Author Archives: Kate Moxhay

Top 3 awesome things to do in Rainbow Beach

things to do in rainbow beach

The idyllic beachside town of Rainbow Beach is a must do stop on any east coast itinerary. This cute little enclave gets its name from the colourful, mineral-rich sands which can be found in the cliffs that surround the area. But that’s not why people visit. It’s well loved for its low key atmosphere, way more quiet and relaxed than the party towns found along this part of the coast, and the chance to partake in some of the most authentically Aussie past times you can get.

Here are three awesome things to do in Rainbow Beach.

Camp on the beach

You haven’t truly experienced Australia like the Aussies until you’ve camped on a beach, and the Rainbow beach area is a great place to experience this quintessentially Australian pastime. Although you can’t actually camp on Rainbow beach itself there are plenty of places to camp beachside nearby such as the Inskip Peninsula and the Freshwater Camping area. You’ll need to secure permits before you arrive and it’s best to avoid the holiday seasons if possible. There are also a couple of permanent campsites around the area where you can get the full beach camping experience without having to bring your own gear.

camping on rainbow beach
camping on rainbow beach

Kayak with dolphins at Double Island Point

One of the most awe inspiring things to do in Rainbow beach has to be getting up close and personal with wild dolphins. These puppies of the sea can be found frolicking here year round, but visit between June and October and you might also see whales too! Tours to Double Island Point run from a couple of outlets in town, and the 4WD adventure to get to Double Island Point is an awesome experience in itself.

kayaking with dolphins
kayaking with dolphins

Ride a horse along the beach

What could be better than watching the surf and taking in the colourful cliffs of Rainbow beach from horseback. The rides take place along a stretch of the beach shut off from vehicles meaning the ride will be serene, quiet and relaxing. Plus if you time it right you’ll get to watch the sunset over the waves. 

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There are plenty of things to do in Rainbow beach but the three activities listed here are some of the most unique experiences you can have while you’re in town. When it comes to a quintessentially Aussie beach town lifestyle, Rainbow Beach is the place to come.

Add these places to your personal Australia Travel Map

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When there is a whole continent to see and epic distances involved, when it comes to travelling in Australia it pays to devise your very own Australia travel map. One specific to the trip that you want to take, that incorporates the very best of all the adventures to be had here but a map that suits your timeframe and budget.

Research your trip well and the Australia travel map you create for your trip will write itself. But with so many places to choose from, it can feel like an impossible task before you’ve even started.

That’s why we’ve broken down the best of the best, the places and experiences we reckon combine the best elements of travel in Australia – adventure, natural beauty and experiences you simply won’t find anywhere else. 

Here Are Some Top Places You Need to Add to Your Personal Australia Travel Map

Whitsunday Islands

The Great Barrier Reef is a symbolic reminder of both the stunning natural beauty of the underwater world and also its fragility. The largest reef in the world lies just off the north Queensland coast and diving or snorkelling its colourful world of corals and fish, sharks and whales should definitely be on your Australia travel map. What’s even better is that the stunning island archipelago of the Whitsundays lies just above it all. 74 islands of blindingly white sand and clear blue seas make for a magical voyage. Check out Whitsunday Sailing Adventures for their tours that take it all in

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calm crystal clear ocean with strokes of raised white sand banks

Uluru and Outback Australia

The Red Centre is an awesome place of red earth, iconic natural wonders and one of the oldest, if not the oldest, cultural histories in the world. And when it comes to Australian icons, you can’t really beat Uluru. The sheer beauty  and vastness of the place is awe inspiring, and with plenty to see and do around the area it’s easy to spend a few days exploring and never get bored. From dusty outback towns full of atmosphere to cattle ranches that stretch for miles, and Uluru at the centre of it all. The Outback should feature on every Australia travel map going, we reckon.

uluru just after sunset

The Blue Mountains

Sydney is a massive draw for travellers and rightly so.  Just outside the city lies the majestic Blue Mountains, and another top place to add to your Australia travel map. Just two hours from Sydney  this gorgeous area delights with soaring peaks and lush green valleys heady with the scent of eucalyptus. One of the most popular sights here is the unusual rock formation affectionately known as The Three Sisters (taken from an Aboriginal story about three sisters turned to stone to protect them during a great battle). Changing intensities of sunlight play on the rock throughout the day, transforming them into different colours.  There are hiking trails in and around the mountains suitable for all levels, along with horse riding, abseiling and cycling.

