This was our last week in Australia and our last week camping, we are already traveling for 5 weeks now, how fast time flew by. We have seen a lot and even though we sometimes felt it could be too much, we are still happy that we travelled like this, so we know now what was worth seeing and what would be to skip for us the next time. As mentioned in the previous posts, the camping did not suit as so well, I’m going to tell you more about our issues in a separate post. And I know it’s complaining on a high level, but we also want to be honest and maybe some of you are also not sure if this would be the right way to travel for you and your family, so our experience could help others too.
After we left Mission Beach last Friday we headed inland and drove in direction Milla Milla to visit the waterfall circuit, which includes 3 waterfalls, we stopped at two including the Milla Milla Falls, which is the most impress one. You could also take a bath there, but it was really cold water, so we didn’t do that.
After visiting the falls, we went to the Granite Gorge Nationalpark, which also has a camp site. It’s a basic one, but the highlight of the park are the wallabies that are living on the rocks near by and that can be pat and feeded. The elderly couple that run the campground, were super nice and helpful and we parked next to a starfruit tree. So we went to feed the wallabies 3 times, they totally stole our hearts, it was such a nice experience and we would absolutely recommend the park and also would suggest to spent the night there. We had a beautiful sunset with the wallabies and they have some hikes, that are easily manageable for little ones as well.
We went feeding again in the morning and then we drove to Kuranda, because I thought it’s a nice Hippie Town with the markets and nice little coffee places (I expected it too be a bit like Ibiza;-). But I was really dissapointed, it’s not charming or nice at all, just super touristy and in my opinion you could only buy cheap tourist things, not even something arty or crafty (not that I have seen anything). We wanted to stay for the night, but decided not to and instead drove to Port Douglas. This was the right decision, since we really liked it there. We found a great campsite, which was in walking distance to the beach and the town, Tropic Breeze Caravan Park. I tried to convince Daddy Frei to book us into one of the resorts for one night, but no chance ;-). So the town is really nice, some cute restaurants and shops and just relaxed vibes. Make sure to have breakfast and coffe at Betty’s Bohemian Beach Cafe – my favorite! But there are many other too…some a bit hidden.
The next morning we went to Ellis Beach, first we stopped at a nice beach between Port Douglas and Ellis Beach, ther are many options to stop and we stayed some time at the beach (that was the day a woman was attacked by a crocodile at a beach near Port Douglas, I was a bit freaked out about the crocodiles all the time!). We then checked into the campground at Ellis Beach, which is also an absolute beach front! We went to the only restaurant, which is just across the street from the campground and the rest of the day was relaxing at the pool.
The next day we just drove 3 km to Palm Cove and the campground there. It’s not as nice as the one in Ellis Beach, but it’s walking distance to the Esplanade and some nice restaurants and the beach. They have been very friendly and the woman told us how to sneak into one of the resorts to use the pool there. So we went there and enjoyed some pool time, before we went to the esplanade to have some dinner at the Chill Cafe, which was yummy.
After breakfast the next day we drove into Cairns, the last stop of our trip. We stopped at the DFO Outlet on the way to the campground, the only shop we found it worthy for was Cotton On, where we bought a lot for the girls. I really like their clothes, quality is okay and not everyone in Europe has the same. We had booked in advance at the Coconut Village Campground for 3 nights, which is supposed to be the best one in Queensland – it’s also the most expensive one, but it is really nice. They have two pools, spas, a water park, big playground, jumping pillows and many more things for families. We just spent the rest of the Wednesday at the pool and the water park. On Thursday they offered free pancakes at one of the pool, which have been really yummy. We then went to the pools again and took their courtesy shuttle to the city at noon to explore a bit and have something to eat. Cairns is smaller then I had expected and also has a bit of a backpacker vibe. But you can still find some nice restaurants and cafes, like Caffiend where we had a yummy lunch and coffee. We then went to the Lagoon and strolled along the Esplanade. They have a really nice playground there “Muddy’s” with a water park and options for every age. We went to have a look at the night market – you can for sure skip that, we found it horrible and then went back to the campground.
So our last days have been relaxed and Friday looked nearly the same as the day before. Pool time in the morning and then we went back to the city again, we had lunch at Jimmy’s Burger and then strolled through the streets, a nice surprise was the market on Graftin Street with lots of fresh fruit and veggies and also eating options – we were a bit surprised to find a high end shopping center with brands like Louis Vuitton, Burberry, etc in Cairns, didn’t seem to fit and was totally deserted. I guess it is for Japanese and Chinese cruise tourists. We had a lovely coffee at Blackbirds (it’s a bit hidden at Oceana Walk, but worth a visit) and then went back to the camp ground. It was time to prepare the camper to return it the next day and to pack our suitcases.
On Saturady we checked from the campground and went to Edge Hill where we had breakfast at a super nice places called Noas, make sure to go and have breakfast there! Afterwards we went to the Botanical Garden, which is in walking distance from the restaurant. It’s a nice garden and we strolled around a bit. We then went to our hotel – YES HOTEL!!!, only for one night, since our flight to the Fijis is early on Sunday morning. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Harbourside, which was totally okay, and the room felt enormous after being in the camper ;-), even though it wasn’t that big. Papa Frei went to return the camper and we spent some time at the pool. We then walked up the Esplande back to the city to have dinner.
Till next week from the Fijis – I guess lot of beach pictures will be included