We have been LUCKY enough to spend 12 months touring the East Coast of Australia – plus a little bit of inland Queensland. This is such a HUGE place that we feel like we have only covered a small chunk of it, even after a year on the road, but a look back over our photos shows just how diverse the landscapes have been.
We got talking to a lady at the Cabarita Beach headland the other night when we were looking for whales and we were comparing photos of the sunset from the night before. It had been a full moon rising out of the ocean with a glowing sunset and we both had great shots. That got us thinking about all the magical sunsets we have seen over the past 12 months – that plus the fact that we are all about the COLOUR of SUNSHINE after all – and it lead to this little gallery. 12 months work of sunsets over the ocean, lakes, rivers, desert, bays, rainforests, national parks and over towns. Not all sunsets are created equal, but we always make sure to stop and reflect on the day, the week, our lives and big adventures whenever we see a good one! Join us for a walk down memory lane.
Those sunsets when you’re housesitting and your new four-legged hairy mates are running alongside you and jumping in the waves. Just brilliant! This gorgeous and cheeky fella is Charlie, one of the puppies we had the pleasure of getting to know in Cabarita Beach.
Lets kick off with a non-traditional sunset photo. You will see a fair few shots of the sun setting over the ocean here and magical colours reflected in the sky, but this sunset was equally as magical without all that usual noise. We were staying at Babinda Boulders free campsite (one hour south of Cairns) and exploring the waterhole at sunset after having taken a swim earlier in the day. As the sun set the turtles came out and fed from the insects on the surface. The boulders and trees reflected in the water and made for an extremely tranquil and internally-reflective experience.
This beauty was a surprise sunset as we took what we thought was an afternoon stroll along the beach at Evans Head. Turns out the sun sets much earlier in NSW than in Qld, especially in winter!
When you head up to the headland to look for whales at sunset (easier to spot in the morning and afternoon when the sun is not reflecting on the water) and get totally distracted buy the sunset instead. This is Cabarita Beach as seen from half way up the headland.
Who doesn’t LOVE Noosa!? Stupid, question. Everyone loves Noosa. The beach is magical, the national park is a wonderland and the river.. ohh the river. We always camp at the Noosa River Holiday Park and this sunset view is park of the reason why.
Our first stop then we arrived back from Chile in July was Laurieton, in the Camden Haven region, with Monique’s parents while we regrouped, repacked and slept off our jet lag. We also made sure to get out and see the area, and had a few great sunsets, like this one, over North Haven beach.
After being disappointed with the offerings of Rainbow Beach, we continued up the highway in search of somewhere else to stay for a couple of nights. We had just left Noosa so had high expectations. Burrum Heads maybe a small town, like very small, but she has a great vibe and SENSATIONAL sunsets. It was hard to pick a favorite but you can see a few more on our instagram here and here.
When was the first time that you saw TURTLES in the WILD? Well.. this was our first time! To say we were excited is an understatement. A massive understatement. It was even better to think that we had been swimming in that water earlier that day. This sunset was so very special, it will stay with us both for a long time. Ohh.. and where is this great place? It’s Alligator Creek Campiste in the Bowling Green Bay National Park, just south of Townsville.
Away from the water and in the dry, drought ravaged desert we were treated to sunsets like this on a daily basis when we went inland for a job at the Belyando Crossing Roadhouse. When the rain finally came, sunsets like this was often followed by great lightening shows too. With no light pollution you could see the strikes of lightening from miles away and feel the power behind their roar!
A cloudy sunset is not necessarily a bad thing. This is Anai, admiring the storm rolling in over the Town of 1770 at sunset. We were semi-stranded in Agnes Water at this point, as the water had risen over the bridge and the roads were periodically closed. We were also riding out our time until a job offer came in – which as it tuns out only took a few days. After the storms left us we headed out to Noosa to enjoy our last few days of freedom before starting work at the Scenic Rim.
Then there was that time that we stumbled upon these guys outside the goal at South West Rocks – such posers (also Anai took a more XXX rated photo of these guys – accidentally she claims – check it out here)
When in Lennox Head, you MUST visit Lake Ainsworth at sunset. I mean really, just look at this! We were treated to a sunset like this everyday over the lake. Take your picnic blanket and enjoy a wine, some cheese and grapes with this view.
