Welcome to hideaway.nl
Holiday diary from Australia
April 26, 2004
About myself and this website
Voor Nederlands klik op de Nederlandse vlag in de linker bovenhoek of klik hier.

Hi, my name is Roland Meerman. I just returned from a half year of travelling in Australia. It was a great journey and I have seen and done a lot of things. This website tells you all about that.

In 2002 I graduated at the Eindhoven University of Technology in Applied Physics. Then I worked at Interpolis voor a bit less than a year to earn the money needed for this journey.

The articles at this page are ordered in a way that the newest are always on top. Furthermore there are only 10 articles visible at one page. If you want to read further back in time you can click at the desired dates under the Archives heading.

With the articles only a few of the pictures I have taken are included. For a complete survey of all pictures you can click the Photobook link under the Links heading. If you want a particular picture in the original format (1600x1200) you can send me an email.

If you like to comment on my site or want to send me an email you can visited the guestbook. There you can also read the comments other people left.

Have fun reading my stories...


Logged at 16:20:38 from Tilburg.
Return journey
April 15th at 09.40h (01.40h Dutch time) my plane left Cairns and flew to Hong Kong. Via Brisbane... At about 19.50h (21.50h Cairns time, 13.50h Dutch time) I arrived in Hong Kong.

In Hong Kong I had to wait for about 4 hours before my flight to Amsterdam left at 00.05h (02.05h Cairns time, 18.05h Dutch time). From the window of the plane I took a couple of pictures. On the first picture you can see Siberia...

At 06.40h (14.40h Cairns time) I arrived at Schiphol. The end of a great vacation during which time has passed way too fast!!!

Logged at 12:39:41 from Tilburg.
April 14th, 2004 was my last full day in Australia.

And my first day I had some time to check out Cairns. Here are some pictures.

I also bought some souvenirs and I packed my bag for the long journey back home...

Logged at 11:44:31 from Tilburg.
April 25, 2004
Cape Tribulation
After I came back from the Great Barier Reef, I had to start packing my bag immediately to go to Cape Tribulation early the next morning. At 7.30 am I was picked up by Tropics Explorer. After a small breakfast at the Crossroads Cafe we made a cruise on the Daintree River.

Can you see the crocodile on one of the pictures? No, he is really there , however he is only clearly visible when you enlarge the original picture. Crocodiles are very well camouflaged!

After the cruise we stopped at the Marrdja Boardwalk.

On the picture above you see a Strangler Fig. This tree grows around around an other tree en strangles this one. In this case the original tree has perished already...

Afterwards we drive on to my accomodation in Cape Tribulation: Cape Trib Beach House. There I spend the rest of the day and the next day not doing quite a lot. Mostly I rested (I was tired from al the diving...) and read a bit. And I took some pictures of the flora and fauna...

The second night Kate, Karen (from the diving course) and me dit a guided nightwalk through the rainforest. With a flashlight searching for the nightlife in the tropics...

Unfortunately we didn't see any crocodiles and/or snakes...

The next day we were to be picked up from our accomodation again at about 1.00 pm. During the morning Kate and I went for another walk.

On our way back to Cairns, the bus stopped at the Alexandra Range Lookout. And this was the view:

Then we went to Mossman Gorge. It was very busy there and we only got 10 minutes to look around...

After this when shortly visited Port Douglas and then back to Cairns. My very last (for the time being) tour in Australia had finished.

Logged at 18:28:27 from Tilburg.
Diving course
April 6th, I started my open water divecourse in Cairns with Down Under Dive. The first day started in the classroom. That had been a while since I was in one. But it wasn't all that difficult, especially not when you know something about physics... After the lunch we traded the classroom in for the swimmingpool. There we first had to show we were able to swim for 200 meters and tread water for 10 minutes. After everybody had done this, we started with diving exercises. At the end of the afternoon we got some homework to do. HOMEWORK, during my vacation!

The second day started in the pool again, where we did some more exercises. After the lunch we went back to the classroom for the rest of the theory and the final exam. Which, by the way, wasn't all that hard...

The third day things started to get interesting, because that day we left for the Great Barrier Reef. In the morning they took us to the Supercat. In my class were people doing a 4 day course and people, like me, who did a 5 day course. The people of the 4 day course dived of the Supercat and went back to Cairns in the evening. While they were diving we could go snorkeling. Here are a couple of pictures taking during the snorkeling.

