I’m someone who has rarely strayed from the beaten track; in fact I take credit for beating it further. Sure I’ve diverted from time to time, it can be fun and it’s nice to see somewhere that hasn’t been touched by tourism and where you can meet some actual locals. I would actually like to stray more often. However, I also think the beaten track is beaten for a reason. It’s like if you were trying to choose a film, you’d go to see the one that lots of people have been to and that has been given rave reviews.
East coast Australia is as much of a beaten track as you will ever find. Generally, everyone does the same activities and most people you meet are tourists- but that’s why I loved it. You never know who you’re going to meet, what stories they’re going to have and you can get contacts (aka places to stay) all around the world.
Touring around Fraser Island was one of my favourite things to do. We spent three days in a truck with five random people, driving on beaches and through the rainforest. We cooked, attempted to build tents, explored and sat around a camp fire and drank goon. We also had to work together to push our truck out when we literally got stuck on the beaten track.
Later, when we made it up to Cairns- where everyone one ends up- we’d be walking down the street and find ourselves saying hello to every other person because we’d met them all as we’d journeyed up the coast.
That’s why I love the beaten track because you get to know so many people that after a while it feels like home.
Originally written for Impact Magazine
This article has since been featured by The Responsible Traveler