Nothing comes close to the Gold Coast!

From Tokyo, we headed Down Under. Our red-eye from Narita landed in Gold Coast early morning, and we hopped on a bus and a train to get to Brisbane. We had excellent hosts in Brisbane- our friends Heidi and Shari that we met in Scotland!

On Friday afternoon, Shari dropped us in South Bank (across the river from Brisbane City), and Jeff and I wandered around for a few hours. We walked through an amazing city park called the Parklands. They have a man-made beach right in the middle of the city! They also had a cute rainforest walk and a random Nepalese temple. Jeff and I were fascinated by the different birds in the park since they all looked so exotic to us.

We walked across the river to see downtown Brisbane and wandered through the Museum of Brisbane. It is in the City Hall building, and was just the right price- free! The building was beautiful, and we got a free tour of the clock tower. If you are ever in Brisbane, I suggest checking it out. I thought it was pretty cool for a free museum. We learned about Brisbane’s origins as a penal colony, and how it progressed to what it is today. Same old story- white Europeans come and take over the native’s land. Speaking of white Europeans- the girls took us to the German Club on Friday night, and we had excellent beer and bratwurst. However, the best part of the night was Andrew- the one-man band who kept us entertained!

On Saturday morning, we were up bright and early, and on our way to the beach we stopped at the chiropractor so I could get adjusted. It sounds like a weird thing to mention in a blogpost, but when you haven’t seen any health care professional in 10 months, it’s a big deal!!!!! Dr. Laura was awesome, and after countless flights, all of our random adventures, and 10 months of being out of alignment- I feel so much better!

After the pit stop at the chiro, we headed to Gold Coast to soak up some sun!

Then we grabbed a picnic lunch from the grocery store and headed to Lamington National Park. The girls took us on a great bushwalk after lunch- we went about 12k! You know how they say that everything in Australia is trying to kill you? As in, all of the animals are poisonous and scary? Well…it’s true. We knew this going in, but didn’t actually expect to see nature on our first bushwalk. We definitely got more than we bargained for!

We couldn’t quite get pictures of the 2 wallabies we saw (they look like miniature kangaroos). They were pretty cute! We also didn’t have any koala sightings, despite all of the ‘koala crossing’ signs we saw. It was an awesome Saturday hike through the rainforest:

On the way back into Brisbane, we stopped and picked up some Aussie pies for dinner!

 The next day, we packed up our swimsuits again and caught a ferry to Coochimudlo island just off the coast. We walked around the small island, got in the water at a few beaches, and had some fish and chips before heading back to the mainland. That night we had tacos- hello chips and salsa! And relaxed before getting on our flight to Sydney the next day.

To Heidi and Shari- thank you both so much for spending the weekend showing us around! We had an absolute blast!


P.S.: Thanks for introducing us to Vegemite! 

These are the places we are going to explore over the next few weeks:

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