Well after airlie beach we had a LONG drive down to 1770 (yes thats the name of the town) it took us about 9 hours!! where we met up with Cat (my step sister) and her boyfriend tim. We spent the next morning in 1770 but the weather was rubbish and there was no surf...since that is all there is to do there we headed south to Bundaberg. Home to the alcoholic rum drinking polar bear that is the mascott of bundaberg rum! its not a real bear. the weather was still crap and we didn't really want to pay for a tour so we ditched the distillery pretty sharpish and headed to the camp site. Cat and Tim splashed out on a cabin that had a real life oven and tv so me and Jo were set! we made oven chips and played cards and drank beer...good times!
The day after we headed in convoy down to the jump off town for Fraser Island, Hervey Bay. (read about fraser island here FIRST) Cat and Tim had kindly organised a 3day 2 night 4 wheel driving/camping trip to the island for new year! So that afternoon we had our 4wd and fraser preparation video and talk....so boring, ha.
The next day the fun started! we arrived early at the rental place and got hold of "Deloris" the landrover defender (named by Jo because she was akward and tempermental like a woman apparently??!!) we learnt this in the 1st 5mins when we struggled to engage reverse in the stupidly modified automatic gear box....in a 4wd...an automatic...what were they thinking?! anyway we packed her up and headed off to the ferry to the island which took around 40mins. We started well on wildlife with dolphins and turtles swimming near the boat! the 1st road (which we later learned was the best on the island) was VERY bumpy and we started to hope it wasn't all going to be like this...haha! it took us mmmm around an hour before we got stuck in the sand and some 4wd pros behind us kindly pulled us out with their tow. After another hour the ridiculous roads had broken 4 bottles of beer and all 12 of our eggs, ah how naieve were we??!! very! it wasn't much longer before the bbq sauce went and the mangos exploded! our 1st stop was lake birrabeen which was amazing. Crystal clear blue water and bright white sand beaches, so good to swim in after the dramas of the 1st hour! we then headed to another lake then out to 75mile beach (the motorway) where we drove about 20k and found a camp site while it was still light enough to cook! the next day was new years eve and we were all awake around 5am because of the sun on the tents. we drove up the beach to the north of the island before the tide came in and cut us off, stopping once to fill up the water bottles in a resort half way. We reached indian heads, a headland at the top of the island key to the islands formation, and true to form got bogged in the sand. by this time it was 8.30am and around 35 degrees C. Again we asked some pros when we failed to help ourselves and learnt that the hire company had told us to keep our tire pressure far too high to limit us to certain parts of the island! By the time we got out of the sand and to the top of the headland look out it was about 40 degrees where it stayed all day! it was then that Tim asked Cat where his wallet was and she said "oh i left it on the tap where we filled up the water" but by then the tide was in and there was no going back! the view up there was good but hard to enjoy in the heat so we headed straight to the champangne pools, huge rock pools (shark and stinger free) that were SO good to swim in! On the way back Deloris decided she had had enough and pretty much packed in right there on the beach so we had to call out the mechanics! we waited around for them and after deciding it was a gonner we swapped in to their defender "derek" a manual!! he was all about business! we drove down and picked up tims wallet (lucky for cat) and set up camp. We drove up to Eli creek and swam in the brilliant cold fresh water after a hectic day!
We had our new years meal, sausage pasta, and started a few drinks that carried on til 12:05 then we all collapsed in to our tents and slept for at most 5 hours until the sun was on the tents again! Eli creek was our first stop again and then we drove through to lake wabbi and then the famous lake McKensie. Then we headed back to the ferry and back to the mainland for the BEST shower ever!
We left Hervey bay the next day bound for Noosa heads...really nice place but a little upmarket for our travelling budgets so we only stayed the one night, the weather was also rubbish so no beach time either! We went further south again with cat and tim to Caloundra where we were very kindly invited to a family friend of tims' BBQ and we were given a bed for the night aswell!!
We stayed in caloundra at a campsite the next couple of nights and went out to steve irwins australia zoo and the glass house mountains that gave some pretty spectacular views.
After caloundra we travelled to brisbane and stayed a couple of nights with the irish guys we met at christmas...there isn't alot to do in brisbane so we pretty much found the sofa and the dvd player haha! after the mandatory shopping in the centre of town obviously!
Surfers Paradise was the next stop below brisbane on the Gold Coast. It is busy busy there...it's like florida in Australia with loads of theme parks and stuff and the Chavs that go with it haha! we didn't do the parks but had a bit of beach time (surf time for me) and we also drove out to tamborine mountain to the glow worm caves which was cool.
From surfers we came HERE! to Byron Bay...we have been here for 3days just chilling out! we were out last night with some canadian girls staying on the spot next to us in the camp site which was a good laugh, and also got another place to stay in Vancouver!! can't hurt can it!
So you must be sick of reading! ill try and sort the pics out soon!!!
Lots of love Rob + JO xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx