Family Travel on the East Coast of Australia | 3 Weeks from Cairns to Sydney

I enjoy travelling alone on the other side of the world by myself (mostly) and it’s very rare that I actually get homesick for my family or friends just because I am having such a great time.

But after my first three months in Australia and my not so great time in Perth I was so so happy to finally be able to hug my parents again and spend time with my family.

They visited me for three weeks over Christmas and New Years and we got to spend three weeks together travelling from Cairns down to Sydney in a Mobilhome and celebrate New Year’s in Sydney together watching the fireworks over the Harbour.

It was a wonderful time and I am really glad I got to spend Christmas with them and experience a different way of travelling through Australia as a family (instead of as a Backpacker)

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So we started in Cairns and had an amazing day trip to the Great Barrier Reef to go snorkelling. It was amazing how many big and colourful fish you can see and I was so impressed. The underwater world is just so beautiful and we really need to put an effort into saving it.

We could already see the damage humans cause to the reef. First of all the mass tourism that goes to the Reef day by day and also the climate change and the warmer water that makes the corals die.

That’s why we decided to go to the Reef with „Passions of Paradise„. They advertise being an eco-friendly tour. Not too many people on board (in comparison to others), great food, two beautiful snorkelling/ diving spots (without any other boats there) and they do reef education as well. I really liked and can recommend it and they are honoured with being eco-friendly, but who knows if that‘ actually accurate. But it is certain, that they have to be better than most other companies and if you don’t want to miss the Great Barrier Reef experience, you should go for them!

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The next day, we got our camper and started our road trip.

Travelling in a Mobilhome with 4 adults

We already did several Mobilhome trips, but at that time my brother and I haven’t been fully grown adults and in Canada, for example, we also had a bigger and more practical Camper.

So when we got our little home on wheels we were all a bit shocked how this adventure is going to happen because the Mobilhome scene in Australia is not as advanced as in America and our camper wasn’t as big, practical and comfy.

But we made it work and in the end, we got used to it but were also excited to finally sleep in proper beds again.

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Our first stop was Townsville but we didn’t see much of that city because we spend our day on Magnetic Island. A beautiful island only a few kilometres from the mainland and actually Paradise.

I made a vlog that day and showed you a bit around. We visited many beautiful places and shot some amazing drone footage and the prettiest sunset. Have fun watching!

Afterwards, we went further south to Airlie Beach from where we went on a three-day sailing tour through the Whitsundays.

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We had a wonderful time living the always-barefoot-and-bikini-life and it made me dream of doing a bigger sailing tour one day. I just really enjoy the boat life!

So we had two nights on the water and lot’s of amazing views, snorkelling, stand up paddling, yummy food and obviously visiting Whitehaven Beach. Sadly that day it was a bit rainy, but we still had such an awesome time.

I am also currently working on another short video with drone footage from the sailing boat and underwater shots from the Great Barrier Reef – so stay tuned for that and Subscribe to my YouTube Channel!

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With my parents, I obviously also had so much great food! I could finally buy and try all the cool vegan stuff in the supermarkets and we went to so many awesome restaurants and cafés.

I already have a Sydney Food post up, sharing all my favourites with you from the official vegan food heaven city.  And there is also a Sunshine Coast Food Guide planned as I got to try so so many restaurants living there for three months.

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In the Cape Hillsborough National Park just south of Airlie Beach, we watched the sunrise and Kangaroos on the Beach.

Before we had a beautiful afternoon in Noosa and a lovely evening/night in Brisbane.

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Byron Bay had to be a stopover as well obviously. I just love the spirit of this place and even though it was really crowded and touristy, it was still beautiful.

You can find all my Byron Bay Highlights in this post! Including food, beaches, walks, horse riding on the beach, where to stay, shop etc.

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High Season Travel

Christmastime is summer, summer holidays and high season for travellers from all around the world & Aussies in Australia. But we have to say that besides the really big hotspots (Byron Bay, Noosa, Sydney for New Years) it wasn’t as crowded as expected and especially when you are already used to Europe in summer and holiday time it was only average crowded.

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Campgrounds

We usually always had our campgrounds prebooked and for some spots, it was definitely necessary but not for all and sometimes we were surprised by how empty the campgrounds were.

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With a stopover in Port Macquarie where I’ve already been once with my cousin before we headed to Sydney.

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From Cairns to Sydney in 3 Weeks

Our schedule was really tight because my brother only got three weeks off from school. But my mom still wanted to make the most of it and travel along the whole East Coast. That meant a lot of driving and many days we spend more time on the road than at a place. But then we also wanted 3 days to spend in Sydney and we did a sailing tour through the Whitsundays for three days as well.

Afterwards, we can now say that we would have prefered to not drive the whole way and rather drive from Cairns to Byron Bay and then fly to Sydney to have at least a few more days to actually do something.

We had many different stops along the way but often not as many as we would have liked because there are so many beautiful places and that’s why I am really glad I am able to do a few things more in depth because I have more time here in Australia.

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I had an awesome time travelling with my family. Living the camper life, experiencing travelling Australia from a family point of view, daily family breakfast (one thing that I miss a lot about home) and obviously just spending time with my loved ones.

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Exploring the Algarve | Portugal (Pt. 1)

As you have probably already seen on Instagram or read in my previous blog posts, I’ve been in Portugal at the beautiful Algarve coast for two weeks with my family and today I want to share the first part of my travel guide including tips, recommendations and our favorite towns and food places with you.