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lady hanging from large vine in blue mountains

Written by Kate Moxhay at

5 things to do on Fraser Island in 2020

things to do on fraser island

Fraser Island is much more than just sand. This beautiful little spot off the east coast of Australia is as popular as ever and it’s easy to see why. Here are just five reasons to make the journey to this unique, wild paradise island yourself.

Here are top 5 things to do on fraser island in 2020

Hike and swim at Lake Wabby

This stunning lake is the deepest dune lake on the island and, unlike many of the other lakes in the Great Sandy National Park, is full of fish – 12 species have been found here including the rare honey blue-eye fish. The trail head is located just north of Eurong and it’s an easy 40 minute hike to the lakeshore through shady forest and across seemingly endless sand dunes. 

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group having fun n lake wabby

The coloured sands of the Pinnacles

The beautiful coloured sand cliffs which line the eastern coast are a prime example of the island’s unique geological history and a top thing to do on Fraser Island. Formed over hundreds of thousands of years when minerals drained through the sand and dunes, today there are more than 70 different colours on show as a result. Visit at sunrise and sunset when the sun’s rays brings out the red and golden tones in the cliffs. 


Float effortlessly down Eli Creek

Eli Creek, on the eastern beach, is the largest creek on the island. In fact, it’s so large it dumps up to 4 million litres of fresh water into the ocean each hour! Experience all that natural free flowing energy yourself entering the water at the far end of the boardwalk and then float effortlessly down the creek. Eli Creek is a top thing to do on Fraser Island any day of the week.

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Looking for things to do on Fraser Island? Bathe in a natural jacuzzi at Champagne Pools

Cool off in an all natural jacuzzi at Champagne Pools, a series of sandy bottomed rock pools facing the ocean which fill up whenever a wave hits. The waves create a burst of bubbles which, it’s said, feels a lot like champagne. This natural wonder is a unique experience not to be missed and another top thing to do while on Fraser Island. 

things to do on fraser island
group of travellers relaxing in champagne pools on fraser island

Marvel at the Maheno Shipwreck

Probably the most famous of all of Fraser Island’s shipwrecks, the Maheno was forced on to shore way back in 1935, during a fierce cyclone. The Maheno, up until that point, was a well known liner plying the route between Australia and New Zealand for many years. Today her wreckage is an atmospheric, eerie sight, slowly being eaten away by her harsh salty grave. The wreck of the Maheno is a top spot for photographers and a fascinating glimpse into Fraser Island’s history.

Maheno Shipwreck on fraser island
Maheno Shipwreck on fraser island

Written by Kate Moxhay at

The best accommodation in Hervey Bay that won’t break the bank

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When it comes to east coast Australia, one place you can’t miss is Fraser Island. A gorgeous island made  mostly of sand (including the roads!), Fraser Island (or K’gari as it is traditionally known) has wild dingoes, crystal clear lakes, unspoilt wilderness and unique wildlife in spades. In short, it’s a must see.

Most tours start and end in one of two places, Noosa and Hervey Bay. Both are charming towns with plenty to see and do either side of a Fraser Island adventure. But Hervey Bay is still the most popular jumping off point for tours, which, unless you have your own 4WD is the best option for seeing all the sights.

This tropical little outpost is where many of the tour buses depart from almost daily. But Hervey Bay isn’t just a transport hub. Between July and November it’s also one of the best places in Australia to go whale watching, and has a relaxed tropical atmosphere along with 14km of white sand beaches. 

So if you’re searching for the best accommodation in Hervey Bay, we’ve got you covered. Here are the top three places to rest up before or after your Fraser Island adventure.

