Travelled the East Coast with One Stop Adventures in September and October 2016
How long was your trip down the East Coast?
It was 14 days and 13 nights, we flew out from Newcastle to Cairns and then we took a Hop-on Hop-off bus from Cairns all the way down to Sydney.
Were you traveling alone, or were you traveling with someone else?
I was traveling with two other girls, classmates of mine.
Do you have any tips for maintaining a strong friendship while traveling with other people?
I would make sure that you're pretty close with people that you're going with and honestly, I think the biggest thing that you should look for is people that are laid back, because things change a lot. You want to be with someone that is okay with living in hostels for a while and even though all the travelling gets tiring they have the energy, optimism and are very adventurous. I think that's the one of the best characteristics to look for.
It's important to be adventurous, but also easy going?
Exactly. Very easy going, because there's times when things don't go as planned, and you just have to be able to change your plans, and not really worry too much about it.
When I think of Australia my mind first goes to The Whitsundays.
Where did you go on your trip? And what are some of your highlights?
We stopped in Cairns, and we went to the Great Barrier Reef. We did three activities during the trip. The first was the Great Barrier Reef, we went scuba diving and snorkelling and it was a great experience. The people that ran the boat, they were awesome. We got lunch and snacks and were really well catered for. We also got pictures of us going scuba diving as well.
After that we went to The Whitsundays, which was my favourite part of trip. The beach was amazing, the food was great. The people that were running it were very outgoing, fun, young.
Where to after that? Fraser island?
Yes, we did a four wheel drive tour in a big all terrain warrior vehicle! It was really fun. The ending at Lake Mackenzie was beautiful. The only thing I'd recommend for Fraser Island is if I were to do it again, I would do maybe a sailboat or you have another program which is overnight, I think that would be good. Because the day trip was really good but, I wish I spent more time there.
We went to Rainbow Beach too and that was really cool. I thought the sand was supposed to be rainbow, but I didn't know if the rocks were the rainbow part! I was looking at the sand and I was like, "It's not rainbow! What is this?” haha.
After that we went to Noosa which was really cool. It was a very laid back town, and we didn't do much there, we just visited the city and went swimming.
Up next was Brisbane, and I absolutely loved Brisbane. I thought I liked Sydney, but Brisbane was a lot smaller and I wish I had more time there. It was a really fun city.
Then we went to Byron Bay, a very surfer friendly, laid back town. It really reminded me of my hometown that I go to school. I definitely recommend the surfing. And the nightlife is really great too. Very young. Then it was back to Sydney!
What was the favourite part of your trip?
Definitely The Whitsundays, the water was super soulful because it was light and then it got dark. The hike that we went on had the entire view of The Whitsundays. The tour guides were very fun, outgoing. People that we went with were very friendly, and they originally came from Fiji and all over the world. The food was good too, it was just a great experience overall.
When I think of Australia my mind first goes to The Whitsundays.
What was your favourite accommodation?
In Noosa we stayed at Halse Lodge, It was a really nice.
Do you have any tips that you'd like to share with the people who are looking to do a similar trip?
I would maybe do 14 to 18 days I think my trip was a little bit too rushed. But that's because we were on a short amount of time. You can still see a good amount in 14 days, but it’s not as in depth as I would have like.
The highlight of our trip was the activities that you guys had planned for us, like the Great Barrier Reef, The Whitsundays and Fraser Island. I would say, honestly, go the extra mile and pay extra for those activities because that's what made the trip really outstanding. It's hard when you come and you don't really know what's available and what to choose. But you guys go through the costs and what’s available and work with really good companies. Those activities were the best. I talked to my friends and we wished we did more of those activities, but because of the budget, we weren't able to.
Also do an overnight bus. I recommend it because you don't have to pay for hostels, you can sleep on the bus, and you don't have to worry about missing the daytime.
Also I wasn’t a massive fan of Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast, I like laid back places and I found it a bit too touristy, I just wasn’t really a fan.
What for you is essential to pack on a trip like this? Is there anything you didn't have with you that you wish you had?
I tend to over pack. So, honestly my biggest recommendation is not packing as much as you think you're going to need, because you're basically going to be in a swimsuit the entire trip. So, just bring multiple swimsuits, a lot of sunscreen, a water bottle.
Another way is, if someone's going on a budget, I would definitely recommend bringing reusable containers, or trying to, as much as you can, pack your own lunch. Go to the grocery store and pick your own fruit, because it starts being expensive eating out every day. And then definitely hats, socks, lots of shorts, and tank tops and shoes. I would probably just bring tennis shoes and sandals. Because shoes just weigh so much, so it's better to just keep it low.
Also headphones and stuff to keep you entertained on the bus rides. Some of the buses didn't have movies, and those where the longest 10 hours of my life. It sucked and I wish I had a laptop with movies on it!
What made you decide to book with One Stop Adventures?
I, honestly, just Googled vacation packages. And I read the reviews, and you guys had really good reviews. I was reading the testimonies of other people who have gone with you and they seemed to really enjoy it. The trips that you booked for us were amazing value for what was included with them. It was a lot cheaper than other programs I was looking at. Also, you guys went the extra mile to actually plan everything and took the stress out of trying to plan activities, and then try to buy the bus, and find hostels.
I was trying to do it individually, and it was just really impossible. But, with you guys it was just so easy. We had our itinerary and we just followed that, and everything went really smoothly. I couldn't recommended a better place to go through.