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Friday 4 Jul 2003
Sunshine Coast, Australia

Crikey!

Phew! A lots happened over the past few days and I havent had a chance to update the site...

2 days ago I had one more quick tour of Brisbane in the morning but, again, there wasnt really much on offer so I quickly decided to continue on my journey northward...

The plan was to head to Noosa, a place thats supposed to feature some amazing surf in blue-green waters according to the folks at Black Dogs in Byron Bay. About 2 hours into my trip on the Bruce Highway out of town I came across a massive billboard with Steve Irwin (the "Crocodile Hunter" .. "as seen on TV" (tm)) wrestling another hapless croc while advertising his zoo "Australia Zoo"... "hell why not" I thought and turned off...

What fortunate luck, I turned off into a beautiful location called the "Glasshouse Mountains", featuring the most striking mountain formations Ive seen so far. They are lava-based and essentially look like gigantic gobs of stone on the relatively flat land around them.

I arrived too late to get into Oz Zoo since it was 3pm and Id really need to make a day of it to warrant the 19 dollars "student" (cough) price I was going to pay. So I decided to take it easy and checked into a nearby van park for 13 dollars. That night I lay back under the "moon roof" in my van listening to some crazy tunes on my mp3 player and was treated to a fantastic show of shooting stars against the crisp clear moon-less sky!

The following day (i.e. yesterday) I got up early and headed off to the zoo. The Oz Zoo turned out to be a very well put-together place with a lot of "hands-on live exhibits" like the koalas you can carry (they are the softest things you can imagine!) and the kangaroos/emus you can feed (surprisingly tame all of them!), not to mention the croc shows (although theyre not quite so "hands-on"). Add to that the snakes, lizards, Tasmanian devils, camels, eagles, etc, etc and its really an excellent experience. I was MOST pleased with FINALLY getting to see a kangaroo... been here for more than a month and still no kangaroos in the wild (or even dead on the road)!?! Whats up lads?!?

This morning I headed off early to take in a quick mountain climb before heading north again... I decided to take one that was supposed to last 2 hours but I guess that was a safe estimate since I got to the peek in 15 mins! The views from up here, though, were fantastic and I got my fair share of photos (my camera has 69 shots in it, and its only 15% full! Nice!).

Soon I was off on the road again and a few minutes into my run I noticed out of the corner of my eye a little creepy-crawly something in the back window trying to hold on as the van speeded on. On closer inspection I could see it was another MASSIVE spider (well massive to me at least it was about 12 cm toe-to-toe) that had adopted my van as its new home having dropped on from the mountain parking area methinks. Thankfully it was on the OUTSIDE of the window - for a second I thought it was on the inside and it was moving FAST - cuz otherwise my irrational arachnophobia would have kicked in and the van would have skidded to a halt on the highway! It disappeared off to the left and I pray that it got blown off since I dont want to face having to squish that cherry-sized abdomen... yeeeck.

Of course I say its "another" spider because Id already encountered one of these while camping in Byron Bay, and a Huntsman spider had decided to use my window frame as shelter from the storms... luckily I had seen it before I decided to open my window, but that one was a lot smaller than the one I saw today.

Later today I arrived into Noosa. Damn this place is nice, but double-damn it is also expensive! 25 dollars seems to be the going rate to spend a night here! Luckily Ive got a VERY handy arrangement with a camp site just out of town: they will let me stay in the visitor carpark while still letting me use the facilities all for only 14 dollars. I reckon Im paying the cheapest rate of any visitor to Noosa so Im well chuffed!

Noosa is understandably pricey because, wow, this place is gorgeous. The blue-green sea gently rolls into the (albeit crowded) white-sandy beach while only 15 minutes walk away lie some uninhabited sandy coves with good surf. I reckon I might try my hand at a bit more surfing while Im here... we have point-breaks that stretch out for 500 metres so the waves can carry you for a minute if youre good... but itll give me a good chance to stand on the board for more than 3 seconds!!

Near to the beach is a small 10 km-across rainforest with, among other things, black macaws that are unique to the forest. Theyre noisy buggers too... a mother regurgitating food for its chick sounded like a chugging lawnmower.. but awww theyre cute. And theyre wild. Talking of which, I also saw a wedge-tailed eagle in the wild this morning while out for the mountain walk in the Glasshouse Mountains.

At the end of the rainforest lies ANOTHER beach, longer than the first but with only about 5 people on it and the most fantastic waves: well if you work hard and walk the distance through the forest its GOTTA pay off doesnt it?

Ill do a bit of swimming and sunbathing tommorrow I reckon.. I like this area so I might stay here a bit longer... keep reading to find out...

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