Today we went on a little Travel Wheels (our van hire company) convoy as Leander and I followed each other down to Surfers Paradise stopping at a couple of places along the way down.
Straight out of Landsborough we saw the brown tourist sign for the Glass House Mountains scenic drive and took the road around to the mountains for a look. I was a bit disappointed with what I saw as the so called mountains were only 556m above sea level which hardly gives them the right to be called mountains, surly they should be called the Glass House Hills!!!!
And for today's lesson.....
The Glass House Mountains are a group of eleven hills that rise abruptly from the coastal plain on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. The highest mountain is Mount Beerwah at 556 m above sea level, but the most identifiable of all the mountains is Mount Tibrogargan which appears like a giant ape sitting by the roadside staring out to sea. The mountains were named by explorer Captain James Cook in 1770. The peaks reminded him of the glass furnaces in his home county of Yorkshire. Matthew Flinders explored the area and climbed Mount Beerburrum after sailing along Pumicestone Passage in 1799.
About half way to Surfers Paradise we stopped at Bribie Island to have a picnic lunch and a walk along the beach, to give us a break from the long drive that we had to do today and also a little bit of time to catch some missed rays as my South East Asia tan was already starting to disappear into the Australian springtime.
Bribie Island is a large sand island in the northern part of Moreton Bay, Queensland. The island is separated from the mainland by the Pumicestone Passage, the name was derived from the naming of a part of the passage called Pumicestone River by Captain Matthew Flinders in July 1799 . He noted pieces of pumice on the beach at the high water mark and related them to the volcanoes. Examples of pumice from ancient volcanic cones on the mainland north of the island are still frequently washed up on beaches in the passage. Bribie Island is one of two islands connected to the Queensland mainland by a bridge (the other being Boyne Island near Gladstone). The bridge, over Pumicestone Passage, was completed in 1963.
After our stop for lunch we continued our drive down to Surfers Paradise and boy was I disappointed when I got here. I was expecting a real nice beach resort and something that resembled paradise, but all I got was a large town full of high rise buildings and a pretty grey boring town. We drove around a little bit trying to find a particular campsite as we had a camping guide and this one was the cheapest but still cost me $32 for the night.
We eventually found the campsite and got checked in and quickly opened a bottle or two of Strongbow while we got showered, changed and ate some Doritos and dip.
Surfers Paradise is a suburb on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. At the 2006 Census, Surfers Paradise had a population of 18,501. Colloquially known as 'Surfers', the suburb has many high-rise apartment buildings and a wide surf beach. The feature of the central business district is Cavill Mall, which runs through the shopping precinct. Cavill Avenue, named after Jim Cavill, an early hotel owner, is one of the busiest shopping strips in Queensland, and the centre of activity for night life. It's the best known feature of the Gold Coast's skyline. Burleigh and Coolangatta also have skyscrapers, though shorter and fewer.
Once our supplies of Strongbow’s had run out, which was only 3 each, I cracked open the bottle of vodka that I had had in the van for nearly 2 weeks now and we all had a couple of vodka and oranges before catching the bus into the town centre for our first night out on the town for ages.
We arrived into town and by this time, Leander already seemed a bit drunk so I thought it was best to go and grab some food. We couldn’t decide where to go to eat so we ended up having a Noodle Express and decided that it would be good to have a proper meal out in Brisbane as it would be our last night together before Leander and Debbie had to fly back to Switzerland.
Once Leander had sobered up a bit after eating some food we headed to the first bar, where we hit our biggest hurdle, and he was a very big Aboriginal Hurdle, looking much like he could cave played rugby for Australia big! We soon realised that anyone looking under 25 would have to have some ID on them, me being so old got straight in but Leander didn’t have any ID on him so couldn’t get in. Debbie was OK as she had brought her ID with her. There was no way that we would be getting in any bars with Leander without ID.
We stopped and worked out it would take him about 1-2 hours to go back to the campsite on the bus and although this would have been the cheapest option this would be too long. So we stopped a taxi to ask him how much it would be and we all agreed that we would head back together and split the cost of the taxi 3 ways so that Leander could go back and grab some ID.
While the taxi waited with us at the campsite, Leander grabbed some ID and we were soon back into town although $15 each lighter in the pocket!
We went back to the first bar that we had tried to get in an now there was a queue at the doors but the bouncer recognised us and let us jump the queue and get straight in, obviously checking Leander’s ID first. The bar was huge and we managed to grab a table by the stage and dance floor and although there was some pretty bad karaoke singers on tonight there were also a couple of good one. We ended up staying in this bar all night and then catching the bus back to the campsite after a quick visit to Hungry Jack’s (Burger King to you and me).