Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Finch Hatton Gorge and Eungella NP

A revisit once again.  We were last here some 9 years ago on our around Oz trip.  Finch Hatton Gorge was as lovely as we had remembered.

Araluen Cascades where we swam last time even though it was only mid May.  Here we are in late May and no desire to get into that freezing fresh water this time.

We drove into Eungella NP and once again had coffee at the chalet there where the hang gliders sail off from.

And now for the native wildlife.  Eungella murky waters are the one place in Australia where one can rely on sighting a platypus or two.  We were lucky again to see a few diving and surfacing.

The turtles seem much more humdrum as you can see them in may places but they are still worth a photo or two.

Catching up with friends in Mackay

Noel and Pamela Bugeia have moved up to Mackay from Canberra to be near Noel's mum.  We played bridge at the Mackay Bridge Club and then visited their new apartment on the river, enjoying the 28 degree temperature as we were doing it and remembering our other friends in Canberra.

On the balcony.

The view at night from the apartment.

This is a rather out of sequence photo but it is of a young Frenchman juggling devil sticks.  A contingent of six backpacker campers arrived at the Boulder Creek rest stop for the night.  We chatted to them as well as to the young Dutch travellers in their hired Apollo van.  It was a cosy stay with about 20 campers in a small area with a flushing and clean toilet.  It amazes me how in Qld we see these wonderfully well kept rest areas.  Thanks Qld, we travellers are grateful and we love you.  I wish other states were as welcoming.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Always wanted to be on youtube

A guy at the Calliope rest area back a few postings ago offered us a video of ourselves at Calliope for $10 and we accepted.  He gave us the electronic version which we have on our computer to watch again and again as the desire takes us but today he also sent us the weblink to the youtube.  Here it is to share with anyone who wants to have a look at it:


It is a video lasting 5 minutes of the Calliope rest area which is rather beautiful and Gary has incorporated us, Andrew, Nikki and Maxi in it at the beginning and at the end.  Gary used a drone to take the video.  I wish there was a bit more footage of us but this is what it is.  Enjoy.

Camps and rest areas we have enjoyed in Queensland

First up, we have to say that Queensland is by far the most RV friendly state in Australia.  There are many towns that not only state that they are RV friendly but put their money where their mouth is and provide good rest areas and sometimes even a hot shower in town.  Rest areas are also often in town centres in a car park.  We really appreciate this and we try to spend our money in these towns either in a cafe or a supermarket.

Rest areas are sometimes in quite scenic spots.  This one is at Virgin Rock rest area, 1.5 kms from Springsure inland from Gladstone, on the way to Emerald.

And would you believe at night the two peaks in the bluffs above are lit up.  Quite touristy really.

Andrew of course had to climb the bluff and this photo is from above.

This rest area at Bundoora Dam is off from a backwater road between Capella and Middlemount where we did not meet a single RV vehicle, a very unusual event in Queensland where caravans and motor homes are on every road possible.  When we got to our destination, we expected to be the only ones there, based on the above experience, but lo and behold, about 20 vehicles were lined up on the dam beachfront.  There for the fishing or whatever recreation they are enjoying, away from the bustling crowds.

After many days of free camping we generally treat ourselves to a caravan park of some sort and we chose the Kinchant Waters Leisure Resort, some 25 kms from Mackay.  Leisure resort is a little bit of an exaggeration but it is a very pleasant spot on the Kinchant a dam once again where the locals come for a spot of fishing and water skiing on the weekend.

We have had a lovely hot shower, did three loads of washing, gave Maxi a well deserved bath and had fish and chips at the cafe.  We are also staying here an extra day today and it being Sunday, they do a three course roast dinner for lunch for the princely sum of $12.50 in which we will partake.  On Monday we plan to spruce ourselves up for a game of bridge at the Mackay Bridge Club.  We have been playing bridge at all the major cities we have been through and have enjoyed a warm reception at each as visitors.

