Australia
Queensland

Here you’ll find travel reports about Queensland. Discover travel destinations in Australia of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

803 travelers at this place:

  • Day27

    We woke up early and walked down to Airlie Port to board our boat out onto the Great Barrier Reef. The reefsleep guests (people spending the night on the reef) had their own tables reserved, and we spent some time filling in forms and getting our itinerary from a guide. During the beautiful 3 hour boat journey to the reef there were lots of presentations by the photography team (telling us how to order both the above water and underwater photos they would be taking through the day) and the diving team (giving us a demonstration on how to dive...) which we ended up booking straight away.

    Once we got to the reef, all the day guests and us scrambled onto the huge pontoon sat on the edge of the reef and we quickly put on our stinger suits and flippers and went for a snorkel. The reef was incredible, so many fish we couldn't count, and so many different types of coral.

    After morning tea and a buffet lunch, we were feeling sufficiently like we wouldn't float any more, and headed to the diving team for our dive. They set us up with weight belts, oxygen tanks and all the gear, and explained that we would go down into the moon pool (!) and practice kneeling underwater and breathing. Because it was an introductory dive, our guide explained she would be holding our hands, taught us some hand signals, and how to clear our ears every 1/2meter we went down. They also taught us how to inflate our life jackets if we ever found ourselves on our own or anything.

    The sensation of breathing underwater is absolutely bizarre, and concentrating on your breathing that much just feels weird. After a few minutes we ended up getting used to the feeling, and she grabbed both our hands and led us under the ledge out of the moon pool. After 5 minutes or so she asked if we were okay to let go of our hands, and we swam along side her, staring around in awe of all the coral and fish we were seeing. It was surprisingly hard to control whether we were sinking or floating, and more than once she ended up pulling us up or down to keep us at the right depth.

    We came back up absolutely buzzing, it was one of the most amazing things I have ever done in my life. She congratulated us on being quick to stop panicking, and spoke to us while we took off our tanks about how she'd ended up moving from London to Aus to become a scuba diving instructor.

    We snorkeled again until we had to get out to wave the 158 day passengers off on the boat back to the mainland, and the 14 of us reefsleep passengers had the pontoon to ourselves! We met the team who would be there over night, and quickly found a turtle nibbling at the seaweed growing on the edge of the pontoon. When the boat had safely got away we went snorkeling again with the turtle, who was completely unphased by us being there.

    We had to stop snorkeling by 5pm because it started to get dark, and the staff could no longer be on look out and rescue because they had jobs to do to prepare dinner. The staff always have one person out on look out and if the helicopter (that was doing trips all day) sees a shark on the reef (a scary one, not a reef shark) then they radio to the staff and they get in tenders and scare away the shark. They also have huge fish (about 2-3m long) living around the pontoon which are very territorial and gang up on any shark that comes into their territory. (or that's what they tell us to make us feel better, still slightly scary swimming over the 50m depth around the pontoon to the reef).

    The sunset was absolutely beautiful, we all had showers and had our antipasti platter and drinks while watching the sunset over the sea. The moon was very nearly full and the tides were quite big, the reef was really out the water. One of the boat guys took us on a trip up to where rivers run through the sea when the tide gets that low: a phenomenon that only happens every 6 months or so for one night. They seemed to think that a tide drop from 3.2m to 1m was big, I told them they hadn't seen Guernsey tides.

    Dinner was served, huge fillet steaks and a butter bay bug (some big shrimpy thing). Dessert was lovely; chocolate cake and lemon tart. One of the staff them took us down into the underwater observatory and helped us identify coral, sea snakes, crabs, and all kinds of fish floating past the windows.

    We headed up to our swag quite early, it had a clear panel where we could see the stars while lying on the comfy mattress, although it did get warm without any ac.
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  • Day30

    Day 30/72: Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

    November 26 in Australia

    The day started with a debate about whether we should got to the Australia Zoo or to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. We decided that Lone Pine was probably more our thing- our reasoning being that it was probably more like the Owl and Hawk Conservancy (one of our favourite days out back home).

    We got an uber to the sanctuary and made it in just in time for the wild lorikeet feeding! We held up plates of oat mixture and the little colourful birds came down and sat on the edges of the bowl to feed. Izzi got pooed on, but that's lucky isn't it?

