Sunshine Coast minus the sun

Australia, RTW: 2007-2008 — By on June 2, 2008 4:17 PM


Stacy and I spent the weekend on the Sunshine Coast, without much sun but lots of rain! The sunshine coast is a coastal area located in Queensland, a few hours north of Brisbane. The region is characterized by long beautiful beaches and many popular surfing spots.

Stacy’s friend, Troy, lives there in Mooloolaba so we decided to spend a few days in the area. Stacy met Troy in England eight years ago and wanted to catch up with him and meet his fiance Carol. We expected to hang out with Troy and Carol for dinner one night, but they surprised us as they went above and beyond with their hospitality! Troy took us to his parent’s home where we were treated to a great BBQ steak dinner two nights in a row! His parents were so nice and welcoming. His father showed us DVDs of the Sunshine Coast, as he was afraid due the bad weather we wouldn’t really get to see how beautiful the area is. Troy’s parents live just five doors down from where Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, use to live!

We dodged the rain most of the second day but it was mostly cloudy with the sun shining only briefly when we were on the beach in Noosa. Troy and Carol gave us a tour of Mooloolaba, the Cotton Tree area, and even drove us up to Noosa Heads. Stacy and I both wished we could have spent more time in Noosa, as it was beautiful, small, and charming. We hiked along the beach to a cove where we could watch the surfers. There was close to a hundred surfers out on the water, as the surf seemed to be really good. There was a unique cove where a surfer could enter the water and catch a wave without having to paddle back from shore each time.

We had a “crikey” day at the Australian Zoo, home of the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin. Steve and his wife Terri took over management of the zoo in 1992. Formally the zoo was known as Beerwah Reptile Park, which was opened by Steve’s parents in 1970 as a place where crocodiles were rescued and rehabilitated. I better understand the crocodile hunter’s obsession with crocodiles as he was around crocodiles from the day he was born!



We spent seven hours wandering through the zoo where we saw kangaroos, koalas, tigers, elephants, tassie devils, wombats, cassowaries, crocodiles, dingos, kookaburras, echidna…just to name a few! We were both amazed at how active the animals were in this zoo compared to zoos we had been to at home. There was even one crazy zoo worker that played in a pool with seven tigers! There were no animals asleep or hiding, they were all out and about, especially the tassie devil that ran in circles seeming to never tire. The kangaroos were especially playful or maybe just hungry, as we walked through “Roo Heaven” with our bags of kangaroo food.

The highlight of our day was when we both got to hold a koala bear for the first time! They are so freaking cute! Stacy once had a dream that she had a koala bear as a pet and she carried him around with her everywhere she went. She has wanted to hold a koala ever since and now she really wants one of her own!

We were told that the reason teddy bears look so much like koala bears is because Teddy Roosevelt’s wife fell in love with koala bears when she visited Australia. When they got back to the states, Teddy had a bear created for his wife that was to look similar to a koala bear. Apparently, that is how the teddy bear got its name.

After the zoo we took the train to Brisbane where we have spent the past two days with two girls from Byron Bay. The four of us are catching a flight to Cairns tonight and I am super excited! I will be there for the next week and I plan to scuba dive at the Great Barrier Reef and explore all the major sights nearby.

Tomorrows weather forcast for Cairns is sunny, 0% chance of rain, high of 84 degrees (29C)! Goodbye rainy cold weather! So far I have done a good job of dodging winter this year!

To see photos of the Sunshine Coast and the Australian Zoo CLICK HERE!

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