This is the second page of pictures from my trip to Australia, specifically covering the spring break trip up the Australian East Coast with some study abroad students.
I had mid semester break and travelled north on a bus with some people I knew and some people I got to know. Below is a map of where we went, Byron Bay, Surfer's Paradise, Fraser Island (Hervey Bay), the Whitsundays, and Cairns. Naturally, I was a horrible photographer, so I'll keep adding other people's photos as I receive them.
The other people on my trip with me, here out known as "friends", took photographs when I didn't at Byron Bay. It was nice to start the trip with a beach, especially after many of us had exams or other assignments due just before this trip.
2009-09-19 Here is a picture of me standing at Byron Bay. Just after the beach there is a big rock you can climb and look down at the surfers, or take a picture like Gerhard did here. photo credit - Gerhard
2009-09-19 A nice overlook of Byron Beach. No one down there is having fun. Australians wish the weather would get cold sometime during the year, with snow and ice. Just kidding, who wants snow? photo credit - Gerhard
2009-09-19 This is the lighthouse we hiked to from the beach. Upon reaching it I had to explain what White Castle was because no other Americans had joined us at that point. photo credit - Natasha
2009-09-19 This sign was at the lighthouse, however the most Easterly point was actually about one hundred metres away from us, so I didn't want this lying picture. photo credit - Natasha
2009-09-19 Of course I looked up a small brewery in town to visit, however we got there an hour before happy hour. We weren't about to pay full price for beer, so we went across the street to the hostel Arts Factory, which is one of the more interesting hostels we stopped in at. A lot of tents with hippies, and this guy. He wanted ten dollars for us to ride it as much as we want all day, but we knew better. Our money was better spent on beer next door. photo credit - Gerhard
2009-09-19 Here is a car parked in the carpark between the Arts Factory (background) and the brewery. As usual, I am thrilled to let the world know I am a chemical engineer. photo credit - Kamil
2009-09-20 We buried Natasha in the sand, and Kamil showed his talents at making a sand woman. photo credit - Gerhard
2009-09-20 For some reason not much effort was put into making me a sand man. photo credit - Gerhard
We only briefly passed through Surfer's Paradise. The highlights were a big beach (we arrived as the surf rentals shut down), a street entertainer begging for money, and two scantily clad ladies advertising ice cream.
2009-09-21 Here is us (Rich, Gerhard, Kamil, Natasha, and Ivy) in front of the big Surfer's Paradise sign, proof we actually stopped. photo credit - George
Naturally I didn't take any photos for the first week of the trip. But really I didn't miss much, just a bunch of beaches and bus rides. Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world, which makes it really pretty and some stuff really weird. Plus, it is sandy. I don't like sand. Sand gets everywhere. EVERYWHERE!
2009-09-22 This is the majority of the occupants of our truck. We did a self-drive tour, which was a lot of fun, however I guess they'll be stopping self drive for safety. Also, digital cameras should allow an infinitely long panoramic picture for groups of people. Pictured here (left to right) is Gerhard, Ivy, Kamil, George, Zdiska, Natasha, and Veronica.
2009-09-22 Here are some fellow travelers on Fraser Island. Pictured here (left to right) is Ivy, Natasha, Jelena, and Veronica. photo credit - Zdiska
2009-09-22 This is the wreck of the Maheno, which dates to before the Second World War. It's rusty and old; actually not that interesting.
2009-09-22 Remember how the picture above has everyone standing next to the boat? Yea, we found this sign and though it was kinda silly. I promise I left after seeing the sign. The boat was boring anyway.
2009-09-22 Everyone posing on top of Indian Head. photo credit - Natasha
2009-09-22 You can see both beaches from this angle. Maybe next time I'll learn which way is up so the photo will be level.
2009-09-22 They were too chicken to dive off the edge. It would have been fun.
2009-09-22 Walking back from Indian Head. SOME people stopped for the photo while some OTHER people kept walking. I don't know who to be mad at, but I guess the photo turned out.
