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Published: December 23rd 2008
Hello again and MERRY XMAS! It doesn’t seem like xmas over here, it’s just so hot! There also aren’t many xmas decorations about or much xmas shopping to do.
So I left you the day before Nick’s birthday which was quite a while ago now but as per usual the Australian internet has been less than adequate where we’ve been recently. So here goes:
To start Nicks birthday off he treated himself to a fry up of eggs, bacon, sausages, beans and hash browns but because we were used to just having muesli we were all absolutely stuffed and could only just finish it. After that we took some body boards down to the beach with the people we’d met in Byron Bay. The weather wasn’t great but the boys still managed to get a bit of boarding in before we headed back to the hostel. Just as we got back to the hostel it started raining and was really miserable so we bought some beers and played cards. At about 3pm we brought out the birthday cake complete with sparkly candles and sang Happy Birthday, although not everyone there knew his name which was funny! For dinner we joined in with the $10 all you can eat BBQ which had steak, sausages, bread, cheese, crisps, salads and fruit…we were stuffed. Although quite a lot of people had left during the day we still had quite a big group of people to join in the evening celebrations. The evening celebrations consisted of a variety of drinking games before heading out to the local club for some dancing. We had everyone up to 50 cent - It’s your birthday which was really funny. Unfortunately though the bar tender seemed to be in a bad mood and kept kicking people out for being too drunk (we weren’t) so we all decided to leave before it happened again. We were going to go to another bar but there was a massive queue so we just went back to our room and had a chat before going to bed. For our last day in Byron Bay we went to the beach although it was overcast again which was annoying and then went out drinking again in the evening.
After Byron Bay we moved on to Surfers Paradise just up the coast and after 5 days of partying we were ready for a bit of rest and relaxation. Luckily we had a TV in our dorm room and ensuite bathroom so we spent a couple of days lazing. We did make it down to the beach for a bit but it was just lined with skyscrapers which wasn’t very appealing to us. The weather was still terrible and one night we had a massive thunderstorm and heavy rain. We weren’t big fans of the Miami like atmosphere in surfers so after only 2 days we caught a bus on to Brisbane. We’d become so used to being picked up from the bus station in Australia we were shocked when our hostel said we’d have to walk, especially as the hostel was quite far away and we all had 3 bags. We’d arrived quite early in the day so decided to break our lazy streak and walk to the museum in town in the afternoon. It wasn’t the best museum we’d been to but it had some interesting/interactive parts which made it quite fun. Back at the hostel in the evening whilst we were having dinner a little possum started walking along the bench next to us. It was so strange and didn’t seem bothered by us at all, one little girl even started feeding and stroking it…while we all steered clear in case it had a disease! It was cute though. With only one full day in Brisbane we wanted to get some pictures and see as much as possible, not that there’s much to see in Brisbane. The city surrounds a river just like in Melbourne and actually looks quite nice. Next to the river was a manmade beach complete with sand, pool, lifeguard station and palm trees so we decided to do a bit of sunbathing as the weather was gorgeous. It was so strange being on a beach in the middle of the city but it was nice to have something other than salt water to swim in. When we were all feeling a bit hungry and thirsty we headed into the city centre where there was a massive xmas tree which made us all feel a bit more festive. We also did a little bit of xmas shopping to lighten the mood. I’d read in the lonely planet there was a nice view of the city from the town hall but unfortunately when we got there it was closed so we slowly wandered back to our hostel. That evening we met up with Lianna’s friend Lewis (both have been travelling with us since) and went for a beer in town.
