THE SUNSHINE STATE PART II

As I write I am currently on my way to Fiji, meaning that my time in Australia has sadly come to an end (for now!). It really has been the most incredible couple of months and I leave with so many wonderful memories and new friends. It seems only right that before I touch down in Fiji I pick up from where I last left off and tell you about the rest of my travels up the east coast.

After Brisbane we headed to Hervey Bay where we caught the ferry to Fraser Island, the world’s biggest sand island and home to the infamous Aussie dingos. To get around the island we booked onto a tour with the company “Cool Dingos”. We were driven around the island in a huge pink 4×4 bus/truck, which was extremely necessary considering the state of the tracks and beaches we had to drive on!

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On the first day of our trip we visited the beautiful Lake McKenzie and did a walk through the rainforest. That night we stayed in accommodation provided by the tour company and were up bright and early the next day. First we were taken to Indian Head, which is a headland that lies in between two long stretches of beaches. Usually you are able to see lots of marine life from the headland but unfortunately we weren’t able to see any because it was such a cloudy day. Next we went to Champagne Pools, which is a beautiful rock pool formation given its name by the way the waves look when they crash against the rocks. The water was absolutely freezing but some of our group were brave enough to go in for a swim – safe to say I was not one of them! That afternoon the sun finally came out and we visited the amazing Maheno Shipwreck which is washed up on the beach. My highlight of the tour came towards the end of the day when we went to Eli Creek. Here we used big rubber rings to float all the way down the creek to a spot where we could sunbathe and enjoy a light snack.

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After Fraser Island we stopped over in the beautiful little town of Noosa for one night before heading on to Airlie Beach, where we would be starting our sail boat tour around the Whitsundays. The Whitsundays was probably the highlight of our whole trip up the east coast. We booked onto a boat called the Habibi, which offered wonderful food and allowed us to sleep on the top deck under the stars. We got to go to the beautiful and infamous Whitehaven Beach, which has the whitest sand in the world! Whilst on the boat we also did some of the best snorkelling I have ever done – I had never seen that many fish at one time before! On the second day of the tour it happened to be Australia Day. It was so much fun to spend it on the boat with our Aussie crew mates! Everyone got into the spirit, sporting Australian flags, and we even found time to stop off on a beach for a BBQ and a game of cricket!

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After Airlie we headed on up to Townsville where we caught the ferry over to Magnetic Island. As the island is so small and the roads are mostly dirt tracks we decided to rent a 4×4! Luckily we had our lovely Loka tour guide with us, who was able to show us all the best spots on the island. We visited a number of bays, which included Radical Bay, Florence Bay, Horseshoe Bay, and Alma Bay. The highlight was definitely watching the incredible sunset at West Point beach!!

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Last stop on our trip up the coast was Cairns! I was so excited to get to Cairns because I couldn’t wait to dive in the Great Barrier Reef. It definitely didn’t disappoint! We booked on to a tour with the company Passions of Paradise who were great! We had lots of chances to snorkel and also go scuba diving, which was amazing. The coral was like nothing I’d ever seen before and we got to see lots of marine life, including turtles, a reef shark, sting rays and jelly fish!

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Another must do in Cairns is a rainforest tour in the Atherton Tablelands. We booked ours through the company “On the Wallaby”, who I would definitely recommend just because our tour guide was so good and friendly. First stop on the tour was a tree called the Cathedral Fig Tree, which is claimed to have inspired the tree in the film ‘Avatar’. Next we went to Lake Eacham, where you can do a 3km walk around the whole lake. We were also able to see little fresh water turtles and went for a lovely swim. We also visited two waterfalls throughout the day. My favourite was the Milla Milla waterfalls, which is the most impressive waterfall I’ve seen and is used in the Herbal Essences adverts – it was therefore obligatory to get the infamous hair flick photo!

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After Cairns we flew back down to Sydney, where we spent a couple of days before catching our flight to Fiji! As you can probably tell it’s been a jam-packed few weeks, so I’m looking forward to a more relaxing (but just as fun) couple of weeks in Fiji!

Speak soon!

Jess

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