|Queensland The Sunshine State|
|BRISBANE STORY BRIDGE - VIEW FROM THE PIER|
Sunday 12th October 2003
Goodbye Tennant Creek. We left this outback town heading north via the Stuart Highway and travelled for 25 km before arriving at the Three Ways Roadhouse, we stopped and took some photographs of this remote place, then we headed East along the Barkly Highway (Overlander) for 187 km until we reached the Barkly Roadhouse and stayed for the night. Next morning we continued for another 260 km in this arid land and reached the Queensland borders. We stopped, took some photographs and farewelled the Northern Territory, then we drove another 13 km and entered Camooweal the first town in Queensland. Camooweal population 200, and is 200 km north west of the town of Mount Isa, but comes under the same city council, this must be one of the largest area council in the world, with part of the Barkly Highway as its main street. We stopped for lunch and toured the old but prestige town.
Then we moved on heading east along the Barkly Highway arriving at the Mount Isa Caravan Park and checked in for one week. There are some interesting statistics attributed to Mount Isa, not the least being that it is the site of Australia's largest underground mine. The city with a population of about 24,000 administer an area the size of Switzerland--about 50,000 sq km. A remarkable statistic from 1973 is that there were more than 2.5 vehicles per resident. The enormous mine is one of the few areas in the world where the four minerals--copper, lead, silver and zinc are found in close proximity. In a hot and isolated region, the people of Mount Isa, consisting of more than 50 nationality, have made their city into a modern inland oasis which contrast sharply with the surrounding Outback, and as the sign says when you enter the city of mount Isa "If you haven't seen the Isa, you haven't seen Australia". While we were here at Mount Isa, we visited the artificial Lake Moondarra and Lake Julius.
Lake Moondarra Mount Isa
20th October 2003
On the road again along the Barkly Highway (Overlander), heading to Richmond. We stopped at the town of Cloncurry, had Breakfast and toured around this copper mining town which in 1889 has recorded a maximum temperature of 51.1 degrees Celsius, yet to be broken in Australia. Then we moved on to the town of Julia Creek, stopped for a breather and some photos then we continued on to Richmond where we checked in for the night at the Richmond Van Park. Next morning we left the park early heading to Charters Towers. We stopped and toured the Dinosaur town of Hughenden, a matter of fact it is here where an almost complete dinosaur skeleton fossil was unearthed and is now displayed at the information centre in the town centre. A further 250 km and we arrived at Charters Towers and checked in for whole week at the Dalrymple Tourist Park, clean, spacey, full of mango trees and close to the town centre. We spent our time touring the town and relaxing at the caravan park.
|Town Hall Charters Towers||Dinosaur Skeleton Fossil Hughenden||Exchange House Ch/Towers|
|Old Main St Charters Towers||Horses at the Caravan Park||Old Main St Charters Towers|
28th October 2003
After enjoying the week's rest at Charters Towers, back on the road again, this time heading to Townsville and then north along the Bruce Highway stopping for lunch at the park in Ingham, then to Cardwell where we checked in at the Kookaburra Holiday Park for two nights. Cardwell is a small popular fishing and holiday town and within easy reach of its main attraction Hinchinbrook marina and Island. The town with a population of under 9,000 and rich hinterland, yields a great variety of produce, including beef, tea, sugarcane and bananas. We have toured around the whole area, taking lots of photographs and enjoying the surroundings especially the Hinchinbrook Marina and resort.
|Cardwell Marina Resort||Cardwell Delicious Mud Crab||Cardwell Popular Fish|
Thursday 30th October 2003
We left Cardwell and continued our journey north enjoying the scenery of Queensland's tropics along the Bruce Highway until we arrived Cairns where we checked in at the Cairns Villa and Leisure Park for four weeks. The park was of average standard but not too far from all amenities and that was good enough. The City of Cairns mixes grand colonial architecture, wonderful old pubs and modern shopping malls. The coastal attractions include the magnificent Great Barrier Reef where we spent a whole day tour. To the inland you will find the rainforests and plains of the Atherton Tableland. To the north lie the lush Daintree National Park and Port Douglas. Kuranda with its famous markets lies on top of the range west of Cairns. The Kuranda Scenic Rail ride up the range west of Cairns goes through tunnels and past the Barron Gorge waterfalls arriving at the station of Kuranda, reputed to be the prettiest railway station in the country. Alternatively, there is the 7.5 km trip to Kuranda on the Skyrail, the world's longest gondola cableway, which trides above the World Heritage rainforest canopy with spectacular views of the Coral Sea beaches, canefields and the mountains. The Botanic Gardens in Cairns are not to be missed. So now you can see how the four weeks stay in Cairns where hardly enough to see and enjoy all of these beautiful places.
