East Coast

So I wrote this over two weeks ago now, but the lack of internet has made it nearly impossible to upload so please ignore the delay, and imagine it’s two weeks ago now!

The last few weeks have been so non-stop I’m not even sure what I’ve done, where I’ve been, or what’s happened anymore, but one thing is for sure, it’s been an incredible few weeks and just the pick up I’ve needed.

Since we left England (nearly four months ago now – crazy how quick time flies) we’ve been constantly on the move, not staying in one place for more than a week, but I’m not ready to find somewhere to call home, or hopefully will be very soon! However, in the build up to that I’ve spent every penny I had left on making the most of my East Coast adventure.

Travelling from Cairns to Brisbane has been the best trip yet, and it’s not even finished! I can’t wait to one day finish the East Coast going from Brisbane back down to Sydney, but in the mean time, money is needed. But to keep you updated, here’s what the last three weeks has brought.

Our first stop after the wonderful Cairns saw us in Mission Beach. While the usual reason for stopping there is to skydive, we decided to take on a different adrenaline sport – extreme white water rafting! I have to say, it was the best activity I’ve done yet. Although nervous at first having decided to do the extreme version and the fact that I’ve not had to properly swim in years, it was definitely the right decision. We spent the whole day rushing through Tully River past waterfalls, over rocks, swimming through lakes, jumping off cliffs and sliding down natural slides – what better way could you spend the day? The views along the way were incredible, while drifting along in the water after being chucked out of the raft; you couldn’t help but pinch yourself at the sight. It was too good to be true. Not only was the trip itself great but so were the people we spent it with. We grouped up with two Australian sisters from Adelaide, and a guy from Germany who were all up for the adventure and willing to share a few laughs along the way, they were the perfect people to spend the trip with. Whilst there was not much else to see in Mission Beach, the views and sunset over the seafront are definitely worth witnessing. The moon rose the same time the sun set – something I’ve not seen before, but it was incredible to witness. I’ve never seen the moon so big before, and with the reflection of the sunset, the beautiful mix of reds and oranges really did fill the sky.

After Mission Beach we headed down to Magnetic Island catching the ferry from Townsville. While we were there we stayed in the YHA hostel. Magnetic Island is known for its beautiful beaches and my, were they beautiful. With it only taking around 30 minutes to drive around the whole island, there are many beaches and coves to see as well as a number of hill top walks, just mind the heat! We decided to take a couple of walks to the hidden coves forgetting just how hot the temperature was, that being said, no natter how hot the day is, the walks are definitely worth it. With our booking at YHA we had access to their wildlife park for the morning, giving us the opportunity to hold and kiss a crocodile, as well as holding a koala, snake and lizard. I’m normally not one for zoos, but this made a great change, as it was a great way to interact with Australia’s famous creatures!

We then drove down to Airlie Beach, ready to set sail on our Whitsundays adventure! So many people we met along the coast said that Airlie was their favourite place, so it was no wonder we were counting down the days until our arrival there. I can understand why it was a favourite spot, it was a small town, basically one street, filled with bars, clubs and takeaways – any clubbers idea of heaven. It was great fun staying in Airlie, and the nights out were brilliant, but we didn’t come to Australia to party 24/7 so couldn’t wait for our Whitsundays trip. Although there was not much to do in Airlie during the day, the lagoon was beautiful and a great way to pass a few hours. We decided to go with Pride of Airlie for our Whitsundays trip, however, once in the town, we heard a range of opinions, all saying something negative – not what you want to hear when you’ve spent $500 on the trip! With this in mind, we went in with a positive outlook and were happily surprised. I loved my time over in the Whitsunday islands, admittedly the trip was extortionately priced for what you get and for the time spent on the island (it was the same as if you were doing a day trip – why they dragged it out over three days I don’t know) but the people we met really did make the trip worthwhile. We were staying in a beautiful hotel, with a swimming pool and all meals included (even if they were just pasta and rice… still better than nothing). On the first day we spent the afternoon heading over to our private island where we were all staying, before taking sometime to get to know everyone in the pool. It was then time for dinner, and a few drinks in the bar before an early night ready to be up at 6am! The next day was what everyone was looking forward to, sailing past all the islands, visiting Whitehaven beach, and snorkelling along the coastal edge. While it doesn’t sound like much, and the majority of the day was spent on the boat, we still had a great time… besides the sunburn that is! The last day saw us on an 8 o’clock morning walk up the mountains to see the views across the islands. At first everyone was reluctant to do the walk in their hungover state, but it was definitely worthwhile! The views were incredible and a great way to cure the hangover. It was then time to head back to Airlie for one more night before catching our overnight bus to Agnes Waters…

