This post comes to you from Brisbane airport – waiting for our flight to Cairns. We’re finally in Australia, the country which inspired this whole trip in the first place! I’ve wanted to come here forever and it feels surreal that I’m now actually here.
We flew here from Singapore so the flight was only about 7 hours. We arrived into Sydney but after that short flight it was hard to think this was actually Australia. We spent a short week in the city where we saw the landmarks; Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. Sydney wasn’t how I expected. It could have been London if it weren’t for the temperature.
We also took a trip up to the Blue Mountains. This was a 2 hour train ride but unlike English trains these were double deckers and more spacious! The Blue Mountains were a vast space of impressive scenery, coloured green from the plants and blue from the eucalyptus trees.
From Sydney we headed to Brisbane… in a bright green and purple camper van! Driving the oversized vehicle on foreign roads promised to be an experience in itself, but add in road closures and extreme weather left over from Cyclone Debbie and you’ve got our week!
We made the journey over 5 days with a stop in a different town each night. Our first stops were Port Stephens and Port Macquarie. These a nice little towns but we didn’t find a lot to do in them. Then we got to Coffs Harbour. I’m sure there were things to do and see here but thanks to Cyclone Debbie we were stuck in torrential rain all day and didn’t manage to venture out of the camp site… Thankfully, she cleared up the following day and we headed further north to Byron Bay.
If you’re thinking of a stereotypical surfer town, complete with barefoot, long blonde-haired, tanned skinned young guys then you’d be right. That is Byron Bay in a nutshell and it’s the most chilled out place I’ve been. It was a really nice place to spend some time on our trip, although it would have been nice to have a little more time there to join in with their fanatical beach culture.
We already had more time there than we planned – thanks to that cheeky Debbie (yes she was very problematic for us!) our main route out of Byron Bay and up to Gold Coast was cut off. The cyclone led to extreme weather and flooding which then covered the Pacific Highway – which goes all up the East Coast. Both ways were closed and alternative routes were also unavailable as the smaller roads were also flooded. So we had a couple of extra hours in Byron Bay while we waited for the road to open again. Luckily for us it did and it wasn’t even a long wait to get past the flooded area! We made it to Gold Coast where we knew a local lady who showed us around.
This was our last stop on our journey before arriving in Brisbane and we finally got to explore a place properly! We stopped off at Burleigh Hill, the nicest lookout over the sea and city. We had dinner at the Miami Marketta – a warehouse full of food stands and live music. It was such a cool place where I’d go every week if I was a local! We also experienced the strong Australian coffee culture at a cafe owned by the children of the creators of Ugg boots! We loved the Gold Coast and again, wish we could have stayed for longer!
But we had to head to Brisbane and hand back the keys to our camper van home. It was a crazy, complicated, wet and windy week, but it was an experience!