Gah 2016 is ending!! It feels like I'm fully aware of it yet not quite.
I'm left with the last #dayretravel posting for the Brisbane trip back in September…. So let me just finish what was started yea 😅
*cough cough and puts on my best narrator voice*
On the last episode of #enroutewithyeo……….
We went from Spartan Beast to Gold Coast to Fraser Island, and we were finally on the last leg of our tour… just a couple of days to explore Brissy and of course,
Even though we were in Aussie for a total of 11-12 days, time just didn't seem quite enough as our schedule was pretty packed.
It wasn't easy fitting in both Island tours so we settled for just a 1-day Moreton Island tour right after Fraser Island 🙂
Bear in mind there are no tours on Wednesdays as the ferry (also known as Micat) doesn't operate on Weds.
FUN FACT: Running Man filmed on Moreton Island a couple of years back where they were made to do a series of thrilling stuff like water and air activities. It's the episode with Kim Woobin (and possibly Kwangsoo) dressing up as a kangaroo.
Unlike Fraser Island, this tour was definitely more adventure-filled and the itinerary consisted of 3 main activities – snorkeling, kayaking and sandboarding!
We were also brought around in a huge 4WD so there isn't any self-driving 🙅🏻
Also, this tour was very VERY Asian – not too sure why, but I'm guessing Sunset Safaris is a lot more commercialised.
The group consisted of a Eurasian couple, small groups of Taiwanese, Hong Kongers and Koreans, and us.
And you know, with Asians and the whole selfie situation, you can kinda guess how things are gonna go down.
All suited up and ready to hit the sea!
Despite knowing how to swim, I wasn't all that confident of my skills so I got a swimming board just in case… and it was a good decision as I started panicking once I wasn't able to see the seabed 😰
Hello there 👋🏼
Getting lots of photos taken again because L was hands-free so of course, the GoPro was in his hands 😛
Never knew snorkeling would be this exhausting!!
The flippers were giving me such a hard time – my thighs were aching and sore from all the paddling 😩
After what seemed like forever, we finally got to the Tangalooma wrecks where we could take a break!
FUN FACT: These shipwrecks are man made, so as to block out some of the currents coming onto the shore.
This area was also shallow so it meant that we could stand up to look at the fishes swimming around us!
All the greedy fishes surrounding us… waiting for some bread to be bestowed upon them.
Reusing my IG caption:
Hello, it's me.
I was terrorizing all the fish I saw under the sea.
"EH why do I look so ridiculous ah???"
"I don't know. Who ask you every time go down to take photo your arms will come up like that."
There wasn't really much time for each activity, considering how we had to head back to the ferry at about 3ish, we quickly moved on to the next activity.
The transparent kayaks all laid out and ready for us to get on board anytime!
If we had opted for the 2D1N tour, there would be the night kayaking option as well where the lights would illuminate the seabed and you'd get to see different kinds of fishes….
Oh wells no time ☹️
We had to be extremely careful not to hit the barnacles!
These pesky little things…..
Our kayaking shots didn't turn out well at all as there was a water spot on the camera that we didn't quite remove 😟
So here's a blurry pic of us on the kayak!
After a quick lunch, our guide Andrew, drove us up to The Desert for our last activity of the day…
The activity that we were looking forward to the most!!!! Super stoked that this was about to happen! 😱
Just endless sand…. Well, it's called The Desert for a reason 😄
The first time we sandboarded, it just seemed so scary as we were tipped at the edge of the dune, held on by Andrew just by our ankle and before we knew it, we were released and dove right down at top speed 💨💨💨
Sandboarding was also not easy right the beginning because you're most likely to get sand anywhere and everywhere – like in all open orafices.
The first time I zoomed down, I ended up with lots of sand in my ear.
The right way to sandboard
1. Arch your back so your chest is slightly lifted.
2. Lift up your elbows high and make sure they don't touch the sand at all.
3. Lift up your feet unless you wish to slow down or change the direction you're heading towards.
It took me multiple tries of "eating sand" before I realized that my back wasn't arch enough, hence I was getting sand all over my face. And it's definitely not a fun experience 😖
The worst part of sandboarding wasn't going down, but rather coming up.
It was soooo tiring because it was pretty steep and you're walking up soft fine sand.
Definitely was a good cardio workout… so much so I would stop in between for some breaks lol!
By the time we got up to the top, I was completely worn out and simply laid back down on the sand…
No snow here so a sand angel will do 😆
After countless of times – tiring but worth it!
Tell you ah, we were the most non-Asian of the lot.
Took some pics and moved on quickly but the other Asians….. snap snap snap snap snap non-stop…. until Andrew was like "aye FAIR DINKUM?!?"
And you know, since there's a Dayre Aussie slang sticker set, with Oli giving a thumbs up, the usage of 'fair dinkum' by Andrew seemed to have a negative connotation…
Turns out, it meant something along the lines of "are you for real?" which can be both positive and negative I guess.
We bade the desert goodbye and hit the road again to get on board the Micat.
The trip back made me realise how I was never going to be able to get rid of all that sand on me!!! Every movement I made, I could feel sand falling out my hair, ears and nose.
Even after countless baths, I still felt sandy!!! 😩
So…. that concludes the Moreton Island chapter!
