Into Queensland

The mist swirled up the valley and hung in the trees above where we were camped. The fern canopy and dense green undergrowth was damp and eerie. Had we really just left the sun drenched beaches just a couple of hours ago? As we headed out of Byron Bay the sun was shining and we were thinking we should have stayed an extra day. This feeling was reinforced after we crossed the state border into Queensland and started climbing up the hills into the sub tropical rainforest. Our destination was Lamington National Park set amongst dense rainforest and where we were planning on spending three days hiking. On arrival it was certainly living up to the rain part of rainforest and a hike looked out of the question that afternoon. Still there was a great adventure playground for the kids to play on. The next morning the weather had cleared a bit so we set off on a hike into the rainforest. It was dark in amongst the trees with shafts of light coming through the tree canopy. All along the way there were massive ferns and mosses as well as glimpses into the valley below. We spent two days walking and it was really beautiful in the forest. The weather kept changing, one minute we were enjoying great views and the next the mist came rolling in again. dsc08555 As we stopped for lunch one day to enjoy a view we were joined by an inquisitive skink who seemed to want to share some of our lunch! At the end of the last walk we headed to the nearby cafe to enjoy a well earned Devonshire cream tea. It was time to head to Brisbane as the truck had an appointment at the garage. Some work had been identified when it had had its service done in Sydney but parts had to come from Germany so we were having the work done at the next convenient spot. Fortunately most of the work was been done under warranty. We were lucky as our three year warranty expired in just over a week. The main work been done was replacing the rear hubs where a seal had started to leak. The garage in Brisbane looked after us really well carefully going through everything with me and even giving us a lift to the station to catch the train into Brisbane. As the work was going to take a couple of days we had booked into an apartment in central Brisbane. We loved the apartment, really modern, near the centre and with great views from the 24th floor over the Brisbane river and of the bridge. Brisbane is a modern dynamic city with a lovely setting on the Brisbane river. We could imagine that with the weather it would be a great city to live and work in. It does not have the "big", must see sights, though of say Sydney. Either that or with all our travelling it takes a lot now for us to regard something as "must see". Nevertheless we spent a pleasant couple of days wandering around. The botanical gardens were lovely as was the South Bank where the kids loved the big adventure playground. We also visited the Brisbane Museum. Alisha is now studying the medieval period in school and the museum had an exhibition on the Medieval Ages so she and Gilly headed to that. The exhibition had come all the way from the British Museum so it was strange seeing it in Brisbane. Lucy has become fascinated with dinosaurs and is studying these in school so I took her off to the dinosaur part of the museum. There are lots of great restaurants in Brisbane so we had a couple of good nights out. We must be already thinking of Asia, as we ate Szechuan and Indian food. The garage kindly picked us back up from the station when we left Brisbane and took me through all the work they had done. Everything looked good. Hopefully we are now good for the Outback and even Asia without any more major work needing to be done. We headed out of Brisbane to Noosa. Noosa is a beautiful area set along the river banks leading through a small National Park to a wonderful sandy beach. It is different to Byron Bay in that it has a much more upmarket feel to it with some wonderful houses along the river and beach front and an array of trendy shops and cafes. As we took a stroll Gilly and I could really see why people moved here to live. We were here in summer and it was warm but not too hot and we are told in winter it is sunny and drops to a dreadfully low temperature of about 20 degrees during the day! for thought.   That evening we were met by a couple who had done just that, moved to Noosa. Rhys, a Kiwi and Jane originally from England had been living in Sydney but had moved up to Noosa. They had been following our blog and had got in touch as they are keen travellers themselves and are also planning doing a lot more travelling in a vehicle around the world. We spent a lovely evening with them down by the river, drinking wine as the sun went down. The riverfront was a riot of noise with all the birds coming home to roost. There were thousands of beautiful rainbow lorikeets and then after the sun set the most amazing massive flock of flying foxes (fruit bats) took to the sky. Once it was dark we retired to a lovely Thai restaurant (see the Asian theme is continuing) to continue chatting. It was great to meet a couple with similar interests to ours and we could have talked and talked until late in the evening but the girls were tired from all the swimming they had done in the pool earlier that day so we needed to head back to the truck. Hopefully we will meet them again, perhaps on their travels.

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