Sydney to Cairns and everywhere in between
  • Day3

    24 hours of travelling later...

    October 2, 2018 in Australia ⋅ 🌬 21 °C

    We arrived in Sydney. The first flight from Heathrow to Hong Kong went so smoothly and we slept so well that we got a bit arrogant for our second onward flight to Sydney. Little did we know that it would be quite the opposite experience!

    First, Harriet spilt a whole glass of chilled Coca Cola over my jeans, and then an hour later she went all clammy, had a collapse and was sick, and had to go and lie in the gulley while the air stewardesses and I fanned her and laid wet flannels on her head. This happened a further 3 times before we landed. Thankfully all was well again once she’d had a few drinks and a couple of bread rolls.

    We caught the train to our lovely hotel, dumped our bags, had the absolute best shower of our lives, and then set out to explore. The Harbour Bridge and Opera House were on our doorstep so we went for a great bit of lunch overlooking both. Then we walked to Darling Harbour where we sat and had a beer while watching the ferries come and go. Jet lag was catching up on us so we went for a local dinner and had a nice local Sydney lager in the hotel bar before bed.
    Climbing the Harbour Bridge tomorrow!

    Mart x
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  • Day4

    Just about adjusted to the time zone...

    October 3, 2018 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    We started the day by going to a nice little cafe for breakfast. We both had “Hot Cakes” with fruit and maple syrup which set us up nicely for the Bridge Climb.

    I had butterflies in my tummy as I’ve never quite conquered my fear of heights! We started by putting onesies and harnesses on. We were then led out onto the bridge with our guide, Joe. First of all we had to walk on a thin, worn out, plank of wood extending out over the bay. We then had to go up narrow ladders and eventually up the arch to the top (440 feet, or 5 seconds drop if we fell!). I just about managed to smile for our photograph and looking back at it, it was great fun and a must do in Sydney!

    We then headed to Manly on the ferry which is a little town with a nice beach. It was a bit wet so we watched some surfing and then headed back to the hotel for a rest.

    Had a nice nibble in the Cruise Bar with a Sydney lager to finish the day.

    Last night in our luxury hotel tonight and one more day in Sydney tomorrow!

    H x
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  • Day5

    What to do on a rainy day...

    October 4, 2018 in Australia ⋅ 🌧 16 °C

    We started with another stack of Hot Cakes of course. Today it was out last day in Sydney and it was a bit wet so we stuck mostly to places within range of coffee shops/bars.

    After brunch, we climbed the Sydney Pylon Tower which is one of the towers at the edge of the bridge. Had a chance to get some more photos of the Opera House and Harbour.

    We can’t believe how quiet Sydney has been since we’ve been here, barely any cars on the road, no wailing sirens, no huge crowds of tourists. I guess it will be different in high season.

    Then we wandered over to the Botanical Gardens and had a stroll, stopping at a coffee shop in the middle, before walking back for a final ‘schooner’ (pronounced scoona by the locals, which means a 1/2 of a pint of beer) in the Opera House bar. Think we ended up right in the middle of a private event as everyone else was dressed in 3 piece suits and cocktails dresses whilst we were in our hoodies and jeans! Great spot for a beer though.

    Ready for our early flight to Brisbane tomorrow so we changed from a luxury hotel to a hostel nearer to the airport, much to Harriet’s dismay.

    Mart x
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  • Day6

    BRISbane

    October 5, 2018 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    Early start today as we left Sydney to fly to Brisbane. No Hot Cakes for breakfast today.

    At Sydney airport Mart got stopped by the security and they asked where he was from.

    Mart: “England”
    Security guard: “Which part”
    Mart: “Bristol”
    Security guard: “Ahhh! Bristol Rovers!”
    Mart: “Glad you didn’t say Bristol City”
    Security guard: “Who?”
    Mart: 😁

    We arrived in Brisbane nice and early and again managed to bag an early check in at the hotel.

