9 – Must-Do Activities on the East Coast of Australia

As you probably already know, my 10-month Aussie adventure finished off with a long road trip down the East Coast in my beloved Jucy Crib, a koala named Bruno* and Mr Beard. And, after having gone through all the billion pictures and video I took on the East Coast, I’m here to share with you my favourite things to do if you are also planning to explore the same part of the world soon. Otherwise, feel free to bookmark this post to your wanderlust list for future reference. As always, please use the buttons below to share the love with your friends and family! <3   

 

1 – Gelato, Sweet, Gelato at Gelocchio in Cairns 

First and foremost: G E L A T O. All great road trip should start with a special kick, even better if this is a gelato snack. And I’m not talking about normal ice-cream here. I am talking about actual-home-made-Italian-gelato. Don’t get mistaken by the size of the little shop, they have a huge range of flavours, from the most classic like chocolate and pistachio to the more local and researched ones like macadamia and cashew nuts. How gorgeous! 

Address: 9/93 Aplin Street (just off The Esplanade), Cairns, QLD 4870

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2 – Koalas, Fish and White Sand at Maggie’s

This castaway-like paradise filled with palm trees, national park reserves and gorgeous hiddenMaggie Islandbays is just off the coast of Townsville, Queensland and it’s a popular tourist spot for both locals and foreign travellers. With only 2000 residents across its 52sqkm, Magnetic Island (locally know as Maggie Island) is the perfect getaway place for a relaxed week(end) away.

Bruno

It’s an easy 20/40-minute ferry from Townsville and you can choose between Sealink (20$ with last minute discount) or Fantasea ($30 pp). You can also opt to bring your car to the island, but it’s quite expensive and unless you are going for an extended period, it would be more convenient to use the public transports on the island instead.

Whether you are on Magnetic Island for a day or for a month, there is enough to keep you busy. In fact, in such a tiny island there is so much to see and experience that I’m a little bit sad Mr Beard and I only spent a day there. Maggie Island Walking, snorkelling, wildlife spotting, swimming, hiking and beach hopping it’s all there for you. If you are dreaming of seeing koalas in the wild, then the Forts Walk is the one you want to do or if you wish to see some cute wallabys then Geoffrey’s Bay is  the place to be. If you are more of an ocean baby, then dolphins, turtles, rays and sharks all love cruising around Maggie in various season. Remember to take your snorkelling gear! Additionally, if your tan needs a little top up, stunning Radical Bay, peaceful Rocky Bay and gorgeous Arthurs Bay are all there for the taking.  Even if you are not a pro hiker, you should really wear your boots and hit the numerous trails: the gorgeous scenery, lookouts and wildlife, make up for the heat and steepness of (some of) the walks.

3 – The Whitest Beach in the World with Cruise Whitsundays

In early September, another dream of mine came true, as I stood at the Hill Hinlet Lookout looking across the spectacular view over the Whitsundays and Whitehaven beach. In front of me, the greatness of the nature in a million shades of blue was showing off. There are no right words to describe what I saw, I can only hope my pictures will you give an idea of its perfection. There are only a few places in the world where my consumed and well-travelled eyes have gone wet and this is one. Here, where the magnificent beauty of white sand and blue water has overtaken imagination. Thank you to Cruise Whitsundays to make my dream possible and thank you for your outstanding boats and crew.

Oh! And for the backpackers out there, you can also check out the tours on Awesome Whitsundays for huge discounts: I know what it means to travel on a budget, mate! 😃

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4 – The heart of the world with GSL AVIATION  

There are tons of tours and ways to see the glorious Whitsundays, but only a few offer such a spectacular view over this unique part of the world. Since the first time I saw a postcard of the Heart Reef, it’s been my dream and priority to make sure to witness its incredible beauty with my own eyes and it’s for this reason that we booked our scenic one-hour flight with GSL Aviation. The six seater plane is of most comforts, their pilots of incredible local knowledge and professionalism and well…the flight was simply incredible. Not only I got to tick yet another item off of my dreams list, but I also managed to see from above the gorgeous Whitehaven beach where I chilled a few days before and many other sights, all from up in the air.