A sneaky photo taken at work from the Spicers Canopy Eco Lodge. The sun set in the opposite direction to this but sometimes the colours lit up the whole sky, like this, and you felt like you were in a magical fairy-land!
Easily our best surprise was Cape Hillsborough. We did not know what to expect and we only booked in a few nights at Smalleys Beach because Monique had read that there is a chance you can see kangaroos on the beach at sunrise. About 5 minutes after arriving at the campsite and falling in love with the place, we tried to extend or stay but the National Park camping was all booked out. Next time we will certainly book in at least a week. This sunset view was taken from the end of our private walkway to the beach.
Speaking of great National Park campsites…. this is Byfield National Park, where the locals tell you to swim on the Upper park of the river only, not the lower part as you can get Estuarine crocodiles – the real nasty fuckers also knows as satlies – in the lower part of the river. We chose to not swim in the river at all and really not even get close to it. This is not really the heart of croc-country and we were surprised that they were here. However one night we were awoken by the noise of a tail brushing against our tent… I have never had to many thoughts rushing through my head at the same time, or felt my heart beating so loundly in the mouth. From the fringe of croc-country into heartland of it, this is Ellis Beach in Cairns. Home to crocodiles and stingers that will kill you on contact, that water looks a lot less inviting now doesn’t it! We hit Ellis Beach at the start of stinger season and the locals seemed to think it was still okay to swim – the motto, as far as we can tell, is that you can keep swimming until the first person is stung, then it’s all over. We chose to stay out of the water all together, although Max (our slightly braver travel companion at the time) jumped in the water for a few minutes. We should point out that Max felt okay dong this because there was a small child in the water also. They make easier prey.
Sometimes you don’t get a sunset because you’re in the middle of a world heritage listed rainforest, with a canopy so thick and luscious that you don’t see much of the sun. What you do get though, is a long and magical twilight – as we are enjoying here in Finch Hatton Gorge. Like the accommodation? We did too! You can see more of this fabulous rainforest hideaway in our Platypus Bush Camp article.
One more from the Noosa River, because… why not?
It’s not all sunshine and lollypops on the road. Sometimes in rains… and when you’re in North Queensland, it REALLY rains. Kuranda for us was one big rain, sometimes heavy and sometimes pleasant for a walk in the rainforest, but always with rain. Our campsite was flooded and muddy but the town really shines in any weather.
Okay, so this is just pre-sunset but we had to hike up a mountain to take the photo and with wild cassowaries, pythons (no joke see here and here for proof!) and god knows what else roaming around we were not going to hang about to watch sunset and walk down the mountain in the dark. This view you’re looking at is taken from Mission Beach (where we stayed for free for 3 weeks!) lookout out towards Dunk Island.
One night Anai disappeared down to the Queen Mary Lake in Laurieton and came back a long time later with no less then 600 photos of the sunset over the river. She said that everytime she went to leave the sunset just got more impressive.
Murray Falls and this flowing river that runs out from the bottom of the falls was a great place to swim, relax and get a natural massive from the power of the water coming cascading over the rocks – how it had a much quieter and stiller side too. Perfect for contemplation and sunset splashing about.
Workmans Beach at Agnes Water is our go-to place for a cheap, peaceful, well located and fun campsite. The campsite has a private accessway to this beach (Workmans beach) as well as being less then 1km from the town’s main beach. The library is just around the corner with free internet access and $1 coffees, plus the temperature makes it fine for Melbournians to swim all year round! The locals maybe surfing in a wetsuit, but we southerners can frolic about in a bikini all year-round (just be a bit cautious of jellyfish in the middle of summer).
Maggie (Magnetic Island) is just off the shore from Townsville yet a whole other world. Townsville is dry, Maggie is tropical and beach-clad. Townsville is positioned around huge chunk of red rock, Maggie is surrounded by palm trees. Great for walking, hiking, beach lounging and admiring that view!
… and finally, a great Aussie country sunset in the Scenic Rim west of Brisbane (as seen from out staff accommodation).