Friday, June 10, 2011

On the Island/Road Trip

If you ever travel to Australia don’t bet on finding free internet.  Perhaps spending several days on a remote island and then traveling to the Outback could have something to do with the shortage…  but thank goodness for McDonalds/McCafe – they provide free internet! So hopefully you can catch up on our travels now.

This will be a long blog post with lots of pictures so I’ll write it out day by day.

Reception Area @ Fitzroy
After enjoying an absolute amazing breaky (breakfast) at the Zimzala Bed and Breakfast in Cairns, we (mom, dad, and I) caught the ferry to Fitzroy Island.  Here’s a little background information of Fitzroy: Fitzroy Island is an isolated island surrounded by fringing reef and it is home to a variety of tropical fish and coral life.  The island and it’s surrounding reef make up part of the Great Barrier Reef, which is a protected World Heritage Site. 

Sunset at Fitzroy
Fitzroy Island in one of the most unspoiled islands on the Great Barrier Reef and the majority of the island is a National Island Park. 

Coral Beach

It was so amazing to stay on a neat little island like Fitzroy.  The resort was really interesting and we learned that previous to our stay it had been closed for two years, just recently reopening.

After we got checked in and dropped our bags off at reception mom and I decided to walk to Nudey beach on the western side of the island. The track to Nudey beach went through a tropical rainforest and coastal woodlands along the side of a mountain.  The beach was made of beautiful white coral and had huge boulders on either edge.  With the sun shining brightly mom and I decided to lie out on the sand while dad relaxed on the deck of the resort room.  It was so amazing and I loved it!  That night we ate an amazing steak dinner then fell into bed.  You know what the best part was? The fact that I had my own private room!  I liked that. 
Nudey Beach

The big black blob is a school of fish!

On the second day mom and I decided to hike to the lighthouse on Fitzroy.  Over the last 80 years Fitzroy has been home to several lighthouses; the first was built in 1923 and was a carbide gaslight.  The lighthouse that is currently standing was built in 1970, but is not currently in use.  The hike to the lighthouse was really steep, but was well worth it to see a spectacular 360-degree view of the island and surrounding ocean.

View from the lighthouse
You can see the funky lighthouse off in the distance

As if we hadn’t walked enough, after lunch mom and I walked to the secret garden. This little hike took use through a tropical rainforest, but we didn’t hike the whole thing because mom had to go back for her scuba diving lesson!  Yup.  Mom went scuba diving.  She spend an hour learning about diving and then practiced in the resort pool with her instructor.  Dinner quickly came around followed by bedtime.
At a resting point on the track in the forest
Mom learning to dive in the pool
The next morning mom went scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef.  I was going to go, but didn’t feel very good because I was up really late the previous night (too much rich food!).  The reef is amazing and I wish that I could have seen it myself – but maybe one day I will be able to again! 

Lion Fish
In the ocean w/her instructor
One mom’s diving was done and she showered we finished our walk to the Secret Garden.  It was so neat to be walking in the rainforest and I actually knew things about the plants so it was lots of fun!
Beautiful flower
In the jungle... the mighty jungle!
I was sad that we had to leave, but first I played in ocean before getting on the ferry.  The water was so warm! I definitely love Cairns and Fitzroy!  That night we stayed in a Holiday Inn that was right on the water.  We did laundry then went off to do some shopping and eating before bed.  I bought some presents for people and also got a really neat purse that is very “outback” looking.  (I’ll have to post a picture of it later.)
In the water at Fitzroy, near the jetty
On Thursday we drove from Cairns to Charters Towers.  It was about a 6 hour drive, but we got into town around 4pm so it wasn’t bad. Charters Towers was founded in the early 1800s during the gold rush.  The town had so many beautiful buildings in it and we found a yummy local pizza place to eat at.  It reminded me of the old pizza place we used to have in Union on the corner (way back when I was in elementary school). 

This morning we were on the road by 7:30am and began our journey into the outback. Although it’s not technically “The Outback”  it’s Queenslands outback.  Among other neat things we passed, we stopped at the Kronosaurus Koner.  Why there you ask? Well, because it had a gaint dino that I really wanted a picture by.  It’s kinda amazing!

Garbage Can
The hotel here in Mount Isa is just a little joint off the side of the road, but it’s got TV and a restaurant so not bad. Mount Isa is home to a huge lead and copper mine.  It’s crazy big!  That’s really all that is in this town and I have a feeling that the towns are about to get smaller as we go.

Tomorrow we are staying in Tennant Creek… which we know nothing about.  I’m not sure if I will have internet there, but most likely not.  If there is a McDonalds though I might be able to update.  Keep your fingers crossed!

Time to get on the road!  Only a nine-hour drive today! ;)  

1 comment:

  1. Ahh! I'm so jealous of your life right now!! I'm glad that you're able to spend time with your parents tour Australia! Miss you!!