So, I accidentally posted the Fraser Island post before this one – oops! I’m sure you’ll figure it out.
If you remember from my post on Newcastle, Coffs Harbour & Byron Bay, I mentioned we were heading north to try and find the sun. Well, we failed. We arrived in Coolangatta and it was absolutely pissing it down. We parked up the to YHA because it was only $5 to use their facilities. We ended up just having to sit in Fran that evening – come to Australia they said, it’s sunny all the time, they said.
The next day it was STILL raining, we actually had no idea what to do in the rain in a beach town so decided we might as well go for a walk. First we went to Burleight National Park which had a short walk through the forest, obviously, the one we wanted to do along the coast was shut because of rocks falling! Could we be any more unlucky?? The answer to this is obviously yes.
We then drove up to Lamington National Park which has this really cool treetop walk you can do. Christie, unfortunately, took us to completely the wrong place in the National park and it would have taken us 6 HOURS to walk to this place from where we were! Jesus Christ. We ended up just doing a 6km walk through the rainforest which was pretty cool anyways. We saw loads of these animals that were half rabid, half squirrel? I have absolutely no idea what they were but they were everywhere!
We then drove to Surfers Paradise as it’s supposed to be the Magaluf of Australia and we were up for a party! Obviously, it was raining when we arrived (i’m starting to see a pattern here!) But we were set on the idea of going out. So, we got all dolled up and drank some goon and then realised it was the middle of the week and everywhere was shut or empty. We even drove around to all the so-called ‘party hostels’ in the area and they were all dead.
We ended up driving back to the carpark outside the YHA and drinking goon, in the rain, using Fran’s boot as a shelter. The woman in the bottle-o even took pity on us, saying we could go up and sit in the surf club if we wanted. We then decided it was probably time to give up and cut our losses.
Just when we thought we couldn’t get any more tragic, we were abruptly woken at 5am by knocking on the window – we were getting moved on… like actual gipsies!! Christie thankfully got out of bed and moved the van to another car park. We really had hit rock bottom.
The next morning we all woke up feeling pretty crappy, it was quite cold and even though we tried so hard to lie on the beach I just couldn’t, it was FREEZING! Christie and I then paid $6 to get into this health club so that we could lie by their pool (it was sheltered from the wind) and use their hot showers – why are we so homeless!?
After that shocker of a day we decided to drive to Brisbane that night, we needed to get to get back to a city ASAP!
We didn’t have high hopes for Brisbane but we actually loved it. It’s a beautiful city set on two sides of a river, very like London in that respect. When we arrived it was late in the evening and we parked on the street again. Thankfully we weren’t moved on in the middle of the night (we did get a leaflet left on the car about Brisbane camping laws though so we had to move her the next night). We parked closed to the Brisbane Backpackers Resort who let us use their facilities for free which we thought was bit weird but obviously went along with it! We had a couple beers in the hostel but nothing to write home about.
The next day we finally had a really hot and sunny day! Typical us though, we got to the man-made beach in Southbank (Streets Beach) and it’s under repair for the next 3 months! Luckily there was a small patch of grass and a pool open so we spent the day tanning there. Then, because we were in such good moods after finally getting some sun and because we actually saved quite a bit of money by sleeping on the streets this far, we went out for a few drinks. We first went to a German beer garden called Munich and they had $5 G&Ts during happy hour so can’t complain! Then we headed to a Mexican and I was dared to drink a whole jug of marg by myself, I obviously accepted. I have no idea how I was still standing but I was and then managed to make it to the club! We went to this horrible student night at the Royal Exchange Hotel – it was the only place open on a Wednesday. Aussies are so much more chilled on the going out front, they really only do it on the weekends. A french guy called Koko who met in the hostel actually drove us to the club which was quite funny. We were playing all our heavy UK music in his car and he was so confused. It was an interesting night with awful music and 18-year-olds dolled up to the 9s but so great at the same time. When we got back I managed to I ordered a pizza to the van! What a time to be alive.
While we were all sleeping off the alcohol we had an unexpected awakening when Rissbrook started driving the van, with all of us asleep in it at 5am! She apparently couldn’t sleep because of the ’noisy’ traffic but we were all sound asleep, so she moved THE WHOLE CAR with us in bed, despite Christie screaming at her. However, her plan backfired when we accidentally moved us next to a bin site. I just had to laugh at the situation because it honestly felt like we were being kidnapped being driven around in a blacked out van against our will. She then moved the car again (to the place we got moved on from on our first night in Brisbane) and then moved it a third and final time to the exact place we began. Can’t say we were all particularly happy with her in the morning when we woke up!
When we did wake up, I was a tiny bit hungover but really should have felt a lot worse than I did! Christie and I sat in a smoothie bar for much of the morning getting some admin done. We then visited the Botanic Gardens after attempting to eat lunch in a park but I got attacked by black ants – my foot stung the whole day.
As the walk back was quite far, we decided to get the Brisbane equivalent of Boris bikes. It said it was only $2 for 24 hours of hire… what we didn’t realise was that it actually took $50 from our account as a deposit! Really praying we get that back. IIn the afternoon we boarded the Red City hopper which is a free ferry up and down the Brisbane river. We were told it was about an hour round trip and that it was a good way to see the city. It was nice for about 15 minutes until we realised we were FREEZING and the whole thing took an hour and a half. By the time we got back, we were so so cold and starving!
