Sunday, March 23, 2014

Week 13 of BZ adventure

March 21 - March 28

Saturday, March 22
Woke up after a great sleep in Rockhampton, ate a great breakfast and drove 344km south to Hervey Bay. The drive was pretty good but with just 2 lanes and so many places you go through, it is a long slow drive. Also, the A1 their main highway is all under construction so every 10km you have to slow for the workers. It's painful but today was shorter than the others.
We got a great site near the beach, toured around, got groceries and beer, Lennie BBQ for us and it was a great day.

We continue to see other Hippie vans and wave - they are also named after big singers. We have seen Bruce, Rod, Celine, Joss, Dave, Marley, and Sid, they all think theirs is small and uncomfortable too. Lennie loves this though so I can't say ANYTHING negative. He did climb that damn mountain for me.

Sunday, March 23
Woke up early to catch our shuttle to the Fraser Island 1 day adventure. It cost $150 for a wonderful boat ride to the island with many stops on and around the island. We booked through and after our day in Cairns it would be hard to beat.
Well today was amazing. 2 person crew on a huge boat with only 10 others. We toured right away to seeing pods of dolphins. We stopped on Fraser Island and climbed dunes to see a beautiful forest. We travelled to a free water creek to kayak.

We moved onto snorkelling and saw a shark and turtles. We moved to next snorkel and it started raining - what fun. Moved back to boat for amazing BBQ. Moved back to island for freshwater kayak, wave biscuiting, and wonderful final swim in fresh water creek. Back home after 6:00 for a late dinner and showers. So happy we book these day adventures.

Monday, March 24
Left the wonderful Hervey Bay for Brisbane. Today was the day I would hold a koala bear - one of the things on my list to stoke off. There are many places to hold a koala but they are expensive, hard to get to with our agenda, and just not the best. We wanted the best sanctuary so we could make a donation to their rescue program. We went to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary just south west of Brisbane. They have over 150 koalas, plus a gazillion other cool things. We saw Tasmanian devils and platypus that we have never seen. For $2 you buy kangaroo food and can walk into a giant field with wild kangaroos roaming and you feed them right in your hand.

Awesome. For $16 you can hold and cuddle a koala plus get a professional photo.

I couldn't stop crying so needed a retake. So embarrassing but I was so overwhelmed holding Max, he was so cute and cuddly. Lennie snapped some photos so I could uploaded them plus I got the pro photo. We tour around more and saw beautiful birds, snakes, and lizards.
We left and traveled south to Miami, Queensland where we found a site, Len grabbed us an amazing homemade pizza, and we had a great sleep. It rained throughout the night do it was nice and cool this morning.

Tuesday, March 25
My brother sent me a message and asked if we could stop and see his university friend Simon while we are here. I emailed a few times and Simon invited us to his wonderful home in Arrawarra, New South Wales. It is totally on our way so we have built it into our plans.

They live in a big 2 storey home which is under construction. The beach is a stone throw away and this is a great life. They have offered us to sleep in there bunk house so we got out of the van for the night - yahoo. Can't wait for tomorrow, laundry and a bed.
We drove to Byron Bay for the day and what a great town. It is right on the ocean and has a beautiful lighthouse we explored and then we found a great place to stay for the night in Broken Head.

Wednesday, March 26
Got up in Broken Bay and sat at the beach to watch the amazing surfers. We made our way to Simon's house about 200km south. He lives on the beach so we watched boats come and go then made our way to Coffs Harbour for the afternoon till Simon was home from work. I got my nails done, bought some wine as a thank you, and Lennie shopped and got a phone card.

We got to Simons and it is totally under construction.

They are adding a second storey so you can imagine. We met his adorable 10 year old twins; Quinn and Mikala. We read, play games, did origami, while Simon made a lamb roast. His wife Val got home from work and we talked for hours.
They took us to their bunk house in the back where we got a bed and our own space. What a treat.

Thursday, March 27
Slept in till 9:00am awesome. The bed was so lovely with 2 pillows each and a gorgeous duvet. Simon made some porridge for breakfast and we chatted more about Canada and Australia. I was able to do our laundry, booked my flight to Tasmania (more on that later) and Lennie went golfing. We were able to FaceTime with Scotty and our bud Rich which is always nice. We were called to a neighbours house who caught a 10.4kg mackerel which Simon cooked for dinner. I don't like fish but this was delicious. Right from the ocean and fresh. Proud of myself for eating it and the lamb the night before.

Friday, March 28
Lennie and I are expected in Melbourne Monday night and we have about 1500+km to get there so we got up and sadly left the Watson family. Long drive day through the rain but we have a very busy week next week so we just chugged along till outside Sydney in Goulburn, NSW where we found a pretty good site for the night. Too much driving , almost 11 hours. Yucky van.