Saturday, October 21, 2006

Noosa and Australia Zoo

I've just arrived in Hervey Bay after two nights in a little town called Noosa. Noosa is basically a really upmarket version of Byron Bay with nicely maintained and landscaped streets, lots of high price boutiques and a selection of bars and restaurants. Our tour guide compared it to Florida Keys. It's a really nice laid back town, I was glad I stopped there. On the way to Noosa we passed by the Glasshouse mountains a set of 14 volcanic mountains that have been extinct for 20 million years but I imagine in their prime would have made the whole area look like Mordor (from The Lord of the Rings) on steroids.

We stayed in a hostel called Koalas which had its own bar. This bar is in itself one reason to stop in Noosa. It was commonly agreed to be one of the weirdest bars any of us had been in. For starters despite being in a backpackers hostel many locals came in, obviously hoping to pull a backpacker. In one corner there was a bunch of old geezers playing pool and arguing over the way balls should be laid out in the triangle. In another corner were the school kids, obviously 14 and obviously just learning to drink alcohol. In front of us was the cast from Battle Royale. A group of Japanese "backpackers" who stood around in a circle and looked scared when one of the locals approached. One of them thought he was Puff Daddy or something and was wearing a baseball jersey down to his knees, a baseball cap 4 sizes too large and enough fake gold to give him a permanent stoop. We sat back and enjoyed the bar entertainment, which included bar games and a weird local guy who dances on his own in the center of the stage to Madonnas Vogue and has done so every night for the last 5 years. We finally left when the local Mutton Dressed as Lamb Old Ladies Society arrived and settled on us as being their toy boys for the evening. Exit stage left and run for the hills.

The main reason to go to Noosa, apart from the local colour, it to get to Australia Zoo. A free courtesy bus runs each morning at 8:30am, and while we had no booking and were told by everyone that we would have to get a couple of public buses and trains just to get close to the zoo, we chanced our arm and showed up for the free bus. Fortunately they do leave spaces on the bus so we got seats. Australia Zoo is your standard zoo, except full of Australian animals, which you can see in places like Sydney. What made Australia Zoo special was Steve Irwin and the crocodile shows. While Steve was tragically killed last month the zoo still continues and it puts on shows with crocodiles. No crocodile wrestling or anything truly dangerous, just feeding and jumping. There is also a wall of tributes to Steve with loads of khaki shirts signed by people. It is interesting to walk down the wall reading what people have had to say. The zoo is expanding and will be approximately twice as big within the next year, it is well worth the visit now, so then it should be quite a good day out.

This morning I left Noosa and am now in Hervey Bay, this is where I go out to Fraser Island tomorrow morning. On the way here we passed through an old little town called Maryborough. It's claim to fame is that it is the home to Mary Poppins. Yeah, we didn't believe it either til we saw the statue and learned that the author of Mary Poppins was born there. I guess every town needs some thing to hold on to.

1 comment:

-Ann said...

Hey Dec, just catching up with your adventures. Sounds like you're having a great time - I'm horribly jealous. :)