The way we planned to travel up the East Coast was on the Oz EXperience buses-because of the fun we had in NZ and what better way to start the experience than with a 6am start ( after alex had got up at 4.45am for Utd vs. Schalke) and a crocodile pie for lunch. Yummy! Our first stop was in Byron Bat where we had planned to visit the lighthouse and Cape Byron and do some surfing but we weren't able to because of the torrential rain. North of Byron we stopped at Surfers Paradise, a Benidorm-like city with skyscrapers right on the beach. We booked our whitsundays and Fraser island trips here and planned the rest of our trip. That evening we had a crazy Friday night, choosing not to go on the pub-crawl, instead we watched William and Catherine tie the knot! Woof! Surfers is famous for it's amusement parks- so we topped up our adrenaline levels with a visit to Warner Brothers " Movieworld".
Adding to our increasing number of hours spent on a bus, we travelled up to Brisbane. Our plans for our two day visit were scuppered when we learnt that the Queenslanders were having yet another public holiday. This meant the Chinese Consulate would again be closed and so we would have to stay an extra day- and hopefully get our visas fast tracked. That night, almost morning as it was on 12.45- 03.00am, we watched another Utd game, but we also managed to meet up with johnboy (my brothers friend for any of Alex's family reading!) it was really good to see a familiar face- although he and Alex went to bed pretty disappointed as Utd lost.
After only a few hours kip we were running around Brisbane trying to find the bus station for our trip to the Australia Zoo- the one made famous by Steve Irwin. The zoo was very impressive with a lot of hands on activities and interactions- a differny experience to a usual zoo. We managed to get up close with crocs, elephants, tigers, koalas, and even a sheep! We fed the elephants, held a koala and played with the roo's, even being lucky enough to see a joey in it's mothers pouch!
We spent our 5 year anniversary submitting our Chinese visa applications which we managed to get fast tracked. How romantic! At 9.30 the next morning we picked them up and by 10am we were on the bus to Rainbow Beach..... Or so we thought..