Fraser Island

10 things not to miss in Australia

Quite simply, I love Australia!

I love Australia!

 

I have been there four times to date, each time doing different things and staying in different parts of the country. There is so much more that I need to see but, in the meantime here is my list of ten things not to miss in Australia.

 

 

Adelaide to Alice in 7 days
Embark on a wonderful adventure and see some of Australia at its best with a trip from South Australia’s capital to Australia’s red centre. Walk the paths of Kings Canyon and sleep under the stars near Uluru. Drive through the opal capital of the world, see huge salt lakes, hike in Wilpena Pound and much, much more. Make some more memories with this fantastic tour.

Website: www.adventuretours.com.au for further information of this tour and many more.

Uluru, Australia

Australia Zoo, Queensland
Australia Zoo is located about an hour north of Brisbane, in Beerwah near the Glasshouse mountains. The zoo is 100 acres and there are opportunities to see some fabulous animals, take guided tours, have animal encounters and a lot more. Australia Zoo is a team of passionate people who want to educate others about animal conservation. A vision that Steve and Terri Irwin have made a reality. A fabulous day out.

Address: 1638 Steve Irwin Way, Beerwah, Queensland 4519
Open: Daily, 9.00am-5.00pm
Admission: Adult $59.00; Child (3-14 years old) $35.00; Family 4 (2 adult + 2 child) $172.00; Family 5 (2 adult + 3 child) $189.00; Pension $47.00; Student; $47.00
Website: www.australiazoo.com.au

Australia Zoo, New South Wales

Barossa Valley, Adelaide
The whole of Australia is famous for its wine but the Barossa Valley is a must see in Adelaide. Barossa is home to more than 550 grape growing families, many with the sixth generation still working the same plot of land, supplying quality grapes to more than 170 wine companies.
There are many tour companies offering a variety of Barossa Valley tours; most include three of four tastings at different wineries, lunch and a drive through the beautiful Adelaide Hills with a stop or two at local attractions, such as the Whispering wall and Menglers lookout point.

Website: www.adelaidetours.travel/tours/barossa-valley to get an idea of what’s on offer.

Barossa Valley, SA
Source: www.ytravelblog.com/barossa-valley-food-wine/

Being a Jillaroo, New South Wales
If, like me, you love horses, an Australian Jillaroo or Jackaroo School is a perfect way to spend a few day in the Australian outback. Learn skills such as horse whispering, sheep shearing and cattle mustering. Look after your own horse for the eleven days and get involved with jobs around the farm. Leconfield is a working farm and you are there to help, so if you are willing to put the effort in then this is definitely an adventure worth doing. Rest assured there will be plenty of laughs along the way and you will come away with some fabulous memories.

Address: Leconfield Jackaroo, Jillaroo School ‘Bimboola’ Kootingal, NSW. Australia 2352
Website: www.leconfield.com

Jillaroo, New South Wales

Blue Mountains, New South Wales
If you are in Sydney a trip to the Blue Mountains is a must-do. The mountain range is truly spectacular and covers an area of some 10,000 square kilometres. It was declared a World Heritage Area by UNESCO in 2000.

Get to Echo Point lookout, in Katoomba, for fabulous views over the mountains and, in particular, the “Three Sisters,” a natural rock formation that stands proud over the Jamison Valley. Another highlight in the area is to travel down to the valley on the scenic railway. This is no ordinary railway. It is the steepest funicular railway in the world. Originally part of the Katoomba mining tramways, constructed between 1878 and 1900, it plunges deep into the valley floor. Once on the valley floor, there are many trails that are popular with hikers and nature lovers.

Website: www.bluemts.com.au for visitor information, how to get there and much more.

Blue Mountains, New South Wales
Source: www.australia.com

Circular Quay, Sydney
Circular Quay is a harbour located in the north of Sydney’s central business district. There are walkways, parks and restaurants around the quay and it’s also home to the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. There are also many bars, cafes and restaurants and it’s a popular place for tourists and locals alike who come to enjoy the jazz bands and musicians that play regularly. Circular quay is also the place to go for ferries, trains and buses.

Website: www.sydney.com/destinations/sydney/sydney-city/circular-quay for attractions, events and much more.

