We replaced the harsh, dry heat of the red centre, with the hot, sticky climate of Cairns in the summertime.
Here the second leg of our Grand Aussie tour began, with a new group of amazing people to travel down the East Coast with.
You’re not allowed to swim in the sea in Far North Queensland, due to their population of saltwater crocodiles - so we checked out the Esplanade and relaxed at the lagoon instead.
Matt is a big motorbike lover and jumped at the opportunity to rent a Harley Davidson. He took a beautiful ride to Yungaburra via Lake Barrine and Crater Lakes National Park (around 263 corners in 19km).
That evening we embraced the true Aussie culture - Matt entered a wet t-shirt competition, and won!
Our last day was spent snorkelling on the world famous UNESCO World Heritage Site: the Great Barrier Reef. We travelled with Passions of Paradise, snorkelling at two different spots (Matt went scuba diving as well). There were some beautiful fish and coral to see and we had a great day relaxing in the sunshine on deck too.
Next stop: Magnetic Island.
Full of wildlife and scenic views, we hired a ‘Barbie’ car and drove to the Forts Walk, which takes you to a viewpoint overlooking the ocean (and most of the island).
We headed down to Horseshoe Bay for some ice cream before driving back to Geoffrey Bay to hand-feed the wild rock wallabies. We were immersed by native Australian wildlife at the Bungalow Bay Koala Village, but not before getting the opportunity to see a wild Koala just outside the entrance.
After a three-hour drive south to Airlie Beach, we boarded The Siska - a sailboat that took us out to the wet and stormy Whitsunday Islands.
The rain may have leaked into our cabins and our heads may have been a little groggy from the boat party the night before, but all was forgotten when we arrived at the beautiful Whitehaven Beach. It’s easy to see why it’s Australia’s number one beach.
After two months off work, it was time to get our hands dirty. We arrived at our local farm stay, Myella Farm, and opted to milk the cows, collect eggs from the chicken coop and vegetables from the garden. We also learned to crack a whip and made a new friend in baby Jasper, the Eastern Grey Kangaroo.
It was hard to say goodbye to our lovely farm stay family, but Fraser Island was calling us.
En route to the largest sand island in the world, we stopped at the Bundaberg Rum Distillery for a tour and some sampling.
Once on the island, a local tour guide took us to all the highlights in one of the 4x4 coaches. We swam in the crystal clear waters of Lake McKenzie, visited The Pinnacles, Pile Valley and Central Station. At 75 Mile Beach, we jumped on a plane that took us over Fraser Island. It’s one of two places in the world where you can take off and land on the beach.
That afternoon we headed to the Maheno Shipwreck and floated down the beautiful Eli Creek where we were lucky enough to spot a Dingo.
The next leg of our trip was down to Brisbane, making brief stops at Noosa for lunch and the lookout for the Glasshouse Mountains.
We had another adrenaline rush at the Movie World theme park in Surfers Paradise, before heading further south to the hippie town of Byron Bay.
An early start saw us head out to sea with Byron Kayaks on their dolphin tour. We were lucky enough to see dolphins swimming 10 metres away from the kayaks. That afternoon we strolled around the shops and cafes in town, including the Rainbow Shop - which sums up the whole area, happy and colourful.
Our final stop was Surfaris Surf Camp at Crescent Head. After a home cooked meal and a good night's sleep we were ready to ride the waves... for a brief moment, before falling off.
We did both manage to stand up but failed to gather any photographic evidence (you will have to take our word for it).
After battering ourselves in the swell and surf we headed on to Sydney, where it was sadly time to part ways with our amazing group.
Next stop: Melbourne, The Great Ocean Road and Adelaide for Christmas.
Chloe and Matt
Follow their journey on Instagram here