Byron Bay to Cairns

This part of the journey was more of what I’d imagined Australia to be. The rain has stopped, the sunshine has been glorious and the scenery spectacular.

After Byron Bay we headed up the Gold Coast to Brisbane, arriving around lunchtime. As we moved from New South Wales to Queensland we gained an hour as Queensland doesn’t bother with daylight saving time. We had a free afternoon in Brisbane so I went with some of the other group members to cuddle a koala – so cute!

The next day was onto Fraser Island. We left Brisbane and drove to Cooroy where we picked up our giant 4×4 vehicle for the trip to Fraser Island. This thing was beast called Xena:

We took a ferry barge across to Fraser Island from Rainbow Beach.  Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world and is absolutely beautiful:

 We went for a swim in Lake McKenzie before a walk through the rainforest in the afternoon.

In the evening we had another glorious view of the night sky. Unfortunately I don’t have a camera good enough to capture it but the night skies here have been really unlike anything I’ve seen before.

The next day we headed to the Noosa Everglades for canoeing and camping. Yet more amazing scenery.

After a not-too-bad-if-I’m-honest night sleeping in a tent it was a long travel day to a cattle station just outside of Rockhampton. We slept in a ‘swag’ under the stars. Turned out to be more comfortable than the tent!

The next day was my highlight of the trip so far. We had quite a long journey to Airlie Beach to board a maxi yacht for a couple of days’ sailing in the Whitsunday Islands. We got on the yacht mid-afternoon and set sail. There is something about being on a yacht drinking alcohol in a bikini that makes me feel much cooler than I actually am. We saw a spectacular sunset and partied til late.

My late night partying caught up with me the following day, not helped by a bit of up-and-down movement of the yacht…

We went to Whitehaven Beach in the morning which is just stunning.

Some of the group went diving and snorkelling in the afternoon but I wasn’t up to it in my ‘delicate’ state. After another amazing sunset it was a much quieter evening!

The following day we headed back to dry land and in the afternoon I took a scenic flight over the Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef. The views of the reef in particular were awesome and I’m so glad I did it.

Yesterday was a travel day to Cairns, which is where I am now. The heat and humidity is unreal.

Tomorrow the group splits with 8 of us going the Red Centre and the rest of the group going up to Cape Tribulation.

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