We had to rise with the sun and leave the cattle station early in the morning to make our way back to Tamworth in order to catch our flight to Brisbane. The animals were active in the morning causing us to slow down a few times for kangaroos & cattle on the road. We arrived at the Tamworth airport just in time to return our rental car and board our plane.
We’ve been lucky to meet many great people over the course of our travels. The idea of our visit to Brisbane really started on our family trip last year with Lindblad Expeditions where we became friends with Beau, the Orion’s Dive Master. Beau, hearing of our plans for this year introduced us to his mom Lee, who volunteers at the the world famous Australia Zoo (the one created by the Irwin family). After a few months of emailing with Lee, we worked a visit to the Sunshine State into our plans.
We rented a home across the canal from Lee’s house on sleepy Bribie Island. We found Bribie Island to have several similarities to our home on Amelia Island with it’s uncrowded sandy beaches and abundance of fresh seafood.
Lee was a fabulous tour guide and showed us all over her island. We walked the dogs on the beach, kayaked and boated through the canals and around the island, visited Lee’s famous Thong (flip flop) Tree, and Lee escorted us through the Australia Zoo – definitely the highlight of our time in the Brisbane Area.
Our weather wasn’t great while in the “Sunshine State”. As much as we would have liked to spend more time enjoying the pool and beaches, the couple days of rain allowed us to catch up and get ahead on some of our work. Our next stop was Uluru where we’d be busy with touring each day from morning to night.
We went to a thong tree that was a tree with flip flops all over it. We also went to a dog beach and meet these dogs named Harley and Rusty. We ate ice cream at a cafe and played at a rope climing park, I jumped thro two sqares at the same time and skined my knee and my arm in the same jump, and swam in the coldest pool ever. We also got to go kayaking.We got to go on a motor boat with the two dogs.
We went to a zoo and got to feed roos and see dingos. We got to see these tall birds that could not fly and could hav sliced you in half with their claw and knock you out with this thing on top of their head! At the Australia Zoo, we also got to go inside the cage with the Meercats! One got on my head and fell off.
Then we went to Bribe Island where we met Lee and her husband [Gordon]. Lee took us to the dog beach and then her thong tree where she hangs flip flops from dogs all over the world. (they call flip flops thongs). Then we went canoeing and took a boat ride in their motor boat.
Then Lee took us to the Australia Zoo where we got to hold lizards and pet snakes and birds. We got to go into the meercat’s pen and feed them and let them climb on our heads and shoulders. One of the meercats even fell off of Emily’s head. Then we went to the croc show and watched two men show us things about the crocodiles.
We’ve arranged for most of our family touring in Australia through Southern World. We like exploring new destinations by all methods of travel – cruising, touring, or on our own. The thing we like best about private custom tours is that we can collaborate with and design our experience exactly the way we want, under the expert guidance of a trusted local operator.
With mom in meetings for our time in Melbourne, we don’t have any scheduled tours planned until we arrive in Uluru. Even though we didn’t have anything organized for a few weeks after we arrived, Southern World was kind enough to send an abundance of local touring options we could explore on our own during our first couple of weeks in Australia. The information was all waiting for us when we arrived in Melbourne, especially nice that we didn’t receive it at home and have one more thing to pack.
There are several options for cruising around the perimeter of Australia – Large ship, small ship, expedition. The cruises are a great way to see the sections of the country you may like to return to at a later date. With as long as it takes to get to Australia from the States, we recommend also organizing some pre-or post touring to explore some of the interior of the country as well.
Taking a tour with a small group provides the opportunity to experience the sites of Australia with other like-minded travelers on popular pre-designed itineraries.