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Sarah’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 10 Jun 2006

Location: The East Coast, Australia

MapI can't believe it has finally arrived but this is my last and final update from the big island they call Australia.

My last 3 weeks have been spent mainly on a coach (well thats what it feels like!) with a few amazing stops in between...... so here goes expect this one to be a long one!

As you all know it started in Cairns. A small holiday town in the very north. Personally I didnt think much of Cairns as there really wasnt much to do as even though it was a seaside resort there was no beach and the lagoon (a man made lake to swim in) was closed. Luckily we were only here for a few days and then a coach journey to our next stop.....

Magnetic Island. Well it was certainly different to what I have been used to. After living in the hustle and bustle of Kings Cross this was a complete contrast! There was litterally no one around and our hostel was miles from anything else. We spent our first night in our hostel bar teaching locals how to play a few of our many drinking games we've picked up along the way!
The next day we hired a 'moke' - basically a little plastic car that we could only discribe as a barbie car! A dream car for both Kate and Becks as it was pink!! This was a wise investment as we travelled all around the island and seen the beautiful sights it had to offer. We even found a bit of civilisation - 2 resturants and a shop!!

After our relaxing 2 days here it was time to catch the ferry back to the main land and another coach journey to Airlie Beach.
Here we just had a night as the next day we stepped aboard the New Horizon. The boat that we were spending 3 days on cruising around the Whitsundays.
This trip was amazing! One i will not forget in a long while. The boat held 30 people so down below the cabins were quite cosy. We had 8 in ours!
We spent our days visiting the stunning beaches - the main one being Whitehaven Beach. This was breath taking. White sand with crystal clear water. And also snorkelling. One of the days we were so lucky as the visability was great and at one point even though Becki was right next to me i couldnt see her due to the amount of fish surrounding us both. There was even a fish near enough the sixe of us (named Elvis!) who was very scary at first sight but he was friendly so it was ok.
The evenings were spent up on deck eating the delicious food provided. Drinking cheap wine and playing drinking games underneath the stars. And the stars were amazing! One night we even had a dolphin just swimming around our boat for hours as he was attracted by the lights and music.

Unfortunately this cruise had to come to an end so it was back to Airlie Beach where we were getting our coach that night at midnight..... well that nearly happened. Unfortunately we made the mistake of going out with the people from our boat and consuming a little too much alcohol and managed to miss the coach!!!! Never fear luckily there was another one the following night. Only problem was we had to miss our next stop of 1770 and head straight to Hervey Bay.

We arrived in Hervey Bay and the taxi driver was nice enough to give us a little tour and show us the one night club and the two bars! So as you can imagine another small town but this again was only a stop over as the next day we were off the the infamous Fraser Island for a self drive camping break.

This certainly was an experience and a half. 9 strangers were chucked in a van given a map, camping gear and told what time to be back so we did not miss the ferry! Oh and also warned about the danger of Dingos - a wild dog that has been known to kill in the past. Our group consisted of 8 girls and one guy!

Again I had a fantastic time. We certainly had to rough it but i wouldnt want it any other way. Luckily our 4x4 didnt get stuck in the sand or flip and we only saw one dingo from a distance. But our second night as soon as we got in the tents we could hear things walking around the tent and shadows on our tent from the moonlight!! A bit scary! The next morning we got out our tent and there were paw prints circling our tents and car!
On this island we saw some stunning sights. The main one being lake MacKenzie which is surrounded by white sand and the water is again crystal clear. Something you just cant describe and the photos do not do it justice - something you just have to see for yourself!

This sadly had to come to an end, although i was greatful to get back into civilisation where i could have a proper shower and have food that didnt have the added crunch of sand!!

Next and final stop.... Byron Bay.

This we were all very excited about as we were reuniting with part of our travelling family. Matthew, Daniel and Linda.

My last two days in Australia could not have been better. Our last day we spent just hanging out together. Went to the beach and played in the sand, then we took a walk up to the lighthouse which is the most easterly point of Australia. Me and Becki didnt quite make it though as both our flip flops broke!!
In the evening we went out for a delicious Mexican and then to the famous Cheeky Monkeys! A very, very funny night thanks to the great Daniel Byrne!!

Yet again a very sad goodbye, but this time a little worse as it was time to leave Australia where we have spent the last 5 and half months of our life.

So here we are now in New Zealand, but I'll wait until next time to tell you all about that! x x x