I am kicking myself now wondering why I haven’t been to Queensland sooner. It was fabulous.
The beaches were pristine and positively breathtaking, even the little man-made Streets Beach right smack in the city by the beautiful Brisbane river. Gold Coast’s Surfer’s Paradise beach was located at the end of a strip of shopping malls and eateries. Of course, we had a nice lay-down on the beach after a crazed shopping spree. Clothes for under ten dollars! Need I say why I love this place?
The street markets, designer markets, food markets were a hit. Being a compulsive shopper and favouring the unique, local markets were just what the doctor asked for. Jewelry, clothes, shoes, food, mug coasters, Beatle’s posters, pin-ups, soaps. You name it, these markets will have it. Going local would be the easiest way to soak up some of the local charm and get the best deals.
And then there was the Australia Zoo at Sunshine Coast. A certain famous face could be found in every nook and cranny around the zoo. It brought me great sadness to remember that Steve Irwin has passed five years ago. Gone was the ubiquitous ‘Crikey!’ on the Crocodile Hunter shows. My first exposure to Australia could be credited to this man and I remember wondering about the very interesting Aussie accent. We covered 400 acres of zoo in under five hours, all the while jumping at every rustle (or non-rustle) of bush for fear of crossing paths with the one too many water dragons running wild around the place. Seeing the crocs and zebras and cheetahs brought me back to my childhood. Good times they were.
We managed to hit Byron Bay at the end of the trip and boy were we glad we did. The place just oozes hippie. Tie dyes and peace signs, combi vans and travelling musicians, dreadlocks with feathers and unshaven underarms, I half expected to see people parading crack and smoking pot. I loved that the entire place was so chilled and laid-back while verging on the edge of kooky and kitsch. I was utterly charmed.
Of course there was food but food shall come soon. It was a great trip and I would revisit in a heartbeat if given a chance. But until then, there are more places to see and things to do.