Has it really been two weeks since we last got in touch!?! We've done so much since then!
We headed to Dream World & Water World later in the week of 8th Dec. It's a theme park with a few really good rides and a great water park. Unfortunately the day was cut a bit short because a lightening storm came over - I guess the prospect of everyone getting electricuted in the pool was a good reason to close! Not to worry though, we're going to Wet & Wild on Boxing Day!
We took Lewis to the man-made beach in Brisbane but he decided he didn't like me and only wanted to play with Amanda. Fine with me, it meant I could read my book in peace!
We left Brisbane on Saturday 13th December and started our journey up north. We headed to Yeppoon (near Rockhampton), stopping off in Maryborough where we had "gourmet" ice cream, before heading slowly south back to Brisbane
We also camped every day - a major achievement for Amanda! We learned our lesson after the first night though - we camped on a site without any shade and woke up at 5:30am absolutely boiling as the sun had already come up! Also, the ground was so hard in the morning that it took about an hour to get the pegs out of the ground!
On the way up we stopped in Childers. The place where the Backpackers were killed in the hostel fire in 2000. There is a fabulous memorial to the people who died there. And at the big pineapple; there are apparently 150 of these huge plastic things around the country of varying shapes - you can even buy a book of them! This one showed the history of pineapple production in Nambour, fascinating!!!
We arrived in Yeppoon on Sunday and arranged a tour to Great Keppel Island the following day. It was gorgeous. We took a walk from the ferry port (when I say port, I mean beach landing) to Monkey Beach - about 50 minutes of bush walking. It was worth it though, there were only six of us on the beach and it was like paradise - crystal clear waters & golden sands. We had a lovely day sitting on the beach before we headed back to our campsite for a dip in the salted pool (what's that about!?!) and to eat our ready made lentil stew. That night we saw a possum in the tree next to our tent. We also met a lovely Swedish couple we chatted to who showed us around their campervan - those things are amazing!
On Tuesday we headed to Agnes Water and Town of 1770 before heading on to Bundaberg - a fairly forgettable place except for being the home of Bundaberg Rum. Seems as famous here as Bacardi is in the UK. Nearby though is Mon Repos. It's a beach where turtles come to lay their eggs. We got there to find out that the tours only run in the evening. We were about to leave when a guy stopped us and asked us if we wanted to see a turtle on the beach. We were fortunate enough to see one lay eggs during the day. Apparently this is very rare as they normally do it at night when it's cooler. It was amazing to see, especially as it was only us and the ranger on the beach - so another tick on our wildlife list!
On Wednesday evening we arrived in Hervey Bay in preparation for our trip to Fraser Island. Hervey Bay was quite nice but the campsite was dissappointing - over priced with virtually no facilities - shame really as all the others were great
Fraser Island was brilliant. We got there early on Thursday morning and got onto a 4WD coach. Ideally we would have done a smaller trip but options seem limited now. All the "roads" there are sand tracks so we spent two days bouncing around in the coach looking at the scenery, walking over sand dunes to natural lakes and up to lookout points. The highlight was definitely Lake Mackenzie - a clear rain water lake which has no outlet which is surrounded by gorgeous white sands. Apparently the sand is so full of silicon that you can clean your jewellery with it!
On Saturday we headed to Tin Can Bay where you can feed dolphins. They come up to the shore to be hand fed at the marina! We also took a boat trip hoping to see them swimming but unfortunately it was too overcast so it made the sea grey - makes spotting grey wildlife a bit difficult!
We then went further south to Rainbow Beach where you can see the different colours of the layers of sand in the cliffs on the beach. Behind the beach there is a sandblow which has covered the vegetation and you can walk across it and see great views of the coast line. That night we got to Noosa. Noosa is a hotspot for the locals and was heaving. Amanda wanted to go to a specific place for dinner that she'd been before so we decided to have our Christmas party there which unfortunately meant raging hangovers the next day!
On the Sunday Helen & Jamie were going to meet us in Noosa but the heavens opened so after a nice breakfast we headed back to Brisbane to hang out at home
Yesterday required us to do our Christmas shopping! For a whole hour and a half! That's it, done!
While we were on Fraser Island we met a couple of Belgian guys who we chatted to alot. They gave us a great recommendation for a great restaurant in Surfers Paradise called "Four Winds". We went there on Monday evening with Helen & Jamie. It is a revolving restaurant with a great all you can eat buffet including seafood, shellfish, curries, roast meats, chinese and a great dessert bar!!
Amanda & Helen are going out tonight leaving me and Jamie with babysitting duties and a pile of present wrapping as we've got two days to go to Christmas Day. It's 30+ degrees here and very little sign of Christmas decoration so a very odd feeling
We should get more photos online over new year for your enjoyment! We hope you all enjoy the festivities - we look forward to hearing the gossip from Christmas parties, New Year's Eve and Christmas Day!