Tag Archives: Beaches and Reefs

Contiki Beaches and Reefs Tour – Review

Party in Australia

Lets’s review my first Australian Contiki Tour. The Beaches and Reefs tour is part of the bigger Aussie Explorer tour in Australia.

If you’re interested in doing the Aussie Explorer tour this article maybe right for you, as it features about 60% of the tour you’re going to do.

Aussie Explorer is a 2 part tour. The East Cost from Sydney to Cairns and the second part from Alice Springs to Darwin (or reverse).

The Beaches and Reefs Tour goes from Sydney to cairns (or reverse). My first Australian Contiki starts in Sydney.



Day 1 An early morning. After filling some forms and handing our tickets to Justine (our tour manager), we loaded our baggage in the coach. Then we took our group photo in Sydney with the Harbour Bridge in the background. At lunch we headed to Port Stephens for a nice dolphin cruise. Then we enjoyed the afternoon at the Shoal Bay Resort and Spa. And yes, we had a room party 😉

Day 2 we drove to Coffs Harbour, stopping in Port Macquarie for lunch. At this place we stayed at a Surf Camp in little containers and had our first surfing class. Our container didn’t have a toilet, therefore we received a voucher worth 150 AUD for photos and a free T-Shirt.

Surf Camp

Day 3 we headed to Surfers Paradise, stopping in Byron Bay for a few hours for lunch. On our way to Surfers Paradise, we stopped at Cape Byron which is Australia’s most eastern point. Then, we crossed over to Queensland and visited the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary where we pet kangaroos and took photos with Koalas.

Day 4 was a day for optionals and free time at Surfers Paradise. I spend the morning jumping out of a plane. Sky diving at the Gold Coast with a landing on a beach. It’s just amazing.  In the afternoon I spent some time at Billabong and took lots of photos. Then we went out to Sin City with the whole group.

Day 5 we stopped at Brisbane, capital of Queensland for a few hours to experience the city. We also saw a presentations about opals. The we drove to Noosa, a trendy beach town.

Day 6 most of us booked the optional 4WD Fraser Island Day tour which took us all through the island’s sandunes, rainforests and freshwater lakes. Swimming at McKenzie Lake and a nice BBQ afterwards.

Day 7 After a night in bunk beds we headed to a country homestead in the heart of Queensland. Most of us dressed up in our western gear for our big roast dinner and then Karaoke night!

Sailling at Whitsunday Islands

Day 8, 9, 10
involved sailing around the beautiful Whitsunday Islands on a racing sail boat. This was not the relaxing yacht ride that many of us thought we were in for. When we were sailing, the boat sat at a 45 degree angle so we would all have to sit at one side of the boat. Sailing included us hanging our legs over the edge, taking in the beautiful views of the islands. We also stopped at a few places where we got to snorkel and see lots of amazing fish. We enjoyed Whitehaven Beach. A few of us even tried sleeping out on the deck under the stars the first night, but it started to rain. The third day in the Whitsundays we stayed at Daydream Island. it’s a big island resort and spa hotel.

Day 11 we continued our journey to Cairns, stopping in Townsville on the way for lunch.  It was also Australia day. Party time!

Fun at Whitehaven Beach

Day 12 started bright and early. A few of  of our group (including me) headed to AJ Hackett for bungee jumping and Minjin Swing. I opted for the Minjin swing.

Day 13 the whole group went on an optional Great Barrier Reef cruise where we spent the day snorkelling and scuba diving the most beautiful reef. At night, we went out in Cairns to the Woolshed for our last night as a group.

Day 14 we made a stop to the rainforest village of Kuranda to see an Aboriginal Experience. We also got to throw a boomerang. Then we made our way back to Cairns Colonial Club Resort. We enjoyed some refreshing Australian beers and said goodbye to some tour mates in our group.


This tour is just awesome. You see so much from the East Coast of Australia and you also have fun at night with night clubs, Karaoke on a farm and a nice sleep under the stars.
My personal favourite is sailling between the Whitsundays and going Sky diving at the Gold Coast.
You have to do this tour!

Rating: 5.0

Contiki – Beaches and Reefs Goodbye

Jan 29, 2011

After yesterday’s party we went today in the rain forest just to see a show of Aboriginal and to learn throwing a Boomerang. Quite funny, but my mood was not quite so good, so I did not enjoy it fully.

