After three nights at the Channon campsite it was time to head onwards to new unexplored places. We were sad that we had not seen the koalas but felt blessed to have visited such a gorgeous area, which in hindsight was by far the most beautiful campsite of the whole journey. Packed and porridge fed, we set off early in the morning with new emotions of excitement for Christmas Eve on the Gold Coast where soft, spine-loving mattresses were waiting for us, and secrete Santa presents were to be finally revealed. That day was also the day we would officially leave the state of New South Wales and enter into Queensland, the state of tropical rainforests and ecologist Mecca, the one and only Great Barrier Reef. We crossed into QLD on a back-road, tucked away in the hot Welsh landscape. The crossing itself was a small road with a cattle grid, supposedly there to avoid too much crossover of livestock between the two states.
A short while later we arrive at the Aquarius Hostel, where real beds with real pillows and mattresses were waiting. We had already anticipated during our planning that we were probably going to be less in love with the tent after just under two weeks on the road and that we should treat ourselves at Christmas with a little luxury in the city! We were extra pleased with our decision that day too, as the weather forecast was predicting a cyclon to hit in the nearby future. Happily slumped in our beds we spent the rest of the afternoon in our four bedroom “private” room! For the two of us (Steven and I) who still hadn’t finished buying presents a quick venture to a nearby shopping centre for some frantic last minute shopping (and poorly wrapping at a café) was also accomplished.
In the evening we headed out for our highly anticipated Christmas meal (christmas meal on christmas day is too expensive) at an Irish Pub in the heart of the Gold Coast. An Irish pup was as close to British as we could get (hahhh… don’t tell an Irish person I said that) and we did actually feel quite at home when we arrived! To our horror and confusion we actually arrived an hour early, realizing shortly afterwards that QLD is an hour behind! The lovely people at the pub were so nice as to accommodate our earlyness, as well as sorting out the booking mistake we had made when we (I) booked a table earlier in the month without mentioning we would be wanting the set Christmas meal. The meal itself was lovely and “homely”, although I did miss my “yellow stuff” saffron and chicken risotto. Shawnee, Steven and I stayed true to tradition and had the turkey, roast potatoes, roast pumpkin and steamed vegetables, whilst Max braved the lamb version (traitor). For dessert we had beautiful Christmas pudding.