The last week of our roadtrip from Sydney to Cairns. One more week of driving and Cairns is getting closer and closer…
Yeppoon – Airlie Beach (Whitsunday Islands)
We decided to take a little driving break and stay 3 nights in Airlie Beach. Sometimes it’s just nice to stay somewhere longer than a day and finally have time to clean and wash everything. Airlie Beach is a nice place to stay. Lots of bars and restaurants and also lots of backpackers. Yes. We were old again. 😉 The beach looks nice, but nobody actually goes into the water without a full suit because of the stingers. IEK!
Airlie Beach is also a popular place to visit the Whitsunday Islands, an island group in the Great Barrier Reef. We chose to do a day tour on the Camira, a huge catamaran. They sail around the islands, take you to a nice snorkeling spot and drop you off at Whitehaven Beach. This beach was the most bounty beach I have ever seen in my life. Beautiful. We really loved sailing with the Camira. The crew is a lot of fun and they take great care of you. Drinks and food galore. Also a lot of sun galore. By the end almost everybody was hiding for the sun inside. 🙂
Airlie Beach (Whitsunday Islands) – Townsville (Magnetic Island)
Next was Townsville for 2 nights and for 1 reason only; Going to Magnetic Island and spot koalas in the wild. We saw a lot of Kangaroo’s along the way, but still no koalas in the wild. We heard Magnetic Island was the best location to do just that, so we really wanted to check it out. We rented a true Barbie kind of car to tour the island and took of. Unfortunately the weather was not that good and we did most of the hiking and spotting in the rain, but we did found koalas! We saw 4 in total. And Magnetic Island, Maggie as they call it, was beautiful. It gave me a true Jurassic Park kind of feeling. Lots of animals, quite rough. I would love to go back with better weather!
And Townsville was quite fun too! It was so much bigger than we expected! By now summer vacation for the Aussies was over, so we were getting quite lonely on all the campsites. It also gave us cleaner showers. Hooray!
Townsville (Magnetic Island) – Mission Beach
It was time to give that great Barrier Reef a closer look. For that we decided to go to Mission Beach and take a day tour with Mission Beach Diving. Kelvin and I did do an introductory dive a million years ago, but this company does not require any experience on forehand and makes it possible to do your first diving at the Great Barrier Reef. So cool!
I was a bit scared, but our instructor was so nice and so calm. Before I knew it I was sitting on the ground in the middle of the ocean surrounded by meters of high reef. It was really impressive to swim around this amazing world under water with all these bright colors. Total little mermaid vibes all around!
Mission Beach – Port Douglas
A lot of people told us not to miss Port Douglas. So even though Cairns was right in front of us, we drove past it to Port Douglas. On the drive the rainforest and the Caribbean vibe started. The drive is so scenic and beautiful. One of the best drives of my life! We stopped for lunch in Kuranda and strolled around a bit. It was like we were back in Thailand again. It is crazy how much nature changed driving from Sydney to Cairns!
Port Douglas we really recommend. It felt a bit like Noosa. So again a touch of rich and famous (lots of resorts surrounding it) without the snobby people. Great town to enjoy the beach and some good food and drinks. And again, driving there is so beautiful.
Port Douglas – Cairns
And than it was time to return our motorhome and enjoy our last day in Cairns. We didn’t expect much of Cairns. Especially not after all the beauty we already saw during our trip. But we were actually surprised. It is quite big and the esplanade is really nice for a walk, run or a swim. It has a huge, free swimming pool. When we were there it was weekend. The sun was shining, people were swimming or sitting on the grass next to it, there was a band playing. What a great way to finish of our road trip!
Little tip; Don’t spend big money on a helicopter flight for 10 minutes over the great barrier reef. When you are flying from Cairns, like we did, you will very likely get an amazing view from your plane. I really wanted the helicopter flight but the prices were crazy so we didn’t do it and when we flew away from Cairns to Adelaide I was so happy we didn’t!
This was the first road trip we did in Australia. After this we headed to Adelaide to drive from there to Melbourne. Blog about that part of our trip coming up tomorrow!