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.

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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! 😃

Follow Cruise Whitsundays on Facebook and Instagram #cruisewhitsundays

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.

Follow GSL Aviation on: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook

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! 😃

Follow 1770 Castaway on Facebook and Instagram

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.

Easy, Yummy, Cheeky Road Trip Recipes

If you, like me, have been on loooong road trips, you know that there is a point when you are so bored of the same canned stuff that you start skipping your meals or start going out too often. I reached that moment on my fifth straight month on the road when I started my #eastcoastinterlude (aka the last leg of my Aussie adventure) and decided that my diet had to change. I needed road trip recipes 
Travelling with our lovely Lady Monster (a giant, old 4WD car) had its limits since we always needed to set the table, chairs and kitchen in order to cook, but having a mini-kitchen sheltered by the elements and of easy access is what pushed me to go back to the stove! That’s also why, I started browsing the internet (and repetitively calling my mum aka the best chef in the world!) for ideas and tips for easy road trip recipes that she made for me and my siblings a couple of decades ago. Mr Beard and I managed to cook all the below (and SO much more!) in our little kitchen and it was always so much fun experimenting a new, minimalist and fast way of cooking in our Jucy as well as to be able to wash the dishes and cutlery straight away (=little details that matters while on the road!)

BREAKFAST – Home-made Granola Recipe

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I l o v e granola. I had my first date with it a few years back when I was living in London and it’s been true love since. In my continuos effort to ban all plastic as part of the zero waste movement, considering the crazy prices of these little boxes and the fact that most of the times you only find broken grains, never enough nuts and far too much raisins and tons of cinnamon (I HATE cinnamon!), I decided to make my own. Most traditional cookbook will tell you that you need a oven for the perfect granola, trust me: a stove-top granola is top-notch, mate.

You will need: 500g rolled oats, 200g mixed crushed nuts, a pinch of salt, coconut chips and dried berries and fruit.

How: Heat a heavy pan over medium-high (the one provided by Jucy is simply perfect!), and once it gets hot, add in enough rolled oats to coat the bottom of the pan in a single layer and add a pinch of salt. Cook the oats, stirring or shaking the pan constantly until golden-brown, make sure to keep an eye on it because the oats can go from perfectly toasted to overdone in a fraction of a second. Once they’re done, pour them out onto a baking sheet on a plate and let them cool for a bit. Then, you pan-roast chopped nuts like almonds, macadamia, cashew nuts or pecans and when you are done add those to the oats with the coconut chips.

For your breakfast of Champions, stir the toasted oat-nut mixture into yogurt along with fresh strawberries and bananas or others. If you are feeling extra naughty, add a little maple syrup or honey and you will be ready to go for an amazing day.

LUNCH – Cous Cous Salad Recipe 

After billions tuna sandwiches, salmon, ham & cheese wraps, I decided to go back to one of my favourite (and super easy) dishes, the gorgeous, light but filling Cous Cous Salad. What I love the most about cous cous is the fact that is so versatile and it can be used as a side, a salad and even a main. It’s extra special as it can be served hot and cold and it’s always yummy.

You will need: 200g quick-cook couscous, 250ml boiling stock water, 1 or 2 tomatoes, 1 zucchini, 3 small peppers (capsicum for the Australian readers…), 1 avocado, mixed spices and herbs, a little bit of butter.
NOTE: the truth is that cous cous goes with everything and anything, so you can totally ignore the ingredients above and put whatever you like in yours!

How: Place the couscous in a large bowl with the butter in the middle and pour over the boiling water. Cover the bowl with a plate or a lid and set aside for 5 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. In the meantime, chop your vegetables in tiny cubes and stir them into the cous cous. Season the couscous well with salt, chilli, spices and herbs and drizzle over a bit of extra virgin olive oil and you will be ready to eat! Bon apetit!

DINNER – Italian Frittata Recipe 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMr Beard and I had far too much pasta during our three months of travels together, so we decided to give carbs up and opt for more healthy and earthy food. My mum sent me her original recipe of the Frittata Italiana and how could I possibly not try it?

You will need: 4 eggs, olive oil, chopped brown onion, 1 large potato, salt, pepper and parsley

 
How:
Start by cutting and frying the potatoes; to this in the right way, you will need to wait until the oil is boiling hot. Once you’ve fried all the potatoes, put them aside to cool and put the sliced onion on the hot pan with some more oil. Make sure to stir well until they become golden, then add the potatoes  and mix them together in the pan for 2/3 minutes. Then take them off of the stove. In the meantime, beat OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthe eggs in a bowl, and add 1/2 teaspoon salt and a generous amount of freshly ground pepper and parsley then stir in the potatoes and onion. Return the pan to the stove, and heat the remaining olive oil over medium-high heat.

Scrape the eggs and vegetables back into the pan and shake the pan gently while you lift the edges of the frittata, and tilt the pan to let egg run underneath and set. After a few minutes, when the bottom of the frittata has set and with the help of a dish or with a twist of the wrist (that’s up to you, I won’t take responsibilities!), turn the frittata upside down to cook the other side.  Cook gently for another 2/3 minutes paying attention not to burn it.  Now your REAL italian frittata is ready, you can both serve it straight away or you can let it cool and serve it cold which is exactly what you need from roadtrip recipes!

I hope you will enjoy these road trip recipes! I would love to hear your suggestions, please feel free to comment below with your fav dishes!

 

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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.

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