Friday, April 28, 2006

Brisbane to the Coral Coast...

Brisbane to Deception Bay to Maroochydoor & Australia zoo to Noosa to Hervey Bay to Fraser Island to the Coral Coast…

Right – so after spending some time on the Gold Coast we headed back up to Brisbane for the night with everything getting super busy for Easter weekend. After finding that it’s all pretty much booked up there, and most other places – we went to visit Kelly, Malcolm and baby Aaron in Deception Bay where we were treated to real food, a visit to Eumundi Saturday markets and a fabulous home cooked proper English roast for Easter Sunday. Awesome!

Fingal Beach

Kirra Beach

Lorrakeets (sp?) @ Maroochydoor

From here we left (reluctantly!!) and headed north to Maroochydoor for a couple of nights to take Rob to Australia Zoo to see Steve and his crocs. Great little campsite right by the beach and the day at the zoo was really cool. Steve wasn’t there but we did get to see a very nice bird, snake, and then croc show in the ‘crocoseum’. Well worth a day of your time if you are near the place.

After Maroochy we went to Noosa and camped there for a few days – generally relaxing and playing in the surf and sunbathing. Good times.

From Noosa we drove up to Hervey Bay to book ourselves onto a tour for Fraser Island for a few days. We were lucky enough when we got there that the tour we wanted was leaving the next day – so we paid up and then got a room in the backpackers who said we could park our car in their car park for the days we were away. Hostel was the first one we have stayed at since we got to Oz. Very “I’m 19 and going to get wasted every night”. :). But a reasonable nights sleep before an early start and onto the ferry for the Fraser Tour.

Fraser was really cool, we had a great group that wasn’t too big but big enough that was enough people for everyone to get on (Hi people from group!). We did the usual on the first day… Lake Birabeen, Pile Valley, Lake McKenzie (lots of Frisbee and water playing!). In the evening Rob and I made the silly mistake of thinking we were 19 and got wasted on a couple of liters of wine and then $8 jugs of cheap beer. Good night, but the hangovers are by far outweighing the good times. We must be getting old! ;)

Second day was hangover day – luckily I sat up front for the first drive (about an hour and 20 minutes) if I’d sat in the back I would have thrown up for sure!! We saw some bats in the colony on the way over to 75mile beach – crazy bats everywhere. We stopped at India Head, then the Champagne Pools, and then Eli Creek for the rest of the afternoon. We even had a dip in the resorts hot tub on the way back before dinner. This evening’s entertainment consisted of very few drinks and a fairly early night… We know our limits!!

View from India Head

View back down 75-Mile beach

Third day was the best day – the sun stayed out for most of it and we got a very very cool walk over the dunes from Lake Wabby to the beach where our driver Mitch (surely one of the highlights of the trip?!?) picked us up. At Lake Wabby we found some Aussie’s that came equipped with a boogie board and they were nice enough to let us use it. Boys will be boys and they built a ramp at the end of the track which proceeded to make everyone do funny things like stop dead and come off boogie board to land their on head near water. Mainly the girls actually! I didn’t have a go, too chicken and when in Australia I always think back to last time I was here and all the silly things I did and injuries I acquired. Rob was easily persuaded though!

Lake Wabby

So we decided as we were all staying in Hervey Bay that night that we would go out and eat together – forgetting of course that it was Anzac Day so pretty much everything was shut – and the places that were open really didn’t want to be! So we had a Sub-way – which is always good! We then found a crappy noisy bar (at the hostel we were staying at!) that was open till 11, but even better was the bar next door that was open till 12. After that bar chucked us out we hit the beach for a bit of a stand about and chat and then parted ways and had another reasonable nights sleep before heading off early up the coast to here… which is Bagara Beach just on the coast from Bundaberg, otherwise known as the Coral Coast so we are getting some diving in while we can. Campsite is lovely – can highly recommend this one – a beaut.

We went out diving yesterday from the shore and also this morning on the artificial reef that consisted of planes, bits of planes, barges and boats that have been sunk over the last few years.. Photos below.. Feels strange to be putting fish photos back up on this blog again. Seems like ages ago when that was all I did! :) The visabilty is no little Cayman, but was good enough to see 3 massive turtles, a very nice ray that looked very similar to an eagle, a fair few nudibanchs, box fish, bat fish - basically a shit load of fish & animals everywhere!

Flat head fishy.

Big eagle type ray swimming for me!

Big eagle-type ray



Big turtle, about 2m from tip of head to tip of tail.

We are staying here for a bit and then heading up just a bit further to Agnes Waters/Town of 1770. Next major stop is Great Kepple Island, next major tour is sailing the Whitsundays.

Cannot WAIT!

Chrissie out.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Australia continued....

So we've been camping now for over two weeks. It's so cool! I love camping. Of course it's much easier the way we are doing it, but still it's really cool.

Anyway - we had some nice storms in Lennox Head and we learnt that our tent doesn't leak or fall down (bonus as next door's did a bit!). For the overcast days we spent our time shopping and more shopping, though we didn't actually buy anything apart from loads of food and a pair of fins each. It's suprising how many meals you can cook in just one pan, even in the rain! - thanks for the rain jackets mum and dad! Anyway- the stormy weather brought two very good things... one the surf calmed down and cleaned up and was then PERFECT for body surfing with our new fins. I didn't get any photos as i was having too much fun and didn't want to go back to camp to get the camera, but it was wicked! Perfect waves! And then - the second thing was the sky as we walked back to the campsite. See photos.

