Day 39 and 40: The long way home

It is always a sad moment when you realize you have to leave, and as always: all good things come to an end. This is also the case with our trip in Australia, and today is that day. It however will take a full two days for it to end, as we leave the country tonight at 9 and will have to sit through nearly 24 hours of flying.

As it is not nearly 9PM yet, we’ll have the entire day to drive from Glass House Mountains to Brisbane International Airport. We briefly thought about going into the city prior to our flight, but were held back by the logistical hassle of it all as we would have to get rid of our car in the city somewhere and afterwards drive back to the airport.
Instead, we opted to lazily make our way down the coast towards Brisbane. Lets say we’ll wing it. 🙂

This proved to be the best idea so far, as it is just marvellous up here. No wonder they call this part of the country Sunshine Coast!
We actually didnt drive South from our lodge, but North instead towards Mooloolaba. They have a great Esplanade over there, and we have spent quite a few hours there sitting around in the sun and generally procrastinating until after lunch.

After that, we drove South towards Brisbane via the small beach communities along this coast until we found a place calld Shelly Beach, where we have spent the rest of the afternoon on the tidal flats and amongst the tidal pools searching for shells, fish and crabs. What a great way to spend an afternoon lazily!

We had to go back to the airport, and be there by 18:30 as we were to hand in our rental car by then, and so we did. As Brisbane is quite the city, we actually drove on proper highways for te first time in weeks! Multi lane, and with a separating barrier in between it was quite different from what we have become accustomed to. I’m only glad we have a Camry over here, and not the FJ Cruiser as that car is clearly not meant to drive on roads like these.

Travelling back to Amsterdam actually was quite uneventful, as we took off on time, landed on time in Dubai and got our connection right on schedule. The only misery was back in Amsterdam, where the recent opening of a more streamlined customs experience actually meant standing in line for about 45 minutes where we are usually done within 5. Oh well, is has been a good trip nonetheless.

Australia, you have been good to us. Maybe we’ll be back, but probably to visit the parts we have not visited yet: WA!

Day 34: To Brisbane

Airlie Beach treated us to a similar view this morning as it has for the last few days: gray overcast skies. Today however, everything was different: the skies had opened up and heavy rains fell down. Perhaps it is only a good thing that we are leaving today. We also shortly pondered about how yesterday would’ve been like with todays weather…

After a quick breakfast we packed our stuff “airport style” and took off towards Proserpine Airport, also known as Whitsunday Coast Airport. This has to be one of the smallest airports we have been to, with 2 scheduled landings and two takeoffs per day. One of this was the flight to Brisbane. Unlike all our other flights in Australia, this one was with Jetstar, and we even had row number 13, something unheard of back home. It is only a short flight to Brisbane, and 80 minutes later we already had left the plane.

We picked up our next Rental Car, a white Toyota Camry this time (again not the car we paid for but one class larger) and drove off to Glass House Mountains National Park, where the lodge was situated. The rest of the afternoon was spent walking the National Park and drinking tea.

Tomorrow we will, completely unplanned, visit Australia Zoo, the zoo owned and operated by the Irwin Family. This zoo is only 10 minutes driving away from our lodge, and since we again only have a short drive in front of us tomorrow, a day at the zoo will be spent well.