Final Weekend In Brisbane

I posted a quick recap of our wedding exactly 4 weeks after the fact, so I’m going to continue that with our trip to Australia. The posts are listed chronologically on our Honeymoon page, so please start there. This post covers Saturday, October 22 and Sunday, October 23.

The Tangalooma ferry left early Saturday morning. My parents picked us up at the wharf and we were off to the Powerhouse farmers market. Wendy finally found a decent lamington and we got another good look at the local flowers.

It was nice to see the jacarandas in bloom too, even if they are an introduced species.

We had tickets to the Queensland Pops with my parents and their group of friends who go back to my dad’s high school days. The show was a good mix of the orchestra and guest performers, including a high school percussion group.

We stayed over with Jon and Susie.

Kate and her room mate Wendy showed us around Brisbane on Sunday, and Cassie commuted in from Toowoomba to join us. We took the CityCat in from their apartment, passing the Powerhouse again on the way. It’s funny what you stumble across when shopping for nothing in particular, and Wendy wasn’t sure what to make of the golliwoggs in one of the tourist shops.

We visited the Queensland Art Gallery, the State Library of Queensland, and the Gallery of Modern Art which are all conveniently located next to each other.

Our bus home was delayed by some road closures due to a zombie walk, which was hilariously a fund raiser for the Brain Foundation of Australia.

Then it was a fun evening of packing and weighing suitcases in preparation for our 6:30 am flight back to Canada.

Our flight home was pretty uneventful. We got to annex an empty seat next to us and had plenty of time to catch up on movies we probably wouldn’t watch together at home. Thanks to everyone who helped make our trip to Australia so wonderful. We had a great time and hope to return soon.

Tangalooma

I posted a quick recap of our wedding exactly 4 weeks after the fact, so I’m going to continue that with our trip to Australia. The posts are listed chronologically on our Honeymoon page, so please start there. This post covers Wednesday, October 19 through Friday, October 21.

On Wednesday, we went to Tangalooma on Moreton Island to relax on the beach and feed the dolphins.

Moreton Island is the world’s third largest sand island (the top 2 are also in Queensland) and most of the island is covered in a thin layer of vegetation. On Thursday morning, we took a “desert safari” tour out to an area where you can climb an enormous sand dune and slide back down on a waxed piece of plywood they generously call a toboggan. It’s great fun, but I wound up with pockets full of sand.

Wendy got part of the action on video, but it suffered some glitches because the camera was still so new and unfamiliar. This was my last run down the dune and it was too exhausting to climb all the way back up for another take.

In the afternoon, we went on a whale watching cruise to the north end of the island. We took many photos of humpbacks and dolphins, but unfortunately our photography skills weren’t good enough to properly capture the spectacle.

We stopped by the kookaburra feeding when we got back, then spent the remainder of the day at the beach. The sunset was incredible.

Friday was pretty packed. We started the day by climbing to the top of the hill behind the resort to check out the view. The houses at the top of the hill are some of the limited development allowed on Moreton Island and are presumably vacation properties.

We then went snorkeling along the man-made reef, where we saw thousands of fish and two wobbegong sharks. Some other people on our boat saw turtles, but we missed them. Cassie and Kate had called the hotel earlier to arrange beach-side massages for us, so that was our next stop.

That evening, we took a bottle of champagne down to the beach and enjoyed the sunset.

On Saturday morning, we caught the ferry back to Brisbane.

Family Party and More of the Sunshine Coast

I posted a quick recap of our wedding exactly 4 weeks after the fact, so I’m going to continue that with our trip to Australia. The posts are listed chronologically on our Honeymoon page, so please start there. This post covers Saturday, October 15 through Tuesday, October 18.

Saturday is market day on Bribie Island and my dad wanted to show me around. There was a big storm the last week and there was some suspicion that the weather would strike again, so most of the farmers and other vendors were absent. Farmer Bill was there and happy to see my dad, who had helped to hold down the tent during the high winds while he packed up last time.

We stopped in at grocery store on the way back to fill in the gaps, and I learned about how to handle mangoes properly.

Then it was time for the beach.

We had made plans for Madeleine and Ben to join us on Bribie, but we weren’t exactly sure when and how they were getting there or if they needed a ride in with Kate who was coming from Brisbane. On Saturday we were starting to wonder about how to get in touch with them when they casually strolled up to the front door. This worked out well, because the next morning we were able to video conference in to Mike and Michelle’s going away party back in Vancouver.

Sunday was our big family party. Rather than trying to get all my Australian relatives to fly out to Canada for our wedding, it just made more sense for them to come to a party at my parents’ place. It got very busy very quickly, with 50+ aunts, uncles, cousins, distant relatives, and friends converging on Bribie Island. There were children everywhere, adults catching up or meeting for the first time, and generally a great time unfolding all around. I was so caught up in saying hello to as many people as possible that I barely got any photos until things calmed down as people started to leave.

On Monday, we took it easy and had a bit more of a look around the Sunshine Coast. For no discernible reason, there’s a Greek church on Bribie Island. My parents call it a taste of Mykonos, but I’m sure the vegetation is different.

We visited Michael Pugh in Buderim to see his wonderful studio where a good chunk of my mom’s pottery collection is crafted.

On Tuesday, Wendy was feeling a bit under the weather, so I went with my parents to Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve to see some of the Sunshine Coast rainforest. On the way, we passed some excellent examples of Queensland architecture.

The countryside is beautiful.

The walk around the reserve is very relaxing, even with groups of school children noisily making their way through. We saw a pademelon, which is surprisingly more like a kangaroo than a fruit.

We stopped in Maleny to visit David Linton, where I wish I’d taken some pictures. The cheese store was also good and we got provisions for the next few days.

Australia Zoo

I posted a quick recap of our wedding exactly 4 weeks after the fact, so I’m going to continue that with our trip to Australia. The posts are listed chronologically on our Honeymoon page, so please start there. This post covers Friday, October 14.

On Friday, we decided to visit Australia Zoo so that Wendy could see some koalas and kangaroos up close. Locals might tell you it’s a bit kitsch, but we enjoyed it.

Aside from the crocodiles, there’s plenty of normal zoo stuff including cute mammals of all sizes.

The big stage show is awesome in its over-the-top spectacle. Elephants walk around, trained birds buzz the rafters to the tune of Thunderstruck, huge snakes are wrangled, and a guy does a great bit where he gets an audience member to hold a $10 bill and then his yellow-tailed black cockatoo flies over, grabs the cash, and flies back. But of course, the main event is the crocodile.

The kangaroos and koalas did not disappoint. Then when we stopped for lunch, a curious lizard came over to check us out.

The tiger areas seem newer and a bit more staged. There’s also a huge new cheetah area being added to the Africa exhibit.

We certainly had a good time.

That evening, my uncles and aunts came over for a dinner that my parents had organized as a gentle introduction to the family before the big party on Saturday.