Australia, Part 1: Road Trip

I had been communicating with some friends from Toronto for quite some time about the possibility of taking a group trip somewhere.  After some years, we were finally able to meet up in Australia.  This was the first time I travelled with anyone other than myself since my friend Elvis in early 2010.  I was a little bit nervous about travelling with others since I had gotten used to travelling alone but I ended up having a great time and would absolutely do it again.

I flew into New South Wales for a layover in Sydney before flying to Queensland where Dan and Dave, two friends I met while working at the, now closed, Barn Night Club in Toronto, picked me up outside the airport in MacKay.  Landing in MacKay was much like landing in Kona because you deplane on the tarmac and not onto a jet way.

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After Dan and Dave picked me up, we made our way down to a campground at Sarina Beach where we set up camp for the night.  Once there, we had a toast to a great trip and then Dave and I went for a walk along the shoreline and short skinny dip in the water.  The water was warm and pleasant.

The following morning, I made it a point to wake up in time to catch a picture of the sunrise.  I went for a jog along the beach after.  It was very beautiful.  It looked very much like a sunrise in Hawaii.

After we all washed up and took down the tent, we continued southbound toward Brisbane.  Throughout the trip, Dave did most of the driving, but I also drove from time to time when Dave needed a break.  It was my first time driving on the left side of the road in a right-hand drive vehicle.  After a couple minutes of getting used to doing everything opposite of how I normally drive, it was easy.  I kinda liked it.  I was digging the right-hand drive.

Driving through Queensland, I was actually surprised at how much the area looks like the Big Island of Hawaii.  If I hadn’t known better, I could’ve sworn we were driving through the Hamakua district of the Big Island.  We stopped in Rockhampton, where the tropic of Capricorn runs through, and went to a zoo with no entry fee.  It was pretty ok.

After Rockhampton, we continued to Gladstone where we ate lunch at McDonalds.  We would ultimately end up spending a lot of time at McDonalds while on this trip.  Free Wifi.  An interesting thing about McDonalds in Australia is that their “large” size combos are only a little bit bigger than an American “small”.  I guess Americans really do eat larger portions than other countries.

After lunch, we went to hang out with Zaid, a friend Dan made, at his apartment in Gladstone for some drinks and music.  Zaid was a good host who knew how to make some good drinks.  I think everybody took at least one turn preparing a round of drinks.  We even spent some time listening to old-school club hits from the early 2000’s.  Good times.

The following morning, Dan, Dave and I continued southbound and stopped in Bundaberg, a cute town that actually reminds me a lot of Hilo.  I had already taken so many pictures at this point that I had to stop at a camera store to buy another SD card.  After going to another small zoo, we went to do a small tour and rum tasting at the Bundaberg Rum Distillery.  Up until this trip, I had never heard of Bundaberg Rum, but I am glad we went because I loved their rum flavors.  The bar tender at the distillery was nice enough to give me an additional complimentary taste.  Dave and I went half and half on a bottle of the banana toffee flavor.

Bundaberg doesn’t only make rum.  They also make non-alcoholic drinks.  I definitely recommend them if you’ve never tried them.

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It was getting into the late afternoon after the distillery so we drove to a campground to set up camp.  After the tent was set up, Dave and I opened the bottle of rum we bought and drank some of it.  I ended up drinking more than he did.

The next morning, Dave and I went for a morning walk/jog down a small trail at the rear of the campsite while Dan slept for a bit more.  It was nice to get a bit of exercise.

Once the tent was put away and we were all packed up, we continued south to Hervey Bay where Dan and Dave did a workout on the beach while I walked around talking pictures.  Hervey Bay is a nice seaside town with a peaceful vibe.  We ate at a local fish and chip joint.

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Continuing southbound, we stopped at Rainbow Beach for a dip in the water.  This place was great.  It was overcast when we arrived and it started to rain when we got down to the shore.  The wind picked up a bit too.  The water still felt great.  We had pizza for dinner at a local eatery with free Wifi.  The pizza was great.  I loved it.  I noticed that a large amount of people there were very physically attractive.  After a few hours of charging our devices, we made our way to another campground where we set up camp.

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I had to wear earplugs that night because a group of about twenty travelers were up at all hours of the night drinking and singing campfire songs.  It’s all good though.  I still slept reasonably well.

The following morning, after road tripping it for several days, we made it to Brisbane.

 

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