After leaving Lennox our original plan was to go and stay in Byron for a few nights, but after getting there and finding out how much they put up the prices for Easter, and the fact that the weather was overcast still, we decided to head inland to Mount Warning National Park and camp there for the night. The idea is to get up at stupid o'clock an climb the mountain in the dark, which then gives you a great view of the sun rising. There wasn't all that much to do there apart from this, so after cooking up the remaining spag bol and scoffing that we went to bed. At 6.40pm (people from LC, i never thought i'd find a place where you went to bed earlier than in LC!!). Suprisingly we were both asleep by probably 7 at the latest! Just enough sleep to get up at 3am, cook some beans and make some coffee then head up to the car park to start the walk. Very cool walk - we started around 3.40am and go to the top (via a not too bad walk of 4.3km then a 300m climb with chain to pull yourself up with. Basically straight up and very scary!) at about 5.10am. Just in time to see the sun rise. Well worth it. If you are on the east coast of Oz or heading here - this is a MUST DO. If you were here and you didn't do it, well, shame on you! :) Though i must add that if you do do it, and you camp at the Mount Warning National Park, make sure you wear shoes. Proper feet covering shoes. I got bitten by a MASSIVE ant (about 20mm long, you could see the horrible pincer things he spiked me with), which hurt. A lot.

(that pointy bit in the middle is Mount Warning)

From there (after we had climbed down in the daylight and actually seen what we climbing through and on before, equally as scary), we headed back to the camp site and packed up our tent and headed for the coast again. To Fingal Beach, a spit of land that comes out between the Tweed River and the sea, just north of Kingscliff and south of Tweed Heads. Very nice it is too. The plan is to head north still. Play in the waves, eat well and drink lots. Not doing much else really! :)

I actually wrote this a few days ago, from Fingal Beach we went north to Kirra beach for the noisiest stay in a campsite so far - next to the highway! And then on up to Main Beach in Surfers for a night out there. AND THEN, back to brissie to stay on the boat for a night before arriving yesterday in Deception Bay to visit Kelly & Mal & baby Aaron before the big trip up north starts.... Photos and updates to follow.

Although i have missed out our first (and lets hope last for a while) hic-cup with the car. Whilst sat at some of the traditional Aussie traffic lights (i.e. for about 5 minutes) Rob beady-eyed the temperature of the engine slowly but steadily climbing higher and higher. Luckily the lights evenually changed and we manged to pull over before we blew anything up - and it was a simple radiator hose that had split. After a push down a hill from some helpfull aussie blokes, and some magic worked by Rob and his multi-tool the offending hose was off and how fortunate was it that we broke down about a minutes walk form supercheap auto that actually had the hose we needed for our 16year old car. $13, one screwdriver and 25 minutes later we were on our way. A lucky escape? I think so! I'm off to buy a mobile phone and a subscription to RACQ cover when shops open Tuesday. :)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Well, we've been here almost two weeks now, and even by our lazy standards we've achieved alot! See below for our best purchase so far... what a beaut!

So we flew into Melbourne, but because of the Commonwealth games we couldn't find anywhere to stay so instead of getting into that whole searching for accommodation when there isn't any, we hit the internet for flights and flew straight over to Brissie to see Dan and Kim (Hi Dan and Kim!). After dropping our bags we pretty much did absolutely nothing for a good few days. Recovering from being on the go for a while i guess.

After seeing a few sights of Brissie, relaxing and repacking we headed up the Sunshine coast to see fellow LC escapee's Ralph and Gail (Hi Ralph and Gail!). Rob finally got to see 'real' Australia! The stretched out beaches with almost nobody on them, nice waves to play in. Lovely. A great relaxing week with walks along the beach with their crazy-lovely dog and plenty of red wine and beer!

Anyway - R & G started to quiz us on our plans and we quickly realised that with ralph's expertise we could purchase a car! So we hunted around for about an hour, found one we liked, had dinner while we waited for a return call, then bingo! Now, anyone who's been to Oz knows they have this big thing over Ford's and Holdens (Holdens are Vaxhalls for those in the UK), you sort of have to be on one side or the other. Now, anyone who knows me from the UK will know i'm firmly stuck in the Ford camp, especially after the XR2 first car. But, Ralphie's a Holden boy, and, well, as in Rome i suppose... So we now have a blue Holden Commodore! We've taken it for some test drives... Sunshine Coast to Brissie, Brissie to Lennox Head. And - fingers crossed it continues to behave in the same way it has for those journeys!

In Brissie we spent the day out sailing with Dan and Kim, lovely little sail around Morton bay! Hopefully there will be a few more weekends like that!

We've changed our minds about 9 million times as to where in australia we are actually going, and after extensive planning for heading up north, we left and came down south to Lennox Head, a favourite haunt of mine from my last expedition to Australia!

After leaving Dan's and visiting three or four shops we had bought all the camping gear you'd ever want. It's actually quite embarresssing really, considering we are backpackers, as we have a really nice camping set-up. But the stuff here is so cheap compared to back home, and if you are going to camp - you should do it in style?!!

At the moment we are right down at the lake and about 2 minutes walk from the beach but i think we might relocate up the hill a bit, our patch only has shade in the morning and it's getting near easter and the park seems pretty booked up. Plus i think rob needs more pratice putting up the tent! Not sure how long we are staying - beauty of camping and having your house in the car i suppose! We will move up the coast back to Brisbane over the next few weeks and then see how it goes.

Enjoy the photos!

(thanks Kim for this photo!)