On the fifth day of my road trip I spent some time in Townsville, a small city just south of Cairns. I walked along the esplanade, got some ice cream and then went up to Castle Hill to see the views of the surrounding areas and yet another gorgeous sunset. There was also some nifty street art, including a beautiful wall on the outside of a hostel filled with reef-themed images of fish and mermaids.
Day 4 was another big driving day but I made sure to stop by Eungella National Park for some hiking. After a long winding and foggy drive up the mountain, I was rewarded with seeing platypuses and turtles in their natural habit at Broken River. Further, the cloud forests reminded me a lot of Colombia. This was perhaps my favorite place I visited on this road trip.
I then made my way to Mackay for dinner, where I saw some cool Alice in Wonderland themed street art. All in all, a great day, and no parking tickets!
After spending some time around the Sunshine Coast I realized I had to actually do some driving if I was going to make it up to Cairns in 6 days! On the third day of my trip I drove up to Bundaberg and Bargara. Despite getting a parking ticket, I had a nice day walking on the Bargara Esplanade and visiting the Bundaberg Barrel to learn how their famously delicious ginger beer is made. I also visited the Hummock Lookout, which is a little reserve on the top of a dormant volcano, and where you can get a view of the surrounding area.
I then hopped back into the car and drove up to Rockhampton. I was treated to yet another beautiful sunset!
From the Sunshine Coast I headed up to Great Sandy National Park to do some hiking. I intended to get to Fraser Island, but realized too late that I would need a 4WD and I didn’t want to pay such high ferry costs. I feel satisfied with Great Sandy though, as I believe the scenery was similar and it was less crowded and – best of all – free!
I did some hiking around the Bymien picnic area to Poona Lake, a freshwater perched lake that is stained a rusty red because of the nearby tea trees. As usual I took tons of photos of mushrooms, trees, and logs.
Then I headed further down the road to Rainbow Beach where there are lovely red cliffs called the Colored Sands.
I disembarked from Brisbane after a weekend scuba diving adventure in a rented Kia Carnival minivan for a week-long road trip up to Cairns. My first stop was Noosa Heads, with a detour to the Mount Beerburrum viewpoint. It was nice to have complete freedom over where I wanted to go after relying on the limited public transport in Melbourne for so many weeks, and getting used to driving on the left for the first time was an interesting experience.
At Noosa Heads I visited the national park where I was treated to one of the most amazing sunsets I’ve ever seen in my life. The view was complete with surfers off the coast to make a stereotypically Australian image.