After this we boarded the Atlantic Clipper. This boot resides permanantly at the Great Barrier Reef. Here we got our first 2 lessons in open water. Bacause we had to do al lot of exercises again we didn't see much, and I didn't bring my camera. The next morning before breakfast we had our 3th lesson. And after breakfast our 4th. Then we were officially PADI certified.

In the afternoon the bussy Supercat came by again we saw the 4 day course students again. They still had to do one more dive to be PADI certified. In the meanwhile we enjoyed the sun at the Atlantic Clipper.

An other advantage was that we could do 5 more dive after we got our PADI. These dives it did take my camera. Except on the nightdive, because then it is pitch-black under water... Here are some of the pictures I took during the dives.

Before we went back to Cairns we took a group picture of the people I spend most time with on the Atlantic Clipper. They weren't all open water (OW) students. Some did there advanced open water (AOW)...

On the left picture are from back to front and left to right: Thea (AOW), Matt (OW and my buddy during the course), Claire (OW), Karen (AOW), Kathryn (OW), Roland (OW), Heather (AOW and girlfriend of Matt).
On the right picture you can see Louise, my diving instructor.

Finally a couple of pictures of the Atlantic Clipper which I took from the Supercat on our way back to Cairns.

Logged at 14:00:19 from Tilburg.
April 23, 2004
After the skydive I did some walking in the surroundings of Mission Beach. Mission Beach lies in the wet tropics and there is a lot of rainforest. I went to the Licuala forest and walked through the rainforest there.

On my way to the forest I saw a lot of signs that warn about Cassowaries. The Cassowary is a bird described by my skydive instructor as 'sumo chicken'. It is an endangered species and apperantly many are killed by collisions with vehicles. However I didn't see any. So I don't hem any pictures of them other than the trafic signs...

Here are 2 pictures of some Fan Palms:

After the Fan Palm Boardwalk I did the 4,6 km Rainforest Walking Track.

Logged at 20:46:21 from Tilburg.
Skydive in Mission Beach
April 3th, I went from Airlie Beach to Mission Beach. The next morning I did a skydive there from 10.000ft (3 km). That was great!

Taking pictures was a bit difficult, so they are lacking. I must say it was quite thrilling. Especially at the point where you have youre legs outside of the plane, but you haven't jumped yet... But after that everything was OK. The free fall lasted about 25 seconds. Then it took a few minutes before you were on the ground again and so I had some time the enjoy the view. And the view is very nice in Mission Beach!

Logged at 17:43:46 from Tilburg.
Whitsunday Islands and Anaconda III
March 30th I went to the Whitsunday Islands on the Anaconda III. We left in the evening, so we had 3 nights and 3 day on board. This extra night allowed us to go to the Great Barrier Reef. Something which is ussually not done on the other cruises... After a few hours of sailing we stopt at Hook Passage. There we spent the night. The next morning (very early) we went to Whitehaven Beach. Many people told me it was the nicest beach they had ever seen. It certainly isn't bad, but I have seen beaches more beautifull...

In the afternoon we went to Luncheon Bay. There I went snorkeling and was I able to finally use my underwaterhousing for my camera for the first time in a really usefull way...

In Luncheon Bay we also spend the night.

The next morning we went to the Great Barrier Reef. Bait Reef to be exact. And there I did some snorkeling again.

From Bait Reef we went back to Blue Pearl Bay where we spent the last night on the boat.

The crew playing Twister:

And our skipper: Max.

The next morning I did some snorkeling at Blue Pearl Bay.

And after the lunch we sailed back to Airlie Beach. The Whitsunday Islands and Anaconda III are definitely a must, if you ever go there!

Logged at 17:24:10 from Tilburg.
April 22, 2004
Airlie Beach
From Rainbow Beach to Airlie Beach was a long bus journey of about 17 hours. There is not much to do in Airlie Beach itself. Everything revolves about the departure and arrival of sailingboats to the Whitsunday Islands. Nevertheless here are a few pictures to give an impression of this town.

Logged at 21:11:25 from Tilburg.
Carlo Sandblow and Rainbow Beach
Besides doing a Fraser Island tour, Rainbow Beach also offers excelent walks in the nearby national park. Which, by the way, stretches all the way to Noosa! Saturday march 27th, I walked to the Carlo Sandblow. This is a big sandplain.

On one side of the Carlo Sandblow lie the colored sanddunes where Rainbow Beach owes its name from. Here I walked/climbed down to the beach. Next I walked back to town along the beach.

Logged at 19:42:23 from Tilburg.