A Travellerspoint blog

Murwillumbah

all seasons in one day 32 °C

Hey Everyone! Sorry for the delay in updating the blog, we've been very busy seeing lots of sights!

So on 16th Nov, we headed south to a place called Murwillumbah, a very green mountainous place, further inland from the coast, to a quiet little hostel overlooking a river. The town was very quaint and old fashioned and quite quiet, pretty off the beaten track, but it was nice to get away from all the tourists for a while. The hostel was pretty dead to begin with, apart from one or 2 backpackers and the manager, Tassie, a little old guy who was very welcoming. The hostel is very 'nature friendly', with lots of information about local wildlife and vegetation. There were rather large wild 'waterdragons' that Tassie always fed and let freely roam inside the hostel, which occassionally gave us a fright when they scarpered past the doorway or came running around a corner towards us. On the first day, we decided to explore the town and all the little shops in the area. That evening, Tassie gave us some free Ice cream and we played board games and cards (there wasnt much nightlife). As the evening drew in and the sun set, we began to notice these weird large beetles start climbing up the windows and hearing them smack into the doors. Apparently, they are called Christmas beetles (only come out at xmas) and if its been a hot day, they all come out apparently.Literally thousands of them were flying around, hitting the window, the doors, lights, crawling through gaps and flying into our faces. By the end of the night, we were battling to keep them out of our dorm room, because they were so bloody noisy!!!

The hostel we were at offered free canoe hire if you stayed for more than 3 nights, so the next day we took advantage, and canoed all the way up the river and through a little creek leading on from the river. It was very beautiful and peaceful, with nothing but the sound of water and various squawking birds/insects/reptiles. And then, just when we were relaxing, cruising down the creek, and taking in the atmosphere, we drifted around a corner, and we almost had a heart attack, there were at about 10 cows standing literally on the edge of the riverbank, just staring at us.......staring...and chewing. God, it was so creepy! Mum, you were right about the evilness of cows!

That night, we had a similar night, free ice cream, board games and fighting off those massie beetles. The next day, we decided it would be a very good idea to climb the largest mountain in Murwillumbah - Mt. Warning, (as you do). Tassie also offered a free lift and 'guided tour' when you stayed 3 nights, so he drove us to the bottom of the mountain and gave us as promised (which was a self recorded guided tour spoken by Tassie on an old tape recorder, bless him!) Well, the climb was, as expected, exhausting. The climb took us 1 hour 40 mins (of nothing but steps!!) and the way down took about the same length of time, but it was worth it for the sense of achievement. Unfortunately, it was extremely foggy that day, so we couldnt see much of anything when we got to the top. However, it was all worth while for the experience, and we were very lucky to see a rare glimpse of a Lyrebird during the climb too.

On our last night, we were pretty exhausted and aching from all our climbing. A couple of German guys had just checked into the hostel, who were the first guests we'd seen in a couple of days. We got chatting to them, and that evening we all played a few games of cards, had more free ice cream, and a few glasses of 'Goon', before checking out the next day. But what a brilliant few days we had! We're so glad we didnt miss this place!!

Posted by Lisieloo04 00:22 Archived in Australia Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

Away in Surfers

sunny 28 °C

Hey hey ppl!,

Were back on the road again after a long stint in Brisbane working for around 3 months. We are now currently in Surfers Paradise untill monday 16th when we head inland to a place called Murwillumba. we got here on wednesday and we booked into a a great hostel which has common room and a kitchen for each dorm room which is awesome. Me and Lisa were instantly sucked into party mode the first night were we met everyone from our dorm and everywhere else! seems our room is the 'party' room, which we can't complain about! There was only one way to fight the possibility of a hangover and that was a beach day. With not a cloud to bother us with golden sand and the cool sea, the evil goon hangovers soon wash away.

Hoping to meet a friend i met at work for a few drinks on the weekend and woody may be coming down to met us for the day again. As i sit here typing this we just got back from a place called infinity, that was pretty awesome. Theres about 20 different rooms which generally have lasers and flashing lights and the walls are all mirrors so it looks like your floating and could walk for miles. We must have looked like idiots on the cctv but it was hilarious, the best room being pitch black except for a few tiny bulbs of light and a water bed/bouncy floor while the played 'welcome to the house of fun' by Madness, that was exhausting!

