If you are one of the lucky ones who follow me on twitter then you’ll know I’ve been harping on about how I’ve not had much time to blog on this road trip. I’ve also been talking about a two-week update that I was hoping to post about a week ago now! Here’s the thing, I love writing and starting this blog has brought me so much enjoyment and fulfilment so far. And that’s exactly what I want it to continue doing. So no, I haven’t been cramming in time and forcing myself to blog during the last three weeks because I simply wanted to enjoy our roadie down the East Coast. I didn’t want to be worrying about when the next blog post would be finished. I didn’t want to turn down a Fraser Island sunset to upload all my photographs, edit and upload them into word press. But after spending a couple of days back in Brisbane with some friends of ours I have a little more time on my hands to update you guys on our big East Coast Roadie, which sadly comes to an end in just over a week!
This roadie has brought us to some amazing places which have left us speechless with delight. I never knew such beautiful and diverse destinations existed in one country! One day I’m in the rain forest the next I’m swimming in the most aqua blue ocean I’ve ever seen! We’ve sailed, we’ve camped, we’ve driven, we’ve snorkelled, surfed and swam – a lot, all with the biggest smiles slapped across our now, very tanned, faces! So far, we’ve driven and explored almost 2000 kilometres that Queensland has to offer and this next week we are crossing the border into New South Wales.
With that in mind, I decided that now was the perfect time to share a little, and I mean very little, a snapshot of what we’ve been up to in the sunny state of Queensland. It’ll also give you an idea of the stories I’ll be telling you all over the next few months. Because Alicia Overseas is for sure about to turn into a blog all about Australia for the foreseeable future!
Brisbane – Cairns
With the sun still fast asleep we set off on a very dark Monday morning at 4 am for the airport! Luckily, we have some amazing friends in Brisbane who drove us to the airport backpacks in tow! Our first huge roadie then begins a mere two hours later when our flight touched down in the very hot and humid Cairns! Now I’m sure most of you already know why Cairns is pretty special but if you don’t here’s a clue, its where the Rainforest meets the Reef! Just north of Queensland you’ve got Cape Tribulation, the very heart of the Daintree Rainforest and from Cairns itself you’ve got the ultimate gateway to The Great Barrier Reef. Did you know that The Great Barrier Reef is a world heritage listed sight? Pretty awesome! We were headed to Cairns to four days, which still wasn’t enough!
On arrival, we made it to our campervan pick up point (after leaving and retrieving the brand-new camera from the back of the taxi we had just left behind) and drove away two very happy people! As the designated driver going from a Fiat 500 to a Toyota HiAce was a bit of a change but after a few stalls we were off and ready for our adventure of a life time! We explored the lagoon in Cairns and just chilled out on our first day, after the flight and all the excitement it was exactly what we needed!
On our second day, we were leaving Cairns behind and heading inland by an hour on the hunt for the Tablelands and all those beautiful waterfalls you see plastered all over the gram! The Tablelands became our home for two days and we experienced some of the most stunning lakes and waterfalls Australia has to offer including, Josephine Falls, Milaa Milaa Falls, Diner Falls and The Crater! Our favourite? Josephine Falls! As for lakes we swam in the gorgeous Lake Eacham alongside a baby turtle, lunched at Lake Barrine and camped at Lake Tinaroo! And again, like most places we’ve visited two days was not long enough by any stretch of the imagination!
I’m just going to put it out there now. Every single place we have stopped, excluding Townsville (not much there, just my opinion!) we could have doubled the length of time we had planned to stay! I’m saying that now so I ain’t gonna be repeating myself a million times and bore you to death!
So after safely making back down the Gilles Highway, if you’ve been you’ll know what I mean! We were back in Cairns for a trip to the reef to try and find nemo in his natural habitat!
Top Tip: Book your trip to the reef when you arrive in Cairns with a tourist information centre. They know the best boats and best deals! We managed to save $140 by booking with them! & if you’re visiting Australia on any kind of budget, you’ll need all the savings you can get!
The reef was easily one of the best things I’ve experienced in my life. There’s so much negativity about the reef and the fact that the coral is dying I didn’t know what to expect! Despite that the reef to us was amazing and the life down under had my childhood dream of being a mermaid coming true!
Cairns – Mission Beach
After the most incredible start to our roadie, we were hitting the very open very quiet Aussie highway once again! Our next leg of the trip was to the stunning mission beach! I felt like I’d been transported from Australia to Hawaii! Mission beach is lined with palm trees, fallen coconuts and stunning views of small islands in the distance! Mission beach was everything we hoped except one thing that let it down, ourselves! Why? Mission Beach is the number 1 destination in Australia to skydive and we didn’t. We had somehow persuaded ourselves that we didn’t have enough time which is abs-ol-ute rubbish! I’m so gutted we chickened out but it just means we have to visit this gorgeous beach in the future!
Mission Beach – Townsville
As your probably guessing Townsville was a little disappointing. Don’t get me wrong Townsville is a nice quaint little beach town but other than that there isn’t much else there, except Magnetic Island! Maggie Island is where you can hire Barbie convertibles, yes, I mean Barbie as in Barbie and Ken, driving round the island with the wind in your hair trying to spot a koala or two. Personally, I was stoked for this trip! I’m guessing you can probably sense a but? You’d be right. This winter Queensland has suffered the worst winter drought they’ve seen in years, but this weekend the heavens opened and storms rolled in. This then left the island with red weather warnings and two very disappointed Brits. So, we had a very rainy-day exploring Townsville which was okay but as I said there isn’t much there! We did, however, visit a turtle hospital which was awesome! But that’s for a whole other post!
