Review: Springbrook National Park

Review: Springbrook National Park

Springbrook National Park should be on your list of places to visit if you are in Queensland. It is a beautiful place to explore, with plenty of ground to cover and differing aspects of nature. I spent a day there roaming and hiking through its beautiful forests and I was not disappointed. We went in August so the temperature was perfect for hiking. Not too hot, not too cold with a nice breeze and sunlight peeking through the leaves and branches up above us. The trees were the most fascinating aspect to me. They were trees like I had never seen before and many were even hollowed out, making it where we could get inside them or stand in them. You could tell they were hundreds of years old if not more, which is always mind boggling to me, I always remember as a small child counting the rings on the inside of chopped down tree to figure out how old they were.  We hiked all around but my favorite was the hike to the bottom of the waterfall. It is not too difficult of a hike, and the water is something like I have never seen. The water was green, like moss. Against a black rock background. It reminded me of Hawaii a lot, which was fitting since I went with my good friend Veronica who is from Hawaii and my boyfriend.

The waterfall was not incredibly large but beautiful nonetheless. The water was FREEZING, at this time of year no one was getting in. It was even too cold to stand next to for a long period of time. We got some good pictures though before moving out of the way and off the very slippery rocks. There were plenty of trails and plenty of things to do in Springbrook. I enjoyed meandering through different pathways. It was not far from the Gold Coast where I live, so that was nice as well since I constantly find myself driving and flying all over the place to see all that I have to see.

I really liked these hikes and the location better than Mount Warning. It just was more versatile and I felt like I had more control over my pace and the difficultly level. All ages and skill levels can explore this park and even if you do not want to walk around or hike you can drive through many portions of the national forest. The drive up into the park was probably one of the most beautiful experiences. It reminded me of the Redwood Forest up in California. If you look close enough you can maybe even see some kangaroos!

XX

Gabi

 

Mount Warning Review: https://ranchbucket.blog/2017/08/01/mount-warning/

Review: Noosa National Park

Review: Noosa National Park

Review: Noosa National Park

The Fairy pools

Anyone who gets the chance to spend some time in Queensland should take a bit of time to venture up to Noosa on the Sunshine Coast. I have done a review of Byron before, and I like to think these two go hand in hand. Although I enjoyed the shopping in Byron more, and Byron is a little more hippie and laid back, I would say Noosa is a more classic or upscale version of Byron Bay. I absolutely loved this quaint little beach town. Per usual, I have nothing but high regards for all the places I ate at. They had a plethora of places to eat with live music, which I am absolutely head over heels in love with. My favorite part of this weekend getaway though was the beach, the national park, and the fairy pools. The beaches were close to flawless and the national park was very unique. The park essentially took you on a bush walk throughout the head of the coastline. It was sand for the majority of the walk which made it kind of tricky to walk on after a while, but a good exercise none the less. If you go when it is quiet you can see koalas in their natural habitat which is incredible, and we even saw a gila monster. Drum roll please… my favorite part… the fairy pools! I felt like I was in a dream, first off let me say I have no idea why they are called fairy pools when in my opinion if we are talking about mythical creatures, these things are made for mermaids. The color of the water was unreal, crystal clear, and relatively warm. What I found to be the coolest part of the fairy pools was the ability to see all of the marine life within them. They were so colourful and alive. Little fish swam around everywhere, darting back and forth and sea urchins clung to the sides of the rocks; I even saw something that resembled a sea tarantula. These pools were not too hard to get to just a little climb and they were not unbearably crowded. We went early enough that we had an hour or so of them all to ourselves before our party was crashed by more tourists. We hung out there for quite a few hours; it was even an impeccable tanning spot.

IF I had to rate all of my adventures so far, there would have to be two different scales:

a beauty aspect/breathtaking…

Whit Sundays, Queensland

Noosa Sunshine Coast

Burleigh Heads

Mount Warning, New South Wales

Springbrook National Park

Byron Bay, New South Wales

Gold Coast, Queensland

 

Favorite trip/activity

Byron Bay, New South Wales

Australia Zoo

Whit Sundays Queensland

Burleigh Heads

Springbrook National Park

Noosa Sunshine Coast

Gold Coast Queensland

Mount Warning New South Wales

 

If y’all have any questions let me know and I’ll leave some links to different activities and national parks I have done below along with the link to my Byron Bay post!

Xx

Gabi

 

http://www.australiazoo.com.au/  (They do student discounts)

https://ranchbucket.blog/2017/07/10/review-of-byron-bay/

https://www.npsr.qld.gov.au/parks/burleigh-head/

https://www.npsr.qld.gov.au/parks/springbrook/

http://www.mtwarningrainforestpark.com/the-experience

 

 

 

 

Australia Zoo

Australia Zoo

Anyone that knows me knows that I have a slight obsession with Steve Irwin. I grew up watching The Crocodile Hunter with my dad, and I think the words “I want Steve Irwin to be my dad,” have even escaped my lips at some younger, more desperate, points of my childhood. Like many people across the world, I was devastated by Irwin’s death and heartbroken for his two children and his wife. He was such a big part of my childhood and a monumental influencer on my outlook on nature and wildlife. He really fostered the respect I now have for wildlife today. I would never claim to be an activist per say, but I do feel like there are so many things to do on the forefront of our treatment as a society of animals. Animal testing for man-made products, the issues related to animal fur, and even the inhumane way we slaughter animals are all sectors in society that could use advancement. I am not vegan or vegetarian of any sorts, I love my meats, but I wish we were more humane about the way we get it than the horror movie styles we see in the typical slaughter house. One of my favorite things about Steve Irwin was his respect for the animals he dealt with and his understanding of how dangerous yet essential they can be and are to our environments.

Aside from that huge rant/tangent, being in Australia I could not pass up the opportunity to go to the Australia Zoo which was founded by the Irwin’s and the national zoo of Australia. To say the least, who knew a zoo could be one of the best days of my life. I 10/10 suggest visiting this zoo if you are ever in Australia. I am sure I enjoyed it a little more than the average human being because of the emotional connection behind it for me, but regardless it was so special to see a ton of new creatures that I had never seen in person before. This zoo is so different than any zoo I have ever been to in the states. I got to see a baby koala gripping to his mom, crocodiles, alligators, tasmanian devils (which are sooo weird), dingos (basically look like you average dogs), hundreds and hundreds of kangaroos, and I even got to see a baby wallaby in his mom’s pouch, fresh and new with no hair which was kind of bizarre. My absolute favorite animals are actually wombats. They are on the endangered list and there are only 115 still in existence that people know of. I had never seen one before that day and I can honestly say I fangirled over a wombat. I think seeing the wombats was a peak moment in my life.  Overall it was a superb day with good friends and a unique life experience that I get to take with me. Always a good time getting away for the day and exploring all that the world has to offer.

 

Xx

Gabi

Review: Emerald Pools and Optical Point Zion National Park Utah

Review: Emerald Pools and Optical Point Zion National Park Utah

Emerald Pools

This was my first hike in Zion and it was the perfect starter. This hike is completely doable for all ages as long as you take it at the pace that your body requires. There was a lot of intriguing nature aspects and more than enough to look at. Emerald Pools is not a hike that is purely for exercise but is more of an experience, and absolutely breathtaking. The scenery is something out of a storybook. There is a lot of water, which for me, are the hikes I am drawn to. The time of year I went, (June) was so green and lush against beautiful reddish rocks creating a contrast that is just striking.  My big disclaimer is GO EARLY. It is a very popular hike because of its beauty and lack of complexity, so around eight when the park begins to get super crowded this hike is a hotspot. We got up and went into the park as early as we could, which was about six in the morning and the crowds were already starting to become overwhelming on our trek back down. Besides the crowds there are not many negatives to this hike. Although there is a lot of sand instead of rock that you are walking on so sand may fill your shoes but all in all this was a great starter hike for my day.

 

Optical Point

Now this one is more difficult. Optical Point leads you to the highest point in the park. This hike is very steep and it gets your blood pumping with the incline it possesses right off the bat. Another unique aspect Optical Point has to offer are switchbacks that resemble Angels Landing, which I have written about before,

https://ranchbucket.blog/2017/06/14/the-thing-about-angels-landing/

but with less of an incline and more spread out. Up through these switchbacks, you get a beautiful view of the whole park, I found the going up to be slightly boring until you look out at the view and cross behind back into the rocks more which is not until further along the hike. Once you get past this part you get to the more exciting side where you can explore a little. There are caves and crevice’s that are hidden through the backside of this hike. There is a whole canyon to wander through with water ways and sand. It truly is a dynamic place unlike any other. We ventured off the trail to check out some of these cool cracks and hidden treasures in the mountains topography. I was in complete awe. This hike can get crowded but it is not quite as popular as the Narrows, so I would suggest this one over that for the purpose of less population. One of my favorite parts about Zion in general are those beautiful red rocks. We stopped for lunch in some of these cool caverns on the hike and I was just engulfed by so many natural colors it was overwhelming. If you are in relatively good shape I would definitely suggest this hike as well.

