So last time we wrote we had just snorkeled on the great barrier reef and were about to start our Greyhound bus leg of the East coast. We have bought a ‘jump on jump off’ ticket between Cairns and Sydney, which means we are able to stop as many times we like along the route.
Our first stop was Mission Beach, where we stayed at Absolute backpackers. People come here to skydive onto the long golden beach. We, however, did not and couldnt even if we wanted to as the weather was too bad to jump, but we did however get to do some wallaby spotting. We wished we had more time to explore the town and surrounding area but we had to move onto Townsville – The highlight of Townsville was eating a Mortem Bay Bug burger.
Then we arrived at the backpacker party town of Arlie Beach and for a night we almost believed we were 18 again, like the Swedish teenagers we were drinking with! This is the starting point for the Whitsunday Islands, a group of 74 ( I think?!) with white sand beaches, rainforest trees and marine life at every turn. We went on a one day tour with Ocean Rafting, and it really was an inflatable raft! We bounced around, getting wet speeding through the waters, especially as Ryan made us sit on the edge without proper seats! It was a good way to see a lot fast, though people we met were going on boat tours for several nights which made me jealous. We snorkelled (in the rain) and then went to Whitehaven beach, the third most photographed spot in Australia. Even on a rainy day it was lovely, made more interesting by the hundreds of small blue and white crabs scrambling along the sand
We made a quick stop off in Rockhampton, mainly just to sleep, before heading to the small town of Agnes Waters. This town is twinned with 1770 a smaller settlement along the beach where Captain Cook first went ashore in Queensland. It is also the first point along our trip where we could swim safely in the sea without stinger suits, so we took advantage on the lovely beach before hiring bikes and cycling to 1770. We stayed in a hostel called Cool Bananas, which was laid back and friendly. We were also both told we looked like different celebrities so maybe that helped with us liking the place!
We had a brief stop over in Hervey Bay, where we learnt Possums live in the walls of your hostel room and sneeze. Then arrived at Noosa Head where we were going to join a Nomads tour of Fraser Island. We stayed at the Nomads hostel before leaving, described to us as the worst hostel along the coast! Luckily our dorm room was clean though very hot! We did the two day one night 4W drive tour and had lots of fun with a great group of people and a chilled out guide. We got to drive the cars ourselves along the beach and rough inland tracks. The best parts were seeing and swimming in the lakes around the island. As Fraser is the largest sand island in the world all of the lakes have beaches around them, some have tiny fish in them which eat the dead skin off your feet and others turtles! The trip was made by some night time dingo spotting on the beach. When one came towards us to have sniff we all held our breath, though luckily my arm waving sent her off! We came back to Noosa tired but happy, also wishing we had more time to explore the town itself. The main beach is beautiful but busy and Sunshine beach longer and more rugged.
There is also a hastily made video of some 4wd at Fraser Island here.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOvM3mDfx-8&feature=youtu.be
The next part of our journey takes in state capitol cities and a few more beaches…stay tuned for the next instalment…
R & E