Fraser Island marks the southern most point of the Great Barrier Reef. South of the reef the shores are no longer sheltered and in many spots there can be huge waves. This marks the beginning of Australia's surf culture. We started on the Sunshine Coast in southern Queensland making stops at Noosa and Mooloolaba.
Noosa was a cool town on the northern end of the Sunshine Coast. It had a very nice town center and also the biggest waves we saw during our trip. It was quite fun watching some of these guys.
We also saw a humpback whale just off shore.
Mooloolaba was also a nice beach town. We explored the town and beaches a bit and then made our way to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary just south of Brisbane. At this point in our trip our wildlife spotting had consisted almost entirely of dead kangaroos and wallabies on the side of the road. We had not seen a single living roo or wallaby. I mentioned that to a Guide on Fraser Island and he joked we saw the cousins of the kangaroo and wallaby, the wazzaroo and the usedtobe. Anyway we decided to see some living wildlife.
This was the halfway point of our trip.
One of the main reasons we went was to hold a koala. Arpita wasn't sure about the claws so I did the holding. I think she got the better deal because the only part of the koala I touched was its bum.
We also got to feed some kangaroos, wallabies, and emus.
Some had joeys in their pouches.
We also saw some Tasmanian devils being feed. It was not at all like the cartoon.
After leaving the sanctuary we made our way to surfers paradise and the Gold Coast of northern New South Wales. Many Australians turn their noses up at the Gold Coast because it is overly developed and is very touristy. It is very built up but was fun for a night.
I decided to take a surf lesson just down the road from surfers paradise. I fared much better here than in Bali.
Our next stop was at Byron Bay. This was a great surf town with a great beach and lighthouse. It is also the eastern most point of mainland Australia.
As it is the furthest point east, migrating humpback whales tend to come closer to land here. We again saw several.
We also had a gorgeous sunset.
From bryon bay we drove to Sydney stopping overnight in coffs harbor.
We spent 3 nights and 2 days in Sydney. We stayed in a holiday inn with great views both from our room…
And from our rooftop pool…
On our first day the forecasted temperature was in the 80s so we decided to go to manly beach via the ferry. The ferry drives right through sydney harbor with excellent views of both the harbor bridge and the opera house.
Sunrise from our hotel room.
Opera house from the ferry.
Opera house and bridge from the ferry.
We both took surf lessons on manly beach then explored the corso and had a beer at a brew pub overlooking the harbor.
We took the ferry back to Sydney at sunset which made for some great views.
The next day was considerably cooler. We wandered around the opera house and the botanical gardens as well as taking a stroll through downtown sydney and darling harbor.
Bees and flowers at the botanical gardens
That night we decided to do the harbor bridge climb. This is basically where you put on a jump suit, hook yourself to to a wire and climb to the top of the sydney harbor bridge. We chose to climb at dusk which was a great decision. Unfortunately we don't have any pictures because you are not allowed to bring anything with you. We do have some photos but they are on a CD. I do have before and after of Arpita though…
The next morning we caught a flight to Adelaide and will post on that part of the trip soon!