After Maggie Island with everyone it was certainly strange to hop on the greyhound and for it to be just me and Liam again. It felt especially strange to be going our separate way from James as he had always been on the greyhound bus with us up until then! We were still pretty excited though as we knew we had some pretty amazing plans coming up.
First on the agenda were a few days in Cairns to consolidate and get ready for our big 3 week road-trip across Australia! We didn’t really plan to do anything much at all in Cairns because we knew the road-trip was going to haemorrhage money! We had a look around though of course and strangely enough when we first walked into the hostel we bumped into Sam & Lizzy from the farm right in the hallway!! We just can’t seem to get away haha! Cairns itself was just okay I guess, it had a gorgeous lagoon and a pretty nice beach but we skipped it all as we were too distracted by our upcoming plans.
The first part of our road-trip was pretty much just a sprint towards the Outback so we could get to the really cool places. There wasn’t very much in-between although we did thoroughly enjoy the drive! We drove down the East Coast towards Townsville before heading inland for the first 3 days. We quickly saw a change in the surroundings the further south we got as of course up in North Queensland it’s tropical and lush and then it just got flatter and dryer the further south and west we went!
One thing we really did take for granted was the advice we got from a few people……..we didn’t appreciate just how real and dangerous a factor the Kangaroos are in Australia. I don’t think you really appreciate it until something actually happens to you! We didn’t think it would be a problem at all on our very first day to drive just a little after dark. We were so so wrong though! We were literally 1 minute away from our rest stop for the night when an enormous muscular Roo jumps straight out in front of the car. To be honest I thought that was our trip over before it even started, time sort of slowed down and we both braced to hit it but by some luck we missed it by millimeters! I was seriously shocked at the sheer amount of dead Roo’s we saw at the side of the road, there were hundreds of them!
We stopped at a few places along the way in the first couple of days, just things like viewpoints that were signposted and a few small towns that seemed interesting. We also stopped at Lake Mary Ann and it was heavenly to get out of the sweat-box van and have a dip in the lake. There were also showers and honestly we will never take for granted having a shower again as they were few and far between! There wasn’t much to see for miles and miles though at some points along the journey, the roads were so straight and stretched so far out in front that it just blurred into the distance. In the outback we didn’t see many other vehicles at all apart from the enormous road trains!
Our first major stop was at a place called the Devils Marbles. We managed to arrive in the evening just in time for the sunset which was gorgeous and then parked right next to the marbles in middle of nowhere we got our first glimpse of the most beautiful night sky I have ever seen. In the morning we woke up to the sunrise over the marbles too and then explored a little bit of the National Park before heading off again in search of more stunning views! We had a stop at Alice Springs when we were passing through just to give ourselves a little bit of a moral boost and stock up on supplies. It wasn’t a very nice town to be honest though and even though it brands itself as a city, it’s very small and has very few draws apart from the fact that it’s the only civilisation for miles around! We had a drive up to Anzac Hill which was a war memorial and viewpoint for the city which was nice but that was all that we felt inclined to do in Alice!