Happy Exploring!

Xoxo

Gabi

Things I Am Addicted To

Things I Am Addicted To
  1. My Hydro Flask

If you do not already have one I highly suggest getting one. Not only do they come in a multitude of bright fun colors, but they keep my water cold for days literally DAYSSSSS. I have the large turquoise one. It has a sticker with my initials on it, front and center so no one can confuse my precious water bottle as their own. It goes everywhere with me too. Just ask anyone of my friends; the beach, the movie theater, it has been on a night out too… My number one recommended product.

https://www.hydroflask.com/

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  1. Egg Sandwiches on English Muffins

I find myself eating these all the time any time of the day. You can cook your egg however you prefer, but my preference is scrambled with a little bit of cheese in them. The brand of English Muffins I have found to be my favorite are Thomas Original Nooks & Crannies English Muffins, but I know they have some really good gluten free ones out there too if that is a concern for you. All in all, not too shabby of a meal to be addicted to.

https://www.instacart.com/safeway/products/58658-thomas-original-nooks-crannies-english-muffins-6-ct?department_id=33

  1. Hats and Sunglasses

I have crazy obnoxious hair that is super curly and thick, so I am consistently using sunglasses, not to wear, but to hold my hair back and hats. As most of you by now know if you’ve kept up with my page, I am the VP of International Sales for a hat company called Ranch Bucket, so this has worked out in my favor when it comes to the messy hair department. I have a hat in every color so there is no outfit clashing, and they are all so trendy looking so if I still want to wear something cute but not do my hair it all flows together.

http://ranchbucket.com/

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  1. Mac Highlighter

Specifically, Lightscapade #936. It is the only one I will buy when it comes to highlighter. Normally I try not to spend too much money on makeup but this is one of my splurge items. If you like this product as much as I do, I would also recommend Mac blush Just a Wisp #84 or Laura Geller New York Pink Buttercream #2256 which has a little darker and more bronzed outcome. As far as mascara and lips, I like my basic waterproof Loréal Paris mascara in Carbon Black #395 and for lips I have got a variety in the works, but when it comes to wanting it to last surprisingly enough the cream lip stain at Victoria Secret has done incredible work for me. It is called Velvet Matte and is usually up front by the cash registers. On top of that I do my Too Faced lip injection lip gloss.

http://www.maccosmetics.com.au/product/13849/30735/products/makeup/face/powder/mineralize-skinfinish#/shade/Warm_Rose_

http://www.maccosmetics.com.au/product/13842/31094/products/makeup/face/blush/mineralize-blush#/shade/Just_A_Wisp

http://www.laurageller.com/baked-blush-n-brighten.html

http://www.ulta.com/voluminous-carbon-black-waterproof-mascara?productId=xlsImpprod1790017

http://www.mecca.com.au/too-faced/lip-injection-extreme/V-015460.html?gclid=CMrKyI3jgNUCFVAKKgoddSEKPw

https://www.victoriassecret.com/beauty/lip#1268019887546

 

  1. My Laptop

I honestly cannot sit in class without my laptop. I would probably leave a class rather than be there without my laptop. I need to be able to do something to keep my mind from wandering so my laptop is a must for notes and googling answers that the lecturer breezed through to quickly for me to copy down.

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar

This is something people supposedly swear by when it comes to losing weight. For me, I just like the kick it gives to my metabolism and it gets it moving for the day. Now I do not know if it is actually doing anything weight loss wise for me personally, but I like to think it is just keeping everything running smoothly internally! I usually have a small portion of it before lunch and dinner at least four times a week. It is really good for your skin and scalp too!

Can get at any grocery store: http://www.ausnaturalcare.com.au/bragg-organic-raw-apple-cider-vinegar-946ml?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIh6b6nuOA1QIVDgoqCh1IDwBNEAAYASAAEgJLU_D_BwE

  1. Getting My Nails Done

Once you get gel regularly it is hard to turn back. You just feel uncomplete without it, basically naked. I used to do some wild stuff with my nails when I was younger and have mellowed but still the addiction stands.

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  1. iPhone Case

I have many iPhone cases (including a Lumee… I know) my absolute favorite though is the one I have that holds my credit cards in the back. I often do not want to carry a purse and my phone never leaves my pocket/hand so this has been my saving grace.

https://www.ebay.com.au/i/192131240154?chn=ps&dispItem=1