Where to begin. Where to begin. Really…where to begin, because it’s been so long I am afraid I will leave out so many stories! Ryan, Dennis, Andrea, please message me if I leave out important stuff and I can add it in here later!
After our Kiwi adventures, Dennis flew over to Sydney to meet up with Ryry, and Andrea and I flew up to Brisbane to meet them there in a few days. We hung around a pretty awesome hostel for a while, met some super cool people and drank some yum yum beer for a few days, checking out my favorite city in Australia (so far, at least) and partying hardy! Wednesday night was karaoke night, which we obviously dominated!!
DOMINATED. Is this even karaoke? We’ll say it is.
See? It wasn’t just us, either!
We even managed to meet up with Sophie, one of my best buds from Leeds, after more than a year and a half of promising I would come visit! It was about time!!
Obviously quite happy to see Soph again!
Why do I always look like that in photos with her? Maybe I don’t like her much after all.
From Brisbane, we planned a 4 day adventure up to Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world. Companies who run these tours put about 10 people in a group, give them a shopping list for food and a giant 4×4 truck, and let the tourists run wild! I must say, I am glad we had a few English folk on the trip, because driving on the wrong side of a car is difficult. Driving on the wrong side of a MANUAL car is more difficult. And driving on the wrong side of a manual MASSIVE FREAKING 4×4 is the most difficult of all! Especially when you are on a sand only island, and you are offroading on ridiculously bumpy and treacherous roads that are two way yet mysteriously only have room for one massive freaking 4×4. We definitely had a few close calls, and I definitely burned out the clutch a little bit when I found out you have to go up insanely steep sand hills in first gear. I had to stop her halfway up the hill and put ‘er back in gear while rolling back downhill. (Ok I’ve never offroaded before, okay? Give me a break GEEZE. GEEZE guys let it go!)
Ryan doing a rather excellent water fountain pose.
Paddy, our good-hearted Irish buddy!
The group at freshwater Lake Mackenzie. Beautiful! Paddy and I tried to swim across. He succeeded. I didn’t.
One thing I may not have mentioned about this island is there are a few really neat spots to visit, but other than that the only activities to be had are being bumped around viciously in the back of the truck while driving from place to place, or getting hammered. And get hammered we did. We spent more on booze among our one truck than the other two trucks did combined. If you don’t know this about Australia yet, the cheapest and most popular (until the next morning) way to get drunk is to buy Goon, which is a box of wine going for around $10 (Aussie dollar, of course). We had our van packed to the windows with crates of beer and boxes of goon, and a good thing too! That way we can play lots of put-your-wrist-in-the-6-pack-holder-plastic-thing-and-pull games! Which we did, as demonstrated below.
We were such a haggard crew on our final day, returning back to mainland Australia, that we considered making some custom shirts with the logo “Fraser Island KICKED MY ASS”.
Champagne pools, some really neat rock formations you could sit in and enjoy the waves washing over you from time to time. Also the place where I found out I look like a centaur or fawn. But probably less like a centaur, because he meant a fawn.
Nice shot from a viewpoint on the island…sorry it’s sideways, I’ll fix it later maybe. Probably not. Just turn your monitor sideways. Or your head, that would be easier. Up to you.
Occasionally vampire Andrea gets scared and hides under the bed from her larger cousins. Long story. “Hey Jeff, isn’t that the point of your blog, to explain the long stories?” Yeah well…shut up. =P
Back at the hostel after our Fraser adventure, we discover to Dennis’ delight that passed-out Andrea’s also make for excellent party seating!
Soooo…after Fraser we headed back down to Brisbane again, and spent a day out at the Australia Zoo, Steve Irwin’s contribution to preserving wildlife in Australia. We managed to see and/or pet and/or cuddle all of the wild and wacky animals they have down under. And I’ve got proof!
After that we hit up Byron Bay, a hotspot just south of Brisbane that is huge on the tourist radar. There are some places that are hyped up, and when you get there you find yoruself a bit disappointed. Byron is not one of those places. If you can stand a heap of tourists, then this is the place to be! Cheeky Monkeys, a bar across the street from the hostel (conveniently run by a bunch of Canadians) offers $2 or $5 dinners each night, beer INCLUDED. They then proceed to have contests where you can win more beer, and offer the cheapest deals in town for all your boozing habits. Our nights often consisted of pre-drinking at the hostel with a few good games of ‘cowboys’ before heading over for some cheap dinner and dancing the night away!
Me demolishing Mandrea at Cowboys. She knows it too.
We also took a few surf classes, just to look really cool.
As our wonderfully super awesome mega cool journey was coming to an end, I bid a rushed and less than sober goodbye to everyone, with Ryan accompanying me to the train station. “Are you sure you have the right airport Jeff?”. “HAHA,” I laugh, “I am not falling for that one again. There is ONLY one airport in Brisbane.” Little did I know that AirAsia is actually compliant in a complex conspiracy to confuddle confused tourists to miss their flights out of Brisbane. It turns out my flight is actually flying out of the Gold Coast, 1.5 hours by train from Brisbane, EVEN THOUGH the airport is listed as Brisbane on the AirAsia website. What a bunch of jerks. But all wasn’t lost, since I got the chance to head back to the hostel in Brisbane and scare the shit out of everyone while they were sleeping. We had another day to chill out around the city, and I even managed to get Ryan and Dennis signed up for a stripper contest about 10 minutes before I was leaving…too bad I couldn’t be around to witness the show. Or maybe I should be thankful. But there will always be pictures to remind us. Thank god…?
Dennis stripping out of a leopard print dress. ‘Nuff said? More than enough.