After Fraser Island we carried on up the Coast, it was a lot of miles and we felt like we were running out of time!
We decided to take a break from the coast and headed inland a little to the Eungella National Park, about 2,500ft above sea level. There was an amazing view from our campsite, but we didn't have this for long as soon the mist and rain came in...we found out then that Eungella meant 'Land in the Clouds'.
At dusk we travelled 5k down the road to a place where Platypus live, we waited some time and struggled to keep quiet but as it got darker the Platypus came out to feed, smaller than you would imagine (about the same size as a small duck!).
The next day we decided to do one of the many walks in the park, through the rainforest..it was very wet and dark...and we were the only ones on the track, it was great until Lucy discovered a leech on her ankle. It was only small, but gross...Steve the hero pulled it off quick. By the time we had got to the end of the walk Lucy had been attacked by at least 6 leeches and Steve by a couple too. It was so horrible at the end that Lucy emerged running from the forest, into a clearing shouting 'get them off me"!!! She whiped her trousers off by the side of the road and discovered that one of the buggers had crawled up as far as her knee and was nice and fat with her blood!!!! Yuk
After out little adventure in the clouds we got back on the coast road and headed for Airlie Beach, unfortunatley all the 'Schoolies' (school leavers) had the same idea and the place was heaving! We organied a water taxi to take us to one of the Whitsunday islands. We camped on the beach at South Molle, it was like we had been stranded on a desert island, our little paradise island. The beach we shared with only one other couple. We were lucky to see a family of Pythons basking in the sun and while rock pooling we saw this amazing blue crab with one huge claw. Steve also was very successful with his fishing on the beach that evening catching about 20 fish (at least 4 diffent types). He loved it!
After the Whitsundays we carried on up to Cairns, travelling 7 hours in one day. We loved Cairns, it was hot and touristy with lots of bars and places to eat, a lovely Esplanade and tacky Oz souveneir shops! We couldn't leave Oz without seeing the Great Barrier Reef so we booked up one of the hundreds of tours on offer and landed on our feet!
Our boat was a lovely little sailing boat, there were only about 20 of us on board..we sailed out about 10 miles and anchored up just off a placed called 'Green Island'. We had a few hours snorkeling. We wore special suits to protect us from jelly fish. It was fab, we saw lots of different fish and beautiful coloured coral. We also spotted a turtle swimming around. When we got out of the boat a couple of Black Tip Reef Sharks circled the boat, apparently they are very shy so only came over when we had all got out of the water! Phew!
We had the opportunity of going over to Green Island, and we were so chuffed to find out that there was a Croc park on the island (one thing that we hadn't seen yet). There were loads of gruesome stories and loads of big crocs. The best was Cassius, the largest Croc in captivity in the world. He was 18ft (5 meters) long and over one hundred years old!
So we had managed to do most things we wanted to do in Oz, we some how didn't find time for a surf lesson..so will save that for Bali.
We were ready to leave..on SATURDAY we drove to the airport and waited to check our bags in...but when Steve looked at the ticket he realised we were a day late, our flight was on FRIDAY!!!! Nightmare. Somehow we had got our days muddled up but we were so lucky, the airline managed to get us on the same flight but on the Sat..and at no extra cost. Result! So we arrived in Singapore a day late!