Swings & Roundabouts 

Mimi freshly sold, we are back to the old mode of transport known as walking, I believe. Having booked a cheap (well it still wasn’t that cheap, all considering.. read on) hotel, well motel, we went straight to check in. It was far from anything fancy, but we didn’t need it to be – just a place to lay our nightcaps and move on in the morn’. 

Well, come 2AM when we are both asleep, we were awoken to some noise around our door. The door had been opened from the outside by someone and the only thing stopping said person/people entering was a key chain slider that luckily stayed in. Approaching the door and confronting them, they had fast ran off. Let’s just say we didn’t get the best nights sleep after that.. dodgy door for sure and as soon as we awoke we approached management, who took it seriously but seemed far from shocked. 

Anyway, into our hire car, that we soon adopted because the walking malarky was getting tiresome, we head north. Destination Cape Tribulation. A fair 3h30 drive, again to perhaps not the nicest of places to say.. a cabin with a bed and no more (a bed that we had to strip ourselves upon checkout). We paid a juicy $120 or so a night for this luxurious resort. Basically, this time of the year anything Cairns or further North gets very, very busy – and the prices head vastly up; whatever is available, sells.

Cape Trib was pretty, very relaxing with long beautiful beaches with rainforest running alongside it. Some very nice walks to be had, but not much to do in terms of fun. Also, no WiFi; weird sensation and far from ideal when you have hotels and flights to sort! 

Upon lobbing our bed linen in a bed at reception prior to checkout (a day early, the place wasn’t nice and the kitchen was not in a clean state).. we head South back to Cairns! Stopping twice, not including picture breaks, once at Mossman Gorge and once in Port Douglas.

Both very different but both very nice in their own ways. Port Douglas a beautiful location, with a lovely cute shopping strip, very busy – probably as it was 28 degrees today, during winter! Mossman Gorge was also very busy, 10 bucks each to get a return bus to and from the ‘start’ of the walks.. some beautiful views of the gorge were to be had, and a walk across a suspension bridge with 25 other people on it at the same time, an experience to say the least! Well worth a visit, but as with a lot on the East Coast, it can get busy. Not a huge deal to do for parts of the voyage, but some hidden gems along the way. 3 weeks in total on the road, we now sit in a Hilton Suite to bath, relax and recharge the withered batteries of ours.. well earnt, we say. Oh, and for dinner, upon agreement of doing so a while back, we treated ourselves to a market fresh seafood platter for two! Just on the Cairns Esplanade, the picture will show you just how good it was – tasting just as good as it looks. Swings and roundabouts for sure, or roundabouts then swings should I say!?

Let our pictures do the talking, for now! Tomorrow we head back to Brisbane, the quick and much preferred Aussie method of an aeroplane. Katie & Sam. x

Mimi 

As of our last update we have done a lot! It’s been pretty non stop. Heading down the old Bruce Highway (literally, the old one – before they built the more modern, and wide, one) we went to Paronella Park. An amazing old Park built by a Spanish man in the 19th century. It was #1 on the things to do in Queensland list – and rightfully so. The staff were lovely and the history in this park was crazy, very glad we visited. This was our last night stop before what we had planned to be the ‘final destination’ of our road trip. So back on the road and it was Cairns via Babinda.
Babinda being famous for Babinda Boulders, but it has a very sweet, quant town on the way through. We had a great pie there in the bakery – a league above any other we’ve had in ‘Straya to date.

Palm Cove was our next stop, not through choice as such – with all of Cairns’ holiday parks being sold out for that night, we opted to venture a little further North; we’re glad we did. Palm Cove was lovely and we were that close to the beach we could hear the sea from our campspot! Two nights we had here, and plenty of cleaning of Mimi and washing our clothes was to be done. 

Thursday we went to Kuranda. Heading up the vast greenery of the mountains via SkyRail. We spent the day at Kuranda, plenty of markets and things to keep us busy. Late afternoon we headed to a rail station, anticipating one of the coolest rail rides ever! Built over 100 years ago, through crazy mountainous terrain, without the machinery we have now; it was quite insane to imagine the sheer manpower and hours required for every metre of the hour and a half ride. 

On Friday we went to the one, the only, Great Barrier Reef! We opted for Seastar, an intimate cruise holding just 36 people – an early 7.30am start for a long day out on the reef but start to finish it was amazing! On the way out we saw a pod humpback whales! Unbelievable to see with your bare eyes as it’s hard to understand just how big they are without doing so! Arriving at the first part of the reef after an hour of cruising along the surprisingly smooth seas, we suited up and hit the water! Snorkeling was the chosen act and spotting as many fish and sea creatures as possible was the aim of the game! After the first part we headed to a different reef, of which was a little deeper but a little more diverse in its habitants! We spotted a turtle and many a many fish (obviously).. oh and some  reef sharks, which are just the kittens of the ocean. The best tour we have been on thus far, not just down to the fortune of spotting whales but the sheer kindness and comfortable nature of the amicable crew/staff. They made the day.

