Touring south through Queensland

Trip Start Dec 08, 2006
Trip End Apr 27, 2007

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Queensland - Thursday 1st February - Monday 12th February 2007
Rain storms like you have never seen, we hired a 4WD in Airlie Beach and on the advice of the locals headed south in torrential rain, with roads already flooding, we managed to escape as North Queensland was cut off about 2 hours after we left! We drove to Mackay, which would have been lovely if we could have seen through the streaming rain and bent over palm trees! A place to visit another time. What a lot of driving. The kids keep us entertained with their singing loudly to their own individual iPods!! Most listened to is Jacks "Birthday CD" made by Sol's dad, Ollie, last year.... We all love it! We keep our energy up by eating packets of Jelly Snakes! (Oh and meat pies for Stephen).

In order to run away from the rain we stop in Rosslyn Bay near Yeppoon, yippee the sun has come out and we stay for a few days suffering another selection of stunning beaches and beautiful seafood. The kids love Oysters now!!

Next stop the stunning beaches and bays of Town of 1770 and Agnes Waters - we are in the middle of nowhere and all loving it! These few days consist of an amazing trip to Lady Musgrave Island, a coral island, at the most southernly end of the Barrier Reef. The weather looked good so we thought we would go for it............ Ahhhhh are we going to die?!! The trip was horrific, kids all terrified and all constantly throwing up for 2 hours, Karen and Steve putting on a brave face (only just). Once out in the Lagoon it was amazing, Abi threw away her fears and was snorkeling around after beautiful fish and in search of turtles. We came across a huge turtle laying her eggs on the island..amazing. Steve swam with a Turtle and a Blue Spotted Ray. We had some amazing trips in a glass bottom boat, which was Jack and Imi's preferred way of seeing the reef this time. To cap off the day we had 3 giant Manta Rays swimming alongside the boat as we left.
We stayed in some fabulous beach shacks with stunning views...... can it get much better than this?........ Only a great day body surfing in clear tropical waters!

Our next stop is a luxurious stay with a family friend Keith at his beautiful home on the Sunshine Coast. We explored the coast, visited the Ginger Factory and sought out the "Big Pineapple", which Karen had prepared the family for the enormous size (she last visited it when she was 11)......... Well, comments...Karen: "I'm sure it was bigger"....... Jack: "This is the worse part of the day"........Abi: "Is this it?"..........Imi: "It's not so good really"........Steve: " I'll take your photo Karen and then we can go!" Maybe not the highlight of the trip! Keith did take us around the "Cansurvive Center" that he has been actively involved with after the death of his lovely wife Merle. The center was inspirational and we loved the place and gardens and meeting Eve, lovely. Thank you Keith for having us to stay. We loved the Sunshine Coast.

Then on to the Australian Zoo, a legacy to Steve (Crikey!) Irwin, what an amazing day we had. We love Crocs now!
For an injection of City culture we had a couple of days in Brisbane staying in an amazing Heritage building. Brisbane even has a giant pool and man-made beach running along the cultural center on the South Bank Parklands. We have loved the tropical North of Queensland and are sad to leave, but are looking forward to seeing more of NSW. We are sure to be back one day!

Jack's Blog:
We went on a boat which was really good. I was sea sick! When we got to the Barrier Reef I had to put on a Stinger suit in case Jelly fish would sting us. we put on a Mask and a Snorkel. You have to spit in the mask and put it in the water to rinse. I wore big floppy flippers. I saw some colourful fish and coral. Daddy and I saw a medium big black fish with white stripes around it. On Hamilton Island I held a Koala, it was made out of woolly fur and it was real. I have been doing loads of swimming. I love listening to Horrid Henry goes to work on my iPod. My favorite songs are: "In Da Club" by 50 Cents and Los Locos. I went on another snorkeling trip, on the way it was so rocky I was sick again. We saw Turtles, Jelly Fish, big Manta Rays! I went snorkeling and I saw a big fish. Mummy went on her own and her imagination saw a great white shark and it made her scared! I saw a Sting Ray  and a Turtle in the glass bottom Submarine, it was so cool. A man told me that he had been stung by a Sting Ray. We went to the Australian Zoo, we saw Crocs, Kangaroos, we fed them. It was awesome, awesome, awesome. We also saw Elephants, Tigers and a giant Tortoise.

Imi's Blog:
We went on a glass bottom boat, I saw two big Rays. After that we went on an Island, we saw a big Turtle laying her eggs. Did you know that if you disturb a Turtle laying her eggs, they will never lay eggs again. So if you see a Turtle don,t disturb and just walk by. The first time I went snorkeling it was really good I wasn't scared. I held a real Koala, it felt woolly and it was so nice. I will bring my photo to school. I went to this beach the water was so warm and clear, it was a lovely beach and I learnt to body surf, it was fun and brilliant. My favorite song on my iPod is "Fever" by Kylie Minogue. I fed an Elephant at the Zoo, he put the melon in his trunk and then put it in his mouth. I saw a giant Tortoise and some Tigers which looked beautiful and not viscous. I actually saw real Crocodiles and fed a Kangaroo. I fed a baby pig. I ate Oysters they are yum yum in my tum. I love Australia.

Abi's Blog:
Last week went to the Great Barrier Reef for the second time, it  was so rough me, Imi & Jack were really sea sick but we had a fab time when we got there because we went snorkeling and saw lovely  green turtles and big sting rays. we went for a walk along this reef island and saw a 2 meter turtle laying her eggs under a shady  tree. On the way back we saw 5 meter manta rays! Also this week we  went to the Australian zoo where Steve "Crocodile Man" Irwin lived. It was so fun because we got to feed the elephants and the kangaroos. We also saw a Croc show and stroked a Koala. They had  three beautiful Tigers that had been at the zoo ever since they were 2 weeks old and are now so tame they sit around with the zoo keepers letting them stroke them and play with them as if they were  pussy cats. I loved it because its all about saving the animals. On Hamilton Island I had my picture taken cuddling a Koala called Franklin. In Rosslyn Bay I had Kangaroo and Crocodile to eat. At Harvey Bay we stopped for an ice cream and it ended up with me having my ears pierced!! I am missing everyone loads but have made some new friends and met lots of lovely cousins! My favorite song on my iPod so far is "Dancing in the Moonlight" by Toploader.
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