Backpacking Australia’s East Coast: Barrington Tops to Noosa

Hi! It’s been a while! I have officially been traveling for one month now. We’ve done loads since I last did a post.

I’ll try and pick up where I left off. After Barrington Tops we stayed at Spot X Surf Camp for one night in little teepee right by the ocean. The views there were pretty incredible. The highlight of that trip for me was waking up early and going for a run alongside the beach outside my teepee. It was also the first spot since coming to Australia that it was warm and nice enough to lay by the beach and have what felt like a regular beach day so that was really good.

Lewis and I cooling off in the sea after our beach run.
Beautiful view from the teepee at Spot X

From Spot X we kayaked to their River Retreat camping spot. This was super rustic and I was pretttty scared of seeing the brown snakes and murderous spiders Marcus had warned us about. We didn’t see any of those but we did have a Huntsman Spider on our tent.

Those don’t kill you but they certainly look like they could! The best bit of that night was they cooked us the most incredible fire grilled dinner. Garlic-y white fish grilled in tin foil in the fire, potatoes cooked in the fire, loads of tomatoes, cucumbers, beans and a pesto pasta salad. Omg it was so good. That and the roast dinner at Wake Up were tied as best dinners had in Australia so far. In the morning they made fried eggs over the fire and that was nice as well.

From River Retreat we took the bus to Byron Bay which I feel like is every backpackers “don’t miss Spot” when they are planning their trip to Australia. It’s in a lot of movies — namely one of my favorites… The Inbetweeners! We even stayed at Arts Factory which is where they stayed in the movie when they went there.

It’s pretty much the stereotype of what you think Australia is going to be before you come out. Very hippy…surfy… lots of caravans, lots of tie dye; that kind of thing. I really liked it though. I wasn’t expecting the scenery there to be nearly as beautiful as it was.

Exploring the Arts Factory hostel.
Having some champagne at Ladie’s Night at Cheeky Monkey bar in Byron

Included in our tour packages was a kayaking with dolphins session in the morning. That’s where we went to this beautiful beach where you could see this gorgeous mountainous area in the horizon. We didn’t see any whales unfortunately, but we did get a nice little pod of dolphins to cruise right past our kayaks.

This was not Lewis’s favorite activity we’ve done so far and he spent most of the three hours trying not to puke off the side of the kayak. Promptly after the kayaking we made a trip to the pharmacy and got him some anti sea sickness tablets haha.

From Byron we went to the Gold Coast–first three nights in Surfers Paradise and then two nights in Brisbane. I did not enjoy the Gold Coast. At all.

Surfers Paradise I really hated.

We took one look at the hostel that we had been prebooked into and immediately got on Expedia and made reservations at a hotel. We ended up staying at this hotel called Mantra Legends that had a pool and a gym and then we were in the real paradise.

It was pretty annoying to have to pay for the hotel at that moment but honestly there is NOTHING to do in Surfers Paradise except I guess surf and sit by the beach but the weather wasn’t nice enough for either of those activities and the beach was probably the least nice of any of the many beaches we’d already seen in Australia. In my opinion the place really had no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Food was expensive, clubs and bars looked tacky. Can you tell I didn’t like it?

Surfers Paradise beach.
Hanging by the pool at our hotel in Surfers.

The best things about our time in Surfers was the hotel was lovely and the perfect place to relax without the temptation of doing anything else (because there was literally nothing else to do).

We did have a surfing lesson included in our tour which we really enjoyed.

Lewis and I both managed to stand up on our boards which was cool! I mostly just “surfed” on my hands and knees and looked ridiculous but I had such a good time!

From Surfers we went to Brisbane.

I think I’m gonna have to give Brisbane another chance another time because my expletive in Nomads Brisbane Central was so horrendous that it pretty much ruined Brisbane for me. Check out my post “My worst hostel experience – ever!” to find out more.

We are currently on the bus en route to Noosa and I am praying that we love it and everything goes smoothly because Noosa is supposed to be our last stop on this tour (for now) and where we will be looking for an apartment and jobs. At the moment, we have two nights in a Noosa Nomads hostel and then a 2 night/3 day tour of Fraser Island which I am REALLY looking forward to.

You can check out our itinerary for that here. After Fraser we have two more nights booked into Noosa Nomads and then I seriously have no clue what will happen after that! Fingers crossed!!


Posted by

Hi! I'm Katie. I’m happiest when I’m exploring new places, lying on the beach or eating fresh foods (and if that were all to happen at once, I’d be set!).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s