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Travel Australia with Kids

Tuesday, 31st May 2011

Parmiss Keyhani - Thursday, June 02, 2011

The crossing of the Queensland border was quite anti-climatic (as most anticipated events are I guess) - in fact if we didn't know it was coming up we would have missed it altogether.  We crossed just past the tiny town of Legume and pulled over at a lovely picnic area on Waterfall Road for lunch, where we discovered a sneaky leech had been feasting on poor Tiran's leg the whole day!  He took it quite well though and seemed fascinated to see his own blood without any associated pain.

We headed into the sizeable and extremely tidy town of Warwick where we did our much needed food shopping.  The kids were also quite excited at the prospect of seeing the much advertised statue of Tiddalik the Frog who comes from an aboriginal Dreamtime story about a gigantic frog that drinks all the water and sends the country into drought. Unfortunately the statue didn't live up to the expected stature - it was barely taller than Kia!  We spent an absolutely freezing night at a free camp spot in Maryvale (behind the historic Crown Hotel) surrounded by lovely quiet farmland.  It was actually an idyllic and peaceful spot for a sleep.

We then spent 2 nights in and around Brisbane - and the traffic was unforgettable!  I thought Sydney was bad - well Sydney IS bad, but so is Brisbane, at least the days that we were there.  We were stuck in a traffic jam on the freeway into town for over 2 hours while they very slowly cleared up a fatal accident from 12 hours ago. It was so jammed that at one point, I jumped into the caravan to get some morning tea fruit ready for everyone and we hadn't moved by the time I got back in the car! It was very frustrating, especially as we've become accustomed to the traffic-free country roads and clear highways around the small towns.

We visited the Steiner school in the outer suburb of Stamford - like all the other ones we'd already seen, it was lovely.  So we decided we no longer needed to check out the schools - we would just concentrate on whether or not we liked the area and trust that the school is perfect.  And we saw very little sign of the massive damage caused by the recent floods - they have done a great job cleaning up and getting on with it.

We did have a wonderful time catching up with friends and family:  we visited Michael's niece Kassandra and her husband Harley in Coomera (near Dream World) sharing laughs and stories over pizza.  We spent the night in the carpark of a nearby watersports park and in the morning had a little wander around the rowing regatta being held.  The competitors were high school kids - imagine getting up so early on a Saturday to go racing!  We had a lovely visit with old friend Shervin and his lovely new fiancee Marilyn; Shervin even found us a place to park the monster rig overnight (next door to their apartment building in the RACQ car park) - no small feat in a major city and a favour we will eternally be grateful for!

We also got the chance to meet up with one of my work colleagues, Sue and her lovely family (Wes, Declan and Kieran) for a marvellous BBQ dinner. Mike developed a major crush on Wes' fishing gear, of which there is enough to open his own store!  And I loved catching up with everything's that's been happening at BMS over the last 6 months. The kids even had a bath there which is a real luxury from the quick 3 minutes showers they get in the caravan.  We were treated to a scrumptious cooked breakfast by Shervin and Marilyn on our last morning before bidding farewell to Brisbane - more sure than ever that living in a captial city is not for us.

We spent a couple of nights at Beerburrum State Forest from where we visited the Glass House Mountains and a surprise trip to Australia Zoo.  We had kept the kids on their toes for the past few days by promising to go only if they were on their best behaviour and not giving them a definite date for the outing.  It certainly worked with Kia - he was absolutely terrified of missing out on the crocodile feast, so he was on exemplary behaviour .... for a few days anyway.  That's the trouble with the bribing method - after they get the prize, there's no longer any reason to behave!

Australia Zoo was a big hit with Kia (just the sheer number of crocodiles kept him happy), and the rest of us enjoyed it too, but I think after all the hype, Mike and I were quite underwhelmed. It is absolutely massive and there is no doubt a huge amount of work and effort has gone into setting it up and keeping it going.  There are photos of Steve Irwin everywhere and a huge wall of remembrance as well.  My favourite part was the tigers, such magnificent animals.  We finally dragged the boys out around 4:30pm so we could get to our rest area before dark - they could barely keep their eyes open!


Tiny border sign as we crossed into Queensland - QLD border (26May11)A smaller-than-anticipated Tiddalik the Frog Statue - Warwick, QLD (26May11)Lovely farmlands (but feezing) around Maryvale Crown Hotel - Maryvale, QLD (27May11)Catching up with Kassandra & Harley - Coomera, QLD (27May11)
Catching up with Shervin & Marilyn - Brisbane, QLD (28May11)The very politically incorrect couple off to a costume party - Brisbane, QLD (28May11)Catching up with the Pangs (Keiran, Sue and Wes in photo) - Brisbane, QLD (28May11)Rock sculptures by the kids - Beerburrum State Forest, QLD (30May11)
Camp spot at Beerburrum State Forest - QLD (30May11)Glass House Mountains - QLD (30May11)I loved these little mosaic depictions! - Glass House Mountains, QLD (30May11)Glass House Mountains - QLD (30May11)

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