We, Charlotte and Justine, are two 17-aged-girls from Belgium. We would like to tell you something about our dream-journey in Australia this summer. Creating a blog was the perfect solution to tell the world about it. This blog is a summary of the destinations we did. We hope that these tips can convince you to go there because the country is so much better than you can even imagine.
Planning a journey is a lot of work. We are two girls with the same interest, so our choice was quickly made. We had planned to travel along the coast of Australia. Our destinations were based on that choice. The last destination was Central-Australia because the outback is completely different than the coast. We have travelled a lot during our journey because Australia is a big country. That explains why we have travelled for 11 days.
After our depart in the airport of Brussel and 22 hours of flying, we arrived in Queensland. The rest of the journey, you can in this blog!
Great Barrier reef
Like we said before, we started our journey with the Great Barrier reef which is located in the Coral Sea in front of the coast of Queensland. It contains 2900 individual reefs and 900 islands. The reef is the largest reef in the world which explains why it can be seen from outer space. It is one of the most visited places by tourists which is logic because it's one of the 7 natural wonders of the sea. The reef is mostly visited for scuba diving and that is what we did. It was very beautiful to see all those fishes and turtles near you. Also boat tours and cruises are a common thing to do but that was nothing for us.
-> This is a picture we took while the activity.
The reef has a very large diversity of organisms including many endangered species and organisms who only appear there. If you visit it, you will see a lot of species of dolphins or whales. Charlotte saw a clown fish (like Nemo) and wanted a picture with it, but the fish swum away... There are 1500 kinds of other fishes. Also sea turtles, crocodiles and very special birds are a common thing to find there. If you see them in real life they look way cooler than on a photograph.
Unfortunately, the reef is threatened by the environment. Our leader said us the climate change is seen as the biggest threat for the reef. The sea temperature is warming up which causes the coral to bleach. The coral will do this to protect themselves from the heat but if the temperature stays this high, it's impossible to recover and they die.
Also the pollution causes the water quality to decline. This is especially when there are tropical floods who bring the pollution of the land into the sea.The Great barrier Reef is something we really recommend to visit. It's really beautiful and really one of the things you need to see in Australia. Because of its environmental threat we consider not to wait too long.
In the evening, we had dinner on a luxury boat with the Coral Reef as landscape. After dinner, we departed to next destination.
The 4th day after a long day of driving in our rented van, we went to the Taronga Zoo. There are 2 ‘Taronga zoo’s’ in Australia: one in Sydney Harbour and one in Dubbo. These two zoo’s aren’t exactly the same. Because our trip was at the coastline of Australia, the information and tips we are going to give are about the zoo in Harbour.
Taronga Zoo is a spectacular zoo in Sydney Harbour. You can admire the beautiful landscapes of the city in this paradise of animals.
Taronga Zoo isn’t a zoo like another. There are native wildlife, rare exotic and threatened animals. It exhibits more than 2600 individual animals and 340 different types of animals. There are 4000 animals to see.
If you had planned a trip to the zoo, you should visit the site! Here is the link: https://taronga.org.au/taronga-zoo
There is a lot to do at Taronga Zoo. We visited the zoo for just one day, so we couldn’t do all the activities. We decided to do the ‘Nura Diya – Taronga’s Aboriginal Discovery Tour’. This tour is ideal for those who not only want to see wonderful animals, but also want to discover more about Australian culture. The zoo has amazing aboriginal stories to tell. To make this more believable, these stories are told by real Aboriginal guides. The guides give you their own experience with Australian wildlife. This story combined with real animals, is really interesting to hear! I can assure you it’s a special experience!
Beside visiting the zoo, you can make a donation, being a volunteer for certain period or adopt an animal. We were excited to adopt a koala, but we have convinced each other not to do that because having a koala as pet in Belgium seems a little strange...
The 6th day we went to Kangaroo Island. This third largest island of Australia is located in the South of Australia. We had to take the ferry to get on the island. Justine almost flew away from the boat because of the wind!
Our guide told us that once, a thousand years ago, the aboriginals lived there but after the rise of the sea level, this part of the county became an island. Now there are only 4000 inhabitants on the island.
The Island is mostly known for the wonderful nature. And indeed, the nature is so lovely! The nature is so rich because the helft of the island has never been cultivated and ⅓ of the island is a protected area. You can find mainly eucalyptus trees. Of course you can find a lot of different species of animals. The kangaroo-island-kangaroo is a kangaroo which can be found only on this island. He is a little bit smaller than the kangaroos on the mainland. It's self-evident that we wanted a picture with the animal!
The population of birds is also very wide. Something we found very surprising was that there are penguins on the island. We always expect to find penguins on frozen places but certain species live at the coast of Australia.
Before going to bed, we had dinner at the Island between the Kangaroo's. The only disruptive thing was that they wanted to eat our food. But we forgive them, because they're handsome!
Uluru: The red centre
Our last destination was Central-Australia. After 20 hours of travelling, we arrived at the Red Centre. We were both tired so we decided to spend our two nights at the Ayers Rock Resort. The host advised us to stay at Longitude 131. He called it ‘glamping’. You can compare this word with glamorous camping. Next morning we saw the sun rising over Uluru in our luxury safari tent. It was a beautiful sight. I counsel everyone to spend the night there!
--> This is a picture of the view from our safari tent.
After having breakfast we went on a walk and we explored the red centre. If you are interested in culture, you can walk around the base with an Aboriginal guide. The Red Centre has a wonderful landscape with desert plains, mountain ranges and rocky gorges.
Another thing to do is renting motorcycles and doing a motorcycle tour. We (again) learned a lot about the Aboriginal culture because this tour was lead by an Aboriginal guide. (driving a motorcycle is an adventure. So if you never have done it, it’s the ideal occasion to do it)
For the kids: you can visit waterholes. They are the solution for cooling off on a hot day. And instead of having a walk, you can explore the centre from the back of a camel.
The last night of our trip we dined at the well known ‘Sounds of Silence’ outdoor buffet. While enjoying your dinner, you can see the rock changing colours at dusk. The Red Centre was the perfect end of this beautiful journey in Australia.
Thanks for reading!
XOXO Charlotte and Justine