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Travel Log: Gold Coast & Cairns

Thanks for bearing with me as I get my travels down on “paper”. After beautiful Sydney we headed to the Gold Coast. It looked so beautiful in the photos and this is where everyone goes to surf. So it had to be a good spot to visit right? Not so much. The water was freezing and learning to surf sounded like a horrible idea. It was very touristy. Supposedly this is where rich Australians vacation. So you can imagine lots of chain restaurants, everything being overpriced ($23 for a Thai curry!!), and no real culture or quirkiness. Thankfully we had a little apartment that we shared with 2 other people. After staying in a hostel with shared everything this was very nice. We cooked many of our meals, had space to do some workouts, took advantage of the free laundry, and vegged out in front of the TV.

But it wasn’t all bad! I had the pleasure of meeting up with Leigh-Chantelle from Viva la Vegan and she took us to a delicious restaurant called GreenHouse Factory. One of my long-time Twitter friends met up with us too and brought her Blissful Bites for me to sign. The food was amazing! I had the breakfast plate, which had tofu scramble, roasted potatoes, toast, kale, and a delicious ranchero-like sauce.

After our brunch we went to Burleigh Heads and walked along the beach. It was a gorgeous day and I was happy I got to meet up with friends. The next day we went to Mandala and had vegan pizza and dessert. It was amazing and I loved the vibe of this restaurant/art gallery. I highly recommend it!

On our last day we took the bus to Byron Bay, which was the “hippy” area of the Gold Coast. We definitely felt at home there, finding a vegetarian Indian buffet and a natural food store to stock up on snacks. There was even a raw restaurant called, Naked Treaties, where we indulged in some decadent treats!

Then we headed to Cairns (pronounced like Cannes) to mark a biggie off my bucket list: to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef!

We only had two days in Cairns so we signed up for a 2 day adventure that included one day hitting three spots along the reef to snorkel and one day of visiting the land sights of the Daintree Rainforest and a river tour where we saw crocodiles! As you would expect Cairns is very touristy as well. It had a bit more character than the Gold Coast, more vegan options, and better shopping.

I’m happy I got to mark something off my bucket list! Next I’ll tell you about the incredible week I had in Melbourne, which is now one of my favorite cities in the world.

Have you traveled to Australia? What were your favorite parts? There’s so much to see that I will definitely be back!

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