Australia

Brisbane to Cairns During my Around the World Trip

Twenty seven hours of flights landed me in Brisbane.  I found my way to the city center to buy a camera and meet up with Duncan (yes, the legendary bartender from the Antarctica marathon).  Those of you on that trip will appreciate the picture of him working at his cubicle as a travel agent.  We met up for beers and stayed out so late I wasted almost all Tuesday in bed.  

 

Wednesday I headed north in a rental car.  The first stop was the Australia Zoo, Steve Irwin’s place.  In addition to feeding kangaroos and hanging out with koala, I managed to catch the crocodile feeding. 

Hanging out in the Kangaroo Park

 

They were sooo lazy

 

Idiot

 

From there I piled back into the car and headed for Noosa Beach.  The town was very nice, but it really wasn’t my style (very laid back beach with a lot of shopping), so I left a little earlier than expected and headed for Hervey Bay.  I think I stayed in the crappiest hostel in the world there, but at least it was only 8 hours. 

An early morning wakeup and I was headed for Frasier Island, the world’s largest sand island.  We hiked up to fresh water, white sand lakes, through rainforests and to the tops of cliffs (more my style).  We parked the 4WD to get out and look at some fruit bats and it turned out there was a 10 foot python next to the car.  The beaches were amazing and driving up them was an adventure in itself. 

Indian Head at Frasier Island

 

I met a nice Irish girl on the tour and she was headed north as well.  We jumped in the car that evening, planning to drive through the night to get to Airlie Beach early enough to make the first departures for the Whitsunday islands.  I ended up using a loaf of bread as a pillow to try and sleep while she drove and ended up tearing the bag as I rolled around and sent bread flying all over the backseat. 

From Airlie I went out on a 3 day sailboat diving excursion to the Whitsunday Islands.  It was one of the most beautiful places I've ever been to.  I'm going to go back and take Lauren some day, especially after she saw some of the pictures of the beaches. 

The boat had about 25 people with 12 countries represented.  All but 3 were under 30 years old.  The diving was phenomenal.  Bright coral, stingrays, fish twice the size of me were just part of it.  My favorites were two Brazilian guys and two Norwegian girls.  Both were hysterical.  The girls taught me a little Norwegian.  Do er neidlieg.  They said it is the only thing you need to know if you go to Norway.   

Whitsunday Islands from Lookout Point

 

Beach balls the crabs make when the tide goes out

 

Two Brazilians, Two Americans, an Irish, and a Swiss

 

From Airlie, I headed north to Cairns.  I tried to go kite boarding, but they were booked full for two weeks so I ended up doing another dive, which was even better.  Even managed to swim with sea turtles for a while. 

Some of the locals

 

 

I had planned to go hanggliding the next morning but was disappointed to hear the guide say it was too windy to go.  I ended up going for a ten mile run instead.  I’m out of shape, this marathon on the Great Wall is going to suck.  If anyone is bored at the office and wants the unabridged version, let me know and I’ll send it to you.  It’s a lot longer though.  The next stop was South Korea and Costal China

Here are some of the links to other adventures:

Antarctica Marathon

Great Wall Marathon

Tibet

Mt Everest Base Camp

Nepal

India

Dubai

Kilimanjaro

Tanzanian Safari

Ukraine

Romania

Hungary

Greece

Colombia

Peru