We made it back safe and sound from Queensland. It was wet season and flooding followed us but never impeded our way. Some heavy rains were no fun to drive thru but the lightning was cool and did a great job of illuminating the very dark surrounds.
We had a fantastic time and did SO much. We flew to Brisbane on New Years Eve, our flight was delayed an hour and our hostel was on the south side so getting to the gay pub was not only unlikley but our desire to go anywhere was minimal. We still managed to watch the fireworks from the hostel balcony. The poor weather had fireworks cancelled in the Gold Coast just south of us.
On Jan 2 we picked up our Wicked Camper and started our trek to Port Douglas. In Bundaberg we toured the Rum distillery (i can still smell the molasses vat!) and the Ginger Beer brewery. Mon Repos Turtle Rookery was in the middle of egg laying season so we got to watch a turtle build a nest and lay over a hundred ping pong sized eggs.
In Townsville the Aquarium, Reef HQ captured our fascination, sharks, turtles, starfish, sea snakes, maori wrasse, baramundi… Learned a fair bit about the reef and what to expect, there was a climate change educational display and a section about how different generations regarded the reef and didn’t realize they were depleting the fish stocks. It was really well done.
Most of the way up the coast the threat of box jellyfish prevented any swimming, even the ‘stinger nets’ we saw were closed cuz people were still getting stung!
We crossed the tropic of Capricorn into the humid tropics and rainforest. A cave system we visited had a cool light display from a particular hole that allowed sunlight in around noon at the time of year we were there, not as spectacular as Bucchan Caves but pretty cool.
More about the rainforest in the next installment.