Today was a sad day – we sold Mimi. Our sole form of transport and our home for the past few weeks. We passed her onto a lovely couple from Birmingham, England – we’re sure they will treat her well! Sob sob. Onto new adventures, Mimi-less adventures! We still have plenty planned though, and plenty that we don’t need her for – but this blog update is dedicated to our trusty old friend, she done us proud!

Thanks for reading as ever guys, for now! Katie & Sam.

X

Paronella Park



Kauranda



Babinda Boulders


Great Barrier Reef

Nothing to Report

Friday we ventured over to what ended up to be one of, if not the, favourite island of our trip so far. It was stunning for many different ways.  Grabbing the 8.45am ferry over from Townsville for a short 20 minute ride, we soon arrived to meet the owner of our car hire company. A short 5 minute trip in our ‘topless’ car to the car hire place, a swap of keys and a payment – the car was ours for the day! Struggling into the 60kmph, but we wouldn’t change her, it was one hell of an experience! A very small island, without a 4×4 you can pretty much cover the island within hours. 
Some beautiful views and bays/beaches every few minutes, after exploring the island for a short while we went on a 2 hour hike. Sam in flip flops. ‘Fort’ walk being the name, 1 hour each way to the highest point of the island which was a fort used for protection of the island from the Japanese during World War II. A beautiful walk with lots of wildlife along the way, more than we have seen anywhere in Australia! Plenty of cute koalas sleeping, some wild wallabys of which we fed apples, an echidna and plenty more. 

After resting in Townsville after a very fun, tiring and eventful day on Magnetic Island, we hopped onto our friend Bruce ‘A1′ Highway. Destination: Mission Beach’. Along the way we spotted two dogs who seemed to be almost playing ‘chicken’ in the road, running around a very dangerous road. We pulled over and ran to try pull them over to safety before the unthinkable, our plan working the two healthy looking dogs were soon matched with their owners who were in the house/garden just from the highway!

Just before Mission Beach we were notified, by two friendly caravan owners on a stop along Bruce, there was a lovely lookout not too far down the road. We went to have a look and opted for the ‘Spa Pools’ 6km away. This 6km was off road. Mimi didn’t like this too much, but we and she lives to tell the tale, she does need a clean soon though – she is looking a dusty brown rather than her ‘natural’ metallic silver.

Smaller than we had perhaps expected, if we had formed expectations at all, Mission Beach is very nice – a lovely long beach with amazing views of the nearby islands including that of the larger of the lot – Dunk Island.  We are spending two nights at Mission Beach, tonight being the last of the two, an amazing penultimate stop to Cairns (the next being Paronella park). 

Sunday morning was a completely uneventful morning. Nothing at all to mention that I can think of bar Sam goint skydiving from 14,000ft onto Mission Beach. 

The afternoon we spent finding coconuts on the beach and spending a lot of time trying to crack them open, well worth the effort in the end, nothing beats fresh coconut!!

For now & Speak soon (probably when we have arrived in Cairns!!) Sam & Katie.

​​​

Debbie

From our last camping spot in Mackay on Tuesday we headed up to Airlie Beach on the Wednesday to spend 2 nights there. Being a beach, of course, it was right along the Whitsunday coast – so what better to do than spend the best part of a day (our second) on a tour to see the acclaimed most beautiful beach of Whitsunday – Whitehaven Beach. 
Firstly though, on our first, we went exploring to the centre of Airlie Beach on what was a lovely warm day (must have been circa 27 with no clouds – quite bedazzling for a Winters day, hey!?). A 30min walk on the way there, mostly uphill, a quick mooch around town and a leisurely walk back; complimented by some Frozen Coke to cool us down! Unfortunately the damage from Cyclone Debbie somewhat recently was clear to see, this part of Queensland (North) was hit quite hard by Debbie. Trees were bare and plenty had fallen, also buildings are currently under repair as we saw them. A real shame but credit to those whom it is due, they had cleared it all up very well already, and I’m sure within months or years it will look as good as ever! 

Now, our second day in Airlie (Wednesday) as forementioned, beach day!! Taxi down to the local harbour, and a somewhat long boat journey to Whitehaven Beach, with some lovely views along the way. An hour on the ‘first’ boat then we hopped straight onto our next for another forty minutes. Unfortunately it was quite cloudy (sob sob) but still a lovely beach with beautiful white sand and crisp blue warm waters. We also saw a huge wild Goanna wandering the beach hunting it’a next meal, quite unreal and far from expected! 

Today, we zoomed up our old friend Bruce the highway – for 3h30, with a coffee break, a toilet break and a zoo/sanctuary break just 20km short of our destination Townsville.  The Sanctuary, Billabong Sanctuary, was quite awesome – pictures with a dingo, pat a dingo, feed all sorts of animals including turtles and get chased around the entire sanctuary by ducks and goslings for a few hours! 

Random facts for the last few days: 

– If you see a police car on the A1 with ‘Oversize’ emblazed upon its front.. pull over! They can be quite scarily huge, taking up 3/4 of BOTH sides of the road.

