Sivu on muuttanut uuteen osoitteeseen


Friday, June 25, 2010

Sailing in the magical Whitsundays

Sailing in the Whitsunday Islands, magical chain of 74 islands, is a must do experience for anyone going up or down the East Coast. I did it last year as well, although the trip and the boat were very different from this time.

We spent 2 nights and 2 days in a lovely wooden boat, New Horizon. The boat was rocking a lot and many people became sea sick but I quite enjoyed it. Warm weather, turquoise sea glittering, fun-loving people, not to forget a freezer full of goon! 

Like last year, the weather was overcast and we got a bit of rain in the evening. Apparently April is STILL wet season no matter what they tell you! 

In the morning we went to the amazing Whitehaven Beach. On the boat, waiting for a ride to the shore, we saw a giant marine turtle! 

Whitehaven was even more beautiful than last year. Pictures don't really do justice, especially because the weather was overcast.

We went swimming and snorkelling. The cyclone had destroyed a lot of the corals and the water wasn't as clear as last year. Still, we saw some huge, rainbow-coloured fish and corals.

In the evening we got the most beautiful sunset. After the sun went down, the dolphins came out and were playing around the boat all night! Magic.


Labels: , , , , , ,

Back in Airlie Beach

After a LONG drive we arrived in Airlie Beach. On the way we stayed at a small little place called Marlborough and had dinner and shower at this little hotel/pub. 

This was my second time in Airlie Beach, I was there almost exactly a year before. We met up with the Jucy girls, which was nice because I missed having them around. We stayed at the same caravan park. 

The next day before the boat trip, we had time for some beers and a quick swim in Airlie Beach lagoon. 

Next it was time to pack our bikinis and jump in a boat to the beautiful Whitsundays!

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Catching waves in Agnes Water

After Fraser Island we spent one more night in Hervey Bay before continuing our journey up north. When Australian cutie Rohan asked me to drive up in his van, I thought about it for one-millionth of a second before saying ok! 

Last night at the backpackers

The next destination were the twin towns of Agnes Water and the Town of 1770. When we got there, we ran into who else but the Jucy girls. Beautiful place, secluded beaches and rainforest national parks. 

We got the cheapest surf lessons, 3 hours for $17. Good surf lessons, too. In addition to learning how to paddle well, I also learned my lesson why it is good to wear shorts when you go surfing. 

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

When the world's largest sand island turned into mud - PART II

The next day there was rain. And more rain. And a freezing wind, too. Sand turned into mud. We were going to follow the itinerary in spite of the rain and drove to the rocky outcrops of Indian Head. The rain was too icy to even get out of the car and we had to give up sightseeing for the day. 

Dingoes are all over Fraser Island. The campsites are fenced, but still you are not allowed to leave any rubbish outside because it attracts them. When we were having lunch, there were many dingoes circling around us. 

There was not much we could do in the rain. We set up camp for the night and drove out to a picnic ground with a shelter. The car had been showing signs of dying all day, but it wasn't until at the end of the evening, when we wanted to drive back to the campsite, when it wouldn't start anymore. It was pitch-black and we only had one tiny little torch that wasn't much of use. We were trembling through the rainforest with no idea if we were going in the right direction or how far the campsite was. I was sure I could hear the dingoes around us waiting for the perfect moment to strike when one of us would fall. I really thought we would never find the way in the dark. Just when everybody was starting to lose hope, we saw a distant light coming from the campsite. And we were saved.

Dinner at the shelter

The night was freezing cold and I was shivering under a thin little blanket. I woke up in the middle of the night in the growling of the dingoes outside the tent. At least so I thought, obviously still not recovered from the scary experience. 'The dingoes are coming, the dingoes are coming!!' I screamed. It turned out to be just somebody snoring very loudly.

The last day we had to wait, and wait, and wait for somebody to come and fix the car. The rain finally stopped and the sun came out. 

Despite the nice beaches, you only step in the ocean on Fraser if you want to get eaten by a shark. However, Fraser is full of beautiful freshwater lakes. Our last stop before leaving the island was Lake McKenzie

White silica sand that is so pure that you can even use it for washing your teeth or cleaning jewellery. The clearest water. The water is actually so clean that there is hardly any life in the lake. You can drink the water and it is better than tap water. Really a gorgeous place. We were really loving it, especially after all the rain and wind, it was like arriving in paradise, and I never wanted to leave. Unfortunately, we had a ferry to catch...

The weather and the car breaking down on Fraser was really disappointing. There were so many places that we didn't get to see. Still, the places that we did see were awesome and we had a great time despite the rain. I can only imagine how good it would have been with a nice weather.  Fraser was definitely the highlight of the trip so far. Not only because of the beautiful island with the sandy beaches, sand dunes and lakes, or because of the fun times we had, but because I found something much more amazing on this muddy little island than I ever could have imagined.

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, June 20, 2010

When the world's largest sand island turned into mud - PART I

The world's largest sand island, Fraser Island, was the place I had been looking forward to the most. It is one of the world's greatest natural wonders and a world heritage listed area together with places such as Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kakadu National Park. It is 4WD only, so we booked a self-drive tour. We were going to stay on the island for two nights. We got the trip cheap together with a sailing trip to the Whitsundays, both for the price of one, including also two nights at a hostel and lots of freebies. 

We left our Jucy to Hervey Bay, where our Fraser adventure would start. There we had a briefing, where we met one Irish girl, two British guys and one Aussie, who we would be sharing the car with. We were given instructions on sand driving and other essential information about the island. There has been a lot of accidents on Fraser because of self-driving backpackers such as us speeding on the beach and ending up upside down. Therefore they are planning to prohibit self-drive tours in the future.

