Observations & musings

Christmas in Noosa

Noosa Flooding

This is not a river. Usually.

If there was one over-arching word to describe staying in Noosa at Christmas time, that word dear readers, is ‘wet’.

Now let’s be clear. It’s the sub-tropics in Summer. Of course it was always going to be wet, so I really didn’t expect too much. But even so, the hubby and I did seem rather blessed with a little more wet time than our fair share. After all the wet season usually begins sometime in late January but as we have seen on the news, this season has been anything but usual. It’s amazing to think that a third of Queensland, a ridiculously large 1.7 million (yes million) squared kilometre area, will likely be underwater for weeks to come and certainly puts into perspective the pathetic whingings of the rest of us who may be busy complaining about being subject to boring Christmas banter with Aunt Hilda.

Where a photo of the Hinterland might have gone had it not been too wet to take one

It all started a few days before the Jolly Fat one would be trackable via Norad when we flew from Melbourne to Brisbane via Qantas. Only a few days prior to setting off, someone at work was trying to rid themselves of a soon-to-expire complimentary pass to the Qantas Club lounge. With a goofy grin and a thank you, I snapped it up so that Brian and I could share the experience of eating free chow and waste some space in the formerly-exclusive lounge now better known as the pre-flight habitat of the irrepressible Cashed-Up Bogan.

It was hard to miss Australia’s greatest spin-bowler and all-mightly King of the Cashed-Up Bogan as made his way to the long tables where the glossy silver hog troughs sit on elongated tables. The Observer in me had no chance of resisting the urge to keep him in my peripheral vision before he disappeared from my view. Yet I noticed only one thing. I’ll eat my own toenails if Shane Warne hasn’t had his teeth bleached. Also clearly visible was the face job, which I couldn’t really tell if it was surgical, Botox or both. I was reminded of a recent tweet where I’d used the Shane Warne / Liz Hurley affair for the benefit of a laugh. If he saw me unsuccessfully stifling a smirky smile, I wouldn’t have been surprised. Thankfully he wouldn’t know me from a bar of soap. I am just another anonymous face in the crowd and am happy to be so, if for nothing else, but the lack of pressure to look like a Madame Tussauds wax dummy.

When we landed in Brisbane, the first thingI noticed was the humidity. Given the pathetic summer that Melbourne had decided to dish up this year, humidity was quite welcome by me. We picked up a hire car from Avis and drove the 80km journey north to Noosa Heads. We stayed at L’Auberge Apartments a gorgeous little set of boutique holiday apartments 1.3km up the hill from the popular Hastings Street shopping strip. The hill was an issue. It would most certainly not be an acceptable option after a few cocktails, especially when it has been raining and the the pathway would be riddled in rotting and slippery leaves.

The whole purpose of going to Noosa over Christmas was to rest and relax before we would ramp up the celebrations on stunning Darling Harbour in order to take in the most magical view of Sydney’s New Year’s Eve fireworks show. The rain was intermittent on the first full day of our Noosa stay, otherwise known as Christmas Eve where I would spend the evening doing what I do in Melbourne. Watching Carols By Candelight where they play next to no Christmas Carols and watching Santa over IP. On Christmas Day, it cleared up to a gorgeous sunny 31 degree afternoon and I needed no further convincing that a trip to Noosa Beach was in order.


Some holiday treats don't require sunshine to be enjoyed

The beach on Hastings Street is a really great place to be under such conditions. But beware girls and boys. In the words of Mary Schmich, later recorded into song by Baz Lurhmann ‘Wear Sunscreen’ because the alternative to wearing sunscreen is to wear 2nd degree sunburn, spend the evening hopeing to pass out from pain and leaving your spouse to smear the equivalent of 648,000 litres of Aloe Vera on a wide area containing blisters and scales for days and days on end.

Yes Yes, I know it was his own doing, but it was impossible not to be sympathetic.

Christmas evening was spent at the Christmas Buffet thing put on by The Sheraton Hotel. I tried everything that didn’t contain Shellfish thus avoiding an anaphylaxis reaction. Brian ate everything that would indeed give me an anaphylaxis reaction, so between the two of us, we ate nearly everything. I was a little surprised to see so many families and young children running around the slapped-together area they labelled that evening, a Restaurant. While it didn’t detract from the experience entirely, it did give the dining area a less exclusive vibe however this it was probably always going to have that rlaxed dining hall feeling given the environment. The food was decent, but as is with Buffets, some of the food was a little dry. At $110 per head, this price would not be justified anywhere outside Noosa or any other over-priced, b-grade celeb holiday digs on Christmas day. But given the number of people serving the crowd at the event, this was a good price to pay for their overtime and I must say the service was excellent.

And that, dear readers, was the last of the sun we would see until the morning we left Noosa.

The rain didn’t stop us completely. We got out for a drive around the Blackall Ranges in the surrounds of the Hinterland on Boxing Day. It was far too wet to do enjoy as one might have liked, but we stopped at a cute little cafe/bakery in Maleny. We got out, got wet, got sausage rolls, ate, got wet again and got out of there. We then made the trip back to Noosa and arrived back almost 6 hours after we left. The drive was nice but I couldn’t help but feel a little ripped off in the enjoyment factor.

On another day, another attempt to beat the rain was made. We drove the 40km to Maroochydore that contained the only real indoor-sy space worth visiting.

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