Today Hazel’s parents joined us for the next ten days and together we had planned to travel the almost 2000 km up to cairns – quite a program for ten days. To mention in advance we all happily made it to Cairns.
day started rather bad as the car didn’t want to start and later on we
were stuck in the third gear for quite a while (actually all the way up
to Cairns). After a few tries we finally managed to get the car running
and pick Hazel’s parents up from the airport. On the way back we showed
them Burleigh Heads for a first photo session and used the rest of the
day for showing them around Surfers Paradise.
The next day we
actually wanted to do a day trip to North Stradbroke Island
unfortunately shortly before the ferry terminal we called ferry company
only to realize that we should have booked in advance and that there
were no more seats available.
Well, being flexible travelers we
changed our program and headed to Mount Tamborin instead where we
visited the interesting Glow Worm Cave (man made but nevertheless cool
to see so many glow worms) and the Curtis Falls. Back in Surfers we had a
fantastic Japanese Dinner in a restaurant recommended by Chika.
next day we said good-bye to Surfers Paradise and headed of towards
Noosa Head a up-scale, touristy town with a nice beach and later on to
Hervey Bay where we stayed at a lovely self-contained apartment. On a
short stroll to the pier we saw hundreds of bats and quite a few jelly
The next day was Christmas day and for somebody coming
from Switzerland it’s strange to spend it in a very hot country. But
never mind we had a splendid day ahead. We were going to Fraser Island,
which consists entirely of sand (Hazel’s parents did a fishing trip as
they had been to Fraser before).
Our tour guide for the day was
Gary, a nice and knowledgeable chap. Have you ever noticed that these
tour guides are always named something like Gary, Mike, Tom or John
which always reminded me cartoon characters or so.
about half an hour on the ferry Hazel and I arrived at the island and
switched to a 4WD mid-sized bus. As all roads were made of sand the
whole day was a rather bumpy affair. First stop was at a old lodging
station where we went for a short walk through the woods and had the
chance to see some relicts from the good old lodging times. Afterwards
we drove on to the beach were Gary stepped the peddle and was cruising
the beach with 80 km/h – not too bad. We stopped a few times for a
shipwreck (nice for photos), colorful sand rocks and a little creek were
we wadded through the water (and saw a chap falling into the water with
his camera – for sure didn’t laugh).
After all the excitement
it was time for lunch which was a mediocre touristy buffet at best.
Never mind as the afternoon was just around the corner and destination
was Lake McKenzie a fantastic blue inland lake where we went for a
relaxing swim. Fraser Island was really worthwhile the trip.
we had arrived back at the mainland we had another 100km of driving to
do as we had booked a motel Bundaberg a bit north of Hervey Bay. As all
restaurants were closed due to Christmas we headed for McDonalds – hey,
didn’t matter as long as we were all together.
The next day was a
crazy driving day where we drove 780 km (yes you read it correctly) up
to Airlie Beach. Along the way we started to pass a lot of sugar cane
fields which is the predominant industry in all of Northern Queensland.
They even built a small-track railway to transport the sugar cane. Happy
to had reached Airlie Beach after a good 8 hours on the road we headed
into town for a walk along and some Chinese food.
The next day we
were up for a day-trip to Whitsunday Island. First our ferry brought us
around various islands and the scenery was just fantastic. There aren’t
many better things in life than standing on the deck of a boat, feeling
a gentle breeze and enjoying the beautiful scenery. After about 2 hours
the boat dropped us at Whitehaven Beach. The sand on the beach was
probably the purest we had ever seen. Later the tour guide told us that
the sand is even used to to make the lenses for the Hubble Space
Telescope – pretty cool. The water was crystal clear and super warm and
so we went for a relaxing swim – although in stinger protection suits
(which makes everybody look like Smurfs).
Stinger is the common
name for jelly fish which are present at most of the more northern
beaches of Queensland. Where some species only give you a mild sting
some other can bring death – most poisonous are Box Jelly Fish and
Portuguese of War (besides some others). In this regards they go well
along with other deadly Australian creatures such as sharks, crocodiles,
snakes, spiders, cassowaries and probably some others we haven’t heard
of. As you can deduct from these lines we survived them all so far.
the beautiful beach we were dropped of at a resort island for the
afternoon which was a bit less beautiful but had a decent artificial
lagoon with some nice clown fishes inside.
Once back at the mainland we indulged ourselves with a very nice seafood dinner – yummy.
slightly less crazy drive of only 620 km up to Cairns was on the
program for the next day. Fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately for the
men in our little group) there was a huge outlet shopping center in
Townsville about half way of the drive. For sure this was a good place
for a extended rest and shopping stop.
Later in the afternoon we
made a slightly less commercialized stop at Lucinda which has a 5.7 km
long jetty. This jetty, on which you unfortunately can’t go for a
stroll, is used to load sugar cane onto ships (that can’t come nearer to
shore due to the shallow waters).
And then finally we made it
to Cairns. It was a long way from Surfers Paradise and an even longer
way for Hazel and me from our starting point in Darwin. We have come a
long way so far!