The year was 2018, the place was Queensland. For those who don’t know (because I had no clue before I went away) Queensland is the large top right corner of Australia, starting at the edge of the gold coast by the city of Brisbane and stretching all the way to the semi-tropical north. I can’t really say it has the best coasts of Australia because I haven’t visited the rest of the country but I think it has the best coasts of Australia.
If anyone wants to challenge me and give me the name of a place in the Southern or Western parts of Oz that are more beautiful and have better weather than Queensland, please, please tell me because I might move there (or at least visit at some point).
The lower parts of Queensland are definitely flatter with a lot of cities stretching across long shorelines. I will admit I was a little nervous thinking about the venomous animals of Australia so when we landed in Brisbane I asked the taxi driver if we had to do a toilet check before we used it for spiders and snakes. The taxi driver laughed and in hindsight I can see why. Brisbane is such a busy city that you could almost forget about wildlife all together. I imagined there was a fenced perimeter surrounding the city like in one of those post-apocalyptic movies keeping all of the dangerous animals out. The sunsets in the lower parts of Queensland are beautiful and it feels like you are looking over the edge of the earth.
As we travelled up Queensland, the trees and the air grew thicker. The further you go north in Queensland, the more humid it gets. It feels less like a beach holiday and more like a tropical rainforest. The north also holds crocodiles and a lot more creepy crawlies. Cairns felt like we were on the surface of the sun.
In fear of getting overwhelmed with the thousands of pictures and videos we took whilst we were away, I decided to start with something semi-simple and gather all of the videos we took on our underwater camera. (Thank you to Nick’s dad for letting us borrow it!)
We used the camera a lot when we first landed in Brisbane as they have a free, man-made lagoon called Streets Beach. It was raining whilst we were there but I think that just gave us more space to swim as there wasn’t many people around. Apparently Streets Beach is Australia’s only inner-city, man-made beach.
We then travelled to Noosa and swam in the very rough sea at Noosa Heads, before going to Fraser Island where there are a multitude of places to swim and get good photos. Lake Mckenzie looks like paradise and isn’t too deep or hard to get to. Lake Wabby, on the other hand, takes 45 minutes to walk to from the road, and gets very deep, very quickly. You should definitely be comfortable swimming where you can’t see the bottom. I would describe it as a beautiful, shiny black hole. The Champagne Pools are kind of like massive rock pools where the waves crash rapidly. It’s an amazing background for photos but can be rough. Then there’s Eli Creek. There are loads of natural creeks on Fraser but Eli is the one where tourists go to swim or walk down. It’s easy to think you’re in a lazy river in a waterpark because the current is so relaxing. The water is so pure and clear that you can drink it.
The Great Barrier Reef is something I will never forget. We got to see so many different colours and textures and it all felt so unreal. It was easy to snorkel at your own pace and feel safe. Lastly we went to Cairns and found another public swimming pool called the Esplanade Lagoon. It was very similar to where we started in Brisbane. It was also nice to go home smelling of chlorine rather than fish.
Even though we went to Australia in February, it still feels raw and I’m so proud I did it. Here’s to hopefully many more adventures!