Moving further down the east coast, next stop was Noosa.
It’s a pretty small town, a handful of shops, cute cafes and a lovely beach, the perfect place to kick back for a few days. We were lucky enough to be there at the same time as a big jazz festival, so there were saxophone players performing in the streets and live music everywhere. I stayed at Flashpackers, possibly the nicest hostel I stopped at in Australia. The staff were all really friendly, free transfers into and from town, free breakfast and a comfy tv room that felt more like my living room at home. It was also fairly small so we soon made friends with the other guys staying there – one day we all got a lift out to a local music festival and spent the day picnicking and chilling out in the sunshine.
From Noosa it’s also easy to get to Australia Zoo. I’m not normally a fan of zoos, but I’d heard good things about this one and the fact that it’s also run by the family of the late Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, made me think it might be different. So we headed out on the shuttle bus from the centre of town for a day at the zoo. I was not disappointed.
Rather than the usual depressed looking tigers in matchbox sized cages, the animals here appeared well looked after and you could tell that the emphasis here was conservation, not fleecing punters for their cash alone. Entrance was $59 for an adult. There were shows that ran throughout the day – I’d recommend the crocodile show, it’s cheesy but a good giggle. My favourite thing there was feeding the kangaroos. You were allowed into a series of huge fields, loaded with grain pellets for Skippy and his friends. The koalas were also pretty cute, if not hugely active – they sleep for about twenty hours a day! All in all we had a fun day, even if I did feel like the ultimate tourist, getting snapped with the Steve Irwin cardboard cut outs (slightly morbid) and crocodile statues.