|East Coast, Australia - sun, surf, and...salmon?|
Cairns was a kind of
travelers' partying place with lots of outdoors activities: diving, bungy-jumping,
canoeing, paragliding, parachuting, sea-skying, water rafting, climbing,
gun shooting, brain parapenting, psico scuba throbbing, you name it.
went on a huge ferry trip to the Great Outer Barrier Reef. I was
going to dive and Miles snorkel. It was nothing like the trips I'd done
in Asia. It was really well organized, luxurious, lots of staff to take
care of everyone needs and to entertain us! I was missing the simplicity
of previous trips, with just three people on a long-tail boat and spontaneous
friendliness. It felt like I was doing something special.
We traveled by bus down the coast to Sydney, camping in a couple of beaches for a day or two. Lots of tourists, kids on holidays and surfers on one place, really quiet, too pretty families fishing in the lake on the next.
It carries on after the sun goes down with loads of bars, restaurants and clubs and has a wild reputation for its promiscuous nightlife. Its downside however, is that its not really the place for the budget backpacker and there is a shortage of cheap accommodation, what there is, is snapped up early. Prices were high for most of the activities, so we decided to just do one day trip out to the Great Barrier Reef for some diving and snorkeling.
We jetted out on a huge catamaran with about 50 others. It was a well-organised trip with good staff and guides. It was a bit of a rough ride for some though (including, surprisingly, Yolanda) and there was much vomiting. The reef itself was quite disappointing. Swimming out to it with 50 others is probably not the best way to experience it, the coral was in bad condition and there were not many fish (I did see a baby shark though). I guess having 50 people visiting the same spot everyday is not the best thing for the reef, but I also think that restricting those 50 people visits to the same spots everyday is better than having larger areas of the reef being torn up. Overall, a disappointing trip.
After a few days we bought a hop on hop off bus ticket for Sydney and set off down the East Coast. We made a few stops down the East Coast, camping in our cheap summer tent (insulating it with cardboard boxes from supermarkets). As we progressed south we could feel it getting colder (it was also approaching winter). We stopped at x and x but the best was Byron Bay.