    After a clean up we went into the Kangeroo enclosure which was like a large park, and wandered around their huge paddock watching them lazily hop around and eat food that people were giving them, very similar to the stuff you'd feed animals at a family farm. We walked past the enclosures for loads of Australian animals- they had freshwater crocodiles (smaller, thankfully, than their saltwater cousins), they had dingoes and tons of koalas!

    We went to a sheep dog show which was really good: the border collies they used to use in Australia found it a bit too hot working on the farms, so they bred their own type of sheep dog which is 15% dingo. The dog was great, and when the sheep were in a tight enough enclosure would get up on the sheep's backs to run across them- much safer than being on the ground with them. We spent a while talking to the farmer about sheep farms in Australia and the training process for the dogs.

    After getting some iced teas to cool off we went to hold a koala. They were surprisingly heavy, soft and quite complacent with being held! They all seemed completely nonplussed by the days activities.

    We went to the snake keeper talk, who taught us basic first aid if you are bitten by a snake; not something we get taught in first aid classes back in the UK. The sanctuary had two of the most venomous snake in the world, and luckily the keeper told us that there was no way to tell which snakes were venomous or which aren't unless you're amazing at telling apart every type of snake. But there is a universal anitivenom so no need to bring the snake to the hospital, and if you put a compression bandage over the bite and lie down, you can salvage yourself 9 hours where if you ran to a car and didn't compress the wound, you'd be in a coma in 3 minutes. Wow!

    The next talk was the koala keeper talk, they sleep for 20 hours a day and eat nearly 1kg of eucalyptus each day each. The eucalyptus cutters have to cut more than half a ton of eucalyptus a day for all the koalas at the sanctuary. They only like 40 of about 800 species of eucalyptus and of that only eat the juiciest leaves at the very top, fussy animals!

    The platypuses (platypi? Help!) were really cool- they are nocturnal and lived in a dark house thing. They weren't blue, nor did they look like they solved crime very well. The males are venomous though! They have a venomous spike on their heel which can cause excruciating pain in humans that morphine can't subdue. Also, they're an egg laying mammal, so don't have teats but secrete milk through the skin of their stomachs so that the babies can drink it out of a furry milk pool on the mother!

    The Tasmanian Devil talk was good- it started with the handler giving them half a rabbit and the next 1/2 hour they fought over the best bits. They are named this way because they scream, so people thought they were devils or ghosts.

    We went on a quest to find the wombats next- a pretty tough task because they are nocturnal. We spotted one asleep in a tube in his enclosure though. He was huge! Much bigger than you'd imagine, about the size of a large pillow! As a defence mechanism, wombats have a large flat bottom that they can use to crush anything against the sides or ceiling of their homes if say a snake was to slither in unawares when they were asleep.

    After some more feeding of the kangaroos (the grown up males were huge and muscly, the joeys were all so cute), we headed out for the day. Interestingly, any marsupial gives birth to a joey, which is about the size of a jelly bean. The joey then crawls it's way up into the pouch, and latches onto a teat and stays there until it is fully developed. It's more than likely for a kangeroo to have more than one joey in its pouch at once, one tiny one and one nearly fully developed one.

    After we got back into Brisbane, we went to the cinema to watch Fantastic Beasts and had a burrito. Both were good but interestingly enough they don't have sweet popcorn in Australia! After the film we wandered around to some lagoons by the river and then headed back to the hostel.
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  • Day28

    What a day! We woke up to the light from the sunrise coming through the fly sheet on our swag. It was about 0445, so we pulled up a chair and sat on our pontoon, looking over the reef, drowsily saying hi to our fellow reefsleepers who'd also woken up to catch it. We watched the sky turn from deep red through to blue as the sun that we had watched set the night before, rose to announce another day in Australia. While the sun was rising over the reef we happened to see a reef shark swimming along the edge of the reef! A very rare sight that close to the pontoon! It was such an experience, and we got another hours happy sleep before breakfast.

    We packed up the swags and headed for a breakfast of toast, bacon and eggs, yoghurt (yo-gurd), and fruit. Delicious! After our breakfast a turtle decided to join us by the edge of the pontoon. We then chilled out and read in the morning sun, feeling the wind slowly pick up before our morning activity; a surprise snorkel safari! The staff were kind enough to try and make time to take us out, although I'm sure they enjoyed the trip just as much as we did. They took us on a boat to the other side of the reef to experience something different. There were less fish on this side of the reef, but a much greater variety of coral which Katie the guide was very excited about. As everyone else got left behind in the strong current, we followed Katie along listening to her describing various aspects of the coral, how if you see blue tips it's good as that's growing coral, however if it's all blue it means it's stressed and is on the brink of bleaching (for example). It was very interesting stuff, and the more we slowed the more we saw. It was hard work swimming against the tide, a large one as it was the full moon, and we were almost glad to reach the pontoon for a break. Before long we were back in the water though, for a last swim before the day trippers arrived.

