Monday, July 16, 2007

East is east

I'm now further up the east coast of Oz in "the sunshine state" of Queensland. The current stop in Surfers Paradise where I'll be spending the whole day tomorrow - I'll be surfing as it seems to be the appropriate thing to do here.

I joined up with my tour group in Sydney early yesterday morning. We did a very brief trip up to Mrs Macquarie's chair which overlooks the Opera House and Harbour Bridge where we were obliged to get a group photo. We the raced out of Sydney and headed to the wine region Hunter Valley. There we sampled quite a large selection of wines including a rather bizarre sparkling red. The wines were ok, but I was expecting some slightly nicer ones, although maybe my wine tasting palate wasn't quite ready at 11am. We then drove on to Coff's Harbour (home of the big banana) where we spent the night. It was a fairly quiet one as most people were pretty knackered, plus the bar closed at 9.30pm. Today we set of for Byron Bay (just past the big prawn). We went to the lighthouse on Byron Point, which is the most easterly tip of Australia - the views were amazing from this headland, and we got to see a pod of Humpback whales migrating. In Byron Bay itself we went for lunch and I headed straight for the lovely beach. The town's really nice and it would have been great to stay for longer than the two hours we had. I did get to swim in the sea though and sampled the local fish and chips. The water was fine for someone from the UK and was about as warm as it ever gets back home. Following this we went to a wildlife park and saw the normal selection of Aussie wildlife - I didn't get my picture taken cuddling a koala, but many people did. We've now arrived at Surfers Paradise and I think I'll be heading for some food and drink pretty soon.

On a general note the tour group I'm with seems pretty cool (I have to say this as some might read it later ;)). The majority of them are heading all the way up to Cairns, but I leave them at Brisbane.

p.s. I'm going to say nothing about the gig we did other than don't mention "the Reaper".