Sunday, June 23, 2013

What I Would Do in Five Days in Queensland

This blog post differs from my others in one simple way: this trip hasn’t actually happened.  It is instead a summary of my dream trip to Queensland, Australia for a contest hosted by Johnny Jet, Tourism and Events Queensland, and Delta.  If I win the trip you’ll get a recap of the dream come true!

No one ever asks “why?” when you state your desire to visit Queensland, Australia.  There’s no need – everyone, whether or not they like to travel, has something they want to do in this unique part of the world.  While many go for the spas and beaches, my five-day trip would be action-packed, filled with history and hiking.

To start, I’d grab my camera and become a part of the Walker Family, close-knit women who are members of the Kuku Yalanji tribe that has lived in Queensland far longer than I can imagine.  There are many aboriginal tours but this one interests me most because it shares the women’s insights and experiences, detailing life as they’ve known it for generations.  I’d see the impressive Bloomfield Falls waterfall through their eyes, taking a moment to listen to the roar of the water that has always accompanied all of their days.

I’d spend every moment that I could in the Wildlife Habitat animal encounters, feeding kangaroos and wallabies and cuddling with koala bears as much as they’d let me.  I’d learn about the animal rescue efforts that save Australian wildlife every day, and I’d experience the Wetlands by watching the birds and wildlife that dwell in the Australian ecosystem that is so different from Arizona’s.

When time required me to leave my furry friends at the Wildlife Habitat, I’d jump into a kayak and cruise down the Noosa River, looking for pelicans and quietly soaking in the experience as I paddled past slow cruise boats and fishermen.

I would tour the many islands of the Great Barrier Reef, stopping to stay the night at the quiet resort on the banks of the elegantly-named Lady Elliot Island.

Tanned and relaxed from my time near the water, I’d spend the remainder of my time in Queensland exploring the Australian outback.  I would gaze at wildflowers, take photographs of dinosaur footprints for my nephew, and after long days of exploration I would eat with locals at restaurants that proved the American Outback Steakhouse restaurant chain does not know real Australian food at all.  I’d rest at a sheep farm, waking up early to try my hand at herding sheep or making wool.

My trip to Queensland would end far too soon, but I would return home with memories to last a lifetime.  And with any luck, I’d pick up an accent while I was there.

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