About two weeks into our adventures in Australia we realized that we had quite a bit of ground to cover before our departure. Since many of the points of interest on our list were quite the distance to visit within one day, we decided to embark on a road trip down the east coast! Since we previously lived in a camper in New Zealand for a week, we figured that driving a caravan was a practical way to eat, sleep and drive down the coast. This gave us the flexibility to condense our sight-seeing with stops along the way as we saw fit. Although it may have been an incredible experience, not to mention exhausting, we have memories from that one time when we caravanned our way through Australia to find hidden gems. Here are six off the beaten path experiences that we enjoyed!
After a 40-minute walk to the falls, this park provides a stunning view as the quintessential off the beaten path experience. Visitors have been known to use it as an opportunity to hike or veer off the path to the water bank to swim. While we were there, we met two Aussies near one of the falls called Devil’s Tongue that are so good at white water rafting that they starred in a Coors Light beer commercial. The commercial features them rafting down a 70-foot waterfall, which both of them confessed was shot multiple times to get the perfect clip. Judging by the length of the canoe that they hoisted on their shoulder up the path, these guys certainly had the passion and stamina to endure this extreme sport!
The free entry into Behana Gorge seems as if it would attract more tourist however the walking trail may not be friendly for those uncomfortable with a difficult walking path since the road is mostly at an incline. We have an average level of fitness and were left a bit winded! We recommend visiting with a fellow traveler or with a group of travelers for encouragement as the trek to see the falls up close is on a steep well-paved road. If you’re looking to get away from the crowds and big cities this is the place for you.
Open daily for adventure activity, conferences and educational tours, Capricorn Caves is an ecotourism site between Cairns and Brisbane. The sustainable site focuses primarily on environmental and conservation appreciation by providing geo tours for geological discovery, adventure caving for children and adults of all ages, climbing wall and a high ropes course to test your physical agility. Of the three guided tours, we purchased tickets to experience Cathedral Cave since it is the most popular site and easy walking not to mention wheel-chair accessible.
The 60-minute tour includes a series of caves that are cool for viewing under solar powered LED lights but the true gem of the tour was visiting Cathedral Cave itself. As the name suggests, the designated space is equipped with church pews for wedding ceremonies and its near perfect acoustics makes it an Underground Opera venue. To give us an idea of the acoustics, our tour guide queued Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain” over a sound system and turned off the lights leaving us to sit in complete darkness. But before visitors could panic, the cave echoed with Adele’s voice which was accompanied by a red and iridescent white light show that looked and sounded out of this world! After the demonstration, we took a photo at the highest point of the cave where the bride and groom would stand during the ceremony.
Burleigh Heads National Park
Located between Surfer’s Paradise and Byron Bay, Burleigh Heads is the heart of the Gold Coast known for its vibrant community and laid back hospitality. Once we arrived at our accommodations, our host (who happened to be a fellow American, woot, woot!) recommended that we explore the park which was within walking distance of our place. The park is considered the smallest national park in Australia yet it is offers a diverse range of habitats. The easy walk on the paved path offers views of the beautiful rocky shore, rainforest and bench seating for stops along the way. If your timing is right, you may even get a chance to see the whales in the spring from one of the lookout points.
Have you visited any of these places before? If not, contact us and we’ll help plan your trip to Australia!
If enjoyed this article, please share or pin this post using the share buttons below!