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Published: January 24th 2010
18 January 2010 - 22 January 2010
Hervey Bay to Brisbane by bus--5 hours
Brisbane to Beerwah (Australia Zoo) by train--A$21.20 return (1 1/2 hours)
Brisbane to Surfers Paradise by train & bus--A$28.80 return (2 hours)
Best Inn, Fortitude Valley
Double, fan, TV, shared bathroom--A$50
An absolute bargain in a slightly drab area of the city. However, it is close to the train station, bars & restaurants and is the cheapest in Brisbane that we know of!
We were lucky that on this leg of our journey the bus trip was only 5 hours in length (this is nothing compared to alot of the journeys!!!)
So we set off at a sensible hour, hopped on our bus and was in Brisbane before we knew it!
We had left booking our hostel till the day before we left Hervey bay and this turned out to be a mistake as everywhere was either fully booked or extremly pricy (we didnt realise that it was the big day out in the gold coast and so places were already choc-a-block.)
We did however, find a place which was under budget and we soon found out why- it
was in a slightly doubious area- Fortitude park!! Apart from this the hotel was acutally really clean and well worth the money. At $50 it cames with 2 single beds (pushed together) and t.v. and shared bathrooms (but these were really well cleaned.) The women who ran it was lovely and very helpful.
The first day we had abit of a shopping spree and found a great cheap shop called 'Surpre' (unfortunately it was only womens and so Dan had to make do with the more expensive target!)
Our main reason for staying in Brisbane was to go to the infamous 'Australia Zoo' home of the Late Crocodile Hunter. We decided to do this on the second day, and un like the Singapore Zoo visit the weather held out. It was a lovely day, feeding the animals such as the Kangeroos (although with too many people feeding them they were slightly tired and not very hungry- but this did mean that we had very few problems taking photos with them!)
Ther crocs were on fine form that day... i.e they did very little other than lying in the pool hiding from the sun! But the highlight of
the day was by far the Croc show at the Crocoseum.... now this was the same show that steve Irwin used todo and there was a feeling of sadness and it is very much like he is still there. His face appears on the big screens giving you information and showing you previous crocdile hunter episodes. There is also photos of him throughout the zoo as well as a part of the zoo dedicated to his life with news clippings, photos and messages received by the family after his death.
The croc show was great (if not a little short.) It warmed up with a few reptiles such as snakes before moving onto a bird display. Infact they wanted volunteers and Dan stepped up... it was all going so well. All he had to do was stand up thrust this groin a few times and make a cry like a bird. He did this brilliantly (there is video footage for those who wish to see!) Then the presenter released the birds, the idea was that the birds of prey would then follow the call and land on the participants shoulder. It would have gone so well if it hadnt
The Mall at Fortitude Valley
have been a joke. The birds were not birds of prey but mere white doves that had no intention of landing on anyones shoulders... poor Dan thought her was in for a treat! But too ease the pain all the participants were given a souvenir of the Steve Irwin and his crocodile show (something that we would never have been able to get ourselves.)
After that fun they brought out the Croc- Munga. The keeper then proceeded (in true Australia zoo fashion) to jump around the endge of the pool water and then taunt the croc with a peice of meat. The croc loved it jumping out the water and performing for the crowd.
All in all it was a good day. Although Australia Zoo is not your average zoo, as most the animals are animals that have been rescued from throughout Australia. So they are mainly crocs, and other animals native to the country. Although they do have an Asian section and there is talk of an Africa section being added as well as a hotel.
If you want to see a large aray of animals from thoughout the world then the furthest animal you will
get as far as Asia. But if you want to see the Crocodile hunter and all his friends made famous in the show ( such as 'Agro' the Croc) then this is the place. But take a few tissues with you!
The following day was our trip to Surfers Paradise. Although we had heard that this was a great fun place, we have also heard that it was very expensive so we chose to just take a day trip from Brisbane. But beware, as 'close' in Australia terms usually means at least and hour and a halfS drive (the same as driving as far as Sheffield in a day just to visit a beach.)
Surfers paradise was fun, although the weather held out for the first part of the day, after about 2pm the clouds started to roll in so our beach time was limited.)
One thing we did learn from both our trips is that Australia has a worse train system than England.... if you can believe that!!! We were for ever being delayed due to 'technical' problems and what should havebeen a 1 and hald hour journey turned into a 3 hour trip home!! We
were so tired by the time we got home, we ate quickly before heading back to the hotel to pack and sleep.... As it turns out not enough sleep as we over slep our alarm the following morning and had to rush for the train to get our bus in time!
We made the bus and then headed of for Byron Bay.. which we had only heard good things about!
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