Today we headed off on a long journey, as we needed to be in Noosa in two days. We drove 5 hours (with stops of course) and made it into Gladstone by around 4:00pm. We found the shops and stocked up on a few supplies and made our way to the Gladstone city caravan park. The guy at the park did not charge us for the kids, which was very kind of him, so it only cost us $32 for the night. Cheers Gladstone City caravan Park! A highlight for the kids during this journey was playing the caravan waving game. Naomi and Emma drew up a tally board… non-wavers versus wavers and each time an oncoming van came towards us Matt would wave. If we got a wave back there were big cheers all round and a point to the Wavers, no wave and that resulted in a non-wave point. Definitely a great game to pass the time. By the end of our journey the wavers just beat the Non-wavers by 1. Friendly bunch those caravaners!!
Today we were heading to Hervey Bay via Bundaberg really just to visit the Bundaberg Barrel. Both of us really like Bundaberg Ginger beer and thought it would be cool to see where it was made. And we were not disappointed. At the Barrel we were all given a self-guided walkey-talkey (just like the Daintree discovery centre), which the girls thought was great. We went through 5 different rooms, which told you all about the history of ginger beer and how it was made. The end was the highlight for all of us. We got to taste all 16 of there products. The girls were pleased as punch and enjoyed tasting each of them. The lady pouring us all the drinks was fantastic with the kids and really engaged with them, telling them all about the drinks and what flavors you would taste. For example Emma will now tell you that the Apple Cider smells like red apples but tastes like green apples and Naomi will tell you that the Pineapple/coconut drink tastes likes pineapple but when it goes down your throat you will taste the coconut. Felicity was pumped to hear that you can cook your corned beef in the slow cooker using a bottle of Ginger beer, plus baking cupcakes with the Bundaberg passion fruit drink, she is very keen to try both. Needless to say that the girls enjoyed coming away with their favorite drink each. We spent just one night at Hervey Bay. Didn’t really see much, but that’s ok.
We left Hervey Bay around 9:30am and headed straight to Rainbow Beach. Matt remembers coming here when he was 12 with his family and seeing little jars being sold with the different coloured sand in them. The view from the beach was beautiful. The cliffs really do look like different colours. Not rainbow colours like you think, more different shades of brown, yellow, orange and white. We had lunch in the surf club overlooking the beach, which was lovely. Matt enjoyed watching bait schools get attacked by dive-bombing birds and being smashed by some bigger fish schools. After lunch we headed to a place called Carlo’s Blow out. From a carpark we walked about 10 mins to get to this place, which was a giant sand dune in the middle of scrubland. Whilst walking there some people were walking back with Body Boards under their arms. Naomi was disappointed that she didn’t have one to slide down the sand dunes too, but the girls made up for it by running down the dunes instead. We walked right down to the edge of this dune which looked out over the ocean. The girls loved playing in the two toned sand. White on top, but if you run and jump into it comes up brown. Very soft sand too. We were exhausted when we got back up the top of the dune (the girls not so much). No need for a gym workout today…
From here we drove about 1 and a half hours into Noosa, where the girls were excited as we were seeing Nanny & Papa (Jude & Grey) for the first time since we left. We arrived at the Big 4 Park, set up our van and set off for dinner at the Keys Resort where Jude and Grey were staying. As well as seeing Nanny & Papa we were all very happy to see our friends Ron and Julie Hogg arrive too. We are blessed to have them spend the week with us at Noosa too.
First up on our week in Noosa (with much enthusiasm from the boys) was a trip to the Eumundi Markets. These markets are huge and are only run on Saturdays and Wednesday’s. The car parking was crazy. So many cars! First point of call coffee, then really it was just stall after stall of different craft, jewelry, clothing, handbags etc. The girls each did a spin painting which look awesome and nanny bought them each a gift.
Today we spent the day touring around the Sunshine Coast, checking out the sights of Coolum Beach, Mooloolaba, and Caloundra and on the way home we went to the Big Pineapple.
We enjoyed trying to find where we stayed on our honeymoon in Caloundra (we found it), trying our luck with the metal detector at Coolum and Dicky Beach (not so much to find except a rusty nail and a lead sinker really) and sadly the Big Pineapple was really derelict. No longer the tourist attraction it used to be. The girls really gave Papa Grey stick about his parking skills here too…just check out the photo!! We were the only ones in the gigantic car park too!!
Today we spent the day around Noosa. We had brunch at the caravan park camp kitchen while the girls used the metal detector around the jumping pillow. They actually found $3.20 (and a US quarter)! They were stoked. Flic loved being able to have a coffee and cake with Julie by the Noosa River without the girls in the afternoon. For dinner Jude and Grey watched girls while we headed out to tea at Maries’ restaurant with Ron and Julie. It was an awesome dinner too. Beautifully cooked steak, and fish.
