I have always classed myself as a bit of a city girl. I love London, Starbucks, shopping and high heels, and the words ‘camping’ and ‘remote’ fill me with a type of dread only associated otherwise with mushrooms (for anyone that doesn’t know, a major source of horror for me). So when, within a few days I went from life in a big city to life in a cute seaside town, I was surprised to find that I actually preferred the more natural option of the two.
Maybe I should set the scene a bit more accurately. I arrived in Brisbane the morning-after-the-night-before, when me and Natasha had embraced the partay lifestyle of Surfers Paradise rather too fully considering how early our bus was the next morning. So, after an 8.15 bus, we arrived hungover, sweaty, and I promptly passed out on the couch in the communal area for 4 hours whilst waiting for check in. I may have even dribbled… After recovering (ish) from the hangover from hell after check-in, we ventured out into the blistering heat (great for the aforementioned hangover, obviously) for a wander. What I found with Brisbane was that it kinda had the anonymity of any big city, but the heat that only seems to be a thing out here. As I perused H and M and Topshop and took in the coffee shops and restaurants, I felt like I could have been chillin’ on Oxford Street on a really sunny day in June. The only difference, however, was the lagoon. It’s a bit traumatic, but in many places in Australia you can’t actually swim on the beaches because of sharks (dun dun DUN), so these places make pretend beach-y, pool-y things so you can pretend that you’re living your best beach life even though you’re not. I found the whole thing a bit strange to be honest, like why not just face facts that you’re not beach city and be done with it? Australia is a strange place sometimes.
However, there was one thing Brisbane offered me that nowhere else had yet. The chance to hold – squeal – koalas! Now I’m a big fan of the classic koala based on the fact that we share two key interests: eating and sleeping. A koala sleeps for 18 hours a day, and for me, that sounds like living the absolute dream. Also, they can sleep in pretty much any position, a skill that I feel I have acquired after almost 2 months away from home, and a lot of time spent sleeping on chairs in hostel waiting rooms. However, unlike my furry friends, I don’t have chlamydia! When the koala keeper handed me over my koala, called Halle (after Halle Berry), I turned embarrassingly fan girl and started an Oscar acceptance style speech thanking the guy so much for letting me hold Halle. He gave me a dead eyed look that to me suggested he hears this shit faaar too often. He was not best pleased, however, when I burst into tears and begged to keep Halle forever. Joking… (sort of).
After just 2 nights in Brisbane, we hopped back on the bus and headed to Noosa. Noosa is basically a cute little beach town, a bit like Byron Bay but more mainstream. The sun was constantly shining, everyone was tanned and happy and me and Natasha found the world’s best cake shop, which we spent three consecutive days in… #missyoufionasfancies
On our first day in Noosa, the hostel organised a nature walk including cute views and koalas. However, the walk left at 10am and we were both still snoring away as 10 came and went. So, armed with shit trainers, water bottles and the dream of seeing a koala, we headed off prepared for the walk of our lives.
And did it disappoint? Nope, it was beautiful and the coast was pretty and many a posed candid photo was taken… for all of maybe half an hour, after which point we were literally swimming in a sexy solution of sweat and suncream and the scent of disappointment at the lack of koalas. So, we rather promptly retreated to the town, air con, and, you guessed it, Fiona’s Fancies. Speaking of other walking disappointments, on our last day we decided to venture down to Sunshine Beach, the other main beach in Noosa besides Main Beach (creative naming, that). We trekked through many a housing estate and tough terrain (streets), and even a touch of rain to find the most disappointing beach ever. Being nature phobic, I personally like a beach with tacky beach shops and cafes aplenty, however Sunshine Beach was literally deserted and there was grass. On the beach. Not worth the walk (and the four dollars I spent on the bus back – awks).
Weirdly though, I much preferred Noosa, with its quirky shops, national parks and palm trees to the concrete jungle of Brisbane. Maybe there’s a nature lover in me yet…