Other than that we've only just started our travels again so theres not much to update you on though im sure there will be loads in the near future. Me and Lisa are looking forward to every moment of it and can't wait to see whats round the next corner. Hope all is well with everyone back home, until next time.

Take care.

Posted by Ryan2040 23:26 Archived in Australia Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

Living the dream in Brisbane

sunny 30 °C

Howdy folks! Sorry for the delay in updating the blog, basically, we havent done a lot of travelling (other than commuting to Brisbane City) since the last post, so we havent updated.

So what's new? Well, me and Ryan have jobs! Yes, pretty hard to believe, but its true. We were very lucky, both of us put ads on a site called Gumtree, and applied for jobs via their website, and thankfully, we both had results. Ryan currently has a mon-fri job working in a printing factory in the city, printing t-shirts, ironing transfers, and making stubby coolers (little foam beer coolers). Pretty basic stuff compared to what he's used to, but he is enjoying it for the free t-shirts they give away! I'm doing data input in an office, watching cctv footage of traffic for 6 hours a day, clicking buttons to count how many cars pass through traffic lights (rivetting stuff!) My job is more casual employment, so they basically call me when they have work for me, although they have been pretty reliable so far. So weekdays have consisted mainly of working, which has been a nice change, as we've been 'working for the weekend' again. On weekends, we can either chill out here in Tanah Merah, which has a local complex 5 mins away with its own shops, cinema, restaurants and bars, or we can head into the main city about 30km away. You can get a day ticket into the city for around $10 (5 British pounds), hop on a bus or train for 40 mins which will take you into the city, and includes all transport in and around Brisbane, including the ferry (it was nice to be able to catch the ferry back into the city after work!) There's loads to do in the city centre, cinema, theatre (a little out of our price range!), the Brisbane Wheel, Botanic Gardens, or we can chill at the beach (not the actual beach, a manmade thing near the river) as well as a few theme parks, about an hours drive from the city, so i'm sure we wont get bored.

So far we have been to an AFL game (Australian Football League) at the 'Gabba' stadium in the city, and watched the 'Brisbane Lions' thrash the 'Melbourne Kangaroos (I am just in the process of uploading pics). It was a fun day out, the stadium was massive, and AFL is like no other sport I've seen, and seems to play by the rules of 'hot potato'. All the fans are allowed to sit together, and not seperated into teams, because no one out here is as competitive or violent over sports, as with a particular European ball game that will remain anonymous. We're hoping to go to a Rugby League game at the Suncorp stadium soon as well, as they're big on their rugby out here.

We have also been to a house party one weekend, one of Ryan's colleagues birthday's. It was fancy dress, and the theme was Rubix cube, which meant you had to wear different colours of clothing, and at the party you had to entice and persuade others (using any means) to swap different articles of clothing with you until you had all of one colour of clothing and win a prize. There was pass the parcel, wrapped in each sheet was a vodka shot, a sweet, and a fake moustache (?) It was a brilliant party, although there was more drinking than clothes swapping, and by the end of the night, the hosts were downing the champagne 'prizes' themselves. Still, we had a lot of fun, and eventually I ended up crashing out, curled up asleep on a beanbag with their pet labrador, Mr Jungle!

Woody has often invited us along to his 'after work drinks' on a friday evening, which has been pretty cool. Its been nice to get to know his work mates, who are all lovely. On one or 2 occassions, the 'evening drink' has moved on to a club or 2, and on one night, a strip club (very funny night!). One of Woody's mates, a guy called 'Gibb', is in England now as i type, has been since monday, so we enjoyed telling him of the delights he will experience when he visits the Motherland. Hopefully we will see them all a few more times before we leave Brissy, and i'm sure we will stay in touch either way.

...And as football season has not long started (Ryan has been lost for months without it!) there have been a few games to watch. There's a pub in central Brisbane called the Pig and Whistle, which is a massive Gooner pub, and has a late licence to play all the games, incl. the 3pm saturday games, so thats been pretty handy (the early morning commute back on the last night bus at 6am isnt so much).

And if we're chilling in Tanah Merah, there's the cinema or bars to go to at the local complex. One place we have regularly stopped at is a little bar called Fitzys, conveniently placed just outside the complex, at the start of our long walk home, after the last bus has dropped us back from the city. Its pretty cheesy, a very random place, that holds random events and tribute bands like 'The Fleetwood Mac Experience' but still a laugh when the mood is right. Just the other night we stumbled in on a jelly wrestling competition (and before you ask, no I didnt!) but yeah, thats Fitzys!