We spent the night before the trip in the luxury of a hostel and woke up fresh and excited. A short ferry ride took us to the island. The weather was sunny and perfect. First we drove through the world's only rainforests growing on sand dunes. A bumpy ride, with heads going up and down, side to side and banging on the ceiling, took us to 75-Mile Beach highway. Yes, there is actually a highway on the beach. 

First stop was Lake Wabby, one of the hundred freshwater dune lakes on Fraser. Deep, green water, lots of catfish, surrounded by high sand dunes. When we got there, a group of guys in the water were yelling at us: 'Jucy! It's the Jucy girls! How are you?' At first we didn't recognize them, but it was the guys from Byron Bay, who wouldn't move in front of the supermarket. Small world. Anyway, we had fun fooling around in the water with a log that we found. 

The next stop was Eli Creek. 

The most famous shipwreck on Fraser, Maheno, was the biggest ship before the Titanic. Looks like its journey didn't end much better.

The last stop was the Pinnacles, multicoloured cliffs and sand formations. 

It was time to set up camp, cook dinner and play drinking games, what else. I kept myself busy getting acquainted with the cute Aussie guy...

In the evening it started to rain.


Labels: , , , , , ,

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Life is easy by the ocean

We spent the morning lazing around on Rainbow beach. The beach has got its name from the 74 different shades of coloured sand. I couldn't see 74 shades, only sand, but still it was a very nice beach. Sparkling sunshine, calm breeze on your body, sound of the waves crashing, smell of sunscreen and salt water, soft golden sand between my toes. Happy days.

So far the trip had been so much more than I expected. Before I left, my life was a bitch, now it was a beach. No stress, no worries. All my actual and imaginary problems were gone. I could see everything in perspective again. Yesterday was gone, and we didn't think about tomorrow because it wasn't here yet. We didn't think about what would happen in a couple of weeks after we would have to return the van and it was the best feeling. Instead we were making the most of today and enjoying the moment.

Quit the rat race! Seize the moment! Everybody dies, but not everybody really lives...

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Feeling down? Saddle up!

On the last morning in Noosa we went horse riding on the beach. I'd only been on a horse once before in the High Country of Victoria. That time I really loved it, we did trotting and canter too. This time we were only allowed to walk, which was a bit disappointing. Especially for Sabrina who loves her horses. They gave me the laziest horse, I had to kick its butt all the way, otherwise we would still be there. Horse riding is so relaxing. There is this sense of freedom to it. And what is a better place to go riding than an endless sandy beach. The best therapy. Ditch your shrink, go horse riding. I know I will. 

After horse riding we jumped in the Jucy and arrived in Rainbow beach after sunset. We spent at least an hour trying to find a safe place to camp. Very frustrating. 

Labels: , , , , , ,

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Stine and me woke up early in a massive hangover to go to Australia Zoo. Remember that crazy guy from the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, who did all those insane stunts with dangerous animals, and in the end died wrestling a stingray a few years ago? Anyway, Australia Zoo is owned by his family. 

I wasn't that excited about going to the zoo. I always prefer seeing animals in the wild. But Australia Zoo was a really pleasant surprise. Conservation was a big element in the zoo and there was lots of information of how the zoo works to protect the species, and even how anybody can help. I thought maybe I should adopt a koala or a little monkey. We saw many animals we had never seen before. We also went to see this show where some crazy guy imitating Steve Irwin jumped in the pool with a big crocodile. Crikey!

Too much eucalyptus leaves?

A wombat

The animals aren't held in cages, instead they have big areas where they can roam free. There were for instance these lizards everywhere in the park, happily running around free. We couldn't help but wonder how it works, why don't the monkeys and such just run away or go and say hi to the kangaroos for example.  They just stay in their own little area with no cages.

The world's most venomous snake. One bite can kill 10 men.

Talking about snakes, I remember before leaving to Australia how everybody was warning me about all the snakes. I've been here for 18 months and I've seen only ONE small pathetic snake in the wild!

We also got to touch many of the animals at the zoo. If you paid a little extra you got to hold a crocodile, a koala, a snake or other animals. I held a koala!!!! it was one of my must-dos on this trip. It was so cute and cuddly that I didn't want to hand it back to the ranger. Holding a snake on the other hand was so disgusting that I didn't breathe the whole time and just wanted the photographer to take the snap quickly so I could get rid of the slithery thing.

Australia Zoo was huge and we spent the whole day there. It was quite expensive but worth every cent, considering that most of it if not all goes into conservation.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Soaking up the sun in the Sunshine Coast

Stine and me had a morning run along the beach with the prettiest scenery once again. On the way we found this big swimming lagoon where we spent the morning splashing. 

Is this the life or what?

Next we were heading to the Glasshouse Mountains. In 1770 Captain James Cook wrote in his journal: 'These hills lie but a little way inland, and not far from each other: they are remarkable for the singular form of their elevation, which very much resembles a glass house, and for this reason I called them Glass Houses.' The Glasshouse Mountains are in fact volcanic crags. 

We had lunch at the car park and ran into a little friend:

And not so little either, about a metre long!

It would have been nice to go for a walk in the mountains and get to know the Aboriginal history of the place, too. The majority of Jucy, however, was in a hurry to go and burn some flesh on the beaches of Noosa, since the Sunshine Coast was living up to its name and the weather was perfect.

The Sunshine Coast, north from Brisbane, is a big holiday resort but less developed and intense than the Gold Coast, and therefore a bit more relaxed. Noosa Heads is the trendy, sophisticated centre of Sunshine Coast with its five-star hotels. The first thing we got there, we hit the beach. We had a look around the town and had drinks, the second best pina colada of my life.

We parked on Sunshine Beach a short drive from Noosa. Stine and me went out and had a fun night. 

Follow my blog with bloglovin

Labels: , , , , , , , ,