Had it not for Romzkee who requested me to write about our recent trip to Australia, I probably would never have recalled our Queensland adventure and finally get it into writing (cos if the Australia trip isn’t blog-worthy, then I don’t know what is!). How awfully lazy and ungrateful of me when it’s the least I can do for Palace Adventures who sponsored our trip last July 29 to August 11, 2010.
Below is the entry I wrote for Palace Adventures which is really just a summary of our “ocular visit.” Just thought I’d share it in here, too. If you’re a close friend of mine, you know that there’s more to this entry than its positive, upbeat tone. LOL.
I knew that my first time in Australia (and my first trip outside Asia!) was going to be special, but I didn’t expect it was going to be an adventure. And what an adventure it was! Australia is a very beautiful country that has a lot of surprises in store for its first-time visitors. You think the central business district is lovely? Wait ’til you see the beaches.
I was given a chance by Palace Adventures to visit the exciting places outside Brisbane. First stop: Hervey Bay.
I particularly loved how peaceful it was in Hervey Bay, a place often visited by backpackers from all over the world. We stayed at the cozy Palace Adventures dorm where we had access to pretty much whatever we needed.
A visit to Hervey Bay is incomplete without seeing the whales. And that’s what we made sure we didn’t miss: a whole afternoon spent watching and waiting for the humpback whales! These amazing marine mammals didn’t disappoint us. They kept going around our boat, bobbing up and down the water, and just strutting their stuff. Apparently, they love to do people-watching the same way we do whale-watching. It was like watching the Discovery Channel live!
Dolphins also came out to play that day (more like, steal the show).
Next stop: Fraser Island!
Outdoor camping is something I do once in a while, but my experience on Fraser Island was totally different. It was all new to me: meeting backpackers all the way from the other side of the globe, having a tour of the island aboard a 4wd, encountering a dingo, seeing bodies of water of different shapes and sizes, witnessing an actual shipwreck, and being on top of a cliff watching dolphins and whales play in the water below. And only on Fraser Island did I see stars that clear and bright!
Here are some of the tourist spots on Fraser Island we went to see:
Now I understand why backpackers are raving about Fraser Island tours. Fraser Island backpacking is definitely an experience you won’t soon forget.
Last and final stop: The Whitsundays!
From the Brisbane domestic airport, we flew all the way to Proserpine to get to Airlie Beach. Just like Hervey Bay, Airlie Beach is also a well-known tourist destination where everything is quiet and simple. It is the place to have a relaxing vacation. Walking up and down the Main Street, having a cup of joe and freshly-baked sausage rolls at Brumby’s, enjoying free wifi at McDonald’s, bird-watching at the man-made Airlie Beach Lagoon, and strolling around town via the Bicentennial Walkway are just some of the carefree things we did. The weather is just perfect even at winter: not too hot, not too cold. After spending two days in Whitsundays, I can definitely say that it has become one of my favorite places.
For a tourist like me, it’s a must to go sailing in Whitsunday Islands, the Abel Point marina being the departure point. This is to see first-hand the lovely scenery of Australia’s Queensland coast bordered by the Great Barrier Reef. It is admirable how the natural beauty of the beaches are being preserved making the group of Whitsunday Islands a national park.
We went sailing on the beautiful sailboat called “Waltzing Matilda” and I gotta say, the Waltzing Matilda has the friendliest crew! They made our stay in the boat very comfortable. And the food prepared for us was just exquisite, I’d love to go back just to enjoy it again. We sailed from one point to another to go snorkeling or just chill out on the beach — it was great time to kick back and relax.
Spectacular view of the Whitehaven Beach
The course we took: Abel Point → Dumbell Island → Esk Island → Tongue Bay → Airlie Beach
The Whitsunday Islands tour has made me a happy tourist!
Thank you, Palace Adventures, for the tour of a lifetime!