March 6 – Arriving in Buenos Aires

YYC to Toronto via Santiago (Chile) for a quick stop I was now only hours from Argentina. As I flew over the Andes, I couldn’t stop thinking how very different they are to our own Rockies. Dry, baron and a rainbow of earthy colours.

On arrival into Buenos Aires I decided to start my adventure with a trip down memory lane.  We all have memories of being young and vibrant backpackers once upon a time.  This experience grows us and makes us into the people we are today. So I decided to spend my first night in the hostel I once loved so many years ago.  It was a humbling start to my adventure and had not changed one little bit….Apart from the fact their was no longer a computer room or line up to send an email Haha

All freshened up now and  it was time to find Luis’s home. A wonderful steakhouse experience in the home of a local Argentine. Always on the hunt for a unique experience to share…this is not your average steak experience. While it’s no secret what Argentine beef is worth around the world, visitors to Buenos Aires don’t always get the chance to experience an Argentine asado and its many rituals and traditions. Here at ‘Steaks by Luis’, they not only focus on high quality cuts grilled to perfection but also the entire experience. You participate in a typical Argentine asado and feel like you’re at Luis’ home. All while sitting around a big family table, and joining Luis alongside the grill or just kicking back, relaxing and enjoying the 5 course meal and wine  pairing event.

March 5 – Reflection

This is where the journey truly begins 😊  I was dropped off at YYC airport with time to spare.  I found a cozy little spot to watch the planes fly in with a beautiful mountain backdrop. Here is where I reflect and fathom where in the world I was actually headed…… 14 years ago I almost jumped on a ship to Antarctica, now the dream is really coming alive, the emotions are high and feelings of excitement all over my body!

From the Outback to the Tropics

Today I was efficient with my time. After flying from Kununurra back to Perth, I jumped straight on a red eye and flew to Cairns arriving at 6 in the morning!   Not just a ‘hop skip and a jump’ to cross Australia.  I literally flew across the country leaving bright red rugged outback and entering lush green beautiful rainforest! I had arrived in the Tropics! First point of call……..a meat pie!

 

Kimberley Spirit Tours

Waking up early to the sound of birds chirping and smells of being in the wilderness is something I miss dearly about Australia. What a great way to start the day…and also a lot cooler to get motivated! Today we were spoiled with another scenic flight back to Kununurra over the Bungle Bungles, if you were lucky….sitting on the other side of the plane for a new perspective!

Today we met ‘Scotty’ the owner of Kimberley Spirit Tours and author of ‘100 things to see in The Kimberley!” He is a local guide with knowledge, passion and excitement for the place he calls home. We discovered the country, wildlife and culture in a very comfortable 4WD Isuzu truck ensuring we had a more personalized experience. We crossed the famous ‘Ord River’ that floods in the summer, visited the ‘mini bungle bungles’ – Hidden Valley National Park, had a taste of a local whisky and hit up one of the biggest Boab trees I have ever seen before departing to the airport. Another great day in WA!

Bungle Bungles

Today was THE BEST!  My favourite day exploring the breathtaking Bungle Bungles in Purnululu National Park!  Yet another scenic flight in a little 10-seater and our first magical glance at one of the most fascinating geological landmarks across Australia. The bright orange and black stripes across the beehive-shaped towers are clearly visible as you approach from the air. We also flew over Kununurra, magnificent Ord River, Lake Argyle, Lissadell station, Texas Downs station and the rugged Osmond Range.

And what better way to get amongst the beehive domes than taking a guided walk through the mesmerizing Cathedral Gorge. Here in the shade of the gorge we could enjoy a picnic lunch.

