The awaited day has arrived, we’re packing suitcases and setting off. I will have the opportunity to see a great chunk of Australia!
In New South Wales – one of the eight Australian states in which we have lived for the past six months, winter has begun. I’m not talking about snowfall because it wasn’t so dramatic, but the temperatures have dropped to such a degree that I managed to feel like in Poland in autumn 😀
The plan was to make around 3000km, but the plans are only plans. It’s worth being flexible and give yourself the opportunity to stop in an unknown place by advice of a local seller on BP. And that’s what travel is about. You have the frame of the plan, but you’re ready for an adventure more than just checking out the next places in the notebook.
We decided that we’ll mainly sleep under the tent. On the recommendation of a friend, I downloaded the WikiCamp app and recommend it to all who plan to travel in such a way. Either if it’s camper trip or a tent. Incredibly useful and handy app.
The first direction we took was to the south because we wanted to visit the Australian capital Canberra and the family home of Chris, hence we went back a bit. Sometimes you have to take a step back to take two steps forward!
All right…car packed, selfie stick on standby, launch a rocket! 😀
Sydney – Canberra
Surprisingly, not many people know that Canberra, not Sydney, is the capital of Australia. I was surprised myself a few years ago. But something gave me study of tourism 😀 Going to Canberra, you can feel the great difference between these cities. There is peace there, no chaos, everywhere clean, neat and very spatially. Everywhere beautiful historical monuments.
We decided that we’ll cruise around on bicycles. Virtually every hotel has its own bike station, so it was easy to find them.
We went around the Lake Burley Griffin. It’s a lake that was created by man. In my opinion, a great move because the lake attracts and is one of the main places for rest and relax in the capital.
Later, we went to The Australian War Memorial, one of the most important place in Canberra. It would seem that it’s nothing exciting, despite the obvious curiosity. However, the place made a very big impression on me. I recommend going there. Huge, well-organized spaces with great historical knowledge, war exhibits and exhibitions. Perhaps the story of concentration camps moved me the most, and the story of Australia itself, which I did’t know much earlier, was the most interesting. It was great to learn, for example, about the history of the national holiday celebrated on April 25 in Australia and New Zealand – Anzac Day.
Canberra was great to visit, although I wouldn’t spend there more than one day. One of those places worth seeing, but not necessarily for long.
Canberra – Colleambally
We went to Chris’s family home. Colleambally is one of the youngest cities in Australia, officially opened 51 years ago. An outback town where time passes slowly, the sun scorches the best, and the kangaroos jump in front of the house. It has its idyllic climate, with one pub for the whole city, where everyone is like a family. One evening we cooked goulash straight from the fire and made the biggest bonfire I had ever seen in my life. Cool!
After a few family days, a few smaller or bigger hangovers, we moved on.
Colleambally – Port Stephens
It’s quite a long route, so we’ve made our first tent overnight in Gosford along the way. It usually came out at 10$ per person, including access to the shower, bathroom and kitchen.
Port Stephens is popular because of the great sand dunes in Anna Bay. It’s the largest sandy area in the entire state of New South Wales, where you can set off on a camel ride or slide the sand dunes on a board (i.e., sand-boarding). Maybe not like in Egypt, but buses full of chinese people are standing there non-stop 😀
Is one of the suburbs of Port Stephens. Popular due to the idyllic climate – at times the Hawaiian climate, turquoise water, as well as good conditions for surfing, watching whales and dolphins.
Gan Gan Lookout
It was there that I felt like in Hawaii 🙂 I recommend you to visit.
Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park
An atmospheric peaceful bay, where the fish came to us literally at a distance of 2 cm! It was full of them, and the water was crystal clear. Full of chill 🙂
Port Stephens – Arakoon NP
On the way to Arakoon we stopped in a very nice place Manning Park Rest to pitch our tent. Nothing but nature and … horses! Cheap and good, access to the kitchen, clean showers and again only 10$ per head. 🙂
On the way, we took a look at Diamond Head , 1.5 hours away from Arakoon, where 4D enthusiasts can set off on a drive along the beach, and peace lovers can be sure that nobody will disturb them. The same with kangaroos!
