What a trip up the East Coast of Australia!
There is nothing like a Christmas trip forcing you to explore the unexplored east coast of Australia. If you have procrastinated against doing this trip…STOP! Put it on your list for 2017!
- Day 1 & 2
The trip started off with a flight to Brisbane and a day trip to the beautiful holiday town of Noosa. Noosa is quite the busy beach side spot with one street packed with shops, bars/eateries and apartments door to door. The beach itself is worth a visit but don’t leave it as late as we did as the sun literally falls out of the sky.
We ate at Betty’s Burgers. Deceived by the queue, we thought it was good but couldn’t have been more disappointed with my food, I had three miserable pieces of pork between my bun. We even paid a 15% surcharge due to the public holiday and the burger wasn’t even worth the extra charge never mind full price.
- Day 3
An early start to fly up to Airlie Beach… and the flight was delayed!
We were staying in Magnums which was dead central but on arrival, our rooms weren’t ready so we had food and went to the lagoon. It was extremely foreign that there was a beautiful beach there and we couldn’t swim in the water due to marine stingers, which are the size of your finger nail so there is no chance of seeing them.
That night we went to Beaches where they did $15 meal & drink deals, the steak was amazing!
- Day 4
I was really looking forward to this day as it was our tour day to Whitsundays and the famous Whitehaven Beach with Ocean Rafting.
We booked this through the agent Lost in Australia who I wouldn’t recommend as they have hidden charges and are not very responsive to queries. We were picked up from Base Backpackers and went to the marina. We checked in, got our boat tickets and stinger suits.
First thing…the boat! Wowzers, we had such fun in the boat with our crew Claudia and Todd. Claudia was an amazing skipper and literally whipped the boat from side to side, even the guys were holding on tight.
Our first stop was the biggest island of the lot with the amazing Whitehaven Beach. Here we completed a ten minute walk to a viewing point before going down to the beach to relax and enjoy the beauty of this beach. It is only accessible by boat and boasts one of the purest forms of silica sand in the world. We had lunch at 11am and boarded the boat and were off to our second stop at 12.45pm.
Next stop was Maureen’s Cove, our first snorkelling destination. Here we got an up close and personal experience with George. He is famous in the bay because he is a huge Maori Wrasse. According to Claudia, there is one male in each bay and this one is known for coming up to boats for feeding, which you need a permit for.
Next stop was Mantaray Bay, another snorkelling destination. At this stop, some snorkelers saw reef sharks and some really interesting fish.
Before leaving, we went to Fingal Spit made famous by Lara Bingle for a tourism ad that was banned in many countries for saying ‘hell’. Anyway, we came in search of turtles and were not disappointed before returning back to the marina.
- Price: $139
- Buffet Lunch: $15
- Courtesy bus available from local areas
- Bring water and some small snacks, swimming and being out in the sun really takes it out of you.
- There are small storage containers on board for a small bag that should include your towel, sun cream, hat, bottled water and a few snacks
- There is availability to buy chocolate bars, beers and soft drinks on board which you can pay for with cash at the time or by card on return to the marina
That night, we went back to Beaches for the Karaoke Night and another steak. My steak on this visit was waaaay overdone but the hilariously cringey karaoke was made it a little better.
- Day 5
We were off again! This time it was a multi stop trip from Airlie Beach to Cairns.
With no time for breakfast that morning, I couldn’t wait to get to the next town for a pit stop. We stopped in the sleepy town of Bowden. We searched for a nice cafe to eat in but after searching for some time, we reluctantly settled for McDonald’s…much to my disappointment! I made do with a coffee and a toastie.
Next stop was Townsville. I’ve got to be honest, I didn’t think it was going to be as big! There seems to be a lot to do so I would love the chance to return. Again, there was no one on the beach…this time it was in fear of crocodiles! Yip! Townsville has Castle Hill as a look out point, unfortunately we didn’t have time but hopefully next time. We picked up something small from the deli and enjoyed an hour relaxing on The Strand.
On the way to our next stop, we pulled in to Hinchinbrook Lookout.
The next stop was my favourite…Mission Beach! It was later in the evening when we stopped here so the beach was quite quiet. Again, there was no one swimming and the water was strangely warm. The beach stretches for miles and is surrounded by accommodation suited to those after a quiet getaway or a getaway with a group of friends. You won’t see any high rises along this stretch.
- Day 6 & 7
We were nearing the end of the trip as it was New Years Eve in Cairns.
We started the day with a tasty breakfast from Perottas, highly recommended for breakfast! Out of the five of us, we all had Eggs Benedict and that says it all.
The remainder of the day was spent lapping up the rays at the pool at Gilligans ($30 per night). I haven’t stayed in many hostels and this was my first 8bed dorm…at the ripe old age of 29! This is easily the best hostel I have ever stayed in. They have meal and drink deals for those staying in the hostel, everything from $4 meal deals to $5 drinks, even on New Years Eve.
- Day 8
I flew back to a rainy day in Melbourne!
I wish I could say it was a shock but it wasn’t. This trip was quite important to me, I learned a lot about myself and found my happy place again! I’m looking forward to whatever 2017 throws my way and my next trip!