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Noosa Heads, Australia

Well a lot has been going on and I haven't written for ages so this will be a long entry! I left Sydeny early one morning on the Oz Experience bus, which is a hop off-hop on bus that goes up and down the coast and stopped at a place called Spot-X, which gives free surf lessons for customers of the Oz bus. The accomodation was interesting - bunk beds in shipping containers! But it was a lovely spot with a beautiful, and when we went surfing the following morning the sun was shining and the sea was pretty warm. My second surf lesson so far on my trip was pretty successful, I managed to stand up a lot! That afternoon the bus headed up to Byron Bay, where I stayed for 2 nights. The weather was still pretty nice so I walked around the bay and up to the lighthouse and tried to spot some whales (nothing!). It was a very laid back hippie townand I would have liked to stay longer but the bus schedule was pretty restrictive. In the summer months there are departures everyday, but in the winter they only go 3 or 4 times a week, so you have to either stay in one place for a really long time or a really short time! I bumped into a girl who had been volunteering in a different project in Phnom Penh but staying in the same hotel there, and she was also travelling up the coast on the Oz bus. She had been in Byron Bay for almost a week already so she got on the bus I was getting and we travelled up to Brisbane together.
I really liked Brisbane, although again I was only there for 2 nights. They have a similar South Bank area to London, with a big theatre complex and museum and a lovely park/walkway along the river. They have built a really lovely artificial beach on the south bank, with lots of little cafes and restaurants and places to picnic, and the weather was beautiful when I was there, so I spent most of the time reading by the 'beach'. Leanne, the girl from Cambodia, had some friends living there, so the 2nd evening I was there we all went over to her house for Indian and then we went out in the city. It was really nice to be in someone's house having takeaway on the sofa! They were really lovely people, so welcoming and really showed us a good time!
So then we were off up to Noosa, a small upmarket town on the coast, a few hours north of Brisbane. We stopped a couple of times to spot wildlife and go to scenic spots - that's the great thing about the Oz Bus, they don't just take you from A to B, they show you things you'd never know about unless you were travelling with a local.
We arrived in Noosa mid-afternoon and checked into the YHA, a beautiful hostel really close to the beach. It's about 100 years old and the last timber building still used as accomodation in Noosa. The main building has a great big veranda down one side, where you can sit and watch the beautiful sunsets. They were advertising for a volunteer to stay for 3 or 4 weeks working in the kitchen in return for meals and accomodation, so I signed up and here I am! I have to work for about 4 hours a day, either morning or evening, and I get 2 days off a week so it's a pretty sweet life! There are 6 other people volunteering here and we have a small flat on the property with a little kitchen and lounge area so we can get away from the punters.
The hostel is just 1 minute from the beach so we spend most of our free time there, or wandering around Noosa's main street. It's a really great area for watersports, and one of the best surfing spots on this section of the coast. There have only been a couple of days where there have been any decent waves but I've been having a go! Most of the other volunteers surf so we all head down with our boards when we can. We've been really lucky to have access to a car so we've been able to head out of town to explore the area a lot. Last sunday we went to a place called Perigian Beach where there was a market and then live music in the afternoon. It was a great day sitting in the park in the sun listening to local bands and having a few drinks! We also went to a watersports park which had motorised cable wakeboarding which I had a go at. I started off on a knee board and got the hang of that pretty quickly. Going round corners was tricky because your pully starts to go round the corner, you catch up with it so the rope slackens and then yanks you round the corner. You have to steer out from the corner to keep the rope tight, and once I was able to do that you can just go round and round the lake all day! I tried to use a proper standing up wakeboard but failed massivley! I couldn't manage to get off the jetty without falling over, and gave up eventually! Today we did a little sea kayaking because we've finally got bored of lying on the beach!
When I first arrived in Noosa Leanne and I went to Australia Zoo which is about an hour from here. It was amazing! It was a sunday but it was almost empty so we didn't have to queue for anything or peer through hoards of tourists to see the crocodiles!

The weather has been lovely for the past few days, clear blue sky and a very hot sun. There has been some rain, and it gets very chilly once the evening sets in, but on the whole it's nice.
Tonight is didgeridoo night at the hostel! There's a bloke who comes in once a week to teach the didge to the guests. They love it, we don't love having to listening to beginners very week!
I've booked my flight home, which is pretty sad! Most of the other volunteers are also leaving within the next month, some of whom have been here more months and months already so we have a great big countdown chart on our wall. 4 weeks to go! The mood in the flat falls when anyone mentions going home, but everyone is excited as well about moving on. I can't believe I'm so near to the end of my trip, I need more time! I will be so sad to say goodbye to this side of the world, I don't want to think about leaving yet!

permalink written by   on August 7, 2010 from Noosa Heads, Australia
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