Monday 18 August 2008

An Aussie Interlude

We arrived late at night into Collangata Airport and made our way via shuttle to Santorini apartments on Nobby Beach. The first day we headed into Surfers Paradise and explored this metropolis on the beach. The contrast between ocean and cityside was remarkable. Did the essentials like getting food and taking some pictures. Also explored the large mall halfway between surfers and our place. Went swimming in the ocean.

The next day we headed out Dreamworld. We were both a bit disappointed with the theme park but had a wonderful day anyway. Martin did the tower of terror, which the thought of falling that much was a bit too much for Alana to handle. In general however the rides were fairly good but the rollarcoasters were a let down as they were short and did not have too many twists or scary turns.   The day after we headed to White water world which is part of the Dreamworld complex. This place was awesome. There were many different ride types and despite it being "winter" it was more than warm enough, and it meant bascially no cues as not many people wanted to go there. Of particular coolness was the funnel ride, it felt as though you would topple over and flip but nooooooo you didn't. But that feeling and the near vertical fall at one point, made it probably the best ride there. The hydropowered rafts where actually better than the rollarcoasters for that "losing your stomach feeling" that are more common on rollarcoasters. Awesome day!  We hired a car at this point and explored the greater surrounds and returned each night to stay at Santorini. The first day we explored the Australian jungle of the Tamborine mountains. Then headed further north and saw the lake district just north of Brisbane (which we also stopped into). Alana really wanted to go to the Australia zoo and thankfully we arrived just before closing. But they demanded full price despite the fact there was only 15 mins left. So we technically snuck in as we wanted to at least get some souvenirs but to get to the shop they forced us to go into the zoo. Not our fault we had to enjoy it. After this headed to the coast to see the Sunshine coast. Had a nice dinner at Redcliffe on the way back to Nobby beach. A very long day indeed.

Our last day we headed south into New South Wales. Went to the natural bridge national park which had a completely different type of forest. The scenery here was similar to the pictures we had seen of South America. Went a bit further inland and saw some cute country towns and had lunch by a lake in the middle of nowhere, headed headed southeast to the coast. The coastline here was spectacular and you could see the whole way up from the lighthouse at Byron bay. On one of the beaches there we found that bugs had made perfect spheres of sand which keep Alana interested for ages. Had a quick dip into the ocean before having a nice dinner. Was sad to head back to hotel.  Dropped the car off the following day at the airport and headed home. But I (Alana) will always remember the birds here as they made such a wonderful noise in the morning