And ultimately reaching Arakoon – the place that a local salesman recommended to us – I was so excited by seeing so many kangaroos at once at your fingertips! Later it was only better 😀
Incredible place, beautiful water and atmosphere, make you feel you want to stay longer. People visits there with their motorhomes to get rest. We saw dolphins that swam quite close to the shore and kangaroos that completely missed human presence. And that’s because kangaroos and people live in harmony there. Nobody scares them, and they nibble the grass all day and maintain the lawn. Sweet interdependence 🙂
Arakoon – Nimbin
I’ve never heard of this town before. From stories, it was a hipster, colorful town where you can buy a weed on the street and eat happy brownie 😀
Well let’s check it out! I’m neither a fan of brownie nor smoking, so for me the most interesting was the motif of a cheerful, hipster town itself. I like all these colors, hippie shops with various strange things and the smell of incense. Nimbin made a positive impression on me 🙂 I recommend going on the way to Byron Bay!
Nimbin- Byron Bay
Byron Bay is a coastal town with the easternmost point of Australia. A popular site, must visit amongs backpackers. The atmosphere owes to coastal pubs, great conditions for surfing and the charm of a small town.
The icon is a lighthouse, which you have to climb a bit, but the views will compensate. Marching over the lanterns, we saw a whole herd of dolphins, and at the very top, migrating whales!
I recommend spending some time on the Wategos beach. As it descends from the road to the lighthouse, it’s just on the right.
And if you’re a fan of Mexican cuisine then drop by Miss Margarita for the best burrito ever! 😀
Byron Bay – Gold Coast
The Gold Coast near the coast resembles Miami. Huge buildings, apartments, hotels one next to the other. Everything is perfectly illuminated, you go holding your head all the time looking up this scenery straight from Miami Beach. However, wandering a bit deep into the city, it takes on a more ordinary tone. It’s definitely plenty to do at night!
The famous Surfers Paradise beach wasn’t at the top of my list, so I just made the picture from the car 😀 I might be back there.
Instead, we went to Springbrook National Park , an hour’s drive from Gold Coast. We went through one of the hiking trails admiring the landscapes formed by the eruption of the volcano in the distant past.
My tip -> if you’re going there from the warm Gold Coast, remember that in the park the temperature is always a few degrees lower! A warm jumper is obligatory in a backpack 😉
Gold Coast – Brisbane
Brisbane – the capital of Queensland. Once I was convinced that it’s located on the ocean, but Brisbane is situated by the river. Not a clean river, but still it does’t lose its charm. A city where it’s definitely what to do. A huge selection of restaurants, pubs and cafes. Personally, I liked this city, but only when I had more time to see it “from the inside”. Not just by the walk along the river. I think that it really has its own atmosphere.
A must-see is the street beach at South Bank (Streets Beach). This is the Brisbane icon and the only beach in Australia built by a man in the middle of the city. It’s impressive! It’s still an artificial beach, but it worked out great. The whole surroundings and nearby pubs perfectly match up to create a good vibes.
With great pleasure, we raised a toast in one of them. 😀
Brisbane – Sunshine Coast
Sunshine Coast, or the sunny coast with over 100 km of beautiful coastline. But not only beaches, the Sunshine Coast is very green. A paradise for lovers of forest hiking and those who not only like to bask all day on the beach.
However, first we went for a walk on Noosa Head beach 😉
The place that made a big impression on us was the viewpoint of the Glass House Mountains in the national park of the same name. Just 20 minutes away from the coast. Mountains are a remnant of volcanoes from 26 million years ago.
There is also a place for a BBQ on the spot and you can walk 800m of the path around the viewpoint.
Sunshine Coast – Seventeen Seventy
The strange sounding name of the city “1770” didn’t tell me much. More correctly- didn’t tell me anything. This point on the set of our trip was just because the friend recommended us to look at Agnes Water, which was located 7 km from this city. In Agnes we stayed overnight in a tent, and in the morning we went to look to 1770. Well, bingo! Beautiful! It was a great discovery. A place you can’t hear anywhere and such surprise. In May 1770, James Cook landed for the second time on Australian land. That’s where it happened, hence the name.
