Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Road to Adventure: Our Route Around Oz

The east coast of Australia has to be one of the most famous destinations for backpackers, and for good reason. From its gorgeous beaches, to the seaside towns, to the beautiful natural wonders, the east coast is filled with things to do. Plus, the east coast of Oz is also great for first-time backpackers because of its clear road signs, rampant hostels and tours, and plenty of like-minded travellers.
On our trip, we flew from Sydney to Alice Springs to Brisbane, then drove up to Cairns, before flying back to Sydney. Below, I’ve done a step-by-step guide of all of our main stops, so you can decide what’s right for your road trip!
1.     Sydney (One Week): It’s a must-do on any Australian road trip. From the iconic Opera House to the Sydney Bridge, this major city has something for everyone.
2.     Alice Springs/Uluru (4 days): Flying to the outback is not usually included in the average Australian road trip, but if you can fit it in, you definitely should! There is nothing like seeing the natural wonder of a wild kangaroo hopping against majestic Kata Tjuta. Plus, Alice Springs is a cute, quirky little town with tons of hidden gems!
3.     Brisbane (2 days): Like Sydney, Brisbane is a cosmopolitan town with it’s own wonders. You can spend hours at the Queensland Museum, relaxing at the beautiful lagoon, exploring the wonders of the universe at the Brisbane Planetarium, or hitting it off with your fellow travellers at one of the wild hostels!
4.     Byron Bay (1 day): Byron’s a quiet little hippy town right on the seaside. Although there’s no major tourist attractions, Byron has a beautiful beach and many gorgeous lookouts, and tons of quirky little shops.
5.     Nimbin (1 day): A hidden gem just outside of Byron, Nimbin is the definition of quirky. Rainbow benches, graffiti spouting messages of peace, and tons of head shops decorate this little town. If you’re offended by the “green” way of life, Nimbin is probably not for you!
6.     Gold Coast (2 days): With a big amusement park, a huge water park, and tons of nightlife at Surfer’s Paradise, the Gold Coast has something for all types of the young at heart.
7.     Sunshine Coast/Noosa (2 days): The Sunshine Coast bleeds into Noosa Heads, a gorgeous area of Australia filled with sparkling beaches and national parks. Spend a day playing with koalas and kangaroos at the Australia Zoo or relax in one of the beachside suburbs, like Coolum Beach!
8.     Rainbow Beach (2 days): One of the most popular destinations on the east coast, stunning Rainbow Beach is the jumping off point to Fraser Island. Fraser is home to the only pure-blood dingoes left in the world, as well as crystal-clear lakes, warm creeks, and it’s own shipwreck.
9.     Airilie Beach (3 days): Airilie Beach is most famous as being the connection to the Whitsundays, a collection of some of the most beautiful islands in the world. But Airilie is fun in it’s own right, with tons of cute shops and funky bars. Don’t forget to schedule a day (or two!) to explore the Whitsundays, an unforgettable experience!
10. Townsville (1 day): Compared to the other sights on the road-trip, Townsville can seem a bit bland, but it’s a good place to rest between the long road from Airilie to Cairns. Grab some grub at one of your favorite chain restaurants you’ve been missing or see a movie to relax!
11. The Atherton Tablelands (1 day): Take a western detour from Innisfail to access the Atherton Tablelands, an area of rolling green pastures and grazing cows. The must-see is the waterfall route, three incredible waterfalls that only require short hikes to access. The climax is Millaa Millaa Waterfall, where you can swim in the pool right below the falls.
12. Daintree Rainforest: Not to be missed is the absolutely unbelievable Daintree Rainforest, about an hour and a half north of Cairns. If you’re like us and unable to make it all the way to Cape Tribulation, check out Mossman Gorge on the southern end of the rainforest. Be prepared to get hot, wet, and awestruck!
13. Cairns (2 days): With tons of souvenir shops, a huge lagoon, and restaurants galore, Cairns is a tourist’s dream. The main attraction is the many tours leaving to see what has to be Australia’s greatest wonder: the Great Barrier Reef. If you’re only going to do one tour on your trip, make sure this is it! There is nothing like peering through the turquoise water and seeing the many tropical fish living among the coral. Cross this one off your bucket list in Cairns!
14. Palm Cove (2 days): We opted to spend the last two days in a small suburb outside of Cairns called Palm Cove. A five-minute walk from a beach with bathtub-warm water, plentiful cafes with great coffee and pastries, and a selection of tiny shops with beautiful hand-painted souvenirs made this a great choice!

There you go! That was the route we chose to explore Oz with! If you’ve backpacked Australia, where did you go? If you’re planning a trip, do any of these spots appeal to you? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Hey guys, so we have some pretty crazy and exciting news!
Our novel, Jane Unwrapped, is going to be published by Entangled Teen Crave!

So this is exciting for plenty of reasons, including:
1.)  We have been working on Jane since 2012. That’s three years of focus on one story.
2.)  Entangled is a SUPER COOL publisher, with tons of books we love, and is totally right up our alley as far as future projects go
3.)  This means that someone will read Jane who we’re not forcing/begging/paying!

If you haven’t heard about our novel yet, Jane Unwrapped is a young adult mythological fantasy. Dying and being turned into a mummy is not the kind of experiment teen scientist Jane thought she would be conducting; especially now she’s trapped in the Egyptian underworld. If that’s not bad enough, the snarky (but outrageously handsome) god Anubis is sworn to devour her heartless soul. When Jane discovers her only ticket out of the underworld is to go back in time and steal the heart of King Tutankhamen, she poses as a priestess and befriends the young pharaoh. Between trying to murder her new friend and being stalked by Anubis, who can’t seem to decide if he’s going to kiss her or kill her, Jane has to make a choice: do the logical thing and steal the heart of the pharaoh, or listen to her (metaphorical) heart and find a way to save herself and Tut…even if it means rebelling against the gods of Egypt in the process.

If you'd like to learn more, we also made a vlog announcement! We’re going to be updating with lots of blogs and vlogs about the process of getting published/publishing, so please stay tuned for lots more information! As always, don’t forget to follow us to keep in the loop :)

Saturday, June 20, 2015

A Little Housekeeping...

Hey guys,

So it's been quite a while since I've posted, but a lot of changes have happened in the last few months. Leah and I are really just trying to get the ground back under us! Notably, I graduated from college (just a benchmark achievement in a very long list of obstacles to finally getting my degree!), moved into a new house, and have some very exciting writing news that we're going to share soon...

But most notable of the changes (and most significant reason for our blog/vlog absence) was our month-long road trip across Australia! It was an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I can't wait to share our journey with you. If you're planning your own backpacking trip or just interested in all that Australia has to offer, stay tuned for tips, tricks, tales, and reviews from the land of Oz!

From now on, you'll be seeing blog posts from me every Sunday andWednesday, while Leah will be posting vlogs every Monday and Thursday, so don't forget to check out our Youtube channel!

If you have your own blog or Twitter, leave it in the comments below as we'd love to connect with you :)