Uluru, one of the reasons I came to Australia. Another early start and another 500kms before finally glisping sight of the rock itself. Breathtaking. The first day of tour involved a visit to the Uluru aboriginal culture centre and exploring the rock. Our guide, Jake told us many aboriginal stories as we wandered around the base of the rock. Later that evening we headed to get a look and take many photos of Uluru in all its glory before watching the sunset and camping out in swags under the stars.
The following day started nice and early once again with an Uluru sunrise. Unfortunately the weather was not fully on our side, but it was still incredible. Following this we headed to Kata Tjuta for our first big hike of the trip. Surprisingly it actually started raining which was a nice change from the heat of the previous day and the views at the end of the walk were spectacular. That afternoon we headed out towards Kings Canyon via what the locals know as Fuluru which has fooled many a Japanese tourist.
As per norm the next morning started well before sunrise so we could tackle ‘heart attack’ hill while it was still dark. This marked the start of our 7km Kings Canyon walk. Once at the top of the Canyon we were treated to a spectacular sunrise to start the day. Following on from this we crossed through the Canyon to the Garden of Eden and along the other ridge, which of course had spectacular views. Following on from this we begun the journey back to Alice Springs, making sure to stop at a camel farm for a quick ride.
My experience on Wayoutback Safaris was incredible, both my guides Katherine and Jake were incredibly knowledgeable of the area and aboriginal history, great chefs and supportive during all the walks, no matter how much I moaned! I would recommend everyone visits Uluru at least once in their life – it truly is a breathtaking place and a fantastic one to end my Aussie adventure.
Following on from Airlie Beach what should have been a short hop to Townsville was stretched out due to a broken air con on the Greyhound. When we finally made to Townsville the Greyhound convienently dropped us right outside the ferry terminal for Magnetic Island, an underrated spot in Australia. The first day was spent lounging around the pool and chilling at the hostel which had a perfect location right on the beach!
Many people come to Magnetic Island to hire a 4 wheel drive and explore the island. And this is exactly what we did on day two! Our first stop was Alma Bay for some snorkelling and spoting some rock wallabies! Following on from this we headed to Horsehoe Bay for lunch and a stinger suit free swim! Following this we did our first spot of off-roading as we headed down to one of the most beautiful spots on the island – Radical Bay. The journey was full of potholes and we were careful not to scratch the car! Radical Bay was one of the most perfect spots on a beautiful island. One of the reasons many people hire a 4WD on Magnetic Isalnd is so they can head down to West Point and watch the stunning sunset, and that’s what we did. Following on from this we headed out for dinner as after travelling together for a week (that’s a long time in traveller terms) it was our last night together!
The next morning we returned the car before chilling out by the pool and then saying goodbye to this island Paradise and heading back to the mainland.
As part of my Oz Experience package I was booked onto the Cool Dingo Fraser Island tour including a pre-nights accommodation on the island. I was picked up mid-morning for the ferry ride over to Fraser Island were I first meet some of my fellow tour buddies. That afternoon we were free to explore the island and the resort ourselves and my fellow pre-nighters undertook a short walk out to a lookout and along the beach to watch the sunset and enjoy a few cocktails beachside.
We were up bright and early the next morning to meet our fellow travellers before heading out to one of the most famous sites on Fraser Island – Lake McKenzie. The freshwater lane is almost crystal clear and beautiful to swim in and relax next too. Following lunch the next stop was a walk out to Central Station through the Wanggoolva Creek, a previous hub of the island, where in true wet season style we were all soaked by a passing shower. Following the walk, we had afternoon tea and the Fraser Island cookie tradition was born, it became so that cookies were consumed before and after any activity or bus ride. Fraser evenings were mainly spent chilling out in our lodge, playing drinking games and having emotional sing-a-longs thanks to one of our group who’d brought his guitar.
The second day on Fraser stated with a drive along the sand highway, out to the Chamange Pools stopping at the Maheno shipwreck along the way – of course more cookie were consumed! In the afternoon we walked out to Indian Head, the highest point on Fraser Island, for spectacular views of the island. Our final stop was Eli creek for more swimming, and tubing down the river – of course I was the one who fell out the stationary rubber ring! It was here that the intense volleyball completions begun as we tried to get 10 hits in a row!
The final day of the tour started with stand-up paddle boarding, or sit down in my case at Lake Birrabben before an all you can eat lunch, not made the most of as we were all stuffed from the cookies! After lunch we trekked over the Hammerstone Sandblow to our final lake of the trip, Lake Wabby. The final part of the trip involved the ferry back to Hervey Bay from where I caught the night bus to a Airlie Beach.
