Well what a week and a bit I've had mostly good though! Due to the wet season my planned trips had to be rearranged slightly. However it worked out much to my advantage weather wise
Following my overnight stop in Agnes waters I was due to head to Rainbow beach, which is the departing point for the Fraser Island trip. Whilst in Agnes waters it absolutely chucked it down (my bag even got drenched in the bus's trailer). So in the morning when we started to head to Rainbow beach the weather gradually got worse. Then the bus driver got the phonecall to say no buses were coming in or out of Rainbow beach that day because the main bridge into Rainbow beach was flooded. So our trip had to be rescheduled and we all headed further south to Noosa, which we were meant to go to anyway but at weekend. We did take a quick detour to a rum distillery en route, Australian's famous Bundaberg rum, which was had an interesting little museum on how it came about making rum and why it had a polar bear as it's logo (considering it's Australian very random). We all got two free drinks of rum at then end, it was only 10am so felt a little giggly but de stressed by the time got back on the bus. After a very long wet bus journey we got to Noosa in time to shower, get ready and hit the hostel bar for a pub quiz When I arrived I also managed to book myself onto the bus that goes to Australia zoo for the next day. Australia zoo is most famously known for being the late Steve Irwin's zoo. It was originally opened in the 70's by his mother (who unfortunately too is no longer with us) as a reptile centre and over the years it had grown to the zoo it is today Luckily for me that day the sun had decided to shine I couldn't have been more happier. The zoo covered many acres but my first stop was to get over to the Asian Elephants for feeding time, yes I fed an elephant and brought the picture too I do think strangely elephants are gorgeous creatures. Near the elephants was the Tiger temple, were the guide was feeding the tigers. I then headed to Africa, to see giraffes, zebras and later on the white rhinos. The zebras kept making a strange noise and it honestly sounded like a dog barking, threw me something wild (no pun intended). I saw (to name a few) animals: snakes, wombats, lizards (couldn't miss some of them as they were just roaming round), of course crocodiles (Steve was the crocodile hunter), alligators, dingos (unlike the wild ones these boys were fat and well fed), tazmanian devils and of course kangaroos (lazy fellas most of them just lying around) and koalas I even held a koala, they are a lot heavier then they look and so so soft .... I was in love There is a wetland with birds but sorry guys I had gone alone so was not brave enough to face them but I did walk through (rather quickly) the Rainforest Aviary and during the midday show they put on they brought lots of birds out that flew round.... Did wanna cry a little I must admit but I braved it! The midday show in the stadium (which was called the Crocoseum.... haha) was amazing, the main attraction was the croc show, which was incredible. Things these trainers do I'm surprised they have not got limbs missing or worse. Overall an amazingly fun day, by far best zoo I've ever been too (no offence Banham but your shit in comparison). The following day we had the okay we could drive back to Rainbow Beach, the sun was shining and we were all stoked! Once in Rainbow beach we didn't do a lot, it's a small beach town which was nice but spent the rest of day sorting a few things out and then preparing ourselves for the Fraser Island trip, which by the way is the worlds biggest sand island. Up until this point I still believed I was camping until I rang to confirm my place and the lady said that due to an accident the oz experiences passengers no longer camped but were placed on the guided tour, which included lodge accommodation RESULT!!
