Living in a Marsupial World
 
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Our first roos!
Post Glass House Mountains, our journey took us to the Gold Coast/Brisbane areas to pick up Devin's younger brothers Corey and Erin for their family-time adventures in July. After regrouping and some personal grooming at Corey's dorm where he was studying abroad, we picked up Erin in Brisbane and headed to the small town of Nimbin, just across the Queensland border in New South Wales. En route to Nimbin, we had our first kangaroo spotting! Just off the roadway grazing in the fields we found a herd of small kangaroos. Unfortunately some passing traffic scared quite a few away but we did manage to sneak a few pictures of the less skittish ones. 

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Nimbin itself is a very small, one-street town nestled in some beautiful forested hills. Famous for its hippie culture and in particular it's annual Mardi Grass Festival (no explanation needed I assume) which we had just missed, the town is lined with cafes, souvenir shops, a grocery, and a town hall. Of course each shop and cafe is full of psychedelic paraphernalia (tie-dye, hemp products, Bob Marley pictures, papier-mache bong sculptures, etc.) and one particular store had a proudly framed medicinal marijuana certificate from none other than our college town of Colorado Springs, CO! Next to it was a petition to make medical marijuana legal in Australia to follow in the example of our great state of Colorado. Giggles upon giggles that our small, mostly conservative college town would find us here, not only in Australia but in a tiny hippie shop in a tiny hippie town of all places.  

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We've been fascinated by the coffee and tea culture in Australia. Unlike in the states, you can't find drip coffee to save your life, however, espresso coffee is widely available and you can even get a half-decent flat white at a gas station. Tea is a prominent part of daily life, everyone is always willing to "have a cuppa," but we found that chai tea is rarely done right. Often it's pre-mixed, watered-down and poorly spiced. However, at one of the small cafes in Nimbin, we found some of the best (and cheapest!) coffee and tea we've ever had. The chai was done traditionally and all cups of coffee or tea were only $2.50! Score.

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We ended up camping at an eco-friendly backpackers just outside of town, the Rainbow Retreat, which was situated on a hill back in the forest. All it's structures were made out of recycled materials and those who weren't camping could choose to sleep in a treehouse, a teepee, or an old gypsy caravan. It also had a very cool open air shared kitchen, and a little movie screening area. A trail extended out the back of the property down the hill to a small creek where we were told you could see platypus. We wandered down there that night with our headlamps and did manage to glimpse a large eel swimming in the murky water... creepy. Alas, no platypus but we did go down there at night. Afterwards, Erin wowed us with his advanced fire spinning talents.

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