Our First Two Weeks Down Under!
With our first three weeks in Oz coming to an end, we look forward to many of the adventures that lie ahead. Our first two weeks were full of exploring and car shopping.
Our second day in Queensland started off with exploring Mooloolaba Beach which is about an 11 minute drive from where we are staying in Buderim. Mooloolaba Beach is a stunning cove with white sand beaches and crystal clear waters that rests on the Pacific Ocean. There are also many cafes that line the beach's walkway. It's perfect to grab something fast after taking a quick dip in the ocean or going for a long walk on the path that follows the shoreline among mangrove trees. This beach has actually be rated one of TripAdvisor's Top Ten Australian Beaches and we have it right in our backyard!
With this area being so close, Henrik and I have spent a couple of days exploring here and jumping into the surf. It was actually both of our first times in the Pacific Ocean! We also spent time visiting the aquarium, SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast, where we watched a sea lion show and got to walk through a underwater tunnel through the aquarium where a previous Jackie Chan movie was filmed.
Later on in our first week we participated in a short hike to Buderim Falls where Henrik experienced his first rainforest! This sub-tropical oasis is also known as Serenity Falls and is located in the picturesque Buderim Forest Park. Surrounded by towering trees and plants, the waterfall drops into a small watering hole and continues to glisten over large rocks which leads to other pools that guests can swim in. Though we didn't dare to do this due to the outside temperature being chilly, we could appreciate the appeal to jump in on a hot summer's day.
Another place on our list is Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve which overlooks the beautiful Glass House Mountains National Landscape. This short walk through subtropical rainforest introduced us to completely new species of birds and mammals that we've never heard of as well as have never seen. We were able to see our first Wallabies here! These animals look like smaller Kangaroo's. They are only natively found in areas surrounding Australia including New Guinea. However they have been introduced to other UK countries in the past few decades. We were fortunate enough to see as many as five! These were actually the first mammals we saw that are typically associated with Australia. Week two: still no Kangaroos.
Out of all of the places we've visited so far, Henrik and I definitely agree that our favorite area we've explored has been Noosa National Park! This gem is also located on the Sunshine Coast and includes beautiful landscapes of forest and beaches. With a paved walkway that follows along the coastline through the dense jungle, we were fortunate enough to appreciate the 2883 hectares that hosts this wildlife sanctuary. The culture of the Kabi Kabi people who look after the park incorporate both traditional and contemporary cultures into this breathtaking area allowing visitors to escape from contemporary life and enter back into Australia's natural landscapes (Noosa National Park). Known for it's diverse flora and fauna, this park is the typical image people envision when speaking of Australia beaches and rainforests meeting together. In the future, we plan on visiting this area again to explore more hiking trails and to swim amongst the seaturtles and the many surfers the beach emcompasses.
As many of you know, the main purpose of our trip to Australia is not only to explore the continent but to do it in style. Since planning this trip almost a year ago we planned on buying a car that we would 'pimp' out in order to live out of out for a year! In the two weeks we've been down under, we've noticed that this would be a lot easier to do that it typically is in the states. Many stores in Australia have all the things you would need to completely equip your car to take on adventures like this including roof top tents with annexes, dual battery systems, drawer systems, car refrigerators, and awnings all in one store. This has not only made Henrik look and act like a kid in a candy store, but it also makes it completely convenient and gives us the ability to do so in one day's trip to the store. In the States, this takes many weeks even months to get all the things we would need to outfit our truck the way we want to. This is due to ordering everything online at a very expensive cost. Because overlanding and offroad camping is such a common activity down here, there is a higher demand for these goods allowing stores like BCF (Boating, Camping, and Fishing) to exist.
However, at the end of week two, the car hunt is still on! Throughout the last two weeks, we've looked at a handful of cars that claim to be Road Worthy (In Queensland, sellers must obtain a Road Worthy Certificate that indicates they have kept up maintenance on the car and are essentially not selling a crappy car to the buyer) but clearly are not. We have come across plenty of things that sellers have tried to hide in order to sell the cars as well have looked at cars that are in good shape but are slightly out of our price range. AT this point. we do have a potential candidate but who knows wat might happen Stay tuned to hear about our full experience of looking at cars as well as the unique people we have met along the way.