2009-09-23 We spent most of our day at Lake McKenzie. The sand was mostly silica, and the water was empty, save a few turtles. Because this is a sand island, this lake has almost no nutrients in it, to the extent that anything humans bring in, like sunscreen, changes the lake's pH and nutrient level. Kamil, Natasha, Zdiska, and I went for a long swim (I thought it was long) to a peninsula in the middle of the lake. There were carnivorous flowers on the ground there because of the lack of nutrients. photo credit - Kamil
2009-09-23 After spending the morning at the beach, and the afternoon eating lunch, we were running out of time to do our rain forest walk. On an island as small as Fraser Island, the rainforest isn't that impressive. It would have probably been a nice trek, but we were tired and it was just extra. The biggest problem, however, was that Kamil had the foresight to stay behind and sleep a bit, and we had to live with ourselves making the wrong decision. photo credit - Zdiska
2009-09-23 The most exciting part of our rain forest walk was finding this huge tree. We gave it a hug. photo credit - Natasha
2009-09-23 Here is us pushing the car after getting bogged. I think the moral of this story is that Natasha feels taking photos is more helpful than helping. photo credit - Natasha
2009-09-23 It got really cold at night, and dark. The rental company's truck blew a fuse the first night, so the radio and cigarette lighter didn't work, which meant the torch the company gave us also didn't work. So we mostly sat around in blankets talking and playing mafia (like the card game bang!). We were about to go for a walk, and three of the ladies were huddled together really cold, so Kamil and I thought we'd try to help keep them warm. photo credit - Gerhard
2009-09-24 Sunrises are overrated. Much too early. This is also the last photo I have of me wearing my jacket... it found itself in a watery grave the next day.
2009-09-24 This is Lake Wabby, where we swam on the day we departed. The rangers make a mistake of telling people not to run down the dune into the lake... which makes it sound awesome. Instead, people rolled into the lake which was much more confusing and more fun. This was also a trek inland from our car, and we learned that the ISLAND WAS ON FIRE! So we had to cut our swimming short and hike out in order to drive off the island via beaches before high tide, instead of the inland track we took to get here. Perhaps we should have taken our time, and "gotten stuck" on the island for another day.
2009-09-24 Leaving the island on the ferry. You can see the big cloud that the fire was producing for us, but for most of our driving we didn't notice it aside from smelling smoke in the air.
2009-09-24 This is us unpacking our truck. Coming from Michigan, I noticed that there were no American cars on the island. I think I saw two Fords and one Holden. Almost all of the trucks were Toyota, along with a small presence of Mitsubishi, Mazda, and Isuzu heavy vehicles. This truck is a Toyota Land Cruiser, which we named "Bertha the White Rabbit". It served us well, but there were other cars which could drive circles around us on the island.
2009-09-24 Us after the trip. The guy taking this photo didn't realize that he could zoom in or walk closer to us, but hey, it has everyone in it.
2009-09-24 Kamil being the big man unloading the truck.
2009-09-24 Kamil was quickly replaced.
2009-09-25 After I lost my jacket on this beach the night before, we returned to search for it. To my dismay, we never found it, however while the others in our group climbed a big sand dune (which was really sandy), Zdiska and I flew my kite. For some reason she couldn't take a photo of herself flying the kite, so here is one of me. That is smoke from controlled burns in the background. photo credit - Zdiska
2009-09-25 This is what happened to the people who climbed the sand dune, they were eaten by the sand. photo credit - Natasha
2009-09-25 While waiting to depart George found a coconut and proceeded to eat it. Despite Natasha's face, it tasted good.
The Whitsunday Islands
After Fraser Island we added yet one more to our party (Elise, see below) and went to the Whitsunday Islands, which are a bunch of smaller islands. We were on a twenty-something person sail boat which was a good time.
