I’m really not doing all that well with the whole weekly blog thing. Apparently travelling life doesn’t really tie in well with access to a computer! Anyway when I left off I was in Sydney getting ready to go up the East Coast. I didn’t do much to be honest as I had done a lot of the touristy stuff already but I went for some lovely walks and caught up on some sleep. Next stop was Brisbane where I was to jump on the bus up the East Coast from. I had a day there to explore and although it isn’t particularly touristy I had a good day chilling on the manmade beach at South Bank and walking through the botanical gardens.
So, the day after I arrived in Brisbane I got on the not so aptly named ‘Premier’ bus which took me up to Noosa for two nights. Met some lovely lads from Cardiff at the hostel and had a good first night there socialising and listening to a mad German playing the piano. Strangely enough you meet very few Aussies travelling the
East Coast – the majority of people I met were either British or German. The next day I was up bright and early to get another bus to Australia Zoo, something I have been looking forward to for the past few months! Set up by Steve Irwin it is literally in the middle of nowhere in Beerwah but it is the most amazing zoo! I paid for a tour around the wildlife hospital there and got to have a chat with the vets and see them anaesthetise and take blood from a koala. Interestingly koalas suffer badly from chlamydia and that was what she was taking the blood to test for. So then into the main zoo and it is so nice, the animals all have brilliant enriching enclosures and there are lots of shows on where you can watch them feed the 300kg tortoises or fly the birds literally centimetres over your heads. They have a big show in the crocaseum where Steve Irwin used to do a lot with the crocodiles for the TV and live audiences. They bring out this massive male crocodile to feed him and he is pretty terrifying, even the keepers looked like the didn’t want to get very close to him. I got a few standard Australia kangaroo selfies while I was there too!
From Noosa to Rainbow beach where I met an awesome bunch of people who I would then spend 3 days on Fraser Island with. After a very boring safety briefing we were let loose piling 8 people into a 4×4 and following our guide in the lead car. We got a short ferry to the island and then we were off driving the cars along the beaches. The highlights of the island would have to be champagne pools, which are natural seawater pools where the waves crash over the top and look like foamy champagne, and Lake McKenzie which is a beautiful fresh water lake inland where the sand is so pure you can literally brush your teeth with it. We spent the evenings camping on the island and socialising on the beach with a bag (or two) of goon. Goon is a seriously cheap and nasty wine i.e around 8 pounds for 4 litres! From the beach we had view of the stars which is literally unreal, with no light pollution you can see thousands of them and they are ridiculously bright.
From Fraser Island to Airlie Beach – via a horrendous 14 hour overnight bus. Airlie beach is a beautiful seaside town and the gateway to the Whitsundays! I spent 3 days on a boat snorkelling the reefs around the islands with another good bunch of people. We also went to the incredible Whitehaven beach which literally changes every single day and has some of the purest silica sand in the world, and if you decide to take a bit and get caught a pretty hefty $10,000 fine!
I had one final night in Airlie after the Whitsundays trip and randomly I ran into an old friend from my year at uni in a bar! Small world! She’s doing a working holiday too and was doing a slightly quicker East Coast trip than me but we had a good catch up. Then it was back on the “Premier” bus for the trip to Magnetic Island. I had two nights there in an amazing little hostel where you stay in beach huts that are literally on the edge of a cliff. We hired a little 4 man 4×4 for the day and did a tour of the island including a visit to the wild wallabies that you can feed – they did love a bit of carrot. We also did a pretty hefty walk to a beautiful secluded bay but unfortunately swimming in the sea was out of the question because of all the stingers! From Magnetic island I got my final bus to the last stop on my trip – Cairns.
My first day in Cairns I did a great barrier reef snorkel which was beautiful – the reef has so many amazing colours and so many incredible fish too! Finally managed to find a turtle and took a few underwater selfies! There were lemon sharks there too and all kinds of other fish. I met a couple of lovely girls on the tour who are Herefordshire young farmers so I spent the next few days in Cairns hanging out with them! I also had a go at white water rafting while I was there – so much fun although I did spend half the day thinking I was going to die and fell into some pretty dangerous rapids! I also did a interesting tour up to Cape Tribulation and the Daintree Rainforest, it started off with a cleansing ceremony by a rather strange aboriginal man called Mooks who also called everyone else Mooks too! Then we went in se
arch of wild crocadiles and we did see a few but they were only babies! We had lunch on a beautiful beach where the night before there had apparently been a full grown male crocodile just lounging around. Our tour guide was pretty crazy too – he seemed to enjoy blowing on spider webs which had monstrous spiders on as well as sucking up little ants because they apparently tasted either sweet, sour or lemon! Needless to say I decided not to join him in his snack of choice!
From Cairns I headed back down to Melbourne to meet up with a friend for a few days before I got a ridiculously small and terrifying plane over to Tasmania. And so I am going to stop there for the moment, I have use of a laptop now so will post some weekly updates of the goings on in Tasmania and working life out here! Hope you enjoyed my whistle stop account of the East Coast!