Brisbane, here we come

Our early morning call is at 8am and all are down for breakfast by 8.30am. Again, lots to choose from and all excellent quality.


We are in the foyer by 9.45am and surprise, surprise, both buses are on time.
Unsurprisingly, Rhys Baker who had only been re-united with his wallet late last night has left it in his room and has to run back to get it.


We head for Sydney airport and arrive at just before 10am. We check into our flight on VA 939 and have half an hour to wander around before boarding at 11.30am at gate 34.


We take off at 12.10 and experience a little wind on take off. There’s a scream from the back of the plane and my first instinct is that it’s Miss Smitham, who’s not a good flyer, however, later on we find out it’s only a young child. Flight officer Stuart Taylor tells us our flight will take an hour and 14 minutes and that temperatures in Brisbane are 22C and it’s a little cloudy. Not bad for winter and certainly a lot better than the weather we hear you have been experiencing back home.


During the flight we enjoy a cheese and pickle roll along with tea and coffee and after the slightly bumpy take off we have a pretty smooth flight and we land at 1.30pm. Our agent Warwick Melrose is waiting to guide us in the airport. We collect our cases from baggage reclaim, but encounter two problems. Firstly, Kieran Charles’s case is damaged. We take it to the Virgin airlines desk and they replace it with a brand new one. Secondly, Adam Fielding’s case has not arrived at all. On the desk they say that it has probably been left in Sydney, they will trace it and should be able to forward it to us later in the day. I later receive a phone call confirming that it arrived on the next flight and would be at the hotel by 5.30pm.


Warwick has a well organised and detailed plan of our programme for the next 5 days. The Good news for the girls is that James Nash High School in Gympie is about an hour and a half drive away from Sunshine Coast Grammar School who are hosting the boys, so we will be apart for two days-“Ah, Peace and quiet,” said Miss Rushworth and Miss Smitham.


We board our coach-it is a 61 seater, so we can all fit on the same bus and set off for Noosa and our hotel for tonight, the Novotel Twin Waters Resort on the Sunshine Coast. When we arrive at 4pm, we can tell immediately that we are in a pretty special place. The reception/lobby area is large and full of pools, waterfalls and fountains. It’s pretty impressive.


As we arrive, we spot several wild kangaroos on land just outside the hotel and we are later told that they will regularly venture inside the grounds of the resort.


The hotel has it’s own large outdoor pool and spa, gym and a putting green. It also has it’s own full size rugby pitch as the resort is regularly used by a number of the professional sports teams in Australia for pre-season training camps etc. We were welcome to use it for a training session if we wished. We politely declined the offer.
As well as that the hotel also had it’s own lagoon attached to it and the students would have free access to that and the sailing boats and canoes on it. However, it closed at 4.00pm (as it’s winter), so we’ll have to wait until tomorrow morning to use them.


We are really well looked after on arrival, hand out the room keys and arrange a meeting for 6pm before we have a buffet at 6.30pm that is to be provided.


We meet at 6pm and confirm the details for tomorrow when we are to split into separate groups of boys and girls and follow that with the Donkey of the Day vote co-ordinated by Mr Thomas. There are numerous contenders for the shirt that Shanaye has worn with distinction during the day.


Rhys Baker was nominated for leaving his wallet in his room only hours after he had been re-united with it after losing it for two days.


Elliott Rees was nominated. Security was top of his priorities and he’d brought a case that was lockable. Only one problem, yes you’ve guessed it, he’s locked the case, with his key inside it!!!


Although David Attenborough has recently just turned 90, Joe Bright won’t be applying for his role as naturalist with the BBC any time soon. “I didn’t realise you could find parrots in the wild.” he told the lads.


Lewis Hyatt continues to leave us all perplexed. On the flight to Brisbane he was observed dribbling-old age doesn’t come alone. Then as he got off, he realised he’d left his phone behind and then to cap things off he tried to take a trolley to carry his luggage in the airport without realising that you had to pay a dollar charge to unlock them.


Another who can’t yet be described as a seasoned traveller is Chloe Weatherley-she also left her passport on the plane.


But the strength of today’s field is so strong that none of those achieve a vote.


One vote went to Amy Baldwin who went to the sauna to ‘top up her tan.’


16 votes went to Jack Soproniuk who when reporting the loss of his wallet in the police station was asked “Are you in New South Wales?” “No, I’m from Old South Wales.” he replied.


But the winner was Beth Dallimore who had taken Mr Mason’s guidance on bringing an adaptor to ensure that if the battery on her phone went flat she could charge it-when she went to use it she’d brought an adaptor useable in Europe!!! Mum and dad had better not expect any calls from now.


After the vote, we have a team buffet. It was fantastic and probably the best tour meal we’ve ever had on this or the previous 6 tours. There were so many choices and it was of such a high standard that there is too much to write here, but suffice to say, no palate went unsatisfied.


After we had finished, we spent the evening relaxing in the hotel and went to our rooms at 11pm.

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