Going to Australia and not visiting the Ayers Rock would be like going to Paris and not seeing the Eiffel tower. This wasn’t really an option for us. When already taking the long trip to the other side of the world, we wouldn’t have wanted to miss this icon.
You should definitely not miss out on this “greatest one-day-tour of the world”, even if you're not a big fan of hiking nor be super sportif or a big Lord of the Rings addict. We didn’t establish this title, but we would endorse it for sure! Don’t underestimate the one-way tour, though. Also check with an i-site whether it is possible to go or not, because the hike can become quiet dangerous at certain weather conditions and they might close it for tourists. It might get windy too and you will be exposed for a long time so take warm clothes, hat and scarf and maybe gloves – even in summer. It is still an high-alpine tour, which will take at least 6-8 hours (19.4 km), no matter how good in shape you are. Additionally, there is still some volcanic activity and at some places you can either smell the sulfur or see it smoking out of the ground.
Your flight to the other end of the world is booked and now you “only” need to get a campervan for your trip? There are endless offers and so many different options to choose from, that we thought, it is a great idea to write down some tips for you, based on our experience. And I can tell you, we have spent quite a few hours comparing all the prices and options.
So here’s the thing, there are basically two questions you need to answer for yourself. How much luxury do you need? – and – do you wanna go freedom camping out in the nature or do you prefer a campsite? This is important to be able to cut down what to look for.
As Europeans, we couldn’t wait to see our first koalas ever in reality. We heard, one great spot to find wildlife koalas is on Magnetic Island. So, we needed to go! Just a half day ride from Cairns on the way to Whitsundays, you can reach Magnetic Island with a short ferry ride. Huge rocks all over the beaches and mountains welcome you with a slight Seychelles-like impression. Filled with lots of gumtrees (eucalyptus) and some leftovers from the First World War, the Fort’s Walk takes you up on a hilltop. The chances are quite high to find the koalas here. Fun fact, koalas are kind of picky with their eucalyptus and when they found a great tree that tastes awesome, some koala spends their whole life just sitting on that ONE tree sleeping and eating its leafs! They actually never drink and get all their liquid and nutrition from those leafs.
Next stop: Cairns! Famous especially for one thing: the Great Barrier Reef! It is not just called great, it is actually more than great – in size and what it has to offer! I guess pretty much every tourist coming to Australia wants to see this wonder of nature. There are many places to explore the reef, but one of the best and also most popular ones is Cairns. The capital of the tropical north of Queensland is located the closest to the reef and the further south you go the more far out it is.