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5 – Test your Survival Skills on a Deserted Island with 1770 Castaways 

Since watching the famous Tom Hanks movie, I always wanted to experience life as a survivor on a deserted island. Bruce, the founder and pilot, and his brilliant team have managed to recreate exactly that wild adventure just off the cute town of 1770 / Agnes Water. Ok, so the flight first. This wicked adventure starts of with a literally breath-taking flight to Middle Island which alone is worth the experience. My tip? hold on tight 😛 Once arrived at destination, a very basic camp has been set for us, modern castaways and from there you are left (almost) on your own. There are loads of activity to fill the three days on the island, like kayaking (who knew those things were so heavy!!!!), cave exploring, boating, fishing and sand dunes (so much fun!!!). We shared some very amazing moments during our days there and I can definitely reccommend adding 1770 Castaway to your East Coast adventure.
PS: the beef stew in the evening prepared by Luke is to die for! 😃

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6 – Face to Face with Whales with Blue Dolphin 

As the names suggests, Blue Dolphin Marine Tours offers more than a simple tour, it offers a once in a lifetime Experience. Aboard the luxury Sailing Catamaran, founder Peter Lynch will make you comfortable and go the extra mile to make sure all guests are lookedfv after and having the best time. Seeing the whales jumping and playing just a few meters away from the boat was simply incredible and one of the best way to see them in their natural environment. The super plus is Peter’s in depth knowledge of these cute giants since he spent 30 years working with them, 14 of them as a marine mammal trainer and the fact that he doesn’t keep it to himself as, helped with some whales toys, explains and describe the differences of the all on the way to them.

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7 – Get Sandy on K’gari with  Drop Bear Adventures

One of the highlights of my 10-month travel around Australia is definitely my trip to  K’Gari with Drop Bear Adventure. K’Gari is most commonly known as Fraser Island – sign the petition here to give it back to its original name given to them by the Butchella people (aboriginals).

Mark and Hana, the founders, have managed to create a team of friendly, fun, funny and knowledgeable people who all love K’Gari in the same way, and share the love with the small group who visit the island with them. 

During our tour we managed to see some pretty stunning sights and beautiful landscapes, while also having lots of fun 4WD driving along the beach and in some rough paths inland.

Accommodation is included in your tour and I was spoiled by Hana as I stayed at one of their double ensuite at the Beachcamp Eco Retreat, an awesome glamping camp. This amazing spot is perfect for couples but also for independent groups and families with their own or rented vehicle. The team here was again super knowledgeable, but also caring, warm and charming and loving and prepared some very delicious meals for us during our stay. If instead you are more interested in a wilder night on K’Gari 😛  you can choose between the Beach House Hostel and the Drop Bear Camp. 

Also, if you want some real, honest and independent tips in the Australian jungle of travel agencies and promoters, have a look at Hana’stravel advice blog where you will not only find some very informative articles, but also some very honest tips and tricks about travelling down under. 

More Info & bookings: 
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8 – Slide Away on a Kayak with Kanu Kapers

Make sure to save some energy and time during your trip down (or up) the East Coast, for this incredible adventure in one of the least known and off the beaten track areas in Queensland. Kanu Kapers is eco-friendly and they provide a variety (1/2,1, 2, 3 day self-guided or guided) of kayaking tours in the unique Noosa Everglades, the gateway to  the Great Sandy National Park and Fraser Island where a spectacular scenery mix with abundant wildlife, including 726 species of flowing plants and ferns. Another interesting fact is that these sustainable eco-tours are run by Vivienne Golding, former Australian Kayak Champion now MD of Kanu Kapers: could you be in safer hands than hers?

