When I went there: August 2014
I started my East Coast trip from Port Douglas with my friend I had met travelling. We had both been working in the outback for 6 months and were so excited to finally travel and have some fun.
We started in Port Douglas. A town north of backpacker capital Cairns. Port Douglas a small town for tourists, mainly Australian tourists. There are only two hostels here so it isn’t very backpacker friendly for a visit but we had heard nice things about it. We stayed just over a week here and we loved it. Port Douglas is along the sea with a strip full or cafes, restaurants and shops selling all sorts of things, our favourite was a $10 and under shop selling funky clothes. We spent our time going to the beach named ‘four mile beach’ for obvious reasons and looking around the shops. We made friends with some of the girls in our hostel and went out drinking once, Port Douglas isn’t a party place. We booked a day trip to see Daintree and
Cape Tribulation where the rain forest meets the beach. I really liked Port Douglas as it felt like a holiday resort and was nice for relaxation. For a chance of scene we walked to an outdoor cinema to see a film, it rained but we stayed and made sure we saw the film we had paid for. We also visited a market and got a tarot card reading.
After our relaxing week in Port Douglas we started out pre-booked East Coast tour. We kicked off in Cairns which already had my vote because the streets had free wifi! We were booked into Nomads and had a Great Barrier Reef trip and Atherton Tablelands trip booked. We were picked up by tour called ‘Uncle Brian’s tours’ for Tablelands. We visited some rainforests and waterfalls, the best view was the waterfall where Peter Andre filmed ‘Mysterious Girl.’ We had a nice lunch with a stunning view and did some walks. That night we went out to the famous Gilligans – a backpacker hostel with nightclub. The following day we had our boat trip to The Great Barrier Reef. I ended up rather sea sick but forced myself to snorkel so I could say I had done it!
Next stop was Magnetic Island. We got the Greyhound bus just a short distance to the ferry port and crossed to Magnetic Island. We arrived in the evening and the weather was cold and windy. We stayed in the hostel Base and decided we hire some mopeds to tour the island. The weather during the day was hot and we managed to sunbathe. We did a hike and got some nice views and stopped for lunch on the other side of the island.
We got the ferry back to mainland Australia and made our way down to Airlie Beach for our day trip to see the Whitsundays. I had seen pictures of Whitehaven Beach but to see it in person is incredible, it is for sure the must beautiful beach I have ever seen. We didn’t go out in Airlie as the weather was bad but this little town is a smaller version of Cairns – aimed at backpackers for clubbing.
The next bus trip to Noosa was very long and tiring. We eventually arrived and this is where we would visit Fraser Island. An island made entirely of sand and only travelled by 4×4. We had 3 cars and drove along the beaches to various lakes, look outs and creeks. For me I felt it was the first tour I had been on where everyone made an effort and had fun. One of the best nights I have had in Australia was on Fraser Island. We all sat round drinking goon (cheap box wine) and playing games.
After Fraser Island and Noosa we headed to Brisbane to stay with my family friends. The weather in Brisbane was not great our first day so me and my friend toured the city centre and did some shopping. The next day was better weather and we went to the Koala Sanctuary where I finally got to hold a koala! I really enjoy Brisbane, staying with my friends made it very homely. My family friends drove us to The Gold Coast on our final day in Brisbane. I got to see Surfers Paradise. It wasn’t as I expected and im glad I only had a day there. We went to the top of the highest residential tower in the world and got to see Surfers Paradise from up high.
The final stop on our East Coast tour was Byron Bay. The weather was a lot colder as we were further south. Byron is a very laid back hippy town with lots of little boutiques and cafes. We went surfing for a day which was on my Australian bucket list, I managed to stand up!
Verdict: I loved this tour, my favourites was Brisbane, Magnetic Island and Port Douglas. I wish we had done this when it was warmer but it was still good. Go Back? Yes