We flew from perth to Ayers Rock, and got a great view of the (in Neal's opinion) highly over-rated site ("well, i'm glad we got to see it, but i'm more glad we didn't pay loads or drive for 5 days to get here!!" Edmondson, 2008!).... then we arrived in Cairns, in the rain.
we explored all that Cairns has to offer in terms of free activities, the botanical gardens and nearbuy rainforest walks and the lagoon (free pool) as well as the markets. then we took advantage of the free food providded by the local pub and had a couple of great, if odd, nights out.
Then we arrived in mission beach, which seemed really nice however, it HAMMERED down with rain for 48 hours which was a shame as we really wanted to go to the huge beach....
The onto townsville and magnetic island (we only just made it out of mission beach as road closures forced a lot of vehicles to stop leaving people stranded for a week we later found out). Magnetic island was brilliant. we finally had the sunshine back for a few days, and took full advantage by chilling out in the pool and on the beach, however, you cant swim in the water as it is jellyfish season!! we climbed a nearby hill/lookout and got amazing cockatoo and parakeet displays and amazing views for our toubles- result! after a great night on the friday aswell, we geared uup for an even better night on the saturday, only for some TERRIBLE local band to be playing and ruin it!! picture 8 tone death grandads and a man with a chip on his shoulder that he never made it as a rock n roll mage star and you'd be quite close i think!!
Then on to airlie beach- this is quite a nice little town, again taking advantage of the free pool in the town. We set off for the Whitsundays which ARE GORGEOUS, and are right in the middle of the GREAT BARRIER REEF. The sea was and had nbeen for about a month very roughdue to stormy weather and distant cyclones resulting in 12 of our 24 person boat being sea sick at some point over the 3 days but SHOCKIGLY not Neal or Caroline!!! we visited Blue Pearl Bay, which has amazing coral and snorkelled (Brad Pitt has snorkelled here!!)... we saw a few clams and rainbow fish as well as a myriad of amazing, vivid corals and reef fish... and YES, we saw NEMO!! then we moored in a nice sheltered bay and slept on the boat. the next day we went to Whitehaven beach which has to be seen to be believed, it is so white and beautiful... then on for more snorkelling and another night on the boat. on the final day we sailed past a few shipwrecks and more beautiful island before coming back to shire and taking about 12 hours to stop rocking!
Then on to Kroombit Cattle Station in the middle of the bush in Queensland. This was the most random and fun place ever! our dorm was in a 'converted stable' but we did have an amazing roast dinner (YUM!). we then learnt how to break the sound barrier with a whip and ride the mechanical bull. Caroline got 7 seconds and Neal 9!!!!!! The next day we got up early and went for a wlak up Brokeback Moutain!!!! and learned to throw the boomerang. Then after some goats were mustered we learned to lasshoo (i dont know how to spell that) and catch a goat and pretend to brand it, which was chaos!!! and finally Neal went clay pigeon shooting and was the only person to shoot 5 out of 5 (a fact which he is VERY proud of!!).
From Kroombit we drove back to the Coast at Hervey Bay and got ready fro a three day camping trip to Fraser Island, the world's largest sand island. we met our group who were awesome and were intorduced to the land cruiser that was to be home fror three days. having made the ferry to the island with one whole minute to spare (!!) we set off across the isalnd and 30 minuted into it we punctured our tyre!!! we made it to Lake Wabby which is a lake that is dammed by a huge sand dune which you can run donw at a silly speed into the lake, great fun!. We made it to the beach on the spare no probs and set up camp for the night and got VERY drunk and managed to sleep on the truckes luggage shelf which was abit like sleeping in your kitchen utensil draw- this was a result of one of the tent poles breaking! The next day we sped up the beach (running over many washed up jellyfish!!) to the champagne pools which are tidal pools on the north tip that appear to bubble like champagne. Then on to the Pinnacles multi coloured sand dune formation and a big ship wreck. then onto Eli Creek which is a river you can walk up and then float back to the beach in which is COOL! We then set up camp on the beach for a repeat of the previous night. needless to say by the third day we were tired, hungover and aching a little so we opted for a little R+R at Lake McKenzie which is a gorgeous, perched freshwater lake with a well nice beach. and caroline had her hat stolen by a dingo while playing in the lake!!!! BRILLIANT!!!! we returned to the mainland without incident and enjoyed all you can eat pizza to reward ourselves!!!
The next day we set off to brisbane at 5:30 am, exhausted and here we are.... chilling out in brisbane. hope your all ok?