Sydney, Brisbane, Byron Bay, Fraser Island, Cairns

Arrived at the airport in Sydney I took the bus to Mascot bus station and from there the train to the main station. This way is the cheapest due to the airport taxes of the train/subway. Any way finally I met my three Swiss friends. We were exhausted and happy that we had a room for us four. That night we had some drinks downstairs and went early to bed for charging our batteries. Next day we woke up early and attended the Sydney im free tour. The meeting point was at 10:30 in front of the town hall square. We had then a nice walk around and learnt some nice things about Sydney. In total it was a good tour for the money but I wished to have more intel about the city I was in. Let’s say 6.5 out of 10. There was a strange story about a statue and a sound but I could not remember the name of it, maybe you know the name or the story about the statue. If you want to know more about the tour please visit following address:

***imfree tour link***

The tour ended near the Sydney harbour bridge, where we decided to climb to the top of the pylon. The lookout was amazing and totally worth it. You get a impression of whole Sydney. Nice overview on the opera house and also you can take nice picture for your photo album.

More Information can be found under:
***pylon lookout link***

After that we split due to different plans. Therefore I made a small stroll to the opera house (the history about it and the architecture is really sad) and the awesome park next to it. On that day Norwegians gathered in front of the Opera House for celebrating the national constitution day (17th may) of Norway. It was a huge pleasure to see other culture in other countries.

Anyway that evening and next day we booked our trip to fraser island with the help of the nice persons from happytravels. They were really helpful and we got a great deal for a three day fraser island tour. We got a three day fraser island for 389 aud due to a good group discount.
http://happytravels.com.au/

Good to know:
If you stay a little bit longer in Sydney maybe you should invest in the Opal card:
With the card you can spend 15$ maximum a day. So if you visit Bondi beach it is worth is to get a opal card. Also on Sunday as far as I remember the maximum is 2.50$. And after 9 trip the whole week will be for free. For more information please see:

***opal card link***

With the next destination in mind we packed our luggage and flew to Brisbane where we got our rental car. On the same day we walked around Brisbane and enjoyed the scenery near the river with some good cold beer.

With those awesome memories in mind we took the car and drove to Byron Bay in the south, where we enjoyed the surfer paradise. On our Saturday we took the bike, which were free for rental and drove to the light house next to Byron Bay. Holy **** was that awesome even I saw a pack of dolphins.

Also we tried out the night life in Byron Bay. If you want to have a blast visit the sticky wicket when you stay in Backpackers Inn (I totally recommend it) you will get some discount. Also Woody’s Surf Shack is awesome entry fee is 10$ and if you are lucky you can win some nice stuff like a brand new surf board. I wish we could stay some days more there. The atmosphere was calm and the people were awesome. But we had a tight schedule and the next destination was calling already. And if you want to know why the tables in Cheeky Monkeys are covered in special sheet metal do not ask just go there at night time, you will see and enjoy.
Also one nice shop name was sticking in my mind until now: Abra-kebab-ra, you can guys three times what it is ;).

Next destination was Rainbow beach where our 4 by 4 car was waiting. As already told we booked a three day Fraser Island tour with a 4 by 4 car (8 people per Jeep). Let’s say I expected more. It is more like a normal car-tour in a queue (three jeeps in row) than an off-road tour where you could try out some of your driving skills. Anyway the scenery was awesome but the trip was exhausting. The space inside the car was tight and the roads not really difficult too much driving straight. If you can plan your own trip by your own 4by4 car do it!!! I hate to drive in rows. But in total we got what we paid for. The lunches and dinner was good and we met some interesting people from different places!!! The accommodation was also adequate. Some recommendations: take enough snacks and booze with you, goon is banned on fraser island due to some incidents. 😀
Let’s say 6.5 out of 10.

Some nice spots to see on fraser island (order in priority best first):
Basin Lake
Eli Creek
Indian Head (lookout point)
Champagne pools
Lake McKenzie
Ship Wreck

Basin Lake:
A perched lake, The Basin Lake formed when organic matter (like leaves and dead plants) gradually decomposed and hardened into depressions created by the wind, making a lake bed that is actually above sea level.

Eli Creek:
the largest creek on the eastern beach of Fraser Island, pours up to four million litres of clear, fresh water into the ocean every hour. Eli Creek is a popular picnic and swimming spot, with a boardwalk that follows the creek inland through banksia and pandanus. Swimming or floating down the swiftly flowing creek from the bridge at the far end of the boardwalk is an invigorating experience.

Because of its amazing location, Indian Head allows visitors to take a peek into the rich marine life of Fraser Island. According to Phil James of FishingMonthly.com.au, winter is the best time to visit if you want to spot “huge schools of tailor arriving for spawning and as well as sharks, rays, turtles and dolphins.” Humpback whales also pass by and can be sighted during whale season.

After the exhausting three days on fraser island we went back to Brisbane, where we visited the kuala sanctuary. For the first time in my life I saw a kuala bear in real life. The place is nice for afternoon trip. And does not cost that much.

After the flight we were in Cairns and booked our snorkelling tour in the Great Barrier Reef. It is hard to describe the experience. I saw some beautiful fish and some nice sea turtles and some sharks. But unfortunately some area of the reef we visited was already dead (grey/white destroyed reefs and corals) and therefore the whole trip had also a bad taste. Anyway the buffet which was offered on the cruise was really great. It had a huge variety of delicious food. Totally recommend the buffet on that ship :). All in all was a nice day trip and I would rate 8 out of 10. On the same night we had a great time in the rock café where you could get a burger with fries and a whole jug of beer for 20$. It was awesome!!!!!! On the same night a friend of a friend joined us and next morning some of us enjoy a nice birchermuesli in the Re:hab in Cairns for 14$, really healthy and very tasteful!!!

Our new group member brought a car with her and we made a road trip to the north of Cairns. We visited Lake Eacham and we saw one of the biggest curtain fig tree near to the crate lakes national park. Really worth it!!!

Next stop was Millaa Millaa where we could experience the good life in the jungle. We were lucky and we could stay at Rainforest Heart for a night due to our special friend and her relation to the owners Margrit and Peter. We had an amazing time there. Also a story about a near graveyard of an aborigine made the whole trip more exciting. The wide variety of bush food, which was wonderfully presented, gave the whole stay a nice touch. Luckily those two preserve the knowledge of the forgotten food culture of Australia. The self-made sauces and the Davidsons plum are worth a try. Our whole trip ended with a final BBQ. Some veggies some meat and of course last but not least the awesome side dishes provided by Margrit and Peter. Unfortunately we were not lucky enough and we could not see any Cassowaries. Maybe the next time when we are in Australia. I would say the stay at the Heart of the Rainforest was the best experiences in Australia so far. Hopefully more will be gathered.

***Rainforest Heart***

After the final BBQ we headed back to Cairns Airport and we split and said goodbye to each other.

Personal note: it was an awesome time and I do not forget the time when we listen to Harry Potter audio books. Special thanks to Sven ;).

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