Road Trip along the East Coast of Australia
Of my many travel experiences, one that really stands out was a three-month road trip along the east coast of Australia. While it is well-known that Australia is a very large country, it is difficult to understand exactly how expansive the “Land Down Under” is until you have experienced it first-hand. Starting at Melbourne in the southeast corner of Australia, my friend and I planned to drive almost the full length of the coast to Cairns in the northeast tropics of this giant continent.
Melbourne is a wonderful city, full of numerous cultures, cafes, and restaurants. The national sport, Australian Rules Football (AFL), is prominent throughout the city with two enormous stadiums dedicated to hosting the several local teams. We caught a match at the MCG, one of the world’s largest stadiums, before jumping into our rented car to begin the almost 3,000-kilometre journey to Cairns.
It’s difficult to know what to expect when driving through the outback of Australia. My imagination provided images of kangaroos, crocodiles, and koalas around every turn. However, in reality, the Australian outback is quite boring. The same scenery repeats over and over again like an old cartoon background, with very few sightings of the country’s unique wildlife.
Luckily, we had given ourselves plenty of time to stop and enjoy some of the east coast’s incredible beaches. White sand, blue sea, and surfing was the recurring theme of the many beaches we enjoyed during the trip. One beach, in particular, the Whitsunday Islands, which we stopped at towards the end of our road trip, stood out as particularly beautiful. Byron Bay and the Gold Coast also stood out from the rest for their popularity and parties.
We also took time to stop at the main cities en-route, including Sydney and Brisbane. The Sydney Opera House is far more spectacular in person than in any photograph and made the stop in the country’s capital city worthwhile. Brisbane is an energetic city, full of people who love the beach and the sea with a great nightlife.
There are many things that will stay with me from this road trip experience. The strange feeling of being the only car in sight for hours at a time, the incredible distances between petrol stations in the outback, and the endless run of stunning beaches. Without a doubt, this road trip was among my most memorable experiences and I would highly recommend it for anyone who loves an adventure!