Being a photographer, a massive part of my fun while traveling is taking pictures of absolutely everything – people, interesting buildings, special moments – there really are not many moments during a trip I would not love to capture and put in a jar (or at least on a hard disk) so that they can stay with me forever. Those who’ve traveled with me or who follow me on instagram will also know about my particular preference for palm trees and blue skies which I just never get tired of photographing.
The more beautiful a destination looks on camera, the more I love being there. In fact, when it comes to traveling I would be happy to just quit talking all together and simply stick with taking photos, pixelated memories that I will enjoy looking at again and again.
When I recently had a chance to revisit Queensland, one of Australia’s 6 states, I could barely put the camera down. It is an absolute paradise of stunning nature – on land and sea (Queensland famously is home to the Great Barrier Reef) – with some of the most incredible skies I’ve ever seen, as they usually come in different colors.
When my plane landed in Brisbane at 6am, this was what I saw:
It could not have been a better welcome, I instantly felt right at home. Upon entering the airport it smelt of caramel lattes and doughnuts, the sun shone through the large windows and everyone seemed to wear big smiles. The strain of the 36 hour journey to get here from Berlin was blown away in an instant and what was left was pure excitement over what the next few days would bring.
After a brief stopover at Brisbaine airport my next stop was Cairns.
Cairns is a lovely little city up North, a hub for anyone wanting to go diving in the Great Barrier Reef while having the buzz of a mid-sized city with lots of bars and restaurants at place. Here you can rent a bike, cruise along the esplanade, enjoy a fresh seafood lunch on the terrace of the Raw Prawn, flirt with the tattooed waiter, see some indigenous art, pet a kangaroo at the Cairns Zoo, join a free Zumba class at the park, watch the sunset over the ocean, have a cheap drink during the 4-hour happy hour at the Courthouse (38 Abbott Street), get a $15 massage on the nightmarket, eat a fancy dinner at The Salthouse and stick around for a Tango at their bar.
But the possibilities don’t stop there. For a small adventure take the ferry from the Marina over to Green Island, a tropical paradise that is just a 45-minute boat ride away and awaiting visitors with all sorts of activities from snorkelling, to helmet-diving, introductory or certified diving, over to walks through the rainforest, exploring the ocean on a glass-bottom boat or simply enjoying Green Island’s great beaches, restaurants and swimming pool.
Something else you could do – something that was an instant addition to my top 10 coolest things i’ve ever done – you can book a helicopter ride to take you above the reef and over to a lonely sandbank where there is nothing but you and the people you came with – a pretty elating feeling. I knew that helicopter flights would give me that awesome tingly feeling in my stomach but it really even exceeded my already high expectations and became something I will forever remember fondly. I will definitely be posting about this incredible experience in more detail soon.
When in Queensland there is no excuse for anyone to stay in one place only. The best way of getting around is to rent a car and drive up or down the coast. In our case, we took on the short 1,5 hour trip to Port Douglas, a scenic drive with several viewpoints where you can get out and snap some memorable photos to post on facebook.
Upon arrival in Port Douglas we checked into a spacious bungalow with seaview at the beautiful Thala Beach Lodge and got ready for the coming days of more palm trees, blue skies and lots more adventure including a lesson in stand-up paddling, white-water rafting down the Barron River, snorkeling among sharks (ok, baby sharks), sailing into the sunset and dining in the middle of the rainforest.
It’s really too much to fit it all into one blog entry, so I will be back shortly with a full post on everything we did and that you can do in Port Douglas…
If you have been to Queensland, we’d love to hear what your favorite part about it was. Maybe you can recommend a particular town or an activity that no one coming to visit should miss out on. Just share it in the comments!