Friday, August 11, 2006

Brisbane Day 2 - Tangalooma

We woke up bright and early this morning to get ready for Tangalooma. Before departing, we decided to just grab breakfast at the hotel. You know it's bad when you get frozen hash browns and canned juice. It's worse when we found out how much it was. We then caught the shuttle bus to Holt St Wharf in Brisbane. From here we were to catch a ferry which would take us on a 75 minute journey to Moreton Island. Our destination, Tangalooma Wild Dolphin Resort, is the only resort on the island. The island is one of 3 islands off the coast of Brisbane which are the largest sand islands in the world.

Our main reason for choosing this resort was for their dolphin feeding program, where wild dolphins come to the shore each evening for feeding.

Our ferry arrived at around noon, and we immediately went to the tour desk to plan our activities for the next 36 hours on the island. Before we knew it, our schedule was packed with Parasailing, Desert Tour, Quad Biking Tour, Pelican Feeding and the Dolphin Feeding.

Within an hour, we threw all our luggage in our room, and headed off on their desert tour. We boarded a huge dune buggy and hit the narrow, sandy single lane roads of the island, heading for what they call the desert. The ride was bumpier than the Matterhorn at Disneyland.

The views were fantastic. It was unbelievably peaceful up there.

But the best was yet to come. Sand tobogganing. This was the only reason people booked this particular tour. We climbed high upon the sand dunes with a wooden board in hand. It's such a hike that Anna almost didn't make it up to the top. Once we reached the top we laid on our stomach and was pushed by the tour guide over the edge of the dune. We zoomed down the hill at approximately 40 km per hour. I think I actually blacked out a little, and Anna was screaming most of the way down there.

Once that tour was complete, we headed straight over to the para sailing hut. Initially, it was just going to be Anna para sailing. Since I have a fear of heights, falling and open water, I figured it wasn't the sport for me. However, I was talked into it at the last minute, and we boarded the boat, along with one other fun seeker. We were all pretty nervous as we didn't know what to expect. The first person up in the air was a Scottish lady. (If anyone out there reading this knows this lady, who was on tangalooma on the 11th, let me know as we have some photos we were supposed to email to her). Next was our turn. We decided on doing the tandem parasailing so we could both be up in the air together. They hooked us up, we stood on the back of the boat, and slowly they let out the rope as we were hoisted up in the air.

Within second my fears were gone. It was so quiet and still up there, and the views of the island were stunning. I think we reached a height of about 150 meters. The water below us was crystal clear. The breeze was a little chilly, but the sun was shining.

They kept us up in the air for about 10 minutes, bringing us down within inches of the water. We told them we didn't want to get wet, so I think they were just messing with us. They lifted us back up in the air for a few more minutes, then we began our final descent to the back of the boat. Once our feet were firmly back, we were unhooked from the parachute, and headed back for shore. We spent some time enjoying the wildlife on the beach before the sunset.

After dark, it was time for the dolphin feeding. It's great seeing these wild dolphins come to the beach and wait for the food. Because there were a lot of people, we were only allowed to spend about a minute in the water with the dolphins.

On to dinner we go. Being the only resort on the island, we didn't have much food options. We ended up at the buffet, which was the worst we've ever had. (Yes, much, much worse than breakfast) Anna actually had a plate of rice with soy sauce. Yeah, it was that bad.

Anna's Aussie Tidbits:

Bring cup noodle. It's cheap and can be your best friend. Bring 2, maybe 3. I wish I had.

1 comment: said...

Parasailing, sand "tanga...", desert tours, dolphin feeding, relaxation and just so much more. WOW! I see why you don't want to come home. I can't wait to see all the pictures and hear all about it.

Anna, I love the picture of you cuddling with the koala bear.