07.12.2012 - 21.12.2012
With the end of the trip comes the arrival of Mr Adam Camm for one sunny Christmas and NYE!
Here we go with the East Coast adventure...
Day ten, Uluru to Cairns;
Flight to Cairns today, leaving the dust behind to start the East coast part of the tour which means a new tour manager, coach driver and 25 new names and faces to learn! We had a group meal once in Cairns at a place called The Woolshed which promotes dancing on the tables, Sammy you would have loved it!
Day eleven, Cairns;
Visited the Great Barrier Reef today and yes I did go in the sea to see the fish! Very rocky boat ride out to reach the location where we spent the day. Really good set up, use of snorkels, sunbathing area, lunch and the choice of two different glass bottom boats to go on. I spent about 40 minutes in the water saw some colourful fish and thankfully no sharks! I went on both boats, one was a submarine boat so we were sitting under the water and the other a glass bottomed boat, this is when I saw the sharks! Made it back safely to shore though!
Day twelve, Cairns;
Free day today to explore Cairns, I explored the swimming pool, so nice to finally have a day of nothing! Went into the town to the lagoon, which is basically the public swimming pool but it over looked the sea, very nice setting! The evening was spent looking around the shops and the night market, Cairns had their official Christmas lights turning on ceremony, still not use to it being warm!
Day thirteen, Cairns to The Whitsundays;
Travel day to get to The Whitsundays for 2 nights and one day sailing. Reached Airlie for the boat at about 4pm and were off a little while later to our first spot to anchor for the night. Very rocky so the sickness tablets came out! Sailing was very scary, really thought we were going to tip over we were at such an angle! Tiny beds but the goon helped me sleep!
Day fourteen, The Whitsundays;
Sailed to White haven beach today, AMAZING! So pretty, pure white sand that you could use to polish jewellery sadly I could not take any home as it is a protected beach. Sting rays in the sea around the beach that you could go in with too. After the beach stop we went to Cataran Bay for those who wanted to go snorkeling, I had had my fill at the reef and glad I did not go in when lots of people came back with cut feet from the coral.
Day fifteen, The Whitsundays to a farm stay;
Finally back onto dry land and off to a cattle farm for the night. The ranch was in the middle of nowhere and run by a family who had 26,000 acres! We went on a hay wagon ride around some of the farm and met some of their cattle, all wearing cowboy hats of course! The nights entertainment in their barn was whip cracking and karaoke, the family's young daughter put us all to shame with whip cracking, she was amazing!
Day sixteen, Farm stay to Fraser Island;
Travelling day to get to Fraser Island with a lunch stop in a small town called Childers with the most friendly people ever! We were stopped about 5 times and asked our life stories, where are we from, where are we going etc. 45 minute ferry ride across to Fraser Island from Hervey Bay to arrive at our eco lodges which thankfully were not as eco as I thought they would be. We watched the sunset on the beach and saw dolphins although I did not manage to spot them!
Day seventeen, Fraser Island to Noosa;
Best day by far, first of all we had a little lie in which is always good seeing as our start times have been 6/7am on the coach leaving. We were picked up by two massive 4x4 vehicles and I got to sit up front which was so much fun! We drove about half a mile and then the road became sand and off we went on the bumpiest ride ever, so much fun though! Our first stop on our day trip on Fraser Island was Lake McKenzie for a quick dip and BBQ lunch cooked by the 4x4 tour guides. During lunch we ended up being attacked by Kookaburra's who were successful in their raid and managed to grab a couple of steaks! After lunch we went to another part of the island for a walk in the rain forest did not spot any interesting animals or insects though. Off to the next stop, Rainbow Beach and this is when we took the beach highway, yes driving on the beach! Along the way we spotted a baby Dingo which was amazing to see but would have been nicer had it not been eating a turtle! Caught a 5 minute ferry over to Noosa to then be dropped off at our hotel which had....free washing machines, so many excited people for this one fact!
Day eighteen, Noosa to Surfers Paradise;
Today was a very stressful start to the day...the alarm did not go off. The tour rule is if you miss the coach you have to make your own way to the next location, the coach was departing at 8am, we woke up at 7.55am! Luckily for us we had the morning in Noosa to get our own breakfast and were leaving the town at 10am so me and my two roommates got a taxi from the accommodation into town but did have to lug our cases around with us, the worst thing was that no one noticed we were not there! Next stop Brisbane but only for about 3 hours which was annoying, I loved it there and would have wanted at least one night. I found the lagoon with my friend Hannah so we spent the hours sunbathing among all of the Christmas things going on around us! Then onto Surfers Paradise for two night stay.
Day nineteen, Surfers Paradise;
Another free day today so I spent the morning at the pool and then the afternoon on the beach with a look around the shops. I do not think much of Surfers Paradise, looking forward to moving on...
Day twenty, Surfers Paradise to Byron Bay;
I held a Koala today and it pooed on me...lovely picture with it though! This was at Currumbin Wildlife Park, one of the few places along the East Coast that you can hold a Koala. It was a small park but really good, you got to go into the Kangaroo enclosure and touch them, I saw a joey in a pouch which was actually quite disgusting! Travelling onto Byron Bay via visiting the most Eastern point of Australia and then spent the afternoon on the beach and then in a bar before dinner with some of the others.
Day twenty one, Byron Bay to Coffs Harbour;
Free morning to look around Byron Bay some more before heading to a place just outside of Coffs Harbour for surf camp! Yes that is correct I went surfing! The hardest part was carrying the board which was nearly twice my height! I managed to get up on the board about 5 times though and did some spectacular underwater drowning. I even have a war wound in the form of a massive bruise that covers a lot of my thigh from the fin on the board. Tonight we are sleeping in converted shipping containers which are a lot nicer then we all thought they would be!
Day twenty two, Coffs Harbour to Sydney;
I cannot believe that the day to travel to Sydney has already arrived! Very long travel day on the coach, I think it was about 6/7 hours in the end. Finally the skyline came into view and then we were crossing the Harbour Bridge with the Opera House in the distance, AMAZING! Quick stop at a viewing point for the first of many photo's of the bridge and Opera house. Then onto our final hotel for the last two nights, out for dinner at Harry's Pie Shop which was a takeaway meal; your choice of pie with mash on top, mushy peas top of that if desired and then ketchup or gravy! yum yum!\
Day twenty three, Sydney;
The coach dropped us off at Manly Beach in the morning and I ended up staying there all day with a few others and getting the ferry back to Sydney. Very relaxed day! Last supper with the Contiki group at Darling Harbour, amazing food! We then headed out to the bars for some farewell drinks.
Day twenty four, Sydney;
Last day of the tour! Bitter sweet though because it means Adam is in Sydney and I will see him in the afternoon! We went out of Sydney today to visit the Blue Mountains, which was really pretty but personally I did not find it that amazing! About 8 of us managed to get lost though because we were taking too many pictures of ourselves! Our tour guide eventually found us though! We also visited The Three Sisters which is basically three bits of rock one after the other, they are a sacred site to the aboriginal people. Final coach journey back to the hotel, lots of tears and hugs with my new friends as we all part ways. Met by Adam at the hotel which was lovely, we then headed to our hostel which is home for the next 3 nights to start my next Australian adventure!
Amazing time on the tour, so glad I did it that way and did not travel alone! Please excuse the spelling, this has taken ages to write and I will not be proofing it it is too hot to sit at the computer any longer!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in advance!
x x x