|Botanic Gardens Cairns||Botanic Gardens Cairns||Botanic Gardens Cairns|
|The Esplanade Cairns||Botanic Gardens Cairns||The Reef Casino Cairns|
Thursday 27th November 2003
Well the time came and we had to keep moving on, this time leaving the city of Cairns and heading south along the Bruce Highway to Innisfail, arriving at the River Drive Caravan Park about one o'clock and check in for eight days since the eighth day is free so we took advantage and thought we will have and extra day of rest!! The park was clean with lots of trees and close to the town centre of this small but beautiful town and the hosts were very friendly and welcoming. Innisfail is primarily based on the sugar cane industry, although tea, fishing and dairying play a big role as well. Population is approximately 8,000, the character of the district was established with the influx of migrants mainly Italians. Many Chinese settled in the area and erected the Joss House that still stands in Ernest street. At Mena Creek south of the town are the ruins of Paronella Park, a Spanish-style castle built by a Spanish migrant Jose Paronella and was well worth a visit and we greatly enjoyed it.
|Relaxing at the park Innisfail||St Andrew Cathedral Innisfail||Innisfail's Court House||A coffee break Paronella Park|
Friday 5th December 2003 We left Innisfail (after enjoying a well deserved rest), continuing south we stopped at the bakery in Tully for lunch and a tour of the town which supports a thriving sugar-cane, tea and banana growing area. Tully's population 3,100 is one of Australia's highest rainfall areas, and this is demonstrated by the huge gum boot tower at the town's park. Australia's records show that in 1950 Tully's annual rain fall was 7.9 metres, and that was enough to fill this gumboot. We then stopped at the small town of Ingham for two nights.
Tully's Golden Gumboot
Standing on Top of the World
|Sunday 7th December 2003|
|After a short stopover at Frosty Mangoes Cafe and enjoying a cappuccino and fresh mangoes with cream (Yummy), we reached Townsville and checked in at the Rowes Bay Caravan Park (right on the bay) for four weeks during which we toured the whole of the surrounding areas including a magic day at Magnetic Island, Castle Hill at the centre of town and the magnificent Strand at the town's foreshore and the Botanic Gardens at the edge of town. Townsville with a population of 125,000 is Australia's largest tropical city. It lays claim to having 320 days of sunshine a year and surely we experienced twenty eight days of them sunbathing and enjoying the meals at the many wonderful eating outlets.|
|Townsville Bay||A TRIP TO THIS BEAUTIFUL CITY WILL NOT DISAPPOINT||Townsville from Castle Hill|
|Castle Hill Townsville||The Topless Car Hired To Tour Magnetic Island||Fig Trees Magnetic Island|
Sunday 4th January 2004
On the road again and after celebrating Christmas and the New Year at Townsville, heading further south along the Bruce Highway, we checked in at the Harbour Lights Top Tourist Park in Bowen Mango Country and was welcomed by this $60,000 Mango at the town's entrance. We sure had lots of mangoes at Bowen during our two night stay.
|Bowen's Big Mango||Bowen's Town Centre||Bowen's Delicious Mango||Carrying the Big Mango|
|Bowen's Council House||Bowen's Main Street||Bowen's Billboard||Farewell From Bowen|
Tuesday 6th January 2004
Goodbye Bowen and Hello Mackay, on the way south to Mackay, we veered left onto the coastline, stopping at Cannon Vale, Shute Harbour and then back to Proserpine. Those little towns are beautiful and full of life, we had a breather, bought some souvenirs, took some memorable photos and then continued on arriving Mackay at about four o'clock in the afternoon. We checked in at the Beach Tourist Park for a week. The park was a Big 4, on the beach front, very clean and not far from the town centre.
|Mackay Main Street||Mackay Old Lighthouse||Eimio Hotel Mackay||Mackay from Eimio Hotel|
|Koalas At the Zoo Mackay||The Botanic Gardens Mackay||Rainforest Eungella N/Park||Eungella National Park Mackay|
Mackay population 59,000 is the producer of one third of Australia's sugar harvest. The heritage walk through the city, took us past the Police Station, the Court House and the Commonwealth Bank, buildings that are all over 100 years old and listed with the National Trust. We spent a day at Eungella National Park (pronounced Yangalla) which is one of Queensland's most spectacular parks, with cloud-shrouded peaks, deep gorges and lush rainforest, where we stopped at the secluded Susana's Cafe, between the thick clouds and had a delicious Devonshire tea with scones jam and cream . Another day we spent at the Botanic Gardens and Zoo. We visited small towns of Sarina, Slade Point and Bucasia, these were great places as well. Mackay is a place which should not be missed.
