15th February - 23rd February 2011
On the afternoon of the 15th Trev and I flew into Coolangata Airport where we were greeted by Mark, one of Trev's friends from Zimbabwe. We then drove up the Gold Coast to where he lives in Labrador. By just driving though the area, the feeling contrasted considerably with that of some of the more relaxed places we have visited, with numerous sky rises, shopping centres, nightclubs and bright lights depicting a tourist mecca! That evening we went into Surfers Paradise, where this was emphasised! On our second day, Mark drove Trev and I to Lamington National Park. It took us quite a while to reach the park as it is at the top of a series of mountains but the panoramic views were spectacular. Wildlife is abundant in the park, especially bird life. We bought a tray of bird seed and within seconds of stepping out with it were covered in brightly coloured birds, and walked away with the sratches to prove it! Afterwards, we went walked along the treetop board walk, and later saw our first wiild snake, needless to say I pooped myself! The following day we drove the stretch of the Gold Coast starting at Surfers Paradise and ending at Point Danger where we watched the surfers at the Queensland/ News South Wales border. We stopped off at numerous lookouts, beaches and shopping centres and despite being pleasant the coast line is a great deal more developed than that of the other places we have visited. Friday morning was spent at one of the outlet stores close to Mark's house, and the afternoon at Main Beach. On Saturday, however, we travelled up to Tawoomba to where Mark's Mum lives. This was the area which was greatly hit by the recent floodings, and Kate told us many harrowing stories about the disaster. Although, despite seeing some fallen trees and debris wrapped around fences there is hardly any other evidence of the flooding, and it was hard to imagine when Mark was pointing out the location of shark sightings above the highway that the floods ever occurred! The next day we travelled up the Sunshine Coast from Kate's house to visit Australia Zoo which Trev and I were both really excited about! Even though admission was expensive and I was melting in the forty degree heat, the day was really good fun. Trev, who idolisies Steve Irwin especially had a good time! In addition to watching some shows in the "Croceseum!" we saw many other native Australian animals. Monday was equally action packed as we visited Dreamworld and White Water World back down south! The Gold Coast is renowned for its theme parks and this one didn't dissapoint, particularly the "Giant Drop" and "The Tower of Terror"! After a couple of more relaxed days, Trev, Mark and myself travelled up to Tawoomba again so as to meet Kate and head to Fraser Isand for the weekend.