AUSTRALIA-(CONT.)From Nov.04-June 05/August 05-Sep.05

Brisbane is a cool-laid back city with pretty much great weather all year round...& so close to the coast that a day trip to the beach is easy ! I spent a week there chilling but also looking for work & found a job in a small town called Boonah,a few hours to the West working in a carrot-packing factory for 6 was unlike anything i had done before but still easy enough..though i was pig-sick of carrots by the time i finished my stint there ! Boonah itself was very quiet but extremely picturesque...i was staying in a traditional Queensland home while working there i.e. a wooden cabin on stilts & basically had the place to myself the entire time i stayed there,which was awesome as staying in hostels your privacy is limited to say the least !!! The view from my window first thing in the morning will live with me forever..a clear blue sky,wide open plains & families of kangaroos grazing just yards from the house..AMAZING !!!!

Next stop for me after Boonah was Cairns in the North of QLD....which really hits home the size of Oz when you have to travel by plane for 2 hours to get from Brissie in the the South of the state to the North or if you chose to drive about 16 hours !!

Cairns is a brilliant town & such a contrast up there to the South of Oz...rainforrests instead of deserts..crocs instead of wombats...Castlemaine XXXX instead of VB etc !!! Cairns was the start of a 25 day road trip for me calling in at Ayr,Mission Beach,Townsville,Magnetic Island,Airlie Beach,Hervey Bay,Fraser Island,Noosa,Surfers Paradise all QLD & finally Byron Bay,NSW.

I had some phenomenal times travelling down the East coast.I initially started on the Oz Experience bus but by the time i got to Surfers i meet up & started travelling with a few Dutch guys in their battered old Holden Statesman !

Highlights of the East coast got to be Airlie Beach & the ensuing boat trip i done from there sailing arround the Whitsunday Islands in the inner Great Barrier Reef...those 3 days & 2 nights on there were superb,there was another 5 Brits on board including 2 fellow Welshmen & we partied the entire time on there...trying to play guitar while drinking the old goon is not advised...also drinking a whole 5 litre box of the stuff into the early hours & getting up at 5.30am is most definately not advised !!...Whitehaven Beach at the time was voted the 3rd Best Beach in the World & no wonder as it was absolutely stunning there..but when you have the ''hangover from hell'' it kind of loses its magic....but no,what a great trip !!!!

Fraser Island too was an excellant trip..the largest sand island in the world,clear freshwater lakes,whales & tiger sharks just of the coastline...beautiful !!...also more partying...with 6 Irish lads on the trip it was allways going to happen !!!!
Surfers Paradise impressed me too...a really great party an Aussie version of Falaraki or Blackpool with sun !!!!..also its where i meet the Dutch lads Daam & Franck & hung arround with them for a while,then down in Byron Bay too,which is a wicked little town & where you can visit the old hippy comune of Nimbin & sample some of the local delights if thats your thing !!!!....before leaving them to catch the bus back to Sydney for a few days before flying out to Thailand(see Backpacking Days Part 3).

That in a nutshell was my time in Oz but in all honesty its impossible to cram a whole 10 months of fun,excitement,partying,scenery,exhilaration etc etc into a few pages on here !! Words alone don't do it justice as its one of those places that has to be seen & experienced by the individual ! I meet so many wonderfull people and did & seen so many great things but to try & mention it all as i said above is rediculously impossible.....but certainly something i will never forget for the rest of my days !!!!

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