Its all been go go go here in Oz. From Crocs to Dingoes and crazy 4 Wheel Drive driving! Loads of fun! Very sleepy now... ZzZZzZZzZZZzzzZzz
Heres the update....
Tuesday 24th April
Up very early to catch the 6.45am bus to Noosa. It was a 7 hour journey... its amazing just how far all these places are apart in Oz, its massive! Anyway, the journey was fine, read some of my book and scenery watched. We stopped in Brisbane to change buses, didn't really see much of the city though.
When arriving in Noosa it looked like a really cool town. We got picked up by the hostel, which was a little out of town and taken back. There we checked in. It looks ok, nothing special. Got to say with hostels throughout Oz, they quite expensive for what they are and so much nicer in NZ! Oh well!
We dumped our stuff and headed back into town to have a look around. It has really nice funky shops, so interesting to look around. In one shop was some amazing artwork by a local artist. I really wanted to get a few canvas', as they were gorgeous to say the least. But I can't... cost way to much to post home and can't carry them around. Ask them if they sold them on the internet, but unfortunately not. Oh well. After we got back and had dinner we watched Neighbours and Oz Big Brother! It only started on Sunday and was fascinating to watch and compared it to ours. Its weird as they announce in magazine who the contestants are before they go on the show and give all the story lines away in the ads for the show. Also the house is lovely that they are in... full blown gym, pool, kitchen, chill area and nothing seems purposely done like ours. Also they people are pretty much normal... not freaks! The main storyline at the moment is that they have a couple in there, but they can't let onto anyone that they are a couple. But... the girls ex-boyfriend has just come in the house! Ohhh! To be honest it did get boring, ours is much more exciting!
After that I tried to get an earlyish night, but the hostel is soooo noisy that I couldn't! Can hear the outside bar, people in the kitchen, then TV and the dorm next door! Nooooo! Oh well! Its an experience!
Wednesday 25th April (Anzac Day.... Oz's version of our Poppy Day)
Woken up at stupid o'clock by some lads coming in from a night out and then going to watch the footy in the kitchen... at this point my ears pricked up a little and I came to realise it was the Man U v Milan game... AHHHHH so exciting.... I couldn't sleep knowing that, so at 5am I was sitting in the kitchen watching the footy! First time since I have been away I have been able to see a game, so its great! Was a good game too... Jem came in just as the last goal was scored! Class.
Anyway went back to bed for a bit, but had to get up not long after to go to Australia Zoo (Steve Irwin, Crocodile Hunter's zoo) Very exciting! Its in a place called Beerwah, which is just between Noosa and Brisbane. From Noosa they provide a free bus service, which is such a good idea.
It was such a nice zoo, well run and all the animal enclosures were lovely. We went to feed the elephants soon after arriving, fed it some fruit, but its trunk was wet and hairy and it was feeling my arm to sniff the fruit... not the nicest experience. Although the elephants were amazing, so big! When I was in the queue a lady pointed out I had a spider on my leg... I screamed the place down, it was pretty big!! Opps!
Got to stroke some more Kangaroos and watched an animal show in the stadium where they held the Steve Irwin memorial service. That was quite sad, it sounds like the zoo and his family were his life. The show had elephants, birds and the crocodiles being fed! They had to be so secure as they are so dangerous.
Later on we saw the feeding of Agro, the croc Steve seemed to talk about a lot. They fed him a goats head, it really stunk bad, but when he got it in his mouth he crunched it once and swallowed! (nice thought for the morning.. eh?!!)
The most amazing show was the tiger one. The handlers were actually in with the tigers, which is something I have never seen before. They were so tame and the handlers don't make them do tricks, they just encourage them to do things they can naturally do in the wild, with the assistance of a carton of milk! They were encouraged to sit up, climb a tree and jump. It was so fantastic to see and these tigers were really stunning. Theres only 5000 left in the wild now, its so sad. Possible new career path... Tiger Handler. He he!
Saw loads of other animals, many native to Oz so they are really interesting. Had a fab day. On the way back I had a cracking headache, think I might of had a little sun stroke. It was such a hot day.
I had a little lie down when I got back to the hostel I had a lie down for a bit. After we got chatting to a guy in our room from England (like most travellers in Oz!) and we all went to the bar for a soft drink, didn't really feel up to it so went to bed. Again couldn't get to sleep for ages as it was so noisy! AH!
