G’day from Australia!
It’s been an amazing first few days here in Oz and we are all loving life Down Under! After assembling in Los Angeles, we took off and flew across the Pacific Ocean, past the International Date Line and touched down in Brisbane, capital of Queensland, Australia’s own Sunshine State.
We spent some time playing games to get to know all members of our traveling family and were introduced to our trip mascot, Quackson, a (toy) Canada Goose that migrated in Trip Director Sam’s backpack all the way to Australia. You may see Quackson make an appearance in photos throughout our trip. After our first Australian lunch, we had some time to walk and explore Queen Street – the place to be in Brisbane. We explored the shops on the pedestrian mall and some trip members, including Ashlee, Madi A. and Sabrina and Michelle even got some very creative balloon hats.
The next day, after breakfast – where James and David were two of us who were brave enough to try the Australian classic of Vegemite on toast – we drove along the Sunshine Coast to the Australia Zoo, home of the late, great Steve Irwin; the crocodile hunter himself. At the zoo, we saw many of the famous animals that make Australia famous. We wandered after the wallabys and were enchanted by the emus. Zach, Cassidy, Lesley, Marc and Ben F and, Alexa were just a few who held a koala and the entire trip danced with the kangaroos as they roamed and hopped in the fields. We all also gathered as a group to watch the crocodile show led by none other than Terry, Bindi and Robert Irwin, the crocodile hunter’s wife and children.
After the zoo, we continued north to board a ferry to Fraser Island, an eco-tourism centre, world heritage site and the largest sand island in the world. After our delicious dinner, some of us got a firsthand look at Aussie culture by watching the “State of Origin,” the Super Bowl of Australia – a rugby match between the neighboring states of Queensland and New South Wales. Jack, Eric and Justin became fans of the Aussie sport and say they’ll be dedicated ‘footy’ fans back home.
The next day we headed on a full day tour of some of the most beautiful sites on Fraser Island. We saw pristine Lake Mackenzie which is known as the ‘Lake of Wisdom’ to the region’s indigenous people. Ariel, Alex and Lexi S. among others braved jumped right in. Along our tour, we saw everything from a shipwreck to ancient sand formations. We drove along Fraser Island’s “highway” (aka the sandy beach!) and marveled at the multitude of beautiful flora and fauna of the island including another Aussie favourite – the dingo!
Back at the hotel, we had chance at night to bond as a group and this morning we left the island and returned to the Australian mainland. We’re now very excited for more adventures at Surfer’s Paradise on Australia’s beautiful Gold Coast.
Look forward to updating you again soon. Until next time mates!
The Westcoast Blogger