.....Taking a trip to the zoo
Next stop on the east coast trail was Noosa, a kind of combination between a posh weekend retreat (smart shops and restaurants galore) and a surfers hangout (great waves man). There are a series of fab beaches and bays backed by green hills and a small but lovely national park perched on the end of the headland ripe for exploring and stretching the by-now very unfit legs - it was super and is definitely competing for my favourite Oz stop so far.
The YHA I stayed at was a grand old Queenslander building (think Home and Away again) with loads of character and lovely grounds, the kind of place you could hang out at for ages, and many do. But, unfortunately, my Australia budget is wearing precariously thin, and dare I say it, I have seen a lot of beaches in the last few weeks and am rather getting ready for a change of scene now.
So just a couple of days spent here, the first walking, beaching, swimming - as you do. And the second, well this was the big one; the day of days, the event of events. The time had come to make the pilmgrimage to - Australia Zoo. As you may gather I was rather excited about this and thankfully I went along with a couple of guys who were equally into the whole worship Steve and his dedication to the crocs thing.
It was rather an emotional rollercoaster of a day because the excitement of being picked up in the double decker australia bus first thing was tempered by the video on the way in of Steve's best moments, not to mention his monologues about loosing his dog (Chilli, as in Chilli Dog, god he loved that little beauty) and then there was the stuff about meeting the woman of his dreams, Terri, and all the things they had achieved at the zoo etc, and stuff from his dad about how pround he was of Steve... it was tear-jerking stuff!
But stick us in the croceseum to watch the live animal show and get things started with a crike!-off (naturally with me on board our side of the arena won, plus we had warmed up all morning by dropping Crikeys! into nearly every sentence so were on good form), and it was all smiles again for me and the two Marks.
We also fed elephants and kangeroos, petted koalas and lizards, checked out crocs and wombats and paid our respects to the man himself at the informal memorial there. Whada guy.
Another extrememly excitng outing in Noosa was to the cinema with my essex-girl roomies who had a hire car and everything, we went to watch Pirates 3 which wasn't the best but still a rare celluloid treat.
Then straight through to Byron Bay (missing out a couple of spots along the way) on a bit of an express run to Sydney. So with Byron came my third state at long last - New South Wales - and a further drop in temperature, which, although its still nice and sunny during the day, its not exactly tanning weather, and at night its jeans, trainers and hoodie time. I wasnt here long so didn't have the time to get involved in all the hippy type activities that are on offer in this chilled out place - yoga on the beach, hot stone massage, spritual guidance sessions - you get the picture. But I did get chance to check out the rather fun and funky shops and cafes, and I had another good headland hike, firstly out to the most easterly point in Oz - Captain Cook's lookout - and then quite a trek along the coast and up to the lighthouse where I was rewarded with the best coastal views I've experience yet. It was 180.c Pacific waters in all their glory, and was amazing sitting and watching the sun going down. Felt a little left out to not have a massive joint in hand like the others did though...
But anyway, next stop Sydeny people! Very excited to finally see the place some traitorous Brits fall in love with and which some reckon rivals London - yeah right. But I'll give it a go and report back.