And if we cant be bothered to hike to the complex, we can head to the local parks, have a picnic, rent a movie out on 'dollar tuesday' from the local video rental, watch the new Australian Pop Idol that's just started, or help Woody bottle up (and then drink) his home brew beer. One evening, probably one of my favourites of all, there was a huge electrical storm which we stood outside the house watching, and afterwards when it cleared, me, Ryan and Woody climbed onto the roof of the house and watched the stars when the sky cleared. It was pretty amazing. The weather is getting hotter, winter is just about over, which means its getting up to the 30's again. Apparently it hits the 40's in summer, i'm not sure how we'll cope!

So, yeah, thats about all so far. All in all, we're still having a fantastic time, the time of our lives. Brisbane is probably the best place we've been to so far as its become like a 2nd home now. We'll be sorry to leave this place. Hope everyone is well back in the UK, missing everyone lots! Thanks for all the comments so far, its fantastic to hear from you all, keep them coming! :D Lots of love xx

Posted by Lisieloo04 22:51 Archived in Australia Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

Arriving at Brisbane and Camping at Girraween

sunny 20 °C
View Ryan and Lisa Down Under on Ryan2040's travel map.

So we arrived in Brisbane at about lunchtime on the Friday, and dumped our bags in some day lockers to wait for Woody. I received a text from Woody saying he was stuck in a lift and didnt know how long he'd be (I was having a mare about my phone because it wont let me text). Eventually, Woody escaped, and found us, and showed us around the city during his lunchbreak Later that evening, after wandering around Brisbane for the day, we met up with Woody at his office and went back to his place, which is in the suburbs of Brisbane, about the same distance from Stevenage to London. Its so nice of them to put us up for a while. It was great to catch up with them both, and so nice to have a hot bath rather than a cold shower for a change!! Tanya is a really good cook too. In the day, we took a wander to the local 'Hyperdome' which has a mall and cinema, and went to see Transformers 2. Its about a 40 minute walk to the Hyperdome, but thats nothing compared to the walking we've been doing!!! There's a film rental place that has '1 dollar rentals' on a tuesday too. In the day we have a lazy one, or wander to the shops, or we can catch the bus into central Brisbane to see the sights for $5 and in the evenings, we stay in and watch a film or 2. Its not been quite as flamboyant as the experiences we've had so far, but its a great way of saving money!!

The following weekend, Woody and Tanya took us to Girraween camping for the weekend, which was an amazing experience. Girraween national park is about a 3 hour drive away from Brisbane, further inland, and a lot colder than Brisbane. We climbed a few small mountains, Castle Rock, The Pyramid, Mt Norman and Bald Rock (the 2nd biggest monolith in the southern hemisphere or something!) and they were very very steep granite, so it was quite a challenge, not for the faint hearted. But it was amazing when we got to the very top, the views were stunning. On the first day we did the pyramid, which was about 5k, and the 2nd day we did Castle Rock, Mt Norman, and a couple of other walks, which were more challanging as you had a lot of rock climbing to do. We walked about 15k on that day. It was exhausting, but so great when you got to the top, as all the mountains were in a circle, so you could see each mountain you had climbed from the top of another. We wandered to this natural creek called the junction at the end of our 15k walk, and had a paddle in the water, which was freezing but nice after all that walking! Back at camp, when the sun went down, and you turned off all the lights and laid down, you could see so many stars, even the milky way and shooting stars as well. And if you really concentrated, you could sometimes pick out a man made satelite moving in the stars (or ufo, who knows!!) It was stunning, really! Back at camp when we were cooking, sometimes you'd hear something run past your campsite, or you'd see a flash of grey go up a tree, or a weird chattering noise in the dark (like something from a horror film, eerie!) They were possums, really tame, because they are so used to being fed by campers. They were really quite sweet, one of them broke into our rubbish bin and started eating some left over cooked spaghetti. It was fun telling jokes over the campfire and roasting marshmallows (i've never done that before). Tanya and Woody had all the camping equipment as well, which was really cool. At night you'd here all sorts of growling and grunting sounds next to your tent. It was spooky, but funny. And at dawn, you'd hear so many wild and exotic birds waking up (some of them sound more like monkeys or car alarms than birds) One morning i even heard a few loud gunshots, and it wasnt until we went to a notice board area later that day, that we realised there are Lyrebirds in the forest as well (the rare birds on David Attenborough that can mimic 100's of different sounds in the forest). Unfortunately we didnt get to see any though. On our last day, Tanya was cooking up some bacon for us, and about 5 kookaburra's flew in and perched on the nearby trees. We knew what they were up to, as days earlier one had swooped down and nearly stole Woody's sausage (no joke). So we kept a watchful eye on them, covered the bacon up and everything, so they wouldnt make a move. It wasnt until after we were eating and chatting, when we got a little complacent thinking they wouldnt have the courage to swoop in when we were in a group, that one hovered straight down onto the table at its leisure and grabbed a massive bit of bacon, all 4 of us screaming like girls as this massive bird hovered over us choosing its bit of bacon lol. They are so intelligent, they know to wait until we forget about them before they strike! So remember to watch out for kookaburras if your camping in the bush. On the last day before we left, we climbed up Bald Rock (as you do) before heading home to Brisbane. It was a brilliant weekend!!

