Australia 8: Noosa / Mt Ngungun

So we spent our night after Fraser Island at a campsite one hour away from Noosa and it was absolutely freezing cold – yet again. The further down the east coast we drove the colder the nights seemed to become, and the more regular were the cold nights – yet I didn’t seem to be getting more acclimatised to them or beginning to find it bearable. I just remember needing to pee in the middle of the night and doing my best to avoid disturbing the flock of birds that seemed to also be camping the night. The following morning, when using the rest stop facilities, we bumped into people from our Fraser Island tour whom had caught the Greyhound from Rainbow Beach that morning – apparently our “heading off early” the night before hadn’t really paid off.

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Anyway, we headed to Eumundi Market, which is open only Wednesdays and Saturdays but was particularly busy when we arrived as it was a public holiday AND school holidays, and wandered around the fresh local produce shacks, arts and craft stalls, massage and psychic reading tents. I’ve never had a palm reading or any kind of clairvoyant experience but I had recently started thinking I would like to try it, and I think the spiritual side of me was craving something “other”, some connection to something, after not having had counselling for almost 6 months now. So I booked in for an Intuitive and Tarot Reading at 40 dollars for 20 minutes, although it ended up lasting 40 minutes.

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The first part was her taking my basic information (name, DOB, why I am here in Oz) then she offered me an intuitive insight (where she acknowledged me travelling for 12 months, which is something I only recently extended my 10 month trip to, and the fact that I am homesick at the moment, at which point I began to cry) followed by a tarot card reading. A lot of it reiterated stuff I know already but needed to hear and be reminded of (like a good kick up the backside, or where my counsellor or my mum pull me up on my shit) but there were also some interesting new ideas; she basically said – hahahaha, as if I’m sharing THAT with you. But, seriously, I don’t know what I “believe” but I took from it what I needed at the time, and for that I am grateful.

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We arrived into Noosa mid afternoon and immediately felt out of place; us roadies in our run-down camper chugging past upper-class, clean, well-dressed locals gawping at us and reeling in horror. The gorgeous, tree-lined street with fairy lights was a bit posh for us travellers. Still, we parked up by the botanic gardens (more like woods, in my opinion, but ‘botanic garden’ doesn’t ever seem to mean what I picture it looking like in my mind) and began the coastal walk to Hell’s Gate.

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We didn’t get very far along the cliff edge before we spotted a koala wrapped around the branch up a tall tree, just as they opened up into a forest. It was my first sighting of a koala in the wild and this one was particularly cute, with its head down tucked into its body. After “ooooo”ing and “ahhhh”ing at the adorable koala, we continued on our coastal walk, the path finally curving round the cliff and offering beautiful views of the ocean below us. The guys tend to stop to wind each other up or trick one another so Tiia and I ended up walking on ahead, making it to Hell’s Gate and then climbing down the rocks to sit and stare out at the beach below.

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We eventually made the walk back along the coastal path and met up in the carpark, where we then drove around trying to find a hostel within Noosa to spend the night in but to no avail. We therefore decided to have dinner in Noosa at Zac’s (after wandering around for half an hour down the fairy light-lit main street and not being able to agree on anywhere else), where Tiia had the best veggie burger she has ever had, where her and I lost any sense of shame or dignity and sneakily helped ourselves to fries left by the couple sat next to us, and where the 6 of us had one of our only meals out together as a group. Lovely.

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After dinner we drove to a free campsite just outside Noosa, arriving pretty late to find a group of French guys running wild. It was another freezing cold night (what do you do when you’re already wearing two pairs of trousers, a long sleeve top, a jumper, a wind proof jacket and two pairs of socks?) before getting up lazily the following morning and taking our time to pack up and move on (it does get repetitive and tiring, but I also can’t help but smile at the memory of it as I type). We drove to Glass House Mountains National Park (Mt Ngungun) for a 2 hour hike up the mountain – well, supposedly a 2 hour hike.

It was a 2.8km return climb that took about 15/20 minutes each way, then including the time we spent at the top it took a total of one hour. Which would be fine if we had known and not consumed enough fuel for a 2 hour hike. But the views from the very top – which you had to scramble for the last part and then leap across various rocks to get to the ultimate viewing point – of the surrounding mountains and cities below was definitely worth it. We were also pretty certain we could spot Brisbane in the distance (but who cares if we couldn’t – we thought it was and that’s all that counts!)

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After stumbling back down we headed back to our respective cars to change back into comfortable travelling clothes (basically non-sweaty items) and may our way towards Brisbane…

LS.

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