Work & Travel New Zealand 2008/2009

Travel time: August 2008 - August 2009  |  by Ulla-Christina Ludewig

Australia: North Stradbroke Island

September 15 to 17, 2008

As with the Koala Sanctuary, I already spent some time on North Stradbroke Island, Straddie, 6 years ago. I was there for one week with my now best friends, Dani and Simone. We had a great time and to be honest it was a bit hard to go there all by myself because I really missed them! Why I went there again then? Simple reason: Straddie is one of the few places in the world where you can watch whales from the land, as Whale Rock on the island is the most easterly point of Australia. The whales are coming past here on their annual migration between the warm waters of the Great Barrier Reef and the cool Antarctic waters where they feed.

So I got really excited when I made my way from the hostel to the Gorge Walk, which leads to Whale Rock.

I must have been a little too excited or concentrated on my camera ... because I missed one step down from a viewing platform and the next second was sitting on the ground with a terrible pain in my left foot! Eeeeeiks!
I stayed there for a view minutes and then tried to walk... Thank God it did work, with a terrible pain though. I made it to Whale Rock but not much further. So I sat there for the rest of the day, waiting for marine life swimming by. Back at the hostel later, I had some complete strangers looking after me: one backpacker gave me some ice, one some cream to put on the ankle, one had a bandage in his luggage. It was really great to see how travelers care for eachother. I hadn't met one of them before!

First Aid backpacker style: 
some ice and a teatowel

First Aid backpacker style:
some ice and a teatowel

Although I was in pain and could hardly sleep during the night, I made my way up to Point Lookout and Whale Rock again the next day. Not on foot as it was planned, but by bus. There is a small island bus that goes every two hours.

Waiting for whales, dolphins and turtles

Waiting for whales, dolphins and turtles

Wow, a whale!!!!

Wow, a whale!!!!

And ... dolphins!!!

And ... dolphins!!!

There were some other people with me on Whale Rock at that time and we all got very excited when we saw the whales and dolphins swimming by that close. The pain in my foot was completely forgotten, this was just a fantastic experience! That reminds me of 2002 when I was here with Dani and Simone. We had been sitting on the rock for hours (well, quite a while ) and as soon as Dani went to get us a coffee, a whale swam by!

On my third and last day on the island I also went up to the rock, although the weather was not really good. And I also visited the souvenirshop in Point Lookout. And there I saw something I just could not leave behind...

Humphrey, the Humpback Whale

Humphrey, the Humpback Whale

His name wasn't Humphrey when I bought it, I just thought that name fits perfectly.

No, of course I didn't replace my beloved travel-frog "Fröschle" now, he's still with me and I think they are friends now. (For those who don't know me: just don't take it too serious, haha)

The hostel where I stayed in was the same Dani, Simone and I were staying in 6 years ago. "Manta Lodge Scuba Centre & Backpackers". A really nice place! The reason why I like Straddie so much is that it is never crowded (well, except school holidays and around Christmas maybe) and not every backpacker comes here. Most of the people that were staying at the hostel as well were divers that came here for a great underwater adventure. The scuba centre has very good deals on diving.

Manta Lodge backpackers

Manta Lodge backpackers

Morning at the beach

Morning at the beach

A curious Kookaburra

A curious Kookaburra

During one of my walks to Whale Rock, I spottet something what I didn't really expect to see on Straddie: some kangaroos between the trees. First I only saw them from a distance, but then I tried to get closer to them with my camera. And I discovered that one of them had a young roo ("joey") in her pouch! How cute!!!

I also had a look at Main beach, where the surfers are, and South Gorge, a pretty little lagune where people can swim.

Main beach

Main beach

While having a look around South Gorge I came across this little crab sitting in a crevice. Not knowing that crabs can survive without water pretty well and not wanting to touch it, I started to fill the gap where it was sitting in with sea water I thought I saved its life - until I saw some of its friends, pretty happy in their dry crevices, waiting for the high tide... He he, I meant well - at least it had a nice bubble bath while waiting for the sea to come back...

Little crab

Little crab

After 3 days on this beautiful island it was hard to go back to the crowded city of Brisbane. I even had to look for another accomodation last minute what didn't make it better. But i knew if was only for one day because on September 19 I would make my way further north, to Hervey Bay. And there, the "real adventure" was waiting for me: 6 days on a Whale Research Expedition vessel!

You are here : Overview Australia & Pacific Australia North Stradbroke Island
The trip
 
Description:
My last chance for a "Working Holiday Visa" for new Zealand! So kiwis (all of them - fruit, birds and of course people), whales and dolphins beware, I´m coming!
Details:
Start of journey: Aug 11, 2008
Duration: 12 months
End of journey: Aug 10, 2009
Travelled countries: New Zealand
Australia
The Author
 
Ulla-Christina Ludewig is an active author on break-fresh-ground. since 15 years.
Picture of author