Day 197 - Camels on the Gold Coast

When I was much younger and lived in Tehran, when Tehran was not overly crowded and terribly polluted, late winter into early spring you would hear the camels' bells jingling through side streets as a small caravan of them would bring garden fertilizers to homes that wanted them. Whenever we heard the bells we would rush to a nearby window to see the camels and we would be ecstatic and squeal with childish joy if there were one or two with 2 humps.  Eventually as the streets got busier and more and more high rise apartments were built through Tehran, these sightings became more and more rare until it eventually stopped all together.  I slowly forgot about this yearly tradition and never really wondered about when I would see camels again.  In my mind they became animals that you would only see on TV, at a zoo (maybe), and on a desert (should you decide to venture out to one).  I certainly never thought I'd run into one on the Gold Coast in Australia! 

On January 5th, we awoke to slightly less sunburnt bodies, packed up our bags and headed out to explore Port Macquarie.  We ate breakfast at a cute and very kid friendly restaurant called Pancake Place.  They even had a play area with lots of toys but since our time was limited, we just had breakfast and headed out to go and find the famous light house. 

Tacking Point Lighthouse is an iconic look out area over the gorgeous Tasmanian Sea. We just followed the signs and ended up in a tiny parking lot which was thankfully more or less empty.  

The lighthouse is small and adorable.  I really wish they would have let us go inside but either way the view over the sea was incredible and breathtaking. 

After our quick photo op and taking in the scenes around us we hopped back in the car and decided to follow some signs we saw for the camel safari! My aunt Sheema had heard from some of her friends that the camels are an interesting sight so we figured the kids might enjoy it. 

Our first stop ended up being very unexciting since we parked, walked on to the beach and saw nothing.  Also I should mention and it was a million degrees in the HOT Gold Coast sun and we were literally melting into puddles of sweat! We went back to the car and drove on until we caught a glimpse of them! 

A camel safari in Australia! Ha! Later, of course I found out that camels and camel safaris are definitely a thing in Australia and not peculiar at all.  I mean most of Australia is one giant desert after all.  

I am not a fan of riding on animals, even horses. It is just a personal thing, I have nothing against people that do it but it is just not my thing (yes I have tried it).  So we just took pictures with the camels in the background and since we were all super hot, we made it a very quick stop. 

The visit with the camels wrapped up our Gold Coast trip.  We got back in the car and drove straight back to Sydney. 

The next part of our Sydney stay will be at a small but lovely apartment in the Surry Hills neighborhood.  It is much closer to the center of the city which means it is farther from the beaches.  It is also much closer to Sheema's apartment and her work, which means we will get to see more of her. We found the apartment on Airbnb from a couple who were going to spend a couple of weeks in NZ's South Island with their 1 year old baby.  We had the chance to meet them and pick up the key before we headed to the Gold Coast. We even shared some of our NZ knowledge since they were also going to be spending the majority of their time in an RV. This is one of the reasons why we love Airbnb: meeting real people and getting an experience among locals rather than tourists.  

Really excited to relax at the apartment and be able to walk around and explore Sydney some more.  11 more days until our flight back to the US!