Hey Guys! I am finally back home after nearly seven weeks away!! To say it was lovely to see my husband and family again is an understatement. I had such an incredible time travelling, it was one of the best periods of my life, but I missed my loved ones dearly. I’m almost certain I brought the sun back with me too because the weather was pretty glorious! You’re all very welcome 😛 Hooooowever in true U.K. style that was very short lived. This post will be about the second part of my Australia travels. You can check out the first part here.
After Surfer’s Paradise we went back on ourselves to the most easterly town in Australia called Byron Bay. A lot of people I met along my travels so far had said Byron Bay was their favourite spot so I was really looking forward to going there. The first thing I noticed when I arrived was that I had never seen so many hippies in my life!! Everyone there was so friendly and laidback, it was a completely different atmosphere to anywhere I’d encountered previously. I took part in a half day surf lesson here which was so much fun and oh so tiring! I literally ached for days afterwards. It was worth it though because I actually managed to stand up on the board a couple of times and feel like a real surfer chic! Byron Bay has gorgeous beaches and lush greenery, definitely making it a must-see when travelling the East Coast of Australia!
After Byron Bay we headed to Noosa, but stopped in Brisbane for about four hours en route. Most people were surprised that we were not spending the night in Brisbane, but after consulting the travel agent in STA, she informed us that even though Brisbane is a great place to live, in terms of tourism, there wasn’t that much to see. However, a lot of people disagreed with her statements, and since then I have learned there actually are a few nice things Brisbane has to offer. There is a free CityHopper ferry which is apparently a great way to see the city, the West End for great places to eat and drink and a koala sanctuary.
What I did get to see in the four hours I was there was Southbank, which looked like it didn’t belong there at all! There’s a lagoon and beach in the middle of the city and all around it are bars and restaurants. I loved the river views and the dining around this area. If I ever find myself in the East Coast again, I would like to spend 2-3 days exploring Brisbane.
The irony is, we actually saw more of Brisbane than we did of Noosa because our bus arrived late in the evening to Noosa and we were leaving early the next morning! Noosa is another place if, given the chance, I would like to spend more time, especially to take a walk along Noosa National Park and do some koala spotting! I would also love to see Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo, but as we had already been to the zoo in Melbourne, we were not too disappointed about not going.
From Noosa we headed to the world’s largest sand island called Fraser Island and we stayed here for 3 nights. We were on a guided 4WD bus tour which was so much fun! There are no roads on the island, just sand as I mentioned earlier, so it as pretty epic driving on the beach sand, rainforest to my right and the sea to my left! My favourite place on Fraser Island without a doubt was Lake Makenzie. It was so beautiful! I was literally in awe!! It only contains rain water. The sand there is pure white silica sand and literally feels like you’re walking on fluff. Apparently it’s the silica sand that filters the water making it so crystal clear. We were told we could exfoliate our skin, clean our teeth and wash our hair with this sand!!! I had my twists in so there was no way I was getting sand wedged in my twists, but I definitely tried out the former and was left with soft skin and squeaky clean teeth (although later someone told me the reason your teeth are so clean is because the sand scratches off your protective enamel so I would not recommend doing this guys!). I even got a bird’s eye view of the island from a sea plane which was just spectacular! Whilst in Fraser Island we also got to see golden dunes, freshwater creeks, walking trails through the rainforest and a rusting shipwreck. It really was a tropical paradise! I loved the fact that we also learnt a lot of aboriginal history whilst on the tour as well.
Next stop was Airlie Beach for our Whitsundays sailing adventure. This was also one of the destinations I was looking forward to the most because I had heard so many amazing things about the Whitsundays. To access the islands, we stayed a night before in Airlie Beach which is a tiny beach side town with a buzzing nightlife. We set sail off Airlie beach on a sailing boat to explore the various islands of the Whitsundays, of which there are 74 in total. I had no idea before I got there, but these islands reside upon the Great Barrier Reef. I spend a night on a sailing boat which was certainly enough for me. This was not because I didn’t love it, because I absolutely DID, but because I suffer from motion sickness, especially on boats, and the water was quite choppy that night. I thank God the contents of my dinner stayed inside me though! During this 2day/ 1night adventure, we got to snorkel, visit Whitehaven Beach which is the most photographed beach in the world (and I absolutely could see why!), and see the stars without any light pollution. I literally had my mouth open just admiring God’s creation in the sky. We stayed in Airlie Beach the day we arrived back from sailing which was lovely because we got to have drinks with the people we met on board.
Next stop after Airlie Beach was Magnetic Island which has a gorgeous untouched island feel to it! I booked an all-inclusive ferry and accommodation package which made the whole experience stress free. I only stayed one night here, but if I had more time, two or three nights would have been ideal. I would also advise anyone staying here to hire a Moke, which is a small roofless car, and explore the island that way. I spent my time here lazing around, admiring the rocky headlands and the sea.
After our Magnetic Island visit, we boarded our final Greyhound bus to Cairns. Even though I had never in my life spent so much time on a coach, I was devastated because I knew it meant the Australian part of my adventure was coming to an end. But what a place to end though! For me, Cairns was definitely the most poppin’ place in the trip. The first dose of that excitement was when we did the Atherton Tablelands Tour which is about an hour away from Cairns. The whole day was spent admiring and swimming in breath-taking waterfalls and natural water lakes. I even got to perform my own epic Herbal Esscences style fair flick, and see where Peter Andre whipped his eight-pack out years ago and filmed the ‘Mysterious Girl’ music video.
Next stop was the most beautiful part of Cairns for me, which was The Great Barrier Reef. We went on a day boat tour and got the once in a lifetime opportunity to dive in the reef! Scuba diving is something I have wanted to do for yearssss but having a hubby who has a perpetual fear of water had my dreams dashed. Words cannot describe how amazing this experience was!! Hands down it was the best ocean life I’ve ever seen, and even though it was my first time diving, I have snorkelled numerous times. Seeing the coral actually react to our movements, and all the different colours was just breath-taking!!! My biggest regret of the trip was not purchasing an underwater camera to capture all the underwater amazingness! But those memories will stay with me forever…
Our final adventure was to Cape Tribulation which was literally in the middle of no man’s land! To get here took about 2 hours in the coach and involved crossing the Daintree river. We stayed overnight here which in hindsight we wished we hadn’t because we missed the fun and craziness of Cairns, however if you prefer the quiet life then an overnight trip here may just be your thing. On our second day there we went crocodile spotting and spotted a mother and her tiny baby crocodiles! We also indulged in a rainforest walk and learnt about the beautiful landscape.
So I have come to the end of my blog about my time ‘backpacking’ Australia! It really was one of the most amazing times of my life, and I hope these posts have given you an insight into my time there and maybe even inspired some of you to take that leap and venture on your own adventure.
Until next time, stay blessed xXx
- MY FIRST EXPERIENCE ‘BACKPACKING’ IN AUSTRALIA
- 10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Me