little towns along the way

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific little towns along the way

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1. Posted by yaara83 (Full Member 30 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!


im flying out to oz in 11 days! and im starting to look up all the towns along the way from cairns to sydney where the greyhound busses stop. i think that the main reason for backpacking is to stop in all these different towns along the way and not just getting from one spot to another. but as i look at the details of these little towns, i see that there isnt much to do in them and am worried that if i stop off in these towns it'll be a watse of time and more importantly a waste of money. am i not seeing things right?
for example from cairns to townsville there are 7 towns (gordonvale, babinda, innisfail, mission beach, tully, cardwell and ingham) which are (i think) just about the same. they r sugar mill towns that have rainforests, waterfalls and... sugar mills.
so, TO THE POINT... when u backpacked around oz did u stop off at these towns or just stop off at the bigger ones?
the thing that worries me is because im travelling by bus ill have to waste a while for the next bus to arrive because i stopped off at a town that didnt really have much to see and do.
but on the other hand im worried that if i skip these towns i will miss out on the experience of seeing all these different places and get to sydney in rapid time and not really "experiencing" the east coast. (i have planned just under 2 months to get from cairns to sydney)

im sorry for the long post, but i really have no idea...

please help me... is it worth stopping in these little towns?
where did u stop off while backpacking around oz?
what towns SHOULDNT me missed?


2. Posted by stevieh (Respected Member 616 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

Hi Yaara,
Queensland does have a lot of industrial towns, which probably won't have a lot of nightlife. But if you want to sample the real Australia, rather than just go drinking with fellow backpackers every night, then it's worth a day or two here and there. Get Lonely Planet's 'East Coast Australia' book for a good opinion.
We stopped at Gladstone on the way north and found it very pleasant, but mostly inhabited by engineers and businessmen.
On the other hand, the book recommended Noosa, which we discovered to be a little gem, and went back there later. Great beach, pretty town etc.
Coolum, just south of Noosa on the Sunshine Coast, has good memories for us, but we weren't looking for clubs and pubs. It has a great beach and a chilled feel, but not a lot to do. Good to relax in for a day or two.
Mind you, I enjoyed Surfers Paradise too, which is the height of tourist tackiness, but doesn't take itself too seriously.
Other places will depend on your interests. Airlie Beach is a good place to explore the GBR, and the Whitsunday Islands.
You might want to go to places which are good for fishing or diving, or to find work.

3. Posted by hirnic (Budding Member 3 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

Yaara - I grew up in Townsville, then moved to Brisbane and now live in Canberra. The travel guides for the east coast will be the best way to find out what to see/do. Two months to get from Cairns to Sydney is heaps of time. There isn't huge amounts between Cairns and Townsville - mainly just Cane farms, so one town - such as Ingham would be show you all there is to see I reckon. If you really want to experience rainforests then go further north from Cairns to the Daintree or Port Douglas. Paluma (a mountain) near townsville is also a good place to check out. There is definitely more to see and do from about Rockhampton down.

4. Posted by HaadRinGuide (Respected Member 550 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

I visited a small place called Mareeba which is an hour or so inland from Cairns and enjoyed my time there. It's got one of the best Go-kart tracks in the Pacific region there, and I also did micro-lighting while I was there which was class. Other than go-karts and micro-lighting though, there wasn't much else to do.

5. Posted by blobbybob (Budding Member 3 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

Byron Bay!! You must go to Byron Bay! I think it's the most easterly point in mainland Oz, and the sunrise there is beautiful. A really nice place where you can surf and do other beach stuff. Also worth stopping off at Rainbow beach to get across to Fraser Island. Beware the dingoes though!