Planning a gap year?


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But feeling a little daunted?

Not sure which way to turn?

Wondering where you'll end up

And what might happen along the way?

Fear not!!

We have loads of tips and advice to share with you

From our own amazing Family Gap Year!

Sarah's Australian Journal - aged 9

AUSTRALIA


Today we are going to Australia it was kind of silly because our flight wasn’t till midnight but mum wanted to get there early so we ended up getting there at 2:00 in the afternoon we were ment to be doing homework but instead we ended up going back and forward on the travelators. There was a sweet baby who I smiled at and he smiled back and made a really funny noise. We were finaly allowed to start bording and as soon as we got on to the plane I fell straight to sleep. When I woke up we were in Aus.

When we got of the plane we had to go and collect our luggage and find a taxi when we got were we wanted to go we had to collect our motor home and find a camp site so we drove of and Lisa felt ill as usual we at long last found a place to stay.

The loos there were really dirty but the weather was a different story. It was very hot and sunny. The fish had come to shore so there were quite a few sharks around. We were all set for a swim when a lady said we shouldn’t go into the water because a girl spotted a shark (scary).


SYDNEY

After that we headed off to find another campsite. It was a long drive but after a while we got there. We arrived at a place called Parklea. We decided that we had to stay there because it had a wonderful swimming pool. They had a really nice spa there with air and water jets. One night it was raining really heavly and when the rain had slowed down quite a bit we went for a walk. There was a tiny stream that had turned into a torrent. At the end of the walk we headed to the kitchen and spotted a red back spider. We walked around and into the kitchen where we asked some people what type of spider this was. They said it was a red back and that he had been bitten by one and they were quite venomous.

The next day we phoned my Granny who was also in Sydney and arranged to meet up. We decided to meet up at the Sydney Opera house and go exploring. It was weird to feel that famous people had been where we had been too. On the way back we went on a ferry under the harbour bridge.

Next day we arranged to meet up with Granny Joan at the festival of light in paramatta. We had to wait a hour or so. To kill time we went and phoned dad we couldn’t speak long we just said hello and happy b-day. We walked back and set up our chairs from the van and found somewere to watch the show.
The show finally started it was so l o u d !
We tooks loads of photos. The fireworks were like cakes splattered against a window. When the show ended it was ten o’clock, On the way abck we said goodbye to Granny Joan. We wouldn’t see her again until new zealand. When we got back we went straight to bed.


FEATHERDALE

Next day we went to a place called featherdale. We were heading for the entrance when we were stopped by a man holding a baby joey, she was called Natasha and only 7 months old, she was really cute! When we got in we were greeted by the wombats, one of the wombats were trying to exscape by bashing his teeth on the fence.

Then we came across some wallabes and Kangaroo’s we bought some food for them and when you give it to them they don’t let go till its finished (they were really greedy). We were about to walk into the koala’s den when we saw a staff with a snake he asked if we would like to hold it mum didn’t want to but me and Lisa did we were surprised we didn’t think he would be so heavy.

Next we went to the Koala’s den and we got to stroke and get our photo taken with one. It wasn’t what we expected them to feel like the felt all rough and woolly like sheeps fur. We saw these really tame owls called the Tawny frog mouth. I stroked one and it didn’t turn round bite. I stroked another and he turned round and bit me! It was not sore though.

We saw some laughing Kookaburras but they didn’t make their wonderful laughing noise. We also saw a… awful crocodile there. He looked very sly.

We saw some very buityful eagles and owls. We saw what they ate and that was baby chicks. It was rather disgusting. (ugh) we looked into the cage for the tazmanian devil but he was tucked away in bed.


KIAMA DOWNS, NSW

The next day we went to visit Lisa’s god mother. When we got there we met Lisa jane, holly and when he woke up harrison. We were welcomed into the kicthen and there was a…………DOG! she was called sophie I wanted to stay with her all day!!! The next day we went for a wonderful swim in the lake and was stupid because I was to scared to swim to the other side because it was really deep (it wasn’t really it just felt like it). I was reliefed when we got to the other side. We made a huge hole in the sand and Lisa jumped into the hole and we burried her neack to toe infact we berried her so deep that we could stand on her and even punch her.
We had to unbeiry her inorder to get her out.

Lisa jane took us horse riding the next day and I rode a palomeno horse we rode along the country side. We learnt a lot, it was really fun.There were thousands of flies and I kept having to shake my head and it was really annoying. My leader said it was because the rain had just stopped. We had to go and as soon as we left it started to rain. On the way back we went to the famous blow hole at Kiama.

The next day we went looking for rash vests. We were out of luck. Next we went to the leisure centre and Lisa went prehystorical about the dirt in the pool. Me and Holly went on the bouncy castle in the water. Holly’s lips went purple she was so cold. After that we went home and had a mooch and played with the dog.

We were all settling into bed with Holly and Lisa and then I got called upstairs and it was operating time and they got to work on my toe and Brett fixed my toe and all this puss came out. Fortunately he has seemed to have done the job and I have had no more problems since.

MOONEE BEACH

It was farewell to Kiama the next day and we were off to Red Head Road in Forster Tuncurry where Lisa chose the campsite. We got there and it wasn’t very exciting but it had a very nice park and pool there. The next day we were off on a mystery tour to try and find an exciting spot to camp.
We ended up at Moonee Beach. Moonee beach had a lovely lovely estuary and beach. It had qite a strong current but it was very shaloow to float in. The sea was nearly crystal clear.
Mum bought us a boogie Board each.

EVANS HEAD

Helens boyfriend let us use his house while he was away. The sea there wasn’t very inviting because of the heavy heavy rain (they had had ten inches of rain the week before.) His house was wonderful but it was a bit hot though. We tried to catch up on some homework and laundry.

