Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Australia East Coast - Noosa, Tin Can Bay & Rainbow Beach

2nd Week in the Campervan

We left Flat Rock Tent Park on Friday 14th January and drove around 2.5hours north, from Byron, past Brisbane and upto Noosa which sits at the far north of the 'Sunshine Coast'. 

Noosa is dominated with enviable apartments and houses that overlook the beach, it also has a lot of river inlets from the sea where another large number of 'posh' houses sit, with their yaghts at the bottom of their gardens! Green with envy!!

Noosa has a huge amount of beautiful restaurants, cafes and boutique clothing shops - it's the typical Australian Celeb holiday destination.  Obviously we did NO shopping or eating out, but we still loved the area and the window shopping.

Noosa has also been hugely famous for surfing, since some of the first surfers of Australia came to this area in the 60's to ride the fierce waves off the rocky headland of the National Park.  We really wanted to do some surf lessons here, but we decided to keep our cash for activies we'd prefer to do in New Zealand.


some 60's surf fashion... back when Oz was still in British Pounds too!


Main Beach

Noosa National Park sits to the right of 'Main Beach' and we had a great sunset walk around it.  We spotted Koala's, a Goanna lizard and walked through the 'Tea Tree' forest whilst spotting the surfers off the rocks.  There's also meant to be a nudist beach around the top of the National Park, but we didn't make it that far....

there's a Koala up there somewhere....

A Goanna

In Noosa we stayed in Tewantin at our favourite campsite of our trip.  The 'Noosa Caravan Park' had a wicked camp kitchen that was all opened up, a massive fridge, 2 BBQ hobs (which we used for BBQ dinners quite a few times), hot water on tap, a microwave and a TV (for Mart to watch the cricket on, of course!), it also had a swimming pool, so we were in there every morning, before we ate our cereal in the camp kitchen whilst watching the news - was a great place to stay.  The only downside was the bl**dy Cane Toads, this campsite became infested with them! Come 8pm, there were around 20 outside our campervan door, I had to shine a torch on the floor if I was off for a wee in the middle of the night as I didn't want to squish any of them with my feet...blurgh.

cornflakes and a crossword, what a combo

Gympie Terrace is a long stretch of river in Noosaville, which is about 2 miles from the centre of Noosa.  It's mainly a residential area and has a lovely walkway right along the shore, where you spot families having BBQ's, couples sitting under trees with wine, people jogging along with their dogs, Dad's fishing with their sons, people paddle boarding or kayaking and gorgeous house boats.  We took a couple of walks along the Terrace whilst we were staying in Tewantin, totally not touristy at all, and loads more relaxed than the posh shops in the centre of Noosa, we loved it here.

yes, they have dog washes at their garages! 

Aswell as spending tons of time on Main Beach, we also found another beach nearby called 'Sunshine Beach' it was beautfiul and very nearly deserted - I really really loved this beach.

On our last day in Noosa, we spent the day on Sunshine beach and that night decided to drive to Tin Can Bay and stay in a rest area, so that we could give ourselves a night off paying campsite fees (which are usually around $35 / 23pounds) so we knew after spending the day on the beach we would be able to have a shower at a campsite that night, so we took our towels, shampoo, conditioner and body wash to the shower by the beach (the ones the surfers use after they've been out) and had a proper little shower looking over the ocean - was so nice, we did this quite a few times during our trip and I loved it - I think I could get used to beach living.

So that night we picked up pizzas from Domino's for our dinner (they do 2 large pizzas for $12 / 8 pounds on a Tuesday, what a bargain!) and rocked up to this rest area near a town called Gympie to stay the night before heading to Tin Can Bay in the morning. This rest area definitely had a feeling of 'Wolf Creek' about it, it was just a patch of grass, there were no lights on at all, the toilets were locked up and there was a whole family camped out with their van/tents and washing hanging off the looked like they'd moved in there about 15 years ago! Anyway, we ate our pizzas, locked the doors, put Star Wars on our DVD player, went to sleep and luckily woke up safe and sound the next day!

We woke up around 6.30am to a gorgeous sunny morning, you can totally understand why most Australians are early risers, who wouldn't love to get up to blue skies each morning, have breakfast in the garden or go for a run on the beach?!  We then drove an hour towards the coast and arrived at 'Tin Can Bay' at 7.30am, at 8am we were upto our knees in water and feeding Dolphins!! The Tin Can Bay Dolphins are very famous for coming in each morning for a feed and for the past 20 years public have been invited to help with their feed.  It was a brilliant morning :-)

We had a quick coffee by the bay and then drove 30 miles to 'Rainbow Beach'.  We found a brilliant campsite online and checked in to our spot, which was facing the ocean, was gorgeous! The facilities at this campsite weren't as great, but it had a brilliant swimming pool, 4 mins walk to the high street and 8 mins walk down to the beach.

We had a little wander down the high street, bought a couple of body boards and spent the rest of the day on the beach catching the waves :-)  After we'd finished in the sea with our boards, we spotted the police and an AA truck further down the beach.  Turns out that you can bring 4 Wheel Drives down onto the sand and the afternoon before, 2 women had been driving along the shore line and hit a rock and got stuck in the sand, the tide came in quickly and the AA couldn't pull the 4x4 out that night, so had to leave it.  Overnight the tide came up and over the jeep and turned it over on its side! When we spotted it it was being dragged up the beach by the AA, but they couldn't tow it out, they just had to drag it on its side and it was a write off! Oh dear!

That night we had a gorgeous mushroom rissotto that Mart made on our little camp stove outside :-) 

The next day we spent by the pool on the campsite, reading our books, practising our diving, writing postcards - chilling out pretty much.

We realised that we were a bit beached out and were starting to get a little bit bored doing nothing for the past 2 weeks other than laying on the beach reading our books (our van was covered in sand! we had to have a daily sand clear out!!). So we'd been reading a lot about Fraser Island in our guide book and heard so many good reports from our friends on their trips to Fraser that we decided that we should definitely splash out and book a trip over there.  We were really low on cash so instead of doing a 2 or a 3 day trip we decided to do just a 1 day trip - not ideal but money restricted us a bit.

The night before we set off, the lady we booked our Fraser trip through found us in our campsite, she had a message for us - it was good news... noone else was taking the 1 day trip the following day so the organisers were upgrading us to a 1 night, 2 day trip, FREE of charge!! Yipeee! We were so happy.  

Another stroke of luck, that same day, I lost my wedding ring, (it was only the fake one that I bought in Thailand, but still I'd made it this far and not lost it) and a little 10 year old boy had found the ring on the beach and handed it in to the caravan park! I was over the moon, bless him!

So that night we made chicken kebabs on our little camp stove with some salad and then packed our little rucksacks ready to head over to Fraser the next morning.

Ems & Mart

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