After still only seeing a small percentage of this country I can categorically state that it is breathtaking. As myself and 3 friends journeyed up the coast from Sydney to Cairns every day provided a different sight to marvel at. Beautiful beaches, amazing rainforests, novel looking wildlife, huge (HUGE) sand blows, like something from the Sahara, majestic mountain views and endless surfing opportunities, all in beautiful 75-85 degree heat… in winter.
Best times included the 3 day 4×4 wheel driving adventure on Fraser Island as well as a 2 night cruise around the Whitsunday Islands. The first provided a close encounter with a Dingoe as well as a near death experience at the hands of our German driver. The latter’s highlight involved a trip to Whitehaven beach, honestly the most beautiful beach I have ever seen… and yes I have been to Blackpool and Scarborough.
Cairns is the best place to visit The Great Barrier Reef due to its close proximity, so we took a day cruise to see the phenomenon. Here I partook in my first ever Scuba Dive which was a whole lot of fun, albeit a little disconcerting. Close encounters with fish, coral and turtles ensued and it is an experience I will never forget. Well worth the money, even if it was way out of my budget!!
North of Cairns is the Daintree National Park and Cape Tribulation, you can only travel so far in to this wilderness in a 2 wheel drive. It is one of the only places in the world where rainforest meets the sea and the whole place really does provide a throwback to a bygone age. Crocodiles infest the rivers and we were lucky to see some close up and giant birds that can disembowel you with their toe-nails (known as Cassowaries), parade the jungle… it seriously is like something out of Jurassic Park!!
Well unfortunately the money always runs out and it was time to leave tropical Cairns behind and head back to the bright lights (and cold weather) of Sydney. Due to major financial constraints we decided to take the bus as opposed to air travel, $130 seemed like a bargain, although after a 46 journey my aching body didnt seem to concur! However it did add a kind of finality to the whole trip, seeing all those places we had enjoyed on the way up once more, albeit through a bus window… and with a longing look on our faces!!
Anyway Sydney it is now and back to the 9-5 grind to save for the next adventures. Early mornings, boring days… ah tropical Cairns, the Great Barrier Reef, Fraser Island, the Whitsundays… all of a sudden it seems a distant memory,