Wednesday, November 29, 2006

29th November - Kangaroo Island

Having left Adelaide for a while to get out of Carolyn's hair a bit and also to see some of the beauty of South Australia, we got on a tour to go to Kangaroo Island. We got the bus from the centre of town and got there about 6 in the evening. Not much to report on the whole journey there as I had a bit of narcolepsy on the bus and slept most of the way, this was to be a theme.

Also we have found out what Mr Neal really does for a living - he is a cross dresser that sets sail to new ferries.

Now the Australians cunningly named Kangaroo Island due to a feast they once had rather than the quantity of roos, oddly. Penguins are numerous though, hence this sign tickled us a bit.

Tristan Jones will be disappointed to hear that the Penguins were unsuccessful in taking over the town, even though every night they walk up the beach and wander around the village we were staying in, in a kind of zombie penguin way. There was even a sign warning us against this.

We did go out and get to see the penguin parade up the beach though we didn't pay for it like some suckers, the very same suckers that totally missed the pair of penguins that walked behind them, double suckers.

There was also a Dudley influence on the island too, a netball team no less. Always thought the Dudley clan a bit effeminite.

Then the tour next day took us around the island, unfortunately my old age and too much sleep made me fall asleep through pretty much the entire bus journey, but I was awoken for the good bits like food and animals. We saw tonnes of sealions, then some more koalas, then some seals and then a bird which we ran over and finally some Remarkable rocks called the Remarkables and one rock looked like a storm troopers helmet. We got some stupid pictures there too.

The bus journey back to land was also sleep worthy too, but we made it. Then Carolyn took us to the beach for some Fish N a chip with a beer, very English. Speaking of which Adelaide is slowly filling up with fat lobster English people for the Test on friday. Still struggling for tickets but fingers are crossed. We also saw Glen McGrath getting a subway sandwhich in Subway no less, thought about crippling him but I might have gotten deported. Should have taken one for the team really, but he may be injured anyways.

Laters for now


27th November - Adelaide

Australian state number four has been reached - South Australia and the lovely city of Adelaide. Adelaide is home to Sarah's Mum's cousin Carolyn, who has kindly agreed to put us up for our Adelaide stint, and she was there at the airport to pick us up along with eldest grandson Kaleb. We saw a bit of the city on the way home from the airport. Carolyn's son and daugher-in-law, Reuben and Linda, soon arrived with their other son Asher, and as soon as the sun had cooled off we adjourned to the garden for a few beers. We were then joined by Barb and Mick, some friends of the family, and the champagne was opened (drank with Hibiscus flowers in the glasses - very nice and different!) and we feasted on chicken. A great evening.

Awoke the next morning and the BBQ was going and a couple more friends Karen and Lucy arrived for the brekkie and bucks fizz. This is some lifestyle. We headed into town to sort out our touristy plans out with great success, then went to see the highly anticipated Borat movie - yes we know this has been out forever in the UK but like wireless internet, movie releases are also somewhat backward here. Very funny movie!

Well next stop Kangaroo Island, where we are in for a 3 day 2 night extravaganza.


24th November - 2 Jeffs don't make a right

We've seen some familiar faces, Jeff and Joanna have landed on Australian soil. We were really looking forward to seeing them and it was so nice to have a beer with the both of them. We didn't know how jet lagged they would be (very as it turned out) but we left them a message to meet us in a bar later that night. And after a visit to China town for a dodgy meal we actually did see 2 stragglers turn up. We won't mention the pasty white Englishness of them, but they looked very well and were obviously excited about their up and coming holiday, and had enjoyed their first stop in Hong Kong.

After a few drinks we headed home with plans to meet up again the next evening. This was our last day in Sydney and having seen most of the sights we spent most of the day wandering the shops and stopping here and there to watch England wickets fall. We met up with the double Js in the evening to head to The Rocks for a really good meal and yet more drinks. The night was wrapped up around 2am as we had to head home for the next days check out and flight to Adelaide.