We went on a hiking trail along the banks of the Joseph Banks Regional Park . It was quite fabulous. In one of the passages among the trees, beautiful large butterflies flew everywhere. I had the impression that I had moved to another world! Something amazing … We even took with us our portable kitchen to eat dinner, as we like it – on the beach!
Seventeen Seventy – Airlie Beach
Yes, Australia is damn big, and these distances can make you dizzy 😀 So 713 km later we found ourselves in Arlie Beach. Another obligatory point to visit among backpackers. This time we stayed at the Magnums hostel, right on the coast. I recommend, great prices and great location. Airlie is one of the base points at the Whitsunday Islands – the icon of North Queensland. It has its idyllic climate, perfect to sit with a beer in hand and watch the sunset. Boats are everywhere.
Whitsunday Islands is a number of 74 islands that lie between the north coast of Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef. Most of them are uninhabited by people, and at the same time each of them impresses with beautiful beaches, turquoise water and a colorful, underwater world.
We took a full day boat trip to see a small piece of this paradise! Snorkelling on the coral reef was amazing. Although after 20 minutes in the water I was shivering with cold, I was keep admiring with my head down something I always dreamed about! Amazing feeling.
I recommend, however, to wear wet suit if you’re going to dive during the calendar winter in Australia 🙂 We were wearing “stinger suits”, which are supposed to protect against the bites of jellyfish. The ship’s crew hands them to everyone before entering the water.
We had a stop at Whiteheaven Beach, which really looked like heaven. It’s a 7 km long beach stretching along Whitsunday Island, known for its perfect white sand.
Later we got to the Hill Inlet Lookout Whitsundays viewpoint, where I just got crazy with excitement because of the view.
On the way, we had delicious lunch on the boat and even though I had to stand by my boat table it was the best VIP place ever.
Returning to the shore, I already knew that the bar has been raised high 😀 I wasn’t sure if something would be able to impress me so much by the end of the trip. Almost I was right, although I experienced a similar excitement of pure happiness by hugging the koala 650 km later! But I’ll get to that 🙂
Airlie Beach – Cairns
We reached the last point of our road trip. We had a plan to stay and live there, but in the end, we did’t like it there that much and changed the plan 😀 A lot happened later, but I would’t have enough time to describe everything haha. Currently, I’m still somewhere else than even planned after changing the plan 😀 Life is beautiful as it is, and I’m glad that I have an approach to it like I have.
Cairns is the most popular base point for the Great Barrier Reef excursions. It’s the largest coral reef system in the world, extending over 2,300 km. The house for Nemo! For this reason, you would think that the color of the water in Cairns would be wonderful, but it’s quite brown due to a significant breach of the bottom by the construction of ports. The reef itself is located 15 km from the Cairns coast, so it’s completely two other fairy tales. Cairns for me can be treated more as a base for nearby attractions. 68 km north of Cairns is Port Douglas, from where it’s said to be the best to go to the reef as they’re the most spectacular. Info is checked as I’ve heard that from few people and they also had something to compare with. We’re going to go there next time for sure.
We went to Kuranda Village. About 30 km to the land of Cairns, a hipster mountain village in the forest. I liked it there! Yes, a little hippie inside me 🙂
If you ever get there, be sure to check out “Sweet Gossip”, a French little coffee at a local market! .. and order Apple Custard Pie. Oh my God, this sweet little thing won all the competition, heaven in my mouth! It’s difficult to omit anyway because the smell spreads to the half of the market, and lured us straight away 😀
After a sweet treat, we went to Kuranda Koala Gardens, where again this euphoria and that’s all. I cuddled a koala! Another dream came true! It’s really worth getting there. 26 $ for a dream ?!
Along the way, we visited the Barron Falls, and later it was time to finish our adventure and await for another ones … 🙂
We skipped a few places along the way that were in the plan for various reasons. We will definitely come back to some of them. We have time for this 🙂
See you, I’m sending hugs and good vibes from the world!
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sail. Travel. Dream. Discover. ”
A quote that many years ago fell into my head and this is how it is today … 🙂
I’m glad you came here! Thanks!