We arrived in Surfer’s Paradise on Sunday afternoon, our hostel – Sleeping Inn, was like a little apartment with two bedrooms, a bathroom, a small kitchen and a small living room. This was really nice because it made a change from the usual hostel setting. It wasn’t the most modern, or the cleanest but for 2 night’s this wasn’t really a problem.
Surfer’s Paradise can only be described as the Australian Magaluf and you know that anyone who tells you how awesome the place is, is only looking for one type of holiday. Rachel and I walked along the beach and stared up at the huge sky rise buildings, I was distinctly reminded of Miami and its beach view of hotels and apartments, although we were pretty maddened to find that absolutely none of those massive things had a single sky bar between them. Someone’s gonna make some serious dollar when they open that goldmine. Other than that there’s very little to report on Surfer’s. The beach was always in shade and it was so windy we were covered head to toe in sand after an hour – all in all I wouldn’t bother returning.
Our journey to Brisbane began on Tuesday. We arrived at Bunk hostel late morning and were pleased to be able to check-in straight away. We had a loft room with 10 beds although it was never full. It was clean and modern and more like a little two story apartment with a balcony and great views. Each bunk also has its own plug, bedside light and little cubby hole – this is a sought-after luxury in hostel-living that I always really appreciate. The only downside to the room is that, while we do have our own private bathroom and it is very clean, there’s only one shower and one toilet which, if the room fills up with 10 people, is going to be a nightmare. (edit: it wasn’t a problem at all)
Bunk did seem to lack some serious atmosphere, considering it has it’s own bar and it’s a really modern building, it just seemed really quiet and boring!
My first full day in Brisbane was spent with an old friend from College, Ruby! It was so great to see her, her entire life has changed and yet she is still the same old Ruby I remember when we were 17 and 18 years old. She took me to Mount Coot-tha which offered an incredible view of the city (it’s just a shame the sky was so cloudy for picture purposes) and then we went shopping in Indooroopilly shopping mall, probably unwise but I needed a bag!
It felt really weird to see Ruby; In reality we hadn’t seen each other in about five years, we hadn’t really kept in touch either but seeing her felt like it was just yesterday we were dragging our feet through Watford High Street in our baggy clothes on our way to College dreaming of driving and going on holidays, things really change some times. She also has an eight month little boy with her partner who is from Australia and I cannot explain how happy it makes me to see her finally happy and settled.
My second day in Brisbane was spent at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. Rachel and I chose to go here instead of the Zoo as neither of us are entirely convinced about the trustworthy-ness of Zoos whereas the Sanctuary has a fantastic reputation for the care they provide to local wild life. I purchased a ticket that enabled me to cuddle a koala and have a picture taken with one, not before I grilled the poor bloke behind reception though. He assured me that each Koala is only out for absolutely no more than 30 minutes at a time and they only do this perhaps once a week. Koala’s are so chilled that I felt satisfied with this and got fully involved in Koala-cuddles. Major, a 2 year old male was awesome and he smelt so nice! We also spent time feeding Kangaroos, edging carefully past roaming Emus and watching a sheep show which involved a very well trained Kerpie dog (Australian Breed – Collie origins) rounding up sheep and another sheep being sheered. There were two men who ‘performed’ the shows and both we were really chatty after. I asked whether sheering the sheep hurt the animals – it looked really uncomfortable, but he said it was like shaving yourself and there was certainly no blood and the sheep made no sounds of distress. I loved going to the Sanctuary, it’s a great example of how important the wildlife and the environment is to Australia and I really wish England would care a bit more too.
I really enjoyed my stay in Brisbane, the city reminds me of London which was obviously a bonus and it was so great to see my old mate. I’ve always considered myself to be a city girl but I am definitely ready to move on and get to Noosa now!