Circular Quay, Sydney

Fraser Island, Queensland
Fraser Island was listed as a World Heritage site in 1992. There are many tours to choose from, so choose wisely because there is so much to see. There is a large diversity of habitats; rainforests, eucalyptus woods, mangrove forests, sand dunes and coastal areas. It also hosts a wide range of fauna, from dingoes, whales and birds to the occasional salt water crocodile. It is the biggest sand island in the world. 80% is covered in plants and trees due to the mycorrhizal fungi which occurs naturally and is present in the sand. Visit 75 mile beach and see the Pinnacles and Eli Creek or enjoy one of the island’s 100 or so lakes.

Website: www.fraserisland.net for further information on Fraser Island.

Fraser Island
Source: www.australia.com

Indian Pacific; A Trip Across the Nullabor
The Indian Pacific train is one of the few true transcontinental trains in the world. The route: Three nights and four days via Broken Hill, Adelaide, Cook and Kalgoorlie, one way, 4,352km. Whether you’re journeying from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific or the other way round, enjoy travelling across the Nullarbor Plain, on the longest stretch of straight railway track in the world. It is definitely a trip worth taking.
Fares available include the Gold Service; Sydney-Perth $2529AUD or $2019AUD if booked in advance (based on a single cabin).

Website: www.greatsouthernrail.com.au/trains/the_indian_pacific for everything you need to know about the Indian Pacific.

Indian Pacific, Australia

Noosa Heads, Queensland
Noosa Heads is small town on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. You’ll find boutiques and restaurants which run parallel to the calm waters of Noosa Main Beach. A great way to spend the day is to explore the hiking trails for the chance of seeing local wildlife and wonderful views of the ocean. Or you can spend time relaxing on any of the beautiful beaches in the area.

Website: www.visitnoosa.com.au

Noosa Heads, Queensland

Walpole, Western Australia
When in western Australia, visit Walpole which is famous for its giant Tingle and Karri trees, and one of the best things to do there is go and see the “Valley of the Giants.” The elevated tree top walk is 40 metres high, making for spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. Beneath the canopy walk there is also a pathway around the Tingle trees for walkers. There are also Eco tours and cruises and wildlife parks in the area.

Address: Valley of the Giants Rd, Nornalup WA 6333, Australia
Open: Daily, 9.00am-5.00pm
Website: www.valleyofthegiants.com.au

Valley of the Giants, Walpole, WA

Have you been to Australia? What was your favourite place? Or maybe you have a favourite activity that you did. I would love to hear from you. 🙂

 

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Travels Round Australia- Queensland

Travelling to the other side of the world has its downside. The journey time is just so long. When I first went to Australia the flight from the UK was 19 hours including a layover in Singapore, another 7 to Brisbane and a 4 hour train ride to Bundaberg. But it’s definitely worth it.

Bundaberg, Queensland
Bundaberg, Queensland

Once there I always try and stay awake until normal bed time. That way I can get my body clock back into sync quicker. So that first trip I went to bed at 9.30pm and I didn’t wake up until 12pm midday the following day! I can safely say my body was back in sync!

That was my very first trip to Australia and I was visiting my Mum’s cousin, Gill, and her husband, Norm. Gill emigrated to Australia in the early 70s as part of the “10 pound pom scheme” and has lived in Bundaberg ever since.

10 pound POM scheme
10 pound POM scheme

When I finally got up I was disappointed to learn that Norm had already been out to catch dinner. Only because I wanted to go with him. But I got to watch as he sliced in half three crabs. You cannot get fresher than straight from the river, cooked and served. And, together with prawn cocktail and wine, they went down a treat.

Fresh Water Crab Dinner
Fresh Water Crab Dinner

Bundaberg, sits on Queensland’s east coast, some 15 km inland from the Coral Sea. Bundy, as it is locally called, apparently gets its name from the Kabi aboriginal word- bunda, which means important man and the German suffix- berg, meaning mountain. Bundy is famous for brewing its own rum- Bundy Rum- and is a major exporter of sugar cane which is grown in the fields around the city

Bundy Rum
Bundy Rum

One week in and I had done quite a bit with my relatives. We drove from Bundy to the town of 1770. Originally known as Round Hill, the town of 1770 is where Captain James Cook and the crew of HM Bark Endeavour made their second landing in May 1770. 1770 is a small village with the population standing at just 76. However, even though small, it’s natural beauty is stunning with pristine beaches and huge waves where people come to surf and enjoy the water activities. There is also a marina where you can take trips to Lady Musgrave Island on the Great Barrier Reef.

