Cyclone Debbie hits Queensland

Thursday 30th March – Noosa to Brisbane

We’d got back to the hotel at Noosa after our trip to Fraser Island and the news was full of stories about Cyclone Debbie and how it had gained power over the sea and hit the Whitsundays and Airlie Beach as a Category 4 cyclone.

The area had endured 260km/hr winds and was completely cut off, no electricity, running water or flights, so our trip up there on Monday wasn’t looking too likely. First however we had to get from Noosa back down to Brisbane for our weekend in Brisvegas, and the cyclone which by now had been downgraded to a tropical storm was hitting southern Queensland, currently Noosa and by 2pm, Brisbane. Perfect…

Our wonderful hosts at the At the Sound hotel dropped us at the greyhound bus station for our 11:30 bus but by 11.15 everyone waiting started to receive emails saying that the service had been cancelled as the road to Brisbane was closed by fallen trees. The only option was to get a local taxi to the train station at Nambour where the government had declared all transport free.

A very wonderful taxi driver took us, and a couple of other greyhound passengers through the rain and winds to Nambour and we were lucky enough to jump on a train straight away. The local government had asked everyone to leave the city, so arriving on our train and taking the subway to our hotel was like travelling through a ghost town or like a scene from 28 Days Later.

Safely installed in our hotel after a very wet trip to the supermarket we decided to heed all the warnings and settled in for an evening of watching the news and the rain lash the windows.  While randomly the hall in the hotel filled up with water…

The next day the sun came up like nothing had happened… a beautiful blue sky, not a cloud.. in 6 weeks we’ve not seen much sun, this is the wettest country I’ve ever been to and I live in the UK and have travelled in rainforests for the love of Pete.

Taking advantage of the sunshine we jumped on a boat down to the Lone Pine Koala Reserve which is a leisurely 1.5hr meander up river. It was the first Koala sanctuary and was set up in 1929, housing over 100 koalas but also kangaroos, Tasmanian devils, cassowary and other aussie animals.

It’s a really cute day trip, and while you can hold a koala, it looks a bit stressful with the hoards of tourists for them so we chose to potter round and do things like feed the kangaroos instead.

Back on the boat we came back into town in record time as the flood waters had made the river supercharged and decided to head into town for dinner in a Korea restaurant called Maru. We’d been looking at cooking courses in either Japan or Korea but came to the slightly shaming conclusion that neither of us knew much about Korean food – but after a few rounds of Kimchi, dumplings, bibimbap and some sort of bento box neither of us can remember the name of – dosirak? – we feel ready to take on Seoul and eat for 4 days before we go home!

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