Used: 2008

After kickin’ it in Sydney for about 4 months, it was time to move on. Jobs had run dry and I had about 2 months to kill before I wanted to go back to New Zealand to spend the hols. I didn’t know anything about Australia’s East Coast but I knew a lot of people my age traveled it. After heading into a travel shop for the first time and getting someone to just give me an overview of it all, complete with loads of flyers (I came to love these things, no matter how much paper I wasted) I finally started to have a grasp on what the dealio was. All in all, with the exception of Carines and the Great Barrier Reef, most of the middle didn’t hold that much appeal to me. The West Coast of Australia actually appealed to me more, but that would be a lot of extra cost to get there and then all the way back to New Zealand and I couldn’t tell if there was enough to do for 2 months. Also, since the West is still a little wild, I came to the conclusion that I could go back and do it later in life while the East Coast was very much geared toward the younger traveler and as I already felt way older then most of the kids out there, I figured I better do it now or never.

The title of this post says it all. The ‘trail’ runs the East Coast of Australia, from Cairns all the way down to Melbourne, loads of backpackers travel it, it’s kind of bullshit since everything is so mapped out, but do at your own pace. And because it’s so mapped out, it’s kind of a tour. Yes, of course adults can do it, but most drive the whole way or fly to every big town and I didn’t have the money nor would I want to drive that alone and I can’t count on anyone showing up in my life anytime soon to want to do it with me. So might as well! The whole thing seemed geared to the European who wants to spend every day at the beach and the sun. Another thing that totally isn’t me. I am not a fan of the beach and being from LA, we see the sun 350 days a year. It was the activities that drew me in. Most backpackers fly one way and use ground transport for the other. There is no right or wrong way to travel (north bound or south bound). I took an overland route from Sydney to Byron/Brisbane and then flew up to Cairns and worked my way back down to Brisbane from mid October to mid November and I think I made the correct choice in this. The wet season in the far north runs from like November to April or something, so I was working my way away from the rain in theory instead of towards it. I also did it this way because I was considering getting SCUBA certified and I figured Cairns would be a good place for that and then I would have my certification for my trip south. I ended up not getting certified but did 3 intro SCUBA trips during my tour and enjoyed them all for different reasons. I may go back at some point, but not in the current future. Also 2 months was way more then enough time to do and see everything. The best thing about having that long a time, is I didn’t stress about ANYTHING! Very weird for the typical American, but one of the greatest things I brought back with me.

Moral: I don’t regret doing it, but I can’t think of anyone I would recommend it to either. Unless hanging out at the beach or pool every day with drunk 18-25 year old Europeans is your thing. There are certain towns I think that certain people would like but the trail as a whole was kind of blah.

Rainbow Beach, near Fraser Island

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