A Travellerspoint blog

Brisbane

overcast

In the morning, we jumped on the bus going to Brisbane. We locked our bags in some lockers in the bus station and wandered around the town in the rain.

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We only had one day in the city and then in the evening we caught the flight to Singapore. The time went so quickly in Australia.

Posted by Laima 04:09 Archived in Australia Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Noosa

sunny 30 °C

In the morning we got dropped off at the bus station. Waited for a bus and then waited a little bit more and then waited and waited, went to KFC to eat and waited again. I wrote my diary, read a newspaper and wandered in the shopping mall. And then we waited some more. Some people went to get some food and then the bus rolled in 6 hours later. There was a spillage from a tanker accident on the road, so all the roads were closed and they had to wait for the stuff to be cleaned up. We got into the bus and the driver was checking if everyone was onboard. Two girls were missing as they went to get something to eat. The guy didn't blink and left in two minutes. The girls must have been so upset - getting up early, waiting for 6 hours and having to go back to the hostel only to start everything again in the morning and to pay for the ticket again. Ouch!

The Noosa town was very tidy with lots of nice bars and restaurants. Our hostel was on the top of the hill and we walked there with our bags. I was ready to give up, but we made it to the hostel. They wanted to put us in the room with 5 guys, but I've managed to negotiate with receptionist and we ended up with two girls that were very nice.

We did our laundry and it was bliss to have clean clothes. We when cooked dinner and crashed into bed. It was enough adventure for one day.

The next day we wandered around the town and basically lay on the beach the whole day, the best beach so far in Oz that you can actually use to swim - it was great, Noosa is a cool little place. In the evening we used some electric BBQ's along the the river overlooking the expensive river front houses .

Posted by Laima 04:08 Archived in Australia Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Arlie Beach and Fraser Island

sunny 28 °C

We arrived at Airlie Beach and again stayed in the Koala's resort. We had some breakfast at a restaurant and a huge pot of coffee. The beach was quite nice, so we spend some time wandering around there and then for dinner Robert cooked a curry. It was yummy! We ate it with our new friend - a possum that lived on the roof of our hostel.

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The next day, we got divided into the groups of 10 (there were a lot of people doing the Fraser islands tour and it was groups of 10 in each LandRover). Our group was mixed : two couples and a group of 6 people that met up travelling in Australia. We called them 'the goonies' - due to the amount of cheap nasty wine they were able to down.

We put some money into a kitty and had to buy some food and drinks. We also decided to get a meat pack from the hostel that was cheap. It was a mistake as the meat wasn't that great. We should have bought it from the supermarket - live and learn.

The next day we got up early, were given all the equipment, packed up all our food, were told not to swim in the ocean and off we went to Fraser Island by 4X4. We took a ferry and soon we were driving in the forest, we stopped at a fresh water lagoon for a swin, the water was cold but crytal clear. Onto the beach was next - really wild and rugged, really long and straight. We saw some dingos from far away. At 4 o'clock we stopped in our camp ground and built our tents. Robert assumed the duties of cooking and I made some salad with the girls.

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We had to set off early the next morning because of the tide. So we packed everyting up and then we had to wait for an hour until the tide went out. Some people didn't want to wait and left early. They soon had to come back. As soon as we started driving we had to be very careful as not to get our car wet. We would lose our deposit if a trace of salt is found on car and since it was quite a large deposit we didn't want to risk it. Some people weren't too concerned about that and just kept driving through the waves.

We managed to get stuck and another 4x4 had to pull as out. We then continued until we reached a shipwreck. We wandered around it and the continued our journey to the look out point. The lookout point was a bit of a trek but pretty cool, we were hoping to see tiger sharks but there werent any - we did see some turtles though :-). From there we headed to champagne pools - you were supposed to walks there but we could be bothered so we took the 4x4 through the soft sand (we were told not to, but what's the point of a 4x4 if you can't have a bit of fun with it), the pools were a bit of a let down so we were gald we didnt walk all the way there.

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After that we stopped in a tiny town to buy some ice and then drove back to the same campsite. That day it was quite windy, but we had to build our tents again, which was quite an exercise. The guys then tried to place some covers on the trees to protect the cooker from the wind. We ended up digging it into the sand behind the car. Robert didn't poison anyone the day before, so everyone were happy for him to cook again. This time we had some steak. The sand under our cooker started to burn as it got so hot, so we had to pull it out from the sand. As soon as we were done cooking, the guy from another group asked if he could use it. He had a huge piece of steak and he was Argentenian so he really knew what he was doing. We also were celebrating one girl's birthday that day. So we had balloons in the trees and lots of goon :)

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The Argentinian guy cooked his steak and invited the other people from his group to join. But they just ignored him. I guess he wasn't a popular member. We kind of thought that we got lucky with our group and it was more meat for us.

Robert and I wandered on the beach for a while with our wine cups. It was really awesome. I didn't sleep too well that night. The camping in Lithuania seemed like sleeping in a 4 star hotel in comparison to sleeping on the sand. At night I got up 'to get some fresh air' and had the closest encounter with dingo dog in my life. It was huge.

Next day, we hanged out on the beach in the morning with some good coffee. Some guys from our group were swimming in the ocean and nothing happened. The whole group also took a short walk to see the sand dunes and we found another lagoon to go swimming. It was awesome!