Part two talks about our favorite beaches and some must-sees and pretty photo spots you shouldn’t miss. And there will be a third part about our two-day trip to Lisbon soon!

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General

Before we start with the more interesting part I want to share some general information that you might not know.

Portugals national language is Portuguese, but they all speak very good English. There is a one hour time difference to Berlin and you pay with the Euro.

Even tho it gets really hot in Portugal you always need a light jacket for the mornings and evenings because of the pretty cold ocean wind and sadly there are no warm summer nights like in other European countries. But this also means that it’s not hot at night and you can sleep better.

Portugals Coast is located at the Atlantic Ocean and this means that the water temperature is much lower than in the Meditteranean Sea and it wasn’t possible (for us) to swim for more than 10-15 Minutes.

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Transportation

We flew from Berlin Schönefeld to Faro, one of the bigger cities at the Algarve with an airport. The flight takes around three hours and one hour time difference (so it’s one hour later in Germany).

For our two week stay, we rented a car which I highly recommend because there are so many small beautiful beaches and cute towns and you don’t want to be staying at the same place your whole trip – there is so much to explore!

Only in Lisbon, we used the public transportation because the road system is super confusing and it’s quicker as well.

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Where to stay

I already got some messages on Instagram asking for our lovely home away from home that you saw in my pictures.

We really were so blessed to find such a cute little house with a huge pool and a pretty garden for such a good price. It is located in Espiche, a small town near Lagos (one of the more famous and bigger cities), so it’s super peaceful and lonely there.

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You can rent the bungalow we stayed in or a smaller apartment on the same property here. The two apartments and the bungalow share the same garden and pool, but we were lucky and had it all to ourselves because nobody stayed in the apartments at the time we were there.

Espiche itself hasn’t much to offer, but it’s very close to Luz a super cute town that has two supermarkets and a beach. We also saw many cute apartments and houses to rent there and I would definitely recommend this more than staying in Lagos.

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Cities and Towns at the Algarve

Like I sad Espiche and Luz are very peaceful and lovely to stay at, but not made for an evening stroll through streets and alleys looking for little boutiques or restaurants (even tho they have some that still looked good).

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Lagos

However, Lagos is perfect for that. It has a very cute old town, many alleys with restaurants, bars, cafés and boutiques. We even found places selling vegan food, but typical fish restaurants, as well as Italian restaurants, are more popular obviously.

Lagos has one main beach that it super long and not crowded at all (probably because there is so much space) and is near the well known Ponta de Piedade and some very beautiful beaches with amazing cliffs and rocks (I’ll talk about them later).

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We went to an amazing restaurant called Gorilla that offers many healthy, Asia-styled food like sprouts-salad with tofu (or meat), veggie filled dumplings and weird flatbread filled with jackfruit meat and veggies which was all super delicious!

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Also, this café was my personal dream! They had vegan chocolate, banana cake and vegan carrot, walnut, date cake, amazing looking salads and also homemade vegan ice cream. Sadly I haven’t had the chance to try it all because it wasn’t a place to eat dinner with the family, so I only ate their chocolate ice cream, but I am sure it all tastes delicious cause it looked so so yum!


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Albufeira

On our first day, we went to Albufeira which is another pretty city. We walked a bit through its streets and along the beach and had sunset drinks and dinner at a lovely bar at the ocean. They offered so much good food, including vegan and vegetarian options, sushi, fish, burgers, sandwiches and more. Their smoothies tasted amazing as well and also the location and the atmosphere was very nice because it was outside the city center at the beach and not as crowded as the old town.

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I ate veggie Quesadillas without cheese willed with mushrooms, zucchini and eggplant, served with guacamole (had to eat two portions because it wasn’t very filling but sooo delicious! :D)


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Another small town surrounded by many popular beaches. We had dinner there after a long beach day and like I always do when there is no good veggie option I ordered pizza with vegetables without cheese :D

More blog posts about Portugal:
- Part two of my travel guide about Breathtaking Beaches & Awesome View Points 
  you should not miss on your trip

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Food in Portugal

I didn’t really eat a lot of typical Portuguesian food because it’s mostly fish-based, but my dad did and he sad that the huge touristic restaurants don’t make a lot of effort and are still expensive, but smaller more local restaurants do and you can easily see and taste the difference.

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A typical pastry that we fell in love with was Pasteis de Nata. Small puff pastry cakes filled with vanilla pudding – very sweet, but so delicious, cheap and can be found nearly everywhere.

I can also highly recommend the supermarket chain Intermarché because it is huge and sells nearly everything you need and their fresh produce had an amazing quality. They even sell red bananas, that I have never ever seen somewhere else before and coconut yogurt for a pretty good price (cheaper than in Germany!).

As I already mentioned for every city: there can be found vegan and vegetarian options and even restaurants or cafés. Especially in the bigger cities like Lisbon and Lagos. Sadly I couldn’t test a lot more, because I traveled with my family and we needed to find places to eat where everybody likes something.

But as well as eating out we also love to shop for fresh food and prepare it ourselves. We had a very big breakfast every morning, some watermelon and bread as a snack on the beach and then cooked something, ate bread or went to a restaurant for dinner.


So that’s it for the first part of my little travel guide for the Algarve. In part two I will tell you more about our two days in Lisbon and all the beaches and some sights I can recommend to you.

Have you been to the Algarve or Portugal in general? Do you want to? What places or cities can you recommend?