Brisbane to Port Douglas

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June 23rd 2013
Published: June 23rd 2013
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Dickie beach - our first stop on our queensland adventure! We arrived a few days before the parentals and settled nicely into our first campsite. Every morning we were awoken by the dawn chorus of what would appear to be a thousand turkeys, kookaburras and some sort of crow! This was usually 5 or 6 in the morning! Happy camping (thumbs up camping friends). The weather was a bit drizzly but this didnt stop us heading to the beach of course and finding lots of sea slugs in a rock pool! I had to dare Jonny to touch one, only to be told later they are quite poisonous - oopsie!! (Jonny is still alive for those wondering). We also had a nightly visit from a friendly possum - happy to eat carrot out of Jana's hand! Definitely a Steve Irwin moment, we are so extreme!!

The campsite had a tennis court so Sean and myself decided to challenge former "pro" Jonny to a match! Lets just say Jonny is a little out of practice and was a bit sunburnt from that session ;-) A brown snake (extremely venomous) also decided to make an appearance in the camp kitchen one night - making us all just a little wary at night!! The day arrived when Tommo and I went to collect Dad and Paddy from Brisbane airport. 5am and excited to see them, we set off with plenty of time but with Tom's great sense of direction we ended being late for them ;-) nevertheless it was great to catch up over a milkshake at maccas at 8 in the morn (where else?!) At ten we were able to go and pick up the jucy camper that Dad had hired for his trip. I think I can speak for both Dad and Paddy by saying they were both a bit taken a back at just how basic the van was - let the fun begin!! (And the rain)

After a few nights we moved on to Noosa - well what we thought was Noosa but we ended up staying at a place called Boreen Point, about half hour drive from Noosa and what we could all say was a bit in the 'bush'It was set on a lovely lake where we could practice our stand up paddle boarding (thanks Tom and Jana) but we were surrounded by massive lizards, huntsman spiders and kookaburras that were happy to steal your bacon off the BBQ! We headed to Noosa on both days and this is definitely a place with money - flash cars, fancy restaurants and designer shops! It was extremely picturesque with a beautiful national park that you could walk around, following a trail that would take you along the coast line and then through the bush! We all slept well that night!

JLS had a bit of an unfortunate experience however when hiring a sea kayak and stand up paddle board at main beach! It was a lovely day, the sun was shining and we felt a bit courageous! We should have known it would end in disaster when Sean and myself struggled to get the kayak into the water and over the massive waves!! Once past them however it was great fun all having a go on the paddle board and kayak. Disaster struck when we had to head back to the beach and Jonny and myself accidentally 'surfed' a massive wave in the kayak and nearly took out a man at high speed! After the near death experience we collected our kayak from the beach with red faces and apologies all roundWe soon saw Sean stomping along the beach dragging the paddle board with him minus the actual paddle! He had been taken out by a huge wave and nearly thrown against some rocks, amongst all this he just couldn't hold on to the paddle! He gave the board back to the hire shop and said we would go look for it and promptly decided to leg it as there was no chance!

Having to make a quick exit from Noosa we moved onto Hervey Bay with a quick pit stop at Rainbow beach - I enjoyed a little walk around all the hippy/surfer shops while the other guys had another go in the water! And yes the sand does live up to the title of the beach! From Hervey Bay we were able to get across to Fraser Island pretty quickly! Fraser is the worlds largest sand island and also home to the purest dingos in the world! You have to have a 4x4 to get around, so naturally we opted for the 4x4 coach experience....pretty incredible even if we were being thrown around all day, heads banging windows etc! Fraser is an extremely beautiful island particularly 75 mile beach, obviously we couldn't see all the way down it ;-) Lake Mackenzie looks stunning in all the pics we had seen previously but unfortunately the cyclone from January had made the water a darker blue so it didn't have its usual wow factor! However the sand here is actually used to clean jewellery which I definitely took advantage of! After a precarious journey through this island with some sheer drops next to some of the tallest trees on the planet, we headed back to camp a little weary!

