Thursday, 14 August 2008

Sircling Stralia – Week 2

Kilometres Travelled – 731
States Visited – 1

From Surfers Paradise it was on to Brisbane where we had planned to catch up with an OzBus friend who has settled here but as she was out of the country tending to a family emergency we were left to our own devices. We stayed at a little hostel called Chill Backpackers and apart from a lack of sound proofing and mildly disturbing unisex bathrooms it was a nice place.

We visited the Picasso exhibition, walked along the river and enjoyed our stay in this thriving city, we caught up on our shopping, visited the botanic gardens, checked emails, ate, drank and were generally merry. When we had finished our time here we headed out to Beerwah, home of Steve Iriwn’s Australia Zoo, a place I was looking forward to and that my girlfriend was overly excited about from the day we left Sydney!

The day began with rain, never a good thing, and as we were camping, this meant a wagon packed with damp gear but we tried to keep the spirits high. By the time we had grabbed some breakfast the rain had given in and the sun shone for the rest of the day. To say that Australia Zoo was a disappointment is about the nicest I can be about it. The shows were not well done, the commercialism of the place makes you feel dirty and the shameless uses of Steve Irwin’s name and his kids to make money is, in my opinion sickening. I expected more from this famous Zoo and left with a definite feeling of having missed something that was once great but has now fallen by the wayside.

After Beerwah we visited Noosa, stopping off at the Giant Pineapple on the way, and went for a long walk round Noosa Heads which has some amazing vistas. After this we headed to Rainbow Beach where we hoped to head over to Fraser Island for a couple of nights and really put our 4x4 through its paces. When we reached Rainbow Beach on the Tuesday and were met with rain and lots of it. After checking the weather we discovered that the rain was here to stay with no sign of lifting before Friday.

As we have our own wheels and a flexible itinerary we decided to delay our trip to Fraser for a few days and headed to Bundaberg to see the rum brewery there, then back down to Hervey Bay to wait for the weather to break. On the Thursday we were in Hervey Bay and decided to walk up to the shark museum run by a local shark hunter as it looked very interesting. The museum was great but we decided to walk there and underestimated how far it was. As the rain was still constant by the time we got there we were drenched to the skin but managed to keep our spirits up. We finished off our rainy day in Hervey with a trip to the cinema to see The Dark Night and went to bed hoping that the rain would indeed have stopped for our planned trip to Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world and where 4x4 is the only way to travel as there are no roads.

The sun did shine on us on the Friday and we visited Fraser finishing off week two camping under the stars behind the sand dunes in a place that strangely reminds me of Back to the Future 2, where we’re going we don’t need roads…(but they would have helped as the bumpy off road tracks and poor packing caused a few breakages and rattled our bones more than a little)

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