After being dropped off in Noosa following three days of pure relaxing and luxury I wasted no time heading back down to the beach, where I was able catch up with both Rebeeca and Rhiannon – that evening resulted in many hilarious sunset Boomerangs (part of Instagram) being created on the spit.
The next day, I undertook one of the many hikes available in Noosa National Park out to Hells Gate along the coast path, which was full of stunning views and scenery; including a wild koala! The walk itself was around 7km return, and well worth it. I would recommend to anyone in the Noosa area.
On my final day in Noosa, I found time for a final hike up to the Leguna lookout for great views of Noosa Heads and the surrounding areas, before spending my final few hours exploring the Noosa spit area further and being treated to more awesome views.
Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast was my next stop following Byron Bay, I arrived early on Sunday evening and wasted no time heading out for a drink with one of my roommates. My first full day in Surfers was spent exploring the area alongside catching up with some of the people I met on the High Country Tour. I was lucky as during my time in Surfers the area was holding a Sand Art Festival, featuring many different sand sculptures.
On my second day in Surfers I ventured out of the city and into the hinterland – an Australian word for the area just inland from the coast. Mount Tamborine was a largely rainforest area, and I was lucky enough to be able to walk through the trees on a tree top walkway. Tamborine itself was a very cute town with a parade of shops similar to what would be found in the UK which made me feel very at home. That evening, back in Surfers, I meet up with Rickie, another from the Melbourne – Sydney tour as we attempted the hostel trivia quiz. Unfortunately our team was just too good at the Trivia and we were not given the free goon!
My final day in Surfers was a relaxed one, spent mostly hanging around the swimming pool; before heading out on a famous Surfers Paradise bar crawl in the evening!
From Sydney I hopped on the night bus up to Coffs Harbour, arriving at stupid o’clock in the morning. Following an action packed week in Sydney a quiet day was much in order. My first day in Coffs Harbour involved napping, and wandering around. When your hostel backs onto the beach, a bit of cloud won’t stop you!
Day two in Coffs Harbour, I wandered down to the town centre and out to Muttonbird Island Naturre Reserve, which is a small island connected to the mainland via a jetty. I wandered around the harbour and out to the main jetty.
The following morning an early bus to Byron Bay called, and I arrived in Hipsterville around lunchtime. My first day in Byron Bay saw me walk out to the Lighthouse and the most easterly point on mainland Australia and of course head out to the beach!
The following in Byron saw me attempt to surf (unfortunately I didn’t take my phone so no video evidence) and let’s say despite what I though surfing was not genetic and I was not a natural! The following days in Byron were very chilled out and involved lots of chilling out at the hostel and around the pool. One of the days I took a stroll along the beach, to be treated to deserted beach and beautiful views
Byron Bay was a super chilled out few days, the town has a great atmosphere after dark and I was lucky to take in a few of the street performers during my time there, but alas Surfers Paradise called and I had to leave Byron behind!
Before leaving Sydney, I was spending the weekend in the Blue Mountains, something I’d booked before I came out to Australia. I was doing the trip through Oz Trails, a Sydney based tour company. The first stop was at Wentworh Falls lookout for fabulous views over the Blue Mountains. From there we moved into Wentworth Falls where we went on a short walk down to view the waterfall – which was largely dry due to a lack of rain.
Following a lunch, we then made the journey to Scenic World – a tourist attraction in the Blue Mountains. There we rode one of the cable cars across the valley, before riding another cable car down to the valley where we were treated to the first views of the Three Sisters. After a tour of the forest we then road the worlds steepest funicular back to the centre – I almost shat my pants thinking I was going to fall out of it.
From Scenic World I was dropped off to my hostel for the evening. As I had done no prior research on what to do in Katoomba I spent my of evening watching the Ukulele Festival that was on in the town.The next morning, I took the bus down to the Echo Falls Lookout to get a better view of the Three Sisters. As it was so hot I could only manage the short walk to the Threw Sisters rather than a longer bush walk. Being to hot to do anything I sought shelter in the aboriginal centre – Waradah. There I enjoyed an aboriginal culture show and getting to know the locals! The tour bus picked me up and from there we drove back to the city and boarded a ferry to Circualr Quay – being treated to fantastic views of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House on the journey. I enjoyed one final meal in Sydney before boarding the overnight bus to Coffs Harbour