was so cool setting out into the unknown, exploring a new environment. As the buildings and snow fields disappeared, we were surrounded by nothing but snowy mountains. It was the most beautiful day, highly recommend giving it a go!   

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Wollemi National Park

Wollemi National Park is only a few hours away from Sydney, but its wild and rugged landscape makes you feel days away from any city. With its 488,620 hectares of wilderness its hard to choose where to go. Our favourite spot to head is within the Wolgan Valley in a town called Newnes at a campground called Little Capertee. And its not really a town just one building, a pub slash museum slash accommodation, but definitely worth a look.

Little Capertee campground, which lays on the Wolgan River, is nothing short of amazing. As you drive in, a large grassy space opens up before you. This area is surrounded by sandstone cliffs that create a natural rock amphitheatre. You feel dwarfed by these majestic mountains, it really is such a unique place to camp. To explore the surrounding area there are several walks to choose from, some of which will take you to the top of a mountain, through ruins or into a glow worm tunnel, which we still have to explore. It is the perfect weekend get away and the best part, it's free!

We spent a couple of nights in the van, but decided we wanted to dive deeper into the wilderness. So we left our car behind and hit the trail. We followed the Wolgan river North, further into the heart of Wollemi. It is always an amazing feeling to carry what you need to survive on your back and walk to a place that cars can not reach. You feel totally free.

A section of this hike winds through the ruins from the historic shale oil factory from 1911. You can still see the ovens and tunnels that would have been used back then. It is amazing to picture all the workers as you walk through the site. These ruins really give you an insight into the past, it was a very cool experience. The whole time in Wollemi, was a very cool experience. Get there!

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Dorrigo National Park

Dorrigo National Park is a wonderful place full of lush rainforest, waterfalls, walks, wildlife and stunning views. At the entry of the park there is also a cafe and gift shop, in case you want a little rest or a treat after exploring. There is a great walk, about 6km long that winds through the parks most beautiful sights. You start on a walkway that takes you high above the trees, then through an area full of birds, followed by a swing bridge and path behind a waterfall. Further on you pass a few more beautiful waterfalls and stunning views of the parks endless mountain range, plus you'll see loads of bush turkeys that seem to have taken over the forest. Through out this walk we couldn't help but appreciate what a beautiful part of the world we live in, it really was a treat to spend the day here.

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Hat Head

Hat Head National Park in NSW Australia is a beautiful place to camp, well worth the long dirt road you have to drive on to get there. Once you arrive you can choose a place to set up, we picked a nice little spot nestled under some paper bark trees that had a trail leading to the ocean. On the other side of our camp there was another trail which lead to some beautiful sand dunes, the perfect place to watch the sun set. While camping at Hat Head you are bound to share your spot with kangaroos, these friendly guys are used to people and as long as you don't get too close you can hang out with them while they chill around camp. After a yummy dinner of pad thai we bolied up a pot of pepperment tea and settled in for a night around the camp fire. Nothing better than good conversation and a hot drink to end an amazing day.

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Green Patch

This is Green Patch in Jervis Bay National Park on the South Coast of NSW, Australia. This amazing part of the world speaks for itself, so we will let the pictures do the talking. With white sand and crystal clear water, it is easy to spend the day lost in its beauty. 

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Canada

Canada was the last stop on our travels. After seven weeks in the US we spent two more weeks in the town of Banff... and we didn't want to leave! We were lucky to have timed our trip to be there when two of our friends from Australia, Josh and Kobie, were living there. They are some of the best people, letting us stay with them and taking us on all sorts of adventures. Over the two weeks we went snowboarding, we ice skated for the first time on a frozen lake, petted a deer and hiked to the top of a snow covered mountain. Banff is such a magical place and it was so amazing to live like a local for two weeks and meet some very cool people. Canada is one of the most breathtaking alpine places we have been... paradise doesn't have to be tropical. 

The view of Banff from the top of Tunnel Mountain.

The view of Banff from the top of Tunnel Mountain.

The town of Canmore, just outside of Banff.

The town of Canmore, just outside of Banff.

Lake Louise. 

Lake Louise. 

Jonny petting a deer in the backyard.

Jonny petting a deer in the backyard.

Jonny snowboarding.

Jonny snowboarding.

It was minus 26 degrees at Lake Louise, just a bit chilly!

It was minus 26 degrees at Lake Louise, just a bit chilly!

Jonny ice skating.

Jonny ice skating.

Jess's first time skating on a frozen lake. 

Jess's first time skating on a frozen lake. 

The track up Tunnel Mountain.

The track up Tunnel Mountain.

Jess snowboarding.

Jess snowboarding.

Jess at Lake Louise. 

Jess at Lake Louise. 

Our beautiful friends Josh and kobie.

Our beautiful friends Josh and kobie.

Jonny and Josh.

Jonny and Josh.

Hiking to the top of Tunnel Mountain.

Hiking to the top of Tunnel Mountain.

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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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