Although we had an early bus to catch to Noosa no one set an alarm so we were a bit late getting up which meant a rush getting ready and a very speedy/sweaty walk to the bus station, only to arrive and find the bus was delayed by 45mins! Our hostel in Noosa was quite nice with a pool and big dorm rooms but the kitchen facilities weren’t very good (we think they wanted us to buy the ready made evening meals). While in Noosa we all decided to put our healthy lifestyle up a notch and went swimming every morning along with sit ups and leg exercises, it was actually nice to be doing some exercise. After that we walked down to the beach to see what it was like, it only took about 10mins but included a nice hill that was not particularly pleasant in the 36˚c heat! When we got to the beach Nick realised he’d forgotten his towel so Lianna and I started laughing at him, only to open our own bags and find we’d both forgotten ours as well…typical! So we spent the day lying on the hard sand and having to go in the sea and wash off before turning over each time. We’d taken our xmas hats down to the beach and decided to take some xmas pics which looked really good. That evening we went out to the hostels bar with the people from our room and I spent the whole night dancing which was so much fun. The next day we went to a travel agents to book a Fraser Island trip and ended up completely changing all of our plans for our last few weeks in Aus. Our original plan was to stay in Hervey Bay for xmas and New Year before heading back down to Surfers Paradise ready to fly to Malaysia. Now we are going to 1770 for xmas, Cairns for New Year, flying back down to Surfers Paradise and then flying to Malaysia, which means a lot more travelling. In the evening we decided to go out to the hostel bar again but there was a really creepy old man that freaked me so we didn’t stay as long this time. On our last day in Noosa we went to Australia Zoo which Steve Irwin (a.k.a The Crocodile Hunter) used to own and we were all really excited. The first thing we saw when we entered the zoo was a bronze statue of the Irwin family and I’m sorry to say that it looked like it had been done on the cheap. The people seriously looked like the chocolate people at the beginning of Coronation Street (if they still have that). The first animals we saw were the American crocs which were really hard to spot because they stay so still, they almost look plastic. As we were walking to the next enclosure I saw a keeper walking an animal so we went over to have a look, it turned out to be a wombat on a leash which looked so funny but really cute; we were even allowed to stroke it. Next was the Australian snake section where it explained which were venomous and which weren’t. I didn’t realise Australian was home to the Fierce snake which is the most venomous snake in the world and can kill 100 grown men with one bite! Next was the kangaroo enclosure and they were all really lazy and let us walk over and stroke them, their fur is so soft! We also saw koalas, wallabies, tigers and elephants (3 of them) walking in a line holding tails like in Jungle Book. At 11am we went to the famous Crocoseum to watch the wildlife show. The Crocoseum itself was kind of like a small football stadium with loads of seats and a massive screen at one end, but instead of a pitch there was a crocodile cage. First of all they brought out some snakes, baby crocs and elephants and then they got loads of tropical birds to fly around the audience which was amazing, I couldn’t believe they didn’t fly away. Then it was time for the grand finale when they brought out Arthur the crocodile. He was pretty big and I certainly wouldn’t want to go anywhere near him but unfortunately it was nothing like the Crocodile Hunter TV show; it was all a bit too choreographed which made it less scary. The man fed him something to make him jump out of the water, run across land (very slowly) and snap at him. But I must admit the best part was when the croc dropped the food and couldn’t get it back in his mouth, the man had expected the croc to eat it and get back in the water but now he was stuck next to the croc with its jaws snapping away…. it was quite funny. Next to the Crocoseum was a massive Steve Irwin memorial and a memorial Harley with a really nice paint job. On the other side of that were loads of crocs that Steve had caught; one was called Acco and was 16ft long! It was really hard to see them though because the water was really brown and murky. Just before lunch we saw a Tasmanian Devil which was a lot bigger and faster than I’d expected, we found it really hard to get a picture because he didn’t stop running about! The zoo wasn’t very big and by 1pm we’d walked all the way around it so we spent the afternoon watching a couple of shows, feeding the elephants and Lianna and Lewis paid to cuddle and koala. With it being so hot when we got back to the hostel at 5pm we all jumped in the pool. Somehow Lianna managed to kick Nick in the head and give him a nice big scratch so now he looks like Harry Potter! Secretly I’m hoping it’ll scar and he’ll look like Harry forever! Later in the evening we picked secret santas out of a hat (it only took 4 goes) which means we’ll all actually have something to open on xmas day.
After Noosa we went to Rainbow Beach which is the closest point to Fraser Island. It’s a really small town with very few shops but a lovely sandy beach with beautiful scenery. All of our days there were spent on the beach watching the gliders and topping up our tans before our Fraser Island trip. I also built a ball run/ sandcastle which was fun.
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