2009-09-25 We stopped for a few hours on the bus ride to wait for another bus. I took this picture of Sam's Warehouse, however I could not enter. This gives me hope that one day the rest of the world will be as great as America with Walmart and Sam's Club everywhere.
2009-09-26 This is a clever idea to let everyone know who is who. Unfortunately sunscreen removed the marker really quickly, so I still only remember the majority of the boat as "the Irish" or "that guy from Manchester" ect. photo credit - Gerhard
2009-09-26 I don't know where Ivy found that pirate hat, either way it made me nervous. photo credit - Natasha
2009-09-26 Here are Natasha and Zdiska in an adorable photograph, moments before we received a lecture on how those lines being held have TONS of force on them, and could suck both girls through their respective pulleys at any second. photo credit - Natasha
2009-09-26 Remember how I didn't remember anyone's name from the boat? Well, here is a bunch of people, you may guess at their real names. photo credit - Natasha
2009-09-26 George and Elise posing like they are in the movie Titanic. Or so I assume this is what that famous scene looked like: I have never seen the movie, and will never see it. photo credit - George
2009-09-27 I think this is Whitehaven beach, however there were two beaches facing each other and I'm not sure which one was Whitehaven, and which wasn't. You can see how hazy it is because of the dust storms which were occurring. The islands were still beautiful, however they probably could have been more beautiful without the dust.
2009-09-27 Here is Zdiska, Kamil, Natasha, George, and Gerhard all in front of the beautiful beach you kinda saw above. photo credit - Natasha
2009-09-27 So this is the beach which we visited. The beach pictured above is the dark island to the right. The dark water directly below the island is where all of this silica (white sand) comes from.
2009-09-27 Natasha and Elise.
2009-09-27 Kamil rock climbing.
2009-09-27 My new home. I think I will become a troll when I grow up now.
2009-09-27 Zdiska not looking silly like the rest of us.
2009-09-27 George wanted to eat something else after that coconut. I think we saw this on the rainforest walk, and it is edible- after three days of preparation.
2009-09-27 Ivy, Elise, and Natasha driving the boat. We didn't get lost, however we had to stop for directions, which is worse. photo credit - Natasha
2009-09-27 It would appear that the human pyramid is an American phenomenon. Or at least not common in Russia. photo credit - Natasha
2009-09-27 George is going to go catch us our dinner. Tuna, I think. photo credit - Gerhard
2009-09-27 Elise was my SCUBA buddy, however she didn't stay with me perfectly, and missed the cuttlefish I saw. photo credit - Natasha
2009-09-28 Everyone who went sailing with us.
2009-09-28 Survival kit contents check. In them you'll find: one forty-five calibre automatic; two boxes of ammunition; four days' concentrated emergency rations; one drug issue containing antibiotics, morphine, vitamin pills, pep pills, sleeping pills, tranquilizer pills; one miniature combination Russian phrase book and Bible; one hundred dollars in rubles; one hundred dollars in gold; nine packs of chewing gum; one issue of prophylactics; three lipsticks; three pair of nylon stockings. Shoot, a fella' could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff. photo credit - Natasha
2009-09-29 THIS IS SLIPPERY!!!
2009-09-29 Because we were using two different bus companies, some of us waited for a bit at Airlie Beach before heading to Cairns. It justified me bringing my hammock on this trip. photo credit - George
Birthdays in Cairns
After the Whitsundays we took the bus to Cairns (some of us might have lounged around for an afternoon first). We had to make it before the first because both Kamil and Natasha had birthdays on that day. We made it, and I tried to take extra pictures than normal because Natasha (who normally takes photos) was busy celebrating her 21st birthday (Kamil turned 26).
2009-10-01 Before the festivities, I want to point out that this sign is silly. And it goes with my theme of disobeying posted rules. photo credit - Elise
2009-10-01 What a great way to start a night, sandriched.
2009-10-01 Gerhard and Zdiska cooking. We ended up calling these things Taiwan Pancakes, and they were delicious.
