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Person looking across Whitsundays from Whitehaven Beach, Australia

8 Things I Learned While Travelling the East Coast of Australia

By Gap 360

Last updated: 27th March 2017

I have just come back from an amazing trip along the East Coast of Australia. Here are 8 things I learned during my travels:

  1. It deserves all the hype!

Seriously. I have never been someone who was particularly fussed about Australia, but after seeing the east coast, I’m already planning my return trip! From buzzing cities like Sydney to chilled out farms in the middle of the Outback, you really will see it all on your travels up the coast!

  1. You don’t have to slum it as a backpacker

One thing my travels in Australia have taught me is that you don’t have to stay in awful accommodation – even if you are on a budget!

I stayed in some incredible accommodation during the Sun, Sea, Sail and Surf tour, from the super sociable Wake Up Hostel in Sydney to the luscious Daydream Island in the Whitsundays, which included hot tubs, swim-up bars and mini-golf! Certainly a far cry from the dingy dorm rooms I expected!

  1. You’ll probably feel a bit like Attenborough during your time there

The wildlife does not disappoint on the East Coast! I found this especially true in Queensland – you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into an episode of Planet Earth!

From giant cassowaries (which look like a cross between an ostrich and a turkey), to kangaroos racing across the beach, Queensland has everything you would expect of Australian wildlife. My very own Attenborough moment came during an early morning walk on Daydream Island. While walking up to the top of a forested hill in the center of the island, I turned a corner and was immediately surrounded by a mob of sleeping kangaroos! It was probably the most ‘Australian’ experience I have ever had!

  1. It’s not just the land that’s beautiful…

One of the undeniable highlights of the east coast is the Great Barrier Reef, which spans from the top of Queensland all the way down to Bundaberg, 2300km south. As one of the natural wonders of the world, you should definitely explore this stunning ecosystem.

My first dive at the reef was absolutely incredible. I saw clown fish (the same fish as Nemo!), brilliantly colourful coral, and I even swam side-by-side with 2 giant green turtles!

You don’t have to go underwater to see beautiful wildlife though. During a sea-kayaking trip in Byron Bay, a pod of 30 dolphins swam under our boat, and during a scenic flight on Fraser Island we saw a rare white whale, Migaloo, as he made his way past the island!


  1. It might ruin any future beach visits…

Australia is home to some of the most stunning coastlines in the world, and some of the best beaches to boot. Beaches like the world-famous Whitehaven Beach and those surrounding Lake McKenzie on Fraser Island are both nearly 100% pure silica, meaning that the sand is brilliantly white, doesn’t get hot (so you don’t need to do a mad dash to the sea to cool your burnt soles), and is also great for your skin! You’ll probably feel a bit disappointed visiting the seaside anywhere else after that!

  1. You might be surprised by the food

Since Australia is so close to Asia (Darwin in the Northern Territories is actually closer to the capital of Indonesia than it is to Canberra), you can get some mouth-watering food during your travels. The night market in Cairns is a fantastic place to pick up cheap Asian food, with anything from Thai to Chinese under one roof. Plus, the barbeque is alive and well in Australia, and is much better than the usual standard in the UK. From home-made sausages to fresh fish, you’ll be spoilt for choice for food!

  1. There’s actually not that many bugs

During 5 weeks in Australia, I saw only 1 spider, which wouldn’t have seemed out of place in the UK, and the only snakes I saw were in the hands of reptile keepers. As long as you don’t go hunting around under houses or in the middle of the forests for them, you’re unlikely to come across any in the wild. So if the only thing that’s holding you back from booking that flight is the fear of our eight-legged friends, don’t worry!

  1. You won’t want to come back!

I can guarantee that you’re going to fall in love with Australia, whatever you do out there. Why not get your place sorted on Sun, Sea, Sail and Surf for only £49, and start planning your adventure now?

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