It’s funny the difference a day makes.
We arrived in Noosa about 24 hours ago and I hated the place.
Packed full of Brizzos all vying for a park, the place was 150 per cent humidity and 300 per cent get me out of there.
It seemed all of Queensland, plus us, had converged on the trendy Hastings Street strip to savour a heatwave which had driven everyone to the coast.
Apparently this was the place to be scene, I mean, seen, I mean obscene. Stuck in one almighty and unlikely traffic jam.
“You actually thought this would be a good place to come,” was the central line of interrogation in the cockpit as I pondered running over the next batch of indifferent holiday pedestrians wandering across the roundabout. (A move not recommended by nearly 10 out of 10 policemen.)
At that moment it did seem that I would wear a considerable amount of blame should Noosa turn out to be the dud tourist trap getaway it first appeared to be.
My mail was that the Queensland school holidays were over, but these crowds seemed like the reason they invented Bali.
I couldn’t get to our rental property quick enough, due mainly to those pedestrians and the lack of parking.
My big hope was that the place we’d booked wasn’t a dud. Make that “the place I’d booked”, because for sure and certain, the blame game would come into play if it was. Plucked off the internet following a glowing endorsement from a real estate agent following a mild panic that we’d left it to the last minute – there was dud potential.
There's a helluva lot of fake news out there, and most of it’s on travel review websites.
And again, probably correct that to “mild panic that I’d left to the last minute”, which wasn’t exactly accurate because last 24 hours was more like it.
I salute those who can plan in advance what they’re going to do so there’s never a snippy moment between parties as to what’s going to happen. It just doesn’t pan out that way in my world.
There’s always reasons to duck the subject, leading to “robust” debate about 24 hours before we go anywhere about where we’re going to go, why, how much, when, and then back to why and then maybe a bit of what, how, who, when, not now, not then, not ever etc. Welcome to life.
Everything rolls down to the last lunchtime before we leave and on a whim I go get a hair cut and the hair dresser, who didn’t really seem that interested in my short back and sides, turns out to be the travel agent from heaven.
I gets to confessing to her, as you do with your hair dresser, about my day, and how it’s looming as my last on this planet if I don’t book a good place to go.
She says, given the time constraints, forget the Cape to Cape gourmet foodie trail in WA, forget the Franz Joseph glacier, the Milford or Doubtful Sounds, the overland track to Cradle Mountain, or any number of bucket list heli-flights to fancy town. Go to Noosa.
Accessible from Newcastle, complete with surf, sun, national park and a whole bunch of restaurants suggesting we wouldn’t have to cook. Tick tick tick. I just needed the digs.
But as Donald Trump keeps suggesting – there's a lot of fake news out there, and most of it’s on travel review websites. It really is.
How do you tell which reviewer knows what they’re talking about and whether they’re taking into account your special needs for modest but palatial suite on headland with ocean views and all mod cons vacant during your travel window for a steal?
It’s a new take on the Goldilocks tale and goes to the very heart of the new media debate.
You start by going through every travel review on Tripadvisor, cross-referencing like you’re Edward Snowden until eventually your eyes start to fall out of your head and you still haven’t locked in a place.
Which gets us to the real estate agent I ring, about a property I’ve seen on the interweb which it turns out, she’s not letting.
Awkward moments lead to mild contempt as I take issue with her rather dismissive attitude to my roundabout way of asking if she has any hot properties to let.
Without hesitation she recommends the place I end up booking.
It’s got the “Wow” factor with the only question being “how hot does it get in summer?” Probably a silly question to a real estate agent. “You got me, the place is a furnace, take your business elsewhere.” No, in fact, she tells me it’s great, you won’t have any worries.
Until we arrive in Noosa, that is, and it’s 42 degrees, and the place is a freaking sauna. Now I’m worrying. That it will be like this for the entire week. Leading to much polite dialogue about why the hell we’d come to Noosa. Hence the intro, and a sweaty night’s cussing beneath a whirring fan wondering why the hell it always has to be like this.
But a day later, with a sea breeze under the belt and a little familiarisation with the air con, sound system and location of Dan Murphys, we are in paradise.
What a difference a day makes.