Monday, 30 August 2010

Noosa to Rainbow Beach

I met up with Gabriela again in Noosa and we went to Australia Zoo. Australia zoo was started by the Irwin family in 1970 so they were celebrating 40 years. The zoo is now on a 70 acre site with over 1,000 animals. There were wombats, kangaroos, koalas, birds, dingos, elephants, tigers, turtles, snakes, tasmanian devils and of course, lots of crocs! We fed the elephants, patted the koalas, and watched the Wildlife Warriors show in the Crocoseum. A great day out.
Next stop Rainbow Beach. The first day we spent at the beach and counted the 74 colours of sand that can be found there. It's a very beautiful beach and the first one we have come across which can be driven on in 4x4's. We went sea kayaking to see dolphins and after about an hour of looking, we spotted some quite close to our kayak, fantastic!


After Brisbane, Gabriela and I split up for a while as I met my friend Jenny in Mooloolabah to stay with her for a few days. She lives in Flaxton, near Montville, on the Sunshine Coast, which is about 30 minutes inland in the hinterlands. (the hills).
Kondalilla falls are just down the road from her house so we took a walk there, how great having a national park at the end of your road. We visited a lookout where you could see the Glasshouse Mountains in the distance, and then we drove to Montville which is small touristy town with lots of art and crafts shops and wandered around.
The next day we went to Eumondi market, a mix of australian and lots of countries food, clothes and crafts. In the afternoon we drove to Caloundra on the coast, which is really nice and took a walk by the beach.
It was really nice to stay at Jen's for a few days, it was peaceful and relaxing after the noisy hostels and shared dorms I have been used to. On the last night we lit the log fire, and had a glass of wine, which was really nice and cosy.
The next day I took the bus from Mooloolabah to Noosa.

Sunday, 29 August 2010


Next stop Brisbane. It has a similar feel to it as Sydney except on a smaller scale. It has some strange architecture though, old cathedrals against a backdrop of glass skyscraper office buildings. We walked along the promenade next to the river to Chinatown, the promenade has lots of posh bars, cafes and restaurants which being poor backpackers we just glanced in the windows wistfully...
We visited Lone Pine Koala sanctuary the following day just a 45 minute bus ride out of Brisbane. They had lots of koalas as you would expect but also kangaroos, crocodiles, and wombats. We were able to feed the kangaroos as they roamed around their enclosure, they took the pellets right out of your hand. I had my photo taken cuddling a koala which was great, they have such soft fur, and are so cute. I'm bringing one home as a pet!

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Coffs Harbour to Byron Bay

I left Sydney on the Oz Experience Bus, which will take me all the way to Cairns and I can hop on/hop off for however long I want on the way. I met Gabriela from Holland on the bus and we are travelling up the coast in the same time frame so have decided to travel together which is good. First stop Coffs Harbour, a really nice small town with a lovely beach. We walked along Coffs Creek walk, the jetty, Mutton Bird Island, and then round the Botanical Gardens, not on such a big scale as Sydney but still really nice.
We had a surf lesson at Spot X surf camp. I found it really difficult to stand up and don't think it will be a hobby I will be pursuing.

After two days, we then moved on to Byron Bay. Byron Bay is a great beach town with beautiful white sandy beaches, my days are spent sunbathing at the beach and walking along the coastal paths. There is a path to the lighthouse, which is at the most easterly point of Australia. We spotted whales from there, which are currently migrating south back to Antartica, we were so lucky.

After a really restful 12 days in Byron Bay we were ready to move on to Brisbane.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Sydney, Australia

Arriving in Sydney after leaving Bangkok was a shock, the cold weather for one but also that the culture is so similar to England. Suddenly everything is expensive and I am walking around shocked at the price of things, thinking I'm not paying that!
I ventured on my own walking tour of Sydney armed with a map. It's a great place, lots to see and do, and easy to find your way around on foot. The Opera House is stunning, so spectacular. The Harbour bridge is pretty impressive too. The Rocks area is the oldest part of Sydney with steep cobbled streets, nice to wander about. Darling Harbour had a boat show on and I wandered around deciding which yacht to buy.
The National Maritime Museum was interesting and afterwards I strolled round the Royal Botanic Gardens which are beautiful.
I took a bus tour out of Sydney to the Blue Mountains, so called because of the blue hue of the trees. It was so cold, but the viewpoints were spectacular, reminding me of the Grand Canyon a little. I walked down into the valley which had waterfalls and forest, very beautiful. I took the Scenic railway back to the top, which is the steepest incline railway in the world. It was a great ride, sooo steep!
I took the train from Kings Cross to Bondi Beach. I walked along the coast from Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach passing through a lot of beautiful beaches on the way. The sun came out, the beaches were lovely, so clean, it was a great walk, and I even spotted a school of dolphins swimming near the surfers. Sydney is great but a few days in the big city is enough for me, looking forward to travelling up the coast to warmer climes.