We have also forgotten to mention that we have also climbed the Harbour bridge, and that it was awesome and high up. Just what Geof wanted.

Next stop South Australia!


22nd November - Shangri La

Haha it was my turn to surprise Sarah, she thought we were due to stay in a rubbish hostel that she wasn't looking forward to, but no, we stayed in a fancy smancy hotel. Ha that will learn her!

We got a room overlooking the Sydney harbour with the bridge and the opera house, all very nice. We got a nice bed and a huge tv to watch as well. Luxuries we aren't used to, I even had a bath. We even got to wear matching dressing gowns and slippers, we even have a video of Sarah dancing around in her outfit, but you can never see it as she has sworn 'death and pain' if anyone does see it.

We have managed to see some cricket now as we went to see New South Wales take on Western Australia at the SCG. A great game during a freakily hot day in Sydney, 38 degrees. Sarah even mentioned how hard she was finding it sipping beer and sitting watching a game of cricket in that heat, hmmm life was really tough for her at that moment.

We could only stay for the first innings as we wanted to see some of the Fox studios area and get back to the hotel obviously. That night we watched the rest of the game on the TV whilst having some fancy room service and a superb bottle of red we picked up from the Lindemans cellar door a week ago. Perfect.

It was certainly tough to leave the hotel for the Sydney YHA the next day.


20th November - Blue Mountains of fire

Got the train up to Katoomba and the Blue Mountains, only 10 dollars each for a 2 hour train ride, that's public transport for you.

Then after settling in we walked over to the 3 sisters just hanging off the edge of the blue mountains. The blue mountains are weird in the way that the town is at the top of them and you walk over and see a massive canyon in the ground stretching for miles.

The next day we got on a bus tour to Scenic world which had the skyway, cableway and railway. The skyway was just a cable car across a big canyon where it had glass that fogged up on the floor and when they were half way across became see through, fun, Sarah loved it. The cableway was another cable car but one that went down the sides of the blue mountains into valley, again large quantities of height above ground. At the bottom we walked through the rain forest having a look at a few mine structures still standing for tourist purposes only. The final ride seemed the easiest, the railway, as it is a train constantly stuck to the floor. This was the scariest of all, the track turned vertical and you went from sitting to standing and holding on for dear life. That's where we heard all of the screaming coming from when we were walking around the forest.

After Scenic world we jumped on another bus and headed up to the Jenolan caves. The caves were 70 km away and we got boring commentary all the way about all of the local villages along the way, nothing of interest other than the large forest fires that had got out of control and the large amounts of firemen driving around. It was hot dry and windy, perfct bush fire weather.

The caves were really cool but unfortunately the tour guide uses the same script as the guide in the capricorn caves. Even in the very similar cathedral cave we got another rendition of 'Enya' to prove that the cave has near perfect acoustics just like before. But the caves were big and impressive and all made out of limestone and water erosion. One of the caves made is big enough to drive a bus through - which they do as the car park is the other side of that cave.

In the evening we stayed in as the hostel was the second place in Oz that had free wireless internet. They are backwards here!

Back to the city tomorrow - Sarah is in for a surprise.


P.S. Happy birthday Claire, hope you have a lovely day!

Monday, November 20, 2006

18th November - Motorbike show and walking sydney

Friday was cool, just what Sarah wanted, to go to the Olympic park to go to a Motorbike show. Yes! Got to see all of the new 2007 models (bike models that is) and to try and grab some freebies. Unfortunately there wasn't too much stuff to grab. We did see some motocross bikes do big jumps and tricks and some sherco extreme bikes that rode up vertical walls and things. All very exciting for me, though I only heard the phrase 'can we go now' once.

That finished before lunch so we headed back to Sydney central to walk the botanical gardens and to go down to Mrs Macquaries chair that is a headland overlooking the bridge and the opera house. Got tonnes of photos of that!

