On Friday, 11 June 2004, Sheryl and I left for two weeks in Queensland, Australia. For those of you who don't know, Queensland is in the northeastern part of Australia (map). We went with a company called Aussie Walkabouts that specializes in "adventure travel." Adventure travel is not your ordinary tour; there are all kinds of activities such as hiking, kayaking, horseback riding, etc, etc. This site chronicles our adventures.
Australia is a HUGE country in terms of land area (comparison map to US). It occupies almost 3 million square miles compared to the 3.5 million square miles of the US. However, the population is significantly smaller: only about 20 million people (compared to 280 million in the states), with 80% of the country living on the east coast of Australia.
Our journey, called the Platypus II, began in Brisbane and traveled north up the coast, wound inland for a ways, then back to the coast and the town of Mackay. The trip actually begin on Monday, 14 June 2004, but thanks to crossing the International Dateline, we had to leave Dallas on the 11th. The trip ended two weeks later on Monday, 28 June 2004.
The trip was totally AWESOME. We saw some incredible things (as you will soon see), and had tons of fun. The weather was beautiful almost every day (a few scattered clouds here and there). We got rained on for about 20 minutes while on the Great Barrier Reef, but what's a little rain when you're SCUBA diving in the ocean. ;-) We were there during winter in the Southern Hemisphere and Queensland is a tropical climate, so high temperatures were in the low 70s Fahrenheit and lows in the upper 40s Fahrenheit. It was a little cooler when we were in the mountains or farther inland, but we didn't use a sweatshirt more than one or two nights.
I'd like to mention the following before continuing: