23rd April to 29th April
Brisbane to Hervey Bay
Six weeks into the lap of Australia and here’s another weekly update of we did this, we did that. There’s still people reading them so hopefully I’m keeping it interesting enough for you. It’s quite hard to make a journal interesting without being too long. I’ve been handwriting in a journal with daily updates but I can’t fit all of that here. In any event, I’ve got photos that I want to show you!
As I mentioned in last week’s update, this week started creating family portraits with koalas. Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is home to 130 of the cute little marsupials and if $36 admission fee isn’t enough, you can pay another $25 to have a picture with one. Okay so it was a little expensive but you could also hand feed kangaroos. I fed a beast of a kangaroo which was pretty terrifying.
If you come to Australia you have to have a photo holding a koala and Lone Pine is the place to be. Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift and Jimmy Carr are just some of the celebrities with pictures on the wall.
To continue the animal theme, the day after Lone Pine we went to the home of the crocodile hunter; Australia Zoo. I used to love Steve Irwin as a child and to come to his family zoo was something I really wanted to do. The zoo was great but the highlight was the midday event in the Crocoseum.
After the fanfare of birds soaring around, a huge saltwater crocodile came swimming into the middle. As well as educating people about crocs, they put on a bit of a show feeding the crocodile at the water’s edge followed by a huge leap out of the water. I’m not sure exactly at what point of our journey north crocs will become a threat. I’m even more scared now of going anywhere near water further north.
Once we’d had enough of the zoo, and trust me we’re all animaled out now, we climbed up Mt Ngungun in the Glasshouse Mountains to watch the sunset. The climb was more a scramble than a gentle walk but eventually we made it to the top. There was another section that you could climb up, with steep drops either side, where there were 360 degree views. I managed to take one of the best photos of my travels so far. What do you think?
The drive back to the campsite was one of the scariest I’ve ever done. For some reason, Google took us down an unsealed road in the pitch black in the middle of nowhere for 20km. We saw huge snakes pass in front of the van which didn’t cause us to scream although starting to skid sideways on sand at 60km/h did!
The next logical stop was Noosa, one of Queensland’s top holiday resorts. On our drive north, we managed to stumble on Eumundi Markets with over 600 different stalls although Emma’s the only one that bought anything.
Our free camp was thirty minutes from Noosa but we managed to stay for three full days. We had days at the beach, days spotting dolphins and days eating ice cream. The beach is one of a few north facing beaches on the east coast and it creates its own micro-climate. The beach would be five degrees more than the main street just thirty metres away which made swimming in the sea an easy choice.
Free camps aren’t always in the best locations. After Noosa, we drove north whilst the sun was setting and ending up sleeping next to a petrol station. Strangely, it was quite comforting.
Rainbow Beach and Tin Can Bay
The last two days of this week were spent at Rainbow Beach (named after the cliffs) and Tin Can Bay before setting up camp at Hervey Bay.
Rainbow Beach was a very small town where tours to Fraser Island depart. It’s such a long way that I wouldn’t recommend driving just to see it. The cliffs were good but the Carlo Sandblow was even better. Over many years, a huge sand dune has been created on top of the cliff. We found another rest area next to a small shop where we ate homemade lamb shank pie and chips.
We’d had recommendations to visit Tin Can Bay to feed dolphins so we made our way there for 7am! It was really busy but well run. We both managed to hand feed a thirty-something year old male dolphin. It was all over before we knew it so we decided to speed up the road to stay over at Hervey Bay. We booked a tour for Fraser Island on the Monday which I couldn’t wait for!
Stay tuned for next week’s update with a special one-off piece on Fraser Island.