After we walked all the way round to the opera house, stopped for a beer or two then headed over to the Rocks area again as it was a late night market going on. We picked up a small souvenir and watched some music that was being performed. IT was really busy with the locals coming down as well as the tourists.

Saturday was a Manly day again. We got up and did some much needed washing, then headed to the beach to surf. I went out this time, Sarah just wanted to bake, but she did get some proof of my surfing prowess as we have a picture of me standing up albeit on a tiny wave, though it did start off huge I might add. That session I did attempt to catch 2 of my biggest waves, to no avail as the nose dipped and I came away with 2 of my biggest crashes. Did catch a few though and I got shown up by a girl too.

After lunch we went for a walk and caught some of the volleyball tournament, lots of tall people hanging around. Oh we also saw the Great Britain Rugby league squad staying at the beach front hotel too, I think they are getting pummelled at the moment though by the southern hemisphere teams.

That night we packed, watched Big Fat Liar and Zorro on the tv that came with the room, and then slept like babies.

Tomorrow we are off to the Blue mountains. Sadly we leave Manly, yet another great great place where we both wish we could live.



16th November - Manly near Sydney

We left newcastle at 4:45 am with Paul as he does go to work in Sydney. The journey wasn't too bad at all at that time in the morning, we also got to see some fog over the fields that would help any zombie movie, I say we, Sarah slept the whole way down.

We got to drive over the harbour bridge which was cool and Paul dropped us off at Circular quay, and we said our goodbyes. Next stop was Manly!

Manly is a Sydney Suburb in the Northern beaches that has some excellent surf. An awesome place to spend 4 nights, it was also the location for the very old film BMX Bandits starring a young Nicole Kidman and Steve Guttenberg (he never ages as he was in Coccoon!).

We walked as much of manly as possible, around the lagoon and the lookouts and past 'Ocean world'. There was also a volleyball tournament being set up too for the weekend so hopefully we will catch some of that.

On Thursday, we got the ferry over to Sydney Central to do a bit of sight seeing. We went to the Rocks area and another art gallery that we got stuck in due to the lifts not working. We also saw some guy catching grapes in his mouth, trying to break the world record for most in a minute and then most in half an hour, he was on well over a thousand when we got bored and moved on, it was also raining.

Because it was raining that day, a freakishly cold 16 degrees and snow in some parts of the country, we went to the cinema. 'Saw 3' was the film and it was particularily gruesome but quite revealing in its story line if you'd seen the other 2. The freak weather was only forecast for the one day though, luckily back up to the 20s for the rest of the week.

Then we went over to Darling harbour for some more sight seeing and pictures. Stopping in shops on the way home for some undercrackers (unsuccessfully I might add, Oz land has some really expensive ones), we went home for a meal out at the local restaurant where we could have one of our special wines bought from the Hunter Valley.

A long day so sleep ensued


P.S. Happy birthday to Flat Jeff and the Opo Rob. Welcome to the club! Also a seperate late happy birthday to Sue P, not the Ma Sue P but the other one from MAN chester. All have beers on us.

14th November - More geordie town

Note to self, 3 kids have way too much energy, fact. I have no idea how Paul and Glenda cope all the time. We were knackered after just 4 days, but it is easy to see why you have them though. Hopefully we managed to help out whilst we were there.

Paul went off to work Monday morning very early, and after dropping the kids off at the Grandparents' place, Glenda very kindly took us to the Hunter Valley for some more wine tasting.

Obviously we were in our element and before lunch we'd visited 4, Hungerford Hill, Kevin Sobel, Rosemount Estate and Lindemans who also had some fudge tasting too. The last two were a particular favourite as we drink those back home. The wine places were very accomodating and after a LOT of egging on from Glenda we managed quite a few glasses before lunch. We may have been slurring a little. After lunch we also went to Tyrrells and then called it a day as we needed to get Nathan off to cricket. Whilst in Tyrrells we suffered a 10 minute mega storm, the result of which was trees down and a lot of debris across the roads. Crazy weather they have in Oz land.

