08.04.2010 - 23.04.2010 27 °C
8th April arrived at Brisbane after a 2 hour coach delay where we were sat waiting at the coach stop in sweltering heat again. Left my phone on the coach so there was a big panic to track down but managed to get it back. Phew!!!
Did not see too much of Brisbane, just 2 nights here so not much to say this time.
Left Brisbane on sat 10th to head up the sunshine coast to Maroochadore with one main task in mind that was to get to Australia zoo as cheaply as possible. Everyone had raved about how good it is although most people believe that the aussies have gone a little overboard on the Steve Irwin memorial things, with streets, highways and many other tributes to him. Upgraded here to a double room which was a nice surprise although sharing this room with cockroaches, mossies and green fly was not what we were after. So the zoo was very good, in fact nothing like a typical zoo. Animals roam in semi natural habitats, many of which you can walk through. For example the grey and red roos that are so used to people now they accept food and dont mind being stroked and photoed with. Other high lights were the slightly cheesy crocoseum although just knowing all the crocs have been rescued seems to cloud over the cheese.
On to Airlie beach on Tuesday 13th April and the start of the great barrier reef for us. We travelled over night this time on the greyhound, just a little 17 hour trip. We wanted to try something different as well as saving a night accommodation. So arrived on Wednesday morning at our YHA hostel where another upgrade on our room was offered and gratefully accepted. A bit of a party town by all accounts but being the so called gateway to the Whitsunday islands we felt we could not miss this stop. We embarked on the mandatory cruise the next day on a sailing catamaran that took us to a snorkel sight then on to the famous Whitehaven beach with morning and afternoon tea and a good BBQ lunch. This packed day was 8am till 5pm, howeer the weather was a little unpredictable but did not dampen our enjoyment. Our final day at Airlie beach was a wash out so books, games, eating and drinking filled the day.
Saturday 17th and on to Magnetic Island. Just a 20 min ferry from Townsvile where we were dropped by the greyhound coach. Smart liottle island with just 16km of road and just one but service, but loads to do and see. However due to the weather again we only did the 'see' bit. There were scooters, mokes and horse back rides to get round the islands many bays, but the wet and windy weather made it pointless to spend the money on. Also a great area to snorkel the reef but again was thwarted by the weather. So had a frustrating 3 nights on Maggie island and left for a hopefully sunnier Cairns on 20th April.
Damn weather!!!!!!!!!!!! We thought Oz was supposed to be always sunny with drought problems everywhere, typically not the case now and the out look for the next week was not good either. So we got up on wednesday 21st and started to plan our trip back to Sydney.
That did not take too long!!!!! We took another relocation vehicle, this time a 4 berth camper van and headed back to Sydney straight away. It was too good a deal to miss and we did not want to hang around in Cairns waiting for the weather to improve plus there are still things we want to see and do in and around Sydney, so we set off on the 3000km+ road trip back to Sydney. Long long roads and many stops later we decided after 3 days we needed a shower, clean up and change of scenery so booked into a YHA at Noosa Heads for a little taste of luxury.