So the last few weeks we have been very busy travelling up the East Coast.
After leaving Brisbane our first stop was Noosa, where we did the Noosa Everglades Canoe Safari. We took a water taxi over the lake to where our safari began. We were given brief canoeing instructions, warned of the bull sharks in the water (that have attacked more people than Tiger Sharks and White Sharks!!) and a hand drawn map and headed off into the water, not even wearing life jackets! We canoed over to our camp where we spent the next two night sleeping in small tents on a hard uncomfy ground! We spent the next 2 days canoeing up the Upper Noosa River, and trecking up a 6km track to the Sand Patch; which was just one huuuge patch of sand on top of a mountain with long sand dunes and amazing views! It was like a desert! Overall we canoed a whole 24km, boy did we ache after!! Luckily we didnt encounter any sharks but were wary of the large Iguanas trying to steal our food.
After Noosa we jumped on a bus to Rainbow Beach, where we spent a few nights before heading off to Fraser Island. In a group of 11 we were given a 4x4 and simple campling equiptment and left on the island for 3 days to explore. We drove along the bumpy dirt tracks banging our heads on the roof a few too many times and racing down the soft sand. Our first day was beautiful, we went to Lake McKenzie, which contains only rainwater and is the clearest lake we've ever seen surrounded by sand. We set up camp in a small camp ground, had a nice bbq and spent our evening under the stars. It was an early start the next morning, to avoid the high tide. We went to Indian Head, a great view point and the North of the island, before driving to Champagne Pools (which unfortunately weren't made of champers) but the way the sea crashed over the rocks made it all bubbly. A bit too chilly to swim in though. Our last stop for the day was Lake Wabby, a large lake on the edge of a huge sand dune...which Jade ran down and managed to trip and fall face first into the water! Our second night we camped out on the beach, it seemed a lovely idea at first. Until we started cooking our food and Dingos decided to circle our camp. Then in the middle of the night the skys opened and the storm started! We were rudely awokend by wet sand flying into our tent after the wind had ripped off our tent cover! Charlie kindly volunteered to stay in the tent to 'weigh it down', whilst Jade and Aimee were running around in the dark, getting soaked and covered in sand trying to peg down the tent!! Well that was an interesting night! We crawled back in to our sleeping bags, wet and sandy and had the worst sleep ever! However atleast our tent managed to stay up, some of the group ended up sleeping in the car! After an eventful night we headed straight back to Rainbow Beach early in the morning to be greeted with a nice bill for 'damages to the car'! We spent another night in Rainbow just listeing to the rain but were grateful for the free BBQ that night!
A 14 hour bus journey then took us to Airlie Beach, but the rain seemed to follow us! We jumped aboard 'Habibi' our boat which sailed around a few of the 74 Whitsunday Islands (the second best group of islands in the world) and tried to keep smiling as the boat was stuck in the marina and the rain was falling. Luckily after we got out of the marina and sailed for a few hours we were cooked up a nice dinner and the sky had cleared. We spent the evening lying on the front of the boat watching the stars, there were millions, we even saw the 'Southern Cross' and the Milky Way was out! It was amazing. After a rocky night sleep in our tiny cabins we were up early and off to Whitehaven Beach, the beach with the purest sand in the world! We did a spot of sunbathing and had a little swim, after atleast 2 attempts at trying to get out sexy stinger suits on to avoid any nasty stings by jellyfish! After a few hours sailing we were at our first snorkel sight. It was indescribable swimming over the multicoloured corals, surrounded by a vast variety of fish including Dorys, Nemos and a Giant Wrasse that was half our size and came so close you could stroke it! At another snorkelling sight we also swam with turtles! It was a really surreal experience to see what you only normally see in pictures!
Once we were back on dryland we got another bus to Cairns, where we went out on the Great Barrier Reef once again...but it was even better! We were taken out to the middle of the ocean, chucked into the sea without stinger suits and left to snorkel through the waves. The water was so clear you could see the ocean floor. We saw more turtles, a blue starfish and many more fish...however as much as we looked we saw no sharks!
Our last stop on the East Coast was Cape Tribulation. We took a guided tour up, stopping at Mossman Gorge, Daintree Wildlife Sanctuary, Alexandra lookout and finally a guided walk through the rainforest where we got bitten to bits by the tiny midges! We stayed a night in the rainforest and went exploring the next day to Cape Tribulation beach; where two world heritiage sights meet; the rainforest and the reef. We headed back to Cairns, stopping at a great fresh ice cream shop, where we tried 'Wattleseed' flavour that tasted like coffee, Soursop, Passionfruit and Mango flavours. It was gooood! We took a short cruise across the Daintree River where we saw a few crocodiles, a Python and some gree tree snakes. Further on our drive we went via Port Douglas, an expensive city where the rich and famous often visit.
We returned to Cairns where will be spending just one more day before catching a flight back to Sydney, then heading off to New Zealand at the weekend!
Speak to you soon
Lots of love
Jade, Aimee and Charlie xxx