My Australian adventure of 2009 – 2011 started unbelievably 10 years ago this month. I really find it hard to fathom that it was so long ago, but it was. I toured five of the countries 8 Provinces and Territories – missing out on Western Australia, Northern Territory and South Australia only. This included spending 5 months in Tasmania (an island I loved) and well over a year working and living in Parramatta (the second biggest CBD in Sydney in New South Wales. I also toured Victoria, including along the Great Ocean Road and Melbourne itself for kangaroos and koalas. I took a coastal drive up to Queensland, making many stops on the way up in road trip fashion.
I also had time for dipping in and out of the capital city Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory. But one of the highlights was my roadtrip from New South Wales, right up to Queensland. These are my top 5 experiences on Australia’s East Coast.
1.Hold a Koala at Lone Pine Brisbane
The Koala is one of the famous animals native to Australia the way kangaroos, dingos, duck-billed platypus and wallabies also are. For a real treat for both adults and humans alike, you can see koalas well looked after and catered for at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.
2.Surf the Waves in Coolie (Coolangatta)
The town of Tweed Heads meets Coolie (Coolangatta) exactly on the border between New South Wales and Queensland. At Coolie, you can go surfing with less tourists than some of the more notorious beaches, you can get cheap happy hour beers and visit Point Danger which has epic views for sunrise. Coolie is as its name suggests – it’s pretty cool!
3.Surf the Waves at the Famous Coolum Beach
Coolum Beach also includes the word cool in its name and is a beautiful beachside town and a coastal suburb in Australia’s sunny Sunshine Coast in Queensland. Coolum Beach is both the name of the toan, and of the beach. The beach is a magnificent spot to go surfing. When the waves are favourable, get your gear on, your surfboard out and get into those gorgeous waters. This is just one of the things to do in Coolum though, Mount Coolum makes for a decent hike which offers fantastic views of the Australian coastline.
4.Party Like There’s No Tomorrow at Byron Bay
Oh Byron Bay – the place of party dreams. Golden beaches, impressive self contained Shirley Street accommodation, bikini babes, hunky guys, surfers aplenty all mixed in with locals, backpackers and regular tourists give Byron Bay a well earned reputation as a party town. And they’re not wrong. You can’t fail to enjoy a night out here. Head to Cheeky Monkeys for Happy Hour cocktail and grub before dancing and partying (and drinking!) the night away at a beach party. Last until sunrise and watch a magnificent sun emerge on the new day. All this and more – welcome to Byron Bay!
5.Sip Happy Hour Beers in Surfer’s Paradise
As well as Coolangatta and Coolum Beach, there’s another super spot for a bit of beach chilling, cocktail sinking and of course surfing. But the magic of Surfer’s Paradise is also the skyline – it’s like a mini Manhattan just metres from the waves of the Pacific Ocean. What’s more – some great bars offer super deals on steaks and beers for Happy Hour. On top of this, it’s a cool place to get your first ever surfing lesson and a decent stop off point if you’re touring the East Coast.
I made a brief return to the land down under this year and there will be more articles to come on Australia.