The next place Kim and I arrived at was Noosa! We knew before we arrived that Noosa is an upmarket destination but didn't realised we couldn't get a Pepper with much change from $10.
We were picked up from the Bus Station by a very untalkative European who took us to our hostel 'Dolphins'. What a dump! I could have cried when I saw the place. Paint was peeling off the walls, the living room was filthy and the dorms were crowded (and as I discovered that night had bed bugs). Unfortunately, we were already paid up for two nights and were therefore committed.
We took the shuttle to the supermarket (as everything is really far apart in Noosa) and bought supplies for our evening meal of Fajita's, which we were ingeniously going to use as our pack lunch the following day at Australia Zoo. That evening (as we were still feeling tired and under the weather) we chilled out and read our books. However, our fellow hostel dwellers decided to open the goon and have a really loud party. Joy!
The next morning I woke up bitten to death by bed bugs and we vowed that the next night would be our last there. That day we headed off to Australia Zoo on there big green Steve Irwin bus and were treated to two episodes of the 'Crocodile Hunter' on the way there.
The zoo itself really surprised me, I was expecting something on a 'disney' scale like an over the top version of Chester Zoo. However, the zoo that people walk round is not actually that big. The land that the animals can roam around, however, is huge but visitors only get to see one part of their enclosures. The majority of the animals are native to Australia e.g. crocodiles, kangaroos, koalas etc. They did have three tame tigers which did an amazing show highlighting their size and strength.
The kangaroos were kept in an open enclosure and were very friendly. They came hopping over, you could stroke them and feed them. The koalas were also available to be stroked or watched as they sat on a tree.
In all honesty, I was a little disappointed with the crocodiles, they were a bit dull. Those who know me know that crocodiles and aligators are my favourite animals in the world. I have seen aligators in the wild and on a farm in Florida many times and was always really impressed. However, these crocodiles were a bit placid and there weren't many of them. Perhaps I just bigged them up to much before hand.. really I'm not sure what I expected them to do.
The main show of the day was incredibly cheesy but was very entertaining. It showed many Australian birds, crocodiles plus Elepants. The one thing that surprised me about Australia Zoo is that although Steve Irwin is obviously an incredibly well respected man (and is mentioned ALOT throughout the park) no one ever mentions the fact he is dead. I'm sure most people know but perhaps some people from further afield don't.. I just thought it was strange when talking about his life etc no one mentioned he was dead... but that could just be me.
Overall, Australia Zoo is amazing.. the work they do for conservation and animals worldwide (as well as treating local animals in their onsite Vetrinary hospital) is really inspirational. It does not feel like a 'Sea World' or Disney establishment who are out to make money and the expense of the happiness of the animals.
That evening, my friend Annie (who I met in Thailand) picked Kim and I up from the Australia Zoo bus stop and drove us to her house for wine and Domino's pizza!! It was so lovely to have a friend in another country, especially one who spoilt me so much!! She also persuaded us to stay a few days longer so she could take us to the Eumandi Markets nearby.
That night after vowing to stay only one more night in the hell hole we decided to book another hostel. We had seen an advertisement for a new hostel called 'Flashpacker's, it was a little more expensive but had state of the art facilities and a special GIRLS room. That was it, we were prepared to pay any price and be 'Flashpacker's.
The next day we got up SUPER early and got the current hostel to drop us off at the new hostel, well it was the least they could do.
Flashpackers was amazing!!! It had a fountain outside with hammocks and decking. Inside was beautiful, with a huge modern kitchen, corner sofas, plasma tv.
We took our bags up to a room practically bouncing with excitement. We creeped in the room as someone was still asleep (even though it was nearly 10am) and nearly did a dance at how amazing the room was. All the bed were white iron with pink bedding, the walls were pink, the lockers were pink, the rug was pink!! The shower was a waterfall shower and the bathroom had a hairdryer and STRAIGHTENERS. We were in heaven.
Kim put her things next to bed and just moved the other girls bag slightly out of the way. After a short while, the other girl woke up in a huff and stormed off to the bathroom. When she came back, she kicked Kim's rucksack out of her way and when Kim asked if she would like her to move her stuff the girl replied 'I don't care what you do'. Well, we didn't really quite know what to say!! ha ha!!
Over the next few days in Noosa, we spent our days at the beach sunning ourselves. One day we attempted to go boogie boarding but after one look at the waves decided it wasn't for us and used them as wind breakers instead!! We also went on a lovely coastal walk with Steve and Aron around the cliffs and beaches of Noosa.
On our last night in Noosa we decided to go on a night out to a different backpackers called Nomads. We arrived (with freshly straightened hair) and ended up having a really great night. However, the next day we were some what worse for wear. I opened my eyes and after singing a hangover song told Kim that I could not possibly get on the bus to Surfer's Paradise. Kim kindly extended our stay at Flashpackers and re-booked our bus for the following day whilst I suffered for the whole day in bed.
The next day we set off for the Blackpool of Australia..
to be continued..