OK.... so after Surfers Paradise we headed up to Brisbane. And all it did was rain. It was Vic's 30th birthday on 8th Jan so i booked us into a dead posh hotel as a surprise for her. It was really nice, spa pool and sauna, huge room with proper beds and a tv... we were so spoilt after campervanning it for so long (well, 5 days). We had a great dinner on the river and a few cocktails to celebrate. The next day we wandered around Brisbane centre. Its quite a laid back place and doesnt really feel like a city although it is. We didnt see as much as we wanted too as it rained pretty much constantly. We also booked our Fraser Island and Whitsundays tours here and got ourselves organised.
After booking our tours we decided not to stay another night and make the drive to Noosa. Time was getting scare as we had specific dates to hit for our tours, and lots of driving to do inbetween. So about 5pm we headed off. And again throughout the whole drive it chucked it down. And we are talking tropical rain not the woosy UK rain. We arrived in Noosa at 9pm and absolutely everything was closed. We were trying desperately to find a motel or a campsite to check into but everything had shut at 6pm or were really expensive. We drove to Dominos pizza and ate a takeout pizza in the car with the rain pissing down. Its funny now but at the time we had a total sense of humour failure. In the end all we could do was drive down a residential street, park the campervan and just sleep in the back, with the rain crashing down and the wind making us wobble.... needless to say we didnt sleep too well.
The first we thing we did next morning was turn up at the tourist information centre and sort accomodation for the night- we got ourselves a nice little motel apartment for 50GBP between us. Then we were free to spend the day exploring Noosa. Its a bit of a celeb haunt for Queenslanders apparently, and its very affluent judging by the boutique shops and restaurants on the main street. But apart from being on the water there wasnt much else to do, and as it was still raining there really wasnt much to do on the water, so we just took it upon ourselves to cook a nice dinner and chill.
Our next stop was Rainbow Beach, for Fraser Island. Fraser Island is the worlds largest sand island and you can get onto the island from either Rainbow Beach or Hervery Bay. Rainbow was further south so that was our call. Naturally, it was raining when we arrived. As part of our tour we had 2 free nights booked in at a hostel and took them the 2 days before the tour. We had requested a private room aswell rather than a dorm and for some bizzarre reason we ended up in a bedroom in a 2 bed flat that 2 staff members lived in. At first we thought they had got it wrong, but nope. Still, Darren and Rika that lived in the other room seemed nice enough. By the time we had arrived and sorted our bags and looked in misery at the rain we decided there was only one thing to do- so we went to the pub. There is only one pub in Rainbow Beach by the way, and one shop, and one bakery, and a few other food shops but thats it. The beach was supposed to be spectacular but because of the cyclones and huge amount of rainfall in the last few months the sea level here had risen by 3 metres which pretty much took three quarters of the beach away. So Rainbow Beach is now just a quiet town (and i use the term town loosely) with a patch of sand for a beach. And one pub. Which shut at 9pm. 9PM?? Yes really. I know we are out of season but really.
The next day we actually had a break from the rain and a bit of sunshine. We decided to walk up to a blowhole that they have- which is basically just a really really large sand dune. It was good though, and there were loads of kids sandboarding down the slopes which looked fun. The sand blow stopped at a cliff top then it was a drop to the beach so it was a great view. Then it rained. And sand and rain dont mix that well.
After the blowhole we had to head back to the hostel to meet the group we were travelling to Fraser Island with and have a safety briefing. It was quite a large group- 11 of us in total which filled the 4x4 we were taking over. We watched a video about Fraser and how to drive on the sand (the main road is a beach) without getting the tides wrong and floating out to sea in the 4x4, and of course how to cope with the wild Dingos on the Island. We then had to go to the supermarket and buy enough food and drink for 11 people for 3 days. That was interesting. Even though 4 of us went rather than 11 traipse around the supermarket the decisions were a pain. Why cant everyone like the same food?!!! Then it was off for some dinner and an early night before our early start Fraser Island adventure.