Friday, 16 December 2011

Noosa, Sunshine Coast

Lounge area - Halse Lodge

In Noosa we stayed in Halse Lodge YHA as it was recommended to us by several people. The Greyhound dropped us off at Noosa Junction and there was a free pick up to take us to Halse Lodge which is at Noosa Head. When we first arrived the reception staff didn't seem very friendly or happy to be there and we were already regretting not just sticking to Nomads. We found our 4 bed dorm clean and comfortable but we didn't seem to see very many other people staying at the Hostel which disappointed us and already we were contemplating changing hostels for the second night. At the same time, we were both aware we were really tired and could be wrong about YHA.

Alexandria Beach
We had headed to Noosa with the plan of doing a canoeing trip in the Everglades, however when we arrived we found out it was fully booked until the weekend and neither of us were intending on staying that long. After the original plan failed we made more effort to find out what there was to do in and Noosa. The hostel run a welcome meeting every evening to give information about the area and the evening staff were so much nicer. By this time the bar was filling up too so we began to warm to the place a bit more. The next day we went for a walk in Noosa's vast national park. We took the coastal path way to Hell's gate and then to Alexandria Bay where, to our surprise, we discovered it was actually a nudist beach! We only stayed on the beach for about 20 mintues – laying on the beach with old men with everything on show wasn't really the most relaxing environment to say the least! We took a different route back to the park entrance this time through the woods. In total around circuit was about 8km which felt a bit more due to the intense heat but it was a nice work out before lunch.

Hells Gate
After seeing a poster in Peter Pan's we both decided to get a cheap hair cut by a girl staying in Nomads. I regretted it instantly as I always do with hair cuts but to be fair it was needed. Later we met a few others who hadn't been impressed by her either but it was cheap so we couldn't complain. That evening we had a few drinks in the bar where we met some guys who were from Noosa – one of whom had actually lived in Barrow in Furness for a couple of years as his mam was from Windermere which was extremely random. After Halse Lodge bar closed we headed to the Koala Bar at Nomads to continue the evening. I got talking to a couple of guys from down south and by chance we realised we were waiting for the same person in Noosa – Digby, who I'd met in Cairns but was actually their friend from home. The backpacking community, especially on the East Coast is incredibly small! You forever find yourself running into people you've already met, or people who know people you've met.

Eumundi Market
On Wednesday we got up relatively early and caught a bus to Eumundi, where we had been had a great market on a Wednesday and Saturday. The market was good, yes, similar to the continental markets we get at home with food from many different countries and lots of handmade goods. It was pretty extensive too – if you had a house in the area the market would be perfect for odd bits and bobs for around the home, and if you didn't mind spending money on food it would be great too. But neither I nor Inge have the capability to carry things for around the house or money to waste on food so it wasn't that long before we caught the bus back to Noosa. That afternoon we just chilled out and went to the beach for a while. Since leaving Cairns we've been on the go non stop: lots of activities, lots of alcohol and very little sleep, so we were both more than happy to spend our time in Noosa relaxing and catching up on some well needed rest.

That evening we met up with Digby and his friends for a few drinks in Nomads but didn't stay long before walking back to our hostel. Neither of us had intended on staying so long in Noosa but there is a really nice, chilled out atmosphere around and its really picturesque. On our last day we attempted and failed miserably to devise a plan for New Year, chilled out on the beach for a bit and had a look down Hastings street, the quite up market shopping street in Noosa Head. The weather wasn't too great that day so I was delighted to find a coffee shop selling Chai Lattes in the food court on Hastings street. I haven't lost my addiction to them at all and the fact that I only manage to get one very occasionally makes me appreciate them a whole lot more. We had an easy night before our Greyhound to Brisbane the next morning.

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