By the time we got back to the hostel all we wanted to do was eat and watch a movie. Our plans were interrupted when the receptionist ended up shouting at Christie because apparently we weren’t allowed to use their facilities for free – I’m sorry but it wasn’t our fault we were told the wrong thing or that the other receptionist had no idea what she was doing! We ended up having to pay for the first two days but it wasn’t the end of the world. We had to ask a lot of people a lot of favours to get a permanent spot as Fran was too big to fit in their car park apart from the one space on the edge – luckily for us, everyone was so lovely and helpful.
That evening we watched the Lego movie all cuddled up and then slept so well in Fran that night. Riss had flown down to Melbourne to see her mum so there was no one getting up for the loo 3 times a night! The next day we went to the Lone Pine Koala sanctuary and got to hold a Koala! Probably the best day of my life. We managed to get the woman to give us student tickets which saved us a few bucks and only convinced us more to pay the extra $25 to hold the Koala and get a picture! So worth it. We then went up to the Mt. Coo-Tah lookout for 360 panoramic views of Brisbane, a definite must see. In the evening we went out to a techno night at a club called Capulet with a bunch of French guys. It was SUCH a good night – the club had a retractable roof! Centre court each your heart out.
We were all feeling a bit ropey the next morning so literally stayed in Fran all day. I left to go get us dominos for lunch and then we ordered a curry for dinner! We watched 3 movies and were so content.
The following day we picked up Riss from the Airport and then drove on to what ended up being one of our favourite places on the East Coast so far – Noosa.
When we got to Noosa we parked at the YHA which was quite a nice hostel near the centre of town with a camper license. We walked down to the beach which was stunning and then had a few drinks in the hostel bar! Was a nice and chilled day. Koko, Christie’s man from Brisbane, actually ended up coming to Noosa with us – he has great chat so it was nice to have him around (it’s also the most French I’ve spoken since school).
We spent most of our first day in Noosa on the beach tanning which was much overdue! In the evening we went to Betty’s burgers for, well, burgers. We then had a few ciders on the beach and then went to a bar called Village bike for another. We were told that this bar and another one called ‘Little Sister’ would be busy on a Monday night but they were both dead! In the end, we just went back to the hostel and drank some goon outside Fran. We got caught though (oops) and they chucked my goon in the bin! How rude.
The next morning I probably had the biggest stress of my entire life. I’d thought I’d lost my passport. I looked for it everywhere. I cleaned out the whole of Fran, went into the restaurant, reported it to the police etc. etc. It was nowhere. Then I figured out that I couldn’t get into Bali with a temporary passport so was calling all the embassies! While I was in full panic mode (but trying not to show it), we went to the national park. It was actually a really nice day considering the circumstances! We all went for a dip in the natural rock pool called the fairy pools and the walk was nice to clear my head. In the end, my passport was in the bar we were in the previous night. They only opened at 4pm so I had to wait till then to call them! So annoying. Anyways, I was so glad it had been found and I could relax again. To celebrate the finding of the passport we got a pizza from Zachary’s. Maybe one of the best pizza’s I’ve ever had. I got the ‘Posh Chicken’ which consisted of avo, camembert, chicken and cranberry sauce – YUM. We sat on the beach with pizzas and beers and watched the sunset.
Following that stress I never wanted to take my passport out anywhere again, luckily my driver’s license had finally arrived at Christie’s friends’ house in Brisbane. We drove down that day. Christie came with me which was very nice of her and we also had to go into a Jucy shop (where Fran is from) because she had a lot of problems; the tires were half flat, the sink/tap was broken, poppers had come off the curtains and the USB portal at the back had broken. Jucy were so good though, they fixed everything in about half an hour and everything was covered by our insurance.
We have also managed to wangle both me and Gabby onto our insurance for free (should be $2/day/person) and so finally all 4 of us could drive! I drove Fran for the first time all the way back to Noosa – I’d never driven an automatic car before let alone a bloody camper van but I didn’t really get what all the fuss was about! Saying that I’ll admit that parking her isn’t the most fun of jobs.
By the time we got back in the afternoon it was raining (typical, it had been sunny all morning). We picked up the other girls and had lunch in another car park. Another day, another car park really. Our plan had been to do the 10km walk around the national park so we all put on our gym kit and drove up there. Obviously, it starts pissing it’d own as soon as we go there. So, instead, we quickly signed up for an F45! (all of us but Gabby of course). The workout nearly killed us. We felt so sick – Top tip: don’t eat a huge lunch then do an intense cardio workout. I was pretty proud of us afterwards though.
We drove to a campsite 20 mins outside of town that evening that we found on the WikiCamps app. It was pretty basic but had a nice shower so I got clean and then read my book until bedtime. We managed to get out of that campsite without paying which is always a nice feeling! We headed back into town and went for a buff breakfast at a place called No.10 Hastings Street. We then did a bit of shopping, not much else to do in the rain! I bought a new purse (so I’d stop losing all my stuff). In the afternoon we drove to our next adventure; Rainbow Beach and Fraser Island– but of course you’ve already read about it!