Thursday 26th April
Feeling much better today! Yay! Packed up and checked out in time to get the morning Greyhound bus up to Hervey Bay. We met up with Leonie at the bus stop, who had, luckily, been staying at her cousins. When we arrived we were picked up by the shuttle bus and checked into the Beaches. The room was nice, a 4 bed with en suite. Just a tad of luxury! We had a little wonder straight into town to see what it was like, but there wasn't too much there really, just a simple town.
We were told what we needed to pack to go on our 3 day Fraser Island trip the following day. We could only take a small rucsack, so packed for that, wasn't as much as a challenge as I thought it might be! We had a few drinks in the bar after, was looking round wondering who we were going to be on the trip with!
Friday 27th April - Fraser Island Day 1!
Had to be up, packed, ready and at a meeting at 6.30am. Here we put our large rucsack into storage, and were put into our teams for the trip. There were 11 people per group and we had to discuss who was to do the food and alcohol shop and what we needed. Our group consisted of... me, Jem, Leonie, Vic, Rach, Olka, Silvia, Rob, Neil, Gareth and Steve. Most from England, but Olka and Silvia from Holland, but spoke English extremely well. From the start we seemed to have a really nice group.
Fraser Island is a 4WD self drive tour around the island camping at Cathedral Beach in a place called Base Camp... the only camp site to have proper toilet/shower facilities on the island! There were 3 car loads going out on the same day as us.
Jem and me offered to do the shop. From the beginning we had to drive the 4WD jeep, Neil went first. They went to the centre and had a talk on the island and we were taken off to do the shopping. We had to tear the list in half to get it done quicker, only had 30 mins shopping for 11 people! AH! It was like Supermarket Sweep! Jem finished hers quick, I panicked a bit, but I think its because I like to ponder over everything and I couldn't! We were back first though, the other teams were really late! Panicked for nothing! We were a little over budget but got everything we needed.
When we met up with the others they filled us in on how to be "Dingo Safe" and about the island! Fraser Island is the only place that has pure bred Dingoes and they can attack!! You have to remain still and don't run or try to feed them! Also you can't swim in the sea as the water is shark infested, stinger infested and has deadly undercurrents. Basically... enter the sea and you won't return! Also it is the largest sand island in the world... nope no roads, just sand!
Off we went to the ferry port and got the ferry over to the island. We were given an itinerary and a map to go by for the trip. So when we got off the ferry... away we went! It was so bumpy driving across the sand and through the wood. There were 3 people sat in the front and 8 in the back, facing each other so all very cosy! Our first stop was a lake with sand dunes all up one side. We were allowed to swim in this water. So after the 45 min walk to get to it in the blazing heat, we all dived in! A few of us swan to the other side where a little island was. Did some sunbathing when I got back to the dunes. Although someone shouted Dingo... and yep, there was a Dingo strolling towards us. We just did what we were suppose to and it wondered past without a care.
Back on the road... or sand should I say, we stopped for coffee. We had to get to Base Camp for 4pm because of the tide coming in.... didn't quite make it in time! So it was a race against time to get to the camp before the tide came right in and we'd have to sleep with the Dingoes on the beach!! Rob was driving, and to drive on the soft sand is a nightmare. But he ploughed through, and to say it was bumpy in the back is an understatement!! It was very worrying and so scary at times, but we made it, just, safe and sound! We were the last group to get to the site. The site ranger gathered us altogether for the lecture on dos and don'ts. the one we were most shocked about was that it had to be lights out at 10pm! If we wanted to continue we had to go to the beach!
Here we go, the start of my first camping experience! Putting up the tent went fine, I didn't really know what I was doing, but tried to look like I did! There were 3 tents between the 11 of us, Neil and Rob had their own and the rest of us shared the two 6 man tents, although there is no way they could fit 6 people! Olka is a tent queen, she knew how to put it up without any problems! We cracked open the beers and goon to aid the process!
