Zooming past the Gold Coast

CapebyronlighthouseToday we moved from Byron Bay, to the Glasshouse Mountains, north of Brisbane. Before we left Byron Bay we drove up to the lighthouse, and had a run around at the most easterly point of Australia. Our original plan was to move 100kms north, but in the end we moved 350kms, past the Gold Coast and Surfers Paradise, through Brisbane and up the Bruce Highway further still. This was because the weather was pretty cool and changeable, and the National Park we were aiming for was cold and wet. We decided that we’d stop there on the way down, and as Emily was happily asleep in the back of the van, we carried on up the motorway. When we crossed the border from New South Wales into Queensland it was like moving to another country. Suddenly the side of the road was covered with huge out of town developments, just like in the States, and there seemed to be a McDonalds every 10 miles (to give you a comparison, we think we saw 5 McDonalds in the 600 miles from Sydney to the state line with Queensland, and then after we crossed into Queensland, 10 in the 60 miles to Brisbane. We also saw the coastline developed with lots of tall apartment blocks, again something which didn’t happen in New South Wales. So Australia is obviously very different between each of the states.

We finally stopped around 5pm at a small campsite in the Glasshouse Mountains (basically, volcanic plugs sticking up in an otherwise flat landscape). The bonus was that this site had a TV room, so we settled down to watch the opening ceremony of the Rugby World Cup with a few other backpackers on the site. A week ago they’d been advertising 10,000 surplus tickets for the game in Sydney – if we’d been impetuous we could have been there in person, rather than watching it on the box!