Yesterday ended up being a lazy day as Sue was tired and I was dealing with a u.t.i. Turns out that’s a common traveller’s problem as the pharmacists I spoke with were very helpful. After a nice stop at the Royal National park we headed for the airport again. Tiger Air has a bad reputation but so far, we’ve had good luck with them. The transit to the hostel from the airport in Gold Coast ended up costing more than the flight. Go figure. We arrived at the hostel to find 2 girls who had taken up every inch of space in the very nice room. It was one of the nicest rooms we’d come across but they were such slobs you wouldn’t know it. They were very nice, just incredibly messy. After all the hostels this was a first so we’re doing pretty well. They went out and we went in search of breakfast food. The fridge in the room meant we got to have yogurt. Yay 🙂 The time here at Surfers paradise was an hour behind so a 10 pm bedtime was very reasonable.
After a great night’s sleep we packed up again and headed for the bus stop, in search of coffee. Turns out Subway has decent coffee for a reasonable price. We’ve eaten lots of subs on this trip as it’s pretty much the cheapest decent food there is and now coffee too! Yup, I”m easily pleased.
We’ve learned more Aussie speak and how to pronounce the names of towns. Melbourne is “Melburn”, Cairns is “Caans” and Brisbane is “Brisbin”
A pleasant bus ride ended in Noosa where the Halse hostel had a van waiting for us driven by a pleasant, shoeless young man with a German accent. He introduced us to the highlights as in, the cheapest grocery store, which way to the beach and what the hostel has to offer. I love this town already. 🙂 After making our beds and settling in, Sue and I quickly donned swim suits and headed out for a nice walk in the National park, nothing terribly strenuous but it didn’t take long to work up a sweat. Next was the beach…or beaches. They go on forever. The sand is super soft and I soon realized the squeaky sound I heard was my FEET in the sand. Weird, but pleasant. The water was gorgeous! Clear, clean and just barely cool enough to be refreshing.
After heading back for a shower we went in search of fish for dinner. I’m not sure how but we ended up at a Mexican place and both devoured our food. I guess we were hungry.
Good thing we gained that hour as we had to meet the bus / truck at 6:15 am. The first stop was at Tin Can bay where we could pay $5 to feed the dolphins. It was kind of lame. The dolphins come into the cove as they know there’s food there but you get pushed through like as assembly line. Feed the dolphin the token fish and move on, no time even for a photo. We were supposed to have time after but by then the dolphins left when they realized there’s no more food. Oh well.
After a brief stop in Rainbow beach to get an apple turnover and a coffee, drop our luggage off at our next hostel we headed for the ferry through forest, farmland, and lots of pretty scenery. Fraser Island is a massive sand island and a Unesco world heritage sight. Stu drove the 4WD on the beach around driftwood and through rivers. We stopped for a hike in the bush to a lookout point where we could see for miles. Next stop was at Eli creek where we floated in the wonderfully, clean, refreshing water downstream and had lunch. After that we headed to Indian head, a climb up to view beaches from North to South and we could see shadows of sharks herding fish to eat. Next was a stop at the shipwreck, Mahano where I snapped a LOT of photos. We ended the day at Happy Valley, our accommodation for the night. Sue and I headed out for more beach walking where we saw a blue bottle jellyfish. Monique can attest to the fact that their stings really hurt. I also managed to get a photo of a fish eagle with a puffer fish. Dinner was steak and salad for me. I asked for extra salad and no chips. There were no chips but I think they just spread the salad around more. It’s hard to eat right here.
March 1; Today’s start was leisurely as we had to wait for the tide to wane before driving on the beach (the Fraser highway) anyway. We “drove” through the centre of the island. I use the term “drove” loosely as there was more bouncing than driving. It’s amazing how many different kinds of vegetation there are on a sand island. We stopped for a walk through a rain forest. An incredibly clean, clear creek ran through it and all you could here were cicadas and birds.
After tea and more bouncing we headed to Lake Mackenzie with Stu entertaining us with more stories and information about the island. The sand is silica and as soft as powder. It made a great exfoliating scrub. The lake is pure rain fed and slightly acidic with a hint of tea tree oil from the melaluca plants surrounding it. Delightfully refreshing
A kookabura watched as we ate lunch, hoping we’d leave him some (NOT!)u but we were too hungry for any leftovers.
The way back was even bouncier and definitely required seat belts until we hit the Fraser highway, back on the ferry and then onto another beach. Stu drove for a bit, finished the story about James and Eliza Fraser and stopped at Rainbow beach. From there, Sue, Gosha and I walked the hour or so town where we checked into our hostel. We went in search of food and free wifi. The fun never ends when you’re frugal 🙂