Where I’ve Been: Surfers Paradise, Brisbane, Maloolaba, Noosa, Hervey Bay
Where I’ve Stayed: Surfers Paradise YHA, Brisbane Central YHA, Maloolaba Beach Backpackers, Dolphin Backpackers in Noosa and Next Backpackers in Hervey Bay
We’ve seen a good few beach towns over the past week and a bit, some lovely beaches and unfortunately a lot of rain! Our first stop was Surfers Paradise.
Been spending most my life living in a Surfers Paradise
Surfers Paradise was not a paradise weather wise – we only had a couple of days there but it was wall to wall rain! Surfers is an interesting place – very touristy and a lot livelier than the other towns we had passed though on our way up the East Coast of Australia. In some ways it reminds me a little of some of the South-East Asian cities like Bangkok or Kuta, but just not quite so in your face!
We were only in Surfers two nights and the short stay combined with lots of rain meant that we didn’t do too much – although on the night we arrived Mary and I went on the ‘Wicked Club Crawl’! We joined probably around 100 other backpackers/people in Surfers for a tour of the numerous pubs and clubs in the town. It was great fun and Mary and I were quite drunk when we got back to the hostel about 12.30am (we had started at 5.30pm!).
Our next stop after Surfers Paradise was Brisbane – the capital and most populous city in Queensland and third most populous city in Australia. It is also apparently one of the oldest cities in the country.
One of our prime objectives when we were here was to book up two separate trips to Fraser Island and the Whitsundays. Fraser Island is the biggest sand island in the world and the Whitsundays are a collection of idyllic islands just off the coast of Queensland. We successfully booked up these trips and will be taking both of them over the coming ten days, and no doubt I will let you know all about them!
Seeing old friends in Brisbane
As I’ve said before one of the great things about being a backpacker is that even though you might be in a completely new city you regularly see faces you recognise as us backpackers often follow the same route. This was the case in Brisbane as we bumped into our friend Esther who I had met in Sydney and then seen in Newcastle.
So on Saturday (27 February) Esther and I had a wander around Brisbane and ended up going to the Queensland Art Gallery, which is in the city. It was great! I am by no means an art buff, but we spent three hours there and it had a real mix of art and displays, that were local, national, international, old, new, conventional and unconventional. Also it was nice to take in a bit of culture.
To top off our two days in Brisbane, we were stopped in the street on the first day we were there and asked if we want to take part in a health survey, which we did and got paid $20!
From Brisbane we stopped in Maloolaba for two nights. As well as having a great name this small town also has a lovely beach, which we visited, and is a great point from which to visit Australia Zoo, which is just a few miles away. The Zoo was great, but relatively small and I couldn’t help but compare it to Singapore Zoo, perhaps a little unfairly. Also it was pouring with rain when we were there! Still we saw plenty of animals that were lovingly looked after and it was all in all an entertaining day.
Arriving in Noosa in a monsoon
The best of the torrential rain had been saved for a couple of days ago as we drove from Maloolaba to Noosa, in fact we found out yesterday that it actually actually been part of a monsoon!
We were literally rained in to the hostel in Noosa and apart from a quick drive to get a pizza we stayed in drinking goon and chatting. We are also found we were staying in the same hostel as Esther as we seem to be shadowing each others routes up the East Coast! In fact Esther managed to rearrange her Fraser Island trip so she will now be coming with Ben, Mary and I tomorrow.
Only had time for a quick look round Noosa once the rain had stopped, but it seems quite a trendy town with lots of boutique shops, nice restaurants and funky bars. Was a bit of a shame we couldn’t explore it properly.
Getting ready for Fraser Island…
So this morning Esther joined Ben, Mary and I in the car was we drove from Noosa to Hervey Bay. Hervey Bay is a reasonable sized seaside town that is used primarily as a stopping point for people visiting Fraser Island.
We arrived in our hostel about 3pm and met the other members of our group who we would be going to Fraser Island with – thankfully on first impressions they all seem quite normal! We then had a safety talk and a quick wander around Hervey Bay and are back in the hostel now and hoping to get a good night sleep ahead of our two night trip to Fraser Island!