Port ‘Dougie’

Port Douglas is a small business beautiful coastal town situated 60km north of Cairns. It would also mark the furthest north up the East Coast we would get on our Aussie journey.

Upon arrival we were made aware that a croc was in the area and that it had eaten a pet dog – uh oh, North Queensland seemed to get more extreme by the minute!
After finding our way around the local town we were treated to an incredible sunset over the mountains whilst we sat in a semicircle of huge palm trees looking out across the sea – it was paradise!

The humidity up here was stifling and after spending most of the next day lying in the sun and keeping a watch out for the croc we had to buy ice cream to cool down.

On our final day we rented two bikes from our hostel and cycled into town to grab a coffee. It was at this point I realised that the brakes on my bike didn’t work and Edd pointed out that my back wheel was completely buckled. Coming to a stop was interesting to say the least. 

After getting our caffeine levels up we headed onto the beach and cycled the four miles to the end. 

It was certainly the first time either of us had cycled on sand, it was awesome! An amazing way to spend our last day on an East Coast beach. 


Nervous times in Cairns

We were pretty anxious when arriving into Cairns – a tropical cyclone warning had been issued, with early predictions showing it was heading our way. We nervously watched for weather updates. 

Thankfully we weren’t affected, as it went further South a few days before making landfall. It was scary though and we really feel for the local communities and those we have met along the way that were affected. We hope the recovery process is quick.

The wait for cyclone news meant we had a few more days than anticipated to explore Cairns, which was no bad thing. We had heard about Rustys fruit and veg market and were wowed by how incredible it was. There was fresh locally grown fruit and veg everywhere, I was literally in heaven. Edd was too as there were so many free samples of avocado and mango to try.

The fresh produce seems to be on another taste sensation level here! It was amazing to stop and sit down with a coffee in amongst the chaos of the market and watch people go about their everyday routines.

Edd was really struggling with the concept that there were no waves up here. But I guess the name The Great Barrier Reef is quite a big indicator that it’ll be flat. 

In a desperate search for a wave we walked 45 minutes out of town so that Eddie could try Flowrider (an artificial wave). The heat was staggering on the way there and we kept diverting into shops to cool down in the air con. 

Watching Edd have a go at Flowrider was cool, but it looked so painful when he fell off and was slammed into the back wall. He picked it up quiet quick though and had a great time. 

Cairns was turning out to be an awesome little city. The nearby beaches were stunning and we enjoyed a great day at the aptly named Palm Cove. The sunset was glorious there too.

One evening we had a big shock when we were greeted by the sight or hundreds of bats flying through the town. We found out this is a nightly ritual. Cairns was full of awesome surprises and turned out to be super fun. 

Playing in Paradise 

We didn’t quite know what to expect from Mission Beach, but what we came away with was three seriously fun and super cruisy days. 

It wasn’t that we did a huge amount during our stay there, but that was the simple and pure joy of it. 

Our days were spent relaxing on the beach and swinging from palm trees. Daring one another to climb further up the trunks. We felt completely free and relaxed from all responsibility. 

It’s the most paradise-looking beach we’ve ever been. There’s just one slight hiccup however, you can’t go in the water for fear of the crocs and stingers, ouch. A painful fact to swallow when all you want to do is jump in to cool off. But that was only a fly in the ointment, we loved this place. 

The palms also provided heaps of opportunities for interesting photos, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Being in new places and situations during this trip has really inspired my photography. I hope to continue my journey with this and start selling prints, please give my Facebook page a like for details coming soon www.facebook.com/eddcopephotography 

Hitching on ‘Maggie’

A short ferry ride from Townsville took us to Magnetic Island – affectionately known by the locals as ‘Maggie’ – a beautiful boulderous island off Townsville. 

We first headed to the north of the island, near Horseshoe Bay and found our Air BnB. It was a beautiful vibrant house and our hosts were so relaxed and welcoming, just what we needed as we were feeling pretty exhausted.

The next morning we hitchhiked to Nelly Bay, having a great chat to some fellow backpackers on route. The landscape was amazing and the bays just looked idyllic…if only we could swim in the turquoise waters! 

It was hot and sticky as we walked to Picnic Bay. We knew there was a stinger net here so we couldn’t wait to get in the water. Alas it was 29C so it felt like we were getting into a bath, providing little relief. After a lazy afternoon sunbaking, we hitched back to our Air BnB with a really genuine lady and had another good chin wag. 

The next day we took a more adventurous walk through the bush to little known Balding Bay. The path seemed to evaporate as we walked further into the bush and soon we were climbing over rocks. 

When we finally arrived the beach looked amazing. However the view was slightly ruined when we saw a guy butt naked clambering over the rocks. We later found out that it was a non-official nudist beach. I can confirm we didn’t participate.

On the walk back, I saw a snake just as I put my foot down. I absolutely legged it! Eddie was amazing and calmed me down and got us out of there safely. Our hosts told us it was probably a tree snake and the ones you want to worry about are death adders, what a delightful name!!

We really enjoyed our time on Maggie and didn’t want to leave, but the rest of the East Coast was calling and it was time to hit the road to the next destination.

