A [Disappointing] Road Trip in Australia: My Favorite Places and Photos
A road trip in Australia. What can I say? I liked it but I didn’t love it. Why? Different reasons. The main one is that I feel we picked the wrong part of Australia. We decided to go from Sydney all the way up the East Coast to Cairns and don’t get me wrong; it’s beautiful but it didn’t speak to me. The tours you need to take to see the famous sights like Whitsundays or Fraser Island are expensive and thus difficult to visit when traveling on a tight budget. The beaches are beautiful but you can’t swim at most of them because of stingers and other aquatic dangers… It’s just a bunch of little things put together. All very subjective and probably also the result of not planning the trip well… Unlike our trip in the US but I’ll write about that later.
Again, don’t get me wrong. The East Coast of Australia is beautiful! Just not for me, especially as a photographer. But! We started to use Airbnb a lot during this road trip in Australia to keep the costs down and that worked out perfectly. On top of that we’ve met some wonderful people. We really like Australians!
Anyway, I noticed already after a few days that the Australian East Coast is not my cup of tea. I almost didn’t take any photos and I really had to force myself to take out my camera. I wasn’t visually inspired by what I saw. So, now, after a one month road trip I can conclude the East Coast of Australia is not for me. I’m not saying I don’t want to go back to Australia but when I do I will pick another part to visit. Please, don’t be offended East Coasters! I’m writing this as a photographer and if you’ve read other stories on this blog you’ll know that I’m looking for specific things.
Anyway, even though I didn’t take many photos I’m still happy with them and there are few places that I really enjoyed. So, I’ll show you my favorite places and photos from the East Coast of Australia.
Hervey Bay is the gateway to Fraser Island and we planned to go there but it was so expensive that we skipped it in the end. I hear you say: “But it’s a once in a lifetime trip. Won’t you regret it?” Well, this was one of those time that the price was just way too high and we decided we couldn’t use all that money for other things. I also don’t regret it. Maybe it would have made the experience of our road trip along the Australian East Coast better or maybe not. We’ll never know.
Hervey bay is is a quiet town where lots of people go to retire and it shows but we had a relaxed day strolling along the beach, walking down the pier and eating ice cream.
Ah, Airlie Beach. Another gateway… to Whitsundays. Probably one of the most ‘instagrammable’ places in Australia but we’re not the kind of backpackers who want to stay in hostels partying and drinking all night and that’s exactly what happens in Airlie Beach. The thought of spending a ton of money to go to Whitsundays with a bunch of hungover people didn’t appeal to us.
We didn’t do it and just enjoyed Airlie Beach and its surroundings. Again, you’ll say: “But now you’ve missed the two best things to do along the East Coast of Australia. Yeah, maybe but it’s just not us and again, we don’t regret it at all. I’m also not that type of beach photographer…
Townsville was the farthest North we went on our trip and we really enjoyed it. One of our favorite things to do there was hiking up Castle Hill to watch the sunset. It’s an easy but steep hike and you can enjoy a 360° view up there so there’s a lot to see. Make sure you stay until after sunset to see the lit up city below.
Airbnb in Australia
Yes, Airbnb made our road trip in Australia. We met some great people and we still talk about them. We decided to use Airbnb to cut down the cost of accommodation and that worked out perfectly. We had cheap places to stay, a kitchen available every time and got some tips you won’t read in any travel guide.
Want to try Airbnb and not registered yet? Use our link to register and receive $35 to spend on accommodation! We’ll get $20 after your trip.
Rob is probably the friendliest Airbnb host in Australia. His place was not only super clean and comfortable, he also took us on a trip where we hiked up Mount Jim Crow; one of the most fun things we did in Australia. Actually, it was somewhere between a hike and rock climbing. After that we watched the sunset in the outback. Thanks, Rob!
“Why would you even go to Applethorpe?”, you might ask. Well, we wanted to see something different. We’d seen lots and lots of beaches and we decided to go more inland to see the rural side of the East Coast. We’re glad we did and we really liked our stay on Nathan and Carmen’s farm. Totally different from the accommodations we were used to during our road trip in Australia. We explored the land behind the farm house with Franklin and learned some things about life on a farm.
Just because this road trip in Australia was a bit disappointing for us doesn’t mean it’s boring and ugly. Not at all! It’s beautiful but just not what we and especially I was looking for. Luckily Airbnb helped us meeting lots of Australians and that was a great experience. That’s why we’re still looking forward to visiting other parts of Australia in the future. We’re open to suggestions! Cheers!