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Journal Entry 3
Noosa, Australia

The coastal town of Noosa is an upmarket tourist area which is very popular with Australian holidaymakers and families, not to mention backpackers, and it is not difficult to see why. The beaches are pristine, the sea is warm and inviting and has great surf, the river network and mangrove areas are very picturesque and home to a multitude of wildlife. The main road 'Hastings Street' which runs parallel to the main beach is lined with expensive boutique shops, classy restaurants and ice-cream gelaterias. However the true beauty of Noosa is the fact that despite being such a popular tourist spot, they have managed to keep the development low-key and under control. There are no tall hotel blocks or tacky cafes similar to what you would find in Surfers Paradise etc.

During our 5 days in Noosa, we spent most of the time chilling out at the YHA or on the beach, but we did also do a few active things. We hired bikes and cycled along the river banks gawping at the fantastic riverside houses - all with huge wooden decks and speedboats tied up outside. It reminded me of scenes from Dawson's Creek! Noosa is one of the best places to go kitesurfing so Bruno did a one-day lesson and seemed to pick up the sport pretty quickly. It was awesome to watch the professional kite-surfers in action as they chased the wind with their colourful kites and made some amazing jumps. Bruno is still getting to grips with directing the kite whilst standing on the board but im sure in no time he too will be getting some "wicked air."

On Monday 26th January it was Australia Day so we celebrated in true Ozzie style by having a barbie on a boat. No joke. 9 of us (including Neesha, Jo and Louise) hired a bbq pontoon and spent the day drifting along the creeks whilst munching on hotdogs, burgers and baps and sipping cold beer. Despite a brief shower of rain at the beginning, the day turned out to be a huge success. The sun came out and we spent time swimming in the water whilst the boys exercised their testosterone by jumping off a bridge. Unfortunately our plans for a big night out on the town weren't quite as succesful. Five empty bars and two closed clubs later we realised that the Ozzies celebrate the night before Australia Day not the monday night itself. Doh!

One other point that I havent mentioned yet is that during our stay in Noosa we saw some of nature's most exciting displays. By the river's edge one night we saw an awesome pink sunset with a number of large pelicans silhouetted against the sky. The following night we witnessed from the beach an electric thunderstorm miles out to sea and could see forks of lightning spearing down to the horizon which lit up the sky bright white, lilac and pink. [Hence Bruno's call to rename this stretch from the Sunshine Coast to the Electric Coast.]