Arriving in Adelaide, welcomed by my new manager Dipak who proposed me to stay at home for free during my training. Nepalese and founder of Himalayan Experience, tour operator specialized in trips to Nepal, I started creating visas for visitors going to Nepal and sometimes I was alone at the office when he was abroad. I remember that one day he asked me what we could do for the layout of his new brochure and we spent some days sharing ideas about it. It was a wonderful project for me and it gives me the impression I was someone important. I was such grateful he put his trust in me as we just sent few e-mails to each other before I took the plane. This man looked after me for everything. At the beginning I was a bit home sick and I remember that one day he organized a meeting for me with people from an organization which looked like "Lions Club". I spent the morning tidying and sorting all sorts of books. I felt alone and in my corner but everybody gave me a little bit of their time asking me about my life, my trip etc... It was a wonderful cultural exchange with Dipak... this way he learnt some French words and tasted some French recipes. Not quite easy to find our traditional French ingredients but he appreciated it anyway. That way, he teached me how to cook and I was so surprised to cook pumpkin leaves! It tasted strange but the experience was quite funny! The best disconcerting moment was our BBQ for Christmas but we all spent a great time. And I also received a wonderful package from France as survival kit!
Dipak made me discover Mount Lofty with his children. There was such stunning views. It was my first visit around Adelaide.
My new job at Mc Donald's gave me the opportunity to save money and I started visiting Adelaide surroundings. I think that my experience there was the most difficult for me during my trip. Working as fast as possible, trying to understand people and hygiene measures... There was too many things to assimilate... But it was also one of my best souvenir. I met an old couple there, regular customer as they came everyday for an ice cream. They immediately saw that I was from France due to my beautiful accent and they always said "Bonjour" to me before continuing in English. They made friends with me and since this experience, we are always in touch. They are like my grands parents.
After few months, it was time for me to discover new things, new people. I decided to stay for few nights at a hostel where I met most of my friends. I got surprising experiences like meeting Santa Claus on the beach in Glenelg; got lost on a bus for a day trip to Cleland Wildlife Park... a bit far from Adelaide and with only 2 buses a day... not a good idea to get lost!; met nice Australian people who called out to me for the only reason they wanted to show me a wonderful koala on an eucalyptus tree at Morialta Conservation Park.. it was the first koala I saw!
Going for a trek in Onkaparinga, south of Adelaide was perfect to break my habits.
Let's make an otherview of Adelaide city...
After having spent 4 months in Adelaide, on the way to Cairns. Let's go for a new tourism experience; I was in charge of the Petit Futé Australie travel guide updating. Verifying contact details, getting in touch with travellers who could give us some good deals were my main job at Rendez-Vous Futé, a French receptive agency specialized in trips to Australia. I spent my most beautiful time in Cairns. I stayed at JJ's backpackers, very nice owners, convivial atmosphere, just few walks from the Esplanade... I loved it! I tried Free Accommodation, cleaning in the morning to stay for free. I met there wonderful people!
Living in Cairns was ideal for me. Not many people appreciate it because it is quite small but it really had it all for me. Going to work skatting along the Esplanade, make a swim at the lagoon after work, trying aquazumba singing on the water or dancing zumba with no shoes on the grass catching sight of the sunset above the Esplanade... I lived funny moments in this city.
6 months living in Cairns and this new part was the end of my trip... welcoming my mum in Australia to discover the East Coast from Cairns to Sydney & Melbourne.
Discovering Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park is worth a visit. Trying boomerang, learning about medicinal plants, listening to Aboriginal people playing didgeridoo, attending a show revealing how to make a fire... I really recommend this place to enjoy a unique performance.
Let's starting the visit with Cairns Botanical Gardens.
Visiting the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns was an amazing experience, looking for fishes and turtles.
To make the most of our stay, we hit the road for Kuranda.
In Kuranda, I suggest to buy a three admission pass for Koala gardens (where you can pay a supplement at the entrance to make a photo with a koala), Butterfly Sanctuary and Birdworld"
Heading for north of Cairns, we discovered idyllic and unspoilt beaches, Trinity Beach, Palm Cove, Port Douglas before staying in Cap Tribulation, nestled in the rainforest.
We took time to visit the Atherton Tablelands famous for its breathtaking views and fantastic rivers.
The Crystal Caves in Atherton is worth a visit. There is more than 600 specimens to discover and it accomodates the world's largest Amethyst geode!
Heading south, we made a stop in Mission Beach and Townsville, starting point for Magnetic island ferry.