More Info & bookings: www.kanukapersaustralia.com

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9 – Get Comfy in a Sexy Jucy van 

There was no way for Mr Beard and I to do all these adventures on the East Coast if we didn’t have our own vehicle. Generally, I’m not a big fan of cars, but I can tell you that the comfort of having a van where we could eat, sleep and… off we go every day is what made out trip possible (and F U N ! ! ). Australia is made for road trips and camping so Jucy is the best option when it comes to travel down under. Make sure to check my road trip recipes here if you haven’t already! 😛

 

 

 

Thanks to  all my sponsors for allowing me to allow me to  take part to all these amazing adventures. Thanks to JUCY for helping me make this road trip possible. Find out more at www.jucyworld.com and follow them on social media @JUCYworld. I’ve travelled down the East Coast in a Jucy Crib – all views are my own.

  • Absolutely beautiful out there, can’t wait to go to Australia sometime. Koalas may be one of the dumbest mammals on the planet, but they’re still one of the cutest.

  • Television of Nomads

    I would LOVE to go to Australia! And what an incredible experience to see its stunning landscape from the sky! That, and your suggestion of playing survivor on a deserted island are some of the coolest Australian ideas I’ve ever seen.

    Lauren (www.televisionofnomads.com)

    • You should TOTALLY go when you have the chance, it truly is an amazing country! And yes, I love flying and taking pictures from the sky..I try to do it every time I can.. something that a drone would never compare with! 🙂

    • Oh yeah! Make sure to do them both when you travel to Australia, you will love them!

  • Rashmi & Chalukya

    Australia is a beautiful country and there is lot to explore. You have captured the east coast very beautifully. Bookmarking this for future reference and because we love to go for an aviation trip 🙂

    • Thank you so much for your sweet words! Yes, Australia is such a great country..the east coast being one little part of it. You should totally get in touch with GSL Aviation for a scenic flight on the Whitsundays, the view from there is just incredible!!

    • Thank you! I really hope you will manage to get there very soon! you will love the Whitsundays airplane trip!!

  • Love30

    Oh wow this is just paradise! Those beaches and the whales! Take me there now please! Ree love30now

  • Carola K

    I love Cast Away as well! Great Tom Hanks movie. He’s an excellent actor. All the things in your post are great by the way. The gelato looks delicious. And I love koalas. So adorable.

    • Thank you so much Carola! Yes, I loved that movie too, it was so great and my experience on the deserted island so close to that movie…even though there were a small group and I wasn’t by myself 🙂

    • Haha! It’s one of my fav movies too! that’s why I had to do this experience myself! 🙂

  • Joseph Humphreys

    I’m not as familiar with the East Coast of Australia as I would like to be. It’s the west I know more. This is obviously something I need to rectify. The stuff you cover here sound amazing – the gelato alone would be enough to convince me, but Whitehaven beach looks like true paradise, as does the Castaway Island experience, in a very different sort of way! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Thank you, Joseph! Yes, I loved WA as well, very different to QSL and the East Coast and probably more wild. I hope you will get to do all these experiences one day! 🙂

    • you are welcome! I have also visited the West Coast and it’s a great part of Australia too! I hope you will manage to explore the east coast very soon and get to do all or some of these activities! 🙂

  • This is an excellent guide . For a first timer there it is going to be helpful.

    I am keen to interact with the Koalas.

    • Thank you, Indrani! 🙂

      It’s very hard to interact with them in the wild and I guess it’s wrong too since they aren’t domestic pet. You’ll find some zoos and sanctuaries where you will have the opportunity to cuddle or touch them for an extra price, but I don’t think that’s really correct.. Different thing is if you are thinking about working with them! I would love to do that too one day!! 🙂

    • Great to hear! I hope you will manage to go there soon! 🙂

  • I’ve never been to Australia but this is a great guide. I would love to check out the whales and kayak in the Everglades. And all of those beaches look amazing!

    • Thank you dear! It was a dream of mine for a long time to visit Australia and I’m very happy I finally managed to spend 10 months travelling around it. Make sure to bookmark this and book with these operators when you get the chance to go there since they are absolutely amazing and friendly! 🙂

    • Thank you! Make sure to not miss any of these adventures! they were all equally incredible!

