My Top 10 Experiences from Australia East Coast Adventure
By Gap 360
Last updated: 28th April 2020
Emily Morgan recently returned from her Australia East Coast Adventure with Gap 360. Read on for her top 10 favourite bits...
1. The Lighthouse Walk in Byron Bay
Byron Bay has got to be one of my favourite spots on the East Coast, really I don’t need to say anything more - just go! That being said one of my favourite parts of Byron was the lighthouse walk. I’d recommend waking up early and heading up to the lighthouse whilst it's still dark in order to watch the sunrise over the coast, which is exactly what we did on the Ultimate East Coast Adventure. Afterwards make sure to walk back into Byron along the coastal path, via Australia’s most Easterly point for even more beautiful views and then follow the beach back to town. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for dolphins - I was lucky enough to see three different pods catching waves whilst I was out walking - and if you think you can’t beat starting your day with a beautiful sunrise and wild dolphin spotting, why not go one step further and treat yourself to brunch in one of Byron's amazing cafes!
2. Bondi to Coogee walk
This walk is a must-do for anyone visiting Sydney. Some of the best views on the entire coast of Australia can be found on this walk! I started in Bondi and walked to Coogee before grabbing breakfast and heading back. Although I think the best views can be seen walking in the direction from Coogee to Bondi, if you can manage it I would recommend doing the walk in both directions to really make the most of the views! Don’t forget to pack your swimmers as there are some stunning beaches along the footpath and you will definitely want to cool off and take a dip!
3. 4WD and camping on Fraser Island
lake Mckenzie Camping on Fraser Island is undoubtedly an East Coast Highlight...long sunny days, great tunes, serious off-roading and amazing views make for a perfect day. Not to mention goon fuelled parties in the evenings. But nothing could have prepared me for the beauty of Lake McKenzie. The sand around the lake is pure Silica meaning the beach is almost brilliant white, and the water on the shore goes from brilliant turquoise to royal blue right in the middle of the lake. Even though I was unlucky and visited the lake in the middle of a storm the beauty was still astounding, and we jumped in for a swim in some of the purest water in the world in the middle of torrential rain! It was such a special moment and one of the best parts of my east coast adventure!
4. Sail the Whitsundays
If you don’t take a trip to the Whitsundays did you even do the East Coast? This national park is an absolute must-do. Thanks to Gap 360 I was lucky enough to spend 3 days and 2 nights on board a yacht exploring this gem. From snorkelling with turtles to catching some rays on the iconic Whitehaven beach, white parties on board the boat and watching squids, sharks and sting rays I truly got to live my best life.
5. Burleigh heads and creek cycle ride from surfers paradise
Surfers Paradise is quite the party town, but if you’re after an escape from the madness of this city or you just fancy seeing the skyline from a different angle, why not rent a bicycle and cycle up the coastal path, past Broad Beach towers Burleigh Heads (13km about 50 mins). This is where some of the best views of Surfers Paradise can be found looking down the beach towards the city skyline. I would then recommend ditching the bicycle and walking through the Burleigh Head National Park to Tallebudgera Creek where you can chill out, swim in brilliant blue water and enjoy a bite of lunch. A perfect day out!
6. Skypoint Tower, Surfer’s Paradise
Definitely worth checking out whilst visiting surfers paradise is the sky point tower. Grab a ticket, get dressed up and head to the top for a cocktail, an unforgettable view and a night to remember. I would recommend heading up about an hour before sunset to enjoy the golden hour views and then staying to watch the sun go down. The view of the gold coast is equally beautiful after dark and well worth staying for - truly a night to remember.
If you happen to find yourself in Agnes Water (aka town of 1770) I cannot recommend doing Scooter enough. Having never ridden any kind of motorbike or scooter before I was slightly
nervous, however the team at Scooteroo were absolutely amazing, making sure we were all safe and competent by learning to ride around a grass field and Scooter track before letting us loose on the road. Agnes Water was one of my favourite stops on the East Coast because it just felt so authentically Australian. Think less Bondi, brunch and expensive cocktails and more, Kangaroos, long open roads, acres of fields, horses, beautiful sunsets and awesome surf. What’s not to love? Taking part in Scooteroo is such a fun way to see the area - you get decked out in your Harley-style motorbike leathers and visit some of the coolest local spots, including a paper forest trail, houses with about 30 kangaroos sat around the front yard and of course a sunset over 1770 complete with a drink or snack from an award-winning bakery. A recipe for happiness!
I'm a firm believer that no trip up the East Coast is complete without going for Brunch - and believe me Australians know how to do brunch! Smashed avo on toast, Instagram-worthy Acai bowls, perfect flat whites and fresh juices this is my happy place!
9. Blue Mountains
No trip to Sydney is complete without visiting the blue mountains. Located just a short train ride outside of Sydney the views are mesmerising, thanks to the Eucalyptus trees that release oil into the air, which when combined with water droplets leaves a blue tinge to the valleys. Bring your swimmers because there are also plenty of waterfalls to explore if you hike down to them, and make sure to wear comfy shoes as you will be doing plenty of walking!
10. Hug a koala
At first, I’ll admit - I was sceptical. Is it ethical, is it kind, will it be worth it? Let me assure you - hugging a Koala was one of the best things I did in Australia! I was lucky enough to do it whilst staying at Bungalow Bay Koala Village YHA Hostel on Magnetic Island, where staff care for Koalas on site. My whole group booked onto breakfast with Koalas, so after breakfast, we learnt about Koalas and then it was time for cuddles! The Koala I held was called Pebbles and she was a lot heavier than expected but other than that it really was like hugging a teddy bear. Afterwards, I then got to see some wild Koalas whilst on the Forts Walk, an iconic 4km walk on the island with some great views. This truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity - especially as Koalas are predicted to be extinct in the not-too-distant future, so I’d definitely recommend doing breakfast with Koalas, that hug is not to be missed!