The rest of the day was quite lazy really. I put on the last 4 blogs from the previous stuff we had done.

In the evening we got to play pool, Nathan liked to play the game, Jack liked to use his hands to put the balls in the holes, whether it was his turn or not and Issy liked to get the balls out of the collection hole as she could just reach it and either put them on the table or on the floor. I feel we both did well to get a full game in at one stage.

The next day we got a lift into Geordie central and we had a wander around. We went to the art gallery to see some weird contemporary art, some of which was done in crayon, I kid you not.

After we went to the lighthouse and beyond and saw some more dolphins playing around. Then we hit Nobby's beach for a bit of a tan session. We are losing opportunities to do it now so we have to be brown enough to come home to. We finished off with a cheeky beer at the harbour.

In the evening there was more playing, a new game called Hullabaloo, apparently Grand dad H's favourite game. Sarah is now a big fan too and was well into the 'Funky dancing' bit. I on the other hand struggled as it has a speaker which tells you what to do and I just couldn't hear it so ended up looking old and stupid.

Also, note to self, never hand to hand feed a one year old chocolate as they will get it everywhere even on their feet, clothes and nappy. Just go straight for the gob!

Thank you to the Hilliers again for putting up with us, the family is awesome and they hosted fantastically. We got to use nice toilet paper again, got to watch sky tv including the premiership, got to have a roast, got to have a nice shower, got to use a proper sofa, got to have good fat pillows and be around normal people. Thank you again.

Not going to choose a favourite from Nathan and Jack as they are both equally chaotic and fun, but Isabelle got attached to me, luckily, so I will choose her! Quite sad to be leaving tomorrow.

An early 4:30am start tomorrow,



12th November - Newcastle toon

At last we have got to have some 'home normality' in our lives. Thank you to Paul and Glenda for letting us stay with them and the three little monsters at their new home in Newcastle.

We turned up and dropped off the hire car at the hire car place. Said goodbye to yet another Getz and met the Hillier troop. We got a tour of Newcastle and the family as well. We also stopped off at Lake Macquarie for an ice cream and to see where Paul and Glenda got married.

The ice cream adventure didn't start too well as the temperature was a rapidly cone reducing 30 ish degrees. Nathan, 5, and Jack, nearly 3, both got chocolate, Isabelle, just 1, got some of dad's. The best bit was not the fact that ice cream was all over the faces and hands, it was when Jack stabbed Nathan up the bum with his cone. It looked like Nate had pooped himself and was duly teased by all.

When we got back to the newly built and massive house, we got treated to a proper roast dinner, something we have been craving for quite some time and it was first class. Then we got to play some games and get arrested by Policemen Nathan and Jack.

The next day we all set off down the park for a family get together for Auntie Gladys' 90th birthday, she didn't look a day over 70. We played some cricket and football (the real football, none of this australian rubbish). I got a great picture of Nathan taking a penalty and it smacking poor Jack right in the head, perfect timing for me, not so much for Jack.

After the picnic lunch we headed to Glenda's brother Gary and his wife Jodie's house for a dip in the pool. All dove in including the grand parents as well. There was a lot of ball throwing and dunking and pruning in the water. Poor Jack yet again got whacked on the head a few more times. Nathan was like a fish with the flippers on and even little Isabelle splashed about and got dunked by Mummy and Granny.

Then we got fed well and got to play some eye-toy on the play station. I got thrashed by everyone much to Nathan's delight. Thank you to Gary, Jodie, the Grand parents, the kids and especially Paul and Glenda for making us so welcome!

Tired as anything all went to bed pretty early.


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

10th November - Port Mcquarie and the awesome flat

Port Mcquarie was really nice, we'd read in the lonely planet that the hostel was small and pokey but we went for it anyway. When we got there they said that we weren't even staying in the hostel that in fact we were in an apartment the next block over. The flat turned out to be huge, it had two floors and 4 rooms all with other English couples in, which was nice in a way. We all stayed up watching DVD's and drinking. The thing had so much space, much bigger than our last place in Weybridge.