Woolshed Backpackers

Just a 5 minute walk from Scarness beach, the Woolshed is another excellent choice. It’s cute dining area has an Aussie woolshed theme and there are top facilities on offer such as a TV and DVD player in each room (a DVD!) laundry facilities and kitchens, a well equipped BBQ area, and both snorkelling and sports equipment for rent. Tropical gardens surround the property where you’ll find hammocks for a well earned afternoon nap. This is the place to choose if you want to be close to the beach and various hiking trails nearby.


Flashpackers Hostel

This family owned gem of a place is a friendly, resort style hostel with amazing facilities including palm shaded courtyards and pool. Choose from comfy four to eight bed dorms, or splash out on a private room with your own bathroom. Facilities include a free daily breakfast, free WiFi, a courtesy bus to town and free pick ups from coach stops, fully equipped kitchens along with board games, a pool table and even a cinema with loads of free movies. If you haven’t already booked your Fraser Island trip or fancy heading out to spot some whales, their friendly staff can point you in the direction of the best tours on offer.


YHA Hervey Bay

This multi award winning hostel has all the quality comforts you’d expect from a YHA, plus a few extras. Surrounded by lush tropical gardens the dorms are spotless and if you’ve grown tired of clambering up and down bunk beds you’ll be glad to find all dorm beds are singles. There is a gorgeous pool, a bistro, bar, tennis and basketball courts and a games room. Decent WiFi is offered in both dorm rooms and private rooms, and you can choose to pay a few more dollars for an ensuite bathroom or fast WiFi. There is an excellent tour desk offering trips to Fraser Island and beyond. This place is a solid choice.


When it comes to the best accommodation in Hervey Bay that won’t cost the earth, we reckon these three little gems can’t be beaten

Written by Kate Moxhay at

The Top 3 Best Jobs in Australia 

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The best jobs in Australia are the jobs you know well, and may even do back home, but also jobs you haven’t tried yet. Part of the adventure of travelling and working as you go is getting out of your comfort zone, and trying something you’d never normally get the chance to try back home.

So if you’re in Australia on a Working Holiday Visa and need some inspiration, we reckon these jobs are the ones to go for, both in terms of the money you’ll earn and the (relative) ease with which you can get them.

Here Are The Top 3 Best Jobs in Australia For Everyone

Good with people and know a mai tai from a mojito? Be a bartender

Australia has a lively drinking culture and if you’re an experienced bar tender it’s easy to find work in the bars of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and beyond. This is one of the best jobs in Australia for meeting people, plus the salary you get for this kind of work blows fruit picking out of the park. If you can land a job in one of the more reputable bars in Sydney or Melbourne the money will match the plush surroundings. 

A lot of travellers prefer to work in backpacker bars mostly due to the relaxed atmosphere, chance ot meet fellow travellers and less requirements in terms of experience. You can also get work in more rural areas in local pubs which opens up the chance to speak to locals and gain an insight into rural life. This one’s a winner if you have the right experience.

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bartender fixing up a cocktail

After that second year working holiday visa? It’s fruit picking for you

Fruit picking, or just general “regional work” often gets a bad rap and is rarely considered to be one of the best jobs in Australia. It’s definitely hard and is usually paid according to the amount of fruit or vegetables harvested rather than with an hourly salary. But the reason travellers are eager to find regional work is to complete the golden 88 day regional work requirement in order to gain a second year working holiday visa.

Completing this requirement and getting a second year in Australia doesn’t only mean more adventures but a much better chance of getting well paid office work (more on that below). It also squarely fits the bill as a job which you are unlikely to do back home, or ever again. There is a shared sense of camaraderie on most farms and the mates you make picking pears could be some of the closest you’ll have during your time in Australia. Fruit picking can be hard work, but the benefits out weigh the negatives.

fruit pickers in australia
fruit picker

Want job security, great money and will be around for a while? Office work is your best bet

Working in an office may sound dull but when it comes salary, working conditions and the potential for longer term employment, office work is hard to beat. Positions can be hard to find for travellers but having a two year working holiday visa definitely helps. There is good job security with this one and higher wages means more money to spend travelling and adventuring when you do decide to move on. Working in an office is one of the best jobs in Australia for job security, good wages and the chance to further your career!

