Australia: East Coast

It is hot. Might be too hot. (Might be).

I’m so excited to be here! Super weird being on the other side of the world on my own, but I am determined to give it my all and push myself.

On my first day (the most overcast, grey and windy day) I burnt to within an inch of my life so I have purchased 1 litre (yes, an actual litre) of sun cream. It even has a handle and is a constant source of harassment.

I had 5 days in Sydney before starting my tour of the East Coast, so I spent my time with some friends from back home who are also trialling the Aussie life. Shoutout to my surrogate parents (Harry and Monét) and Soph, love and miss you all❣️My tour is through Ultimate Travel- they basically book all your accommodation, travel, food and activities. It’s a really good way to meet people as majority of people that book on are travelling alone, and your bus driver/tour guide takes you to all the good spots that are around. If you’re considering doing something similar, this is the one I’m on- https://www.ultimate.travel/ultimate-east-coast-australia/

Barrington Tops

My highlight so far has been star gazing at the Barrington Tops National Park. Our hostel was in the middle of nowhere, so with zero light pollution, we could see the Milky Way. We also saw 2 falling meteorites and a shooting star! It was honestly the most beautiful nights sky I’ve ever seen and I’m so grateful to have been able to see it. Unfortunately my phone camera couldn’t pick any of it up so I couldn’t get any pics 💔

The views from the hostel were beautiful, too.

I was super nervous for the tour but everyone is so lovely! Beachy vibes doing bits for the girls while I look like Tarzan. Just me on the end likeStill one of the best Disney films and soundtracks to date, ly Phil Collins x

So far aside from Barrington Tops, we’ve also been to a Koala hospital (only in Australia, right). Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to stroke them but as pretty much every single one had Chlamydia, I guess it was for the best. I wonder how many Aussie’s have used holding a Koala as an excuse for giving someone an STD?

When you clock eyes and he cute and he givin you that look but you know he probably gonna give you the clam

I have seen many fun animals in my time here, to be fair. I have only made friends with a lizard and a Kangaroo thus far (no cats yet which is outrageous but I’m hopeful our paths will cross soon).

Nymboida

Today we went canoeing at the Nymboida Lake retreat. It was jokes (no capsizing if you can believe) and we stayed at their log cabin park in the evening and had a BBQ (no shrimps though).

I can only liken the cabins to the huts in Chicken Run (WHAT A FILM). However, instead of having the slice that was Rocky the Flying Rooster come to visit, we had a drunken man cycling his bike round our huts and lingering outside the girls toilets.

Actual CCTV footage of us girls running to the shower block in convoy to evade attack (and brush our teeth).

The police came and eventually tracked him down hiding in the woods- I can only hope he was going to a cell for the night rather than being made in to a chicken pie.Him waking up in the morning likeSide note: the Australian police force could definitely do with having Mrs Tweedy on their team; she’d have had him in minutes.

Very eventful evening, however the sunset was the best I’ve seen so far. The sky is so beautiful here!

Byron Bay

Our first proper night out. I say night out- it began with all 25 of us eating half price lasagne in a night club in the midst of a Paint Party (really). A good night out all in all, although Australian Lock Out laws are a joke. You aren’t allowed to leave a club after 1am in order to go elsewhere, as everywhere shuts their doors at that time. So when the music inevitably tails off once they’ve rinsed the good RnB playlist, you’re trapped there for the duration or you go home. Don’t ask me why they’ve done it, all I know is everyone hates it.

In the morning, we awoke to some exciting news. Matt Damon had been to the bar next door to our hostel and went to the beach opposite us. Naturally I planned to seize this opportunity (like there is any way on this planet that I, Paige Broome, would be able to pull Matt Damon. That being said, God loves a trier and I’ve grafted for worse).Alas, it wasn’t meant to be as he didn’t surface. Best wishes for your holiday, Matt. Hope you enjoyed your day at the beach x Ps, as if my voice actually sounds like that?

In the afternoon we did the Lighthouse walk and watched the Sunset at the top. The views were lovely and it was made all the better for getting to have Frozen Yoghurt as the reward for exercise.

Surfers Paradise

Today we arrived in Surfer’s Paradise. It’s really nice here- a good mix of everything you would expect from a city, but still on the beach. Me and a few of the girls decided to go to DreamWorld- a theme park with a Water Park adjacent to it. You get entry to both parks which is good, however if you’re thinking of going, definitely hunt around for tickets on the stalls in town as we paid full price when we could have gotten a lot cheaper 😦

As it’s term time both parks were pretty much empty, which was great as we didn’t have to wait for any rides/slides. Best ride was definitely The Giant Drop- similar to Apocalypse (tb Drayton Manor) but about 3x higher and you wait at the top for over a minute before you drop 🙃

The next day was the day I’d both looked forward to and dreaded- the surf lesson. I’m one of those really annoying people that expect to be exceptionally talented at random stuff they’ve never tried (ice skating, snooker, parkour, paragliding- whatever it is, I’ll be fuming if I’m not the next prodigy). Completely unrealistic expectation to have so I made sure to keep my (visible) frustration to the minimum so people didn’t think I was crazy.

