Finally moved on from Sydney, which we were sad to leave after 3 weeks! However, glad we had had a long period of time there to allow us to explore areas around the city: Kings Cross, Glebe, Manly, Bondi, Collaroy etc.
We bought a 'hop on hop off' Greyhound bus ticket from Sydney to Cairns and our first stop after leaving Sydney was in Newcastle. The 3 hour coach trip wasn't as bad as we'd expected. The bus was comfortable and air conditioned, and the driver even gave us a commentary of what could be seen out of the windows as we drove past places of interest!
Newcastle is offically a city, but it seemed very quiet to us and quite small as well. Only spent a night there but got a free meal from the hostel in a local pub (where we saw some friends from a hostel in Melbourne!) and then walked along the beach at sunset.
Our next stop was in Port Macquarie, which was a tiny town further up the coast. Felt glad we'd decided to break our journey up by stopping at places after a few hours at a time on the bus - think a full day travelling would be pretty tough going! Port Macquarie was lovely and hostel only a 10 minute walk from the beach. Borrowed some body boards from reception to take in the sea, where Henry had a 'near death experience' after getting battered around by the strong waves!
After 2 nights in Port Macquarie we felt ready to move on to Coffs Harbour, and a few days later, Yamba. Again these places were pretty quiet, but something different to the busy atmosphere in Sydney.
Next stop was Byron Bay, where we stayed for 3 nights and really enjoyed it. Much more going on in the town centre and had a few nights out with people we'd met in our hostel. Had a great walk to the Cape Byron lighthouse which was tough going in the heat but well worth the effort when we reached the top and saw some dolphins in the sea! Great beach as well and the sea was much warmer for swimming!
Before Brisbane we spent 2 nights at Surfers Paradise which could be described as a fusion between Blackpool, Las Vegas, Miami and Abersoch! Enjoyed looking around the town centre and marina but ready to move on after a couple of days!
Tonight will be our 3rd night in Brisbane. Spent the last couple of days exploring the city, including a free 3 hour walking tour, an art gallery and a couple of museums. Seems fairly easy to find free/cheap activities in the city centre, which suits us! We've just booked on to a 3 day/2night tour on Fraser Island, where we will be for Easter - cost a lot but we're really looking forward to it.
Hope everyone is well and that things back in England are good!
Lots of love,
Kate and Henry xxx