On our third day on Stradbroke Island we visited a place called Blue Lake. It was a lovely walk, through beautiful dry eucalyptus forest. The lake itself was a joy to swim in, such a change from the salty ocean. Shawnee got to finally try out her rubber ring and we used her as a resting station out on the deep water. We ate lunch by the lake before heading back and going to a second lake in the area. This one was called the brown lake, and had gotten it’s name from the fact that it was stained brown from leaching tannins from the leaves of the tea tree that grew around the lake. It had gotten a bit cold and windy by then so only Max and I dared out into the freezing water to see if the tea tree water had the skin reviving powers that the brochure boasted it had. The rest of the day was spent chilling back at the campsite before hot chocolate making from leftover Christmas chocolates, and then bedtime!
On our final day on Stradbroke Island we woke up to the best weather we had seen for days. Blue skies and sunshine, perfect for the beach! We spent the morning at Home beach where we found the most perfect spot under palm trees and shade, with hanging branches perfect for hanging clothes, bags and towels from. Time on the beach consisted of sunbathing and dipping into the ocean to cool off, where I at one point got caught up in a wave and was forced to the sea floor where I swallowed a lot of seawater. The pressure of the wave was so immense that my ears burst and were aching for nearly 20 minutes after the incident. I whimpered out of the ocean looking startled and sorry for myself like a cat would look like if he or she had to take a bath. I nestled in under the palm trees on my towel and decided that the sun and I were best friends for the rest of the afternoon, and that the ocean and I were on a break. When it approached lunchtime we headed to Point Lookout where the cafés and shops were, and where the “best gelato in the Brisbane region” lay! My raspberry and mango flavoured ice cream definitely delivered, that’s for sure!
After lunch we meandered around some of the cute boutiques selling cute seaside things, pretty patterned interior and jewellery. We then headed to Amity beach, hoping for a second extraordinary dolphin encounter. However that was not meant to be on that day as the dolphins were spotted out in the open waters, probably doing a bit of hunting. One or two dolphins had decided to stick around closer to the beach but were busy being fed by naughty tourists/locals. However, the afternoon was faar from a disappointment as we got to see the baby koala and his mother again in the trees down to the beach, as well as sunbathing whilst watching the dolphins swimming in the ocean in the horizon. The temperature was perfectly warm, and golden light bathed the landscape around us. Back at camp we saw ANOTHER koala, this time smack bang in the middle of the caravan site, right next to the showers and kitchen! The little fella had gone unnoticed in the tree until one camper happened to spot him coincidently with his torch after dark. Surprisingly the koala was not in a eucalyptus tree, but a completely unrelated species of tree, munching away at it’s leaves. An unusual sight, as the koala’s diet consists mostly and nearly entirely of eucalyptus. We discovered later, after a bit of reading online, that a bit variation in foliage isn’t unheard of for koalas.