Freshly back from the Outback (and especially alive), it’s now time to explore Queensland, the last Australian state of our road-trip.
Northern New South Wales
Our fist stop was Newcastle: not very interesting, but we needed two reviving days from our 1 400 km Alice Spring – Sydney journey. Port Macquarie, 3 hours north of Newcastle, was a great place to discover Queensland’s way of life: between surfing on the beach all day long and koala spotting in the forest and at the Koala Hospital, it felt good to be back on the coast.
Moving up to Cairns, we stopped at Byron Bay to take a quick look at the Australian “laid-back capital”: this hippy and happy city is full of dreadlocked backpackers, living in vans and surfing all day. A pretty chilled place, but the surf spots are crowded (like Bondi). We also stopped at Dirrogo National Park to explore the rainforest, and had the best surf session of our Australian trip in Coffs Harbour, surfing with turtles.
Dirrogo National Park and it’s rainforest lookout
Welcome to Queensland
From Byron bay, we visited to distinct cities: the beautiful and peaceful Brisbane, and the ugly and boring Surfer’s Paradise (a district of the Gold Coast). Surfer’s Paradise is kind of Miami-like, full of Beach Hotels and pompous nightclubs; not what we were looking for. We move quickly to Brisbane, and were happily surprised by this city: used to “not-that-great” cities like Sydney, Melbourne or Adelaide, Brisbane was a real pleasure to visit and seems to be a great place to live. The weather was perfect, the city is well structured and the people are nice and welcoming, Queensland style!
The peaceful Brisbane, South Bank Parklands
Noosa, 2 hours north of Brisbane, was our last stop before Fraser Island (and the last time we could swim in the ocean, it’s the jellyfish season). Very pleasant beach, good surf, but quite expensive and no nightlife.
Noosa Beach, not very surfeable when we were there, but very nice beach!
How to describe Fraser Island? A fascinating beach island, 100 km long, full of transparent lakes, beautiful beaches and adventurous roads. We took the ferry from Hervey Bay for 3 days on Fraser, moving around with our 4WD and camping in the nature. We started our adventure under heavy rain. The night falling quickly in Queensland, we headed directly to our campsite. The next day was sunny, and we discovered the dirt roads and the magnificent Lake McKenzie: blue water, white sand, 35˚C and a GoPro = perfect morning! After a great swim, we moved to the north, driving along the beach. We explored Maheno Wreck and took a swim in Wabby Lake in the middle of dunes.
Fraser Island’s roads: you do need a 4WD with high clearance 😉
The blue water and the white sand of Lake McKenzie
Maheno Wreck, rusting slowly on Fraser Island
The champagne pools, natural jacuzzis
We spent our last day on the Coast, climbing Indian’s Head for a great view and enjoying the beach on the way back. Exhausted after those 3 days, we took the ferry around 5pm and moved north to Townville.
Between aircrafts, dingoes and sand dunes to get stranded in,better be careful!
Amazing point of view from Indian’s Head
Townville was our last town before Cairns, and we were warmly welcomed by our dear Anais! We moved up rapidly to Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef, last part of our Australian Road trip!