Underneath it was a massive skink, well a blue tongued skink to be precise. I saw on the way back from the shops right by the back door.


The trick with this skink is that it has tiny legs and so when it feels threatened it tucks them under itself so that it makes itself look like a snake. And it did look a bit like a Death Adder as well due to its little worm like tail and triangular head. But we were safe! I told Sarah, not that I am the next Steve Irwin or anything.

We went up to see another lighthouse but this time drove like any sane person would, there weren't any whales or dolphins this time though. We were kind of expecting it really.

That afternoon we hired some DVD's and sat down for some serious TV watching, something we hadn't done for a while, we also cooked up the rest of our food too to get rid of some hangers on. We had some bread, beans, cheddar cheese, olives and sun-dried tomatoes. It worked quite well actually.

This month in Oz it is Mo-Vember. Meaning people are growing moustaches for charity. We've seen quite a few bad ones but we aren't too sure if they are just growing them or if that is for keeps. There is also a TV commercial for VB beers featuring the awesome David Boon and Ian Beefy Botham, to feature in this winter/summers TASHES. Funny stuff.

Right off to Newcastle to see some Geordies and the Hillier Clan. Mum has warned us about the terrors that are Nathan and Jack, but we reckon we could cope. More to come on this later.


8th November - Coffs Harbour

After Byron Bay, we high tailed it down to Coffs Harbour in the Getz. Surprisingly much smaller than the camper, but much more comfortable.

Coffs Harbour was another sleepy town with more awesome beaches. The YHA we stayed at was pretty good as well. Quite relaxing. For the first time in however long we got our own bathroom, a phenomenal achievement if ever there was one, just to have a shower and then not have to try and step into my clothes without getting them wet on the floor, teetering on the side of dangerous as I have to balance on one toe to squeeze the other wet foot into the hole. It's amazing damage hasn't happened.

Coffs Harbour is famous for one main thing - the Big Banana

Big banana

Other than that we got to see a lot more rain. But that didn't stop us from going surfing again. We had another lesson with none other than the legendary Lee Winkler, son of Henry Winkler, nah just joking. But Lee is legendary though as he was a pro surfer for 12 years and got to the top ten in the world in his prime, now he has a house by the beach and runs a surf school. Yet another evil person with a dream job in Australia. Damn them!

Surfing went ok. We were a bit worried by the weather report that said rain and dangerous swells, but we went anyway. Got a bit more worried when there was no one else in the water as well. Worried we should have been because it was a tough time. There were some big ass waves and the rips were so strong they just moved you down a couple of metres the wrong way. But both of us caught some waves yet again, I'm not sure we hung ten or anything but we CAN surf, fact.

After surfing we headed off to Port Mcquarie.


6th November - Byron and the hippies

Got to Byron Bay, which turns out to be a bit of a hippie haven. Though it does have awesome beaches. We went for a long walk along the coast and up to the lighthouse. The walk was definitely taxing as though only 1.2 km in length to the lighthouse it was a near vertical climb in 30 degree heat. Let's just say I had a bit of a sweat on when we reached the top. Asthma be damned! Also there was a freakin 'ironman and woman' Australian couple running up there as well just to rub it in, damn them to Hades!

In Byron we stayed in an alternative hostel, very mellow and quiet. We thought it a bit weird that everyone went to sleep well early but apparently it was us. New South Wales uses daylight saving hours, Queensland doesn't. That's why we were an hour late for some things that week.

One afternoon, we went to the HIGH capital of Australia, Nimbin. If Byron was alternative, Nimbin is the beacon for all people weird and out there. There was a plethora of crystals and Hemp shops selling everything mystical and magikal. Yep magik with a k, that trippy. Anyway we saw a marijuana museum and was offered some cookies, we politely declined, then saw the police take away some woman for possession down the road that got on the news later that evening. We went to some waterfalls after that. But the waterfalls were off unsealed roads and so we couldn't get to them, a bit of a wasted trip really.