Tuesday 13th January 2004
After an enjoyable week's stay in Mackay, we continued down south for about 230 km and stopped for lunch at the little town of Marlborough, then we carried on a further 105 km to Rockhampton and we checked in at the Tropical Wanderer Tourist Park for eight days.
|Rocky's Main Post Office||Rocky's Magnificent Bull||Rocky's Heritage Hotel||Rocky's Criterion Hotel|
Rockhampton population 65,000 is the heartland of Australia's premium beef cattle region, and recent estimates have calculated that the Fitzroy Basin beef herds number more than 2.5 million, (and they were not wrong 'cause we enjoyed every piece of stake). There was plenty to see and do during the eight day stay. A short distance away on the Capricorn Coast is Yeppoon, the stepping-off place for visits to Great Keppel Island. Emu Park, down the coast from Yeppoon, has a 12-metre-high structure of pipes in the shape of a large sail which commemorates James Cook's voyage in the Endeavour. A walk in the city will not disappoint, as you will see many old but beautifully restored buildings. We very much enjoyed our stay here, especially when we met our cousin Mano who came from Melbourne to see us. We are sure you will too.
|A Whale of a House Yeppoon||Captain Cook's Sail Boat||Cousin Mano met us in Yeppoon||Cousin Mano and the Folks|
Wednesday 21st January 2004
On the road again further south and after crossing the Tropic of Capricorn, we arrived at Gladstone's Barney Beach Caravan Park and checked in for one week, during which we toured around the area visiting the towns of Calliope, Tannum Sands, Benaraby, Boyne Island, Lake Awoonga, the Alumina Refinery and Gladstone Marina, taking photos and having a good relaxation
|Gladstone from Lookout||Grand Hanson Hotel-Gladstone||Investigating Boyne Island||Lake Awoonga-Gladstone|
Wednesday 28th January 2004
We left Gladstone and drove none stop to Bundaberg and checked in at the Cane Village Holiday Park for one week. Bundaberg population 55.000 is rum and sugar-cane country, located on the banks of the Burnett River 15 km from the coast, it is a city with tree-lined streets, parks and gardens. We visited the townships of Elliott Heads, Bargara, Innes Park and Burnett Heads which are about 15 km away and are highly sought after as holiday destinations, and boast some of the most pristine beaches in Australia. As well we visited the Mon Repos Environmental Park, one of the southern hemisphere's most significant turtle rookeries where turtles come to nest. Bundaberg is the birthplace of the pioneer aviator Bert Hinkler who 1928 completed the first solo flight from England to Australia. During 1983-84, Hinkler's House was moved from England to the Hinkler House Memorial Museum in the Bundaberg Botanical Gardens where we enjoyed the visit.
|Hinkler's Museum Bundaberg||Hinkler's Museum Bundaberg||Hinkler's Museum Bundaberg||Hinkler's Museum Bundaberg|
|St Mary's Cathedral||Bundaberg Beach||Old Lighthouse Bargara||Bundaberg City Post Office|
Wednesday 4th February 2004
From Bundaberg we travelled south passing through the townships of Childers, Howard, Torbanlea and then Hervey Bay, where we checked in at the Hervey Bay Beach Tourist Park Pialba for one week. The park was clean with lots of trees and backing onto the bay overlooking Fraser Island and a step away from the town centre. Hervey Bay population 43,000 is a large expanse of water protected by the bulk of Fraser Island, and was named by Captain Cook in 1770 after Captain Hervey, who became the Earl of Bristol. We spent a week of sightseeing the surrounding area and relaxing, and we sure enjoyed every minute of it.