It was good to be fair but I mean, if I’m honest, yes I was lowkey sad that I wasn’t as good as some as the others. I was probably on par with this guy- could briefly stand but nevertheless would eventually have to be saved by Lani.

Surf’s up- 5 stars, great film for all ages.

Luckily the Contact Lenses vs Salt Water is an excuse that speaks for itself in the event of needing a secret angry cry. Didn’t have to use it in the end but I’m keeping it ready to use for the next challenging saline-based activity.

Evidence…

In the evening, we went to a Ladies Night Show. Think Magic Mike but with his less impressive/less rhythmic third cousin. Can’t say the Ginuwine Pony number got quite the same reception as Channing Tatum’s, but in his defence, he had incredibly big shoes to fill. Just had to google the video to check- purely for comparison purposes, of course… unbelievable talent.

Close, but no cigar. Impeccable choreography, though..

Brisbane

Unfortunately the weather is a bit hit and miss here at the moment, so I decided to seize the opportunity of a Museum and Gallery day. Free entry as well- chance would be a fine thing in any other city.

Whilst I enjoyed them, the ones I visited in America were better- automatic disadvantage for no Egyptian section. Of course I still took many a photo:

Also took a wander down to the Brisbane sign and had the pleasure of watching people attempt to clamber on top of the letters for the ultimate Brisbane pic (omg!!!). Personally I didn’t fancy the climb, nor the inevitable bone breakage upon my descent (Osteoporosis probs) so this will have to do.

Speaking of brittle bones, I also went to the cinema to watch Glass. 2.5/5 stars- probably would watch again (wouldn’t pay though) but purely for the actors, I didn’t particularly care for the story line. More incredibly brief and non-descriptive movie reviews are available upon request.

Highlight of Brisbane had to be the *Chlamydia Free* Koala Sanctuary, though. Up close they’re actually pretty cute and friendly (some more than others…)Mommy and son shootVery friendly- can we just take a second to appreciate that this Koala has his hand on my tit. Decent clawful though, you’re welcome x

Looking like I’ve been superimposed in to the photo (promise I’m not using him as a seat, either) but I can confirm it happened- was very wary on the approach as you can see.

Noosa

Definitely the hottest place we’ve been so far, it is roastin’. The beaches here are super pretty and the water is the clearest I’ve ever seen, for sure. Lots of nice boutiques and restaurants too- definitely your typical holiday vibe here. Many a seagull, though.

If you ever find yourself in Noosa, I would recommend doing the Noosa Heads National Park coastal walk. The views are lovely and there is a natural pool along the way which is great to cool off in. Reyt struggle to get in and out of but well worth the agg.

Would I even be me if I didn’t forget I’m not a model any time I go on holiday?

We also saw Dolphins along the way which was really cool! There was about 6 of them playin in a little pod 🐬Saw this guy on the beach and all I could think about was the lake scene from Iron Giant – 5/5 stars, great film for all ages, would recommend to a friend.

Just a little anecdotal advice for you- do NOT buy The Ordinary Salicylic Acid to try and improve your skin. You will have to go to hospital to be treated for chemical burns on your face and you will be in a great deal of pain 🙂 After paying a large amount of money for antibiotics, prescribed face cream and to see a Doctor, you will also have to walk around with a Sudocrem mask on whilst simultaneously applying an ice pack (how do the two mix, you ask? Answer- they don’t 🙂 ) Everyone will stare at you (like when you see a teacher outside of school or see a dog walk on its hind legs), and you’ll probably end up kicking off at strangers because you’ve had enough 🙂

Me waking up post application

Me staring people out when they’re chattin about my face

The 2 face comparison opportunities are endless, but to conclude, you’ll be seeing a lot of the back of my head until I’ve recovered.

Even made it in to the bloody Sun newspaper (legit, google my name). Despite the stress of it all I think my dad was just relieved that it wasn’t page 3. Pray for me x

Fraser Island

One of the trips I was most excited for. I’ve only ever heard good things about Fraser, and it honestly didn’t disappoint. It was basically a massive road trip seeing the most beautiful spots on the island. The camping was v basic but that was expected, and I guess it’s all part of the fun. If I’m honest it didn’t massively affect me anyway, because yours truly slept in the car rather than in the tent with bugs on a 1cm thin “mattress” (which was quite literally one of the gym mats you used to use in PE). It’s a no from me xIt was so sick driving the cars! Each group had their own 4×4 and you alternated drivers throughout the trip. Honestly nothing better than cruising along the beach listening to All Saint’s Pure Shores and Beautiful Day by U2 (remember when everyone automatically got their new album downloaded on to their phones- what a liberty that was).

Completely terrifying at the same time though- driving on soft sand, at high tide, in a car where basically nothing works anymore is very hard graft, and also being responsible for the lives of everyone in your car = STRESS. That being said, water off a ducks back mate x

The lakes on Fraser are super clear and the sand is honestly unreal. 10/10 softness- would definitely walk on again. Bloody hot, though.There was also a shipwreck on the island that you can go right up to, which was super cool.

