Wow! A lot has happened in the past two weeks. From exploring as many beaches as we could between Noosa Heads and Byron Bay, moving into a new apartment and taking a drive into the beautiful hills of South Queensland it has been a wonderful few weeks.
To start it all off, we had a week ahead of us and nothing planned, so we decided to set out on a train and head up the coast. We spent the majority of the week bus hopping from beach to beach. Starting in Noosa Heads, and making our way back south to Brisbane. We spent our time exploring the small towns, hiking the local coastal parks, watching a surf competition, and hiking with and getting to know other backpackers along the way. The South Queensland coast truly is beautiful and we could not have asked for better weather. See below for a few pictures of the beaches.
Once we were satisfactorily burnt to a crisp, we decided to head back to the city and finally move into our new place downtown Brisbane.
After spending far too many hours the previous week online looking for different house shares and available apartments we finally found one that was perfect for us. It is within walking distance of downtown (CBD) as well as the Spinal Life office where Carlton has been discussing possible volunteer work. It is a short walk from the rock climbing gym where Daniel has been spending several mornings a week and is hoping to get involved in some work opportunities. It is also right across the street from a main bus station, plenty of shops and a few pubs. So all of that to say, it’s a great location! We are sharing the apartment with three friends from South Korea who are really nice and have these things called “jobs” so we don’t see them much. However we all enjoy the conversations we have when we are all around. The most recent conversation was about the correct pronunciation of different english words, which is always a fun conversation when we realize how little english actually follows its phonetic rules!
The great location also put us a reasonable bus ride from Mt. Coot-tha which provides some great hiking and a rewarding overlook of the City of Brisbane from the top.
However it is helpful to note that hiking down in the dark is not advisable, and the buses end early in the evening. So our shout out of the week goes to our new friend Rob and his wife, who not only drove us down the mountain but gave us a ride back to our apartment! Let it be known that we were perfectly willing to hike down… however as history shows we were more willing to accept a little generosity!
One thing that is on our Australian bucket list is to travel to the “Outback”. After Googling some directions and talking to a few friends we realized we would need more than two days to really get out to where the red dirt roads stretch for hundreds of kilometers, so we decided to take a day drive down to the hills of South Queensland instead leaving the Outback for a later time. This drive was no disappointment! Beautiful green rolling hills and cliffs, this country side made for a great drive. Near the end of the drive we pulled into a small park where we were able to hike down a trail to a waterfall called Queen Mary Falls. Driving later into the night and into the dark, we lost our ability to enjoy the scenery. However the drive continued to keep us engaged as we wound our way through the curvy mountain roads dodging wallabies, snakes and lizards. It is a side of Australia that we certainly didn’t imagine when we pictured Australian country side, but it is a part that we have loved being able to explore.
This next week we will be spending Christmas in the Gold Coast with Paula and Tracy and their family. We are planning on spending the time relaxing with friends, enjoying the beach, and possibly challenging ourselves with some more serious hikes! But until then Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a happy New Year to you all!