|Champagne Pools on the coast of Fraser Island Australia. Pictured (l-r) are author Stephanie and European au pair friends: Besa, Jasmine, Luisa, and Anne.|
UCLA graduate Stephanie Be made a bold move and traded a career with her “dream” live entertainment company in Los Angeles for a one way ticket to Sydney, Australia where she didn’t have any occupational offers, and where she didn’t know anyone. Four jobs and eight months later, she joined four German Au Pairs on a 1700 mile / 2700 kilometer road trip from Sydney to Cairns.
Road Tripping Queensland, AustraliaGuest Posts By Stephanie Be
Byron’s Bay, Hervey Bay, and Fraser Island
Our road trip begins with a nine-hour drive to Byron’s Bay for a one night stay. The next day we drive four hours to Hervey Bay to join Wicked Travel, a Gen-Y tour operator that organizes camping excursions on Fraser Island. Queensland, Australia's Sunshine State, has strict policies that protect their lakes and beaches. Fraser Island, a World Heritage Site, does not disappoint! The white sand and clear waters perfectly mirror the blues of the sky, greens of the trees, and pinks of the sunrises and sunsets.
|The whitest sand you’ll see. |
Whitehaven Beach, Queensland Australia.
Four white jeeps of travelers caravan around the island from lake to beach. There is only one shop, and the exclusivity to our group made for a surreally remote experience. Our “Fraser Family” is awesome. Mostly German, English, and Canadian, we quickly bond. Our time on Fraser Island seems like far more than a few days. The backpacker appeal creates a community of unity. Everyone looks out for each other, and the selflessness is inspiring.
|Stephanie Be at Shipwrck Maheno, |
Fraser Island, Queensland, Australia.
In between our sun-baths and lakeside naps, we camp out along the beach. Yes, we slept in tents. It is worth it. And, I drink The Goon, AKA boxed/bagged wine. So much for "life is too short to drink bad wine.” I guess life is too short to limit the possibilities.
Sailing Whitsunday Islands
|Whitsunday Island, Queensland, Australia.|
Leaving Hervey Bay, we drive Northwest 10 hours to Airlie Beach, the base for our next adventure. With a quick jog, Anne and I see the town: beach, shops, lagoon and marina. The town is clearly created for tourists and travelers. The nightlife allows for epic moments. I wonder how we will get by on sleepless nights.
Early the next morning, we embark on Avatar, a former race boat turned sail boat, for our Whitsunday Islands tour. The skipper and deck-hand looking like modern pirates, greet us. We set off and make our way through the fog.
Alas the sunshine!
|Snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia|
We took in the geographic greatness and infuse it with the Fraser Family liveliness! A pyramid of friends and many cheeky photos only mildly portray how incredible we feel as we experience White Haven National Park. With positive vibes, we go for another round of snorkeling. FYI: coral is alive and it moves. The captain teaches us about sea cucumbers and the British guys teach us (or try to teach us) how to play rugby.
|Whitehaven Beach, Queensland, Australia. |
Wicked Travel Australia group fun.
Aside from the romanticized reality, I am grateful to have met a special person onboard Avatar. I made the choice to travel while most of my peers are focusing on their professional careers. During this trip, I had the honor of meeting a new friend from New York. She is just a couple years older than myself and had worked for a PR company. She had also stepped away from her job to travel. She seems really happy with her decision and I am happy with my decision, too. It is nice that there are others in the same boat as you, both literally and figuratively.
As a new blogger, Stephanie writes on travel for Huffington Post, Elite Daily, Thought Catalog, WayFaring.me, and Bikini.com. She loves to share her travel tips and experiences. Catch her on Facebook & Twitter Her blog is TravelBreak.net
Photos © TravelBreak.net