Sydney to Cairns part 1

We picked up our car without any drama’s, and headed out of Sydney, crossing the Sydney harbour bridge with great views as we left. We had 2 weeks until our flight out of Cairns and we had a couple of long long drives and today was one of them.

Sydney is a massive city and it took well over an hour to see the last of the urban sprawl. We hit the highway, and although this is a road up the coast, you dont see much of the coast at all, the road is too far in land to catch a glimpse of the sea.

The scenery got better as we went up the coast, we stopped at a nice little town called Raymond Terrace where I had an excellent burger from the red eye cafe. Then it was a race to Coffs Harbour, arriving at 8.30, an hour after the reception had closed, but the owners were very nice and let us in anyway. In the morning we had a quick wander along the beautiful beach (the start of many beautiful beaches), then loaded up the car and headed further north up the coast.

A quick stop at Coffs Harbour beach in the morning

We stopped for lunch at Byron Bay, a big back packer resort, it was nice enough, with a beautiful beach and many shops, but we got the impression that at night this was going to be a bit like Magaluf, all right if we were 20 years younger but probably a bit too much now.
Our next stop was Noosa on a reccomendation (thanks Nic), we had a cabin just outside town, and because the drive wasn’t too long we had enough time to go out and do a bit of exploring.

and finish on the beach at Noosa in the evening

The beach needless to say was beautiful, and the town was really nice, lots of nice shops and places to eat, it’s one of the few places we’ve been to in Australia where people actually dress up for dinner pity we didn’t have anything dressy to wear really!
We had 2 nights here so the next day we had a leisure, and we drove out a little bit to Peregian beach, the sand was so hot you couldn’t walk on it without shoes, but the beach was stunning with a small area with a lifeguard, but tons of space to lay down in peace.

Peregian beach, thats Dawn in the distance

The sea was really choppy, but great if you want to splash around. But here again was the curse of the stinger, I saw a couple of massive ones, and it does make you a little wary about going in to the water. An hour later we had had enough sun and sea, and went back to the cabin for a cool down and a rest after all that hard relaxation.

Our cabin home in Noosa, a bit like Butlins

Late afternoon we took a walk (again thanks Nic) in the national park, along the cliff edge to hells gates. This is a relatively easy walk along where the bush meets the sea, we saw our first (and sadly only) wild Koala, and saw the amazing views of hells gates when we reached the top of the cliff. Feeling smug after our long walk we bought 2 pizzas from Dominoes and stuffed our faces back at the cabin.  Noosa was definitely one of our favourite place in Australia.

Look carefully and you may see a Koala
Looking back towards Noosa
The view from the top



The next day we drove the Hervey Bay to our very budget hotel, did our obligitory eveninng walk on the beach, and quite unexpectedly saw the moon rise over the ocean. We had never seen a moon rise before and it was an incredibly beautiful thing, certainly an unexpected, and stand out memory (and on this trip there have been a lot of unexpected stand out moments).



After a decent nights sleep we did our first cruise to Fraser Island. You can do different tours of the island itself, but we chose the less frantic cruise option as it gave us a couple of activities, and the chance to chill out as well.

This was one of the most fun days of the trip so far where we snorkled, kayaked around mangrove swamps, paddle boarded (badly in a choppy sea) and did tubing from the back of a speedboat, with a spot of sand dune climbing thrown in.  We had a fantastic bbq, where I ate far too much but we had an absolutely awesome day.

On our way out to Fraser island
Our luxury motor boat
Cool speedboad could drive on the beach too!
Tougher than it looks going up (so easy coming down though)
The view from the top was worth the walk
An excellent way to finish a fantastic day

But sadly, early next day it was time to pack up and head off for the next long leg of our journey…






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