Byron then rained and rained.

But we did go down to Lennox Head and saw a school of dolphins rounding up some food. It was pretty cool, but windy and rainy!

Laters for now


4th November - Brisbane still...

We are still in the Brisbane area, timing the sport badly as there is nothing on at the Gabba at the moment, unlike in a months time. Also, we exhausted all the free stuff to do in Brisbane in one morning as everything was shut or being relocated. The botanic gardens were good and we got a picture of Sarah practicing for House of Flying Daggers 2.


Then we went to numerous museums, libraries and art galleries all to be found with either nothing in them or shut. Damnit. Another good thing was the free bus around the city, london should get some of those bad boys.

One of the good things we had thrust on us was an empty 4 bedroom dorm. So we got a couple of good nights sleep, well kind of. As easy as it is sleeping in a 400 person hostel coming home drunk and noisy.

We also got to see the Australian Pop Idol winner from a while back, Guy Sebastian who looks like a thunderbird, do a gig in the shopping plaza. He was a bit of a weirdo with an afro of sorts. We went to a nearby bar to have a beer whilst listening and then forgot he was on so had no idea how good or bad he was.

We hired a car instead of getting the bus as it was about the same cost, so we got us a Hyundai Getz 1.6, a sporty little number that has been to the red line and back.
Southwards again soon



Sunday, November 05, 2006

1st November - Brisbane, truckers stop

That's it! The van has gone, Brocky can now rest in pieces. '9 times' the van of Peter Brock has been given back to his owners nice and clean. We no longer have to sleep in a coffin with wooden springs or have to live in trailer parks. I was dressing more and more like Kevin Federline by the day, I now own a tight grey vest, I had to, to fit in! There will be no more mosquito bites of death, the record held jointly by Sarah and Sarah for 25 in two separate nights. We can now sleep indoors! Yes!

Got to Brisbane and it is a pretty cool city, still a bit bewildered with the bright flashy lights and TV so will give more details later on.

Laters for now



30th October - A great day for Geof - WRX

Every now and again, one day is dedicated to just one of us. We have alternated pretty well I hope, and today was my lucky day.

First things first we went of to a small bush village of Pimpama where we passed a man sat in a white elephant shop playing half a drum kit near nekkid. That phased me not as I was headed to the Subaru Impreza WRX rally driving experience. Fantastic, despite having to wear a stupid hair net under the helmet.

Spanked it around a 1.2km course of mud and fun, did pretty good, not the best of the group but the most technical apparently. So much fun, the car had 350bhp which is 349 more than the van. Sarah then went round for a hot lap with the instructor just to show of the skills and he was a bit annoyed she didn't scream once. She described the hot lap as 'fast and exciting', good for her.

As if that wasn't exciting enough, we then went to Wet n' Wild the water theme park. I was 10 years old all over again, except this time I got to go to Wet N' Wild unlike my mean parents not allowing me all those years ago. Anyway, bygones. We were in and managed to do nearly every ride. The best was the last one called the tornado which is about a 10 metre drop onto a big funnel where you go up the sides a few times then get shot out of the hole at the end. Fantastic.

Happy now, going to sleep.



29th October - Seaworld

You can't go to Florida without going to Seaworld, well we came to the Gold Coast in Australia and still went to Seaworld.

The day was awesome, they know how to harbour fun animals these ozzies. We saw the dolphin show twice because they were that good. One of the older guys there was called Sirus and was one of the Flippers back in the 80s. That famous these dolphins. They did back flips, somersaults and ate lots of fish. All round fun.

As Oz is home to sharks the 'Shark bay' was spectacular. The sharks were by far the biggest I'd ever seen, bigger than any other aquarium. There were 4 of them gliding around all over 5m long. There were 2 divers in the tank cleaning it armed with chainmail, one to clean and one to keep lookout with a massive shock stick. We took some photos of the sharks doing swim-bys and they were nearly twice as big as the divers. Awesome.

