Monday, 20 April 2015

East Coast of Australia

Australia. 

The place where most people want to go, and I got to experience. As most people do in Oz, I embarked on a journey of the East Coast. My first stop was Sydney for two nights and I was excited to see the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. ON my first day I woke early and started an unintentional six hour walk around Sydney. I just wanted to see everything, so from my hostel I went to the Harbour Bridge, onto the Opera House then through the Botantic Gardens, it was beautiful. I've found through my travels that I'm not a fan of the cities and this was true with Sydney, the CBD is far too much like London and I couldn't wait to move on. 
I had already purchased the Oz Experience pass through STA Travel, so I took a 12 hour Greyhound Bus to Byron Bay. Byron's a lovely relaxing place but a little small for me. Here I had booked a surf lesson and I think it's safe to say I can't surf but it was a fun experience. I also took a day trip to Nimbin and all I can say is what a weird place, it's something to experience but it's oh so weird.

Next stop Surfer's Paradise and I loved this place. Perfect to relax by the beach but also an abundance of activities to do. I had met a Canadian girl and we purchased a 3 day pass to the theme parks, but due to limited time I could only complete 2 days. We went to Wet-n-Wild and Movie World and at $90 the pass was good value for money.

After this I continued to Brisbane where I visited Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo. After watching his programs when I was younger I was very excited to see the World famous Zoo and I was not disappointed, his legacy definitely still lives on. Here I also re-connected with two guys I had met in Thailand and they showed me around their home city before taking me on a night out. This was fun as I could see the place from a locals perspective and it meant I could see beyond to typical tourist stuff.

Also included in the Oz Experience is a trip to Fraser Island so I journeyed to Rainbow Beach to start this tour. Rainbow Beach is uninspiring and probably one of the most boring place in Oz. Fraser Island on the contrary was amazing and where I met the best group of people. We spent 3 days and 2 nights there where we saw some amazing wildlife and made some amazing memories. I was gutted when it was over, but fortunately we had found out that most of us where booked on the same activities for the rest of the trip. I even ended up doing the tour with people who I met on NZ. 

Whitsunday's was next on my tour so I headed to Airlie Beach which had a lovely little lagoon to relax on. I went on boat called Siska for 2 days and 1 night, unfortunately as I'm scared of the sea I didn't snorkel here but those who did swam with a turtle. Whitsundays was one of my favourite activities, the crew was amazing and so was the experience. My ultimate favourite was Magnetic Island, where I headed to next. I stayed in Townsville the night before and I promise you, if you go to Oz, DO NOT STAY HERE. This is the most boring place I have ever been, worst than Christchurch and Rainbow Beach combined. When I got to Magnetic Island I hired a Topless Car with some of the group I met in Fraser Island in order to explore the Island. We embarked on the Forts Walk and saw a wild koala and also headed the see wild wallabies while the sunset.I loved the experience.

After this I headed to my final stop along the East Coast, Cairns, where I spent 6 nights and retrospectively wished I spent longer. Here I went to the Atherton Tablelands and visited the spot where Peter Andre shot Mysterious Girl and the Herbal Essence advert is filmed. Barefoot Tours were excellent and I would highly recommend them. Being scared of the sea I did't think I would be able snorkel The Great Barrier Reef, but which the help of a friend I managed to and it was incredible. 

Due to the fact I had a lot of time left over, I flew down to Melbourne, where the temperatures dropped dramatically, and I was adamant I was losing my tan. However, I was glad I experience Melbourne/St Kilda as well as Sydney. For the last 10 days, I headed to Bondi and back to the CBD and although I don't like Sydney I made the most of my time there. I completed to Bondi to Coogee Walk and visited Manly which I loved.

And that completes my trip of a lifetime. I made brilliant memories with some amazing people and I am gutted it's over.

Onto the next adventure? I hope so.

Billie xxx

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