Traveling with Fruit in Australia and New Zealand

My husband and I travel with only carry on luggage. We rarely purchase any liquids because we want to avoid checking our bag.  We don’t like to check bags because our trips are short and sweet and checking a bag usually adds another 30-60 minutes for check-ins and baggage collections.

While touring Australia, we heard about the honey and thought about bringing some back as a souvenir.  The honey was as good as everyone said and we literally scraped the edges to get every last drop.  The bananas were pretty awesome too.  Would you believe that traveling from Sydney to Cairns, we had our fruit confiscated at the airport.  I know that from country to country this can happen, but I never imagined that within the same country the agriculture restrictions would be so serious.  Apparently, Queensland has the best bananas in the country.  Also, good for you to know, is that Australia does not import bananas due to the plant pest and disease threats that would give way to their local farmers.  I suppose there is fear that even New South Wales grown bananas could carry pests that would harm the banana farms in the North (Queensland).  History tells us that Chinese migrants introduced the first banana to Australia back in the 1800s. Today, the tropical regions of Queensland produce most of Australia’s bananas.

So going back to the honey that we scraped out of the jar…

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Likely the best honey, Tasmanian Leatherwood, we have ever tasted.

We were so glad that we didn’t buy more as even honey was confiscated from state to state.

After Queensland, we flew to New Zealand and upon entry immigration and agriculture must confiscate fruits and honey.  I watched one family lose all their honey that they had in their carry ons.  I was so sad for them.  There is one trick that will likely work out for you if you have go from state to state with honey.  Buy the honey at the Duty Free Shop in the airport, but if you are going to another state after that and you still have that honey, it will be taken from you.  Only get the honey at the duty free shop if your final destination is outside of these regions.  So going from Melbourne straight to Vancouver, should work out for you.

 

Let Go of Fear

What are you afraid of when you travel?  Do you fear that you might get robbed? Are you nervous to take the public transit? Are you afraid of getting lost if you venture outside of the touristy zones?

I usually am not traveling alone, so I rarely have concern for my safety because it’s always feels safer with a companion.  Of course, I am mindful and live consciously in every moment.  Two people can still get caught up in a mess, like Dumb and Dumber.

Usually in North America, we rent cars when we visit a new city, especially if it is a less populated city with poor public transportation.  On a recent trip through Australia and New Zealand our car rental experience was the first of its kind because we both had never driven on the left side of the road before.  Fortunately, our American drivers licenses were acceptable.  Naturally, my husband usually does most of the driving, but I like to give him a break here and there.  After 2 days in Cairns, Australia I got behind the wheel for a quick test.  I only drove for about a block, just to give myself a taste of driving on the opposite side that I am used to.  It wasn’t much practice, yet I felt I was ready when we got to New Zealand, which was CRAZY because the terrain was extremely different than Cairns.  The road along the coast had more valleys, hills, tight turns, and shared one way bridges than I was ready for.  Many times I was driving so close to the edge of the mountain that one false move would send us down and out for life.  In that moment, I could not let fear creep up on me.  I had to trust that the road was engineered precisely and that the calculations for driving in the space were accurate.  I had to trust that God was with me and that nothing could go wrong. I had to believe that I was capable of driving like a champion. Maybe not as good as a Nascar driver, but at my slower speed I was getting a good test of patience and I was testing my husband’s too.  I trusted in that moment that I was experiencing the time of my life like no one else can but me and I had to enjoy it to the fullest. I didn’t allow fear to disrupt my joy.  I could not let it disrupt OUR joy.

When you travel, be sure to get the best experience you can and try something new. Even if something does freak you out a little bit, remember that you are exactly where you are supposed to be in that moment and you will get through it positively.  All things are for your good, so take it all in with joy.

 

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Daintree National Park and Mossman Gorge

In Cairns, you will need to rent a car to really explore the area well.  We drove about 130 km from Cairns to the Australian rainforest of Daintree National Park.  Millions of years ago, much of Australia was covered by rainforest. The climate became drier as glaciers disappeared and continents shifted. This area is one of the last refuges of Australia’s tropical rainforest and owned by the Aboriginal people, specifically The Eastern Kuku Yalanji people.

Upon arrival, you will be welcomed at the visitor center with educational material and a souvenir shop.  You can buy a shuttle bus ticket, which will take you up the road getting you closer to the Mossman Gorge and saving you walk time.

