Continuing south, I decided to make another stop in the magical land of Maroochydore. This is where Adam lives, where I had spent a couple days before heading up north. Last time I was there I didn't do too much other than relax, so this time I planned to actually see some things, using the friendly surroundings of Adam’s apartment as a home base.
The first thing on my list of things to see was a nearby town called Noosa, a fairly posh surfer town that I didn’t think I would need more than a day to see. The town itself was pretty classy looking, but my favourite part of the day (aside from the two smoothies I had, that’s right, TWO) was walking through Noosa National Park. I didn’t come close to seeing all of it because it was late in the day and I only brought my flip flops, but it was still pretty impressive. I’m guessing there are some cool hikes in that area that I could have spent a lot of time exploring.
I couldn’t go to Australia without checking out the Australia Zoo, home of the Crocodile Hunter. After receiving an awesome tip about a 2 for 1 zoo pass (regular price $55), I convinced Adam’s girlfriend Heather to come with me. It wasn’t until this day that I saw my first kangaroo, but thankfully it wasn’t in the zoo! The bus stopped at Adam and Heather’s university on the way, which is allegedly crawling with kangaroos most of the time. I think we only saw two, but it was nice to see them in the “wild” before the zoo, especially since I had already been in Australia for nearly a month. Still, the kangaroos were probably my favourite part of the zoo, as I would guess is the case for most people. The moustaches sported by the zoo staff would be a close second though. In the middle of the zoo they have a huge stadium called the “Crocoseum” which hosts a few shows each day. I’m sure the highlight is supposed to be the croc feeding, but I was more impressed by all the birds they had trained to skim just above our heads. All in all I’m glad we went, and certainly happier than if I had paid full price.
After having spent over a week altogether at Adam’s place, I hadn’t seen a whole lot of him because of his busy work and school schedule. Finally he had a day off, so we climbed a mountain. The Glasshouse Mountains are in the area, and theres probably an interesting story behind how they formed. All I know is that they looked cool, steeply poking out from the forest. The mountain we conquered was called Tibrogargan… or something like that. It wasn’t overly huge, but I couldn’t have done much more. This wasn’t like other mountain hikes I had done though, it was somewhere between a hike and a climb, which I’m told is called a scramble. It wasn’t something I would have done alone, so it was good to have Adam, Heather, and their other roommate Dave there to break my fall (I didn’t fall). On our way down it looked like a storm was rolling in, and roll in it did. Just as we got down past the final steep section and onto walking trails, it started to absolutely pour. I can’t imagine trying to get down if the rocks were slippery. But it was exciting and successful, and my highlight of Maroochydore.
As I trekked further south, I made a couple of stops that will not get their own blogs. First, I stopped back in Brisbane for a couple days to meet up with St. Albert Miranda again and some people from my Whitsundays boat. It was a good stop, I had a beer or two and a picnic in the park.
Surfer’s Paradise is a place that doesn’t get great reviews from other travellers, but people still say it’s a place you should see. So I went there. Surfer’s itself is not my kind of place, with skyscrapers right up to the beach and club anthems pumping from every imaginable place, even the internet café. Adding to the not so awesome vibe of the place, I was there in a time referred to around here as “Schoolies”. Schoolies is the end of school, basically spring break for high school students, and they come out in full force. My memory of Surfer’s Paradise will be dominated by drunk 16 year olds screaming from their high rise hotel balconies. Having said that, I did meet some really cool people in my hostel and we made the most of our time there.
Next would be the place I was most looking forward to in Australia, Byron Bay. I have some friends who have been there, and one who is still there, and I knew I would end up spending more than a couple days in Byron. It will no doubt deserve its own blog.
Merry Christmas, heres another blog. Print it out, put it in a box, wrap it nicely, place it under your tree, and write "From Tim" on it. Then pretend I actually posted it before Christmas.