    The day followed similarly to the previous one. We snorkelled, daring to go deeper and swimming with a great variety of fish and turtles. We dived, and had Flic the same dive instructor as the day before. This was great as she let us off the leash early on, and we had a brilliant dive searching for baby lion fish, puffa fish, and swimming with Maggie who is about 1.5m long (insert her fish type when I remember). It was fantastic and got us hooked on diving, so much so that Izzi made contacts and got info about coming back and working on the reef to get diving qualifications! We had a lunch and one last snorkel (with turtles!!) and then it was time to say a sad goodbye to our little pontoon. We sat on the boat and watched the pontoon grow ever smaller, thinking back over the past couple of days dreamily as we made our way back to Airlee Beach.

    That evening we went for some pizza and banana/oreo milkshake, and returned to the hostel, shattered after a couple of the best couple of days of our lives.
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  • Day31

    Day 31/72: A day on the Gold Coast

    November 27 in Australia

    Today we went down to the Gold Coast for the day, an area known for its extremely long beach and surfing. We didn't know exactly what we were going to do there, but got the train (equipped with questionable savoury muffins) there to have a look around.

    The journey took just over an hour, and from the train we took a tram which went down the coast, about 1km from the beach front. We got off early and walked to the beach. It wasn't something we'd seen before. Dotted along the coastline, right on the beach front, were areas that looked like major cities, with skyscrapers, but were really the size of large towns! It was quite odd, walking along the soft sand, watching the waves crashing and being disturbed by the wind, and then looking right and looming above you a 70 story building. It's always nice to be back on a beach, and we wandered along the sand towards the city. The sea was relatively choppy and the weather cool, so there were very few people surfing but we could see how the beach would be ideal for it.

    There were areas of swimmers, so after a while we put down our stuff and jumped in. The waves, however choppy for surfers, were great for swimming and diving around in, and we spent a good while body surfing and diving through the waves.

    After we'd got cold and hungry, we got out and the sun came out to dry us off, we sat and read our books for ages, until about 3 when we went to a beach front cafe to have burgers and iced tea/coffee. The burgers were fab and suitably full we went back to the beach to do some more reading. The sun began to drop behind the buildings so we gathered our stuff and as we walked back up the beach towards the tram, we had a mini photo shoot in the light between the gaps in the skyscrapers.

    We got the train back to Brisbane and as we were heading back to the hostel, decided we needed something small to get us through to breakfast, so stopped at a churros cafe we'd seen the day before and had, well, churros. They were very good with the dark and white chocolate dipping sauces and we sat on the street, reading and watching the world go by. We ended up staying there, getting more iced teas, for a good hour and a half and left only when they were closing up the cafe!
    A very relaxed day overall, our last full day in Australia! The time has flown by and it seems so odd that we're going onto NZ already! We've had a fantastic time in Australia though, and before the flight tomorrow we're going to do some more wandering, and look around Brisbane for the morning/lunch.
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  • Day29

    Sunday was a lazy day. We got up and checked out of the hostel, as we were flying back to Brisbane in the evening. We spent the morning lying down at the lagoon - really cool pools in the middle of the park for swimming in just off the beach! It seemed to be the thing that everyone does ona Sunday, loads of people lounging about. After some very relaxed swims, and a lot of sunbathing we wandered back past all the surf shops (not without buying some essential shorts and swimming stuff).

    We even saw Bella (one of our really good friends from LHS) which was lovely and it was so odd to see someone so close to home so far away! We then got picked up and taken by a bus back to the Airport to fly back to Brisbane.