So I was on a tour called 'Cool Dingos' and we drove round in a bright pink bus, which was especially adapted to be able to drive on the sandy uneven roads and again the beach We literally drove the bus on the ferry and drove off the other side. We then drove straight away on 75 mile beach, like 90 mile beach in Nz we got to drive along the sea (it was a public highway) and the tide was in so it was even closer this time. We even saw a wild dingo and a random tree in middle of the beach. The bus driver seemed to think it was placed there by someone but had been there standing up right for ages. The first spot was Lake Mckenzie, a beautiful lake (again like Lake Eacham in Atherton Tablelands) it was filled completely with rainwater! Luckily for us, the sun was shining and we all got in our swimwear and ran straight into the lake, it was amazing. One girl from the group swam right to the other side of the lake, I was scared when I couldn't touch the floor. The sand was meant to have exfoliating qualities so Zeya for you I scrubbed my feet and I must say they are incredibly smoother Following the swim we had a picnic lunch and then we took a rainforest walk, we walked to another lake called Lake Basin which was very high up but nobody swam in this one and then we walked further into the rainforest, admiring all the different trees, we even saw a tree which took 12 people holding hands to fit round it. When we had finished the rainforest walk we went back to the lodges and they were lovely, each having 5 bedrooms of 4 beds in each and a lovely kitchen/communal area. We all showered then sat together drinking and playing games before heading down for dinner..... Which was an amazing Mexican buffet, we all literally had a bit of everything. This was like having a holiday in the middle of travelling, luxury place to stay massive buffet meals .... Lush The first night we all got to know each other really well playing drinking games then heading to the dingo bar for what was like a school reunion, we got him to play all the classics ... Hilarious The next day there were a few sore heads but after a buffet cooked breakfast (I haven't eaten this much in ages) we headed to Eli Creek, a gorgeous creek with crystal clear waters, you had to go to the end of it jump in lay on your front and be floated down the creek by a current, again we were fortunate as the the sun was out. We stayed at the creek for a little while, we floated around and even got to sunbathe..... Heaven. We then drove to the Pinnacles, to observe the multi coloured sand dune admiring all the different coloured sands. Some people chose to take a small plane ride around Fraser Island but I declined due to lack of funds, but apparently it's one of the only places in the world where a plane can take off from a beach. Next stop was to see the wreck of the Maheno, this is a ship wrecked vessel which had been on 75 mile beach since the 1930's. It was clearly very rusty but it was incredible to think it had been there all those years, it even had little crabs climbing inside it. We were lucky as not many people were viewing it when we got there so we took massive group photo jumping in front of it We then headed to Champagne falls which is a water hole and where the sea meets the rocks it falls over the sides bubbling like champagne. Unfortunately at this point it had become a little overcast and the rocks in the water hole were slippery and shells quite sharp so we didn't spend long in there. After lunch we went to Indian head which is a rock formation which you climb. It had began to slightly drizzle with rain at this point so we climbed it carefully but I didn't take my camera which was a shame as the views were amazing and we even had an eagle hawk flying around us..... 'twas magical. That evening we got to check out the main resorts facilities and use their pool and jacuzzi Told you it was like a mini holiday- the people staying in the main hotel must have been minted as it was very grand That night was very much more reserved, we had an Italian buffet... Yum and most people were in bed by 11pm. The final day following another cooked breakfast (had to mention that) we drove to Lake Birrabeen, this lakes water looked a little murky and brown but it was actually tea tree in the water so it was therapeutic therefore we got in as we thought it might soothe the many bites we had all gotten over the last few days. We played ball games in the water and swam around... Was great fun! When we had got back to the bus it had started to rain and our next stop was Lake Wabby and as a group we decided to take the 40 minute walk there and back to the lake in just our swimwear and get wet because we wanted to see it. The walk was long and we got bitten numerous times but was worth it. When we arrived we initially saw lots of beautiful sand plains and dunes which we decided to run through (leaving our footprints) and just before you got to Lake Wabby we were on the top of a dune so together we all ran and jumped into the water (again it had stopped raining at this point).... It was hilarious After playing and swimming around in the lake, trying to make people do the famous dirty dancing lift we walked back to the bus with huge smiles on all our faces. Having our last buffet lunch we then headed back to mainland to a rainy Rainbow beach...... What an amazing weekend that was, definite highlight of Australia
The next day we were very lucky to get out of Rainbow beach, think we were one of the only buses to leave as the rain was heavy and the place was soon to be flooded. I know a few people from the group had got stranded there for a few days. We had a long 10 hour bus journey to Byron Bay, but least we got there, although just showered and went to bed on first night. The next day we were due to sea kayak with dolphins but as we had thought it got cancelled due to bad weather so we went on the Nimbin tour. Nimbin you could say is the Australian version of Amsterdam, although it's not legal to smoke weed or eat hash cookies it's just frowned upon here. This wonderfully random little town once used to be just a normal little township until the 70's when some students had a massive festival and turned it into the landmark town it is today. It's an unique little place and as soon as we got off the bus we were offered cookies and weed by sellers on the street. It had marvellous little shops which seemed all were run by ageing hippies but sold lovely little handmade gifts. We toured the museum which is run by donation which is so weirdly but wonderfully decorated and put together. We only had a few hours in this town but it's only really one small street and this was more than enough time to explore the distinct aroma filled streets
The weather was still bad and due to get worse, so when we returned my friend spoke to the buses and they said buses probably would not run until weekend but we were eager to get to Sydney so we booked flights to ensure we got there for the following day. The flights weren't until teatime so we had the last morning to walk round Byron bay shops and to see the beautiful beach. We were lucky it didn't rain that morning, so we saw the beach and the lighthouse not in the best weather as it was overcast but none the less it looked lovely
The flight to Sydney was only just over an hour and put it this way when I saw the Opera house and the harbour bridge out the window I nearly peed myself with excitement but I will write about Sydney in my final blog- here's to my last 6 days of travelling
Lots of love,