Day two of our stay on Fraser Island. Yesterday, you might remember, we were zooming up and down Kingfisher Bay Beach on Segways and gazing out to the horizon watching the sun set over the ocean.
Today, as you can see, we’ve taken to the air as part of our full-day tour of Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island. Surprisingly, it’s the same price to take the 15-minute scenic flight over the island as the 30-minute ride on the Segways!
The scenic flight is absolutely brilliant. Mrs Romance was terrified of going up in small planes before this flight, but this ha helped her over-come that phobia.
I’m not surprised – the views are incredible. This is the famous Maheno shipwreck as we fly by. And the talke-off and landing for the flight all happen on the beach. This is one of only two places left in the world where you can still do that. So it’s a pretty special experience.
We’ll be telling you more about this scenic flight and Fraser Island in future posts, so keep an eye out for some good stuff to come!
We’ve borrowed this photo from our new friend, Jenn of Tourism and Events Queensland (on the right). On the left is Mrs Romance and in the middle is Alexx from AlexxStuart.com – who was also up in the plane for the scenic flight, and who also had a fear of flying in small aircraft before. Well done, Alexx. Some serious fear-conquering going on today!
The girls are airborne in front of the Maheno wreck that was beached on Fraser Island’s east coast in 1935. It’s a highlight of anyone’s visit to this stunning place.
On our tour, we all get to come to this very special place. This is Lake McKenzie, named after the family who started the one and only logging mill on the island. There are over 100 freshwater lakes on the island, but this is unquestionably the most beautiful and most famous. From the air you can also see it’s a heart-shaped lake, which adds to the romance of this spot somewhat!
As our last day on Fraser Island draws to a close and we head east back to Hervey Bay and the mainland, we’re treated to one more incredible sunset from the prow of the ferry. Thanks again to Jenn at @jennheitz for this brilliant time-lapse of the event:
Our dinner tonight at Bistro Aubergine (sadly no longer running) is excellent – and filling! But it’s exactly what we all need for tomorrow’s big event! We’re all completely exhausted with the day’s activities though, and Alexx, Jenn, Mrs Romance and I all head back to our respective rooms at the Best Western Quarterdecks Retreat.
And so it’s finally come: one of those big, bucket-list type things to do in my life. We’re going to see humpback whales! We’re all so excited, and the boat we’re on is perfect. Not too big and not overcrowded – and the skipper Keith is confident we’ll see some great things out at sea today.
We’ve all popped a seasickness tablet anyway, just in case. There’s a bit of chop on the water today.
What a view! We just can’t believe it. These amazing creatures are just so close the boat and interacting with us perfectly naturally… it’s a really amazing experience. This is a calf breaching about 20 metres from the boat. There have been closer ones and bigger whales, but I we’re all too busy staring to take pictures… well, maybe Jenn’s got some good ones. She’s a bit of a photo-nut!
After a quick flight back to Brisbane, we’re about ready to flop down and chill for the evening. But Nikki from StylingYou.com.au would never allow that! We’re lucky enough to be staying with our lovely friend – and Mr SY of course – for the next few days. We’re too excited to be properly tired – especially when Nikki’s put up a special sign for us!
A fine romance indeed – we’ve pretty much fallen in love with Queensland!
We’ve timed it just right! We’re here in Brisbane to go to Caroline Childerley’s third Gin Queen event (we’ve been to every single one now!) at the Dutch Courage Officers’ Mess in Fortitude Valley in Brissie. It’s yet another amazing event, and we’re lucky to meet Mark, owner and chief distiller of Botanic Australis – an incredible gin from Mount Uncle Distillery. We’ve got a lot to say about this little number!
Well done, Caroline! May the Gin Queen reign long!
On a stern recommendation, we’ve trekked to Shouk Cafe in Paddington on the western fringe of Brisbane CBD for brunch today. It’s an excellent little cafe with a superb menu. This is my lamb shwarma flatbread – heaps of slow-cooked shredded lamb, sweet pickled onion, hummus, black olives and artichoke hearts.
Tonight, we’re out with Nikki and Mr SY again! Nikki’s organised a tour of a couple of cool bars in The Valley. Our first stop is this rooftop bar and open-air cinema (with a spa!) called Limes Hotel. It’s slick, chic and the views are unbeatable!
For dinner, we head down to Alfred & Constance, which is part of a huge complex of bars. They’re all on the cross streets of – you guessed it – Alfred Street and Constance Street. Genius! The food, drink and company are second to none… though Mr SY and I have eaten ourselves into a food coma… we’ve had all photographic evidence of this destroyed for legal reasons!
As we’re about to leave Nikki’s beautiful home, Mrs R goes missing. She’s in her Queensland camouflage onesie, which makes it hard to spot her in Nikki’s back yard where she’s decided to run away and hide. She doesn’t want to leave, and I know how she feels.
With the cunning (yet also quite predictable) lure of food, we manage to get Mrs R back in the car and on the road. We’re heading to Redcliffe – a peninsular north-east of Brisbane city, to visit my brother and his lovely family. Mrs Romance hooks into this delicious smoked salmon, avocado and feta salad from the Rustic Olive on the waterfront in Redcliffe.
My chicken caesar sandwich is also good – and my bro’s wagyu burger also looks sensational, but I think Mrs R wins this menu bout.
Mrs Romance has a thing about southern Californian palm trees. She’s so in love with them, she sees them everywhere. Even in coastal Queensland… actually, she does have a point!
Gratuitous sea shore shot!
The community of Redcliffe has done something amazing today. It has timed its annual kite festival – Kite Fest – perfectly with a steady south-westerly. The wind’s a bit chilly but the kites are flying well today. How cool’s that whale kite?!
So it’s finally time for us to head home. It’s a sad day but we’re kind of excited to be back home too.
Thank you, Queensland! You’ve been an excellent host to us – and you’ve even given us one last spectacular sunrise to see us off.
And here we are: back where this adventure all began. Good old Sydney Town. We’ll be writing up all the places we’ve mentioned in the next few weeks, but if you’ve got any questions about what we’ve been up to, shoot me an email.
How was your week? Have you got anything good planned for the rest of this week? Tell us in the comments!