A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: mvencato

Airlie Beach and Whitsundays

Sailing and snorkling

sunny 32 °C

We just got back from our two day adventure living on a racing sailing yacht and sailing around Whitsunday islands. We had such a great time. The crew sailing the ship was fantastic and really put the boat through it's paces. It was a bit tough at times to hang on to the side because the boat was sometimes at a 40 degree tilt. We had 15 guests and 3 crew people on the boat. Everyone was very nice which was good because living on a boat consists of really close quarters. There were 14 boys (English and German) that all had to share one bathroom! There was even a family from Adelaide on our trip. They were so nice and even gave me some leads on soccer teams I could join when I move there. I plan on meeting them when I go to Adelaide next week.

My favorite part of the trip was yesterday when we got to snorkle in the great barrier reef. It was so beautiful words would not do it justice. There was all sorts of coral in every color of the rainbow and all these beautiful fish swiming around me. It was breathtaking! I got to see all the real versions of the characters in Finding Nemo. Let me tell you the real versions are so much better. All you can hear when you are under the water is a scratching kind of sound similar to the sound Rice Krispies makes when you pour milk over it. That was the sound of the fish eating the coral. I think this was the best experience of my entire life. I'm hooked and I now want to get my diving certification.

We also got to stop at this famous beach called Whitehaven. It has this name for a reason, the sand is pure white becuase it's made out of pure silica. The water was so clear as well. It was definitely paradise.

We're staying the night here in Airlie beach and meeting some of the poeple that were on our boat tonight for some drinks. Tomorrow morning we get on the bus and spend the whole day traveling up to Cairns, our last stop on the east coast.

Posted by mvencato 21:21 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Hervey Bay

Walking walking and more walking

sunny 32 °C

Yesterday we spent the day in Hervey Bay. Our hostel was on the marina side of town so we set off on the long walk to the center of town, about 2 miles. The town is very long and narrow with one main street. It's about 3 miles long and about a half a mile wide. It took us about an hour to get there. Hervey Bay is a small town consisting of mostly retirees. The town has a really nice bike/walking path that follows the beach. We took that and stopped about three quaters into our walk to do a bit of sun bathing. This was my favorite beach. I really don't like waves too much so this beach was perfect. Fraser Island makes a wave break so that the coast of Hervey bay is completely calm. Frasier Island also makes a barrier for sharks and jellyfish so it's safe to swim. The water was also the perfect temperature about 80 degrees. It was so nice. Lisa felt the water was a bit erie because it was such a calm ocean. This is a great place for families with small children. There were a bunch of toddlers having a great time in the water.

We ended our day at Hervey Bay with a bit of shopping (this seems to be a recurring theme) and some dinner. We hopped on a bus at 8 last night for Airlie beach where we arrived this morning. We are about to board our boat for our Whitsundays tour. We'll be back Sunday afternoon.

I have a bit of time so I thought I would list a couple of things I've discovered here in Australia.

1) I can't tell if the toilet flushes backwards or not becuase the in all the toilets I've used the water goes back to front. It is cool that there are two types of flushes on each toilet to save water, a small flush for a number 1 and a big flush for a number 2.

2) Contrary to popular belief not a lot of people wear kaki.

3) Koalas do not drop out of trees and attack you, but I have yet to see one in the wild.

4)G'day is only used for saying hello never for goodbye, it's not like Ciao in Italian.

5)Austrlians think my accent is cool. Did I mention they have good taste :).

6) People from Sydney make fun of people from Melbourne and people from Melbourne make fun of people from Adelaide. It's kind of like New Yorkers making fun of New Jersey, New Jersey making fun of Pennsylvania, and everyone makes fun of Delaware.

That's it so far. I'm sure the list will grow as I get down to the south.

