Immediately after landing in Australia, we drove a couple hours north to the Noosa Everglades where we would start our second canoe trip of the program.

We had a casual first night: swimming in the lake, having barbequed kangaroo, and watching at least 25 roos hopping around our campsite. We only saw a couple of joey's poking out of their mama's pouches. Yep, we're well and truly in the land down under, complete with Steve Irwin, shaggy blonde surfers, fluff ball koalas, sparkling and stretching beaches, and the most chilled out people of all time.

The next day, we headed out on the lake in our Canadian Canoes. The trip was a lot more relaxed than our last one, but we still paddled hard through the grueling waves of the lake until we reached the everglades, which were much more serene. The water was so calm, you'd think there would be no chance of capsizing... but where's the fun in that? Ten minutes before reaching our campsite, we had a bit of a run-in with canoes, which threw Lukas out into the water, and somehow ended in the capsize of his boat.

We stayed at our next campsite for two nights and spent a day hiking to a sand blow, where we had loads of fun just horsing around. The paddle back to our first campsite on the third day was even more eventful with three capsizes. Lukas, yet again, was in all three capsizes.

We made it back to camp and had a short drive to a cute little beach town called Noosa where we spent the afternoon and night relaxing.

The next morning, it was an hour drive to the Australia Zoo where we saw koalas, kangaroos, and crocodiles. There's even a wildlife hospital in remembrance of Steve Irwin where you can bring any injured wild animal for free medical care. We learned a lot about native Australian wildlife and got some up close photos of beautiful animals including the spiky, long-tongued echidna.

It was a long ride in the van from the zoo to our campsite, which was right outside of Byron Bay. We had two days in Byron,  a famous beach/surf/hippie town. Most of us spent the first day on a waterfall jumping tour while the rest spent the day exploring Byron, shopping, and soaking up the hot Australian sun at the beach. The second day, we went snorkeling, while some upgraded to a scuba dive. The water was so clear, allowing us to see tons of fish, jellyfish, turtles, and leopard sharks. We explored more of Byron before heading back for our last night at camp before leaving for surf camp!

It's been a jam packed week in Australia; the sun followed us over from New Zealand (we have some interesting tan lines to prove it). Since landing, we've basked under the full moon, jumped for joy on sand dunes, picnicked on the beach ,and gotten closer and closer as the days speed by.

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Author Tara Boyd Posted