Beth Woolway in front of a waterfall at Fairy Falls, Waitakere Regional Park, New Zealand

FAIRY FALLS | NEW ZEALAND

Snuggled under a rug, sat on my sofa, it’s hard to imagine that this time last week I was camping under the stars, laughing in waterfalls and handstand’ing on volcanic sand dunes on the beautiful North Island of New Zealand (Te Ika-a-Māui).     Bags unpacked, the comforting smell of sun-cream-drenched skin washed away, it almost feels like last week never happened, my countdown to Auckland now over, a 2 year trip in the making sped by over the course of 14 glorious days. Like most, even though I had yet to visit New Zealand, I was familiar with its reputation. A land of untampered beauty, of a lush, green, volcanic interior framed by a paradise-like coastline; abundant with breathtaking views and unpopulated wilderness. And again, like most people, I associated all of this imagery with the South Island (Te Waipounamu). Maybe I’d bought in to the South Island highlights reel that is the Lord Of The Rings movies, or maybe I’ve been happy to just be told that the South Island is ‘the beautiful island’, but whatever the reason, I still wasn’t expecting the beauty that I was met with when I arrived in Auckland. Staying just outside of […]

Pickpocketing targets, Ladies in skimpy clothing stand queuing outside of a nightclub

A LESSON LEARNED IN BARCELONA

Opening my eyes slowly, I struggled to focus on the room’s furniture in front of me. As the disorientation faded, so the stabbing pain in my head intensified and a wave of nausea washed over me. Clues as to my activities last night lay scattered around me where actual, clear memories escaped me. A discarded shoe in the walkway, a jacket on the floor…an angry boyfriend…no purse…     Like over 8 million visitors do every year, last year the Kiwi and I headed to Barcelona to soak up the culture of Catalonia’s capital. With its vibrant art scene, and high energy, the heart of the city runs to an explosive pulse – a rhythm kept alive by the thrum of tourist footfall by day, and the unremitting hum of an electric nightlife by night. As soon as we arrived, the Kiwi and I were swept up in its current and carried along in its wake, energised and excited by all there was to offer in the city’s sunkissed, rose-hued streets.     By the evening, in celebration of my recent birthday, the Kiwi and I found ourselves in a rum bar – a back-packer’s favourite located just a couple of streets […]

Suitcases at the airport

PACKING TIPS & TRAVEL ESSENTIALS

We’ve all been there. You’ve known about the holiday for months. You’ve pinned your way in to a ‘Holiday Outfits’ Pinterest board frenzy and now you’ve got to actually fit all of your inspired outfits into one suitcase. Along with the comfy denim shorts and flip-flops you’ll inevitably end up wearing once the vogue play suits and heeled sandals chafe. Oh – and did I mention – the flight leaves tomorrow at 6 am?! This scenario is me every time I travel. My most memorable instance of ‘the panic pack’ happened before one of my best friends and I travelled to the Ukraine. The night before our early morning flight, both my friend and I decided a pre-holiday tipple was in order in my London local. Needless to say, a wobbly walk home later and a hasty pack of the ‘floordrobe’ whilst under the influence, and I arrived in Kiev without one single piece of underwear. Bras, knickers – all forgotten. Now I’m not sure of your Eastern European shopping experience – but have you ever tried to underwear shop in a small Ukrainian town, 5 hours from the capital where nobody speaks English? Clearly my charades performance was misleading because four underwear sets later I returned from […]

Girls getting ready together

COUNTDOWN TO AUCKLAND

In June of 2010 I was on a high. I’d finished my degree at King’s College London, had embarked on a fantastic opportunity with Virgin Media and lived in a beautiful flat, two rows back from the Thames in Putney, London. By November of the same year the trajectory had changed. My paternal grandfather fell seriously unwell, the Virgin Media company was sold – its employees made redundant – and through a six-month break clause in the contract, I suddenly found myself with the prospect of nowhere to live. For a fleeting moment, my London bubble had burst and, much like when a normal bubble bursts, it had splattered itself over everything in the nearby vicinity. Suddenly friendships, routines – even my morning commutes – were monstrously changed and I saw an unfamiliar side of London – one of the struggle for employment and finances, combined with the exhaustion and expense of finding rented accommodation.   Would I change a thing now? Nope.   For those who believe that things happen for a reason, in the case of this series of sh*tty events, they may have briefly shaken my stability, finances and waist line (for the better) but they handsomely replaced […]

View of Wineglass Bay, Tasmania, Freycinet Peninsula, Tasmania, Australia

WINEGLASS BAY

As I sit in the office on a bleak British morning, the wind and rain howling at the windows, it’s hard not to let your mind wander back to times of sunshine and summer past. All it took was a ‘Tassie tweet’ on my twitter this morning and instantly I was transported back to memories of sunshine and sea, turquoise blues and lush greens and the sweet smells of the forest mixed with the more human smells of sweat and ‘sauce sandwiches’, all of the senses engaged in a daydream. Located on the Freycinet peninsula in Tasmania – the green, heart-shaped isle off of the southern coast of Australia – Wineglass Bay is the crowning jewel in an island of unspoiled habitats and unique and visually stunning ecosystems. Unlike the mainland of Australia with its colour schema of burnt reds and yellows, Tasmania’s location means that it’s landscape seems foreign in comparison, it’s landscape a colour palette of rich greens and dark blues.     Unlike most of mainland Australia, Tasmania is often neglected by those looking for the ultimate ‘Australian experience’ and in that sense I have to agree. After working in the capital of Hobart for a year, […]

