Up very early. The pre dawn view from the hang glider ramp (!) at the hotel out over the Pioneer Valley was incredible. I was tempted to watch the sun rise, but I was on a mission to see platypuses. Drove back into the national park and hiked down to the viewing platform. There was no one there which surprised me given the nearby campground being full. Sat freezing (couldn't be more that 3°C / 37°C) for fifteen minutes before catching my first glimpse of a platypus. I'm not sure if I saw one or two of them because as soon as you can see one it disappears. But the fleeting shapes in the water were exactly right - a platypus looks like what it should look like (that sounds strange). After I'd been watching for half an hour another couple showed up, then another man, then a group of six. The lone platypus showed up just after the couple arrived, but wasn't to be seen when it got crowded. I left the platform to hiked up the river some, but didn't see anymore platypuses. Drove back to the hotel and up to my room to pack before breakfast. I crawled into bed to warm up and fell asleep.
At ten I finally checked out and drove back down out of the mountains and through the Pioneer Valley to Mackay where I stopped for a huge lunch. It was a bright sunny day, but the wind carried a definite chill and if you weren't in the sun it was cold - I had my heater on most of the day. Long drive south. Turned off the main (Bruce) Highway just before Rockhampton to head towards the Capricorn Coast. Stopped in Yeppoon and explored the beach a little before checking in to the backpackers. It was way to cold and late to go to the beach, and the town itself didn't seem to hold any excitement so I went for a walk. I found a hair saloon that was still open and got my hair cut - short, my first haircut ever with just clippers (#4), but it feels good. After finally getting my haircut I felt like celebrating so stopped at the pub for a few beers during happy hour. It was really cold by then, and I still felt like a drink, so on the way back to the hostel I picked up a bottle of port and had a good conversation about the middle east with the older lady who was running the liquor store. At the hostel I drank my bottle and watched sitcoms with the crowd (Friends, Spin City, Allie McBeal, Sex in the City, and Frasier).