Travelling down the East Coast of Australia
My first year in Australia was coming to an end. But before I had to leave this beautiful continent, there was still my trip along the East Coast. I took the plane from Melbourne to Mackay and from there on, I had to take the bus to Airlie Beach – or at least that was the plan. The bus to Airlie Beach never arrived and so I was stuck in Mackay. Everywhere else, I would have been done with the day – but not in Australia! A taxi driver was so kind to drive me to the city centre for free, a friend of his let me store my bags in his apartment and a new bus ticket was purchased for the same evening! I am still amazed by the kindness of the Australians – their motto “no worries” couldn’t fit any better.
Heaven on Earth – Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays
After I had arrived in Airlie Beach and entered my dorm room with 7 strangers sleeping in it, I kind of had this unpleasant feeling. But I was so exhausted from all of the excitement of the day, that I fell asleep in no time, just to wake up in paradise the next morning – the Nomands Hostel in Airlie Beach was a real beauty. I had a big breakfast on the beach and ran some errands before my four-day trip to Whitsundays would start on the next day.
Again, I shared my room with several people. The difference was, that is wasn’t a room but a cabin with eight people in it and the beds were just big enough for us to fit in. We started our day with snorkelling and enjoyed the beautiful view of the Whitsundays. It really felt like I had arrived in heaven. When I woke up the next morning, I had a sunburn and was feeling extremely nauseous – turns out I’m sea sick! I didn’t have a choice and so I spent my day laying on deck in my pyjamas because there is nothing more dangerous to go under deck when you are sea sick! Little tip: stay on deck, always watch the horizon and don’t move too much 😊
From the East Coast to the Outback of Australia – the place that made me most speechless
From one endless expanse – the sea – to the next one – the desert. Australia’s outback, here I come. In Alice Springs I had the feeling that time was standing still. A mini bus picked us up from the airport and took us to our hostel. On the next morning at 4 o’clock, we were already on our way to Ayers Rock – red sand as far as the eyes could see. What a view! But you know, there is always someone that likes to spread some negativity: “Well, that’s just a big rock I guess.”
When it got dark outside, we got our mattresses and sleeping bags to lie next to the campfire. The sleeping bags were kind of special as you could pull them up all the way and they reminded me of a coffin. Out tour guide told us a true story about backpackers getting killed in the Outback. Funny enough, everyone except me fell asleep straight away. But someone had be on guard duty! And obviously I didn’t pull my sleeping bag all the way up as I wasn’t in the mood for rotting in there alive. Well, who would have thought that it would get cold during the night (I thought it was always incredibly hot?!) so eventually I did pull my sleeping bag up to the top. And after there were tons of red sand was in my face, I knew what our tour guide was talking about!
The Kata Tjuta national park was on our schedule for the next day, which was way more breath-taking than Ayers Rock. If a dinosaur would have crossed my path here, I wouldn’t have been surprised! But you know, the best thing always comes last and that’s exactly how it was for us. We climbed Kings Canyon before sunrise and on the way, two retired people overtook us – we really questioned our physical condition. Luckily, we still arrived before sunrise with our headlight leading the way – and for the first time on my trip, my breath was truly taken away.
Feeding Dolphins in Rainbow Beach
Back in Alice Springs, I hopped on the bus heading to Rockhampton, where I visited my friends and shortly after that I joined another friend in Rainbow Beach. After I did already have the pleasure to spend time with kangaroos and koala bears, one of my childhood dreams became reality – I fed wild dolphins.
Whale Watching and Hippie Lifestyle in Byron Bay
The next animal related highlight was waiting for me in Byron Bay. I went whale watching and even saw a giant pot whale, which jumped out of the water just a few meters in front of us! Byron Bay is one of the most loved places by backpackers because everyone seems to feel and embrace the Aussie’s “no-worries-lifestyle”. I couldn’t resist myself, which is why I got feathers braided into my hair. I also went on a hike to a lighthouse from where you can see the easternmost point of Australia – this definitely has to be on every to do list!
In Noosa, I explored the national park with some really nice backpackers I had met before and it was so much fun. We even turned into tourist guides when a group of Chinese people mistook us for their guide!
Sydney – my first, my last, my everything…
In Sydney, I had touched Australian concrete for the first time, so I decided that this was also going to be the last place. But before actually hopping on the plane, there was still some sightseeing to be done: The Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, the Fish Market and Bondi Beach – and we can’t forget about my trip to the Blue Mountains. Before I had to leave Australia we won the World Cup and partied the night away in the Munich Brewery in Sydney. 11 months had passed by so quickly and when I was sitting at the airport, my heart was bleeding.