Last day of Australia…. just arrived at Darwin Airport 10am… Since my onward flight is at 11pm, I had enough time to visit all the sights in Darwin.
Darwin is the capital city of the Northern Territory, Australia. Situated on the Timor Sea, Darwin is the largest city in the sparsely populated Northern Territory, with a population of 136,245. It is the smallest and most northerly of the Australian capital cities, and acts as the Top End’s regional centre. Darwin was originally a pioneer outpost.
Unfortunately, I noticed very fast that there are not many attractions in Darwin, It was just crazy hot 38 degrees and I had no plan what to do… So I just walked along side the coastline for a couple of kilometers passing by several groups of aboriginal people that were shouting loudly and looked somehow suspicious.
It was soooooooo hot…I melted almost!
Eventually I went to a supermarket to buy me some food…Ha, who would have thought that…Darwin is even more expensive than all the cities on the east coast…soooo expensive. However, they have Mango trees so I had lunch for free…
Then I ended up swimming in the lagoon for 3 hours..
Before getting back to the Airport I went by some historical sights…eg. the underground fuel tanks..
Best thing of the day though was the shower at the airport
And there it is…the Island were the wild Koalas are supposed to be
Magnetic Island is an island 8km offshore from the city of Townsville, Queensland, Australia. This 52 km2 mountainous island in Cleveland Bay has effectively become a suburb of Townsville, with 2,107 permanent residents. There is a large 27 qkm National Park and bird sanctuary and walking tracks can be taken between the populated bays and to a number of tourist destinations such as the World War II forts.
Arriving at Magnetic Island…I first went to Geoffrey Bay to come to a more remote area of the Island.
Since here are several hiking paths and I am absolutely against guided tours, buses or other kinds of touristy public transportation crap, I chose as always, just to run straight in to the jungle… But this time I had to ‘pay’ for it (with some injuries) as I left the actual walking tracks..
btw, who needs a haircut?
Nevertheless I was rewarded with wild animals So by hiking straight in to the jungle I suddenly noticed some Koalas ‘hanging’ around on a tree in front of me
I have never seen wild koalas before…Stunning lazy animals I have to say. After taking a few shot I went on to the World War II forts. The gun positions were of course based on the highest hill of the island.
The GUN POSITION!
The FORTS and being in the bunker…
On top of the island I had a stunning 360 degree view over everything…look at the few…..just amazing! Best few I had so far in Aussie Land…
Chris on top of the WORLD!
And then it happened…while climbing down and getting back to the beach…I missed a stone by jumping down from stone to stone.
I fell down 1m on smashed my knee onto another stone… Fuck that hurts!!
Really I fucking HURTS!!
this was my track..and there it happened
Anyhow, after walking back to the ferry…I spotted some wallabies begging for food..They are so funny..stupid somehow, but funny
Made it back home…to recover and treat my injuries..
on the way to my next destinations we stopped several time sat some gas stations in the middle of nowhere…actually pretty boring..Nevertheless I got my first coconut from a palm on my way to Townville. After trowing a rock several times at a coconut it eventually drop from the palm and I experienced my self picked coconut.
I only came to Townsville to take a Ferry to Magnetic Island. But anyhow, I spent a day just discovering the small town and climbing castle hill. And of course by climbing I mean running to the top.
Townsville itself is a city on the north-eastern coast of Queensland, Australia. Adjacent to the central section of the Great Barrier Reef, it is in the dry tropics region of Queensland. Townsville is Australia’s largest urban centre north of the Sunshine Coast, with a population estimate of 189,238, Considered the unofficial capital of North Queensland, Townsville hosts a significant number of governmental, community and major business administrative offices for the northern half of the state.
Anyhow, I made it to the top of Castle Hill!
Harbour in the background
And now the magic part…Magnetic Island in the back
Townsville seems to be quite big…
After running down (avg pace 3:24min/km) the Hill, I spent some time near the sea before getting ready for Magnetic Island the next day…
Last stop on my Whitsundays Tour is Long Island.
