Australia's Sunshine Coast
Australia Via Singapore
It was a long flight to Singapore - twelve hours from London. Luckily Changi airport is very nice and there was time to go shopping on Orchard Road, the main shopping district. The weather was very hot and humid and the air-conditioning in the stores was very welcome
We found a Hawker for lunch. Hawker used to be the word for a travelling food seller but today it refers to large, clean food courts serving delicious food.
After lunch we visited the Botanical Gardens and then returned to Changi airport to wait for our flight to Cairns.
We have been on a day trip to Cape Tribulation. We travelled along the Daintree River, lined with mangroves. Daintree Cape Tribution is where the Daintree rainforest comes down to the beach and meets the Great Barrier Reef. Daintree is the world's second largest rainforest and the Daintree Cape Tribution coast is the only place in the world where there are two World Heritage sites next to one another.
We had lunch next to the beach followed by some exotic sounding ice creams (Jack fruit, Sour Sop and Wattle Seed).
We visited Magnetic Island along the North Queensland coast. Over half of the island is National Park. The island is so called as Captain Cook, the explorer, thought that the island had affected his compass as he sailed nearby.
There are lots of different sporting activities available but we spent most of our time exploring the Island in a Topless Moke - a cross between a golf cart and a jeep.
We also went horse riding. We rode through the bush for about an
hour before reaching the beach where we cantered on the sand, under beautiful blue skies.
The Whitsunday Islands
The Whitsundays consist of around seventy islands. Much of the area is National and Marine Park and the Great Barrier Reef is on the World Heritage list.
It is a lovely place for sailing and snorkelling around the Reef. There are many different colours of coral of all different shapes and sizes and millions of brightly coloured fish, both large and small.
We had a very enjoyable time sailing and swimming, before moving on to Fraser Island.
Fraser Island is off the east coast; it is the largest sand island in the world and a World Heritage site. There are no roads, only sand tracks, and we have been travelling the island in a huge 4WD bus.
We visited a lake and then drove along the 75 mile beach. We also went to a little creek called Eli Creek and spent some time walking in the rainforest.
Byron Bay is next ...
The beaches in Byron Bay are lovely. They are full of surfers and people sea kayaking.
There is a fantastic coastal walk that takes you up very high and gives very good views.
We considered snorkelling but decided to stay on the beach when we were told about the sharks.
Apparently the Grey Nurse Shark is said not to bite and the Wobbegong shark only bites if it is annoyed!
We went to the Lone Pine Koala sanctuary. The koalas fall asleep in all sorts of odd positions, they do hop about, but mostly sleep.
We also fed the kangaroos. Their enclosure was very big with places to escape people if they become bored. There were also some wombats and an emu.
Tomorrow we shall be flying to Queenstown for a tour of New Zealand. (2004)
WIZ information on Australia