So, Australia isn't all flowers and chirping birds. Lately, it's also cyclones and floods and mosquitos the size of my fist. It's also unemployment and other unfortunate pitfalls (but that's another story). But, on the bright side, it's still got its charms. I've gotten to sample several of them since I got back from my Christmas vacation.
I went on a day trip to Double Island Point, hiking up to the lighthouse for magnificant views like these:
I've spent two fantastic weekends camping on the beach. The first was on Fraser Island, the world's largest sand island. After a wind-blown night in which our inexpert tarp-tying left us very cold and very wet, we finally got the hang of the campsite set-up and enjoyed some pretty prolific stars. We even saw a giant sea turtle scuttling along the beach (with English tourists trying to take pictures of themselves high-fiving it... poor turtle). It rained almost the entire time, which did not leave a lot of room for good picture-taking. But the rain quit long enough for me to take these:
The view from in front of our campsite.
Wading down crystal-clear Eli Creek during a very brief break in the clouds.
The Maheno wreck at high tide.
And then there was our weekend on Stradbroke Island just off the coast of Brisbane. The weather was perfect. We took our beers down to the beach and caught two nights' worth of amazing sunsets. We played a little coconut shot-put in the sand, and on our way back to our campsite, we saw a lady kangaroo chewing on some dinner grass.