Long island is way less touristy than Daydream or Hamilton Island. However, you can barely find an Island on the Whitsundays without an Hostel, Resort or Bungalows built on it.
and of course…what would be an island without a beach area
I only has about 2 hours to explore the whole Island, though I was running all the time on the hiking paths. At one point I reached an dead end and recognized a dead tree with bees flying out of it.
One second later had mounted my camera on the tripod on recorded the bee nest from inside. Besides attacking the camera all the time the bees seemed to be pretty much harmless.
Going on with the trail running…There were two beaches to discover on my way on the island.
The first ‘stony’ beach looked like this:
and the relaxing beach looked like this:
At one point of time I finally saw my first Wallaby. Wallabies are pretty much very shy, so it was hard to take some good pictures.
Unfortunately, I had to stop exploring since I was running out of time…nevertheless I could take some more shots of the sunset on the way back to the ferry.
almost back at home..I spotted a fire 500m away from my hostel…
After all that was a looooong day…over 10 hours…95km! (but with ferry rides )
Next Island on my Whitsundays trip was Hamilton Island.
Hamilton Island is approximately 887km north of Brisbane and 512km south of Cairns. Hamilton Island, like most in the Whitsunday group, was formed as sea levels rose creating numerous drowned mountains that are situated close to the east coast of Queensland. The island has a population of 1,208 people.
There is a big hotel complex on Hamilton Island. As much as I hated hotels, but if they are high enough they provide a great view over the entire island. So I eventually took the elevator to the top of the hotel (did’t care about the sign that said: DO NOT ENTER, STAFF ONLY) and took some pictures.
After that I went on to the beach and to the various hiking paths located on the Island..
1 hour of serious trail running / climbing / highspeed hiking rewards you with one of the greatest lookouts I have seen in Australia so far.
Here I am starting my journey to three islands of the Whitsundays…The Whitsunday Islands are a collection of continental islands of various sizes off the central coast of Queensland.
I headed off with the Ferry towards three of the Islands…
Apparently I missed the first Ferry, as my hostel gave me an old time schedule with the wrong harbour indicating the place of departure. So I had to walk 2km back to get to the right harbour, which was actually right next to my hostel. So I had to way for one more hour until the next ferry went off.
After a 30min Ferry ride “Kristoph” finally reached daydream Island..
Daydream Island itself is fine…but it is actually one of the smaller islands with a big hotel complex built on it…So I didn’t spend much time there…
However, Daydream Island can be a place to chill out…
I just had another look at the big pond on Daydream Island until I caught my next Ferry to Hamilton Island.
Here we are on the way to Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays…It took almost 14 hours to get there by night bus. However, this is only due to the 1000x unnecessary stops on the way in the middle of nowhere.
Airlie Beach is a locality in the Whitsunday Region of Queensland, Australia. The suburb of Airlie Beach itself had a population of 7,868. Airlie Beach is one of many departure points for the Great Barrier Reef. Near latitude 20 degrees south, Airlie Beach, Proserpine and the nearby Whitsunday Islands enjoy a tropical climate and lifestyle. After finally arriving in Airlie Beach, I immediately headed off to Mount Rooper by foot.
On the way to Mount Rooper I spotted several cockatoos, the streets where almost empty and the sun was burning…
As always I took the wrong way and ended up in a dead end. At least the nature was worth going the wrong track.
However, I had to return eventually and walk back 7.5km to get back on the right road.
On the way I was sometimes able to look through the dense vegetation to see the sea area.
To reach Mt. Rooper, I had to pass Shute Harbour and the Airlie Beach Airport.
Mount Rooper itself is located in Conway National Park which lies on the Central Queensland coast, between Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour. Conway National Park boasts a number of walking tracks, which take you through a variety of vegetation types including lowland rainforest, mangroves and open forest.
And that is how you get a heavy sunburn the other day.
After another 5k walking off the track I suddenly found that a hidden beach with lots of dead corals and snails…and a perfect views on the whitsunday islands..
Just came back from Fraser Island and returned in Hervey Bay. Hervey Bay is a city in Queensland, Australia. The city is situated approximately 290km or 3½ hours highway drive north of the state capital, Brisbane. It is a natural bay between the Queensland mainland and nearby Fraser Island. At the 2011 Australian Census the city recorded a population of 76,403.
