Friday, January 21, 2005

The Trip North........ continued

Brisbane has been extremely hot and humid all the time we have been here so we spend as much time as possible in airconditioning ie. home, the car, restuarants, malls and cinemas.
This is not to say we haven't been on some sightseeing tours. We had a pleasant day driving up to Springbrook, Lamington National Park, in the Gold Coast hinterland. The altitude there made the climate more pleasant (7 degrees cooler)and the views from the escarpment to the coast as well as the rain forest walks and waterfalls were quite spectacular. We returned to Brisbane via Murwillumbah on the New South Wales side of the border.
Another trip involved the Eumundi markets on the Sunshine Coast. These markets are well worth the 90 minute trip north. It takes a couple of hours to get around and most of the goods and artifacts on sale are made locally. There is very little of the usual "market junk". A few local bands were playing and the food stalls are good too. Can recommend the bratwurst and sauerkraut on a roll with German mustard. We then headed for Noosa. This was another personal disappointment for me. Not having been there for many years, it was sad to see how developed this area had become. The once quiet beachside village with one of the best surf breaks in the country is now a thriving metropolis with high rise hotels, thousands of people and no parking spots! The surf break was a log jam of surf boards. As a result we headed back down south along the coast through Coolum, Mooloolaba and Caloundra. Needless to say the whole area mirrored the the Noosa developement although the latter town had managed to maintain some of its old world charm.
Back in Brisbane, we took the Rivercat up the Brisbane River to South Bank to see "Mamma Mia" at the Lyric Theatre in the Queensland Centre for Performing Arts. This was the fourth time I had seen the show and enjoyed it as much as the first but I think I may be Abba'd out now.
We also went back to the Breakfast Creek Hotel for another steak and then headed across the road to the Breakfast Creek Raceway to a trotting meeting. We stayed for four races and had a few bets. I think "break even" was the result on the night. Well, that's my story and I am sticking to it.
The movies seen so far have included "Meet the Fockers" (don't bother), Bridget Jones 2 (ok, but not as funny as the first) and "Finding Neverland" (well worth seeing!).
Can also recommend the restuarant and coffee house strips of Racecourse Road, Ascot and Oxford Street, Bulimba. The Piccolo BYO Restaurant near Oriel Park, Ascot is also nice with the banana pudding and rum sauce to die for.
At "home" we have also been enjoying the fresh seafood. We have eaten lots of reef fish including Red Emperor, Parrot Fish and Coral Trout. We had Barramundi one night as well as different types of prawns, red spot, tiger etc. and fresh mussels. The Bar B Q has been working overtime.
Our friends return from Canada on Sunday morning when we will begin our trip home. In the meantime we will enjoy our last few days.
For those that are asking "where are the pics?", I am sad to say my digital camera has decided to go on holidays too. I need to take it for service once I get back to Sydney. But I have access to other photos which will be put up on the site in due course.

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