    The evening in Brisbane was relaxing - we went to a Chinese restaurant and got dumplings and a beef soup, all really tasty and surprisingly cheap! We then got back and finished our books, and now Tom has to read my sisters keeper and Izzi has to read the beach.
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  • Day251

    The Vampire Diaries (1/2)

    September 24 in Australia

    Down Under. Also „unten auf dem Globus“ - laut Internet der Ursprung dieser Bezeichnung - sitzen wir die Tage. Unser neues Gefährt und Heim für die zehn Tage von Brisbane nach Sydney ist knall orange und hört auf den Namen „Spaceship Goose“. Wirklich. Obwohl unser Ziel Sydney weiter im Süden liegt, bewegen wir uns vorerst nördlich in der Hoffnung, vor Ort einen günstigen Deal für eine One-Day-Tour auf Fraser Island zu ergattern. Schön wärs. Die über zwei hundert Aussi-Dollars für einen Tag sind uns dann doch zu viel. Dafür kriegen wir ganz schön viel ganz schön leckeren Wein hier. Als wir wieder südwärts mit "Goose" bei einer ersten Baustelle zum Halten gezwungen sind, murmelt der sonst sympathisch wirkende und bärtige Mann mit der Stopptafel irgendetwas durch mein Fenster. Ich verstehe mal wieder kein Wort. Dessen offensichtlich im Klaren, erlaubt sich der Bärtige frech die Frage, ob ich denn Englisch spreche. Ich? Ja, ich schon! Den kleinen Seitenhieb scheint Crocodile Dundee aber im Gegenzug auch nicht wirklich zu verstehen. Verdammte Sprachbarrieren. Egal. Wir müssen weiter.

    Trotz unzähliger Warnschilder sehen wir weder Koalas noch Kängurus auf der Strasse. Schade. Sue hat irgendwie mehr erwartet. Dafür zeigt sich schon früh die erste australische Spinne. Im Auto. Bei voller Fahrt bewegt sich das Getier in mein Blickfeld. Ich glaub ich spinne. Aber zum Glück bleibe ich für die lebensbedrohliche Situation ungewöhnlich cool und auf der Spur, während ich den zirka ein Millimeter grossen Krabbler mit meinem halb vollen Kaffeebecher vernichte. Held eben. Sowie Optimist - wie der Kaffebeser beweist. Und dann sehen wir doch noch unser erstes Känguru. Allerdings will man die Tiere nicht unbedingt vom Auto aus sehen. Es schien nämlich sehr erschöpft. Lag einfach so da. Auf dem Pannenstreifen. Sue meint es hat noch geatmet. Ich bin mir da nicht so sicher. Der verdammte Linksverkehr hat definitiv so seine Tücken. RIP.

    Zu den weiteren beziehungsweise echten Highlights gehören a) die Ginger Factory - natürlich gibt es in einer Ginger Factory auch Ginger Beer und wo Ginger Beer da Moscow Mule! -, b) eine Runde Whale-Watching - wir finden sogar eine gut gelaunte Mutter/Kalb-Combo die fröhlich Luftsprünge (oder wie nennt man das bei einem Wal?) vorführt - und c) eine morgendliche Rainbow-Lorikeet Fütterung. Es ist erstaunlich einfach, Sue glücklich zu machen. Farbige Vögel. Einfach nur Vögel. Also ganz ohne „n“. Nicht wie bei mir und anderen normalen Menschen. Wobei die „Superb Parrots“ den n-Teil beim anschliessenden Besuch im Currumbin Sanctuary frech frivol übernommen haben. Australische Vögel am Vögeln. Total Süss.

    Wir sind an dem Morgen also in einer Art Zoo, was wir ja sonst gerne vermeiden. Eingesperrte Tiere füttern und streicheln und so. Wobei so ein Sanctuary mit Tierspital für verletzte Geschöpfe ist ja irgendwie wie ein Tesla. Man kann irgendwo einen Sinn finden und sich den guten Zweck schön reden. Und das tun wir dann auch. Wirklich erwähnenswert ist neben den süssen Bildern eigentlich nur ein offensichtlich von den Papageien inspirierter Emu. Das angebotene Futter lässt der gefiederte Koloss links liegen, während das zärtliche Streicheln meines Rückens eindeutig auf den Wunsch nach Nähe hinweist. Ich bin für einen Moment überfordert. Vielleicht war es auch gar kein sexuell frustrierter Emu, sondern ein kuschelbedürftiger Emo. Ich hab keine Ahnung. Sue auch nicht.

