We set off down the East Coast after finally getting away from Innisfail! 4 Months on the farms was definately enough. Nick had flown out from England to meet me and Jamie so when he arrived in Cairns we all did the coast together. Nicholas has been an exceptional addition to the crew. He has provided some of the best entertainment we have seen since leaving. Half laughing with and half laughing at him when he's drunk. Don't know what we'll do when he goes home but its going to be a sad day!
We were a bit delayed leaving Cairns because I did a diving course at the Barrier Reef which lasted a couple of days longer than expected. The course was great, and I was partnered with a kiwi lad. So basically if anything happened to him or me it was up to the other person to save them. I felt really sorry for the guy but he lived! We saw lots of crazy looking fish, stingrays, turtles and even a shark. Hopefully will continue with the dives in now we're in Melbourne as apparently there are lots of shipwrecks around Victoria.
When we left Cairns with our new recruit we headed to Airlie Beach. This is where we did the Whit Sundays trip from. Our boat was called the Atlantic Clipper and and had 53 people on it. It was 3 days and 2 nights on a boat that took us around a few different islands. 1 of these islands was Whitehaven Beach whcih was beautiful. The sand was bright white and the sea crystal clear. Probably the nicest beach we've seen since being away. It was on this trip that we met all our Irish friends that we travelled down the rest of the coast with. It was unbelievable how many Irish there were kicking about, everyone of them forcing drink down our necks at every available oppotunity. If this trip has taught us anything its never try and keep up with the Irish.
From Airlie Beach we went to Hervey Bay where we did Fraser Island. We had opted to go for the self-drive tour as we had heard it was really good fun. Basically they give you an itinerary, a jeep and put you on a ship that takes you to the Island. The rest is up to you. So we just started driving along the island and hoped we would find our way. In our jeep we had the 3 of us, then 2 Swedish lads and 2 Dutch girls. We all had the same intentions, drive and see as much as we could all day, and then sit and drink as much as we could all night. All of us apart from the Swedes (who were only 19) took turns in driving. They have speed limits and police on the islands but its very relaxed so you can pretty much drive wherever and however you feel like. Luckily we were all fairly sensible because 2 days after we were there, we heard in the news that a person had flipped the car injuring many and killing 1. I think the self-drive tours will be stopped soon so we were lucky to do it when we did.
Other places we visited were Noosa which was a really cool little surf town. A very rich persons place to live as all the properties looked like they were worth a fortune. I bought a cheap second hand surfboard here and have had it ever since. I was getting fairly confident after a few goes on it but haven't been using it since getting to Melbourne as the waves are non-exhistent!
From Noosa we went to Brisbane via Steve Irwin zoo. The zoo had different sections for different continents. It still wasn't finished but the parts that were complete were not that impressive. The range of animals was not as broad as we had expected. There was a tiger show however which was awesome and made the day worthwhile in itself.
We had been to Brisbane briefly on the way up from Sydney to Cairns. We only had a day there and got quite bored but thought we would give it another chance. Unfortunately the outcome was the same, if not worse! We had a good time but we did absolutely nothing touristy. We even got thrown out of our hostel on the last night for being too noisy. If you ever go to Brisbane, NEVER stay at Bunk hostel. The staff are the horrible people! In comparison to other places Brisbane offered very little.
Our final stops before Sydney were on the Gold Coast. Firstly we went to Surfers Paradise which I really enjoyed. Nick and Jamie weren't so keen but I liked the whole lay-out of the place. It was a really long and nice beach with good waves and the town centre and the nightlife right next to it. We also had our own apartment as well which was a nice change from staying in hostels.
Everybody who I've ever met who has done the East Coast, has recommended Byron Bay and it definately didn't disappoint. We spent 3 days here and wish we had stayed for longer. We had to leave though as we needed to be in Sydney for Christmas eve. The beaches/sea/town/nightlife was all excellent and there was a general chilled out atmosphere which was different to anywhere else we had been. We also did a day trip to Ninbin which was a sereal experience. We ended up at this guys house who has 80 acres and lives in a tiny little hut. No electricity, no running water, nothing but him and his exceptionally deep and meaningful insights into the human race. Very interesting/weird little man!
So we arrived in Sydney 3 days later than planned on Christmas eve. We had been invited to our friends house for Christmas dinner and were going on a cruise at 6pm. So there was a mad dash on to get out keys for our apartment, get all the food and drink we needed for Christmas dinner and make it in time for the cruise. We managed to make it and met all our friends from Innisfail who we did the cruise with. It took us around the city, passing the Opera House and Sydney harbour bridge. Got some great photo's which is my next job for this blog site!
We spent Christmas day around our friends house from Innisfail. Had a really nice bbq and even treated ourselves to beer and some steak as it was Christmas. Which makes a very nice change from goon (cheap horrible wine for those of you who don't know) and 2 minute noodles everyday. We were going to go down Bondi Beach but it started raining so never made it. So much for a sunny Christmas!
We stayed in Kings Cross, which is very cental, in a tiny little bedsit. We got the place extremely cheap at very short notice so realised it wasn't going to be luxurious. However it was worse than expected. There were no sheets on the bed, a kitchen which at a push could fit 1 person in, a communal toilet for the whole floor and broken furniture everywhere! It barely accommodated the 3 of us so you can imagine how cosey it was on new years eve when we had 9 staying there. By the end of it we were more than ready to get back into hostel life!
We spent new years eve at Rushcutters Bay where you had a perfect view of the fireworks. Our friends from Innisfail, our friends that we had met down the coast, and our Australian frineds were all at the same spot so we saw in the new year with everybody we wanted to. It was best new years i've had by far. The firworks were incredible and seemed to go on forever. Got some videos of that so once I've uploaded some photos on here, thats my next job!
We spent a lot of time with our Irish friends in Sydney and really didn't want to leave because we had such a good group going on. We actually cancelled our bus twice but eventually managed to leave and headed to Melbourne after some emotional goodbyes!
Now the job hunt in Melbourne is on!