Magnetic island... Just come and savour its harmony... It's a romantic coktail of pristine sands and clear turquoise waters. I recommend staying one night on the island, taking time to go trekking. Do not miss to stay at Bungalow Bay Koala Village, we saw some wallabies for a night walk inside the camping and we also heard koalas!To go there, only few companies propose a crossing with camping-car. We made a booking through Fantasea Cruise and we found it very good.
Magnetic island... Just come and savour its harmony... It's a romantic coktail of pristine sands and clear turquoise waters. I recommend staying one night on the island, taking time to go trekking. Do not miss to stay at Bungalow Bay Koala Village, we saw some wallabies for a night walk inside the camping and we also heard koalas!
To go there, only few companies propose a crossing with camping-car. We made a booking through Fantasea Cruise and we found it very good.
We then hit the road till Airlie Beach with its nice marina. This city is the starting point for a cruise on the Whitsunday Islands.
The Whitsunday Islands... one of my best spot on the East Coast! Dazzling beaches where we can easily snorkel... I saw clown-fishes and colourful turtles! We discovered wonderfully varied corals like nowhere else in Australia.
Next remarkable place after that was Fraser island where ferry departs from Rainbow Beach or Noosa. Desert and sea come together at Fraser island.
I suggest to visit Fraser Island with a guide. He will take travellers to unspoilt places and it will be funny to let yourself drive on a huge four-wheel-drive along the beach. Be careful and do not forget to put your seat belt or you can be caught by surprise! If you are lucky, you will maybe get the chance to glimpse a dingo or / and humpback whale!
Tin Can Bay and Noosa were some spots on the road before arriving in Brisbane.
Brisbane was a small step in our trip. I did not have the impression that there was so much to do there. Byron Bay was our next stop. We appreciated the walk till the lighthouse offering spectacular views on the sea.
We arrived at our final stop with the campervan: Sydney... outstanding and legendary city! Nature is everywhere and it is easy to catch a bus to go to one of the many beaches around the city (about twenty!)
Sydney is a vibrant city which accomodates fantastic events such as New Year firework, well-known all other in the world and also the Vivid, spectacular light Festival.For a stay in Sydney, I advise not to miss the Opera House (there is a French guided tour once or twice a week), Harbour Bridge and a cruise on the bay. Funny way to visit different districts of the city: by boat! Please if weather is nice, take the time to visit north Sydney with Watsons Bay. View is dazzling, particularly for sunset which offers a remarkable spot on the city.
Sydney is a vibrant city which accomodates fantastic events such as New Year firework, well-known all other in the world and also the Vivid, spectacular light Festival.
For a stay in Sydney, I advise not to miss the Opera House (there is a French guided tour once or twice a week), Harbour Bridge and a cruise on the bay. Funny way to visit different districts of the city: by boat! Please if weather is nice, take the time to visit north Sydney with Watsons Bay. View is dazzling, particularly for sunset which offers a remarkable spot on the city.
Staying at YHA Harbour Sydney was a good surprise for us and I really recommend this address. Ideally situated in the historical district The Rocks, the hotel was totally renovated when I was there in 2015. People are nice, rooms well equiped with extra comfortable beds and some of them offer a view on the Opera! They also get an exceptional rooftop.
It would be a shame going to Sydney without visiting the Blue Mountains and its famous Three Sisters site.
For our last stopover, we took a flight from Sydney to Melbourne. I think that one day in Melbourne is enough to visit the most of the city centre. City is famous for its street art.
I fell in love with Melbourne surroundings, the Great Ocean Road and its amazing landscapes; Phillip island and its penguin parade at night; Wilsons Promontory for its wonderful walks and breathtaking views.
Phillip island is a place to see. Do not miss penguin parade. Unfortunately, I could not take pictures as it was forbidden. However, I recommend travellers to have a look at Pyramid Rock, The Nobbies and Woolamai Beach.
During my trip in Australia I met so many nice people and discover so many surprising places I did not expect before leaving France. Australia was eye-opener and gave me the opportunity to do things I did not dare to do before. So I would like to share those last experiences with you guys before finishing this log book.
* Going for a day trip with no map, no telephone... helping myself just asking people in the street... I DID IT!
* Having spent one year organizing a trip before going abroad and to realize on site that it was totally useless... I unfortunately DID IT! but it was the best lesson to be learned: Do not think so much, just take time to make the most of the unique moment you live when you are travelling and above all, be attentive with yourself.
See Ya mate!
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Toute l'équipe vous remercie pour votre patience.