Backpacking down under

11 October 2014
Backpacking down under

Four intrepid Premier Aussie Specialists off on an Australian adventure

Who thought backpacking was just for teenagers/gap year students Four guys (who will never see 21 again) are off on adventure travelling through Queensland. All four of us are qualified Premier Aussie Specialists ( a qualification we all have after passing numerous Tourism Australia tests and increasing our knowledge of their wonderful and diverse country). We are each organising a part of the trip. My contribution is the logistics of getting us there, travelling from different UK airports and landing at the same time. Thank goodness for Emirates, we all fly at different times and meet up in Dubai and travel onwards to Brisbane. This is where another of the guys takes over. He has organised our train journeys, with the help of Queensland Rail up the coast to Cairns. Just a little 24 hour journey, but it is travelling on the Spirit of Queensland with their new comfortable seats. Then the adventure begins.....

We arrived to a balmy 30 degrees at 6am in Brisbane and got a taxi up to our hotel for the day. The streets of Brisbane were very quiet due to the city being in lockdown for the G summit and the worlds leaders congregating there.

On arrival at the Next Hotel we managed to get showered , changed and breakfasted. The hotel is in an ideal spot in the centre of tow, and it is very high tech. You can use your phone as a key to your room.

We walked along the riverbank and had a coffee in the sun. This is a great spot to people watch.

All too soon it was time to go for the train, which was easier said than done. Due to the road closures our taxi couldn't get through to collect us but one of the hotel transfer vans managed to get us up to the station.

The train pulled in and it was one of the brand new ones on the route. We were in the section with airline business class type seats which was excellent. I must say that on board there was one attendant who was excellent and put the others to shame.

24 hours later we pulled into Cairns and were surprised at being met by a limo for our transfer for the hour up to Port Douglas

We stayed at the Peninsula Hotel in Port Douglas. This is a Boutique Style Hotel in a second to none location. The staff are superb and nothing was too much trouble.

Port Douglas caters for all tastes/budgets from backpackers through to luxury

Talking of luxury, we went for lunch to Thala which is about 10 mins away and the chef outdid himself, the food was excellent.

From Port Douglas you can get out to the reef, but this time we went inland. A day tour up to the Daintree and the only place in the world where a rainforest meets the sea.

Three days later and we motored 30 mins down the Coast to the small coastal area of Palm Cove. This is a pretty little village again on the coast.

We arrived in Holloway Beach which is one of Cairns Northern beach resorts. Saying that you can get into the city centre in 10 mins, however it is an ideal place for sightseeing and unlike Cairns centre there is a sandy beach on the doorstep.

We rocked up at the Australis Cairns Beach resort and to say they were helpful was an understatement. While we were checking in, the owners had contacted a few of the attractions and got us booked on them for that day.

We travelled up to Kuranda by the cable cars over the forest canopy and back down by the old railway which was amazing.

Following morning was a 4am start up to the hinterlands for a morning balloon flight. Words failed us on this as it was stunning, we even managed to see the kangaroos from the air.

From there it was a quick harbour cruise to see the wildlife and literally thousands of bats

Following day we were up early for the transfer to Cairns airport (5 mins) for the hour helicopter flight to Orpheus Island

If you think of paradise then this is it!

What a place, you come here to switch off and drop out !

The helicopter drops you off and you walk the 100 m to the lounge area where you are met with a glass of champers (or soft drink) while you check in. The chefs even come out to see if you have any dietary requirement.

On the second day we were able to take a motorboat out ourselves around the headland with a picnic for the day. Other activities inc scuba/snorkelling or even just lying around the infinity pool...  A marvellous place

All too soon we were off again, on a half hour trip back to Townsville on the mainland.

One tip here is we arrived on a Monday and were told nearly everything was closed on a Monday evening

Thank goodness for the casino

Next day , up bright and early as three of the guys were off on the next part of their adventure.

For me it was a trip to Townsville Airport as I was returning to the UK

Couple hours down to Brisbane and another afternoon at the Next Hotel

All too soon I was heading back via Emirates to the UK



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