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.
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.
We arrived in Perth late Friday night after a whole day layover in Singapore.. from the sky, this city looked pretty dark. As we learned, everything starts early in this city but ends early as well. Shops actually close usually at 5 pm and the bar is the fullest around 7 pm to 9 pm. In Germany we haven't even left the house at that time :D But on the other side it is quite nice, you still get your sleep after partying ;)
Our first impressions of Perth and Australia were pretty good, the city and its skyline is beautiful as well as King's park and the view you get from up the hill. A big plus of Perth was to met Laura's really good friend Lisa, who live there now, and gave us the chance to experience the life of the locals. This way, you always get a much better impression of a city.