This wasn’t enough for me…..I opted to take yet another flight in a door-less helicopter to sweep further into the range, where a hidden world of gorges and pools are revealed, with fan palms clinging precariously to walls and crevices in the rock. After this adrenaline rush it was time to head to the ‘Bungle Bungle Savannah Lodge’ for another afternoon ‘dip’ to cool off in the pool.  What a special day this was…

Lake Argyle and Surrounds

Today was a full-day cultural experience! We went on the ‘jaliwang journey’ while taking a scenic flight to the aboriginal town of Warmun, took a tour around Argyle pink diamond mine, had lunch in the bush, cruised the waters of Lake Argyle and ended the day with a ‘dip’ in the water to cool off while watching the sunset on the bright red rock cliffs of the Kimberly region. Lake Argyle is Australia’s largest freshwater lake and is set among some of the most spectacular scenery on earth. A picture hardly does it justice.

Today was a jam packed day and my first real ‘taste’ of the Kimberly region. It certainly did not disappoint with its beautiful landscapes, colours, wildlife and history.

Kununurra: the Heart of the Kimberly

After a day of travel with 2 flights via Broome we flew over the beautiful Cable Beach to join our flight to Kununurra with Airnorth, the major aviation operator in Northern Australia.
This flight was our first taste of the vast distances the Kimberly region has to offer. While flying from the west to the East of the Kimberly region you see just how rugged this land really is. After arriving at Kununurra country club resort, it was time to go straight to dinner. The night falls quickly in this part of Australia. We headed to the ‘pumphouse’ restaurant, built in 1963 and originally used as a pump station, it is located right by the picturesque Lake Kununurra.

Kununurra and the East Kimberly region is filled with some of western Australia’s most prized natural attractions, which I am super excited to share with you 😊

 

Australian Tourism Exchange 2019

Tourism Australia really knows how to put on a successful event!

The Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) is Australia’s largest annual travel and tourism business-to-business event and brings together Australian tourism businesses, and tourism wholesalers and retailers from around the world through a combination of scheduled business appointments and networking events.

Around 1,500 Australian seller delegates from approximately 550 companies, 650 key buyer delegates from over 30 countries, and 70 international and Australian media outlet representatives attended this global event April 8-12. Organised by Tourism Australia in partnership with Tourism Western Australia, ATE19 took place at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre and Karen was in attendance.

After a week of meeting over 100 people, the week ended off with a party downtown watching the sunset over the city.

Beautiful Western Australia – APRIL 7th

What I am noticing most about this beautiful state of Western Australia (WA), is that it is very difficult to choose the highlights. In saying this…. the first thing that does come to mind is that today is my birthday 😊

With a quick reminder of how old I was turning, at 6am this morning we set off to the superb suburb of Fremantle. Known as ‘Freo’ to the locals.  Here you can experience the ‘convicts  & colonials tour’ of the city and really embrace the history that surrounds the area.  Perhaps spend a pretty penny at the Freo markets and, after all that shopping, enjoy a nice cold craft beer at the Little Creatures Brewery.

Only 25 minutes drive from Perth’s city center discover the rich fusion of award winning wineries, fine food, fascinating history and amazing art set against the stunning scenery of WA’s swan valley.  And on your way, why not stop at the Caversham Wildlife Park and experience native wildlife up close and personal for a memory you’ll never forget!

Rottnest Island Quokka Selfies

OOoo, I could  hardly wait for today!  The day we visit the breathtaking island of Rottnest.

Just a 40 minute ferry ride from the mainland, this island has a rich history, spanning cultures and generations. It has been known by many names and used for different purposes.  You can find out more about the history at the interesting Rottnest Island Museum or by taking a lovely guided air conditioned bus around the 22km road with various historical sites.  Even visit the Oliver Hill Battery, a site from World War II, featuring a restored 9.2inch gun, which you can accessed by train.

So much to do on this little island 😊 HOWEVER…the main drawer to visiting this little island is to take a ‘selfie’ with the the funny little marsupial we call the ‘quokka’….They are friendly fellows, just like the Aussies! With no predator on the island, you can get up close and personal just like I did!  Wooo hooo…..bucket list item. TICK!