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office work

If you are backpacking Australia then definitely check out these best backpacker jobs in Australia too!

Written by Kate Moxhay at

Where is Fraser Island (and how to get there)

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Almost every traveller to Australia will have heard of Fraser Island. The largest sand island in the world is blessed with pristine lakes, unique wildlife and beaches for roads. But you may well be asking, where is Fraser Island? Followed swiftly by, what’s the best way to get there?


Where is Fraser Island? Well, to start the island is perfectly located

Fraser Island sits almost slap bang in the middle of the east coast, around 350km north of Brisbane and almost equidistant between Sydney in the south and Townsville in the north. This perfect location has meant the island has been a popular stopover on the east coast route for many years, this coupled with a World Heritage-Listed status, stunning landscapes, unique wildlife and the chance to drive your heart out along a 75mile beach has made it a top destination. 

map of australia
map of australia

Making the drive from Sydney

Most travellers start tackling the east coast usually head north from Sydney, hitting Fraser Island a few days or weeks later. A straight drive from Sydney to the two jumping off points to the island, namely Noosa and Hervey Bay, will take between 11-13 hours. You could feasibly drive it over two days or take a bus and enjoy the scenery along the way.


Spend some time in the Noosa everglades along the way

Noosa is a popular place to catch a ferry to Fraser Island, but this charming tropical town is well worth a day or two of your time. It’s also home to the Noosa everglades, one of only two everglade systems in the world. Hanging out for a day or two kayaking the peaceful waters spotting wildlife along the way and camping in the bush is a fantastic experience. 

noosa everglades

Must do sights heading north from Sydney to Fraser Island

Other places not to be missed on the route north from Sydney are Byron Bay, a bohemian beach town famous for its perfect surf breaks and alternative lifestyle scene, and the Lone Pine koala sanctuary just outside Brisbane where you’ll come face to fur with Australia’s iconic bear. Brisbane is also a vibrant city with great nightlife and a top foodie scene! 

byron bay
byron bay surfers

Must do sights heading south from Cairns to Fraser Island

Conversely if you’re heading south from Cairns an absolute must see is the Whitsunday Islands, a collection of 74 idyllic paradise islands surrounded by the Great Barrier Reef and probably one of the most rewarding cruises you’ll ever take! Airlie Beach is the place to stop to join a boat tour for a night or two. Another worthy stop over is Mission Beach. Just a couple of hours south of Cairns, Mission Beach is actually a collection of four villages which all face a 14km stretch of pristine golden sand beach. It’s a great place to hang out for a night and chill out on the beach, or if extreme sports are more your bag it’s also one of the top places in the state to skydive.

the whitsundays
pristine body of water next to the rainforest

So, where is Fraser Island? It’s in the heart of the action on the east coast and a magical place to arrive after experiencing all this iconic coast has to offer along the way!

Written by Kate Moxhay at

Why we should all remember that TripAdvisor is run for profit

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TripAdvisor has become so synonymous with travel it’s now difficult to remember life without it. Not only do we seek its advice on where to travel, who to travel with, where to eat and stay, we do so trusting that what we read is the truth, and what the site recommends to us is based on user experience. 

Today we have an incredibly insightful article written by, Kate Moxhay, who is an English travel writer currently living in the murky depths of Manila, Philippines. Despite being based in Asia, she spent a year in Australia and loved it so much she’s planning on coming back permanently next summer! Kate has travelled all over Asia, the Middle East, the US and the Pacific and is a great supporter of locally run, small tour operators, and always values local knowledge over anything else. This is her first guest post for Drop Bear.

