But we decided to move on. Maybe the vastness played into this decision (the distance between Brisbane and Cairns is roughly 1700km, around the same amount we already drove…) and maybe the culture in Australia is just to similar to New Zealand. Something which definitely played into our decision was our excitement for Japan. So we booked a flight to Tokyo and decided to make the most of the remaining days.
We read about a place near our current stay over at the Tin Can Bay where a public dolphin feeding was done. We arrived at the place early in the morning and were already greeted by a small crowd who wanted to share the experience. The place consists of a small fenced off beach and a connected restaurant. For a small entrance fee one could go knee deep into the water and see the dolphins mere two meters away swimming and playing. There even was a baby with them! For an additional fee you were allowed to feed a dolphin by holding a fish at the tail and letting the dolphin snatch it with its snout. The whole feeding was strictly regulated (desinfection is mandatory, touching the animal strictly forbidden, flash or noise at the camera/phone prohibited) and the dolphins didn’t seem to be stressed at all.
With this marvelous moment in our memories we started once again in the direction of Brisbane. But we actually didn’t get far. On our way we came by Noosa where we had relaxed for some days in the past. And we really liked it there… So we booked a room at the same Motel with the pool again and appreciated the last days of warmth before leaving for Japan (single digit temperatures….)
When we finally made our way to Brisbane we drove along the Steve Irwin Way to the Glasshouse Mountains. The Glasshouse Mountain Tourist Route was renamed to Steve Irwin Way after the death of the Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin. It’s also the street which leads to the Australia Zoo, founded by the dad of Steve Irwin, Bob. We hadn’t had any interest in the Zoo although it was Australia’s Major Tourist Attraction for several years.
Instead we had a look down from the Glasshouse Mountains, which actually are not made out of Glasshouses. They were named by Captain Cook whom the shape of these Mountains remembered him of the glass furnaces of his home country. The shape of the Mountains is remarkable in that way that the surrounding area isn’t very hilly but the mountains itself excel rather steep out of the ground. The reason for this is, the Mountains are only the hardened lava plug of old volcanoes of very soft stone. Over millions of years the surrounding soft stone eroded but the hard lava plug stood firm. The whole area is covered with forest and from the lookout one has an astonishing view.
When we finally arrived in Brisbane we had three days left in Australia. As we still had to return our car and make some preparations we booked an amazing AirBnB flat in Teneriffe with a view over the Brisbane River. As with our Motel in Noosa we had a pool next to the flat which we were allowed to use. We returned our rental car the next day and strolled through the Fortitude Valley district, an are with pubs and bars and loads of small shops. Besides a short ferry trip (the CityCat ferries are incredibly fast) to the Southbank district and the adjacent public pool the both of us relaxed and prepared for the next part of our trip – Japan.