Gold Coast to Bundy Country

Trip Start Jan 27, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Saturday, February 27, 2010

Our next stop was the Gold Coast where I am sorry to say we did not take even ONE photo! Not one! The weather was complete crap the ENTIRE time and we spent most of our days hanging out with friends at their houses or at the pub, so not much in the way of picturesque landscapes.

We had a great time in spite of the rain, catching up with Miss Awesome, Sarah; long time mates Bevan and Patsy and two people that I haven't seen in close to a decade, Gavin and Ange. It was very cool to have so much time with all these very cool people.

Then it was on to BrisVegas to visit with Dave, a mate up from Melbourne on business. His gorgeous mum and step dad invited us into their home without having ever met us before and we spent a night with good food (too much in typical mum fashion), wonderful company and a few drinks.

But the north was calling us, so after a leisurely breakfast with Gail and Paul, we headed out under the first sunny sky we had seen in weeks to Bundaberg. We stopped at the Ettamooga Pub of course, although it really is just a big tourist trap now, complete with Aussie World theme park. I wanted to stop and get a picture because I reckon it qualifies as one of the "big things" of Australia and needed to go on the list. Seeing we’ve missed the banana and the pineapple, we need to redeem ourselves!

We set up at a beachside camping ground in Bagara Beach, just east of Bundaberg. It was our first time setting up the new kick ass tent we bought while on the Gold Coast. It’s a pretty big tent with a small living area inside as well (we had learned from all the rain that a two man dome tent just isn’t going to cut it for long term camping) and was surprisingly easy to put up. We didn’t get into a fight or anything!

Bundaberg turned out to be a good stop although for totally different reasons than we had originally thought! We came here thinking that diving and bush walking would be the star attractions, but with the weather kicking up loads of silt in the ocean (it was brown) and too much water up in the mountains to make hiking pleasurable, we had to look for alternatives.

These turned out to be plenty of beach time and walking the coastline, doing a night tour of Mon Repos to watch loggerhead turtles hatch and a tour of the Bundaberg Rum Distillery, along with a good laugh at the patrons of the Bargara local pub.

Watching over ninety Reese’s Cup sized turtles escape their nest, tumble down the sand dunes and scuttle down the sand to the water was indeed the highlight. Because the turtles move toward light, those of us in the group with torches were asked to assist in leading them down to the shore and it was an amazing experience to be a part of.

Video turned out to be easier than photos because flash was not allowed except for one photo opportunity to photograph two hatchlings only, because the flashes freak the little guys out (although that did not stop most of the tourists blinding the hell out of all of them when our “lone” ranger was busy or had his back turned) and I have put together a video of what I did manage to capture. One of the cutest bits is towards the end where the turtles enter the sea foam and as they continue towards the sea they look like little foam puffs moving across the wet sand.

It’s also heartbreakingly sweet to watch them get swept back up the beach by the ocean and then battle their way towards the shore again and again.

Not to be overlooked though, the Bundaberg Rum Distillery was freaking awesome! We did a tour that gave us all the history of this king of rums in addition to an insight into the rum making process, followed by drinks at the Bundy Bar! Part of the $15 entry fee included two drinks at Spring Hill House and they offer a few drops there that you can’t buy anywhere else either, so we were pretty happy with that!

So all in all, a good time from the Goldie to Bundy, but it’s time to get down to the business end of this trip- find some work to pay for all this traveling!!
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