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Written by Kate Moxhay at

Here is why we should all remember that TripAdvisor is run for profit by Kate Moxhay

The travel realm is a complex one, with myriad options for every element of the experience from transfers to hotels, tours to top sights and everything in between. It pays to research ahead of time in many respects, after all who wants to be stuck on a badly organised, over priced tour when there is a far better option just over the horizon, had we bothered to check. But when it comes to our most trusted ally amongst this dizzying array of choice and potential bad decision, it’s worth remembering that TripAdvisor is, above all, a profit making enterprise. In fact, some would argue it is slowly morphing into more of an online travel agency than a review site. So, what does that mean for us?


Top results will not always show the best options as voted for by real travellers

TripAdvisor remains a place to look to for real, honest reviews. This is its bread and butter and it rightly takes fake reviews extremely seriously. They know that the reason we look to the site for advice is because we trust that, on the whole, the reviews we read are truthful and honest. And they generally are. But this kind of blind trust in reviews can blinker us into believing that every search we do will provide us with results based purely on user experience, which it definitely does not.

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TripAdvisor bought tour company Viator back in 2014 and is very savvy at promoting Viator tours through the site. The companies that advertise tours and activities through the Viator platform pay around 20-30% in commission, which means it is in TripAdvisor’s interest to promote these tours and activities above all else, including smaller independent operators and, sadly, other tours that often have more positive reviews provided by people who actually experienced them. This sort of self promotion on TripAdvisor’s part makes sense from a business perspective, but the result is a list of seemingly popular tours that may not necessarily be the top tours as voted for by real, independent users. 


Booking through TripAdvisor means being on your own when problems occur

There is a decent amount of pressure by TripAdvisor for users to use their own booking system for things such as tours and hotels. They are often cheap, good deals which makes sense when faced with many options from various sites. But its worth remembering that you’re pretty much on your own if anything goes wrong. This is especially true when booking tours, as the booking is first run through TripAdvisor’s booking system, and then through Viator before it gets to the actual tour company, so if anything were to go wrong with the tour or the booking, TripAdvisor is just a long distant memory.

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The vast majority of bookings go  without a hitch, but whenever a tour booking is that far removed from the tour operator, getting compensated when things go wrong can be very difficult. Whereas booking directly with the tour operator themselves leaves no doubt as to who is responsible when things don’t go according to plan. It’s also far easier to get a feel for what to really expect on a tour when communicating directly with operators, not to mention a far more personal experience. 


Use it for the reviews, above all else!

This mighty behemoth has so far managed to turn itself from an Expedia spin off into a $7billion (and counting) business, and it has done so by intelligent marketing and a lucrative business model based on advertising and revenues from tour operators, hotels and more. It is not purely a repository for authentic reviews, there is now much more to the modus operandi to be aware of. 

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But authentic reviews are still very much there, more than ever. The thing to remember is that finding them can be more difficult than it used to be. The smaller, independent tour operators who struggle against the giants like Viator deserve to be recognised. 

Trust the reviews, and not necessarily the search results. Check that you’re not looking at just a business or hotel that has paid to be up there at the top, rather than one organically grown from user experience. Because it is the reviewers that made this site so popular and useful, not the ads or revenue boosting tactics. 

Look to the reviews above all else, delve a little deeper beyond the initial search results, because that is where you’ll find the best of the bunch.

Written by Kate Moxhay at

The Melbourne Cup is coming! Visit for the race, stay for an unforgettable trip along the Great Ocean Road

Melbourne Cup

Save the date, folks. You might not think to come to Australia just to watch a horse race, but miss out on the Melbourne Cup and you’ll miss out on one of the biggest sporting events of the year in arguably the most sports mad city in Australia! But that’s not the only reason you’ll want to head to Melbourne.


What is the Melbourne Cup?

What’s that, you don’t know the Melbourne Cup? You’re forgiven. Not necessarily as world famous as some locals would have you believe, if you come to Australia and hang around for a while you’ll soon learn about this epic event in the sporting calendar. The Melbourne Cup is an historic thoroughbred horse race held annually at the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne on the first Tuesday in November, which this year falls on Tuesday 5th November. Despite the first race being held back in 1861, the Melbourne Cup is as important to modern day Melburnians as ever and there is lots on besides the big race.

Melbourne Cup

How to watch it and what’s on besides

The Melbourne Cup is actually part of a bigger festival called the Melbourne Cup Carnival held at the Flemington Racecourse, along with cup themed events all over Melbourne. There are a total of four race days, with the main race on 5th November, but expect all manner of festivities across the city from fashion events to food pop ups and entertainment. Every pub, restaurant and bar will have their own Melbourne Cup inspired night so check local listings and get involved.


For tickets to the race itself check out the official Melbourne Cup website for details.


Why you should hang out in Melbourne for longer

You can’t come to Australia and not pay a visit to it’s very special second city. Melbourne is a cultural haven of top notch art galleries, museums, indie cinemas and iconic laneways filled with street art and hidden bars. But beyond the city streets lies the beautiful coast of Victoria and the world famous Great Ocean Road.

Great Ocean Road

Just a 90 minute drive out of the CBD, the Great Ocean Road is a wild and windswept drive past the crashing waves of the Southern Ocean, soaring cliffs and iconic sights such as the mighty limestone spires of the 12 Apostles. Most people who decide to come to Australia or Melbourne specifically take the time to explore this gorgeous stretch of road.


There are many tours to join but the most sociable on offer is that offered by Teepee Tours on their 2 day 1 night Great Ocean Road surf camp trip! The bus stops whenever you decide just like it would if you had hired your own ride. All tours include a good surfing session for a couple of hours, the opportunity to spot kangaroos and koalas along the way. Best of all your get to camp in their enormous teepee complete with campfire in the middle. Check out more here and book direct to get the best deal!


If you’re going to come to Australia, live like the Aussies for a while and bet on the races one day then cruise wild and windy Great Ocean Road the next. What are you waiting for?

From Sydney to the Whitsundays – Top 5 Essential Stopovers 

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The East Coast is Australia’s best loved and most travelled route. From the gleaming skyscrapers of Circular Quay in Sydney to the underwater wonderland of the Great Barrier Reef up in the north, the contrasting experiences on offer are second to none. Planning an east coast adventure can seem like a daunting task but we reckon we’ve managed to highlight the absolute must see destinations on any route from Sydney to the Whitsundays. You cannot pass these destinations by!


The Blue Mountains, Sydney’s backdoor wonderland

This stunning mountain range is within spitting distance (by Aussie standards) of the Sydney CBD reached in just under 2 hours by car, and are a grand introduction to the natural wonders of eastern Australia. Earning their name from the natural blue haze produced by their vast forests of eucalyptus trees, the Blue Mountains offer excellent hiking trails, stunning vistas including the famous Three Sisters rock formation, hikes past remote waterfalls and the chance to learn about the area’s ancient Aboriginal heritage. Check out our eco adventure tour to the Blue Mountains here!

Blue Mountains Three Sisters

Byron Bay, the counter-culture capital of Australia

This former hippie hang out still retains much of that alternative feel and faces one of the best beaches on the east coast. Spend your days learning to surf, people watching from one of the cool vegan cafes or take a hike to the most easterly point in Australia. Byron Bay, or “the Bay” as locals call it, has been the ground zero for Australian counter-culture for years. In keeping with its reputation, the town recently prevented McDonald’s from setting up shop, therefore retaining its independent character. Adventure Dudes run one fo the best tours to the Bay out there, including the chance to kayak with dolphins! 


Noosa, a tropical town with a unique environment

This quaint little town brims with tropical charm and natural beauty, from its cute independent shops to the miles of white sand beaches, lakes and national parks that surround it. Noosa is also home to one of only two everglade environments in the world (the other being in Florida, USA). A serene kayak tour through the sun dappled waterways looking out for birds and other wildlife is a once in a lifetime experience, and the chance to cool off with a wild swim in the Noosa river. Kanu Kapers offers a superb self guided kayak journey through the everglades

Abseiling Tour Noosa

Fraser Island, where the dingo rules the beaches

This World-Heritage Listed sand island is the largest of its kind in the world and an absolute must do while you’re heading up north. The unique landscapes of Fraser include pristine rainwater fed lakes, endemic wildlife seen nowhere else (the Fraser Island dingo is the purest strain of dingo in Australia), endless miles of wild beaches and an eerie shipwreck past. Go hiking, camping, swimming and exploring on this gem of an island. You’ll need a 4WD vehicle to get around so join a guided tour or get help hiring your own vehicle with the friendly folks over at Drop Bear Adventures!