    We headed out to “South Bank” which is a little promenade by the river. That’s where the obligatory photo with the Brisbane sign was taken! Just behind the promenade there is a little man-made city beach with lots of locals/tourists in the ‘sea’. There was even a lifeguard.

    As we were in a new city today we thought we best visit another bridge. We got the bus to the Story Bridge and took a selfie in front of it.

    Later we climbed the City Hall clock tower. I think I am just about mastering my fear of heights. The view of the lit-up city was amazing.

    After a day of being proper tourists we finished the day by having a little glass of prosecco...or two!

    Speak soon
    H x
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  • Day7

    A Koality day

    October 6, 2018 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Woke up thinking we were set for a day of rain so we were happy to see it was fairly clear out. We decided to catch the bus from the city out to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. We weren’t sure if we were going to end up seeing Koalas in the wild while in Aus and decided we couldn’t leave without seeing one!

    We didn’t expect to be able to hold the Koalas (marsupials, not bears apparently) so jumped at the chance. Also fed and patted some Kangaroos who were roaming free, and checked out a native Wombat. It was great and really hit home that we were in Australia.

    After that we headed up to a great view point overlooking the whole city. Had a bit of a wait to catch the bus back down so sat looking out at Brisbane for a bit.

    Lastly we took a little stroll through the botanical gardens in the city which backed on to the riverside, before heading back to our room for a relaxing session in the sauna.

    Early Greyhound coach to Noosa tomorrow!

    Mart x
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  • Day8

    Next stop, Noosa

    October 7, 2018 in Australia ⋅ 🌧 21 °C

    Early Greyhound coach from Brisbane this morning to head north towards Noosa. Arrived late morning and thankfully we were able to check in to our B&B early again to get ourselves sorted before we headed out to roam. Beautiful place we’re staying in, and we have it to look forward to after our tour of Fraser Island too.

    We called by a local farmers market first for a little look, had ourselves a sweet crepe and then caught a taxi to the beach.

    The coastal walk was recommended by everyone, so we went to see it for ourselves. It was far better than we ever expected. It was about 5km of boardwalk with ocean one side and the Noosa National Park on the other. One minute you were at sea level, the next you were up a cliff. Plenty of surfers out but we also saw a couple of whales and a group of dolphins, and Harriet nearly trod on a snake too!

    3 days and 2 nights on Fraser Island from tomorrow - had to head to buy our alcohol (a box of red wine - otherwise known as a goon bag by Aussies) from a liquor store today.

    We finished by having a little bit of dinner by the river, although H ended up with about 6 ravioli parcels for her meal as it was a tiny bit posh!

    Speak soon
    Mart x
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  • Day9

    Fraser Island

    October 8, 2018 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    Early start today as we set off from Noosa to Fraser Island. We had pre-booked to go with a tour company called ‘Drop Bear’ for 3 days and 2 nights around the Island.

    We met the tour group (30 of us) and drove in 4x4’s to Fraser Island (a.k.a K’Gari) which is about 1.5 hours up the coast and then across on a barge ferry.

    The tour guide asked for someone sensible to drive one of the 4x4’s across to the island so I picked Martin! Everyone else in our car were European so weren’t used to driving on the left. There were 4 vehicles driving in convoy and we all communicated via radios.

    Once we arrived at Fraser we headed to our camp, after having a lovely welcome from some dolphins swimming really close to the shore. There was one big communal tent where we had our meals and then all the individual tents around the outside. It felt as if I was on brownie camp!

    We weren’t allowed to keep any of our personal belongings in the tents as the native Dingos would smell it and rip the tent open to investigate.

    We headed out in the 4x4’s all day which meant lots of off-road driving on the sand.

    We headed to an old ship wreck which was an abandoned ship from the 1940’s.We then went to a fresh water creek and had a little swim. It was like a lazy river, you could just float all the way down it. Apparently we don’t need to wash/shower whilst here on Fraser Island as all the creeks we go in have water that is so pure...

    We had a BBQ for dinner (steak and sausages) with some goon (red wine).

