July 28, 2013 by tvo320
I’m back safe and sound in Brisbane and made it through my first week of classes. On my first weekend back, I jetted off to Tangalooma Island Resort for a weekend getaway with my fellow Brisbane International Student Ambassadors. Tangalooma is known as the jewel of Moreton Island, the third largest sand island in the world and is a short boat cruise from Brisbane! Tangalooma is protected and treasured with national and marine parks and is famous for having wild dolphins that you can feed. They also offer over 80 water-based and land-based activities in which over 40 are free!
We started the day at Holt Street Wharf where we met our host, Stacey Maxwell. We promptly left Brisbane at 10am and arrived at Tangalooma shortly after 11am! Then, we were able to check out the beach for a few minutes before it was time to board the Tangalooma Jetty for the Whale Watching Cruise! When I was in LA last month, Lonnie and I attempted to go whale watching but that didn’t turn out as planned. The weather conditions could not have been more perfect and we were blessed with several whale sightings! The best moment was when the humpback whale leaped out of the water! It was a surreal moment and then a loud squeal erupted from my mouth. Thankfully we were outside and my squeal was carried away with the wind. A few of the Ambassadors got seasick and had to rest. Being seasick is no fun because there is nowhere to go. If I ever find myself getting motion sickness, I try to fall asleep as quickly as possible. That is my secret talent. I really recommend this whaling cruise because an eco ranger will provide full commentary, a light lunch is provided, and the entire excursion lasts around three hours. For those who are curious, the lunch consists of a chicken wrap with crackers, cheese, and an apple. It was plenty and they also have a vegetarian option.
After we concluded the cruise, Stacey gave us a resort site inspection or resort tour as it’s usually called in the States! I like the little nuances between our cultures. Everyone thinks that American and Australia culture are the same and I couldn’t disagree more. Several activities that I have participated in and a lot of situations I have found myself in have been unique to Australia. I can’t feed kangaroos on any given day and then eat it for dinner in America. Groceries stores close in Brisbane while I have been accustomed to 24 hours ones in America but then again, I do come from Wal-Mart land. Australian slang and vocabulary has been so fun to decipher. Most times I have not a clue. I had never heard of a red bell pepper being called a capsicum until I moved here. Then, I learned that a Moreton Bay Bug isn’t a bug but a mini lobster! Every day in Australia is a new adventure or discovery that could pertain to sports, vocabulary, or food.
We had a bit of free time to relax, swim, play volleyball, and enjoy sunset on the resort before the event we had all been waiting for would commence… DOLPHIN FEEDING!!!!! Yes, you read that correctly. This is probably THE highlight of a visit to Tangalooma because where else can you hand feed wild bottlenose dolphins at sunset just a hop and skip away from Brisbane!? They have around eight that visit regularly and Tangalooma has a weekly board where you can check who has been coming for dinner. We are given a briefing on how to feed them and not to touch them as they are still wild. Tangalooma strives to ensure that the dolphins maintain their natural instincts and independence. Each dolphin has their own unique personality and I happily fed Echo! We fed the dolphins in pairs so Nyarai and I went together with a member of the Dolphin Care Team who made sure they everything went swimmingly. We got a little wet so be sure to wear shorts or swimwear! As soon as the last dolphins were fed, we jumped on the Tangalooma launch and departed the island (tear) to return to Brisbane. All of us cannot wait to go back to Tangalooma because it’s truly a paradise. We had to keep reminding ourselves that this paradise on Moreton Island is just over an hour from Brisbane! What are you waiting for? Book your trip today and take me with you. You won’t have to twist my arm. You can just blindfold me and tell me it’s a surprise!