The next morning we woke up and drove a short fifteen minutes into Noosa Heads. This was a cool beach town with lots of shops and cafes along the well-known Hastings Street. We wanted to try some of the lovely smelling cuisine but we just couldn't afford anything. Instead we went in town and found a cafe called “Eat Me” where we had a beautiful lunch for just ten dollars.
Though the food was wonderful, the best part about Noosa was the National Park trail walk. All along the beach there is a long trail walk in Noosa National Park that perfectly combines the two worlds of forest and beach.
We walked several k's along this trail, enjoying the beautiful views of both ocean and earth. I couldn't believe the magnificence of the scene around me.
The next morning we enjoyed a leisurely drive from Noosa Heads headed south. We didn't exactly have a plan as to where we would end up, but we knew from stopping at an information booth that there were several small and wonderful towns that we needed to drive through.
First on the map was a place called Eumundi. We didn't stop but just from driving through I could see that this was an adorable artsy town. Had I been with other art lovers we might have stopped to see some of the galleries.
The scenery for the drive felt like a tropical Arkansas. The roads were green and windy with big beautiful mountain views. Gorgeous multi level houses lined the sides of the road like jewels in a crown. I think we enjoyed looking at the architecture as much as anything.
The next town was Mapleton. The town itself wasn't so remarkable but just outside of town we found Mapleton National Park and took a very brisk walk down one of the trails there.
Outside of the next town, Montville, we stopped and took some amazing pictures at a lookout over the town. The view was fascinating.
Our favorite small mountain town was that of Maleny. Here we at lunch at the bicentennial park before walking around downtown. The town was small but absolutely adorable. There were lots of neat shops including several bookstores and an old fashioned fudge store.
There were several neat sites around town that gave Maleny a unique charm. I found it to be quite a liveable area.
As we continued our drive through the Glasshouse Mountains we soon found a short hike up Beerburrum Mountain, A.K.A. The death hike. The trail was only 1.4 kilometers including the return, but it was also classified as a class four hike, meaning the entire thing was a very steep incline that was almost impossible to climb. Patricia and I “felt the burn” after only a few steps. Matthew's personal training background kicked in as he tried to motivate us up the mountain. Despite his encouraging attempts we all had to take sever breaks both on the way up and the way down. I wouldn't recommend doing this hike in flip-flops by the way.
When we collapsed in the car afterwards we drove for a couple of hours before stopping again. Eventually we looked up and found ourselves entering Surfer's Paradise. Matthew and I chuckled as we realized our journey had come full circle. We were back to the beginning. Back to square one. Our first week in Australia was spent in Surfer's Paradise. Everything was new and shiny. We had knew next to nothing about this great country and now here we were again, seven months later. Matthew had just one week left in Australia and by some strange coincidence he was ending it where it began.
We called the nearest hostel and found a room for the night. Our roommate was a Kiwi who acted just like the guys on Jersey Shore. He said he had been sober for two out of the last thirty days and he wasn't planning on stopping any time soon. We all laughed at the irony between us and our roommate. He was ready to go all night and we were fighting to stay awake past nine o'clock. As an added effort in staying up, we decided to walk down to the beach. It was already dark out but we couldn't resist the Surfer's Paradise night air.
The ocean air was very refreshing. The three of us looked over the edge of the rail and gazed at the ocean. We walked up and down the sidewalks and ended the night with a drink at Beergarden, the same bar Matthew and I had our first Australian drink at seven months earlier.