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The tour bus will take you along this road to get you closer to the Mossman Gorge. You are welcome to walk this road as well and the walk is about 20 minutes.

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Here is where the bus lets you off and picks you up.
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Walked across this bridge before approaching the crystal clear water over large granite boulders.
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Mossman Gorge
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You can go for a refreshing swim here, but be careful as there are turtles here, which I’m sure are harmless.  You never know though…there could be baby crocs here too.
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A refreshing moment.
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Walking back to our car, we passed by some homes and saw this unique bird.  It might be a yellow oriole bird.

 

Kangaroos in Australia

We rented a car from the airport in Cairns, Australia and the fellow at the car rental company let us know that we can see kangaroos in an open field just off the Captain Cook Highway heading towards Port Douglas and just near Trinity Beach. Just about 30 seconds off of the highway we spotted the kangaroos in an open field near a bowling club.  We were so excited to see these little cute kangaroos in what seemed to be their undisturbed natural habitat.

 

Entertain Your Soul Through Travel

Take a vacation that is good for your soul.  If you want to rest and allow your mind and body to be in peace, check out the all inclusive trips in the Caribbean and Mexico.  I reckon spiritual and yoga trips as well, although I have yet to experience this sort of trip.  Most of my adventures in the past two years have totally been to entertain my soul in cities by discovering authentic foods, hidden vibrant streets, cafes, art galleries and having conversation with locals.  Sometimes your soul needs to connect with other people or maybe even with animals around the world.  It always feels good to connect with nature and God’s beautiful creatures.  I took this photo while hanging out with these adorable koalas in Cairns, Australia.  Staring at an animal sounds boring and I typically don’t agree with visiting zoos.  I justified this experience because I didn’t know any other way to see these cute and cuddly animals in their native land.

Fun Fact: Did you know that koalas sleep for 16 hours a day? They need more time to digest the leaves they eat.

Entertain your soul to feel more alive in this journey we call life.

Just Say Hello

Ola, Hello, Bonjour, Kia Ora, Salam, Akwaaba, G’day and so many more greeting across this wonderful globe.  Greetings to each and every one of you.  Every place I visit, I try to connect with locals.  By simply greeting someone, you are welcoming a conversation. Striking a conversation with a stranger doesn’t have to lead to a super intense or long discussion, especially if you are on the go with a tight schedule.  All of my trips have been short and sweet, so I usually have limited time to capture as much as possible, but I always have moments to make an attempt to learn about local life. I appreciate their life, their land and their perspective.  If they want to know about me, I’m happy to share too.

All it takes is a quick greeting and if the individual is open, you can carry a conversation.  While visiting Australia, I wanted to connect with the Indigenous community outside of the museums and touristy sites.  One early morning in Cairns, my husband and I went to the Palm Cove Beach to watch the sunrise.  We did some meditation and then we took a walk along the beach.  There was a couple sitting along the edge where the beach meets the grass and right before reaching a shady woods area.  We started with “hello” and the hand gesture wave.  They responded with welcomes and had we a brief chat with them.  We learned that they were on a short and sweet trip too.  They had pitched a tent right behind them and planned to be there for 2 days as a getaway from their family.  They needed a break from their hustle and bustle.  We had an intimate moment, as the man told us that all the land belonged to them and that unfortunately there is no work so he is currently unemployed.  We also talked about going for a swim at this time of year and the dangers associated with the marine stingers and crocodiles.  We had read in the National Maritime Museum in Sydney that the crocodile is sacred in their culture as they believe that they embody the spirits of important people. The couple had no fear of going for a swim and confirmed what we had read in the museum.  They are both descendants of the Yirrganydji and maintain their spiritual connection with the land.  They proudly shared that they know how to spot and avoid the crocodiles and get of the water safely.

Speaking with them taught me to remove all judgement.  Prior to saying hello, I thought they would not want to talk to a tourist.  I took the risk and said hello anyway.  I believe if you put out love, you will receive love, so that’s what I did and they welcomed me.  We had a good chuckle, listened to a bit of music and then said our best wishes.  We snapped a pic for memories, however out of respect, I have only posted their shadows as we were on the beach and they were in their swimwear.

Thank you God for introducing me to more people and sharing pleasant moments across your globe.

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Palm Cove Beach, Cairns, Australia (Queensland)

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