From Monday to Thursday we bummed around Brisbane seeing the sights and trying to sort out our shipping. Brisbane isn’t the prettiest city but it does have some good architecture and a large student population so it has a bit of life to it. A boat ride through the city turned out to be the best way to see it. And we were getting fed and boarded by the good family Tucker so we couldn’t complain.
On Friday we headed out to the famous Gold Coast, home of the rich and famous. Our first stop was at Surfers Paradise which wasn’t as tacky as we’d heard. We booked ourselves on a whale watching tour which took us through the rivers past innumerable trophy homes (some with personal helicopter) and out to sea. The whale watching was quality. We followed a pair for a bit and one breached fairly near the boat. Then we chased a huge group of dolphins and caught a glimpse of a massive turtle. After a while we came upon a sleeping humpback and when it woke up it breached 3 times in succession 30m from the boat to get a look at us. Excellent. Afterwards we drove down to Byron Bay and got up at 5.30am to see the sunrise from the lighthouse. This was a nice view and we could see several pods of whales making their way up the coast but there’s not much to do in the town so we slung hook for the long drive to Newcastle stopping only for a crocodile pie on the way.
Newcastle doesn’t usually have much interest for tourists but the recent storm had driven a massive coal bulker right onto the beach in front of the town and people were coming for miles around to see it. It was an impressive sight but a potential environmental disaster as the rough seas lashing it could potentially break it up spilling its huge oil store.
On Sunday we toured around the Hunter Valley winery area sampling the local brews before driving into Sydney. We passed right through the city into one of the southern suburbs where we stayed at one of Rich’s friends - Kynan’s. We hardly saw any of Sydney on the way through as most of the time we were in tunnels under the city but this was almost the last bit of driving we are to do. We cleaned the landy out and made it ready for shipping. Over the next few days we were planning to head down to Canberra and Melbourne before returning to Sydney to have a look at the place and ship the car out.