We are now in a quiet campsite just outside Noosa bang on the beach and thought it was the perfect time to update you with our latest adventures!
We returned from our sailing trip in one piece and had a really fantastic time. On the first day we sailed for a couple of hours and then stopped for a snorkel where we saw lots of little (harmless so we were told!) ice cube jellyfish which were (you’ve guessed it) just like cubes of ice stuck together! It was very strange swimming into them and brushing your hand against one. Alex said he could tell each time I saw one because he could hear a squeal coming from my direction! We also saw lots of colourful fish and coral and a turtle as well and as the water was much shallower than before we could get right up close to it and Alex touched his shell. We then got back on the boat, had lunch and set sail for the next snorkel spot. Unlike Halong Bay it actually sailed and throughout the trip we got to help hoisting the sails. At our next snorkel point Alex popped his head up and shouted to the group ‘ did any else see that?’ I knew what he was talking about and tried to communicate but my mouth was full of snorkel! We had both just seen a shark! It was about a meter and a half long, but nobody else saw it and so they decided to look for it but we decided we’d had enough and went back to the boat! That evening the Skipper gave us a talk about the Whitsunday islands and the marine life that we had seen that day. He said it was incredibly rare that we saw the shark and we were lucky but we feel he didn’t completely believe us as we didn’t know what type of shark it was. The next day we went on a bush walk to Whitehaven Beach which is the most spectacular beach I’d ever seen and we saw a group of sand sharks in the shallow waters. We had another snorkel but nothing beat the previous day! On the final day we did some more snorkelling and then headed back to shore. We both agreed that it was a great trip.
On return to Airlie Beach we stayed in a campsite just outside town which had an outside cinema where we watched ‘Inkhart’ which I think I enjoyed more than Alex did!
The next day we did a mammoth road trip to Gladstone. We had aimed for Rockhampton but once we’d got there we decided it didn’t have that much to offer and so we did a final push and got to Gladstone, making the total kilometres that day around 600. The next day we went to Bundaberg which is a big industrial town. We spent the evening at ‘carols by candlelight’ at the showground which was very surreal as it was like a summer festival with food vans selling fish and chips, kangaroo burgers and ice creams and sitting on blankets in shorts, vests and flip slops but we were singing Christmas songs! There was also a jazz band that adapted ‘walking in a winter wonderland’ to ‘sweating in a sizzling Summerland’! Very bizarre!
The next evening we were going turtle watching so we moved to a lovely caravan site just next to the turtle rookery in Mon Repos and spent a lazy afternoon doing washing and reading. We arrived at the rookery early evening and were given a group number. We were group three so we thought we may have to wait a while before getting to see a turtle. Luckily we only had to wait about an hour before being called down to the beach where our turtle was making its nest ready to lay her eggs. We had to walk up the beach in total darkness and only once she was settled and had her back to us could we approach her. We saw the eggs dropping at a fast rate and then the ranger turned on the lights so they could get a better look at her. They carried out some tests to check how big she was, whether she’d been there before (they are tagged if they have) and to check that she was ok. She didn’t have a tag so they would have to tag her which involved piercing the flipper and they said it was like having your ears pierces although I don’t know how they could know that! They had a new volunteer there that night doing the tagging and she couldn’t do it right and so the turtle had to go through SIX attempts before a successful tagging was done from a ranger that took over. The turtle was clearly distressed and it was not nice to watch. After that we took some photos before she went back to sea. We found out the next day that 14 loggerhead turtles laid their eggs that night.
We then went to Hervey Bay and saw lots of dead kangaroos on the road on the way and Alex saw a live wallaby, I spent a good few hours today and yesterday aching my neck searching the tree tops for a koalas but with no findings. Hervey Bay was a fairly large holiday town where most people travel to Fraser Island from. We had planned to do this but decided that we had a lot to cram in before Christmas and so thought we’d continue onward bound to Sydney.
Our next stop was Rainbow beach where we spent the afternoon/early evening on a walk to the top of something called the sandblow which is a huge mound of sand that has built up over thousands of years. The sand has many different colours and that it why the town is called Rainbow Beach. Whilst we were there we had a go at throwing a Boomerang (neither of us were very successful) and watched whilst others from the group had a go at sand boarding. Then we watched the sunset over the town.
The following morning we got up early and made a trip to Tin Can Bay marina where there is a wild dolphin called Mystique who turns up each morning and you can feed him up to 3kg of fish! They said this is a little snack for him as he eats about 30kg a day! It was great fun and over far too quickly but a great way to start the day. We then made our way to our next destination, where we are now- Noosa. This is a very clean, upmarket holiday town with beautiful beaches and a small area of National Park. We took a walk to the park as we were told that we might spot Koalas which I was still on the hunt for! We did! It was very cute, high up in the tree and just waking up for his dinner! I could have watched him all afternoon , even though he wasn’t doing much!
And so, here we are, in the campsite by the beach where we are told kangaroos might arrive by your van in the morning waiting to be fed! Ill let you know if we have any luck….……