We arrived in Australia with a sigh of relief to be back within the familiarities of Westerm culture. An added bonus was that we were staying with Roseanna’s friends who she hadn’t seen for nearly ten years, they met us at the airport and we felt immediatley that we would like it here.

Our days in Brisbane were quickly organised by Charissa and we had an itinerary before we knew it, this was something of a shock to our system as we’re much more see-how-it-goes kinda girls but it was pretty nice to not have to think about our plan. Emma had also been warned that Charissa and Tiff are serious gamers and was thrown into it right from the start; a theme which continued throughout the week as a board or cards were whipped out at any opportunity.

One of the highlights of our trip was going to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary / zoo. We got to see all kinds of Australian critters- galahs, kookaburras, wombats, platapi, dingoes (not birds as Roseanna first thought) and emus. We also got to feed and hang out with some very tame kangaroos, had to shield our head from being attacked by swooping plovers and Roseanna touched a koala.

We were lucky enough to borrow a car for a few days and drove down the Gold Coast to Coolangada where we stayed for free in a swanky seafront apartment with Tiff and John. The next day we did a road trip to Byron Bay with some sick stop offs to a couple of seaside towns for beach walks and great food. Byron itself is a long beach and little town, with very surfer-y vibes, which we enjoyed mooching around.

Because we had our own local ‘tour guides’ we were taken to all the Brisbane highlights, including view points, a river cruise, the art gallery and pancakes in an old church.

All in all we’ve been particularly jammy so far and really appreciated the incredible hospitality of the Norries. Their generosity gave us a taste of normality after four months of strange lands and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Thanks guys!


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