15.04.2010 - 29.04.2010 23 °C
The flight back to the Gold Coast was fine but for a little bit of turbulence as the plane prepared to land. During these minor hiccups Joy took to bracing the seat in front in anguish which made Joy’s next seat neighbour laugh immensely. We got off the plane and got our baggage in no time at all before asking a bored-looking airport security guard the way to walk to the hostel. He was very friendly and helpful and we found our way back – it was a pretty quick stroll really but we were glad we’d both shed a few kgs of weight in NZ by giving our warm clothes to the Salvos!
We chilled out that evening and felt like we’d returned home! It was good to be back in Aussieland. The next morning we got a lift to Coolangatta central from the kind YHA folks, then proceeded to tourist info to book our bus. The very friendly Information lady found us good deal – about $30 less than we had been quoted on the internet and a later setting off time! We headed to Surfers Paradise and found the hostel recommended in Lonely Planet. It was a bit of a shithole but we met some super lovely people from Ireland, Germany and England and had some beers with them in the hostel and then by the sea before heading out, a little worse for wear, to a cheesy club.
In the morning we amazingly managed to catch the bus and we arrived at Hervey Bay dead on time. Marg and Ken pulled up just as the bus did – they had very kindly come to collect us at ten to 9 in the evening! We all headed back, had a beer then to bed we went as we were all pooped. The next day we had a wander to the bay near Marg and Ken’s house, it was very beautiful and there were lots of people fishing and relaxing in the sun. That night we had a lovely roast with fish Ken had caught a few days previously for Joy! The next day the luxury lifestyle continued as we went to the RSL club in Hervey Bay. We headed back and watched Marg and Ken’s videos from Egypt deciding we will definitely have to go there soon.
On the Tuesday we had a chill out day as Marg and Ken had to take Ken’s car to be serviced early in the morning. In the afternoon we nipped to the doctors to get our Malaria tabs sorted and had a lovely BBQ in the evening. The next day we headed out to Bundaberg and the surrounding areas including Childers where backpacker hostel fire happened almost 10 years ago. It was a touching memorial to this sad event – a resident of the hostel was kicked out due to owing rent and decided as an act of revenge he would push a burning wheelie bin into the hostel. Eleven backpackers died in the blaze from all over the world. We pushed on and saw lots of nice beaches including one named Elliott Heads and had lunch at Woodgate Bay on the seafront before heading back home.
On the Thursday went to market at Maryborough. It was nice to see but there was poor turnout probably due to a few rainy days in the days preceding. We looked around some charity shops but they left a lot to be desired! Richard got some new swimming shorts and Marg bought Joy a nice new dress! The Friday was relaxed as we spent it packing and readying ourselves for Fraser Island. The more perceptive of you will notice there have been no pictorial evidence of these past few days! Sadly whilst transferring the photos to the laptop Richard deleted these early snaps! It is a real shame but at least it wasn’t our lovely Fraser Island photos.
On the Saturday we were up at 6am to get the ferry for Fraser! It was a lovely sunny day and took only half an hour to get the island. We had to drive over some very bumpy roads to get to our apartment at Eurong but Ken managed it very well without any of us going through the windscreen. The apartment was big with a huge balcony looking over the complex, pool and out to the sea. Every day at 5am and 4pm hundreds of Rainbow Lorikeets would screech past our apartment and back for about two hours, the noise was deafening! After settling in to the apartment we drove to Lake McKenzie for a swim in the beautiful blue water. We timed it perfectly as when we got back to Eurong it rained like hell.
Next day we drove North up the beach to a shipwreck, The Maheno. In 1935 the ship was being towed to Japan to be scrapped but came ashore where it still remains. It is completely rusted over but you can still make out the whole ship. We then carried on up beach but turned off to go to Knife Blade Sandblow lookout where you can view the huge sand dunes heading all the way to the ocean.
We carried on up the beach past some cliffs known as The Pinnacles and Cathedral Rocks - both are multicoloured sand cliffs. We got as far as ‘Indian Heads’ for lunch and once we’d eaten we climbed up to the cliff edge overlooking the ocean. We saw two huge sea turtles and a group of 7 dolphins, a sting ray and 2 sharks which were circling a shoal of fish! We disagree on the size of the shark, Joy insists it was a ‘massive, two metre, man-eating shark’ and Richard believes it was only a metre long. We drove back down the beach before the tide came in and had a dip in pool too cool off.
On the Monday we headed off at 9 again to go to Lake Wabby. Ken and Marg weren’t up for the trek from the beach so they cruised southwards on the Eastern Beach to have a look around. We walked through the forest for roughly half an hour before coming to a huge sand dune (or ‘sandblow’ as they are known locally.) We messed around in the dunes for a while then wandered along to the lake which appears below a 30metre slope. It was a little windier today so Joy didn’t swim, opting to sunbathe on the sand. Richard had a swim with the catfish and we watched people running down the dunes to dive into the water. One guy bodyboarded down the dune at great speed but as he got to the water the momentum was lost and he simply plopped in. Everyone around clapped his efforts though. Later we spotted him trying to surf down but he got about two metres before falling off the board and ploughing through the sand much to his friends’ amusement.
We headed back to the car to meet Ken and Marg and had a little lunch on the windy beach before heading up the coast again to Eli Creek. Before we got there Marg spotted two Dingos near the trees! We pulled up and took some snaps of them sniffing around. Slightly further down the beach we spotted another eating some fish someone had obviously left on the beach. We got right up close to take some photos, the Dingo seemed pretty nonplussed - they must be fairly used to 4x4s. When we got to Eli Creek we went for a paddle upstream (much to everyone coming down the correct way’s annoyance.) We headed back to the apartment for ‘Happy Hour’ (our routine 3 o’clock beers, chips and dips). Before dinner we decided to check out the bar as our beer supply was running low! We had a nice few beers and a chat before heading back for fish and chips.
On the Saturday we returned to Burrum Heads and began packing for the next stage of our adventure!
We even managed to cull a few more items – some of which we posted home at great expense! It will be worth it for the sake of our backs. When we get to Asia internet access may be hard to come by but we will update the blog as soon as possible to let you know of our Malaysian and Cambodian adventures!