The polar bears did not fail to impress either. There were 2 youngsters playing, though again the biggest bear I've seen of any species. They were playing in the water, rolling around and fighting and stuff. They are so agile in and out of the water it was amazing for such huge creatures. The best bit was when one of them went to the top of a rock and scratched himself only for the other to come bounding up and push him into the water a couple of metres down. Superb. Then they started doing back rolls off of the underwater glass area and showing off.

There were also some Dugongs, or better known as the Sea cow. Now Amy might start yabbering on about how they are Muntees or Manatees like I did but they aren't. They are Dugongs and I shall get all Discovery channel on your asses and tell you why. Manatees have a rounded tail like a plate, but Dugongs have a tail more like a dolphin with the y shape. So there you have it, a lesson learnt.

The rest of the day kind of blurred around those attractions. We saw a waterski show and a seal show but they were a bit staged and crappy. We went back to the dolphins and then headed for home.

Again we went down the pub and watched a bit of the Arias which are the Australian Brit awards. Quite funny as they got well trashed and the show kind of fell to pieces. Nevermind, good bands to come out of Oz at the moment are Wolfmother and Eskimo Joe. 'They're so hot right now!'

Tomorrow is WRX rallying and Wet n Wild. How will I sleep tonight... poorly, I'm in a campervan!

Pricey and the newly devoted dolphin trainer.

28th October - Crikey! There's a croc

That's right we paid our tribute to the late and very very great Steve Irwin by visiting his zoo, Australia Zoo. His legacy still lives on there and all the staff seem to have inherited some of his spirit and love for all things animally. The zoo was great, we got to see a tonne of animals and obviously got to see the famous croc show.

The elephants were good, as it was 34 degrees they were being hosed down and were taking a mud bath, but the mud was Australian red mud and the elephants kind of had a reddish/pinkish tinge to them so I wasn't sure if I was still drunk or not. Anyway they were led off for some feeding and they all held trunk to tail which made Sarah go Ahhhhh.

We got to pet some Kangaroos and some more Koalas of which Sarah took at least 50 shots of as she kept finding even cuter babies. The tigers were pretty cool too, but they didn't do much as it was darn hot, don't blame them really.

The snake enclosure brought along a typical Aussie family. The dad and son were looking at a Taipan snake, one of the most deadliest snakes in the world that could kill 100 men with the amount of venom it injects. Anyway the dad says to his son 'you see that Taipan snake son?' 'Yeah dad' 'That's what we ran over the other day!'. Quality.

Then we went to the Crocoseum to see the three shows. The Crocoseum had all of the tributes to Steve still up there, hundreds and hundreds of his trademark khaki shirts all signed. It was a fitting tribute. The shows were awesome, the first was snakes with a bit of slapstick thrown in for good measure. They put a 4m Anaconda into the water and the way it swam was incredible, very stealthy and deadly, but graceful at the same time.

The bird show was pretty cool with loads of parrots and they finished off with a massive Eagle. Finally was the croc show with Mossman the 4m crocodile. We got some great photos of him eating meat and things from the nutso rangers hands and stuff, really cool. Hopefully the internet will let me put it on here.

Among other things we got to see Tasmanian devils, wombats, dingos, camels and the common Australian wandering around.

After we headed down on past Brisbane to go to the Gold Coast, passing on the way the town of Burpingary, not as good as a Town called Gary but probably more apt. (If GAry doesn't leave a comment now then he's a loser, also this is a small test to see if anyone is still reading this!).
We stopped on the way at Pimpama to book myself in for WRX challenge morning for monday, driving a 350 bhp rally subaru Impreza around a field alot of times. Should be awesome.

Then we got to the greatest campsite ever, we could see it from the motorway and Sarah's little face lit up as she saw a giant jumping pillow. This is like a bouncy castle/trampoline but shaped like a giant pillow. Of course we ran down to have a go after checking in. Quality.

