This was my 3rd visit to Australia. I travelled with my husband and our 2 sons aged 7 & 1. I hope you enjoy the read and will be inspired to travel to this amazing Country.We flew via Hong Kong to Brisbane - see separate Journal for Hong Kong
From Brisbane we hired a car and drove to Hervey Bay/Fraser Island - see separate Journal for Fraser Island
From Fraser Island we travelled inland to the Hinterland where I have family. This is a very picturesque area and is particularly popular with Artists. We visited areas such as Conondale, Maleny, Eumundi & Montville. Conondale is a small little Town set amidst rolling hills and creeks a very tranquil area.
Maleny is a bustling town with loads of little Art & Craft shops, many stock homemade produce. Montville is similar with amazing views over the Hinterland. I especially loved the Christmas Shop there! Eumundi although quite similar had a cool hippy market which is set up every week. In total we spent 4 days here and enjoyed the scenery. From here we travelled 40 minutes to the Coast to Maroochydore which is a big bustling resort with a fabulous beach and plenty of shopping and eateries. We flew from Maroochydore to Airlie Beach (Whitsundays). This area was amazing. It's a good drive from Proserpine Airport.
Our accommodation had fabulous sea views. Airlie Beach is a busy Town good for all types of travellers. We met loads of other families and backpackers. There was good nightlife, but we were there for the sights! We took a trip to Whithaven Beach (most photographed beach in the world), we also took a sea plane over the Great Barrier Reef where we could see the Heart Reef.
It was breathtaking. We could see sting ray swimming in the turquoise waters below. We went scuba diving and snorkeling here also, which is a must. We also visited the wetlands and had the pleasure of meeting some of the areas Saltwater Crocs!
After Airlie Beach we continued to Cairns stopping at Townsville for 1 night. Townsville is ideal for a stop. It's a really big town also at the coast with large beaches.
We stayed in Cairns for 5nts. I really liked Cairns. Our hotel was on the Esplanade with beautiful sea views. There were plenty of shops and markets. Whilst in Cairns we visited some of the nearby places of interest and did some amazing boat trips. We snorkeled in the Barrier Reef and the colours of the coral and fish was just unimaginable!
We took the Scenic railway to Kuranda which is an absolutely gorgeous town & beautifully kept. There were hippy markets and Aboriginal shops and you could visit some of Australia’s unique animals. On the way back we took the Sky Rail across the Rainforest, it ran for approx 8 kms and the views are just breathtaking. We also visited Port Douglas which is really lovely; we swam in Mossman Gorge (Daintree National Park).
One of the things I really loved about Australia is how clean it was everywhere we went and I loved that there were public areas/parks with swimming pools that had life guards and they were kept so well and they were free. At night you could have BBQ's there and there was always security patrolling the area but there was never any trouble. I will definitely go back to Australia. There are so many places to see and explore.
Other places I have been to include - Sydney & surrounding areas including Blue Mountains, Surfers Paradise & Brisbane, so if you have any questions on these areas please don’t hesitate to call me!
On our return we travelled via Singapore - see separate journal for Singapore
Tips: Driving in Australia is very easy. They drive on the same side of the road as we do in Ireland. The road from Brisbane to Cairns is called the Bruce Highway and it is straight the whole way. You only need to leave it when you are stopping off somewhere.