Saturday 21 April 2012

Gold Coast 2.0

For a number of reasons we decided on a spontaneous trip (booked 8 days in advance) to the Gold Coast. We stayed at a hotel in Varsity Lakes. After my arrival (late Fri night) went to the nearest one for a walk (Martin was already there for work), and got to enjoy seeing some toads, and numerous fish jumping out of the water.

Our first day together, we headed off South into NSW, to see places we hadn't the previous time. Sadly the weather turned quite icky so we didn't get as far south as we wanted (aim was to get to Maclean to explore the Scottish tributes of this town).I was very happy to have seen "real" wild kangaroos jumping around in the fields near Broadwater. Definite highlight of the day. Went to see the Tea Tree stained lake (Lake Ainsworth) near Ballina. And then onto the final short stop of the day, driving up Mt Warning. Hadn't realised this earlier but the whole area we had been in is actually a massive old volcanic crater, with Mt Warning, being the upthrust in the middle of this massive rim! Had a very short bush walk here and then back up to the hotel to get ready for dinner with Martins Aussie boss in Surfers Paradise.

The next day was quite relaxing. Went back to Nobby's Beach (where we stayed the previous time) to enjoy the sun, sand, and very very warm water! Such a weird feeling being in such warm water without being on a tropical island or in the Mediterranean. Spent a good half a day just swimming and sunning, awesome times. After that headed up to Mt Tamborine to have a late lunch at the polish place! The views from here were amazing, as its on the far side of the northern part of the crater rim. Could see for miles. Also got to play with a lot of parakeets which would be flying around your head begging for food. The sound at times was deafening. Had a quick wine tasting (or Martin did) at Witches Falls, and did a short walk to Cedar Creek Falls.

The final day in Aus wasn't together. Martin had work, so I went off with 3 fellow female travellers to go hiking in Springbrook National Park before my flight. Did the twin falls circuit, which took us along the cliff top, down, through a variety of different tree types (the smell of eukalytus was overpowering at times), through some short caves, under waterfalls, and back up. Saw an Australian blue lobster under the last falls, and at the very end of the track something interesting slithered across our track. I was at the head of the group wondering why the birds were making such paniced noises. And 2m before stepping on it, noticed that there was a huge python calmly crossing the path. Would have been at least 7ft easy, maybe longer. I dont like snakes. After calming down and having lunch from the "best lookout" viewpoint which looks inwards onto the crater (you can see the other side of the crater from here), headed back to Surfers Paradise for a while, before getting my flight.

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