The Whitsunday’s and Airlie Beach

THE place I’ve been the most excited for. A 2 day boat trip around the Whitsunday islands, snorkelling and jumping in the ocean to cool off, what more could you want?

Our boat was called The British Defender (never felt more patriotic in my life). 23 of us sleeping in very close proximity to one another, whilst being about 3cm away from the ceiling was jokes, if slightly sardine-esque. Day drinking at sea is all fun and games until one of the lads throws up in his bed after one too many, grim.

On the first day we went to Whitehaven Beach, and it was hands down the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen.

The water is literally turquoise and the sand is pure white. As it’s almost 100% Silica, the sand doesn’t get boiling hot from the sun either, meaning you can enjoy the view without having to look like this…

It’s the only place on Earth with sand like this. Word on the street is NASA even used the sand to make glass for the Hubble Space Telescope, which makes it even cooler.

After that we went snorkelling off one of the islands, which was amazing. A turtle was swimming around with us and he was so cute AND he let me touch his shell. It was sweeeeeeet.

Spotted a shark and tried to tell people to come and look (only a cute bby lemon) but they all just thought I was trying out a new pose. For the record, I would never do this pose x

At night we played volleyball on a beach in the middle of the sea that only appears at low tide. It was a really nice spot to watch the sunset and have a few drinks together before getting back on the hot box/boat.If you don’t think I look like Kida from Atlantis in this pic, you’re wrong. (Also one of the best Disney films ever and is all too often overlooked and under-appreciated).

Sailing might be one of my new fave things (when all the hard work is done for me and I can just lie on the deck/swim in the sea. Happy to occasionally steer).We also had an ongoing race with one of the other boats- theirs looked exactly like the one that prick was racing against George in Stuart Little. Our boat wasn’t quite as nippy as The Wasp and Captain Ben certainly wasn’t as agile as our Stuart, but naturally we won the race. Up the British Defender x

After our boat trip we went back to Airlie Beach, another cute little holiday town quite similar to Noosa. They have a little lagoon here which is really nice to spend the day at and there’s lots of cute cafe’s and shops. Also has a Maccies right next door to our hostel, God bless the Golden Arches. How refreshing is it to meet people that love to take a bikini pic as much as you love to be in one?

Magnetic Island

38 degrees and counting is definitely too hot. Nice little island however, I won’t lie, there isn’t much to do there at all. We hired a car and drove round the island to all the view points, which was a crackin day out. Topless car was a lovely touch in the heat until you need to pop in to the shop like

More animal friends to add to the list

Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef

Contrary to popular opinion, I didn’t rate Cairns at all. It is basically an overpriced Magaluf- other than a few clubs (which host events like wet T-shirt contests and *female only* jelly wrestling- yes, really), there’s not really much else to do. Lots of sketchy people about as well so wouldn’t really recommend- 2/5 stars. That being said, if middle aged men trying to disguise a semi while they stare at young girls playing in jelly is your thing, this is the place for you!

Not to be dead negative, but the Reef wasn’t anything special, either. David Attenborough (💕) wasn’t wrong when he said it’s bleached and dying- there is absolutely no colour at all. Even the fish weren’t that decent. Such a shame really as it just put in to perspective how big of an impact global warming is having on the planet. Nothing like Finding Nemo anymore ☹️ Turn off your lights and recycle pls x

You know when Harry takes Gilliweed and he looks down at his hands and feet It is beyond me how he managed to save not only Ron but also Fleur’s useless sister with fins- swimming with them is hard graft. I’d go as far to say they’re more a hindrance than a help… no wonder he’s the chosen one.

My East Coast tour is now officially over ☹️ I’ve had the best 4 weeks and have met such lovely people along the way. So grateful to you all for making the trip what it has been and for your excellent photography skills (and patience when I make you take 8274728 shots and don’t end up using any). Love you always 💕

I really enjoyed the tour (link at the start of the blog) however with hindsight you’d probably be better off just booking a stray bus pass and planning the stops yourself. It would probably work out cheaper and you would have more control over where you stayed/how long for, as some of the places you stop off at you wouldn’t necessarily choose to. That being said, it was a great way to meet people and it shows you all the highlights of the east coast, so you don’t waste any time. 4/5 stars, would recommend to a friend.

Next plan of action is Sweet Potato farming to secure my 2nd year visa (should I want it). 88 days on a farm in Bundaberg with only snakes and spiders as company 🙂 Thankfully one of my tour pals is doing it with me, so at least we can cry together and suck the poison out of each others bites x

Life for the next three months

Me trying to escape

6 thoughts on “Australia: East Coast

  1. Love love love this blog Paige. You are such a talented young soul. Keep the posts coming. Be safe and have a blast love Darren and Ches xxx

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  2. Love love love this blog! Made me laugh especially about Matt Damon! Sounds like you are having an amazing time! Soo happy for you, but yes defo get that suntan lotion on! The pictures were stunning as you as well!

    Have a safe trip, can’t wait to read about the next chapter! Amazing!!

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