Posted by mvencato 17:38 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Hervey Bay and Frasier Island

Tropical Paradise

32 °C

Lisa and I ended up in Hervey Bay about an 8 hour bus ride north of Brisbane two nights ago. We arrived in the evening and checked into our hostel. The next day we were picked up by our tour bus and the tour guide Steve for our 4 wheel drive 2 day bus adventure tour of Hervey Bay. Our group consisted of 24 people mostly our age or older. There was a family, a couple on their honeymoon and a couple of other couples, and some people travelling on their own. They were mostly English or Irish. Lisa and I were the only Americans. We took the ferry out to Frasier Island and it took about an hour to get there. From there we boarded our bus and started inland from the beach. Frasier Island is a world heritage site and it does not have paved roads. There are just some old logger tracks cut out of the forest and a lot of sand so 4 wheel drive is required to get around. For the next two days Steve showed us all the sites the island had to offer. We got to do a bush walk through a mixed wood forest, climb the only rock formation on the island to spot some sharks, travel through a mini desert to get to a beautiful secluded lake where we swam, and ended our tour swimming in water so clear you could see all the way to the bottom. It was like glass and the sand was so fine and white. Throughout the tour Steve told us all about the plants and animals that lived on the island and a bit about the history. I was really excited to learn about plants and animals I have never seen before. We camped in the nicest tents I have ever been in complete with beds and a wooden floor. I could have done without seeing the giant spiders everywhere but I guess you have to take the good with the scary. Everyone on our tour turned out to be so nice and friendly. We made a lot of new friends. It was such a great experience that I would definitely go again. The island looked like it could be the set for the TV show lost. I felt like a castaway.

So tonight we're back at the hostel on Hervey Bay for the night. Tomorrow night we head to Airlie beach and start another tour on Whitsundays for some snorkeling.

Posted by mvencato 23:37 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Brisbane

Is this really it?

semi-overcast 26 °C

We spent the day in Brisbane yesterday and walked around Australia's 3rd largest city (it only took us 2 hours to walk completely around it). It's divided by the Brisbane river that runs throughout the city. We started off walking in the wrong direction and walked through industrial and sketchy neighborhoods to get to a place with some restaurants and bars. We were a little disappointed because the area we walked through was not nice at all. Even the cute area the inforamtion person told us to go to was a bit depressing. We decided to go home over the Goodwill bridge. Once we got there the area around the Goodwill Bridge is absolutely stunning. That's when we realized we had gone the wrong way. We walked along the Brisbane river and took in the stunning architecture of the public space. It is really well done I was thouroghly impressed. The park was even completed with a man made beach. This beach was more like a pool with some sand and tropical trees around it overlooking the river but it was cool just the same. Australia really could teach the US a lesson in public parks and landscape architecture. I feel as though the US does not understand the importance of having beautiful public spaces. We tend to build these beautiful billion dollar buildings and just throw a couple of trees and a shrub in the courtyard. Here tehy put a lot more emphasis on outdoor spaces. Maybe it's the weather and people are more inclind to be outside.

Over the Goodwill bridge is the botannical gardens. They included a mangrove forest where you could walk among the mangroves on a floating bridge. It was very impressive. We came back to our hostel from the opposite direction and saw the University. The campus was really nice. Just outside campus is a bunch of cute shops and eateries. Since it was Sunday a lot of places were closed. We were so exhausted from the night before that we went to bed pretty early in preparation for our 7 hour bus ride today.

Posted by mvencato 13:10 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Byron Bay and Surfers Paradise

Surf Sun and Fun

semi-overcast 0 °C

We've spent the last two days in Byron Bay and Surfers Paradise. Byron Bay is a small beach town about 14 hours drive North from Sydney. I really liked it there, the beaches were beautiful and the main street was really cute. We didn't do much there because we were exhausted from our overnight bus ride. We just enjoyed the waves on the beach while working on our tans. It was all very relaxing.

Surfers Paradise is much larger than Byron Bay. The coastline reminded me a bit of Miami with the large highrise hotels overlooking the beach. The city did have a nice pedestrian walkway kind of like the commons in Ithaca but bigger and louder. The waves here were a bit rougher as well even though we were only 2 hours north of Byron Bay. Lisa took some surf lessons and I laid out and worked on my tan. I'm a bit red now so I could use a break from the strong Australian sun. The wind kicked up a bit in the afternoon and I was getting sandblasted. The good news is that I now have really soft skin :). Last night in Surfers we signed up for the Backpackers bar hopping tour. It was 25 bucks and you get to go to four clubs and dance the night away. We had fun but I was wearing bad shoes (as usual) and I spent most of the night looking for a place to sit. It did make me feel a bit old since the mean age of people out was about 20.

Today is just a day to catch up on some laundry and see a bit of Brisbane. It looks like a really nice city.

Posted by mvencato 20:57 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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