    H x
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  • Day10

    Indian Head and Champagne pools

    October 9, 2018 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    Day 2 on Fraser Island, and we slept surprisingly well considering we were in a tent on the beach with the waves crashing behind us, but we did pay a little bit extra for a bed rather than a camping mat. This was a good decision!

    Thankfully one of the guides had managed to find me a spare right foot flip flop after my one had broken immediately on our arrival and I was left with no other footwear!

    After breakfast, we jumped back in the 4x4s again and went to a lake which used to be massive that had almost been fully covered by a sand drift, and were taught how to throw a boomerang the Aussie way. During our drives the guide would radio in to tell us to look out to sea to see whales breaching, or to give us the shout that a Dingo was up ahead.

    We stopped at a place called Champagne Pools which is an area on the north coast of the island known for its pools of bubbling water caused by waves crashing over volcanic rock. No bubbles today though but crystal clear water to swim in and some lovely little fish swimming about with us. Finally, before heading back to camp, we climbed up a near cliff face to get to Indian Head, a great lookout over Fraser Island.

    After dinner we shared our Goon with some of the guys and went to bed with a huge thunderstorm lashing over our tents. Thankfully they were fully waterproof.

    Last day tomorrow before heading back to Noosa in the eve! X
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  • Day11

    Lake Mckenzie

    October 10, 2018 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    Another early but exciting start for Day 3 on Fraser Island. We woke to crashing waves again so no need for an alarm clock on the island.

    To start the day we headed out to Lake McKenzie in the 4x4’s by going down some very bumpy and sandy paths.

    Lake McKenzie is a beautiful clear fresh water lake. The locals are very protective about it which means you can’t put suncream on before going in as they’re very protective about the eco-system. We had a little swim and chilled on the sand for a while with our new friends.

    We then headed down some more bumpy paths to the rain forest where we saw lots of Funnel Web spider holes. They’re very venomous apparently so I left Martin to look whilst I covered my eyes as I was very scared. Thankfully he didn’t see any!

    Our time on Fraser Island came to an end and all in all we had a great time... just really missed a functional bathroom! We met some great friends. One guy called Scott was from Portsmouth and as mad about football as Mart so they had a lot to chat about! His nickname is John as on the first day I called him John thinking that was his name! His sister, Katie, was great fun too as-well as another English couple called Scott and Helen (see the pic of all from last night!).

    We headed back to the B&B in Noosa that we stayed in before. The hosts (Diana and John) were so welcoming there. They’re hoping to come to the UK in 2020 so we gave them our contact details as well as a good recommendation for a very nice B&B Farmhouse in Saltash. We very much enjoyed our first shower in 3 days as-well as a fully flushing toilet! It was also a blessing not to have to brush sand off our feet before getting into bed. We only camped on the island for 3 days but it felt like pure luxury to be back at the B&B!

    Martin cooked us a little BBQ so we enjoyed some sausages and cheese for dinner. Also a glass of goon.

    See you later
    H x
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  • Day12

    Travel day

    October 11, 2018 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    After a last cuppa and a chat with our B&B hosts in Noosa we started our journey to Airlie Beach - the gateway to the Whitsunday islands.

    This involved a bus back south to Brisbane to jump on a flight up to Proserpine, followed by a bus ride into Airlie Beach. This was nothing compared to how long it would have taken to drive direct from Noosa - 11 hours. Almost 1,000 kilometres. Australia is proper massive.

    We left torrential rain in Brisbane and landed in temperatures of 30’c in Proserpine. The further you go up the East Coast, the warmer it gets. Proserpine only had 4 flights a day or so arriving - but we were still surprised to see that the terminal was an actual porta-cabin.

    Checked into another lovely room in Airlie Beach for one night only, and went to a local recommended restaurant for a beer and some food.

    Excited to start our boat tour of the Whitsunday islands tomorrow. Itinerary and weather both look great!

    Speak soon

    Mart x
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