Despite the early fire alarm in our hostel in Brisbane, we were up, checked out, and at the coach station in good time for our Greyhound bus. Our next destination was Noosa but we were making a stop off at Australia Zoo (Steve Irwin’s zoo) along the way. It was easy as the Greyhound bus got us to the zoo for 9am and then another coach picked us up late that afternoon so we had a whole day to see all the animals. We took our rucksacks and stored them in lockers at the zoo for the day to save us lugging them about.
Once that was all sorted out I had such a good day visiting the zoo! It was the Easter holidays so it although it was teeming with families with tearaway toddlers, it that meant that we actually got to see a Crocodile show with Teri, Bindi and Robert Irwin where they fed a huuuge croc. The language they used to talk about the crocodiles was really interesting as they kept emphasising how they are mostly misunderstood creatures and that whilst they can be scary it’s all about respecting the animal and understanding their behaviour. Having said that, there’s no way I would have wanted to be in that arena with that crocodile!
Other animals we saw included kangas and koalas (of course!) Below are some snaps and yes, that is a selfie with a kangaroo… The koalas are so sleepy and you’re lucky if you see one blink let alone move from their perch! Whilst at Australia Zoo we also saw lots more koalas, otters, alligators, snakes in the reptile house, birds in the aviary, tigers, giraffes and much more. All in all a fab day.
We collected our bags from the lockers and waited for our bus outside the zoo. Typically it was late, but that didn’t matter too much as it wasn’t a long journey to get to Noosa. When we arrived at the bus stop the driver kindly pointed us in the direction of our hostel, and so we walked through the town’s main street to get there – luckily Nomaads hostel wasn’t too far away. We waited to be checked in, got into our room and headed out to the supermarket for dinner. For some reason my maps app took us a really random way…through a dark park littered with toads… I almost stepped on one several times! After ending up in the car park at the back of the shop thanks to said maps, we were finally in the supermarket looking for dinner. I think we were all in need of a lot of vegetables as we landed on stir-fry as our meal of choice. We got one of those packs of stir-fry veggies, an extra pepper, a jar of sweet and sour sauce and some microwaveable brown rice. It was a meal with all colours of the rainbow – yes, we were those people in the hostel that everyone eating pasta and instant noodles envied, and it was amazing. (We may have also purchased three chocolate easter bunnies on offer for $1 each – no shame here).
For our time in Noosa we hadn’t planned anything in particular apart from knowing that we wanted to see the national park. Unfortunately we ascertained pretty quickly that there was no cheap way (at least, without a car) to see the nearby everglades, and as we couldn’t afford to spare hundreds of dollars, we settled for seeing what was in walking distance. Speaking to the travel advice guy in the hostel, he panicked us with his shock reaction that we hadn’t planned and booked all of our New Zealand Kiwi Experience buses yet. We were confused because we didn’t really know how it worked but didn’t think we had to plan everything exactly in advance – we didn’t know how long we were going to want to stay in each place. As the weather was miserable anyway we decided to find a cafe to camp out at whilst we looked into it and essentially have an admin morning. We found a cute independent cafe on the main shopping street and ordered large coffees to fuel our planning session. I won’t bore you with the details but we looked at maps, timetables and did a lot of internet research.
For lunch we had the sandwiches we had made that morning when we had intended to go out to the national park, but they came in useful nonetheless. When we’d finally had enough of planning we decided to go for a walk to the beach on the other side of town. Although it was still raining on and off, we donned our raincoats and set off on a much-needed walk. The beach itself was really refreshing; not at all sunbathing weather but it’s always enjoyable to be by the sea.
After spending some time at the beach we headed back into town and went to the supermarket for dinner again. The kitchen at the hostel was tiny and so unorganised but we made do, guarding a hob fiercely so nobody else swooped in whilst we drained our pasta!
That evening we headed into town to see Beauty and the Beast at the cinema; this was a great film which I thoroughly enjoyed. I didn’t realise until the very end that Ewan McGregor played Lumiere – for some reason I thought they’d actually picked a French actor haha. We took what was remaining of our chocolate bunnies (*cough* Rhianna *cough*) which although was yummy, it turns out it’s really easy to get chocolate ALL down yourself. And because it was dark there was no way to see you needed to clean it off before the chocolate has melted onto your clothes!
The bus we had booked up to Hervey Bay didn’t leave until the evening so we got up and checked out of the hostel. Leaving our bags in their luggage storage we walked to the other side of town to the main beach. This was a lot busier than the beach we went to the day before and there was a strip of shops and restaurants on Hastings Road alongside the beach. The main beach was packed full of families enjoying the sun with kids running about eating ice-cream. We headed along the beach and followed the trail into the national park – although we didn’t get to see the everglades we at least walked through the national park. As much as we looked we couldn’t see any wild koalas we were told lived in the trees, but the walk along the coast was lovely- you’ve got to love some fresh air and a sea breeze.
Deciding to treat ourselves to a late lunch/early dinner, we made our way back to the restaurants and found a cafe that did ciabatta sandwiches/burgers for $15 with chips. The food was fab and definitely hit the spot.
It was time to get back over to the hostel, collect our bags and walk through town to the bus stop via the ‘liquor store’ to get a goon for our trip to Fraser Island.
It was only a four hour bus to Hervey Bay which isn’t far in Aussie terms, but we found ourselves tired and thinking it was later than it was because the sun went down so early. We had booked into a hostel for the night called Aussie Woolshed, which was a 20 minute walk from the Greyhound drop-off point. However, we didn’t have to walk in the end as a woman doing a pick up for another hostel kindly offered us a lift – result! We arrived at the hostel and found our room, it turns out we’d been upgraded from the 8 bed doorm we booked to a 4 bed seemingly private room; there were no bunks and a telly in the room. I was wrecked so I watched some ‘Would I Lie to You?’ on the TV in my pjs whilst Katie and Rhianna went for a little explore. A great result and a great end to a chilled couple of days.
Thanks for reading folks xoxo