How to Speak like an Australian… or should I say Aussie

If there’s one thing that characterises the way Australians speak, more than anything, I’d say it would have to be their use of abbreviations. Australians, or should I say Aussies, love shortening as many words as possible and it seems anything goes.

I first became aware of this while working with Aussies at a dairy farm. ‘Arvo’ would be used instead of ‘afternoon’, ‘preg’ testing instead of ‘pregnancy’ testing, and a calf born ‘premature’ would be called the ‘preemie’.

Once you become aware of it you start to hear these abbreviations everywhere, especially if you watch TV or listen to the radio. ‘Musicians’ are referred to as ‘musos’, ‘jelly’ is the word used for ‘jealous’, and I’ve even heard journalists call ‘politicians’ ‘pollys’!

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Te Hapu Farm- My Favourite Place in New Zealand

IMG_1502Whenever someone asks me where my favourite place in New Zealand is you might think I’d say Wanaka with it’s beautiful lakes and mountains, or maybe the Coromandel with it’s long, white sandy beaches. I used to find it hard to decide where I liked best, but that was before I stumbled across Te Hapu Farm in the Golden Bay. But you won’t find this place in the Lonely Planet Guide Book, and it was by complete luck that I found it myself.

Last October I’d been looking for places to do some Wwoofing when I came across hosts, Sandra and Ken, who own a thousand acre sheep shearing and beef farm along with some holiday cottages. The farm lies on the North West tip of the South Island, in between the Kahurangi National Park and the Tasman Sea, right on the coast.

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Melbourne Shopping, Clubbing, Eureka Skydeck and AFL

It had been a while since Chris and I had gone anywhere on our days off so a few weeks ago we made IMG_3166another trip to Melbourne. The main reason was to see an AFL game (Aussie Rules football), and where better to experience this than at the Melbourne Cricket Grounds stadium (MCG). But we also had plans to do some shopping, catch up with our friend we met in NZ, Mike, and go out partying.

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10 Reasons Why Dairy Farming is a Great Job for Backpackers

IMG_2911For the past 4 months I’ve taken a break from travelling to work on a dairy farm. I’m not going to lie, when I first started the job it all seemed a bit overwhelming. Waking up at 3am was tough, I’d never worked with animals before, and I’ll never forget how disgusted and horrified I was during my first few shifts when I saw first hand just how much these cows shit! I would come home every day absolutely filthy! After my first week I was telling people that it was an interesting experience but that I would never work on a dairy farm again.

But of course things change and now I actually enjoy going to work. I have a laugh with my colleagues, really like working with the cows (even when they don’t behave), and believe it or not the shit’s not that bad, it’s just chewed up grass really…  So I’m now writing a blog encouraging backpackers to work on dairies! And here’s why: Continue reading

The Isthmus Peak Track

I wanted to share one of the best and most beautiful walks I did while I was in New Zealand, the Isthmus Peak Track.

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It was around this time 2 years ago I was living in Wanaka for the ski season. My boyfriend, Chris, had started pre-season work at Cardrona Ski Field, but I was jobless and struggling to find work.

So one morning, I decided to get out of the house and go off by myself for a hike, hoping it might make me feel better. After a bit of research I decided to do the Isthmus Peak track, a 16km day walk that takes you up to a 1,385 metre summit. With the sun out and barely a cloud in the sky I left Wanaka and drove 30 minutes to Lake Hawea and the start of the walk.

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Asia Can Wait

Before I went travelling I had a plan, and that plan started with New Zealand. There was just something about the country that attracted me to it, the natural beauty of the place, the mountains, the unique landscape, the people, I couldn’t wait to get over there and see it for myself. I also thought New Zealand would be a good starting point for someone like myself who had never travelled before. The culture wouldn’t be much different and there wouldn’t be a language problem.

From here the plan was to step it up a bit and go to Asia, do some ‘real’ travelling as I thought of it. I thought that after 2 years travelling around New Zealand I would be craving something a bit more adventurous, I would want that extreme culture shock, to be put out of my comfort zone and experience crazy things. And this is exactly how I feel! But I didn’t follow the original plan and instead, I went to Australia. Continue reading

NZ Tax Back, Do It Yourself!

pile-of-new-zealand-money-keyimagery_29684_350x350If you’ve been in New Zealand for a working holiday, and only worked for parts of the year, you can be pretty sure you’ll be due some tax back. And when it comes to claiming that tax back, it’s really not that hard. You don’t need to have a degree in accounting, there’s no secret password, really anyone can do it! That’s why it frustrates me so much to see all these tax back companies targeting backpackers, and charging a fee for their services. Continue reading

The Hay Plains, One of the Flattest Places in the World

I look forward to my 3 days off every other weekend. Not only does it mean I don’t have to get up at 3am, but it usually means a road trip and change of scene from lovely Blighty.

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Chris and I decided to check out the Hay Plains, about 2 hours north of Blighty. With only a 17 metre difference between the highest and lowest point on the plains, this is one of the flattest places in the world. And you do really get that impression as you’re driving along the highway, as there’s literally nothing around you. Everything is totally flat with not even a tree on the horizon. Continue reading

A Look Back: Wanaka, Queenstown and Glenochy

The other day I spent some time looking through photos from my time in New Zealand. I was happily flicking through them but it was when I got to the album titled ‘Wanaka, Queenstown and Glenochy’ that I couldn’t help but stop and look at each photo again and again, thinking about where I was and what I was doing when each one was taken. I was filled with a complete sense of nostalgia, I think I’d somehow forgotten just how beautiful this part of the world is.

But looking at these photos has brought it all back to me. Arriving in Wanaka in May 2012 for my first ski season, hiking up Mount Roy, camping on the lake side, the dodgy drive along unsealed roads and through rivers to reach the Mount Aspiring National Park, and taking a road trip from Wanaka, to Queenstown and then on to Glenochy.

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