So, I haven't posted since I left the Gold Coast which was aaaaaages ago. Here's what I got up to in the rest of Australia!
I left the Gold Coast and travelled up to Brisbane with some friends I met in Africa last summer! It was so nice to see a familiar face, and they let me stay with them for a couple of nights. Lovely to get out of a hostel and eat some home-cooked food. I went stand up paddleboarding with Lauren and drove around and saw the sights, which was lovely. So happy to not have to worry about work any more. On St Patrick's day, I went to Brisbane city and I met up with Andre and Jack, a couple of guys I met in the hostel on the Gold Coast. We went out for a few drinks and pizza and had a catch up, so happy to see them again! I was couchsurfing in a friend's apartment by the university for a couple of nights, didn't have enough money to be in hostels all the time. The next day I waved them off on their buses and explored Brisbane by myself, got a bit lost and got the wrong ferry home...
After Brisbane I went to Australia Zoo for the day on my way to Noosa. The zoo was absolutely amazing, quite emotional because it's so focused around Steve Irwin's work, but amazing to see. I got to cuddle a koala and took so many selfies with kangaroos! I got to Noosa and was supposed to be couchsurfing, but the guy let me down last minute. I had to fork out $70 for 2 nights accommodation in a horrible hostel, but I met 2 amazing friends there; one happened to be a Sports Massage Therapist so was able to help me with my sore back (turns out I'd pulled a muscle, so painful). The other was an Americal girl called Haley who happened to have the same travel plans as me, and would be in Cairns at the same time! So we swapped details and kept in touch. Whilst in Noosa I managed to win 2 free nights accommodation in 1770! So my having to pay for a hostel worked out after all. After Noosa I spent a night in Hervey Bay, but just watched movies and explored on my own because I couldn't be bothered making friends just for one night.
After Hervey Bay I went to Agnes Waters or 1770, and spent the 2 nights I'd won there with a lovely group of people I met on the bus. It's the last place you can surf up the East coast but I had no money so just spent time in the hostel with friends or on the beach. I even got a tattoo! After 1770 a big group of us got the night bus to Airlie Beach. I had someone I knew to sit next to (and sleep on...) so we watched films and chatted and tried to sleep on the uncomfortable Greyhound buses. Once in Airlie Beach, sleep deprived and in so much pain with my back, I checked into the cheapest hostel I could find which was empty (unsurprisingly) and had a nap. I then arranged to meet up with the group I'd met in 1770 and we went to the lagoon for the day. It was so unbelievably hot, even the water was like a bath! We all got pizza and had a few drinks in their hostel (dry hostels are the ones we seem to drink the most at...). The next day I set off on my Whitsunday Islands cruise! I could only afford to do a day trip but I wouldn't have wanted to sleep on a boat anyway. We spent all day cruising around the islands and snorkelling with the most amazing array of fish on the outer Great Barrier Reef. I even swam with a sea turtle and lemon sharks!! I made a lovely group of friends on the boat and it was cool to spend the day with them.
When we got back to Airlie, I had a shower and walked the long way to the bus stop carrying all my bags! I then got an overnight bus to Cairns which nearly killed me! My poor back...I met Haley the American in her hostel at 6am, dumped my stuff and got ready for a Cape Tribulation day trip. No idea why I thought it'd be a good idea to do that on no sleep! But I had an amazing day in the Daintree rainforest and Cape Tribulation, and made friends with the tour guide. Back in Cairns, I had 2 days to chill out with Haley and our other crazy roomies. We went out for free pizza and drinks with Wicked travel one night so we bought new outfits and danced like idiots!
I was sad to leave Cairns and say goodbye to Haley. We got the shuttle to the airport together, and it turned out another girl from my room was on the same flights as me to Auckland. So after saying goodbye to one friend I then made another! And so begins the next chapter of my travels; New Zealand!