Our cricket set got its first use here when a little game turned into an ashes style tournament with all the ozzie kids (and dads) wanting to have a go - and boy are these kids good!!! Give it 15 years and ozzies may have a future in cricket (all down to us)After Hervey we made our way to the cute town of 1770. This place is utterly gorgeous and we all enjoyed the amazing views and calm water where we could really perfect our kayaking and Supping (stand up paddle), Jonny and myself went on a little adventure to the sand bar and chased pelicans for a while before I got freaked out over sharks; Sean went on a romantic kayak with Trev - what a team! Paddy proved to be the natural pro at supping, first ever go and she didnt fall in once, until her cruel son decided to push her and she faceplanted the water! Tut tut Thomas! In the evenings we headed back to the water for some fishing and alas Tom and I were the only ones to get a catch (my first ever) even though I was slightly terrified with it when I pulled it in, but could still pose for the photo haha!! The sunsets were lovely and the rain seemed to hold back a bit while we were here, but not for long....

Off we headed on a long drive to airlie beach, gateway to the Whitsunday islands! The rain came thick and fast but we still managed to surprise dad with an aerobatic flight on a tiger moth plane for his birthday! For once he was speechless and we even have it on camera ;-) the islands themselves were beautiful and the water was so clear you could see the sting rays and sharks from a lookout point! We got to do a bit of snorkelling here but had to wear stinger suits, highly unattractive Lycra suits that made none of us look good!!! But they did save us from impending death or huge scarring from box jelly fish or other stingy fishies!!! Whitsundays is a definite must do and a BBQ on the Whitehaven beach was paradise! The goannas were huge and were all too happy for us to take photos of them! At one point they did get into a bit of a scuffle and there was spilt blood! All in all it was a great day despite some bad weather

Our last stop on our east coast trip was Port Douglas, most of you will know this is where we are living at the moment. We headed here as it was a great place to get to the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. We firstly did our outing to the rainforest, crossing a croc infested river and walking along boardwalks on top of the rainforest canopy. It was incredible for the view however the waterproof jackets we had all cleverly brought with us, failed to actually keep us dry! Sean bought a $2 dollar poncho from the gift shop and didnt get the tiniest bit soggy - jammy git! Unfortunately the rain kept all the wildlife away and we couldn't see too much. I had to 'borrow' a shirt from dad as I had no change of clothes and unfortunately it did have some resemblance to the manly woman from 'Bridesmaids'. Laugh away. Trying to get home, we got caught between two flooded rivers and had to wait a while in order to cross the bridge and not be swept away in the camper.

With a slim selection of good weather days to head to the reef, we finally headed out on a fairly windy day, travel sickness tablets taken and a bit anxious of the strong winds! But boy the reef did not disappoint. We found out after the trip that we were at the reef in which Steve Irwin was killed. We didnt see any sting rays but the guys did spot some sharkies! For all you nature lovers I have an album full of pictures, for everyone else I won't bore you with the details but it really is a once in a lifetime experience.

Lucky for us we live here so may even be a three or four times in a lifetime experience ;-) with any luck we will be going in a few weeks to see the minke and humpback whales migrating :-)After tearful goodbyes to the fam, JLS finally set up home in Australia. We are now all working and renting a flat in a lovely resort - we sometimes go fishing, sometimes go to the beach, there are weekly markets with fresh sea food and all sorts, live music nights, open air cinemas, carnivals, thousands of bats, giant crocodiles, bright blue Ulysses butterflies, stingrays and more! We honestly couldn't have picked a nicer place - the winter temps creep down to a chilly 22 degrees. It is truly magical and by some good fortune we stumbled across it. We will be here til November or so and then we are off on our travels again! New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia and eventually back to Bangkok where it all began. The JLS dream continues. Until then folks....


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