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September 3rd 2012
Published: September 8th 2012
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It was a short trip up the coast by our recent length of travel's standards arriving a mere two hours later. We were welcomed to a laid back part of town, the Sunshine Beach. We didn't have to much of an introduction as sunset was almost upon us, we dropped our things at the hostel and went to the supermarket for some bits for dinner. Walking back we got a bit lost having previously been in the shuttle bus but it helped us become orientated and meant we saw a lovely sunset over the beach. An early night ensued, you are shocked right?! We had good reason this time though, we decided to watch the sunrise on the beach at 5.30am and needed some beauty sleep and luckily the other two people on our dorm may be the messiest ever, but also went to bed relatively early!

When the alarm sounded Ben grumbled but Lauren was up and away! Throwing our clothes on we walked the one block to the beach surprised how light it was before the official sunrise. Seating ourselves on a small dune of the beautiful beach we were treated to a kaleidoscope of colours of pinks, oranges and deep reds as the sun woke up behind low lying clouds before breaking through and above them. The photos are stunning, we hope you agree. We tried to get some sleep but gave up at 9am deciding to head back to the beach and see what the coast had to offer.

We had another long day of walking as did many locals on this Sunday in September, the official first day of spring. We walked through the national park, a major draw to this area and revelled in walking amongst tall trees with sand under foot. The rainforest walk was about 5km before we reached the bay further round. We walked about 2km on the beach, treated to numerous surfers chancing their luck on the breaks and a jet skier who was well and truly showing off. This also happened to be a nudist beach and we got full sight of some other bits too! We continued our walk along the coastal track and looked for whales in the sea and koalas in the tree but gutted to report we found none of the above.

As we came to the end of our walk towards Main Beach and the main area of town we spotted a map. You may recall last time we went to a tourist map Lauren was attacked by a dog. She really needs to stay away from maps. What happened this time? Well Ben was watching still for koalas as we both had done for the last hour, we left many a walking track to delve off looking for them off the tourist path to no avail. But as Ben happened to look over to Lauren at the floor across quite an open area, he noticed Lauren put one foot forward - her eyes dead ahead on the map- and stand on a snake! No joke he called out loud and sharp and Lauren knew straight away what that noise meant and fully shrieked as she looked down to see a big red snake coil along the path! She was well and truly shook up and panicked that it had somehow got venom in her shoes! Ben had been worried and we spent the last bit of the walk staring down and Lauren practically crying!

When we finally got to the main area we stopped at a tourist information centre for Lauren to sit down without any fear of what was around her! Ben looked through some leaflets and casually asked the date. Once that was confirmed a big boyish grin swept across his face as he put a leaflet in Lauren's hands. There was currently a big jazz festival being held across the town in various locations! Ben is an avid jazz listener and player and this would truly make him happy! Once we looked at the logistics of where we are and the locations we saw there was one close by at a park. It was a wonderful affair, a big lush park with a ten piece band under a marque. There was numerous stalls selling bits and food vans. We had hotdogs and sat on the grass munching and sipping caramel milkshake to smooth sounds of Sinatra jazz. Ben was in his element and Lauren would do anything to have this Sunday every Sunday! We listened to some more and then had some Dutch pancakes before moving around to look at the rest of the town.

It was surprisingly built up with chain restaurants as well as boutique places and many clothes shops all with a hefty price tag. More jazz was heard at some of these places and we enjoyed watching people dancing on the street to prohibition style music. We had some ice cream and went back to the park before making our way back to the hostel, quite a walk back and carefully watching our step! Another early night after dinner and we couldn't believe we were leaving the next day again!

We checked out leaving our bags until our bus later in the afternoon. We decided that we would spend the day chilling but our hostel wasn't the right atmosphere for us so we actually wandered into town and went to the cinema. The showing was a few hours later so we took a walk to a view point of the lagoon and the other side of town. The only problem with a lagoon is that to see it you have to go up! So we had a hell of an incline to walk which Ben didn't cope with too well in the heat! And Lauren was very on edge after the day before's experience! The view was worth it but the only wildlife we saw was brush turkeys. We watched the Bourne Legacy and enjoyed the relax but not the hefty price tag at $16 each a ticket! It was a great film and a nice retreat from the heat. We grabbed a quick lunch and checked out a local tour office to start making plans further in the future. We headed back and checked our making our way north again, this time a four hour journey to Hervey Bay.

Things of note:

The jazz festival is held in twelve locations every year and is a massive success.

A lot of travellers we meet seem to think we are German when we speak, even the person who sold us hot dogs!

New Zealand ice cream is very popular here.

All beaches are practically deserted on the long walk we did, but Main Beach is packed struggling for space and definitely not as nice!

What would we do differently:

We just wish we had seen some wildlife, some people the week before had seen dolphins, whales an koalas.


Near Misses: 1 the snake!


Additional photos below
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10th September 2012

wow! alsome

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