Friday, August 2, 2013

Gold Coast

The original reason for this whole trip was that Greg was going to run the Gold Coast Marathon. Unfortunately, a year of little injuries had added up, and really prevented him from training. As such, he was in no condition to run a marathon. 15 km, maybe, but then there would have been another 27 after that.  This was doubly too bad, because the family we were staying with lived right along side the route. So Laurel, Imogen, and Olivia could have seen and cheered him on twice. Oh well, here's the lead group, the eventual winner was in this group of 9. Surprisingly, not the Kenyan.

Greg and Imogen headed up to the roof to get a better view. She brought her sunnies.

After the race finished up, we drove over to the Currumbin Wildlife Park to show Immy some critters. She was pretty excited.

She particularly liked this Tasmanian Devil. She just laughed and laughed, especially when he stopped and took a dump right in front of her. That was hilarious!

Hmm, I'm not sure about this one, Dad. This might be one of the things Mom is always calling a "crazy bird."

Look baby girl! It's the animal we name this blog after, the wombat! It only took us three years to see something other than his butt. He's even more adorable than we expected.

We took about a zillion photos in this hollow log. This is the best we got. You win some, you lose some.

The kangaroo area was open to the public and was petting zoo style. Imogen was pretty interested.

Pet him gently, baby girl, pet him gently. No grabbing.

This emu was just kind of strolling around. We got to pet him, too.

Baby person and baby kangaroo! Neither was super interested in the other.

Cuteness alert! Mama koala holding her baby.

Next we drove to downtown Gold Coast, known as Surfer's Paradise, and took the elevator up the tallest building in Queensland- the Q1 Tower! Standing at 78 stories it offers panoramic views that are pretty incredible. You can also feel it sway a little bit in the high winds, which is a bit unsettling. Completed in 2005 it was the world's tallest residential tower, a title it held until 2011 when Dubai built something 20 meters taller. Jerks.

Sunset over the Gold Coast.

The following day we drove west to Mount Tamborine to do a little hiking and see the sights. On a short trek to see a waterfall we came across this wild turkey, who quickly got into a feud with Olivia. They squawked at each other several times, and then the turkey ran at her. Although she escaped unscathed, I would still say the turkey won. The wild turkeys in this area are known for being extremely territorial, destructive pests. This one was actually in the wild, but many decide to make their homes in people's yards, which means they pile huge mounds of leaves, sticks and debris over the yard or even driveway for their nest. Any effort to clear off their nest, simply results in them remaking it the next day. The only way to get them to stop is to capture and then release them at least 20km away, otherwise they will find their way back and start the cycle all over again.

Well worth the hike. Greg would have stayed here all day and been perfectly happy.

The view of Gold Coast from the mountain top.

The day we flew to Queensland was the Fourth of July. We celebrated a couple days late on the beach, but for the first time since we've been in Australia, the climate felt right for the holiday. Happy Birthday America!

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