Before heading to Australia I wasn’t really sure what to expect I had no real expectations, honestly I was pretty preoccupied with my fear of spiders, and for that reason it wasn’t top of my list of places to go. A wedding invite from a good friend I’ve not seen for 11 years and an opportunity to travel the southern hemisphere and suddenly we were on our way to Oz. What I wasn’t prepared for is to fall in love with this beautiful, richly diverse country, Australia has something for everyone.
Our first stop was Brisbane, with just a day to visit the city, I haven’t got a huge expanse of knowledge to share. However, I can recommend taking a walk through the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha. For a first taster of Australia, this gave us a insight into the bird life and subtropical plants you see throughout Oz. On the south side of the city you’ll definitely want to take a dip at Streets Beach in Southbank. The man-made beach is surrounded by white sandy beaches and palm trees, and with a back drop of sky scrapers in the business district. This unique location is a perfect spot to cool down.
The sunshine coast is exactly how you would expect, sun, sea, and plenty of surf. My first taster was surfers paradise the jewel of Queensland’s Gold Coast, a pristine white beach which stretches as far as the eye can see. Those who pay homage to the gods of the sea, flock here to catch the perfect wave. Tanned gods run down the beach like a scene out of Baywatch, heading for the sea, its certainly a heavenly sight.
Where to stay: Rainbow’s Bed and Breakfast Love running? Run with Rebel Runners in Mooloolaba: Contact Rob SkeewallyMy favourite destination by far has got to be Noosa, described as a coastal cosmopolitan town. Its situated on the southern shore of Laguna Bay and on the far western side of Noosa headland. Cute little boutiques, surf and coffee shops line Hastings Street the main high street of Noosa. We stopped atBistro C for breakfast, on recommendation from some locals and it didn’t disappoint. Amazing juices, coffee and a view across the beach, what more can you want. A highlight for me, and what really puts Noosa on the map is a walk through Noosa National Park. Our first few steps we sighted a wild Koala high up in the trees, which I was particularly excited at having never seen a Koala before. Along the walk you’ll be treated to views of beautiful beaches, which you can stop and take a dip in or just watch the pros surfing the waves, or if your really lucky spot dolphins and turtles. At the top of the national park is Hells Gates, a 1 hour walk from the main carpark, offering spectacular views over the coast a great hangout for seeing turtles.
Where to stay: At the SoundOur next stop along the east coast was Bryon Bay, a mecca for all surf dudes and dudesses. This is by far more alternative then anywhere else we’ve been, a boho backpackers haven. The beach is lined with camper vans and a distinct smell of weed lingers in the air.
We headed forGo Sea Kayak, a perfect way to experience Bryon Bay’s clear blue waters and discover some of it marine wildlife. The promise of kayaking among dolphins lured us onto the tour but unfortunately our ancient aboriginal calls for ‘I love you dolphin’, didn’t work. No worries though, Kurt Tutt’s promise to all kayak adventurers means that if you don’t see dolphins you can come back and kayak for free.
Another great recommendation for local grub was The Farm, eat at the amazing Three Blue Ducks restaurant run by 5 friends who all have a mutual interest in quality, authentic food, ethically sourced. The food is sourced from the farm, so you’ll be treated to a mouth watering selection of fresh salads, tender meat and delicious cocktails. We shared the crispy farm eggplant, which was unbelievably tasty followed by the sticky ribs. The meat literally fell off the bone and was marinated in the scrummiest marinade.
Where to stay: Byron Palms Guesthouse
One stop worth mentioning on our drive down the east coast was Look At Me Now Headland. Here you will see dozens of eastern grey Kangaroos in their natural habitat. Part of Moonee Beach Nature Reserve looking over Moonee Beach, its a great spot for a short scenic walk.
I recommend stopping in Coffs Habour to see the sights of Moonee etc. but I wouldn’t stay there again, as the accommodation is pretty poor despite charging high fees.
Our final stop before heading to Sydney was Forster. A town which came up on my radar after following SammyRobinson on Instagram. A small sleepy town with a great sushi bar Spice Monkey, beautiful beaches and a spectacular view point at Cape Hawke Lookout and don’t miss Booti Booti National parks 7 mile beach.
Keep posted for my updates on Sydney and Melbourne 🙂