An immense country
04.03.2013 - 02.04.2013 28 °C
One of the strangest things about coming to Australia was that I didn’t have to say ‘thank you’ in a different language, i found this very strange to begin with and i kept going to say 'kop kun kaa' ... The other thing is the SIZE of everything ... the people are tall and i don't just mean taller than in Asia i mean TALL, the prices are high, the meal portions are huge ... a portion here seems to defeat me everytime, i just cannot finish it... the distances are immense, to put it in perspective I took a picture of a postcard 'Europe in Australia' according to this i've travelled from Bulgaria to Denmark and then backtracked to Slovakia .. and all in a month!
I arrived in Sydney excited about being on a new continent. I spent a few days exploring Sydney taking in Sydney opera house, habour bridge, oxford street, botanical gardens, Manly Beach, Bondi Beach, The Rocks, Darling Harbour .... Sydney has a lot of Victorian Buildings which are beautifully preserved, the shopping quarter in particular. I spent a few hours relaxing in the sun in the botanical gardens overlooking sydney opera house and habour. I walked around the different districts; Paddington was my favourtie with its bookshops-come-coffee shops and cute little terrace victorian houses.
I took the train to the Blue Mountains, which is stunningly beautiful and filled with lots of great walks for all abilities. I was looking forward to visitng them and they did not disapoint. I based myself at a fab cozy hostel (No.14) in Katoomba, the jumping off point for all walking adventures. I walked for 4 days taking in the three sisters, Leura Cascade, Wentworth falls, National Pass (cleved out of the rock in 1908) and I visited the Blue Mountain Chocolate Company for great Choc Cake and Coffee after a days walking. Leura is a cute little village with more upmarket cafes, desirable houses and leafy gardens. I recommend a stroll around here if you are visiting.
I travelled from the Blue Mountains to Hervey bay which was a long trip at over 24 hours! However, it was worth it. From Hervey Bay i could get the ferry to Fraser island. I did this as part of an organised tour with Cool Dingos! I swam at Lake MacKenzie a fresh water, slightly acidic lake, which left your skin feeling super smooth and soft. We floated down Eli creek, drove on 75 mile beach, and saw a Dingo. It was all fresh water swimming as the sea around the island was too dangerous to swim in due to the undercurrents and sharks.... i did not see any sharks but i did see a sting ray, it came really close to shore, where the water was around knee height.
Every traveller i've met had said how amazing the Whitsundays are so I headed to airlie beach to find out for myself. I did a 2 day sailing trip, which allowed me to snorkel, swim and play on the beach in and around the Whitsundays. We wore stinger suits as there was still a risk from dangerous jellyfish which have the potential to kill you. The whitsundays are beautiful however a cyclone was making its way down the East coast so i arrived during storms, gale force winds and rain. I did manage miss the actual cyclone. However, the rain, choppy seas & wind reduced the visability in the water and gave moody dark colours rather than the picture perfect blue waters. But it was still warm and lots of fun to get in the water and swim with the fishes. My favourtie were the Angel Fishes
I spent a couple of days on Magnetic Island immersing myself in wildlife, landbased this time. Magnetic Island is off the coast of Townsville; a beautiful Island with Koalas, Rock Wallabies, Snakes, and a Croc! I was able to cuddle a Koala, hold a croc, a snake (which turned into 2 snakes as the ranger 'dumped' a 2nd snake on me ... i nearly cried at this point as earlier this 2nd snake had been wrapping itself around my neck and i swear, squeezing...!) and some other animals at the wildlife sanctuary. I got my 'Koala picture' which is a bit of a must in the travelling world, you would be th eodd one out if you didnt ... and it was well wort it
I then travelled to Cairns where i did a day trip to the Great Barrier Reef. I swam with a Turtle which was the highlight for me. The visability here was really good and the colours of the reef were more intense then in the Whitsundays. There are so many trips to do from Cairns however after the Reef i settled for a visit to Kuranda using the skyway and scenic railway: Kuranda is a Village in rainforest with lots of different animal parks, i visited the butterfly aviary. I relaxed on the other days and spent time at the Lagoon which i think is my favourite one i've been to in Oz as it had great sea views, it was easy to spend an afternoon lazying around chatting to travel buddies.
My final stop in Oz was in Brisbane, I spent my final couple of days here, again relazing as the past couple of weeks were jammed packed with trips / tours and travelling. I was shown an amazing chocolate cafe 'Max Brenner' on South Bank, it should definitely be on everyones 'hit' list when visiting Brisbane.