Friday 28th November 2014
Another telephone call during the night disturbed my sleep; too late to get to it though but fortunately no message was left so nothing important I guessed. Our plan on the last full day in Australia was to have a lazy day, spend some time on the beach and by the pool but when we dressed the day was overcast and as we walked to get some breakfast rain was in the air. We enjoyed a very hearty granola, natural yogurt and fresh fruit offering from the cafe we’d used for lunch the previous day then walked along the main Hastings Street looking in the shops. There was a sign near the main roundabout saying the Xmas lights were switched on in the evening. Ha ha, it still didn’t seem right being so warm. Even our cafe had arranged a Santa visit in the evening too.
As we walked the rain started again, but it was still warm and was only a quick shower. We headed for the beach and set ourselves up for the morning. Well, at least we thought we’d done do until it really did start training so we abandoned the beach and headed back to the hotel. We needed a plan b and so decided that a walk in the nearby Noosa Heads National Park would be a good idea and would shelter us from rain showers. The park was a fifteen minute walk from town and soon we were following one of the trails set out for visitors, which would take around an hour and a half to complete. As we started there was a sign saying that a koala bear had been spotted in one of the trees so we eagerly moved off looking treewards as we strolled on up the track. Within five minutes of setting off the rain started again, although the forest canopy was so thick it was pretty dry below.
We continued following the track, hearing loss of noises in the forest and soon spotted birds and butterflies in the trees. Then we both spotted an animal about twenty feet in the air hanging in the tree, very still but very well camouflaged. I took a few photos and although aware it wasn’t a koala, knew it was an animal that was unusual to see. It turned out to be a ringtailed possum, which generally you only see at night. We were really lucky to spot it.
Pleased with our find, we returned to town and had some lunch at the same cafe we had used earlier, with even the waitress commenting about our revisit. Another walkaround the shops before we returned to the apartment to start the job of packing the suitcases really for our journey home in the morning. Soon after the rain started again, this time a really heavy shower which I doubt even the forest would have kept us dry from had we’d still been walking.
After showering we returned to the same restaurant we visited the previous day and enjoyed equally good meals, albeit different than before. We then walked back along Hastings Street, not before witnessing a commotion in one of the trees. At first we thought it was birds squabbling but on closer inspection we realised the birds we’re actually giant bats! They were so low in the trees you could almost touch them. Tina decided to get a closer look at one that was hanging upside down for it to suddenly take off and head straight for her. That made her jump. The wingspan on them was enormous. It turned out they are actually known as flying foxes are regarded as a pest by the locals because of the mess they make when eating the local fruit. After our final encounter with Australian wildlife, we headed back to the hotel to finish off packing for our journey home.