Air BnB has been amazing during our time in Australia and taking us to some unique places. Meeting locals and getting their perspective on the world is eye opening. For anyone that would like to try Air BnB you can sign up through our link below and get £30 off your first stay, a sweet deal – http://abnb.me/e/nBH4KjD43B

Were we dreaming while at The Whitsundays?!

Have you ever done something or been somewhere and it felt completely unreal once you had reflected on it? This was the exact feeling we had after visiting the Whitsundays. 

Along with 20 others we set sail from Airlie Beach and headed out to the beautiful maze of islands. As we to got know our new pals onboard, we were treated to a beautiful sky as the sun melted into the horizon. 

After an awesome meal we noticed that the sea had become more choppy and we could see lightening in the distance. Our crew went into survival mode and relocated us to a more sheltered bay. We set up our bed for a night under the stars – probably the best nights sleep in ages.

It was an early start the next morning ready for our first snorkel of the trip. The visibility wasn’t great as it had rained the night before but we still saw lots of fish and it was our first sight of the Great Barrier Reef.

Next stop was Whitehaven Beach, a place that is ranked as one of the best beaches in the world. We were a little nervous on the ride there as it was cloudy, we had spoken so much about seeing it in the sunshine.

However almost as soon as we moored up nearby the clouds parted and miraculously the sun shone down. We’re sure the good karma from our time in Agnes Water had something to do with it (see the previous post).

Stepping onto the beach itself after a walk of great anticipation through the bush was like floating into multicoloured dream world. To say the sand was white is an understatement – it was like nothing we had seen before! 

We were both amazed by how beautiful it was and also how fortunate we were to have it almost to ourselves. It was fairly late in the afternoon and most other boats had come and gone. It felt like our own slice of paradise for that amazing afternoon. 

 The lookout above the beach was the crowning glory of the trip. The swirling patterns of sand and blue turquoise water were surreal. It was interesting to learn that the patterns change every day. 

The whole experience still feels like a crazy colourful vivid dream and we’ve got an overwhelming urge to go back. Just to double check that it was definitely real… 

Good Karma at Agnes Water

Agnes Water is a sleepy little surfer town, and the most northern place you can surf on the East Coast. We spent most of our days relaxing on the beaches there, while reminiscing about the last few weeks and catching up on sleep. 

However it was really sad to see the amount of rubbish and plastic that had washed up on the sand. Particularly because the beach was covered in heaps of awesome shells. It made you realise how much humans can effect our beautiful and fragile planet. 

We felt it was time to give something back to Australia and keep the good karma flowing. So we spent a couple of productive afternoons collecting as much trash off the beach as we could. We even found a glass that with a good wash found a new home at our hostel. 

The hostel was super relaxed and ran by some really chilled hippy guys – their positive easy going attitudes certainly rubbed off on us and we will take that with us. 

K’gari – Fraser Island and Rainbow Beach

From the minute we stepped off the bus at Rainbow Beach we felt relaxed and at ease. This place was definitely more our style. After being in Noosa for over a week this small little place was super cruisy and the hostel couldn’t have been better.

The cliffs on the main beach were a spectacular array of coloured sands which seemed to take on different shades depending on how the light fell upon them. 

It was a 7am start the next day. Eddie drove our Land Cruiser first down the beach, our group had lovingly named it Blueberry (you can tell that we were a car of mostly girls).

The experience of driving on sand was crazy! It’s like being on ice at times, the car slipping and sliding all over the place. Then all of a sudden the tyres grab traction from previous tyre marks and you pick up speed super quick.

It was then my turn to drive us inland to Lake Mackenzie. It was amazing driving through the rainforest the track was so bumpy, all we could do was laugh when the car threw us all around.

Lake Mackenzie was beautiful, with crystal clear waters and white sands. It was so nice relaxing and swimming there and getting to know the group, who we were now so fond of.

After some more exploring we were driving along the track when the front car came to a halt. Our guide Ado jumped out. He was the most chilled out and knowledgable guy you could imagine, with dreds and a glorious beard. All of a sudden he picked up a snake by the tail. It was a huge Carpet Python and it didn’t seem too happy and slithered up the bank. When we drove past we very quickly opened the window to glimpse a look, it was easily 3 metres long, before I put my the foot on the gas.

Our bush camp was awesome, with little two man tents, a camp kitchen and seating area. That night we played some drinking games and an awesome French guy named Thomas tried to teach Eddie to dance.

The next day there were a few sore heads around the camp, but we set off to explore the Champagne Pools, Indian Head and went for a swim down Eli Creek.

It was an early start on our final morning 6.30am, with the cars all packed and the camp clean we headed to Lake Warby. The lake is full of little tiny fish that come and nibble at your feet. At first this freaked me out, but by the end of it I quite liked the feeling. 

We so didn’t want the trip to end we had so many laughs and met some incredible people. Once back at the hostel we all decided to go sand boarding. It was so much fun sliding down the huge sand banks, while watching everyone else and hearing them giggling. We were lucky enough to have an awesome sunset to round off an amazing few days.

Thank you to all those on our Fraser trip, it was so much fun and the endless laughs still make us giggle now. The aboriginal name for Fraser Island is K’gari, which means Paradise, that’s certainly true.