Trip Start Oct 29, 2009
Trip End Apr 28, 2010

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Monday, April 26, 2010

G'dday everyone!!
We have arrived on the Gold Coast of Australia!

After a 7.5 hour flight on a very budget airline (very skinny seats, no leg room, and non-reclining seats) we arrived at the Coolangata airport on the Gold Coast on Saturday April 10th.

Wait a minute......?
" Hey I thought we were suppose to arrive at the Brisbane airport;  when we booked our tickets online it said Brisbane;  we have already arranged for a place to stay and for a friend to pick us up in Brisbane;  how can we be arriving at a different airport? What !  Coolangata airport is an hour south of Brisbane!   What should we do now? " 

Well, for some lucky reason our friend Kimberly who was suppose to pick us up on Saturday (in Brisbane) happened to be competing in a race on Sunday morning in Coolangata, and her parents lived there as well. So she drove down Saturday evening, picked us up and we all stayed at her parents house!

Sunday 4-11 to Tuesday

Sunday morning we went to a beautiful Gold Coast beach to watch Kimberly finish her swim race, and then we spent a couple of hours enjoying the beach.  We went body surfing, played in the water and built a sand castle.
That evening we went with Kimberly to her place in Brisbane.
Brisbane was a beautiful and well planned out city, with an abundance of walking areas, botanical gardens, rock climbing walls, and shopping areas.
Matt and I had a great day walking all around the botanical gardens, and along a beautiful walkway on the river.  It was gorgeous and it was raining most of the day!!

While we were standing on Kimberly's balcony something huge flew over our heads... What was that?   A bird, a plane, no.... just a giant bat that flies over the city every night. ( Actually, thousands fly over the city every night)
These bats are the largest bats in the world, with a wingspan of up to 6 feet.  They are commonly known as the Fruit Bats or Flying Foxes !   It was sooo gross, but fascinating.

Tuesday 4-13 to Saturday

We had a very nice time in Brisbane then caught the train to Noosa Heads. Originally we were going to head south from Brisbane, but we decided to head north for a bit because we had some free time before catching a ride down to Sydney.

The train ride to Noosa was a bit eventful because the train conductor told us to get off at the wrong stop to transfer to the bus, so we had to do a bit of bus hopping, but everything ended up working out..
We finally arrived at Noosa Junction and then began emailing couch surfing hosts for a free place to stay… One guy responded to us and told us about Help Exchange and his friend who might be able to house us…
So a bit later he picked us up and took us to Kathy and Steve’s 5 acre lot and nice house about 15 minutes out of town… It was gorgeous. Their property was really nice, they have a pond with ducks and fish, and way in the back, there is a friendly horse and wild Kangaroos! Big ones too!

(Helper Exchange : we do work, gardening, housework..etc in exchange for room and food. It is a great deal for us! Then in the afternoons we would go on an outing and see the area)

Kathy and Steve were super nice and about our parents age and we did yard work for them and washed their car and helped prepare their garden. I was really hoping that I would not get bitten by one of the many deadly/dangerous creatures while digging around in their yard.  Which I have been overly scared of since I set foot in this country.... but Matt doesn't seemed to be bothered at all.

In our free time we explored the beach/national park area of the beautiful and expensive Noosa Heads, and watched the surfers on the gorgeous point breaks.
One day we rode their bikes into Tewantin (a nearby town ) and played some Yahtzee and went to a bakery. The bike ride was on a nice windy road, on the side of a mountain, through the national park.  It was great!

We had a lovely time at their house and on Friday (our last day) they took us for a drive to a lookout area, different beaches and we ran a few errands.
(We really liked doing help exchange and being in one place for a couple of days, especially a beautiful 5 acre place)

We were sad to leave a comfortable, stable, and friendly place. But time to move on to Byron Bay.
We took the train to Brisbane, and then caught a bus to Byron Bay.

That's it for now :)
Byron Bay and more, coming soon :)

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