The largest country in Oceania and sixth largest country by total area in the World, Australia, home to the famous Kangaroo and some of the most dangerous wildlife out there. Its extremely diverse culture and landscapes should put Australia right at the top of anyone’s bucket list!
In Sydney, I stayed at Base Backpackers – few minutes walk away from Darling Harbour and a supermarket within walking distance. During my 7 days in Sydney, I visited the Blue Mountains for a whole day as well as Taronga Zoo – the view from here was amazing. One of the best city views you can get in Sydney is by doing the Bridge climb, I did this in the evening and the view was just phenomenal!
My best experience in Sydney though was the New Year’s Eve celebrations at the Luna Park. The atmosphere there was outstanding and those who were on the Ferris wheel at midnight – they just had the best view of the fireworks! However, if I am to spend NYE in Sydney again, I would prefer to spend it onboard one of the boats that are close to the bridge – the view I believe would be just WOW!
Following Sydney, I then flew to Brisbane where I started my 18-day journey in Queensland. Spending just a few days in Brisbane, I then went on to the Gold Coast where I spent my time sunbathing on Surfers Paradise and had the time to visit Sea World and Movie World.
After visiting the Gold Coast, I then hopped on a Greyhound bus to Noosa where I stayed for a night and was picked up the next morning by the company I booked my 3 day Fraser Island camping trip from.
This trip included the tent we slept in, sleeping bags as well as all meals. Fraser Island, also known as K’Gari is the world’s largest sand island off the east coast of Australia. With its long sandy beaches, tall rainforests and freshwater lakes, Fraser Island have been listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1992.
One would ask, is it worth it? – From my personal point of view, it is a yes. However a one time visit I believe would be enough. I have plenty of nice memories in K’Gari – Lake McKenzie was just majestic and 4wd through the sand dunes was incredible!
Post Fraser Island, I took another bus to from Rainbow Beach to Airlie Beach (14-hour drive). Here, I spent just one night as the next morning I got on a 3-day sailing trip to the Whitsundays. Again, all meals included in this trip.
The Whitsundays consist of 74 islands in total. As most islands remain uninhabited, only four offer resort accommodation with the Great Barrier Reef at their doorstep. While snorkeling in the Whitsundays, we got to see Nemo, a few turtles, and Maori (we used to call him George). The most well known uninhabited Island would most probably be Whitehaven Beach with its pristine white sandy beach and crystal clear waters it is clearly a must visit. Did you know, the sand here is 99% silica? This is quite useful for our skin and hair’s wellbeing. While Hamilton Island on the other side is the most popular resort island offering several activities ranging from sea kayaking to breakfast with Koalas!
Once we got back to Airlie, I had lunch at the coziest little place here called Harry’s corner – great milkshakes and omelets! After lunch, I then went to the station for another overnight bus trip to Cairns.
In Cairns, I lodged at the hostel called Travellers Oasis. Loved the atmosphere, however, the only downside to this place is that it is not quite central. It was an overall pleasant stay though, we had an Aussie BBQ one-night incl. croc, kangaroo, ostrich and barramundi meat. Croc meat – Surprisingly DELISH!
During my stay in Cairns, I visited Kuranda. Cute little Village in the rainforest on Cairns’ Tablelands. Here, one will find plenty of markets selling aboriginal artifacts. I have also come across a small stall selling fresh coconuts. The guy at the stall would chop off the upper part of the coconut so that you could drink the juice – Utterly Refreshing! Once you drink all the juice, he would cut the coconut into pieces you can eat.
The next day, I went on a whitewater rafting adventure in Barron River, close to Kuranda. Being the Tropical North, I must say, I was a bit skeptical about this as there could have been crocs. But, it was a great adventure and we just had plenty of fun and laughed throughout. The photo below proves it all.
While in Cairns, I got a phone call from my relatives living in Melbourne. Last time I saw these fellas was when I was just 4 years old. How did they know I’m in Australia? Grandma wrote them a letter and gave them my contact number.
I left Cairns a day earlier, to be able to spend more time with them. Mind you, Cairns is a great place for a bunch of activities and I do regret not doing certain activities such as a two day Great Barrier Reed diving experience or skydiving over the GBR.
In Melbourne, I stayed in a Hostel for a few days in Flinders Ln which is quite central. This hostel organized free city walks to get you better acquainted with the culture and history of the city.
This beautiful city was at one point the richest city in the World during the 1880s. From the street Graffitis in Union Lane to Flinders Street Station, Melbourne is a definite visit when you’re visiting the land Down Under. Close to Fitzroy, a nice laidback bar offers good pizza for just 4AUD.
I spent my last week in Australia with my relatives driving along the Great Ocean Road in their campervan, one of the main attractions along this road being the twelve Apostles. A few weeks before, regretfully there were bushfires in the area, so we saw a lot of burnt trees. Lorne and Camperdown were two of the few stops we did along the Great Ocean Road.