Matt, Flic and Ron headed out on at Fishing Charter at 6am. We were meant to head out last Sunday, but the weather was bad so they changed it to the Tuesday. We bashed our way out for 2 1/2hrs to get to Double Island Point. Flic found it really rough! To get to the fish we needed to put the line down 57m…that was a long way. We all caught fish which was good, no big reef ones but we all enjoyed catching some big Spanish Mackeral which came by. We fished for 5 hrs, then had to bash our way back 2 1/5 hrs back which was really rough again. Matt’s back really took a hammering because of this… If it wasn’t for the mackerel we caught it probably wouldn’t of been worth heading out. The girls enjoyed their day with Nanny, Papa and Julie heading to Noosa National Park doing heaps of walks, spending time on the beach and watching the surfers doing hang 5 & 10.
This was a day the girls were really looking forward too. We headed off early with Julie and Ron to get to Beerwah to visit Australia Zoo. What an excellent day we had. There was so much to see and do. It really was a large zoo to make your way around. There were a few shows that we went to see. The ones we saw were the Giant Tortoise, feeding of the otters and the Birds of Prey show. Our favourtie show was a 12pm in the main Crocosseum. Here we saw Macaws flying over our heads along with a Wedge tail eagle, Rainbow Lorikeets doing circles, galahs, Black tailed Cockatoos and even a giant Condor. Also in the show were snakes, a dingo and of course a crocodile called Munga, which Steve Irwin had caught and brought to the zoo. There was of course so much Steve Irwin memorabilia. There were walls and walls of photos, newspaper articles and lots of artifacts that made up a museum. Lucy was pumped to see a crocodile called Lucy. The girls all held a blue tongue lizard, patted a Koala and Naomi just wanted to be in every show and be one of the zookeepers. She wants to work at Australia Zoo one day. Sadly no sighting of Bindi Irwin…the girls were so keen to see her. We were at the zoo right till the end. We were one of the last families to leave.
Pack up day for us…in the rain!! What! Our first real rain for our trip. Matt had to put on his rain jacket, the girls needed to stay in the car while we hooked up the van and Flic ran around with an umbrella clipping down the pop top and making sure the lights on the van all worked. Matt’s shorts were saturated, we were saturated!! This morning we were driving to Samford Valley to meet our friends Beck & Bevan Ward. We arrived at their place around 12:30pm and enjoyed catching up with them and seeing their place. The girls loved having a pizza each for their lunch and being able to watch a movie while doing so. I was impressed actually, Naomi and Emma nearly polished off their whole pizza!!! We left their place at 3pm and it took us 2 hrs to get to the Gold coast where we were staying for a couple of nights!!! Our GPS took us nearly into Brisbane then back out onto the Motorway. Flic was thankful that Matt was driving the van on the motorway. It was so so slow and wet. We were glad when we arrived at our caravan park that’s for sure!
Ok girls let’s go to DREAMWORLD!!! That’s where we are headed today. Matt wasn’t feeling the best today (since our charter his back was no so happy) so he put on a brave face and downed some pain relief to get him through the day. Flic was very proud as he did a great job walking and being excited for this day. We headed to wiggles world first so Lucy could do the ride she wanted to do all day. The teacup ride! Her face said it all… she loved it. It took a while for Naomi to do a ride with Mum and dad, as she was a little tentative to do anything, but eventually warmed up and did a few of the big trill rides like the Claw, the Wipeout, the Giant drop and the Motocoaster!! Even Lucy and Emma did the Motocoaster. They got to sit in sidecars next to our motorbikes. We were a bit concerned that it might have been a bit too fast for Lulu, but she LOVED it and grinned from ear to ear after it had finished. A highlight for Lucy was meeting Wags the Dog. I have never seen her quite like it. She gave him the biggest hug. The photo will prove just how much! Matt and Flic decided that that we showing our age a bit as we didn’t go on all the rides and weren’t really that fazed. We did do the tower of terror and the Giant drop, which is still one of our favourite rides that’s for sure. It was nice that we didn’t have to line up for any of the rides, as there were really not many people there at all. Its been great travelling in the off peak season. Once again we were there right till the park closed. The girls really enjoyed their day.
This morning Matt was due to take Naomi out on a fishing charter from Brisbane. When he woke up he really was in no state to take her as his back was not good. After such a big day yesterday (and also the days prior) he decided it would be not wise to head out. He needed to rest and hadn’t been able too. So instead we could pack up at our leisure and drive a 1 and a half hours to our next destination Byron Bay. It is here that we get to stay in a house on the beachfront for two weeks, thanks to our dear friend Gaynor Johnson. This part of the holiday has come at a good time for Matt. A good time for resting and also it is great to have Jude and Grey here too. The girls are enjoying being with their Nanny and Papa 24/7!