This is off the beaten track in that it took me several buses to get back from it! If you have a rental car it'll be easier. But I do think it's well worth it. The place is called Fleays Wildlife Park, pronounced 'Flays' NOT 'Fleas' as I said on the phone! There are some cute little critters in there and as you have animals quite close to you, e.g. birds landed on the hand rail next to where I was sitting! One squalked and landed on my head, gave me a bit of a fright! Watch shiney things around the birds in the avery OK?! They WANT them! Lovely native bush too, photos to follow.
For all fans of the wonderful... a visit to brisbane must include a trip to the now world-famous 'Woodford Folk Festival'!!! To quote from the organisers: 'The Woodford Folk Festival is the largest and most divserse folk festival in Australia.' Of course there's heaps of funky music of many origins, but also workshops, performances, food (yummy - i recommend the falafel) and other entertainment. The festival embraces aboriginal and ethnic expression and the environmental and women's movements. The festival has been happening for 15 years now.. but it's been recently that the grounds have remarkably improved, resembling an established community of folky souls! There are camping facilities and heaps more. Check out the site for general info and also program info for this year's festival: www.woodfordfolkfestival.com
The highlights of my years there have been seeing Tim Freedman and the Whitlams under the pouring rain... best gig of my life. Also seeing Slava Grigoryan play (brillian Melbourne, now London based guitarist), not too forget the open air vampire movies with real organ player 15 metres away and scrumpscious falafel and hummous pita bread! The festival runs from (generally) the 27th of December till the 1st of January, culminating in a fantastic New Year's Eve Celebration. Woodford is about 27km from Caboolture... you can catch the train from brisbane to caboolture (takes a bit over an hour) and they generally offer bus services from caboolture to woodford.
SPORTS is definitely THE Aussie way of life!
This may sound strange to you... but you REALLY must TRY catching either a 'live' RUGBY match (it's like American football without all those heavy gears) and AUSTRALIAN RULES FOOTBALL. Great sports. Take a look at these sites:
Brisbane Cricket Club
Brisbane Broncos - League Football
Brisbane Bears Football Club
Visit the Lamington National Park...there's some beautiful scenery and great wildlife out there...
The Lamington National Park is south-west of Brisbane and can be done as a day trip. It's best if you hire/have a car to drive yourself around...
Just a taste of this paradise will leave you feeling charmed and captivated. Spanning 124 kilometres and covering an area of 163 000 hectares, Fraser Island has developed over 800 000 years. It is a unique natural environment - the largest sand island in the world and the only place on the planet where rainforest grows from sand. Rich Aboriginal heritage and a colourful European history are integral to Fraser Island. This combination makes this island one of the most rare and mysterious features of Queensland’s coastline.
Fraser Island’s abundant pristine fresh water lakes and crystal clear creeks are great spots to view unique flora and fauna and also provide a welcome oasis on hot summer days. Scenic 4WD circuits and walking tracks take in some of the largest of the lakes including McKenzie, Birrabeen, Benaroon, Boomanjin and the spectacular perched Lake Wabby.
An exceptional range of flora is found on the Island. Cool and peaceful rainforests of towering Satinay and Brush Box trees, some over 1000 years old, contrast withswampy wetlands, heathlands full of wild flowers and coastal stands of Pandanus palms. Fraser Islands home to a range of animals. Visitors can expect to see some of the 325 species of birds, several species of wallaby, possums, flying foxes, echidnas and Eastern Australia’s purest breed of dingo. The warm waters surrounding the Island attract dugong, dolphins and turtles.
Take time to travel up to the Sunshine Coast, about 2 hours drive or to the bay areas. Stradbroke Island is a must see. Take a barge from Cleveland. Dolphins, turtles and sometimes whales, can be seen in the waters surrounding the island.
Why not catch a fast ferry to Moreton Island. It's just 35 kilometres across the bay from Brisbane. Here you'll find the Tangalooma Wild Dolphin Resort. If you can stay the night you can hand feed the dolphins in the evening.
There's also diving available on the Tangalooma artificial reef. It's not Barrier Reef quality but there's plenty of fish to see plus a small amount of coral and it's only 30 metres off the beach with very shallow water depths. Most of the wrecks making up the reef are exposed even at high water.
If you're very, very lucky you may get to see and hand feed a wild turtle like the one in the photo.
The Moreton Venture Ph: 3895 1000 and the Tangalooma Flyer Ph: 3268 6333 run to Tangalooma. The Moreton Venture is a vehicle ferry which leaves from Lytton 6 days a week and also travels to Reeders Point, while the Tangalooma Flyer leaves daily from Holt Street, Pinkenba.
One of my favourite places in Brisbane is just to the west where the city ends and the mountains and National Parks begin. The best of these is Mt Glorius - a car is the easiest way to get there and drive through is thouroughly recommended. There are lookouts with stunning views and many walks through rainforests and waterfalls. As it is the bush you will often see many different types of wildlife. Best of all there are heaps of BBQ's up there to use for lunch which tops off a day out there.
You can walk among Kangaroos and other animals and feed some of them as well. You can also hold and take your picture with a koala.
Natural Arch is beautiful, you can view the falls from everywhere and hide underneath a cave to elt the water spray on your face.
MAGNETIC ISLAND of the coast at townsville a ferry runs every hour to and from the island. there are plenty of hostels on the island but also plenty of untouched wildenes and wild life.