It’s been a nice past week with a few adventures here and there. Between the beach, shopping, Uni, waterfall trip, and a weekend trip it was a good week!
Yesterday we took a short drive to Buderim Falls which was about 20 minutes up the rode (unless you got a bit lost like us…). It was a really nice 40 minute walk up to the rock pools and waterfalls. Both Michael, my roommate, and I are into photography so we set up the cameras and tripod, and got some pretty pictures of the falls and area!
1:00 am I woke up bright and early to live stream Megan’s graduation from Colorado School of Mines! I was so proud to watch her rock the commencement student speech. At about 3:30 am is when I saw her walk across the stage!
Then around 3:45 am, going off 3 hours of sleep, Michael & I started our 5 hour road trip up north to Gladstone. His family lives here and we visited for the weekend. Unfortunately, the rest of our friends were busy so they were not able to make it as well.
At about 9:20 am we arrived in Gladstone, said hello to his family, and I was very excited to see all the cows on their farm! Then Michael, his dad, and brother took me on a tour of the city of Gladstone which is about 20 minutes from their home. We stopped at some lookout points to view Lake Awoonga, which was quite beautiful! See for yourself.
Then we drove to a couple other lookout points to see the the harbor and downtown. Gladstone is a huge industrial center and port, and it is very noticeable how the city never sleeps.
After a tour of the town, we grabbed some food from the grocery story and headed back to the house for a delicious lunch! We then set off to find some of the cows, so we loaded up in the ute and drove through the bush. After a while we found them and they were pretty adorable! As we were driving back to the house, they noticed a few cows were on the wrong side of the fence, thus began an adventure of getting the cows back. The guys did most of the work, but it was interesting to see how life on their farm worked.
After that fiasco, Michael & I hung out with the cows in the yard and pet their donkey, Mimi, for quite some time. Mimi seemed to really liked me, she was adorable! Although, it was a tiny bit creepy when all the cows would come close and all stare at us… seemed a bit like something out of a horror movie haha. But they currently had 5 calves who were just so cute, so I loved seeing them!
Then we started a large bonfire, warmed up, and flew some paper airplanes! Being in the woods and having a bonfire made me feel right at home. We all started to get a bit hungry, so Michael’s dad threw some steaks, sausages, hash browns, and eggs on the grill – needless to say, it was delicious! Michael’s family were telling me about how cool Gladstone looks at night when all the lights are illuminated over the water, so we decided to drive into town and take a look. But first we definitely put our jumpers, socks, and sweatpants (or treky dacks as Aussies call them) on – thankfully Michael’s mum had some for me to borrow because I was ill-equipped and not ready for 50 degree weather! The were very right, the town was beautiful all lit up. And much to my surprise, it was very peaceful at the top of lookouts.
As we drove home, the 3 hours of sleep I’d gotten today was fully catching up to me. So I decided to get some good sleep – after talking to Logan for a little bit as he had a long bus ride to his next stop in Greece! I was amazed when I looked out the window at night at how clearly I could see all the beautiful stars.
We had a chill morning and I was happy to snuggle with their fluffy cat, Thor, who finally warmed up to me. Although he doesn’t look very thrilled to be with me. But I was beaming with happiness since I haven’t held a cat in 3 months.
After a delicious brunch of eggs and bacon sandwiches, Michael, his brother, and I headed to another town that was close to their home. Tannum Sands is about 20 minutes away and a nice beach area – it was so pretty! We spent some time there just walking around. I thoroughly enjoyed the town’s choice of speed bumps: concrete turtles!
After this, we headed back to the house and the drove over to the neighbor, Chris’, house. He particularly wanted to meet me because oddly enough he lived in Minnesota for a few years just up the road in Sauk Centre! Small world. It was fun to bond over MN and I had a good laugh when he said that Minnesota is the coldest he’s ever been in his life. We stayed there for about a half hour before heading back to the house. Michael and I loaded up our things, said our goodbyes, and hit the road again around 1:00 pm. Michael also decided that I needed to try the classic “hot box” road trip foods from the servo (gas station) like dim sims, potato scallops, and crumb sausages. They were really good – quite a surprise to me because American gas station food is nowhere near good.
About halfway through the trip we decided to stop at a bird sanctuary along the way to stretch our legs and it looked like something interesting. It ended up being quite cool! We saw a wide variety of birds like cockatoos, macaw, and many more. There was one adorable little guy that liked to perch on top of Michael’s shoulder even when he walked. And eventually the bird popped over to my shoulder and hung out there for a while! We also saw some Emu (the animal that the Aussie’s lost a war to), Kangaroos, and 2 bashful swans that loved to follow us around. It was a definitely nice detour!
We then loaded back up into the car, only stopping once more in my other roommate, Chelsea’s, hometown of Tiaro to see the famous Mary River Turtle Statue. The Mary River is home to the rare turtle – the only place on the planet where it is found. Take a moment and look at this crazy and unique species !
The rest of our ride consisted of jamming to ABBA hits, a beautiful sunset, and fish & chips for dinner! It was a nice little weekend trip and great to see a new part of Australia!