Have enjoyed a lovely few days in Noosa.
Despite enduring our first day of completely torrential rain on Monday and, therefore, finding ourselves unexpectedly confined to the inside of a youth hostel, at least it was one of the most beautiful hostels we have stayed in so far. Halse Lodge was all timber and oak and situated at the top of a hill with views out towards the sea. There was a real chill out vibe there.
Luckily, the sun decided to reappear for our all important trip to Australia Zoo the next day! This is the zoo that was founded by Steve Irwin's father, and was owned by Steve and his wife Terri until his death last year. Terri and the children still play a very active part in the keeping of the zoo and the whole experience is extremely Irwinesque...big cardboard cutouts of Steve and lots of signs saying 'Crikey!' and 'What a little beauty!' everywhere, as well as footage of the Crocodile Hunter and the Irwins doing the sort of crazy stuff they are so well known for doing on big television screens at every turn. It is also possible to purchase Steve Irwin Action Men or an Irwin Family portrait mousemat, should you so wish. All that said, the atmosphere is very jolly and positive in a sort of tribute to Steve's life and work; it's a very entertaining day out indeed. The message is a strong as ever, too; the Irwin zoo aims purely to educate its visitors on wild animals that we may not understand and teach us how to treat them (and escape them, if necessary!) It was lovely to be able to handfeed kangaroos in the acres and acres of land that they call home without supervision from anybody. It's a very peaceful, trusting and caring environment. I have officially fallen in love with all koalas; they are soooo cute! The crocodiles were a little less loveable, I must admit, despite constant reassurance on videocamera from Steve and Terri that 'Croc's rule!'
The beach at Noosa was beautiful; especially at sunset. The colours of the sky at sunset in this country are quite indescribable. Lucy and I also went on the coastal walk through Noosa National Park, which afforded some stunning views.
Currently twiddling our thumbs in the (very) sleepy Hervey Bay before our trip out to Fraser Island tomorrow!