Trip Start Oct 03, 2005
Trip End Aug 20, 2006

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Flag of Australia  ,
Monday, March 13, 2006

Well Well. All is great in the land of new and approved tim tams, beer, dodgy mullets, blue bottle jellyfish and sharks. We are now in Melbourne but we have had a nice mixture of savage road trips and chillin out in Sydney and it goes a something like this.

We picked up our home on wheels in Cairns and headed straight up Port Douglas, Daintree and Cape Tribulation. We were lucky to get a personal river cruise spotting wildlife including crocs on teh Daintree river. There was few about but for a female croc protecting its nest. It was great to see them in there natural habitat. Cape tribulation was majestic, it was. This is a large national park with a healthy combination of rainforests and coastal beauty. We stayed in a campsite where we could walk to the rear of the capervan, into the rainforest for 100 meters and then onto an isolated beach, sweet ass bro.

We bent inland and headed down to lake Eacham and the Atherton Tablelands. This was a big advantage of getting the campervan, changing plans on a whim. TES (the campervan) did not like the hills and we were waving alot at road trains passing us out on steep mountain climbs but be jasus she was a good goer on flat roads. Lake Eacham was used by the Oz army as a weekend get away during the world wars and we could see why, peaceful beaut of a spot.

Next we bent back onto the coast and after stopping off in Townsville (a bit of a dry spot) and Ayr Beach for the night we rolled on into Airlie beach (aka Whitsunday Islands) for Vanintines Day. Well it was very rosemantic, we got a helicpter ride to a deserted island for a champane lunch and snorkelling. The next day we visited Whitsunday including Whitehaven beach and got to snokel in some really funky spots were we spotted manta rays and reef sharks.

That evening we dicided to billy it to Eungella national park before it got dark, not a good idea when you have to drive up a steep mountain above the clouds, that was a scary experience especially with poor tes not so great on the slpoes. We ended up in Eungella a 8.30pm which ended up being the village of the damed there was that many caked heads. The next day we dandered around eungella into the rainforest we had our first experience of going into a rainforest were it was dry outside and raining in the forest (hence rainforest). After a brisk walk around Finch Gorge we were on the road again.

Hervey Bay was our destination and 800km drive from 12 in the day and another 3 hours at drivining at night was on the cards. This driving at night lark is a big no no when you are not driving a road train or do not have roo bars on the van. We were wrecks by the time we got to hervey bay. The good thing after arriving in an Oz toen at night is that the camping park offices are closed so we just parked up in there for the night for free. Fraser island is just off the coast of Hervey Bay so we hopped on over for a great day of all sorts of groovy places to visit.

Leaving Hervey Bay was not complete without a trip to the Shark epo where they have frozen White Pointers and Tiger Sharks, nice nightmares that night.

Afet stoping at Indropilly Beach for the night we headed into Brisbane where we met our good buddy from work who was over getting learned by the top Aussie Swimming coach for two months, then onto the Goldcaost and Manly Beach to see another good buddy Amie. We stayed with Amie for a couple of Days for well earned rest and hard sessions. In between was filled with Beach walks, wineries and Surfers Paradise.

Byron Bay was the next stop and it was a nice chilled out spot with cool views from the most easterly point in Oz and the beach wasn't bad either.

Corindi beach at port stephans was next on the must see spots were we ate loads of pies from Red Neds (best in oz pie shop). Ned was a legend as were he pis from Thai chicken, seafood pies and kangaroo curry pie, we skipped the later.

So our Campervanning was near an end and we flaked it by Sydney to my Uncle Joe's for two nights and drinking and craic. Its been a long time since i saw Joe, Alison and the kids so it was good to catch up.

Next stop the big Smoke. We siad our goodbye's to Joe and met up with Jen's good buddy Jen (no typo) and Rob (sly Dublin Jersey wearing Damo), he was actually the first Dub i could go drinking with without ripping the rings about the Gaa, it was special. Jen and I were really surprised with Sydney, we were expectin Bondi to be full of Drunken Irish, which is wasn't and the baechs to be tacky but they were really cool. There was some really good parks and the Opera house was okay from teh outside but impressive from the inside. The outside is tiled (swedish tiles) that surprised me. So we got up to some great day trips and hard nights including Mardi Gras. The lads were flashing there stuff, some more than others.

The Day trip to the blue mountains was really worth it we had a 3 hours trek and a stepp walk to the three sisters and a steep return on the steppest train in the world at 50 degrees. There was a blue haze sitting above teh forest area from the oil of the euculuptas tress.

All in all the east coast has been great, a good cocktail of beaches, rainforests and big smoke.
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