2009-10-01 We were kinda hungry... here is Kamil and Elise sneaking a pancake.
2009-10-01 Somehow Zdiska is still cooking, despite her pancakes being snatched as soon as they are made.
2009-10-01 Here are the pancakes themselves. I didn't help much, being lazy as I am, but what I gathered is that they are most of the ingredients you put into an omelette with some cornstarch, fried. They were delicious.
2009-10-01 Here is all of us sitting around ready to eat. George got fancy and found us some sparkling wine for the occasion.
2009-10-01 We had cake to go with the birthday. I could not remember how to light sparklers with other sparklers (I'm an American, our national holiday involves fireworks!), so we brought out the cake with one sparkler lit. photo credit - Gerhard
2009-10-01 Cleaning up after dinner. Remember how I'm lazy? He he he.
2009-10-01 Those people not cleaning, because they cooked, or it is their birthday today. You should not have to work on your birthday. Unless you are Kamil. Then you have to do dishes.
Great Barrier Reef
The next day we went to the Great Barrier Reef. I took no photos because it is under water, but some people did.
2009-10-02 Us on the deck of the boat which took us to sea. I'm trying to become less white. Maybe exercising would be a more effective method of improving my appearance. Or a haircut. photo credit - Gerhard
2009-10-02 Here I am snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef. photo credit - Natasha
2009-10-02 Kamil is a better swimmer than me, so he could pose for a picture. photo credit - Natasha
2009-10-02 This stupid thing was advertised for the boat. When you first see the picture in the pamphlet, you ask "wait- they drag you behind the boat? And it is fun?" Then, when you are on the boat, and they throw the net over, you ask "wait- you drag me behind this boat? And it is fun?" Then, you are getting dragged behind the boat, and guess what? It isn't fun. photo credit - Zdiska
2009-10-02 Everyone who held onto the boom net came away with these marks on their back and legs. Except Ivy; somehow she held on with no worries at all. photo credit - Natasha
For the rest of our stay in Cairns, we spent one day at the Great Barrier Reef, which I didn't take photos for because it is under water. The next day we went to the Daintree Rainforest north of Cairns.
2009-10-03 Here is a river. I'm not sure what it is called, but we wandered around on the stones a bit.
2009-10-03 Everyone who did not wander around on the stones. Which was everyone except for Elise and me as Natasha flew home the day before. Maybe we were stupid for rock hopping. I doubt it.
2009-10-03 I suppose this is what I looked like to all the people who didn't go stone hopping. photo credit - Kamil
2009-10-03 Elise in the river. My rock-hopping abilities are much better than hers, as I never got wet!
2009-10-03 After our brief river walk, we were taken to an animal preserve thingy. Probably because the company we hired with realized people want to see animals, and we would not see any real animals in the jungle. I think this was a freshwater crocodile. The big salt water croc in the next cage was recently fed, so we barely saw him. There was also wallabies and birds, but they are boring. Also, my camera was low on batteries.
2009-10-03 Here is a nice picture of us in front of a rainforest. photo credit - Zdiska
2009-10-03 After the zoo we went across the Daintree river via ferry, and after a bit of driving, we took another walk. This was a cool-looking vine, it had grown around a tree which has since rotted away.
2009-10-03 It is a marsh. I like marshes.
2009-10-03 A vine on a tree, where we ate lunch. If I were that tree, I'd get out of Dodge fast. However, the tree is a tree, and trees don't move (much).
2009-10-03 This is Cape Tribulation, which was named when Captain Cook was having a bad day. The nice thing is that there is a palm tree on a white sandy beach (left side)!!! Those are really hard to find. Now it just needs waitstaff bringing me cocktails and a hammock.
2009-10-04 Waiting for the taxi to take us to the airport. Little did we know that Queensland doesn't celebrate daylight savings time like New South Wales. You can see I was thrilled to leave. photo credit - George