Saturday, October 21, 2006

Part 8 - Fraser Island

The night after arriving the moon was full and the sky was clear so we took a stoll down to the beach to listen the the surf crash in. Beautiful night!

Early the next day drove out onto the beach for our first full day of adventures. The tire tracks were still visible from the previous day and you can see how much of the wide beach gets used.

We drove about 60 km up the beach to the Maheno shipwreck. You expect to hear about a tragedy until you find out the boat was retired from duty and was being towed by another boat when it broke free and washed up on the shore in 1935. Still fun to explore though.

We headed north from the Maheno and made it up to Indian Head where we ate lunch and climbed to the top for some nice views.

We drove back down the beach and stopped at Eli Creek so the kids could splash around and ride down probably the cleanest water we've seen in nature.

Later that day we walked to Wabby Lake where the lake is being slowly engulfed by a sand dune at a rate of 1 m per year. We ran into an island resident on the path to the lake. Heidi and Dave were scared and worried but the kids thought we were being silly. Dingos have been known to attack young children if they're not close to their parents. This guy had a tag on it's ear which indicates it's previously been a menace. We weren't taking any chances and scared it off the track. He just walked around us and kept on truckin' to the beach. Dave was lucky enough to see a couple of dingo pups the day before down by the beach so the rest of the family was quite excited to get their chance. Once we arrived at Lake Wabby we had a quick swim with the curious catfish before heading back to our resort.

Part 7 - Hervey Bay to Fraser Island

After a night's sleep and shark attack in Hervey Bay we took the ferry over to Fraser Island - the world's largest sand island! 4wd vehicles are the only ones that can handle the sandy roads!

We had time to kill before we checked into our hotel so we hiked 3 km to Basin Lake in the centre of Fraser Island. Adam found the trees irresistable and Basin Lake was so inviting! The kids suggested a skinny dip was in order and soon we were splashing around in our birthday suits! All fun and games until another hiking group arrived! Luckily, Dave and Heidi had just gotten redressed. Being the cruel parents we are, we left the kids hiding in the water while we had a nice conversation with the other party. Eventually, we rescued the kids and headed back to our vehicle

We met some critters on the way back before taking the bumpy, hilly, sandy road to the other side of the island to Eurong Resort and checking in.

For the second time on our holiday we saw a monitor lizard. They're rather fast and I wasn't fast enough to take a photo with my camera so I found this one on the net.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Part 6 - Noosa Heads

We stopped for a hike through Noosa National Park along the coast just north of Brisbane. We kept our eyes open knowing we might get a chance to see whales, dolphins and koalas and luckily we scored a hat trick! The whales were waving, the dolphins were playing and the koala was sleeping!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Part 5 - Crikey!!!

Even before we entered a friendly camel greeted the kids to the Australia Zoo. Their excitement was soon subdued though as we walked through the makeshift memorial for Australia's Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin. Few Australians were aware of Steve's popularity in North America and many Aussies thought he was a bit over the top and somewhat embarassing. Regardless, Australians, especially the kids, said an emotional goodbye to the "Wildlife Warrier" last month and the zoo was especially saddened.

Adam knew right away that this wasn't a croc but rather the American cousin, the alligator. Adam explained that an alligator's teeth show outsite the mouth when closed while the croc's teeth only show when it's mouth is open. Why do kids retain so much trivia? When two kookaburras talk it sounds like your in the middle of the jungle.

The Crocoseum is the focal point of the zoo. As a prelude to the show, they ran a 20 minute salute to Steve that left many in the stands with wet eyes - they even brought out a singer to sing a sad song just to make the tears flow even more! The croc/snake/bird show was not a disappointment.

We even found some time for surfing in Coulandra. Notice the gigantic waves behind Dave!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Part 4 - Glasshouse Mountains

We climbed Mt. Tibrogargan which gave an panoramic view of the rest of the mountains and valleys. According to Aboriginal legend, all of the Glasshouse mountains are related to each other. Adam found the story of how Mt. Coonowrin got its crooked neck most interesting.

And everyone thinks Dave pushes the kids a bit too much... Heidi was convinced the kids could make it to the top. Conservative Dave stepped in convinced her it was a tad too steep!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Part 3 - Surfers Paradise

It's all in the name! The town of Elston changed its name to Surfers Paradise in 1933 and it's been booming ever since. We met up with the DiNuccis for two nights of fun at Treasure Island Tourist Park. We all had a great time at the beach, playground and townhouse. The DiNuccis are a wonderful family to holiday with - very relaxed and laid back!

Back - Phil, Jen, Heidi, Dave
Front - Jameson, Charlee, Maia and Adam