As many backpackers, and especially those who travel on their own, I had planned my East Coast journey before I started it. It was the first time for me to travel that way: Usually I am the kind of person who doesn’t plan anything and prefers to arrive and decide spontaneously.
However, for Australia’s East Coast it was more than helpful to have planned everything beforehand. I realised that people who arrived without having booked anything couldn’t really do whatever they wanted because there were no places left, just like for the Whitsunday Islands. I was also lucky to know all the “secret places” that travel agent’s always talk about to their costumers, as for example Noosa’s fairy pools. So many people didn’t go because they just didn’t know them and regretted it when I showed them my photos!
And of course, perhaps the most important reason for me to have booked the whole trip in advance, is the money: If you buy everything in a package it obviously is cheaper than if you buy one thing after the other.
But I have to be honest, if it wasn’t Australia, where planned trips are cheaper and where you are more sure to get what you want if booking in advance, I would definitely prefer doing everything on my own. Waking up whenever I want to, choosing the places I want to see, just traveling on my own, no compromises, only with myself. But I knew, with the few days I had, I would’t have been able to do as many things as I wanted to during my East Coast journey.
Another thing you should know, and not all travel agents mention that, is the fact that there are two bus companies you can chose: Premiers and Grey Hounds. The latter has Wi-Fi and power points in the buses, but that’s the only difference, except for the price: Premiers is much cheaper, so this is the one I chose.
One thing that would have made my trip a lot better is more time: 15 days for all these things were possible, but not enough at all. I was tired in the end and I know I wouldn’t have been if I had had some more days in between to just relax at the beach and do whatever I felt like. Of course I could have also chosen to visit less places, but I was just too curious to see everything.
Absolute highlights during the East Coast journey were: Hostel “Art’s Factory” in Byron Bay, Noosa’s fairy pools, Fraser Island (everything!!!), Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island and diving and snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef.
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