Fraser Island 4wd Tour

The Whitsunday Islands, where paradise is repeated 74 times over

The Whitsundays are the jewel in the crown of the east coast and cruising through the turquoise waters and untouched beauty of these magical islands is unparalleled. Snorkel and dive on the Great Barrier Reef, explore the islands on foot with a guide and learn about the creatures and plants that make the Whitsundays their home, or just kick back on deck and take in the stunning scenery.  Whitsundays Sailing Adventures are the proud owners of an old world charm, polished timber sail boat, Summertime. With all the beauty of a classic boat combined with 21st century amenities, Summertime is the perfect vessel to guide you through the beauty of the Whitsundays. Check her out here! 

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Three islands of Australia you don’t want to miss

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There are more than 8,000 islands off the coasts of Australia, and unless you’re planning on staying for a few decades chances are you won’t have time to visit them all. Each one has its own charm and unique characteristics, and some are better known than others (Shag Island, anyone?) but when it comes to the must see islands of Australia, the three listed below sit well and truly at the top of the list.

Fraser Island

The largest sand island in the world is also a World Heritage listed site and an absolute must see while in Queensland. Fraser is a wild island of rainforests, lakes, pristine beaches and unique wildlife, including the purest strain of dingo in Australia. Spend your days hiking, swimming and exploring the forests and beaches that make this peaceful place so unique among the islands of Australia. Lake McKenzie is particularly beautiful, with clear blue waters and sandy shores. It’s position high above the water table means its waters are pure rain water, which is about as pure as you can get. To see the island with the best guides in the business (and the top rated on TripAdvisor) check out Drop Bear Adventures, and choose from either of their excellent 2 or 3 day Fraser Island Tours by 4WD. Camp under the stars, spot turtles and sharks from Indian Head, cruise 75 mile beach and swim and hike your way across the island. 

The Whitsundays

Ok, there’s not just one island, but 74 patches of paradise blessed with blindingly white, fine sand beaches and crystal clear turquoise waters, all located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. Whitehaven Beach is an award winner and particularly popular; its white silica sand (an extremely soft and fine mineral which feels like baby talc to walk on) lapped by clear blue waters make for a true Robinson Crusoe dreamscape, completely untouched by development. But all the islands are gorgeous and a top draw to visitors travelling through northern Queensland. Most are uninhabited national parks but you can visit them on any number of boat tours operating out of Airlie Beach. Whitsundays Sailing Adventures offers a 2 day 1 night adventure aboard their stunning 17.5m sail boat S.S. Whitehaven. Taking in all the top snorkelling sites around the Whitsundays and with a strong emphasis on teaching travellers about the island’s ecological diversity with onshore island explorations, her big open decks and comfortable seating mean there are plenty of places to sunbathe while on board.

Book direct here!


Magnetic island

A short 25 minute ferry ride from Townsville, the palm-fringed shores of Magnetic Island make this one of the most beautiful of all the islands of Australia. Named Magnetic Island by Captain Cook back in 1770 when the island appeared to affect the magnetic compass on his ship, today just 2,500 people call the island home making it a serene place ripe for exploration. Hiking trails through forests of eucalyptus, rugged natural landscapes and close proximity to the Great Barrier Reef mean excellent wildlife spotting opportunities both above and below the water. There are a total of 23 beaches here and excellent diving at the SS Yongala wreck, plus the chance to spot koalas (there are more koalas here than anywhere else in Northern Australia) and more from the Hawkings Track, an easy 1.2km hike with fantastic views. And there is no better way of seeing the lot than from behind the wheel of a barbie inspired topless car, which are for rent everywhere on the island.


When to comes to islands of Australia, these gems are absolute must sees!