The overnight bus… what to say. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, but that might be because I was one of the very lucky few who had to seats to themselves, and a window that didn’t leak – otherwise it was the bus ride from hell. The air conditioning on the bus had a fault which caused water to pour out of the left hand side of the bus, covering all the seats and the people on them, then, on top of that, we hit severe floods on our way down to Airlie causing the bus to stop in its tracks and be guided through by police. I’ve never seen so much rainfall! It honestly looked like we had decided to go on a tour through a river! Once we arrived in Agnes, we only had a day there so needed to make the most of our time, even though it was still raining. With not much to do in the town, what with there being about 9 different shops or cafes in general which all seemed to close at 3pm, we decided to test ourselves at surfing seeing as it was the cheapest place for lessons along the East coast – only $17 for three hours! At first I was nervous, I had no idea what I was doing. A few cuts, and many bruises later I had managed to get up on the board a number of times and really did enjoy myself! It was a great way to spend the day even with no sleep the night before!

After Agnes, it was time to head to Hervey Bay, ready for our Fraser Island trip! I could go on forever about our trip, but it deserves a post of it’s own it was that eventful… So for now, I’ll create suspense and just say that we honestly nearly died, but I absolutely loved every second of the trip!

After Hervey Bay and saying goodbye to Freddie, me and Chantelle ended our trip in an AirBnB in Noosa. I had heard great things about the town, and can completely understand why. It is one of the few places in Australia that I have visited that I could actually see myself living in. It truly was beautiful. With brilliant beaches, coastal walks and a range of towns and villages there was so much to do, I just wish we had more than two nights there! While there, we walked up to the lookout to see the sunset, a must-do in Noosa! The views alone are incredible, let alone with the sun setting in the background, it doesn’t get much better! We then spent the next day doing a 3-hour coastal walk taking us along the beachfronts, giving spectacular views across the town. The rest of the day was spent looking for op shops before having a quiet night in with the other people staying at the house. The house itself was beautiful and the owners were both incredible and friendly, as were there two dogs! It was a great change to stay in a home again, and be out of bunk beds! We thoroughly enjoyed our time with the hosts and getting to know the other guests staying at their home along with sharing stories of our travels so far!

After Noosa, it was time to jump on the coach to Brisbane, ready to spend a few hours there over night before catching my plane back to Cairns. While I didn’t get to see much of Brisbane, what I did see, I liked. I would definitely go back, despite all the negative comments about the city, I really enjoyed spending the day there!

That was a quick run through of my time along the East Coast – it all seems like ages ago now! I’ll go into a lot more detail on each place, I mean, I’ve got a lot of spare time now that I’m working. Yes, working in Australia. I’m currently in Tully, a town just two hours south of Cairns, ready to start work on the banana farms. So far, I’ve been pleasantly surprised, everyone is so friendly, the town is bigger than I thought (it’s still tiny, but I wasn’t expecting much), and it’s great to back with the guys I met in Sydney. They’ve really made me feel at home and I can’t wait to see what the next three months will bring! It is odd not being with Chantelle, the coach and flight yesterday seemed weird not having her there to talk to, but now I’m settled in, I feel at home and I’m so glad I made the decision to come here!

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