  • Wanderers Hub

    Love all the pictures – so gorgeous! They make me want to travel to the eastern coast of Australia now. I would love to go for a whales tour. 🙂

    • Thank you so much! I love to share my pictures and that’s exactly my intention: to inspire more and more people to travel! You should totally go for the whales tour, it was such an incredible and emotional experience! 🙂

    • Thank you so much! I think you should totally go for the Dolphin tours! they are so playful and cute!

  • Editor-in-Style Good

    Great post! I think I need to return to the Whitsundays and take the GSL flight! I have always wanted to see the heart reef and I hopefully will get the chance with my husband being Aussie and all! The Koala is most adorable as well 🙂

    • Thank you, dear! Yes, the Heart Reef was also a dream of mine for a long time and I have to say I was not disappointed. The good thing about GSL is that you have an hour flight during which you get to see LOADS of things as well as the Heart Reef! Maybe take your husband for your anniversary!? 🙂

    • I know! it was one of the best experiences of my life. I literally cried of happiness when I saw it! Our gorgeous, incredible world!!

  • Kassie- The Fly Away Life

    This looks like an awesome area of Australia to explore! There seems to be so much to see and do and I dig the beachy adventure travel vibes. I definitely hope to get there someday!

    • I really hope you will manage to come one day! There is so much to keep you entarteined but also to chill whenever you feel like! 🙂

  • Gina Panozzo

    I heard Australia has some of the best beaches in the world and I’m not disappointed. They look so clean and clear! Did you have to bring your own food (I know dinner was provided) for the castaway experience?

    • They are! I’ve never seen such white beaches in my life (including in Asia!!) And yes, you had to bring your own food for breakfast and lunch, but considering that it’s only for a couple of days, you can do it! 🙂

  • What a great list of activities – I’ve never heard of the Survivor experience so I would definitely be interested in giving that one a go – and the flight above the Whitsundays too!

    • You should totally do it! have a look at the link and please let me know if you need any other info! More than help plan / book! 🙂

  • Maggie Alexander

    What a gorgeous place! So much to do. Love the gelato, the best I’ve ever had was in Munich which is funny considering we spent time in several Italian cities after that!

    • Really?? Munich!? you need to tell me where! I’m on the hunt for the best gelato all around the world!!

  • Diana – MVMTblog

    I would love to try the castaway adventure! The concept reminds me a bit of the TV series Lost, which I was a big fan of back in the day 😀 I would definitely also want to take the 6 seater plane over the Whitsundays – your photos of the islands (esp the heart shaped one) and the beaches are incredible.

    • haha! exactly! I never watched Lost, but people with me there said it was very similar! Thank you so much! very happy you like the pictures! It’s impossible to get them wrong in such a beautiful part of the world 😉

  • Oh Australia, I truly hope I’ll be able to visit one day 🙂 Great photos and quite interesting activities!

  • Julie

    What an amazing journey you had on the east coast of Australia. Test the survivor skills on the deserted island is my favorite, and the beef stew makes me salivating. I would also love to visit Whitsundays and Whitehaven beach, they look like heaven to me!

    • It was one of the best trips I have ever done! all the activities, including the castaway experience were incredible! and yeah, the beef stew was gorgeous!! 😛

  • Iris Pase

    That’s a hell of a journaly, you took some fantastic pictures! I’d love to visit one day, your post made my wanderlust rocket! 🙂

  • bc21578

    #1 looks like the most fun. I forgot about Koala bears. There’s a popbar in Manhattan’s West Village just like the one in your pic.

  • OMG, every single activity looks awesome! I’d definitely love the plane ride and an actual castaway island… that you know you’ll be saved from eventually? I’m down!

    • LOL! Exactly! I’m not sure I could actually do the real castaway thing if I wasn’t sure somebody will come to pick me up at the end!! 🙂

  • Really?! Have you? I can totally vouch for the 1770 and Fraser Island. I wanted to add diving, but unfortunately I perforated my eardrum so it’s not something I can do anymore 🙁

  • WIsh i’d had the budget to travel the east coast when I went on my around-the-world adventure! It looks incredible!