The east coast of Australia is a place of enchanting beauty, from the icing sugar sand of the Whitsundays to the striking skyline of Sydney, and from the grandeur of the Great Barrier Reef to the mesmerising splendour of the Blue Mountains. I have been lucky enough to see all of these places and more, and while there can be no substitute for visiting yourself, and seeing with your own two eyes, these photos will give you a tantalising taste of what to expect, should you follow in my footsteps.
The Great Ocean Road
The most incredible scenic drive of 151 miles, the long stretch of coastline to our side, detours to rainforests, and a soundtrack which brought back the best of memories. The ferocious waves, provoked by the powerful winds, crashed against the 12 Apostles, the limestone stacks that rise up dramatically from the Southern Ocean.
The foliage perfectly frames this brickwork building nestled in Melbourne’s Royal Botanical Gardens. The gardens are home to over 10,000 species of native and non-native vegetation, and provided me with the perfect haven for some alone time.
Taking the ferry from Circular Quay to Manly every day for work never became a chore, providing the ideal vantage point to gaze at the iconic Sydney Opera House. With free Wi-Fi on the ferries, video calling home provoked much awe and jealousy. Yes, this is where I live.
The Blue Mountains
900 steps later, the summit of the Blue Mountains was finally reached. Sweating and panting profusely, we high-fived in elation as we looked out into the distance, taking in the magical mountain views. The oils from the eucalyptus bushland merge with the atmosphere creating a distinctive blue haze, hence the name Blue Mountains.
Cape Byron Light marks the most easterly point of the Australian mainland. Taking the 2km walk from Byron incorporates the serene beach, native forest and the jagged cliff-side. On arriving at the lighthouse, spectacular views of the coastline greet you. It amazed me just how much marine life could be spotted from up there.
Airlie Beach lies in the heart of the Whitsundays, providing the perfect base to explore the paradisiacal islands. The lagoon pictured was purpose-built to offer a safe haven for swimmers, away from the box jellyfish that patrol the oceans. The swimsuit is a more attractive item of clothing than the stinger suit, it has to be said.
Sailing around the Whitsundays, the glory of which can be seen in the very top picture, was the most majestic journey of my life. The cloudless sky offered a flawless background to capture this white bellied sea eagle circling the boat. These birds are fiercely territorial, so much so that there is only one pair to each island.
The Great Barrier Reef
The monumental Great Barrier Reef is limitless, the largest living thing on earth. Diving allows for submergence into the intensity of colours, the mind-blowing coral formations and the diversity of sea life. This was by far the best thing I did on my travels!
Last but certainly not least, Cape Tribulation, just north of Cairns, is where the rainforest meets the reef, and is the final destination for most journeys up Australia’s east coast. It is a place of incredible beauty and is one of the last great wildernesses on Earth, largely untouched since the time dinosaurs marched through it munching on the same flora that grows today.
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Category: Travel Photography