John's Around the World Adventure 2005/2006

Travel time: December 2005 - June 2006  |  by John Davies

Australia: East Coast of Australia

To cut out the incredibly long travel time of over 30 hours on a bus, we decided to fly 'Jetstar' to Newcastle, an industrial town north of Sydney, to begin our east coast adventure. Newcastle offered some good beaches, and the Carlton beer was also a highlight!

Newcastle Town

Newcastle Town

Traveling north, next on the list was Port Macquarie, a seaside town with lots of water sports on offer. We only spent a couple of days in Macquaire, but still managed to visit the highlights of this small yet quaint town!

Port Macquarie Beach

Port Macquarie Beach

Coffs Harbour, further north was a favourite destination of mine since it combined three essential elements: a good hostel bar crawl was organised, excellent beaches were close by and it won the record for the first hostel accommodation with a pool.Wonderful! Coffs Harbour was the venue for a little Banana spotting at a huge local plantation. We also took the opportunity in Coffs to hire body boards, tipping ourselves to be the next surfing prodigies. Poor Sol became separated from his board and proceeded to shout 'John' whilst waving the distress sign. Not known for my life saving expertise, I was pleased to discover that all was fine and Sol was only in shoulder deep water and no longer in trouble after all. Few!!

The Water and Sand at Coffs was remarkably clean and unspoilt!

The Water and Sand at Coffs was remarkably clean and unspoilt!

Posing infront of the Coffs Harbour Big Banana model at the local Plantation.

Posing infront of the Coffs Harbour Big Banana model at the local Plantation.

Lookout from the Plantation over Coffs Harbour and the nearby Mutton (bird) Island.

Lookout from the Plantation over Coffs Harbour and the nearby Mutton (bird) Island.

Next on every backpackers agenda was the unanimous Byron Bay. The beach and nightlife were pretty good here, despite my dislike of an abundant number of hippie wannabees. Here too we also met some really nice guys including Edmund (Zidane look-alike) and Ed and Wes, all from England. We traveled alongside these guys further up the coast. In Byron, we also attempted sleeping under the stars in a large 10-man tipi... not a good night's sleep when the rain began to seep through at 4am!

Byron Bay Beach and Lighthouse.

Byron Bay Beach and Lighthouse.

I simply could not wait to take advantage of the Aussie institution, that of a good old 'Barbie'.

I simply could not wait to take advantage of the Aussie institution, that of a good old 'Barbie'.

10 Man Tipi, Arts Factory.

10 Man Tipi, Arts Factory.

Edmund, Me, Sol, Wes, and Ed, taken by Scott on one of the many nights out in Byron.

Edmund, Me, Sol, Wes, and Ed, taken by Scott on one of the many nights out in Byron.

Arts Factory Pool!

Arts Factory Pool!

The ultra modern beach city resort of Surfers Paradise was to be our next venue. The beach simply epitomized the word paradise, miles of lush golden sand and waves ideal for the most hardened of surfers! The accommodation here was also excellent, with a swimming pool, tennis come volleyball court and gym a bonus. Inevitably, we also went on a bar crawl here, the night almost an instant blur!

Surfers Paradise Beach and Scyscrapers

Surfers Paradise Beach and Scyscrapers

Surfers Paradise Iconic Photo

Surfers Paradise Iconic Photo

The Saturday Bar Crawl soon got underway!

The Saturday Bar Crawl soon got underway!

Ryan, Sol, Ed and Wes enjoying the evening.

Ryan, Sol, Ed and Wes enjoying the evening.

Surfers Paradise- Surf and Sun Backpackers Hostel

Surfers Paradise- Surf and Sun Backpackers Hostel

Myself alongside Ed and Sol

Myself alongside Ed and Sol

My next stop was the city of Brisbane, the capital of Queensland. The city's skyscrapers, man-made beach and lagoon, bridges, botanical parks and main going out area Fortitude Valley and Chinatown, were all highlights during our stay here.

