Our home country Australia. Been all around the world but have hardly scratched the surface of the country of my birth. So even though there was a major family component to Queensland (Elizabeth has much family here) we tried to include some travelling discoveries as well.
On our way up to see the eclipse we stayed for a few nights at Hervey Bay that included a day trip out to Fraser Island. Fraser Island is mainly a resort island with most places inaccessible except by 4 wheel drive so a true exploration of the island traditionally involves 4 wheel drive tours. We took things much more leisurely preferring to take the ferry out on our own and just do some hiking trails. Not the best of days as it was raining, sometimes heavily, but with umbrella in hand we did a bit of a tour anyway; the weather just added to the atmosphere of the place. Allthough famous for its dingoes, we failed to find one. We had a brief stopover in Airlie Beach and then high tailed it up to the eclipse.
Straight after the eclipse (very early in the morning) we headed to the Daintree Rainforest. We started at the Mossman Gorge and followed the dreamtime walk where we were introduced to strangler figs, a type of tree that climbs like a creeper around another tree and then strangles it, thereby making the shell of the tree its initial support base as it grows. Then we headed to the Marrdja Boardwalk where rainforest turns into mangrove and back into rainforest. This was followed by Cape Tribulation where the forest goes right down to the beach and 'Lord of the Rings' trees look ready to walk with their little tentacle root systems like legs balancing on the sand. The Daintree was a really beautiful experience.
Millaa Millaa Falls
Off we went heading back down Queensland stopping at a few waterfalls on the way and spending a few days at Magnetic Island. We have affectionately named this place our little island getaway as it was a very relaxing idyllic location where time stands still. We stayed at a place near Horseshoe Bay called 'Bungalow Bay Koala Village' that was so dark at night we needed a torch to find the loo and our bungalow. The place included its own koala sanctuary with daily tours to meet some of our more exotic animals where we got up close and personal with pythons and crocodiles. Once a day on the path they would bring out food for the rainbow lorikeets that ravage like a pack of wolves, whooshing and swooping fighting over every morsel.
So our typical day at Magnetic was a run, breakfast and then hiking along one of the many trails available. Back for lunch and then a swim and lounge around the pool area, before experiencing the ravaging birds reminiscent of an Alfred Hitchcock movie. The day was finished with a walk along the beach or to one of the beautiful nearby bays, followed by dinner at our favourite beachside restaurant. It's a hard life, but someone's got to do it.