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That afternoon we returned to the Koala resort and had to wash all the sand from the car and all the equipment. We then went to get our deposit. The Argentinian guy's group didn't get theres back, so everyone was in a bad mood. We were happy though, and we still had to finish our goon :)

Posted by Laima 04:06 Archived in Australia Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Harvey Bay and sailing in Whitsunday Islands

sunny 28 °C

We stayed at the Koala Resort in Harvey Bay. We ended up with nice room after the first grotty one didn't have any elecrticity. It had a little kitchen and was so much nicer than the hostels in Sydney.

In the evening we wandered around the town and got some pizza takeway, which we ate by the ocean with some beers. Seemed like eveybody had the same idea.

Next day we tried to take it easy and were hanging out by the swimming pool. Again you can't really swim here and there is no real beach and the sea as it's full of poisonous stingers and there were warnings about sharks.

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We bought a huge box of goon (cheap wine) and some beers as we were going sailing in Whitsunday Islands the next day and we needed to stock up on alcohol for 3 days.

The next day, we got to the port and everyone had brought with them at least 3 boxes of goon. It was going to be fun! we met the crew - the captain Harry, the crazy one Cookie, the swedish cook Anna and Mike. We also got upgraded to the nicer private cabin and I wasn't even sea sick - so all good.

On the first day we went to Whiteheaven beach. We were told not to bring our cameras as the sand is so fine that it gets in everywhere. And indeed it was so soft and white. We spent quite a lot of time messing around and taking group pictures, which was tough work :)

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Once we got back to the boat, we had a BBQ, which was cooked at the back of the boat. At some point we saw two dolphins swimming around. It was incredible. We toasted each other with our glasses of goon.

The next day we woke up at 6.00am to go diving. There was quite a lot of fish and nice coral. Two Swedish guys were in our group. They were messing with each other all the time - grabbing regulators from their mouths or turining off their air. Mental! Mike was always worried that we will get lost, so we had to swim really close to each other.

We then had some excellent breakfast and hot coffee. And then went diving again. Mike was taking some pictures underwater. He really focused on the incredibly tiny slugs that took ages to be photographed. We soon came to raelise that all diving instructors are obsessed with these slugs. Maybe because they just get tired of seeing sharks and other fish all the time. We didn't see much on this dive as visibility wasn't that good.

So I decided to go snorkelling instead of diving. Robert was dying to see a Napoleon fish and was hesitating, but in the end decided to go diving. The snorkelling was amazing we saw so many fish and even the Napoleon one which was huge. I was waiting for Robert to come back from diving and once he did he wasn't in the best of moods as he didn't get to see the fish that he wanted. All snorkellers and introductory divers saw it. I guess soemtimes it's your luck or the experience of your instructor. In the end, Robert didn't have to pay for that dive - as Mike admitted that he blew it and took them all in the wrong direction.

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We drank quite a lot of goon that night, chatted to some people on the boat and spend quite a lot of time lying on the net in front of the boat.

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The next day we sailed back with the sails up. It was very windy, so I had to stand outside gazing at the horizon a bit. But in the end it was an excellent trip and Anna was the best cook in the world.

The boat crew were expecting a day off after our trip, but as soon as we arrived, they were told that they had to go again. So off we jumped and new people boarded the boat. Same introductory chat and off they went again. Crazy life, but someone has to do it :)

In the evening we went to the seaside. It had electric BBQ's that we could use and we had a braai with the rest of our goon. :)

Posted by Laima 04:05 Archived in Australia Tagged backpacking Comments (2)

Cairns and diving in the Great Barrier Reef

sunny 30 °C

After landing in Cairns, we got picked up and stayed in the Serpent hostel, which was very nice. It had a swimming pool and the rooms were painted in bright and cheery colours. It was a little bit out of town and there wasn't too many places to get food around there. We had no choice but get Subway sandwiches for dinner that day.

The next day we took hostel's shuttle to town. Cairns doesn't have a great beach as it is surrounded by marsh land. There was a great big swimming pool right by the sea compensating for it all. We walked around the town, but everything was closed as all the shops only open at 12 o'clock. We then got back to the hostel and spend the rest of the day relaxing by the pool. I was reading the book by Sophie Kinsella 'The confessions of a shopaholic'. For dinner, we got some fish from the fishmonger nearby, and grilled it outside, it was lovely. Life couldn't get any better!

Next day, we were picked up by the diving company - Ocean Quest. We were on the boat that were carrying day divers. We did one dive with them and then transferred to the boat where we were spending a night. The boat was very nice, but the diving wasn't going that well. We were given briefings and then we would have dive by ourselfs without a dive master/instructor - rather unsual for us and I did not feel comfortable at all. I was also using too much weight, so I couldn't even catch up to a turtle that Robert spotted :) We also saw a shark that we are still arguing over about how big it was.

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I skipped a night dive that day as well. Robert of course was the first one to jump in. The funniest thing was once people were coming out from the water. Some huge travalis and sharks were swimming around them. They were totally oblivious to it as it was so dark around them.

Next day, I decided to pay extra and went diving with the instructor and Robert joined a couple that we met on the boat. I could relax more and started to really enjoy it and even started noticing the coral colours. :) That day I wrote down some divings tips for myself. Number 1 - Stop kicking and waving my arms around so much - it uses up all my air :))

Overall the diving was good - but not OMG fantastic as you might expect from the Great Barrier Reef. This was partly due to the conditions - there were strong currents but we had expected it to be better.

In the evening we got picked up by the boat and went back to Cairns. We stayed in the hostel in the city this time as the one where we were staying before didn't have a shuttle bus early enough as we were catching a bus to Harvey Bay. The room was so tiny and had the tiniest window into a long hall. But I didn't care as I was so tired from the diving.

Posted by Laima 04:03 Archived in Australia Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

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