The sunshine coast, the gold coast and Byron Bay
Byron Bay, New South Wales
Riiiiiiight, so let me dust out the cobwebs in my brain and rack through my memory to when we left Airlie Beach, that wonderful, scumptious place where I will always think of on a rainy Monday morning mid January! So, we now have a newby to Bianca, Jeremy, who we met on the Whitsunday's trip and who also happened to be heading down the coast to Rainbow Beach (our next destination). Vick and I do love seeing each other every minute of everyday, however it was a breath of fresh air to be able to have some new conversation, and no, when we ran out of conversation we didn't play snog, marry or kill - one of our primetime faves - for the sake of Jezza's sanity.
In my last blog I wrote rather smuggly about how we were heading to the sunshine coast and ha ha ha how you are all freezing your bottoms off at home whilst we are in aptly named places. It will probably please you to hear that karma hit and the sunshine coast should have been called the storm coast. Queensland was coming into it's cyclone season and Vick, Jezza and myself were on the tailend of it. About three hours into our journey the heavens truly did open, not that it helped some poor trucky who had tipped his truck in the middle of the road and blown the thing up. Thankfully no one was hurt but we had to sit on the road for quite a while whilst all the sirens sped past and we kept hearing the booms and bangs of tyres exploding - was nice to have a bit of drama on our long old journey to Rainbow.
We split the drive up into two days. If driven all at once (with no exploding trucks) it should have taken 10 hours. But being in no rush, and seeming as Noah's Flood was about to occur, getting to the beach a day before was not going to mean we would get any more brown! We stopped overnight in a campervan park in Rockhampton, I can't tell you much about Rockhampton as we literally drove through in the dark and picked up and left promtly in the morning. We arrived in Rainbow Beach and I was surprised when I didn't actually see a Rainbow because it was raining and sunny at the same time! Apparently it's actually called Rainbow Beach because of the multicoloured sandstone that lines the coastline there, and something to do with another Aboriginal creation time story.
Rainbow beach is a campers heaven. The coast is lined with campsites - most only 4x4 entry onto the sandunes just ahead of the beach, with sunrise to sunset views overlooking Fraiser Island, the world's biggest sand island. It would be a marvelous sight - if the skies didn't look like Bognor Regis on a typical British November afternoon. Nonetheless it did not dampen our spirits and we enjoyed a pretty fine fish and chippy (still nothing beats the British on that one!) and we even cracked out some of the goon to play some rather competitive drinking games at the campsite before bed.
The next morning Vick and I dropped Jezza off at his hostel and waved him off on his next stage of his journey. And from there we headed to the beach and did the standard seals bathing in the sunshine until the clouds rolled in mid afternoon (and the thunderstorm that was to follow). In fact the sky that evening was out of this world. One end of the beach the sun was setting behind some big collumbus clouds highlighting them some moulten gold colour. To the middle of the beach straight ahead of us the sky was black, no word of a lie black. And to the other end of the beach the sky was a mixture of the two, so it came out as black sky but lines of moulten gold stretched throughout. Pretty awesome!
From Rainbow beach and our little campers hideout we drove down the coast to Noosa, another seaside resort that sunlovers spread too - just not in the countless thunderstorms that did not seem to end. Truth be told Vick and I may have gone to the cinema twice in 36 hours....and we potentially saw the same film twice. Ok, before you laugh too much this is Thor we are talking about. You know, the hugely yummy action hero who has the biggest arm muscles that make most girls melt. And Anthony Hopkins is his dad in the film -what's more to love! Don't make me tell you my excitement when Captain America (an even yummier human being) appeared in the middle of the film.
We did manage to get outdoors at some points in Noosa - well, we walked for 30 minutes down the beach and the thunder started to boom so we made a quick escape back to Bianca! After Noosa was the drive to Brisbane! Brisbane is pretty nice, another place Vick said she would happily live! And, to make it even better it was SUNNY! We mosied around town and did a bit of sight seeing and coffee shop hopping. I even got my phone fixed so it was a very productive day. Productive enough to head onto one of the party capitals of Australia, Surfers Paradise, on the wonderful Gold Coast.
Now at the moment in Oz schools out. Kids have finished for their summer holidays, and so the equivalent of year 13's have just finished. Welcome to "Skoolies". These premature freshers who get hyper off too many sugary alcopops and make silly squealing noises like OH MY GOD THIS IS LIKE SOOOO MUCH FUNNNNN, YOLO! To any adults reading this who aren't up to date on the lingo yolo (you only live once), please never ever use that word. It's frankly embarrassing. So anyway, skoolies had descended on Surfers, and so what we thought might be a few cool days was spent being grumpy old women complaining at the youngens. But we have all been there once and actually they aren't that bad - maybe it's an aussie thing.
We certainly got our sunbathing worth in Surfers too, and yes the tan is coming on very well! From our few days at Surfers we headed a few kilometres down the coast to Palm Beach for another few nights. From Palm Beach (we spent the days sunning on the beach and running for cover when the storms descended) we made our way for Byron Bay, hippy central of Australia.
Well known for it's incredible surfing, this literal surfers paradise was a welcome change for the sky scrapers lining the gold coast. Instead this little party town is full of 'surfer dudes' with long blonde hair and every other word is duuuuuude, chilll ouuttt, aweeesommeeeee, well you get the jist. And it's been great, despite the one hiccup of my phone (newly fixed phone) being stolen by undoubtebly some thieving skoolie who doesn't know hostel and backpacking etiquette! We have done a surfing course and stood up on consecutive occasions! ITS SO MUCH FUN! Vick and I are well and truly hooked and we will be renting out surf boards in Sydney that's for sure! We had a cracking night last night and met some pretty cool people who we have already arranged to meet up with in Sydney (the list ever grows - aren't we popular!).
And the scary thing is, is that when we leave tomorrow and set off down the coast, we will have seven more nights in Bianca and then we will be in Sydney handing her back to the rental company. And what's even more scary is that at that moment when we hand back the keys we will have eight more nights in Sydney. In Australia. On this trip.