After nearly 8 months here, it was so much fun to finally have people from home to show around and share part of this Australia experience with! Also, I had forgotten how nice it is to be on the same time zone as someone! It meant so much to us that Jen and Tim wanted to and were able to travel all this way to see us. We had such a great time together! Here is a look at some of what we did.
Jen and Tim arrived in Gladstone on a Monday. I was a bit of a ruthless tour guide that day as I tried to keep them pretty busy (and avoid sleeping) in order to help adjust to the time difference and reduce jet lag in the next couple days. Sorry, guys! They got the grand "tour de Gladstone" where they saw the lovely city itself, "downtown," a failed attempt at finding Radar Hill lookout point, Spinaker Park and the Marina, and Canoe Point where they got their first look of the ocean.
The next day (Tuesday), we hopped in the car for a little day trip to the Rockhampton area where we visited the Capricorn Caves. David and I had visited these caves in December, but I really enjoyed going back.
Shortly after leaving the caves, we had our first kangaroo sighting on the side of the road. I had been hoping to find some "wild" kangaroos to show them. It's fun to see kangaroos in zoos, but it's even more exciting to see them just out in nature.
|Kangaroo sighting!! Left: a troop of kangaroos - Right: A momma kangaroo and her joey|
Before heading home, we stopped for a quick visit at the free Rockhampton Zoo. It definitely wasn't the most impressive zoo, but hey, you can't beat free! And we got to check some more Australian animals off of our list.
|Left: yes, that kangaroo is scratching his butt - Right: first koala sighting!|
The next day (Wednesday), we went on a Great Barrier Reef cruise and snorkeling trip, but I'm going to give that its own post in the next couple days, so check back for that.
On Thursday, we spent a few hours at the beach nearby, Tannum Sands, but unfortunately I forgot to take any photos- oops! Later that evening Jen, Tim, and I caught a flight to Brisbane for the next few days. I'm so glad I was able to tag along with them on this next leg of their trip. The main event of our time in Brisbane was my triumphant return (and their first visit) to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is definitely one of my favorite places I've visited in Australia so far, and I was so excited to take Jen and Tim there. I think I could go here a million times and never tire of it. I've become a bit of a koala fanatic, and this place is seriously koala heaven.
|Middle: It doesn't get much cuter than koala kisses|
|A baby koala (joey)|
|3rd photo: If you look closely, you can see the joey's feet poking out of the pouch!|
4th photo: I loved how this kangaroo was cuddled up with his head resting on his paws
|Petting a kangaroo will never get old - (Duck photo bomb)|
|Tasmanian Devil (aka tazzy devil)|
|Enjoying drinks and the sunset along the Brisbane River in Southbank Parklands|
I was sad to part ways with them in Brisbane. I would have loved to tag along to Melbourne and Brisbane with them too, but I also wanted them to be able to have some Aussie adventures on their own. Plus, work was calling my name. It was a great week though, and a very successful hosting of our first visitors!