    Unser Road-Trip führt uns neben dem Kiffer-Dörfchen Nimbin weiter auf den „Waterfall Way“. Erster Stop: Bellingen. Das sagt mir doch was. Genau, „Adieu Heimat“ auf 3+. In Bellingen steht doch die Swiss Bakery von unseren hippen Hippy-Auswanderern Rick und Daniela. Ach was haben wir mit ihnen gelitten, als der verdammte Ofen nicht tat, wie er sollte. Aber sie haben es scheinbar geschafft. Zu unserer Freude existiert und produziert die Swiss Bakery nach wie vor. Eine lange Kaffeepause, ein kurzer Schwatz mit Daniela und einige Laugenbrezel später, machen wir uns mit etlichen Tüten voller heimatlicher Backwaren wieder auf den Weg. Eine der lange ersehnten Cervelats hat die gute Daniela leider nicht für mich. Dafür aber eine lecker deftige Cremeschnitte. Auch Geil! Als nächstes steht Höhlen und Hai-Tauchen in der Fish Rock Cave weiter südlich bei South West Rock auf dem Programm. Total spannend. Sollten wir entgegen den generellen Erwartungen überleben, gibt es einen nächsten Post. Sonst nicht.
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  • Day60

    Josephine Falls

    October 26 in Australia

    Unseren ersten Stopp Richtung Süden legten wir an den Josephine Falls ein. Dort verbrachten wir ein paar Stunden und machten uns gegen Abend auf den Weg zum nächsten Campingplatz. 🏕 Auf die Toilette wollten wir nach dem Froschfund allerdings an diesem Tag nicht mehr. 😂🐸

  • Day57

    Ankunft Australien

    October 23 in Australia

    In Australien angekommen, freuten wir uns nach einer langen Reise auf unser für fünf Wochen gemietetes Auto. 🚙🇦🇺 Damit erkundeten wir erst einmal Port Douglas und frühstückten nach einer langen und erholsamen Nacht am Strand. 🥪☕️🏝

  • Day61

    Mission Beach Bootstour

    October 27 in Australia

    Der nächste Stopp war am Mission Beach, an dem wir eigentlich nur ein Tag am Strand verbringen wollten. 🏖
    Allerdings sprachen uns dort 2 deutsche Jungs an die ein Boot gemietet hatten, um die umliegenden Inseln zu erkunden und fragten uns ob wir Lust hätten mitzukommen.🚤🏝
    Also verbrachten wir den kompletten Tag auf einem kleinen Boot, gingen Schnorcheln, sahen Schildkröten und Delfine, aßen frische Kokosnüsse und angelten ein bisschen.🚤🎣🐬🐢🥥Read more

  • Day339

    Um 12.30 Uhr wollten wir heute das Reef verlassen. Bis dahin gab es noch drei Tauchgänge bei wolkenverhangenem☁️ Himmel und ziemlichen Wellengang🌊. Nichts für Schön- Wetter-Schnorchler.😏🙄....und so machte ich es mir bis zu unserer Abfahrt mit einem Buch gemütlich.😊📖
    Pünktlich um 15.30 Uhr legten wir im Hafen von Cairns an. Auch auf der Rückfahrt hatten wir wieder ordentlichen Seegang und so war ich gar nicht so sehr böse, wieder festen Boden unter den Füßen zu haben. 😊🚶‍♀️
    Was mich brennend interessierte,....war das Great Barrier Reef nun Marc's bestes Tauchgebiet...🤔🤔 Er meinte, alle Tauchspots wären unterschiedlich, aber das Tauchen in Thailand, Ägypten und zum Teil auch Indonesien waren noch beeindruckender für ihn. Nichtsdestotrotz war das Tauchen am Great Barrier Reef für Marc auch sehr schön.😊😊😊
    Da wir morgen nun unseren Roadtrip starten wollen, war heute Waschtag bei uns, bevor wir uns noch einmal zum Abschied mit den anderen vom Boot im Bayrischen Wirtshaus trafen.🍻🍺
    Cairns hat uns als Stadt mit 160.000 Einwohnern von der Größe, von der schönen Lage am Meer🏞,Gebirge und Regenwald, vom Stil mit den Bauten und von der entspannten Atmosphäre super gefallen.😊😊👍
    Scheinbar ging es nicht nur uns so, denn Cairns ist nach Sydney, Melbourne und Brisbane die viert beliebteste Stadt bei ausländischen Touristen....und es wird viel deutsch in dieser Stadt gesprochen.🤔🤔😊
    Nun sind wir aber auf das was kommt gespannt. 🤔😊😊😊
    Nachdem wir heute Abend noch unsere elektronische Einreisegenehmigung für die USA beantragt hatten, schauten wir uns die Karte von der Ostküste an und haben nun ein Ziel für Morgen....Mission Beach....140 Kilometer südlich von Cairns.🚙
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You might also know this place by the following names:

State of Queensland, Queensland, QLD, Квинсленд

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