Hervey Bay has one of the oldest and largest piers in Australia. It is a former deep-water, cargo-handling facility originally built to facilitate the export of sugar, timber and coal. It was built between 1913 and 1917, originally to a length of 1107 m. The pier was closed in 1985, and 239 m of it was demolished. However, due to public outcry, 868 m of the pier was left.
On the pier itself were lots of fishermen and a massiv bird…He seemed to be pretty hungry tough.
Besides the pier and the beach there is actually not much to see in Hervey Bay. However, there is a small botanic garden with two lakes…and apparently half of the Australian turtle population seemed to be based in Hervey Bay. I could easily glance 25 turtles in the lake…
So how to spend two days in a forgotten town with it’s lonely roads better than to do sports?
Now it begins…being away from almost everything for three days. The trip includes sleeping in a tent, having no shower and worst of all…having no internet access or phone reception This place is called FRASER ISLAND!
Popular for its Dingos the biggest sand island in the world has so much to offer…dunes, beaches, jungle, whales, dolphins, turtles…
Fraser Island is a heritage-listed island located along the southern coast of Queensland, Australia, approximately 200km north of Brisbane. It is a locality within the Fraser Coast Region. Its length is about 120km and its width is approximately 24km. It was inscribed as a World Heritage site in 1992. The island is considered to be the largest sand island in the world at 1840km². It is also Queensland’s largest island, Australia’s sixth largest island and the largest island on the East Coast of Australia.
That was the place were we stayed…no much luxury, but it does the job.
The campsite itself was located about 20m away from the beach…So I had my morning cup of coffee usually right here…
First day we went to a hidden lake right next to a big sand blow. It was truly amazing walking through untouched dunes for miles and miles…
The lake itself was surrounded by dunes and dunes and dunes…like way more sand as I have ever seen in my life…This particular area is called Hammerstone Sandblow and Lake Wabby.
and more and more sand…Fun fact..the sandblow will grow every year so that the hidden lake which actually was just formed due to the sandblow will eventually be covered with sand and disappear. Unlike most other lakes on Fraser Island which are too acidic, Lake Wabby provides habitat to several species of fish.13 species have yet been identified.
When the sunset came closer we headed back to our campsite, where I was lucky to see the clearest sky conditions ever..Literally one could see thousands of stars and the milky way without any optics…Sadly, it was hard to catch this breathtaking view with my camera. All I could do without a tripod is the picture below..!
As it got darker more and more animals came out of their shelters to chase unexperienced backpackers.
Lucky as I was I survived the first night and was woken up by a didgeridoo and a beautiful sunrise…
Soooo with a couple hours of sleep I went on to discover more animals…and finally, to put it bluntly, I was quite successful with that as I have seen Dingos, Jellyfish, Spiders, Turtles, Dolphins, Whales….
The next day we went to another dune with ancient sandstone formations….somehow it reminded me of the Curiosity Pictures form Mars…So now I have also been on Mars..kind of
After the Mars exploration we headed on to the SS Maheno, an old ship wreck that stranded on Fraser Island in 1935. The SS Maheno was an ocean liner belonging to the Union Company of New Zealand that operated in the Tasman Sea, crossing between New Zealand and Australia, from 1905 until 1935. She was also used as a hospital ship by the New Zealand Naval Forces during World War I. Currently it is not in shape anymore…but therefore I could be really cheap to acquire…
btw, the SS Maheno used to look like this..
After a very long drive we finally reached the North edge of Fraser island with a small mountain offering a spectacular view over the coastline.
Of course I was able to do some more running on Fraser…altough I haven’t slept more than 8 hours on the island altogether.
In addition to the beaches on Fraser Island there are some of the highest and biggest trees I have ever seen. Similar to a real jungle…but without the Gorillas
One tree was fun…since it got hit by a lightning, one was able to get inside..never have been in a tree before.
The best lake on the island is clearly lake McKenzie. It was the clearest water I have ever seen in open water. The sands around the lake are composed of pure, white silica and the water in the lake is also so pure it is unsuitable for many species.
Another fun fact..there was a Central Train Station on the island back in the days…It seems to be that all train tracks get useless over time in Australia…Same in Byron Bay and Hervey Bay.