Noosa & Carlo's
We spent the night in the parking lot of the Brisbane LDS church (next to this temple). Sometimes we stayed in awesome caravan parks with swimming pools and cool playgrounds on the beach. Other times we drove until we couldn't drive anymore then found the closest place that allowed overnight camping. It was all part of the adventure. In the morning we traded in the campervan for a more reliable one. It didn't have an arm rest on the drivers seat, which bugged Jason the entire rest of the trip. But it also didn't have the ant infestation like the last one. Being able to pour a bowl of granola without ants crawling out of the box was priceless. Plus we didn't have to worry about it breaking down on the side of the road. That's always a good thing.
The next morning they played zombies in the church parking lot with their new nerf guns while I made breakfast. It's a funny way of living, this RV life. The world is your playground, and I love it. I love waking up to a new place every day with the promise of adventure awaiting.
Today's adventure included Noosa Heads. Which could easily be one of my new favorite spots. The quaint city itself had such an urban chic vibe with an upscale character. It was clean, hip and absolutely charming. A stones throw away from the beach and nestled among the most beautiful scenery, I could easily see ourselves retiring here. If only Australia weren't so far away. We saw koalas at the sanctuary, but I was bound and determined to find wild koalas out in nature. After a few failed attempts everyone was getting skeptical, but I was feeling pretty confident at Noosa Heads. The information office lists any koala sightings that day and there just so happened to be one. I thought it wouldn't be too hard to spot but finding a koala "high in a Eucalyptus tree before the bathrooms" proved to be a little more tricky. We didn't know where these bathrooms were and after walking for over 20 minutes we were about to give up. We found the bathrooms, but they were surrounded by dozens of trees and it really was just by chance that I happened to spot the fuzzy little tail high in the tree. It even peed. The kids thought that was a riot. Jason stayed in the campervan because there was no parking. I feel bad he missed it (honestly he could care less, he saw the picture and got to enjoy a quiet rest), and I really missed having him there to carry Ryder, he was so grumpy and refused to walk, I thought my back was going to break. But
At least the walk itself was gorgeous as it hugged the pristine coast line. The surfers were fun to watch too, there were some pretty good breaks.
This beach was one of my favorites. Maybe it was because it was the first time we had a truly warm evening, maybe it was because we were there during the golden hour or maybe it's just because sitting on the beach with my family is my happy place. Whatever it was, I just loved it.
The next morning we went to Tin Can Bay where you can hand feed dolphins. Two thumbs up for a unique experience, but one thumb down for over-commercializing it. Not only did we have to pay a small fortune just to feed them for five seconds before ushering in the next person, but we also had to pay just to watch. But it was so cool to have the opportunity to feed wild dolphins, not like the ones caged up at Sea World. I'm glad we did it, I just wish it was a little more authentic, but that's business. The pelicans were just as cool. I don't think we had seen one in the wild before, at least not this close. They were massive, easily as tall as Ryder, and had no fear. It made me a little nervous when they would get close, but as long as they stayed an arm's reach away they were fascinating to watch.
Carlo's Sand Blow in the Great Sandy National Park was incredible. I just have a thing for sand dunes. Especially when they are found in the most unassuming places, like the middle of this forest. You hike through all these trees and then all of the sudden there's this massive dune right in the middle of it all.
That view with the ocean in the background is pretty spectacular.
We lucked out to find an abandoned boogie board and the boys had the best time sand boarding. This time the hill wasn't quite as massive as the one at Te Paki so it wasn't such a grueling hike up, but it was still steep enough for some thrills. They kept busy building ramps and jumps and I absolutely love seeing them get lost in the outdoors and their imaginations.
These are actually the tops of trees that were once a forest before the sand gradually took over as the wind blew it little by little to create this sand dune. Mother Nature is rad.
Like toss the egg, but with sand balls. They got pretty good, of course they are both pretty competitive so I would expect nothing less. I was busy building sand castles with Ryder and paused to look around at everyone busy playing in this beautiful setting that we had entirely to ourselves. It filled me right to the brim with joy.
Fraser Island was one place I had on our bucket list. An island made entirely of sand that you could camp on and take 4WD adventure tours. Unfortunately it wasn't feasible with the cost and the time, so we settled on exploring the beach where the ferry takes off and looking at it from the other side of the water. This beach was still unique, it felt like we were on a deserted island.
There's Frasier Island across the way
We ran into some forest fires, it made for a smokey drive.
We had recently watched "Saving Mr Banks" about the life of PL Travers, author of Mary Poppins. When we saw that we were going to be driving by Maryborough where she grew up we wanted to stop for a quick peek.
This is the bank that her father worked at and her family lived in an apartment on the floor above it when she was born. Kind of cool. Australia really has it all!