Richards Dad invited us for a barbeque on Australia Day. When we got there we had a lovely hot dog and we made these really nice candles by dunking them water and the coloured wax. We dumped it in many colours and then we gave it to the lady in the front and told her what design we wanted. I chose a horse. Then we took them to the van and put them in the fridge.

Next we went to Ballina and saw these huge these huge waterslides and Mummy went to see how much it was and then we got changed and off we went onto the slides. We had to have this special wristband on though.
We went on this really really high slide and when we went down it was really steep.

After that we came back to Evans head, it wasn’t a very long drive. While mummy cooked and slaved over dinner (although we did offer to help) me and Lisa did some homework. After supper we went for a walk at shark bay even though there were no sharks. It was dark and then mum said look at her foot and there were bright sparkles in the sand. So we spent more than an hour playing in the sand. We sat in sea and there pale blue green sparkles flowing around us and we even had some stuck in our hair and on our clothes.
It was really cooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

CALOUNDRA AND MALENY

After Evans head we headed to Australia Zoo but on the way we stopped at Caloundra where we camped. The campsite was nice with all the parrots and the toilets were nice and clean. Unfortunately we couldn’t stay there long because we wanted to go riding.

We found a place to go riding so mummy booked it we had to wait a while so we had a wonderul ice cream from a store called Colin James. It was delicious. We still had quite a while so we tried to find a campsite. Unfortunately we didn’t find one so we went back and got changed into our riding gear and then we were told that horses hadn’t come back so we couldn’t go riding so today was kind of a disaster.
Next we found a campsite called Ocean View although you couldn’t really see the ocean view. It wasn’t very nice and we were right next to bins and they whiffed a bit. The next day we went to Baroon Dam where there was a really cool playground and we went canoeing and we also went in a paddle boat.

In the afternoon we went trailriding and it was scary because there were really steep roads to go down and when we got back we had free time with horses and Lisa broke into a canter. Me and this other girl May could only do a trot.

After that we went for a small drive to try and find a camp site we were lucky as usual. We were a bit put off by the lady’s teeth at reception because they had all gone revolting and rotten there were also thousand’s of mossie’s so we had to be rapped up in sarongs so we didn’t get bitten. We were releifed to go the next day,we were also excited because we were going to Australia zoo.


AUSTRALIA ZOO

It wasn’t a long drive to Australia zoo. When we got in there I got a huge shock because I saw this humungous lizard just running around free. After that we walked on and found Lisa’s fabulous laughing Kookaburras and Mum’s favourite, the Tawny Frog mouth. Next we wandered off to the asian otters den but they weren’t nearly as sweet as the ones we saw in Singapore. We saw Harriet, the oldest known living creature in the world. It was a Galapagos Tortoise and she was 175 years old.

We got to feed some baby farm animals. We could choose which one we wanted to feed, Lisa fed a piglet and a sheep, I fed a piglet called tiger lilly and a goat called Jessica. Then we went to see the shows in the the crocoseum.
We saw birds of prey, tigers, crocodiles and snakes. They were really cool. We saw one of tigers poohing in the pool. We saw fabulous snakes and I got to stroke one. The birds of prey were excellent. We also saw the crocs being fed just like Steve Irwing does it on TV. Australia Zoo is his zoo.

We saw Camels, Tasmanian devils, dingo (which were on a walk with a lead as was the tasmanian devil). We also saw the Koala, wallabys, wombats and kangaroos. It was really awesome. I really enjoyed the day.


WET’N’WILD

We left there and headed south for Brisbane where mum had to do something about our flight tickets and we also wanted to go to this amazing waterpark called Wet and Wild.

Wet and Wild was awsome they had loads of slides and we went on a one called the Mamoth falls, you had to go in a dinji, the three of us went together and it was great fun.

We went a another small dingy and you just sat there and you went round and round until you felt like getting of, we spent about 2 hours in it, it was lovely. It was called Calypso Beach!

We then went in the whirl pool and it didn’t go very fast at all so we went in the wave pool and that was fantastic. We were begging mum to stay but sadly, after along day, we left but we had a great time.

We were soon on the move to Byron Bay.


BYRON BAY

It was quite a long journey but we soon got there. And when we did we ran to the water and Lisa was the first one in and a huge wave dumped her and she ended up losing her sun glasses. So we looked and we looked but they were gone. We then went to Evans head again and looked for the house and we got there and there were no keys. So we had to go to the little cottage next door and we stayed there, it had nicer air con than the other house.

We met some children next door 2 boys and one girl. Kaitlin had a budgi and his name was budgi boy we had a lot of fun playing wih them. The next Helen and Richard were coming we were waiting for adges but luckly we had Kaitlin to play with because the boys had gone away when helen arrived we were really excited. We spent most the time with Katlin because the grown usp were talking about boring things that we didn’t really need to know.

The next day we were all leaving I don’t know where Helen was going but we were going back to Sydney. It took ages to get there so we stopped for the night. it wasn’t the best place but they had a swimming pool so it was fine for one night the first thing we did was go into the pool (life saviour) we tried to stand on our boogi boards but we weren’t sucessful.

The next morning we drove to Sydney this time it wasn’t that far only 2 hours or so. When we got there we looked for a motel this time. When we found one we had to un-pack and then re-pack and we had to clean out the van ready to take it back tomorrow we had to get our clothes ready for the air port tomorrow. We celebateted by having a Barbie-Q when we switched the stove on it went VUMP and whips of mums hair came out and we couldn’stop laughing. The next day it was time to go so we drove of and gave the van back and called a taxi and then we were of to the airport.

New Zealand Next!

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