1770
1770

From there we travelled to Agnes Water, about 8 km to the south of 1770. This place gets its name from pastoral holding which was leased out in 1883. The holding was named after a schooner, called Agnes, which was lost at sea. The town was very remote until the mid-90s, and it was not developed until the road was completed. Activities in Agnes Water include biking, camping and surfing.

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Agnes Water

Fraser Island was the next destination on our list and what a treat that was. The island was listed as a World Heritage site in 1992. We chose a tour which took us to several parts of the island, but we only saw a little of what this beautiful place has to offer. There is a large diversity of habitats- rainforests, eucalyptus woods, mangrove forests, sand dunes and coastal areas. It also hosts a wide range of fauna, from dingoes, whales, and birds, to the occasional salt water crocodile.

It is the biggest sand island in the world. 80% is covered in plants and trees due to the mycorrhizal fungi which occurs naturally and is present in the sand. There are plenty of interesting things to see: There is a stretch of beach which houses the remains of SS Maheno, an ocean liner which was used as a hospital ship during World War l. In 1935 a cyclone caused the Maheno to drift and disappear, taking with her eight men. She was found beached off the coast of Fraser Island where she rests, mostly disintegrated and covered with rust, in the sands of 75 mile beach.

SS Maheno
SS Maheno

75 mile beach is also home to The Pinnacles, cliff faces of cement-like red, brown and yellow coloured sand. These three-coloured cliffs are formed by the sand being stained by minerals filtering through over thousands of years.

The Pinnacles
The Pinnacles

Eli Creek is the largest freshwater creek on Fraser Island, with millions of litres of water flowing through and into the ocean. There is a boardwalk which allows you to walk alongside the creek and enter the water. It is cold and very clear. I tentatively got in and started wading towards the beach and the ocean. On either side of the creek the sandy bottom drops a little, and as I waded through the water I lost my balance and ended up getting completely wet, still fully clothed. I knew I should have wore swimwear!

Eli Creek
Eli Creek

Lake Garawongera is a perched lake which means that the lake itself sits on a layer of compact sand and vegetable matter 100 metres above sea level. We were told that this freshwater lake has properties in it that will clean jewellery, so I put it to the test by submerging my hands in order for the water to clean the rings on my fingers. It seemed to work.

Lake Garawongera
Lake Garawongera

Saying my farewells to my family and saving myself AUD$62, by bumming my way to Brisbane with one of Gill’s colleagues, I was onward bound and planned to spend a few days in the capital of Queensland. Arriving around midday, I checked into a swanky backpackers place called The Yellow Submarine. Yellow it was, swanky it was not. I checked in, dumped by bags and went bravely to the communal area. Only to shirk away in horror when I realised that there seemed to be no solo travellers. They had all made friends before I got there! Had I been a little braver I would probably have found that there were nice, friendly people there who wanted to chat and have a good time. But this was the first time I had ever been travelling so I felt a little intimidated. Instead I spent hours walking round the city through botanical gardens, mooching through the shopping areas and museums and sitting awhile on the man-made beach in South Bank Parklands. You name it I walked passed it or into it that day, wondering what I was going to do about the accommodation.

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Southbank Parklands, Brisbane
Southbank Parklands, Brisbane

I got back at 5.30pm, had something to eat, and enquired about a B&B up the road, which was just a couple of dollars more than I was paying, but (the best thing) I wouldn’t have to sleep on a bunk bed in, what can only be described as, a cell. I ended up paying for a twin room and had to pay for the other person that might arrive because I really did not want to share. I just like my privacy is all. In fact I am glad I made the move to Annie’s Shandon Inn. It was so much more homely and comforting. I even got to have dinner with the owners.

Annie Shandon Inn, Brisbane
Annie’s Shandon Inn, Brisbane

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Having been on my own for just over a week I was determined to fit in and have a good time. It’s just that I didn’t feel much like staying in hostels. However, this made me miss home for the first time but I was still intent on making the most of my time here.

Next time: A Trip to Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo  🙂