Posted by Ryan2040 17:03 Archived in Australia Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Noosa

A random couple of days

sunny 25 °C

Getting on the bus at Rainbow beach to head to Noosa, we bumped into one of our friends we'd met at Mission beach, Cat, who was staying in Noosa and in the same hostel as us. After checking in, all 3 of us decided to explore the area, and we found another botanic garden/nature reserve to wander through. Later that evening, we went down to the bar area and received our free welcome drink and introduction from the hostel and signed up to a pool competition that was going on that night (not that we won anything but it was fun)

The next day, we decided to go to Australia zoo (the zoo founded by Steve Irwin and his family). There was a lot to see, plenty of crocs, and we got to feed the elephants, which was quite an experience. We went to the 11am crocodile show, which was hosted by Steve Irwin's wife Terri, and their kids, and the daughter, who can't have been older than 11, fed this massive 20 stone crocodile bits of meat inches away from it. Very random, but a good show. Steve Irwin used to do that show, so it would have been amazing to have seen him there if he were alive. It was a very nice zoo, probably one of the best i've been to. We got to feed the Kangaroo's as well, which was cool.

That evening, we were pretty knackered so we all chilled at the hostel and played some cards. After a couple of hours, a guy called Paolo/Pablo, (cant remember his name for definite) asked us if he could join. He was this Italian American guy from New York, who knew a lot of card games and tricks. We got on really well with him. We chatted and played cards, and when the hostel bar area closed at 11.30, he invited us back to his hotel room across the street for drinks. Apparently he'd paid $500 for his room, as he arrived at Noosa late in the day and all the hostels were booked, and it was the only place he could find. So we decided to go for it. Next thing, we're in this massive hotel room, with its own living are and kitchen. Paolo/Pablo realised there was no minibar in the hotel room, so decided he was going to take a wander to go and find something. We didnt hold out any hope as Bottle shops close around 9pm here. About 40 minutes later, somewhere near 1am, Paolo/Pablo wanders in to the hotel room, with a massive white sack, full of shorts, beers, mini wine and champagne bottles. It turned out, in his search for alcohol, he had asked a receptionist how he could get more booze, and she had said the only way was to buy a 2nd hotel room with a minibar. The guy must have been loaded. So we stayed up till the small hours drinking and chatting. When we were thinking of heading off (about 3am?) he offered us to stay in the 2nd room he had booked, saying it would be a complete waste of time and money otherwise, and to just go for it. We weighed it up, and decided to take him up on the offer, as there were 3 of us together and we had the only key, so me, Ryan and Cat headed over to our 4 star room for the night. The room was huge, had its own living area and dining space. The bed was big enough for all 3 of us (and Ryan in the middle of 2 girls made him very happy lol!) In the morning, we were delievered a newspaper to the room and everything, very posh! The next day, we went over to Paolo/Pablo's room and thanked him, and headed off. We were due to meet up with him again before we left and buy him a few beers to say thanks, but unfortunately he had to cancel and we didnt see him again.

We all had surf lessons booked up for that day, which was a great way to end our RANDOM time at Noosa. Ryan was really good at it, little surfer dude he is, but i think i only stood up on the board for about 3 seconds before nose diving each time! Cat was pretty good at it too, by the end of it, i was the only one in the group who couldn't stand up, oh well :) That evening we played scrabble and went to bed very early lol. Next stop, Brisbane!

Posted by Lisieloo04 12:55 Archived in Australia Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

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