Townsville – Airlie Beach
The disappointing few days in Townsville were soon washed away as we approached Airlie Beach for a few days of sailing on the famous Whitsunday Islands! The Whitsundays was by far the highlight of this trip, sorry Fraser you were very very close! We set sail to the islands on the New Horizon wooden sailing boat which was amazing! Without this boat, we wouldn’t have had the same experience out on the water! This boat was the perfect balance between social party and relaxed sailing with an epic set of crew members making our trip even more spectacular! We snorkelled, we swam, we visited the unreal Whitehaven Beach – by far the best beach I have ever seen with 92% Silica sand, we stargazed, enjoyed water sport’s and drank a whole lot of goon! (If you know, you know!) With sunsets to die for and memories that I will never ever forget The Whitsundays will stay in my heart forever! Not to mention the amazing bunch of people we met on board! It’s safe to say we left Airlie Beach with new friends, unforgettable moments and one big fat hangover!
Airlie Beach – Agnes Water
I want to start this next part of my story by saying if your heading on a Whitsunday’s tour and you know you’re going to be drinking book another night on land at Airlie Beach and plan for it! We hadn’t incorporated an extra night at Airlie into our schedule so when we woke up after the after party with a stonking hangover it was clear we weren’t driving anywhere. This meant we had to take on an 8-hour drive the following day to stay on schedule and not miss anything out! It was a very long day topped off with road works, lots of traffic and a few kangaroos bouncing around the pavements when dusk hit. That said we made it to the seaside town of Agnes Water/1770 in one piece and so ready for a few beach days to relax!
The great thing about hiring a camper is you can just hop on google and book a campsite on the same day or even just turn up! On our way to Agnes Water, we found a little campsite on google that we thought we would check out. Mainly because the owners rehabilitate orphaned joeys and release them back into the wild in future years, so we hoped we might see a few of these furry friends! And boy when we arrived did we get more than we bargained for, as we approached the campsite, we were surrounded by up to fifty joeys and kangaroo’s which was amazing! As for 1770 and Agnes Water, the towns are very small and very quiet surf towns so if you’re looking for a relaxing few days away from the rest of the world this is your place!
Agnes Water – Noosa
After enjoying our surfing lifestyle at Agnes Water, we continued the beach town vibe and headed to Noosa. Noosa is one of the most affluent beach towns on the East Coast with a wide variety of culture and people from all walks of life. From backpackers, families and young couples to retirees and the odd millionaire occupying the stunning waterfront properties! There’s something for everyone in Noosa and we spent our weekend bodyboarding and sunbathing, my idea of bliss!
Noosa – Hervey Bay
If you know anything about the Australian East Coast then you’ll know that Hervey Bay is above Noosa so are probably questioning why we ended up going back on ourselves. This is because our Fraser Island tour went from Hervey Bay so we had to do a little jiggling around! On our way back up the coast, we dropped by at the very lovely Rainbow Beach which is for sure worth a visit if you’re passing by! As for Hervey Bay, there isn’t much there other than the gateway to the one and only Fraser Island!
Hervey Bay – Fraser Island
Fraser Island gave us an experience like no other! Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world made up of 98% sand and 2% rock! That means walking, talking, driving, sleeping in the sand for however long you’re on the island for! I left Fraser with sand in places I never thought possible but I didn’t care because Fraser gave me an adventure of a lifetime even if we were only there for a few days! We took an amazing tour with the group ‘Cool Dingo’s’ which was incredible! They took us to the best spots on Fraser Island, the coloured pinnacle sand, champagne rock pools, drove on the beach at 80km/h, relaxed on the natural lazy river Eli Creek, swam at Lake Mackenzie and so much more, I could never cram it all into this tiny little paragraph! In a word Fraser was sensational and I can’t wait to share my tips and knowledge of this World Heritage Listed National Park.
Fraser Island – Sunshine Coast
Post Fraser, It was safe to say we were wrecked and felt like we needed to sleep for a week! So, the five days post-Fraser have been the ultimate chill! We had our besties from Brissy come up to spend a few days with us on the sunny coast! We visited the gorgeous Eumundi markets which are a must for you creatives out there! Headed back to Noosa to chill out on the beach and then to Australia Zoo, in memory of the man himself Steve Irwin.
Sunshine Coast – Brisbane
After our weekend on the sunshine coast, we headed back down to what feels like home for a few days, Brisbane. We have literally relaxed and spent more time with our friends before we head for life down in Sydney! I have tonnes of posts on Brisbane if your heading there, check out my ultimate guide to Brisbane for all the ins and outs of this city!
So exactly twenty-three days after we set off to Far North Tropical Queensland it feels like we’ve seen and done so much! This is only the tiniest insight into what we’ve been up to and I’m so excited to get back into my writing and share all our tips, tricks and stories from the road! But for now, we are leaving the sunshine state behind and continuing our adventure down south! You can check out our ‘Where to Next’ page and find out where we are heading to next!