Walls Laggon and Beach, with the City's imposing Scyscrapers in the background.

Walls Laggon and Beach, with the City's imposing Scyscrapers in the background.

Brisbane's Modern Motorway is build on stilts over the river.

Brisbane's Modern Motorway is build on stilts over the river.

Swiftly moving on, our dizzy heights landed us in Noosa. Excellent national parks, beaches and rugged coves and scenery once again made it another enjoyable stop. Noosa also is the home of the notorious Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo where we had a chance to come up close with some popular Aussie wildlife. Crikey... a good day out all round!

This Roo couldnt wait to hop away!

This Roo couldnt wait to hop away!

The Crocoseum was the stage for some of Australia's largest Crocs to entertain the crowds, snatching meat and lurking underwater ready to pounce!

The Crocoseum was the stage for some of Australia's largest Crocs to entertain the crowds, snatching meat and lurking underwater ready to pounce!

Nice photo with Erika, who we met up with again in Brissie.

Nice photo with Erika, who we met up with again in Brissie.

Tasting the delights of The Brewhouse, Brisbane.

Tasting the delights of The Brewhouse, Brisbane.

Crikey!

Crikey!

Elephants

Elephants

Next was what we had all been waiting for; Fraser Island, the giant 'Sand Island' containing more sand than the Sahara Desert! We explored the island by 4x4 in a group of 11 people from around the globe, camping and cooking along the way. Two of the many highlights included a visit to a large and spectacular lake consisting of pure filtered drinking water, Lake MacKenzie (this was amazing!) and a visit to a traditional aboriginal camp, sleeping under the stars, watching aboriginal dance next to a bonfire amongst countless friendly dingos. Needless to say we all had our fair share of beer, no more so than our good friend Tim (we forgive him though as he's German, after all!).

Rainbow Beach was the gateway to Fraser Island

Rainbow Beach was the gateway to Fraser Island

Rainbow beach sometimes felt like a Motorway!

Rainbow beach sometimes felt like a Motorway!

Fraser Island often can only be accessed by Plane

Fraser Island often can only be accessed by Plane

The Fraser Island Gang posing at the wonderful Lake MacKenzie, where the water is so purely filtered by the sand it is used as drinking water island-wide!

The Fraser Island Gang posing at the wonderful Lake MacKenzie, where the water is so purely filtered by the sand it is used as drinking water island-wide!

Campsite behind the Sand Dunes, Fraser Island

Campsite behind the Sand Dunes, Fraser Island

John and Sol at the Maheno Shipwreck, Fraser Island

John and Sol at the Maheno Shipwreck, Fraser Island

The Native Fraser Dingos were so friendly, despite recent bad press.

The Native Fraser Dingos were so friendly, despite recent bad press.

The Aboriginal Camp, our second home on Fraser Island

The Aboriginal Camp, our second home on Fraser Island

Taking the short trip over to Fraser on the Barge.

Taking the short trip over to Fraser on the Barge.

Lake Wabby was a favourite for Swimming, lots of Fish in the Lake though!

Lake Wabby was a favourite for Swimming, lots of Fish in the Lake though!

Indian Head is popular with spotting a large range of sealife, including Sharks.

Indian Head is popular with spotting a large range of sealife, including Sharks.

My next stop was the town of Bundaberg and the Cellblock Backpackers Hostel, a former prision wonderfully restored with a massive swimming pool. We could not decline a trip to the famous 'Bundy Rum' factory whilst here, despite its not so wonderful taste.

Bundaberg Centre

Bundaberg Centre

Bundy Rum

Bundy Rum

I could not wait to get behind the bar again!

I could not wait to get behind the bar again!

