It’s that time of the year again… when we round up our top 10 most popular posts of the year! We’ve had a great year living in Australia, getting married, enjoying our weekend adventures and our honeymoon to Sri Lanka and the Maldives! We’ve loved sharing our travel experiences, advice and inspiration with our readers and will continue to do so in 2018! Here are our most popular posts from this year which range from Australian travels to home decor to Italian adventures, Bolivian hikes, to blog updates and very photo heavy wedding posts!
OUR GUIDE TO QUEENSLAND’S NORTH STRADBROKE ISLAND
After Christmas, we packed the car to the brim with all our boards and camping supplies and headed up the coast to North Stradbroke Island. North Stradbroke Island is located off the coast of Brisbane in Moreton Bay and was about a 10 hour trip from our home in Port Macquarie. North Stradbroke Island is also known by its Aboriginal name, Minjerribah and as Straddie, by both locals and visitors alike. Coming in at second to Fraser Island, Straddie is the world’s second largest sand island. The island is one of Australian’s natural treasures and we absolutely loved every second of the week we spent on Straddie with its white sandy beaches, magnificent inland lakes, hidden waterways, wildlife, friendly locals, scenic walks and wonderful laid-back way of life.
FALLING IN LOVE WITH TUSCANY: THE BEST VILLAGES TO VISIT IN TUSCANY
If you’ve been following our travels for a while then you will know that we absolutely loooooove everything about Italy! I’ve been lucky enough to visit four times and Dan twice! We spent three weeks there last year during our European summer and it was during this time that I fell head over heels in love with Tuscany! I first fell in love with Tuscany when I saw the film Under the Tuscan Sun many years ago! On previous trips to Italy I had only visited Florence in this region and so this time we took a few extra days to explore as much of beautiful Tuscany as possible and it is certainly a place we plan on returning to and spending a few weeks whenever we get the opportunity! We’re sharing some of our favourite Tuscan villages to inspire you to live out your own Under the Tuscan Sun dreams by visiting this incredible part of the world.
HIKING LAKE TITICACA’S ISLA DEL SOL
Lake Titicaca is the world’s largest, high altitude lake and it is easy to understand how the Incas give credit to Lake Titicaca for the creation of their entire civilisation. Located on the Southern Part of Lake Titicaca, Isla del Sol is considered by the Incas to be the birthplace of the Sun God. My best friend and I were on a tour of Bolivia and Peru with Dragoman for the final month of our time in South America. We visited this tranquil island on a day trip from Copacabana and the day we spent hiking and exploring it was a welcome relief after the craziness of La Paz!
KOALA MATTRESS-IN-A-BOX: THE PERFECT AUSTRALIAN MATTRESS
In the latter part of last year I finally made the move back home to Australia after a few years gallivanting around the world and two years living in the UK. This time I bought Dan home with me. Luckily thanks to our awesome Aussie way of life, our seemingly endless summer, sunshine, surf and beaches it didn’t take much convincing to get him to move to the other side of the world. One of the things we were most looking forward to in Australia was getting our own place to settle down a little (don’t worry we will still be doing plenty of travelling) and making it our own! Our decor has been inspired by the many luxury hotels we’ve stayed at during our travels and the destinations we’ve visited. Whilst it is important for things to look nice, the most important thing is comfort and today we’re going to tell you all about Koala Mattress, the original mattress-in-a-box which is hands down the best mattress we’ve ever had and we loved it so much we wanted to share it with you!
A GIRLS WEEKEND AT THE LUXURIOUS MERITON PARRAMATTA
Last weekend I headed down to Sydney with my mum and three best friends from University to go wedding dress shopping! Our wedding is six months away and whilst I was incredibly nervous about the dress shopping experience I was really excited to have a girls weekend in the city! I’d done a great deal of research and found a lot of beautiful dresses at Luv Bridal in Parramatta that I absolutely adored! I booked us into the luxurious Meriton Church Street Serviced Apartments in Parramatta for the weekend and it was the most amazing weekend where I am happy to say that I ‘said yes to my dress’ and then celebrated with a very indulgent weekend at the Meriton in our very luxurious River View suite!
OUR HONEYMOON PLANS: WE’RE OFF TO THE MALDIVES & SRI LANKA
I’m ecstatic because in just over two months time Dan and I will be newlyweds and jetting off on our honeymoon! Our original honeymoon plan was to spend three weeks up the Great Barrier Reef and we’d booked an amazing trip that included Hamilton Island, Cairns, Fitzroy Island and a few nights on a live-aboard where we would scuba dive multiple times a day on the reef. I, being completely OCD was reading up on recent reviews of our luxury apartment on Hamilton Island and much to my horror discovered that it was literally a construction site for the rest of the year with new apartments being built and the pool having been damaged in the last cyclone. This was not the honeymoon I’d imagined and so we made the decision to cancel/postpone our trip to the Great Barrier Reef and book the destination I’d always dreamed of honeymooning at: the Maldives!! We also decided to add a week in Sri Lanka onto our honeymoon as well as it is so close!
HONEYMOON PACKING ESSENTIALS FOR THE MALDIVES
Since we booked our honeymoon to the Maldives and Sri Lanka we literally haven’t been able to stop thinking and talking about it! I am a totally OCD and have already researched and planned my wardrobe and packing essentials for our honeymoon to the Maldives. Here is our ultimate Maldives packing list to ensure the perfect honeymoon in paradise!
A BLOG UPDATE + A LIFE UPDATE
The last month or so has been a whirlwind of excitement, celebration and adventures for us! We’ve had some pretty major changes here on the blog and as most of you will know we got married and honeymooned in Sri Lanka and The Maldives! We thought it was about time that we shared an update of where The Aussie Flashpacker is at and a peek into all the changes and adventures in our life of late!
OUR WEDDING PART 1: GETTING READY
If you are a regular reader or follow along on Instagram then you’ll of course know that we got married at the end of October! We got our photos back a few weeks ago and I’ve been itching to share some of the best moments of the best day of our lives with you. Our photographers took so many stunning photos that I’ve decided to break down our wedding day into three sections: the getting ready, the ceremony and the photos/reception. I know it sounds cliche but our wedding day was absolutely perfect and we loved every second of it.
OUR WEDDING PART 2: THE CEREMONY
The big moment had arrived! After a lovely morning of relaxation, fun and pampering it was time to say I DO! The weather gods were in our favour with sunshine, blue skies, blue water, dolphins, whales and only the lightest breeze! Our wedding ceremony was everything we’d wished for and more and we loved every moment of it. We’ve actually said multiple times since the wedding that whilst we loved it, we wouldn’t do it again as there is no way it could be as perfect the second time around! Our closest friends and family had travelled from the UK, Austria and all around Australia to share this moment with us and we just felt so blessed to have them all there with us.
Let us know what you’d like to hear more of in 2017!