Welcome to our Sunday Spotlight feature in which one of our favorite travel bloggers shares five photos from one of their favorite travel destination. If you want to participate in a future Sunday Spotlight, please contact us.
Author Bio: Wanderlusters is a new website dedicated to providing ‘Wisdom for Wanderers’. Still in the early stages of development those eager to travel can search for real world advice and keep up to date with the latest in travel news. The brain child of nomadic Wanderlusters Charli and Ben they have set up the site to share their experience of long-term travel. Help them spread the Wanderlust and follow them on their travels at wanderlusters.co.uk.
Australia is a country with a diverse range of environments giving travellers the opportunity to experience all manner of climates, landscapes and activities. With a population less than that of Greater London and a land mass over thirty-one times the size of the United Kingdom, Australia is often dumbed a ‘Pommes Paradise’ and now we know why. In 2012 we spent eleven months in a vintage Winnebago exploring all the country has to offer, traveling the length of the southern coast, through the middle and up the east coast to Darwin. We even squeezed in a trip on a yacht across the Arafura Sea, sailing out of Darwin and around the top of the country into the remote mining town of Gove deep in the Australian Outback.
While traveling across the Nullarbor Plain, one of Australia’s most remote locations, we were blessed every night with totally clear skies and views out into the surrounding universe. The image above shows the Milky Way framed by the light of our campfire reflecting off the surrounding trees. Although the aboriginal translation of Nullarbor means ‘without trees’ we found that towards the western end of the plain there were plenty providing much-needed shade in the rest stops. At a distance of just over 1100km the journey is not to be undertaken without careful consideration, there are only a handful of roadhouses lining the highway and if you get lost while off the main road there isn’t much to save you until you reach Uluru in the red centre. For many this journey signifies the ultimate in Outback experiences and so we think it should be an integral part of any Aussie road trip.
During a house sitting assignment in Sydney we were invited to join the crew of a yacht sailing in the CYCA Twilight Series on Sydney Harbour. Although not usually excited by the typical tourist hotspots it was a brilliant opportunity to view some of the world’s most iconic structures from a unique perspective. Fortunately there was just a slight breeze that resulted in a leisurely sail as the sun set over the city. Any sailors out there will know only too well that when the wind is slight it is acceptable to indulge in a cold beverage and a few nibbles. This photograph was taken as we made our way down to the last buoy glass in hand, I am pleased to report we came a commendable 4th in our class.
Within the first few months of our trip we were given a gift from above in the form of an unbelievable wild animal encounter. We had heard that there were a few places along the southern coast where you could pay a fee and paddle your toes in the sea with some wild dolphins. Not normally ecstatic to hear that wild animals are being pimped out for profit we decided not to participate. A few weeks later we were camped at a remote beach and during an early morning run along the sands spotted a large pod of wild dolphins enter the bay and start to feed. Not believing our luck we grabbed our snorkel gear and jumped in the water to get a closer look. Once they had spent a few minutes cautiously checking us out the pod surrounded us and began to play in the waves. Seeing such behaviour was just incredible, we feel so blessed to have had this experience.
Travelling north towards Cairns we had one thing on our mind, scuba diving. Having spent three months undertaking PADI Dive Master training while in Costa Rica we were keen to get our heads under the water and explore the world-famous Great Barrier Reef. After considering the various charter options we were fortunate enough to be offered volunteer positions for two weeks aboard one of Cairns 5 Star live aboard boats and experienced some of the best diving on offer anywhere in the world. Ben is really into his photography and took the opportunity to test out his new underwater equipment, the image above is of an anemone and anemone fish in the coral at Steve’s Bommie. The wealth of life on the reef was mind-blowing, composed of 900 islands and over 2,900 individual reefs the opportunity to see one of the world’s largest eco systems in action is not to be missed.
The Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s most iconic road trip routes and although we had some glum weather for our journey the spectacular scenery and friendly wildlife more than made up for the rain. At the western edge of the route sits Johanna Beach, a wonderful free camp spot and it was while en route down to the beach that we came across this little fellow just hanging about on the side of the road with two of his chums. Having never seen a koala before I feel lucky my encounter was in the wild, they are normally quite shy creatures choosing to remain out of sight however these chaps looked quite at ease as we got out of the Winnebago to get a closer look.
Our Aussie road trip turned into a journey of epic proportions, covering over 25,000km we visited five of the six states, visited all but one major city, fossicked for gold, camped in the outback, traversed mountains and streams and filled our journal with unforgettable experiences. For more info about this and the rest of our adventures visit our website and share in our Wanderust.