|Hervey Bay Boat Club||A Drink at the Boat Club||Our Camp Hervey Bay||Hervey Bay a View from our Van|
Wednesday 11th February 2004: Back on the Bruce Highway into Maryborough and checked in at the Wallace Motel and Caravan Park on the Bruce Highway and not too far from the town centre. Maryborough population 26,000 with the splendid old houses and buildings is one of Queensland's oldest cities, and is reputed to be one of the most historic towns in Queensland, and we sure can bear witness to that since we stayed here for three enjoyable nights.
|Welcome to Maryborough||Maryborough's Town Hall||Maryborough's Post Office||Post Office Hotel Maryborough|
Saturday 14th February 2004 Valentine Day: We stayed for two nights at the Gympie Caravan Park. Gympie population 12,000 was once the home of the first Labor Prime Minister of Australia, and Mary street, the main street in town, meanders through the town mainly because the road follows the old bullock route.
|General Post Office Gympie||Showing her Valentine Flowers||Gympie from Lookout||Gympie Court House|
Monday 16th February 2004
It was a short drive from Gympie to Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast, we arrived here at about midday and checked in at the Cotton Tree Holiday Park where we had booked earlier. This park was on the water front, very big, clean and close to the town centre. Sunshine Coast population 166,000 is the name given to the coastal region stretching from Bribie Island and Caloundra in the south, to Noosa Heads and beyond to the north. The Sunshine Coast has 150 km of perfect surf beaches, tropical fruit plantation and larger-than-life tourist attractions. We made Maroochy as our base while we toured around from the inland towns of Bli Bli, Nambour, Buderim and the Bellingham Maze, Yandina the home of Australia's only ginger factory, Eumundi and Eumundi brewery and markets, the three Ms as the locals calls them: Montville, Mapleton and Maleny. As well as Caloundra, Mooloolaba, Alexandra Headland, Coolum Beach, Peregian Beaches, Tewantin, to Laguna Bay at Noosa. We spent a very busy five weeks and five days enjoying every minute of our stay.
|Noosa Popular Beach||Entrance to Nambour||Big Pineapple-Nambour||Yandina Ginger Factory|
|Popular Ettamogah Pub||Dolls at Bli Bli Castle||Mapleton Tavern||Montville Cafe|
Saturday 27th March 2004
On the road again via the Bruce Highway To Brisbane the Capital City of the State of Queensland. We checked in at the New Market Gardens Caravan Park, this park was very clean with lots of shady trees next to a creek and only eight kilometres from the city centre. Brisbane population about 1.4 million, has a casual atmosphere, maybe it is due to no small part to the city retaining a "little bit of country", and we found that we could get things done in the city without resorting to a hectic, taring pace. We stayed here three weeks touring around, we visited the townships of Redcliffe, Brighton, Sandy Gate, Deception Bay, Caboolture, Beerburrum and Bribie Island. In Brisbane we visited the beautiful Roma Gardens, the Botanic Gardens, South Bank and its markets, a tourist bus tour around all the historic places as well as a ferry tour along the Brisbane River. How wonderful this place is, we recommend it not to be missed.
|General Post Office-Brisbane||China Town- Brisbane||City Mall-Brisbane||South Bank-Brisbane|
|Ferry Tour-Brisbane River||Under the Story Bridge Brisbane||Botanic Gardens-Brisbane||Roma Gardens-Brisbane|
Monday 19th April 2004
We left The Beautiful City of Brisbane, travelling south along the Bruce Highway heading to the Gold Coast about 100 km away. We checked in at the Ocean Beach Tourist Park where we had previously booked. The park was small but very clean, right on Miami Beach and about a couple of kilometres from Surfers Paradise. The Gold Coast City Council is the second largest council in Queensland, it stretches from Beenleigh in the north, taking in South Stradbroke Island, right down to the Queensland/New South Wales border and the towns of Coolangatta and sister city Tweed Heads. These two towns are separated only a monument dividing the States borders. The Gold Coast with a population of about 335,000 has some of the biggest shopping centres in the southern hemisphere. Surfers Paradise in particular is a bustling, glittering strip of high-rise buildings, at the same time, developers have turned vast areas of the Gold Coast into a maze of canals and expensive residential subdivisions. All in all, we honestly enjoyed this type of luxury life but we could not afford staying more than two weeks!!
|The Borders||High-Rise - Coolangatta||Tweed Heads||Welcome to Coolangatta|
And that wrapped our tour of this magic State of Queensland, so for now.
GOODBYE QUEENSLAND AND HELLO NEW SOUTH WALES