– You will see plenty of roadkill along Bruce, I mean plenty. Also you will see a fair amount of wild animals, the best of the bunch for us being a big emu! 

– Coffee is good.

Thanks for reading and speak soon! We are looking forward to our next update (hehehe) Katie & Sam. P.s. enjoy some pictures.




Bruce

Bruce Highway. A highway covering the entirity of our trip essentially, one we are very familiar with, now. On Sunday we spent a lot of the day voyaging along Bruce, also known as the A1. Heading through Rockhampton, we ventured on a little further for some fun down at some ‘dry’ caves.. 

The Capricon Caves were pleasant, a very intimate tour as there were only 3 others joining us – all the better for her to show us a bit more and spend a bit more time explaining things rather than gathering the masses. From here we decided to head a little further up our old friend the Bruce Highway – stopping at a roadside campsite for the night. Far from the beautiful views of the Kangaroo Sanctuary, nor did we wake to Wallabys hopping around searching for some warming morning sun… far from it. But the campsite did it’s job in giving us some shut-eye and well needed rest for an early start this morning.

Come 7am we were up and off again, a very foggy morning but thankfully this soon lifted – we took the circa 3 hour journey upto Mackay which is where we are spending tonight, ready to move on up again tomorrow. Not too much to see around these areas bar tarmac and trees, but Airlie Beach and plenty of touristic activities soon to come in the days to come! Exciting! From tomorrow we plan to spend two nights at Airlie Beach, and a day trip to the Whitsunday Islands (Whitehaven Beach).

P.s. we’re over half way up to Cairns, starting at near 1800km’s, less than 900 to go! Just a stones throw away…  thank you as ever for reading.

For now, Katie & Sam.

1770

Thursday we were pedal to the metal as we headed from Noosa to Hervey Bay. We spent this night resting before a very early rise the next morning as we were hopping on a barge to an island just off of Hervey Bay, any ideas?
Fraser Island! Yesterday we spent a day over at Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world! Also the largest island Queensland owns! Over 120km top to bottom and roughly on average 12km from side to side (up to 15km at it’s widest point). Sorry, almost enough facts for the day. Quite astounding to have an island of this size solely of sand, yet the trees and forestation sprouting from it was immense! 

Our tour itself was very good, our tour guide was very clued up and very friendly from start to finish. Lots of knowledge about trees being spouted at us, trying to absorb as much as humanly possible in one day. Some very interesting knowledge about James Fraser, who the island is named after – if they do not soon return it to its original Aboriginal name. The tour included a stop at Lake McKenzie which was, in our opinion at least, the most beautiful part of Fraser Island that we had seen. A stop at a shipwreck along the 75mile beach (no need for explanation or what this is) and also at Central Station, which was used for logging in the 1800’s & 1900’s!

This morning we took a 3hr or so journey down to Seventeen Seventy, the first part of Australian mainland Captain Cook found – funnily enough in the year 1770. A lovely quant little place with just one restaurant seemingly – next we went to our final resting place for the night just next door in Agnes Water. Our camp is very beautiful. Stunning views and kangaroos running around, it being a kangaroo sanctuary. It truly needs to be seen to be believed.

We will treat you to some pictures, including a beautiful long exposure shot off the stars and highly visible Milky Way from our campsite this evening. The stars really do light up the night in this part of the world.  

Tomorrow we head yet further North, we will update you as soon as we can! For now! Katie & Sam.


Noosa

Yesterday we departed busy Brisbane to head 1700km North to Cairns. Allocating up to a month to get ourselves there and back – plan being to sell Mimi (our beloved home on wheels for this trip) in Cairns and fly back down. 
Our first stop was Noosa, just a simple 2hr drive North (I’ll need not state this too often – as the majority/entirity of our trip will be in this general direction). Smooth drive down just before Midday we arrived, and first stop after a mooch about, was of course the famous Betty’s Burgers. It lived up to it’s hype, one of the best burgers $10 can purchase. After exploring a little bit, we opted for an early night back at the campsite, taking our time to ready everything at the site itself – we found ourselves in bed ready for sleep pre-9pm! 

Today we woke at 7am, dressed and straight down to grab a parking spot – of which seem to be gold dust in Noosa! Succesfully finding one, we went on a nice morning hike – about 2 hours all in all. Starting at Noosa National Park and ending at Hell’s Gate, it was a gorgeous wrap around coastal walk, with consistently stunning beach and seaviews. Unfortunately we spotted no Koalas or Whales on our walk, which were said to be common, heyho! The rest of our day was spent labourosly lounging around on the beach in the almost perfect winters sun, it was around 22c but felt a shade warmer. What a taxing afternoon, sun sea sand and.. gelato! From massimo’s very popular ice cream shop. Yum. 

It’s getting dark around 5 so early starts and early evenings will be the routine of most days.

Overrall Noosa is lovely – a beautiful vacation/break destination and as nice for a camping stop. Next stop, Harvey Bay! Speak soon and we hope the pictures do the beautifulness of Noosa some justice!