Ok, so i hope you're sitting comfortbly cos this may be a long one. I've just back after a 3 weeks trip from brisbane, to sydney then back to brisbane and back up to cairns....
so the first stop was gold coast. it was a bit drizzly, but we had our little camper van and a dvd inside.... (i know! all mod-cons). we stopped to watch the surfers at tweed heads the day we left and saw whales breaching (jumping) out of the ocean in the distance, which was pretty damn cool. the next stop was byron bay (the magnet for anyone with a camper van apparenty) we arrived at tea time to more whales in the distance and some cool dude finishing off a day of surfing. we were both dead excited about exploring. there were such a mixture of people. from hippies to holiday makers and nice restaurants to cosey cafes. i was wined and dined in a lovely restaurant - swordfish at its best, and scott ate so much lamb he thought he was gona be sick!
the next moring involved an emergency sunnies purchasing, cos i'd left my other 4 pairs of glasses in brisbane (oops) - we had croissants and coffee for brekkie then scott bought a skim board to play with. i went for a 'dip' in the sea, which turned out to be the closest to death so far (mum stop reading about now) yeah dispite plan dives and bungies, this was scary. there was a rip that i was completely unaware about, which meant you were sucked by the current out into the bigger waves. it didnt take long for me to realise what was about to happen to me so i vigourously kicked my legs and got a full on front crawl into action. i could hardly keep my breath going and i could hardly see scott on the beach anymore...... after a few minutes in exhausting effort i managed to get myself sideways across the rip and onto the safety of the beach. dudes, i nearly kissed the sand i was that relieved (seriously). glad i didnt have to wave my arms and totally make a fool out of myself though.... yeah.
that night we munched on cheese and biscuits and had a niiiiice bottle of wine, which made such a nice change from all the beer i've been consuming (dont worry grandad - all in moderation i assure you).
next stop coffs harbour - a slice of england, as it was slightly over cast and we could walk up this little island called mutton bird island. we saw a petrel and that was about it, then we went to this random 'clog barn' which was like a small crap lego land.... nothing worthing writing about, but the next day was..... oh, wait that night we ate out at really nice restaurant called shearwater - it looked out on to a lake, but it was raining dead hard so this didnt matter.... we had kilpatrick oysters then i hard barrimundi...and more wine....yummy! so - the next day we went to a dolphin centre and was kissed by a dolphon and a seal (see pics) then we got to feed small sharks, turtles, peguins and touch the dolphins. the dolphins did loads of tricks and so did the seals which i felt a bit sorry for, but they seemed happy enough.
we stayed over night in newcastle and headed to sydney the following morning. woh ths was a bit stressful, but scott managed to get our camper into the MASSIVE city, get a park, which cost an arm and a leg and we jumped straight on the ferry over to manly. we saw the grand opera house and harbour bridge and did a stop of sushi eating and shopping at manly. not so warm... a mere 25 degrees, but hey who can complain at that.
we went out at kings cross and mingled with the (mainly gay blokes) in the bars and went to cut some shapes on the dancefloor in a club!
the next morning we headed over to bondi beach with saw heads... we were beached for the whole afternoon, watching the surfers and catching the sunshine. The next day we went to the blue mountains.... and we were so lucky. the weather was perfect so we saw all the blue haze that comes from the trees in the valley...see pics. the first lookout was very tourist and i nearly punched a japanesse tourist cos she pushed me out the way, but it with held, dont worry. we walked onto the three sisters (big cray rocks) then headed up to see the other lookeds - one of which went round 360 degrees which was awsume!!
we then moved back up the highway and saw a sign for hunter vally, so we turned off and went for a spot of wine tasting and purchasing (supplies for our fraser island trip). we headed through a place called scone, so i bought some scones (well i had to really) then we dropped off the camper van back in brisbane and caught on over night greyhoung coach up to hervey bay. we had one days rest, then i boat trip out to do some whale watching...... WOW! this was one of the bestest everest things i've seen. we saw a total or about 15 whales and we found 3 mothers with their calves and they came up close to the boat, underneath it and around it. u could see then so clearly cos the water was clear blue. then one pair were breaching right infront of up for a could 10 mins. unbelievable, but guess whose camera battery ran out after the first sighting... yep, sorry, no good picks for this part.
then over to fraser island on a 4x4 from hervey bay. woh - there are no roads, just sand tracks so the journey was slightly bumpy.... having not done any 4x4 driving before i was panicing big time, but scoot told me after the first day that he'd doe it loads...... hello! it woud have been nice to know that before i started to fear for my life. we set up camp and cooked dinner as it got really dark..... i was petrified that the wild dingoes that life on the island, were gona come a attack me..... the unbelievable stars distracted me temporarely though. the stars were thick, and stretched from horizon to horizon. the milkyway was crystal clear, but the moment didnt last as i soon needed to go pe pe's and this involved digging a hole so the dingoes couldnt smell it..... erm, nice!
we went up to indian heads the next morning, after hailing down another car from the 'road', which was just the beach by the way cos the car battery had gone so we needed someone to jump start us, oh whilst this was going on, ittle private jets were landing on the beach, which apparently doubles up as a runway.... what the hell?? so at indian heads we were so lucky. we saw 2 sharks lurking down below us, a turtle, 5 sting wray, whales and a pod of about 14 dolphins riding the waves into shore..... we went to lake mackenzie after this which is the most pituresque lake you will ever see i your life. clear blue, white sand and still as! the sun soon went down though so we had to get back, which was interesting. you try finding your campsite in a random place along a beach that is pitch back.... we managed to drive all the way past it before returning and finally finding it.. phew, panic over! we had another good cook up then went via champagne pools and indian heads again when this time we saw a shark pull right up into the shore, when 10 seconds later some fisherman was stood trying the catch fish. i wanted to shout down...'oi, mate there a big ass shark down there'.
then we got back to land where the roads where flat and steering wasnt a mission. we got upto airley beach, had a chillax then onto our 3 day cruise out to the barrier reef and back through the whitsunday islands (oh - for free) scott new girl who worked on the boats so she sorted us out....how cool! the first dive was amazing. we saw another shark and went through coral tunnels where all the big fishies hide and you coud look up and see the sun shining through the gaps. then next day we sailed back down towards the island and then did another dive. this one was ealry morning and the current was so strong, when we rolled backwards out of the boat 4 of us were draglged away. we had to be picked up and the boat had to struggle to get us back into the bay so we could dive. it was poor visibility and i struggled with the current, but we did it, but no sharks this time. we saw a massive turtle poking its head out after out snorkel session ater in the day though. i won't tell you about whotehaven beach... all you need are the phots, we saw a handful on stingwrays in the ankle deep waters though, which was fun. then back onto dry land, but still swaying we went out for a few, which turned into many and then had to recover the following day in the boiling sun. so what are you waiting for, check out the photos!!!!!