In 2005 I travelled through Australia for a month together with my parents. During this trip we visited both my brother and my best friends who were all backpacking in Australia. It was my first far trip and it has certainly made an impression!
We had almost a full day in Hong Kong and we used this time to visit the touristic highlights. Starting in the centre we went to Victoria Peak (the train with the worlds steepest climb), we went to the floating fishermen village by boat and we visited Stanley Market. But the most impressive was Hong Kong by night with al her lights.
Our road trip started in Brisbane where a camper was waiting for us. From here we headed to the south to Surfers Paradise, een town known for it’s wide beaches. Next stop was Noosa Head where we spotted our first koala’s. After Noosa Head we drove to Hervey Bay where we got on a tour to Fraser Island. With a ‘exclusive tourbus’ we drove around the island with stops at lake Allom, the Maheno Shripwreck and Eli Creek. Our tip for people who plan to go to Fraser Island: rent a jeep and drive around the island yourself. This way you are much more flexible and you can determine your one paste.
After this our next stop was Yeppoon. We visited a crocodile farm and did a day trip on a catamaran that brought us to the most beautiful places for snorkeling. The lady from the visitor centre advised us to come to the woods behind the centre to see the air getting black by 850.000 fruit eating bats. In the creek in front of us there were thousands of little crabs. Not the best place to hang out at night..
After Yeppoon we went to Airli Beach from where we took a boat to the Great Barriere Reef. I did two dives and I really enjoyed it. Same for the trip to White Heaven Beach. Unfortunately the air was cloudy and it was raining a bit, but even then it is wonderful and I even snorkeled with a turtle.
Via the Table-route we drove to Cairns. A really nice route that leads you through the rainforrest. In Cairns we changed our camper for a Jeep en drove up to Port Douglas for some snorkeling and diving at the reef again. We also visited Kuranda. you can get here with a cableway starting in Cairns. We visited the zoo where they let you cuddle koala’s, for payment of course. Thinking back of it, it doesn’t fit my ideas about how animals should be treated but at that moment I loved it.
THE BIG HELLO
With a domestic flight we flew to Perth where we saw Joran again. He has been traveling for a few months already so it was really nice to see him again. Together we celebrated New Year.
In Perth we walked around in Kingsport, did some shopping in Freemantle and had a wonderfull meal at the 33d floor of a building with amazing view over the city. After we rented bikes at Rottnest Island and spent the day there, it was time to say goodbye.
From Perth we flew to Melbourne were the next big hello took place. My best friends Laura & Arjo were waiting for us at the gate. Againg: really nice to see them again! One of the things we did was pay a visit to Philip Island where you can watch the Penguin Parade. Together with I don’t know how many tourists, you wait for hours, on a tribune for a bunch of penguins coming to land. Tip: skip this!
Together we drove to Lake Entrance where we had to say goodbye. We continued our trip to Sydney with a stop in Batermans Bay. As three happy tourists we got on a bus that took us to the Queen Victoria Building (‘the most beautiful shopping centre in the world’), the Sydney Fish Market, the Chinese Garden, the Sydney Opera House and Hyde Park.
Unfortunately Sydney was my last stop in Australia but hopefully I will go back one day and visit the West Coast.
Michiel went backpacking in Australia in 2007- 2008. You can read his story here.