During the ride to the hotel Justine (Tour guide) and Youngy (Coach driver) held a little speech. At Cairns Colonial Club it was time for group photos, give “good bye” kisses and tipping;-)

Some of us sat in the bistro to exchange addresses between us, to sign the group photos and enjoy cold beer

At some point,  another German and I decided to share a taxi, because we both stayed an extra night in Cairns, though each in different hotels, but these were only a few hundred meters apart.

I had a standard room at the Tropical Queenslander, Cairns. It was clean, and the reception is very friendly.


The german girl and I met again in the evening to drive together to Dundee’s Restaurant. This time I took a dish with a crocodile and kangaroo skewers. Very tasty! The german girl also enjoyed. Crocodile actually tastes like chicken. Do you think I can find it in Europe or the USA ?.
For some reason it seems to be unusual in Australia, to go to a restaurant just as friends. Many people t looked at us like we were a couple, or had a date. Very amusing 🙂

We both went early to our hotel rooms, because our flights were both in the morning.




Contiki Tour “Beaches and Reefs” begins

Jan 16, 2011:

Contiki begins! To be more precise, the Contiki “Beaches and Reefs” tour began exactly one months ago.

After the everyday morning things (showers, clothing,…) I went to the lobby and saw already a large group of people standing at a small table.
However, I went first to the front desk to check out. Back to the small table. There was young woman wearing a Contiki polo shirt. After another friendly “Good morning” from me, I handed her my voucher for the Contiki “Beaches and Reefs” tour. Then I had to write my insurance details and emergency contact name on a list.

Wait a few minutes and a coffee from the breakfast room later we went to the bus to let our baggage be stored.

Then we started. First, We went to the Mrs Macquaries Chair, on the way our tour guide Justine explained us, what we have to expect for the next few hours:
Group photo, then 2 hours drive, short break, continue our ride to Port Stephens.

Group photo and the straggler

Contiki Beaches & Reefs - Tour mates
Contiki Beaches & Reefs - Tour mates

We arrived at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair and first we ran around a bit, while the photographer set up his equipment. Then we all did (all ?;-)) our first group photo (+ some variants) with the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background.
We had the choice between different sizes, and whether one wanted the “normal” or crazy version. While the photographer was preparing the prints , the tour mates including me took photos of the area. And I realized that someone was also from Germany. We quickly came in touch. A few moments later, someone came up to us and realized, oh, there are also two other german speaking people. In short: three German-speaking people including me, are on the tour.

I decided to go for the “normal” photo in the larger variant. $ 20 AUD. Yeah! but it is worth to me 🙂

Contiki Beaches & Reefs Coach
Contiki Beaches & Reefs Coach

While we are moved back to the bus, we heard , that Justine talked to someone on the phone. Someone had already missed us at the hotel.

She gave him 7 minutes, otherwise he would have to find his own way to catch up with us. A taxi came roaring up, the Texan made it and sat down next to me.

My first Australian rest stop station

After about 2 hours it was time, our first stop for 30 minutes. The first rest stop, that I visited in Australia. 😀

Dolphin Tour

Dolphin tour
Dolphin tour

The sun was already very active again. To begin the tour calmly, I opted for the Dolphin tour, as an alternative, they usually offer sand surfing. Sadly, we could see a dolphin only very briefly. Too bad. But it was still a very good opportunity to get used to the Australian sun.

Shoal Bay Resort and Spa

The Shoal Bay Resort and Spa is a real find.

Our room had a double bed, and another room with two single beds separated by a sliding door and a bathroom.
We had a room facing the back yard of the kitchen, although it was quiet, but some other tour mates were lucky enough to get a room overlooking the pool.

Der Pool ist chillig, rund um den Pool sind Liegen und einige Sonnenschirme. Man kann hier ebenfalls an einem kleinen Stand nicht alkoholische und alkoholische Getränke kaufen. The pool is and some sun nice, deck chairs and sun umbrellas are lying around the pool. There’s also a small stand to buy non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages. For the room party  is a bottle shop only a few hundred meters away. 😉
The breakfast buffet was excellent, there is a huge selection of sweets and a coffee / hot drink machine.


On our first night we had actually a room party, with some other tour mates. Perfect make some new friends 🙂