Cellblock Backpackers

Cellblock Backpackers

Airlie Beach was the gateway to our Whitsunday Island sailing adventure. There are in excess of 70 islands comprising the Whitsunday's collection and they can only be accessed by boat! Fortunately then, we had chosen an excellent boat to undergo our tour. Named the British Defender, commissioned by Prince Charles and the British Army for the Round the World Ocean Race in 1992, this 83 ft maxi yacht was to be our home for the next 3 days, both sleeping and eating onboard, with 28 passengers and 4 crew in total. Whilst sailing round the islands, we were encouraged to take part in the winching and trimming of the sails, a memorable experience.

Airlie Beach Harbour

Airlie Beach Harbour

Airlie Beach Lagoon was wonderful for a spot of swimming!

Airlie Beach Lagoon was wonderful for a spot of swimming!

The scenery was simply breathtaking, snorkeling amongst the vast assortment of tropical fish of every size and colour imaginable in the Great Barrier Reef. We also took part in a bushwalk through to the outstanding Whitehaven Beach, pure brilliance with its 98% pure silicon sand which refuses to get hot! Clear marine blue water and white golden sands made me crave to stay here for ever and ever! If you are thinking we would not have had a chance for a sly beer on the boat you are slightly mistaken, even this was catered for in numbers!

The British Defender

The British Defender

Sol and I onboard the Defender with a nice ice cold beer, ending the day in style!

Sol and I onboard the Defender with a nice ice cold beer, ending the day in style!

Thumbs up for Whitehaven Beach, almost certainly the best beach i had visited on my entire trip!

Thumbs up for Whitehaven Beach, almost certainly the best beach i had visited on my entire trip!

You simply cannot get bored of this beach/ view!

Once more for good measure...!

Once more for good measure...!

I was preparing to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, amonst some excellent coral and hundereds of brightly coloured tropical fish!

I was preparing to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, amonst some excellent coral and hundereds of brightly coloured tropical fish!

Townsville, the gateway to Magnetic Island was our next stop. Magnetic Island received its name from James Cook, who believed the magnetic forces of the island interfered with his compass, a theory now rubbished. Magnetic island was a wonderful retreat and getaway from mainland Oz. We stayed in Beach Hut style accommodation with sea and pool views at Base Backpackers. A tour of the island took in some of the main sights and we even got the opportunity to feed Rock Wallabies and spot a Koala truly stoned half way up a gum tree!

View of Base's Pool and Beach Huts

View of Base's Pool and Beach Huts

Magnetic Island, looking out over Townsville, Mainland Australia.

Magnetic Island, looking out over Townsville, Mainland Australia.

Townsville Harbour

Townsville Harbour

Rock Wallabies, Magnetic Island

Rock Wallabies, Magnetic Island

Stopping briefly at Mission Beach, a jungle and rainforest clad region, later severely hit by a tropical cyclone, we motored it up to the 'real' tropics of Cairns. We had especially good accommodation here with a lovely pool, made all the more attractive by the abundant lively nightlife nearby.

Fooling around in Bohemia Resort's Pool, Cairns.

Fooling around in Bohemia Resort's Pool, Cairns.

Celebrating St. Paddy's Day in one of Cairns' many Irish Pubs.

Celebrating St. Paddy's Day in one of Cairns' many Irish Pubs.

A Jug of Guiness.. Surely Not??

A Jug of Guiness.. Surely Not??

© John Davies, 2006
You are here : Overview Australia & Pacific Australia East Coast of Australia
The trip
 
Description:
Following masses of preperation my trip of a lifetime was finally a reality. Beginning in the adventurous New Zealand, before taking in delights of Australia over Christmas. Bali was next on the agenda, trading in the comfort of the West for drastic cultural differences of East Asia. The modern city of Singapore next acted as a stepping stone for travel over-land through Malaysia and island-hopping around Thailand. My Adventure finally ended amongst the neon scyscrapers of Hong Kong.
Details:
Start of journey: Dec 01, 2005
Duration: 6 months
End of journey: Jun 02, 2006
Travelled countries: New Zealand
Australia
Indonesia
Singapore
Malaysia
Thailand
Hong Kong
The Author
 
John Davies is an active author on break-fresh-ground. since 15 years.
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