I’ll admit, I was hesitant about Brisbane. I couldn’t have been more wrong. They’ve spent millions revamping this city, and that was obvious the minute we hit the new waterfront. They’ve got riverside boardwalks, tons of cafes, a really nice urban beach and one of the nicest ways to do city tours- they actually get retired volunteer locals to show you around.
Brisbane was smaller than I expected, which was actually really good. It’s compact enough to allow you to explore the sights in just a few days. The South Bank was really vibrant, there was a riverside pool and the city is really clean. You can Segway around, bike along the waterfront or see the sights like the Story Bridge.
It was a one-night stop, so I didn’t have time to visit Chinatown or Fortitude Valley’s live music, but I’m sure I’ll be back.
It’s Hard To Put The Sunshine Coast Into Words
The drive north to the Sunshine Coast was an easy 1hr 50 minutes and the views were lovely. Once you get out of Brisbane, it turns very green (almost alpine) and that made the drive incredibly picturesque.
Noosa Heads was just so relaxing. It reminded me of Home & Away- just so laid-back, right by the beach, proper small-town charm, with some pretty impressive houses too. I really loved Noosa Heads. Everything here fronts the beach, including the main Hastings Street, where there’s loads of little boutiques, breakfast spots and places to sit. It’s quite upmarket, but with everyone walking around in flip-flops, it doesn’t feel pretentious. Surfing here is pretty big, so we gave it a try and I’m still massively proud of myself for being a first-time surfer and managing to stay standing! Tucking into local food was something I’m more experienced in, and doing it overlooking the bay was brilliant.
Staying in a large resort was definitely indulgent, but I mainly liked the Sofitel Noosa for its Beach House Restaurant. We also did a lovely sunset cruise along the waterfront homes.
Next up, was a drive north to Rainbow Beach to transfer to Fraser Island- the largest sand island in the world. Fraser Island was just stunning. It’s got over 100 freshwater lakes, bumpy sand dunes and a real wilderness feel to the beaches. I spotted lizards, dingoes and Blue Whales. With a human population of just 194, it’s not like the wildlife has much in the way of interruption. The full island day tour was brilliant, as was the light aircraft option- the runway is actually on the beach here which was unique. We also got to swim in Lake McKenzie which was amazing!
I also want to take a moment to recommend the Kingfisher Bay Resort I stayed in. The sunsets here are stunning, and its modern design blends really well with its rainforest setting.
Onto Rainforests And The Great Barrier Reef
I flew to Cairns next to transfer over to Port Douglas. A lot of people feel they should stay in Cairns for The Great Barrier Reef, but Port Douglas is much nicer in my opinion. I stayed in the Peninsula Boutique Hotel. It’s family run, right by the beach and an easy 10-minute walk into town. Again, it’s really relaxing. The Four Mile Beach overlooks mountains, the main Macrossan Street has loads of busy restaurants and the Ballyhooley Steam Railway is here.
I then visited the Daintree Rainforest, which is the oldest rainforest in the world. You’ll see saltwater crocodiles popping their heads out the water here, plus loads of bird and plant species. Temperatures were hotter here, so the greenery was refreshing, as was the Mossman Gorge.
The absolute highlight of my trip though, was The Great Barrier Reef. After seeing it on TV, it was pretty much what I expected, but seeing it in the flesh was something else. I did the Quicksilver Tour, which offers scuba diving and an underwater experience. Definitely something I’ll never forget.
The snorkelling was amazing and I couldn’t stay out of the water! There’s clownfish and tropical varieties, and the waters are crystal clear. I then got to see a bird’s-eye view from the helicopter tour over the Pontoon.
Not on bucket list
Australia wasn’t actually on my bucket list, but I’m so grateful I got to go, as it completely changed my opinion of it. There’s so much culture, diversity and natural beauty there, so lots of possibilities for unique itineraries. For more inspiration take a look at our most popular or contact us here at the office for advice. A number of the team have been, so between us we’ve explored most the country… a couple of the guys have even lived out there, so if you are considering Australia give us a call and let us help you find something suitable.
Why choose eShores?
One to One Service
Our experienced personal travel consultants will ensure you find the most suitable holiday, whilst taking care of every last detail. Everything from start to finish will be effortless.
100% Tailor Made
We can use any hotel, in any destination, so we will craft an itinerary to suit your exact needs. Also, as we can provide any itinerary, the only holiday we'll offer, is the one that's right for you.
Our ATOL bonding provides you with the financial protection you need and as a member of the Travel Trust Association, you'll have 100% financial protection. Covering you for any eventuality.
As a tour operator & travel agent, we'll search the market to ensure that we find you the best price. Also as an online business, we can ensure our prices are as competitive as possible.
We have recently returned from a multi centre holiday in Thailand. Everything went smoothly as planned, the hotels were all lovely. We would definitely recommend eShores and would book through them in the future. Thanks to Laura who organised the trip for us.Posted 3 weeks ago
Been using eshore for several years,always come up with requirements we need.Always happy to rearrange. Staff are very knowledgeable and we always use Leanne as our point of contact. Experts for multi centre holidays.Posted 1 month ago
I booked two holidays in 4 months with Dave at eshores. First one a 16 day trip around Vietnam north to south which included numerous flights and taxis. My second holiday was in October traveling around Vietnam again and Cambodia. Every hotel in both countries was spot on, every transfer went smooth with no problems. I'll Definitely use eshores again and thanks to Dave who arranged everything, a fantastic experience 👍👍Posted 1 month ago
Recently booked a four centre holiday to Asia. The process was straightforward and seamless. Rob, the agent who dealt with our requirements was extremely helpful and not pushy. He was very easy to talk with and seemed genuinely interested in our plans. He managed to put together exactly what we wanted and at a great price.Posted 1 month ago
Andy at eshores has been great, he worked hard to meet all our needs and went the extra mile for us! We're looking forward to a great Honeymoon!Posted 1 month ago
As always Michelle mainly but with some help from Leanne have once again booked an hopefully (as not yet travelled) amazing customised trip to America next September with our family this time.Posted 1 month ago
First time I have used eshores and it won't be the last. Emma was so helpful in booking my 3 centre holiday to Portugal. Really pleased with accommodation selected and the overall cost. Emma was very quick to respond with different options and I'm looking forward to our holiday next year. I highly recommend this companyPosted 1 month ago
We have just booked a trip to the Far East having previously used this company twice, Vietnam/Cambodia and a Road Trip in the USA. Both trips were problem free with all aspects going to plan. Easy to talk to and never pushing for a decision. A lovely company , thank you Dave for your time and assistance.Posted 1 month ago
We booked what appeared to be a busy holiday to South Africa and Mauritius. This consisted of five different fights and hotels with the various transfers included. Rachael organised the holiday for us and every aspect of the trip went well. Took a lot of the stress out and allowed us to have a fantastic holiday. Friendly,Professional service with professional staff. Will use them again.Posted 1 month ago
All went well on our recent NY trip booked through Matt at EShores. Worth noting: -Newark Airport and Train Station great with transfers on the NYP Train (about 1 hour) to and from Penn Station/Airport Terminal (easy!) -Sanctuary Hotel great location and staff! Room and breakfast spot on. -Brooklyn Bridge walk back great, 1 stop over on subway as suggested. -United Airlines great - direct to and from Edinburgh! Recommended -weather spot on, temperatures just like here. Thanks for all your help and advice. Julie and Georgia (21st birthday girl!)Posted 1 month ago