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The Big Trip. Stephen, Laura, James and Sinead head for an epic adventure: 17 weeks in South America 8 weeks in New Zealand 2 weeks in Fiji 11 weeks in Australia 14 weeks in South East Asia.

The Oz Adventure

AUSTRALIA | Monday, 18 January 2010 | Views [811]

We have been a little lazy the last while and haven’t been keeping the blog up to date. So to make it short and sweet here are the highlights of our (Stephen and Laura‘s) 10 weeks travelling the East coast of Australia.

After our two amazing weeks in Fiji we all started off our Aussie journey in Cairns where we did three scuba dives on the Great Barrier Reef. It was awesome, we saw lots cool fish and giant clams. On returning from the dives Sinead and James had left to start there trip. It was weird being apart after travelling for six months.

After a week in Cairns we rented a car, bought camping gear and headed north to Cape Tribulation. The first night we camped in Port Douglas. It was just awful. The kip mats were crap. We didn't sleep. We decided immediately to invest in a proper mattress when we returned to civilisation. We visited Cape Tribulation and then returned south to Cairns. Here by coincidence to camped in the same site as Sinead and James. This was the first of many times we would run into each other on our 'separate' journeys :).

Our next destination was Magnetic Island. We stayed in Base hostel and spent two days drinking. On the second night it was ladies night so I dressed in drag in order to score cheap booze. The highlight of the night was the drag parade. After the two nights in Base we moved to the YHA. Here there was a Koala Park. We got to hold a koala, croc, a few lizards and snakes.

Arlee beach, our base for the Whitsunday’s cruise, was our next destination. We put the cruise on hold for a couple of days while I recovered from a devastating bout of the 'Man Flu'. The weather was awful for the cruise. We spent our days cowering under a small canopy from the wind and rain. Night time was spent drinking cheap beer and goon. Goon is the Aussie word for cheap plonk which costs ten dollars for a four litre box. Fowl stuff but it achieves its purpose. The highlight was our time on Whitehaven Beach. The beach had the purest whitest sand. It was so fine it felt like flour. The water was sapphire blue. It was beautiful. The trip was great despite the weather.

On their way to the Town of 1770 by chance we stayed in Rockhampton on the night of the Aussie Rodeo Championship finals. It was just as you would expect. Bull riding, bucking broncos and lasooing cattle. Everyone was dressed in Wrangler jeans and pointy cowboy boots. Rhinestones are back in a big way in this little town, it was quite strange. The funniest part of the night was a rider getting broke up by and dragged along by a bronco. Fifteen to twenty people raced across to try stop the horse and save him. Oh how we laughed! On our way into 1770 we met a tour of 40 - 50 motor cycles touring around and found out that this was the thing to do in 1770. We decided we got to give it as try. First time on motorbike for us both and it was great fun cruising along the highway spotting Kangaroos.

Next up was Harvey Bay. This was the departure point for a 3 day self drive 4x4 tour of Fraser Island. Before we left, Kris a guide brought us into a room and showed us videos of crashes and basically scared the shit out of us. Then he handed over the keys and we were off... Or we would have been if the truck hadn't broke down so Kris brought us to the pub at 9.30 in the morning, great way to start our trip. Legend. The highlight of the first day was Lake McKenzie. It was a beautiful lake with gorgeous white sand and perfectly clean water. That night we camped on aboriginal  grounds. We had a bbq and drank all night. Next day we headed to Indian head. I got to drive the truck. It was great fun. That night we camped in a National Park Camp ground. There was no noise allowed after nine so grabbed the beer and headed to the beach. We joined another group and were sitting around drinking and chatting. Suddenly there was a streak of green light through the sky. A meteor flew through the sky above us and broke up over the island. It was awesome. Next day we went to lake Wabi before we returned to Lake McKenzie before heading back to the harbour. I had the job to reverse the truck off the barge. On the ramp the truck popped out of gear. I couldn’t get it back into either H2 or L2. I was mortified as this blocked the barge from unloading. It turned out to be a gear linkage problem but that didn't spare my shame.

By now we were running behind schedule so we did a flying stop in Brisbane. We spend a couple of days and did the touristy bits. Then we headed for surfers. Schoolies was in full swing when we arrived so we didn’t stay. We went to the Warner Brothers theme park and on to Byron Bay.

Next we went to the Blue Mountains. It is a beautiful place. We did a couple of hikes each day. Then we froze each night. The sleeping bags we bought in tropical Cairns weren't worth a damn during the cold mountain nights.

The next destination was down the coast toward Melbourne. On the way we went to Phillip Island. The reason; every night around 1000 little Fairy Penguins parade up the beach just after the sun sets. Awesome.

Next up was the Great Ocean Road. The Weather was shit but the scenery and driving was great.
Melbourne was next up. Brilliant place. By far the best city we visited. We visited a couple of exhibits and the botanical gardens. I got myself a didgeridoo in the markets. We stayed out in St Kilda in Habitat. A really cool hostel. It was a great place to drink. We went to see Green Day play on Laura's birthday. They were excellent.

We spent our last two weeks of Aus time in Sydney. We spent the first three nights in Kings Cross. From there we did all the touristy stuff. Saw the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Tower. We then moved out to a hostel in Bondi on Christmas eve where we stayed over Christmas. Christmas day is a bit of a blur. It rained most of the day so any ideas of a bondi bbq went out the window. Myself and James dressed in Santa outfits for the day. We had Christmas dinner of salad, prawns and chicken (not very Christmas at all really) and then we set about drinking copious amounts of goon. Lots of drunken  madness ensued. The following week followed closely the pattern of rising late, going for fast food and ultimately drinking copious amounts of goon until sunrise.
New years eve was the big date which every one looked forward to during Christmas. Like a million other people we headed to the city to get a spot to watch the firework show. We were lucky that we got a spot next to the Opera House with a good view of the  bridge. We were unlucky because it was a drink free area. When we realised we decided it best to stick it out. The city was packed so finding another view was unlikely and we really had a great spot. At nine o'clock the first round of fireworks kicked off. I thought they were amazing. However the midnight fireworks were way better. Afterwards we headed into the city to get as much drink into us as possible. Then back to the hostel we went to grab goon and beers and head to the beach to watch the first sunrise of the new year. It was cloudy so we saw nothing but that didn’t bother us. We all fell into bed at around eight after a great night except for James. He slept on the beach until the afternoon.

After a further couple of days of goon the four of us packed the bags and boarded a plane to Singapore to kick off our next adventure.          


                                                       

                                                             
 our photos you can log onto Laura’s Facebook page at this address to see all the photos. The potos are public so you don’t have to bee on face book to see them.

Tags: australia, east coast

 

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