Tomorrow and the day after see us at more theme parks. Tonnes of photos will be taken, 162 were taken alone today. God help the friends and family that we make sit through our entire collection, we have nearly 2500. At least Liz made it up to Fiji and was there for NZ, lucky girl.

Right off to the pub for the first time in 4 days.



27th October - Mounting Ngungun

Just a quickie today as we haven't done much since the last post. Got up and left Maroochydore, an ok place but Noosa is so much better, probably the first place we both said we could live in.

We headed up to the Glass House Mountains about 40km away. Once there we walked up Mount Ngungun, which turned out to be a climb rather than a walk near the top, but we made the 278m of it anyways. Once at the top we did the Rocky punch and shuffle after a severe breather and took some pictures of the surroundings, then decided to leave due to the enormous size of the mosquitos flying around up there, they eat their vegemite for breakfast on their weetbix. That's right I said Weetbix because the Aussies spelt it wrong!

After that we drove up to the scenic lookout and had a fancy picnic of bread, cheese, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Then I fell asleep for the afternoon, it can be handy having your bed right behind you in the car.

That night we stayed in a park site near Australia Zoo, our trip for tomorrow, we also don't have to get up too early to beat the traffic. Though we will probably be up early as there are 5 peacocks and peahens roaming around and they breed them noisy in this part of the world, all night noisy. Took a cool shot of one dude with his feathers out and things, I think it is mating season at the moment.


26th October - Surfin Oz

We are definitely back on the fun train. We've hit the sunshine coast and it is true, it really is sunny here on the coast. We are staying in Noosa and though it was expensive, we got on the net to put all the blogs on. The place is pretty cool, a touch like Milton Keynes because of all the bloody roundabouts but the sun and beach kind of beats it hands down.

Yesterday we checked the place out and got sorted at the campsite, we had a dip in the pool then chilled out for the evening. Unfortunately, yours truly left a bit of a gap in the front drivers window, the mosquitos took that as a golden invitation. I came away unscathed with just the 9 bites on my feet, Sarah on the other hand, who is mighty tastier than myself, took a LOT of bites.

Well, no time to dwell on such stupidity, off down to Noosa heads for our very first surf lesson. This was so cool, we headed out with our massive baby learning boards that no one could fall off, and we caught waves. I got me my very own 'greenie' (one with no breaks on it) and rode it all the way to the beach. Awesome. It took so much energy it is unbelievable but so worth it, hopefully we can go surfing all down the coast now. Sarah also did well, though she didn't catch her own wave, she did everything else, paddling out, paddling in and obviously standing up the whole way. We were both awesome. There was just one little story of note, Sarah, so happy with catching her big wave that she gave it a double thumbs up to some guy on the beach, unfortunately she wiped out soon after and popped up and popped out. The guy was a gentleman and walked on after his eyeful, modesty stayed intact. My problem was with a lung full of salt water and a bit of a puke but managed to get back out there within 5 minutes.

That afternoon, we went wine tasting, we found two great places, not the best in the world but great in their own way. The first was Eumundi Winery where we had some lunch and found a fantastic white verdelho. Then we went to the 'Little morgue' winery where we found a fizzy rose. All wine tastic and a great way to spend a sunny afternoon. Quality.

Tomorrow, which I'm going to write about now for fun, we went to the Noosa National park and walked a good 8 km track. So worth it as we saw a good 6 plus humpback whales off the point 'Hells Gate'. This time we got the whole show, before the whales just kind of hung around and moved on, this time we got it all. They breached and splashed down, there was a family, mum, dad and baby. They did all of their exercises, slapping the tail down about 10 times in a row, slapping the side fins down whilst rolling over, all to get rid of barnacles and things. Absolutely amazing.

After we played a round of crazy golf and destroyed the bottle of rose we bought yesterday (which we've drunk already plus a few beers hence the gibberish of this blog). Things are back to normal, ie pretty damn good.