We all headed to the dining area and started drinking games. Think I have learned two of the best games ever... "Yeeee-ha", which, apparently, I am the queen of! And "In My Pants" which is just so so funny! We played others, but they went down the best. Before we had too much to drink we started the BBQ. Our first Ozzie Barbie! We had sausages, kebabs, chicken, bacon, salad and pasta salads. It was such a feast but so yummy! After we continued the games, a couple of guys from the other team came to sit with us, Greg from France and Kyle from California, both really nice. When the lights went out, we all headed to the beach, both the other teams headed down too. It was such a hard walk as the sand is so thick and fine... the walk back was even more of a challenge! Fun night though. Our group has bonded really well, been such a laugh.
Saturday 28th April - Fraser Island Day 2!
My first night sleeping in a tent was a good one, quite enjoyed it really. It didn't get cold at night so that was good. We were due to leave early, but everyone was a little rough so we fell a couple of hours behind!
First stop was Indian Heads which is a view point, stunning, that you can see Tiger Sharks in the sea. We saw two. Wasn't that impressed really... think I was expecting Jaws to pop up or something! Also saw a Mantaray. From there we walked a couple of miles down the beach to go to the Champagne Pools. They were pretty, and when the sea hit the rocks it exploded up, like Champagne! hence the name! We chilled here for a bit, then started on the long walk back! When we got back we were starving and made up sandwiches on the bonnet of the jeep! Unfortunately the hams got covered in raw meat juice and we could eat them... so made the best of what we had!
Now it was my turn to drive! I was a little nervous as I hadn't driven for 3 months and never anything that size, its about 3 times my Clio! But I love every minute, it was easy to drive and such fun, especially in the soft sand, although difficult! Everyone said I drove well... not as crazy as the boys! Splashed with force through a creek... great fun! While I was driving we visited a ship wreak. Not very exciting though, took a few pix and away we went to Eli Creek... again not too excited and freezing cold as we waded through! Next, on the way back to Base Camp, was the Pinnicle Rocks. Rocks, all different colours that are made up of sand. That was interesting, surprising it didn't fall down.
When we got back we headed for a shower ($2 for 4 mins!!) then had dinner of Pasta and Mince with salads, it was really nice. We cracked open the beers and goon again and played a few games, although we were all so much quieter as we were so tired out! So just chilled and chatted, after lights went out a few went to the beach but the rest of us that just couldn't get the energy to go sat around our little camp.
Sunday 29th April - Fraser Island Day 3
Slept like a log, although was woken up at about 5am by really bad thunder, lightening and rain! It was so scary (you know what a wimp I am!) although it wasn't as bad being in the tent with the others. We were meant to leave early that day but had to delay it, as the weather was so bad and we needed to get the tents down!!
Eventually we got the tents down, thanks again to Olka's tent skills and managed to be the first ones to leave camp! (For once!!) Went for coffee and chilled there until the rain passed a bit. Luckily it did brighten up as the day went on. So we headed onto Lake Boomange, it wasn't very excited though. Went to another lake after, but I was being lazy and couldn't be bothered to walk to it! From there was our last stop at Lake Mackenzie, which I did go too and was very beautiful! When we were in the car park a tour guide asked us if we'd had lunch... which we thought was a weird question, but he had loads of leftovers and gave them to us... and they were great! We sat on the beach and had a feast! jem waded across to the little island in the middle, although it was a little deeper than she though and got a bit wet!
Then it was back to the ferry port to return to the mainland! At the port we all got out waiting for the ferry but noticed the millions of sand flies biting at our legs! Ouch!!
When we got back across to the mainland, Neil drove a little then I took over. It was much harder driving that on a normal road, especially around round bouts it felt as if it was going to tip over!
When we got back to the hostel we were in a massive dorm, but in with many of our group which was great. We all got on so well, like a Fraser family! We chilled for a bit, sorted some stuff out and then headed to the bar, where we all met for our final night... and oh my god... what a crazy final night it was! We were in the bar until the wee hours... well got thrown out as it was shutting and headed to Neil and Rob's room to continue, no-one seemed tired! Great night!
Fraser Island was such a fab experience, I have not laughed so much as I had over those 3 days! Really had fun and I cannot express how good it is!!
Monday 30th April
Woke up kind of early to force myself to do some washing! But felt the need to get back to bed for a bit, well until check out! The rest of the day consisted of chilling by the pool and gradually saying good bye to everyone! So sad!
Tonight we are catching the overnight Greyhound to Airlie Beach, hoping I will sleep well as I am so tired. But think I have had some of the best few days in Oz so far over the last couple of days!
Miss you all xxxx