💡 PRO TIP: In Brisbane, there are car parks with advanced booking (www.secureparking.com.au) at value prices.
One big issue with Aussie is how expensive parking can be! Luckily with some research, I found out that our pickup area had this value parking option and we bought a full day of parking (7am to 7pm if I remember correctly) for just $13!! Really really worth it considering how we might have incurred nearly $60 worth of parking fees if we didn't know about this option.
With all the island tours, we were left with just a couple of days to wander about Brisbane… so of course, we did touristy things, like going to the museum for a dinosaur exhibition, did a clock tower tour, visited markets etc.
We stayed at 2 airbnb apartments during our time in Brisbane.
Our first apartment hosts were Dion and Hamish. Location was pretty good, just outside the the CBD. The apartment and room were furnished pretty nicely and they had Netflix available (The couple walked in on us watching Happy Tree Friends 😬)
They had a bright and airy living area.
And a balcony where L and I would have our breakfast.
Bed hair don't care.
I miss L making breakfast for me hehe 🙊 #domesticgod?? LOL
Our apartment was a short walk away from a ferry pickup/drop off point so we could easily take the CityCat into the CBD area instead of driving.
We let (our bellies and belts) loose and ate non-stop!
Very pleased with this mushroom stew with half an avocado and some sour cream.
Explored all the way to South Bank to see this man made beach…. and also to seek out some outrageous shakes.
We had this beauty that was full of Nutella in GC I believe and we simply wanted more!!!
Headed to Doughnut Time at CBD as recommended by Gourmand and Gourmet but alas, the outlet was closed for renovation and sold only donuts!!!
So we settled for Mister Fitz's ice-cream instead.
Had mint choc chip sandwiched in between 2 thin fudgy brownies.
Yum yum. Mint ice cream is my weakness 😛
Speaking of which, Australia has this Magnum-like ice-cream with a core that's a mix between 2 flavors. I tried the mint cookies and cream one and its hands down my favourite flavor ever!!!
Mr Cookies n' Cream and Ms Mint, your baby is DELICIOUS!!!!!
Another shot of this beauty.
One of the things I wanted to do was go see a strip show but we had other better things to do… so next time I guess?
Always no fate to see what goes on in such places. Hahahaha. Back in Toronto, L and I were like "yaya let's go see" and plans never did materialize 😑
Doing it in the name of science. Will Dayre about it when the day comes.
On one of the days, we took the car out for a spin and went up Mount Coot-tha – Brisbane's tallest mountain – to get a bird's eye view of the city but alas, it was stormy and our mood was dampened literally.
The sky getting overcast with each passing moment.
So we snapped a selfie and zao! Hahaha!
Just below Mount Coot-tha, there was a science center and botanical gardens. The gardens had free walking tours going on so we went for one of it and the guide was so so so knowledgeable!
Did you know that figs are pollinated by wasps?
These wasps crawl into the figs and die in them. So if you've eaten a fig before, changes are you would have ingested a disintegrated wasp 🙊
However, we found out that the figs here won't get pollinated as the wasps and figs kinda go hand-in-hand. Certain wasps will only go to certain figs and turns out the wasps needed to pollinate these figs can't be found in Brissy 😟
Pretty sight though I must say.
The botanical gardens had quite a number of themes going on, such as rainforest, ferns… and this was the Japanese garden. Complete with a Sakura-lookalike tree.
A majestic tree with a naturally white bark.
My favorite part has got to be the scent and texture garden where all the plants have got either a distinctive scent or textured leaves.
It was built for the visually impaired, to experience the foliage through scents and touch. SO COOL AIN'T IT?!?
Our guide took out a Tupperware of leaves and handed them over for us to smell and guess which plants they came from!
I never expected myself to enjoy this tour but we both learnt so much – not just about the plants, but the history of the place!
Our second host was Amelia and her apartment was a stone's throw away from the airport. Plus point, she has a cat!
Say hi to Lando, the three-legged cat!
Playful little rascal that would jump onto our bed when Amelia wasn't around.
I've also lost most of the tan that I gained from this trip 👏🏼👏🏼
On the day of our flight back, we had some time so we went for a hearty breakfast in the area.
Let Minnow cafe.
Minnow is a particular breed of fish… and the name of this cafe is a pun (let me know).
Quirky decor going on around here
With street names to identify our table orders.
Flat whites all day err day 😌
And a hearty breakfast.
This was our last meal before we left so we needed to have some halloumi!
I love such breakfasts! Toasts, avocados, poached eggs, bacon 😍😍😍
Our second and final shake for the trip. Sad that we didn't get to try more. So sickeningly sweet but so shiok!! Oh wells… Guess we saved on the calories 😛
Since we still had a little more time to kill, we hopped to another cafe for some
Generous amounts of acai, fruits and granola for about $12 if I'm not wrong!!!! So worth it leh! Compared to places in SG, like Project Açaí… but I'm a sucker for this.
Blended açaí tastes like healthy ice-cream!
And this concludes the final post on our Aussie adventure!
We're super glad that we invested in a GoPro prior to the trip. Along with all the equipment, we burnt about a $1000+ but it served us so so well, considering the nature of our activities!
It survived the muddy and wet conditions of the Spartan race, prevailed the countless lakes we went to on Fraser Island and endured the activities we did on Moreton Island 👍🏼
Ending this post off with a video of our trip!