Quokka stealing crisps, Rottnest Island, Western Australia

ROTTNEST ISLAND

Having family and friends spread out across the globe as we do, we have many special places dear to the Kiwi and I. Places not even known to us yet! It’s only 4 weeks until I travel to New Zealand (first time ever – I know, bad Kiwi loving girlfriend right?!) but I know that Auckland, where the Kiwi grew up, his father still lives and now the home of my best friend, is going to be special to me. Auckland, I can’t wait to meet you! But there’s one place that cemented itself as pretty special to us quite early on…Rottnest Island. Trust me, it’s prettier than it sounds. Most people travelling to Western Australia, which is less than you think when you consider the pull of the East Coast for those budget concious travellers, will tend to stick around the popular (mainland) pulls. Perth city, Margaret River and Fremantle to name but a few.     …Far less will make it to Rottnest however. This small island located 18km west of Fremantle, is a bicycle-riding only, snake and quokka infested gem, located within a teaming and healthy section of A class reserve. For only a short ferry ride […]

Rockpool portrait Feature

CHRISTMAS, ROUND 2

The Kiwi didn’t get much of a Christmas. Whilst the day we spent together with my family was wonderful, that was all he got. One day. As I spent the rest of my festive holiday horizontal, reclined on my parents couch, draining the dregs of the chocolate selection boxes (and girl-crushing on Aidan Turner in ‘towel-gate’), he was out running around a cold, muddy field in shorts. So this weekend, one where the Kiwi isn’t working being a rare one, we decided to head up the coast to Polperro, to fashion ourselves a little post-Christmas break at my parent’s holiday cottage. For fear of repeating myself – Polperro is one of my favourite spots in winter. The cold brings out the charm of this little crooked town and if you’re brave enough to leave the warmth of your cottage for the cliffs outside, I can promise you, it’s worth every goose bump.  We drove up in the rain on the Friday but woke to the sun in the morning. January diets abandoned to the wind outside, a hearty breakfast of avocado and salmon bagels stuffed on the inside, we headed to the cliffs beyond the harbour wall. Just the ticket in […]

Kynance Cove

THOSE WHO FLAT TOGETHER, STICK TOGETHER

In the autumn of 2010, my dishevelled, pre-Kiwi self turned up on the doorstep of 18b Eglantine Road, Wandsworth. The impersonal process of entering in to a flat share via a Gumtree ad is a common occurrence in London. Albeit a terrifying one. Sort of a lonely-hearts column meets an X-Factor-style popularity contest. Awkward, after-work viewings spent discussing the practicalities of divvying up the bills whilst all the time I’m thinking to myself whether the bank account is going to stretch to cover the amount of bleach I’m going to need to move in to this place. And use that bathroom. But here I was. On a doorstep. With all my worldly possessions. Little did I know that in only a few months this house would become my home, and my flat mates – like family. Naaw, I love you guys. So this weekend my former flat-mate, brother from another mother, desert boot wearing, enigmatic grey squirrel fanatic John(ty) and his wonderful girlfriend Vik, crossed the pre-Bodmin boundary line in to Cornwall. Since moving out of London, rarely have we had a chance to meet up, so it felt only right that we made this reunion special. Cornwall didn’t let […]

Polperro harbour in winter

A WINTER GUIDE TO POLPERRO

Scrolling through our previous posts and the KIK Instagram feed, it’s hard not to be aware of a dominating colour theme shared from one image to the next. The deep blues of Porthgwarra sea shots are sandwiched nicely between the golden photos of sun-bleached sand and glowing BBQ coals – the colour palette of an uncharacteristically British summer. Unfortunately, the reality in November is sadly a little more black and grey. And involves a heavier TOG duvet. Summer memories are now only accessible by scrolling through the photo albums on my phone, typically whilst I’m sandwiched between the bed sheets, one limb stuck out in the morning temperature adjustment routine, battling starting another working morning in the dark. But whilst my week days may have been shortened, the weekends have become my playground. Forgive my blasphemy, but I actually sort-of like the autumn and winter months. I know I’m not alone in a subsection of (windswept) British society who enjoy sunny crisp mornings and have a penchant for wool. The thing is, Cornwall does the colder months well. If you can let your imagination be transported to a Dickensian time of weather worn people hiding out in log fire warmed pubs, […]

Beach Feature

11 FACTS ABOUT CORNWALL – A CORNISH INFOGRAPHIC

After travelling the UK for the past 5 weeks, being apart from this crazy little place has taken its toll and it feels so good to be finally back on the coast, curled up in our little Cornish flat, with the seagulls outside and good fish and chips back on the menu. In honour of this quirky little county, I’ve put together a few of the brilliant facts which make it impossible not to fall head over heels, traditional steak over cheese and onion pasty, battered cod over scampi in love with this place. I’ve put them all together in a little infographic – feel free to share using the share buttons and embed code below. A Cornish Infographic Embed