This is the view from the cafe where we had our lovely fish and chips and will have our roast lunch today.  Ah, this travelling life is good!

Some of the activities that go on around us here

and below is a shot of Doug, the lovely dog next door to us.  He is a gentle giant, another rescue dog

and the children have great fun on the swinging rope.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Carnarvon Gorge

We are back here again after 6 years.  Funnily enough, when I look at our printed blog book from 2011 which we have here with us, many of the photos I took this time are almost identical to the ones I took back then.  I will therefore, have to be really careful in my current selection of what I put on the blog now.  We will of course print our blog once again and we don't want a straight duplication.

This one is almost the same at the first crossing of Carnarvon Creek at the start of the walk but it is a must have shot nevertheless.

One of the many wonderful bluffs at the gorge.

Wards Canyon.

One of the Aboriginal artworks in Cathedral Cave.

The Moss Garden.

and another majestic bluff.

Sandstone Park at Carnarvon Gorge

We made a detour to visit Carnarvon Gorge once again.  We were here 6 years ago but without a dog. It is a national park where no domestic pets are allowed.  There is now a new camping area that opened just three weeks ago called Sandstone Park where we can camp for $20 per night with a dog outside the national park.  The views are wonderful and it is a lovely and restful place to spend a couple of days and nights.  There is a 360 degree view from the camping area on top of a plateau which is private property.

This is taken from under the awning of one of the neighbouring caravans.  We are sitting drinking in this wonderful vista of the Carnarvon sandstone cliffs.

On day one we parked outside the Visitors Centre and left Maxi in the van while we climbed up to Boolimba Bluff which was a 6.4 TOUGH climb.  The next day, Andrew got a lift down to the Visitors Centre at 7:30am and he walked some 24 kms all around - some of which we had both walked 6 years ago.  I stayed at the caravan park with Maxi all day, chatting to anyone who was there.  Andrew then got a lift back up.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Family reunion at Yeppoon

We had a date with Andrew's son Peter and his wife Toni who have recently bought a catamaran. This was our first sighting of their boat, which is a Leopard type, and it is called Heatwave.

The Keppel Bay Marina at Rosslyn Harbour (Yeppoon is nearby) where their boat is moored for our meeting.  We are having dinner together at the marina tonight and we are taking Peter and Toni grocery shopping tomorrow.

Here we all are having a cup of tea on board.  The weather is too horrible for them to take us sailing

and more dressed up for dinner at the marina restaurant.

Calliope rest area and Rockhampton

After meeting up with Peter and Toni, we returned once again to camp at one of our favourite free camping areas on the Calliope River.  The weather was perfect the day we arrived but turned dreadful overnight.  I still managed to get a few shots of both sides of the river.

The low side of the river bank.

The high side of the bank, even though I had not managed to get the view of the river in.  Taken in the morning by which time many had left for further adventures.

Someone said to us that most drug use on the road is by grey nomads - prescription drugs.

We then drove on to Rockhampton where we spent a brief few hours, admiring some of the lovely old buildings and having a nice cup of coffee.  The weather continued being wet and rainy.

The old Post Office.

The Customs House.

The Harbour Board.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Maryborough revisited

Maryborough is a historically rich Queensland town established on the wide Mary River.  It was an important town in the 1800s.  Ship building was an important industry among others.  Many immigrants arrived here as the port was often the first processing centre for new arrivals in the country.

Buildings have been well preserved and looked after.  There is a daily guided tour showing tourists important buildings in the town centre.

The School of Arts.

An art deco building.

The court house.

Mural of Mary McKillop, a native of Maryborough.

Another native was Helen Lyndon Goff who under the pen name of P.L.Travers created Mary Poppins.

A mural at the old dairy.

The Mary River.

Our indulgence - an all you can eat buffet for $10 which was wonderful value, at the Aussie Hotel.

After leaving Maryborough we drove out to Hervey Bay where Maxi frolicked on the beach.