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Hotspots on the Aussie East Coast

Until you arrive in Australia, you don’t appreciate just how big it truly is. Tropical rainforest leads to pristine beaches. Island hopping leads to encounters with the world’s most intriguing animals and the underwater world is lively and scintillating. But sometimes trawling the web for the country’s hotspots can get a bit confusing! So here’s the East Coast guide I wish I had when travelling including all the hotspots you can’t miss out on!

The Perfect Aussie Road Trip!

Cape Tribulation

A lot of backpackers only venture as far North as Cairns, forgetting entirely about the tropical rainforest that flows down into stunning beach walks. You’ll be spoilt for choice in activities ranging from bush walks, scuba diving, aboriginal culture and partying. There’s a tranquil hippy vibe that lies through the small rainforest towns, so prepare to chill out and be care free. Watch out for the crocs though!

 

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Cairns

The Great Barrier Reef definitely earned it’s ‘great’ title. The reef is so colourful and vast. Not to mention the unbelievable myriad of tropical fish that call the reef their home. They weave in and out of you whether you’re snorkelling or diving and you can get your all important sea life selfie.

Don’t just stop at the Barrier Reef though; if you’re looking for a white sand beach and tropical island life for a day then get yourself over to Fitzroy Island. A short boat-ride away from Cairns and you can spend the day snorkelling, bouncing on an aqua trampoline, visiting a turtle rehabilitation centre and paddle boarding. So many activities!!

 

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The Atherton Tablelands

Who wouldn’t want to go to the waterfall where Peter Andre flexed his abs and ran his hands down his body singing (whining) ‘Mysterious Girl’. Exactly! So head down to the waterfall circuit in The Tablelands and find yourself hair flicking and being a general cliché in front of Mila Mila Falls. It’s pretty beautiful and the water is ice cold and refreshing.

If you have some wheels and fancy stepping away from hostel life and roughing it, Lake Tinaroo is a beautiful camping spot where you can tie up your hammock, put your feet up and have a BBQ next to a truly stunning lake.

Throw yourself out of a plane!

Mission Beach

Whether you’re here to throw yourself out of a plane or just escape the hustle and bustle, you’re going to fall in love with Mission Beach. The atmosphere, the people, the stunning long beach and the potential for BBQ’s keeps you there longer than you initially planned.

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Magnetic Island

This is where the girls (or piss taking guys) drive around in their Barbie convertibles taking in the scenery and having a ball. “I’d never do that” is usually what people say… I’m first hand evidence that once you get there it seems like a pretty hilarious way to see the island. So don’t knock it til you’ve tried it.

You can drive up near the Fort where you can walk for an hour spotting wild Koalas and taking in the sights of the Island from it’s highest point. Snorkel round the bays by day and party it up at Base each evening. That’s one hostel on the East Coast where the views and beach side bar will definitely not disappoint.

 

Airlie Beach (Whitsundays)

When I hear that people missed out the Whitsundays, I instantly think they’ve got a screw loose. If there’s one place you must visit it’s the Whitsundays. What better way to waste away three days than on a sailing boat with fellow travellers whisking around islands, beaches and reef. I’d suggest not wasting your days away solely on the goon, try and stay sober to appreciate the beauty around you. The best of the best. When you arrive at Whitehaven beach, the renowned sand lives up to all expectations. You can swim in the shallow waters alongside lemon sharks and sting rays and kick a football around in paradise.

 

 

 

Agnes Water & 1770

Picture this, you’re kayaking on the sea as the sun is setting, filling the sky with deep shades of red and purple. As if this isn’t magic enough, a pod of Dolphins decide to pop out the water and put on a little show! If this sounds like a dream come true, then you better get down to Agnes water and book yourself on the sunset trip. If that’s not your thing, then you could always surf, skate or plonk your derriere in a hammock.

Fraser Island

This huge sand island is best explored on 4x4 with the addition of thirty other backpackers and as much goon as you can fit in your day-pack. Swim in the crystal clear waters of Lake Mckenzie, watch the waves crash over the rocks at the champagne pools and float down the
Lazy River in a rubber dingy whilst clutching a cold one. If this hasn’t tempted you enough, you can party all night and camp amongst the dingos whilst using your goon bag as a pillow. You’re guaranteed to have a laugh a minute with a good crew of people!

 

Noosa

This coastal city is a haven for surfers and the boutique lifestyle. Whilst it’s more expensive than your average surf town, the waves and chic atmosphere makes it totally worth it. Spend your days on the water or hiking the stunning coastal walks. Splash about in the hidden fairy pools and enjoy a cocktail in an upmarket bar. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even kayak the Everglades and camp overnight!

Don’t miss the lighthouse sunset 🙂

Byron Bay

This authentic hippy town is a personal favourite and brimming with young travellers and creative souls. More great surf, artistic offerings and music on every street corner. Make sure you get up early one morning and hike to the top of the lighthouse to watch the sunrise from the most Easterly point of Australia. That is, if you can keep away from Cheeky Monkeys where you’ll be dancing on table tops and drinking cheap booze. If you’re not the party type, you can shop hand crafted trinkets, practice your yoga, get your fortune told or just chill on that stunning beach. Top tip, find someone with a car and head over to the tea tree lake for a free skin and hair treatment that will leave you super smooth and glossy. Believe me, this is a ridiculously hard place to leave!

 

Sydney

The iconic Aussie city leaves little to be explained. The sites, the beaches and the goon train. Venture out of the typical haunts though and have a long walk along the coastal line from Bondi to Coogee. If you want to do one better, then get the ferry over to Manly for a gorgeous coastal town with insane beaches. Surfs up!

 

Melbourne

It’s been voted the most liveable city in the world for a few years now and after living here for the last 4 months, I can totally see why. Forget the beach, although there are some beautiful spots, it’s all about the culture here. Head for the quirky bars, amazing eats and bustling markets.

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