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Carmel and Barrie's big trip

Welcome to carmel's Travel Page. Here is where I will be keeping a record of my travels for all of you to read. Please feel free to leave a comment for me. I will reply to them!

Diary Entries

Monday, 07 August 2006

Location: Bribie Island, Australia

Wednesday, 02 August 2006

We are now at Burnett Heads, just out of Bundaberg. We arrived here yesterday and are staying at the Lighthouse Caravan Park. It’s very crowded, I actually think what they are doing is putting 2 vans on each block. I’ve been for a walk along the foreshore. It was low tide and the water was way out, and it was all mud flats. I went to the south and, once past the mudflats, it was rocks as far as I could see, not rock pools, just rocks. So I’ll try going north this afternoon and see how I go. I can see sand in the distance, but it looks a fair way.

The internet here is $1 per hour for us oldies, so, needless to say, I’ll be using that.

Monday, 07 August 2006

We arrived home yesterday. Barrie was really keen to get home, much keener than me, however, now we are home, I’m pleased to be here.

On Wednesday, I went for my walk north, but only finished up at the mouth of the river, so still didn’t get a chance to check out the sand.

While we were at Burnett Heads, I was invited to a birthday party for the park manager. It mightn’t have been much of an area, but the residents of the park (mainly permanents) were very friendly. The people are there for the fishing.

We spent Thursday night at Goodwood, just outside Woodgate where we stayed with folk we had met at Mt Isa. They used to breed ostriches, and the farm is still set up for them. Ron and Rita made us feel so welcome, and I came home with passionfruit, lemons and some blown ostrich eggs. They are enormous, 1800 gms each, with very hard shells.

On the way there I saw some real sugarcane harvesting – at long last.

Friday we arrived at Hervey Bay just in time for the Whale Festival – sheer good luck. We booked into the caravan park right by the jetty so we were in the middle of the action. That afternoon we went out on a vessel called Whalesong whale spotting. We certainly had no trouble spotting them. We saw them at each place we stopped. At one spot, there were 2 whales who played around the ship for over an hour, swimming under the boat and popping up either side. They really put on a show for us. I’m going to try putting a photo on my photo page. We even saw 2 whales breach, but they were too fast to get a photo.

On Saturday, we saw the blessing of the fleet. Barrie didn’t go to it and I only saw a bit – it was like a mannequin parade. Each ship came up, got blessed then sailed around so everyone could check it out. I only stayed for the 2 VMR, the police and the marine parks ships, plus one ferry. The blessing of the fleet wasn’t the only thing on, there were also wine and food tastings, plus entertainment. The problem was it was so crowded. Then at 7.30pm, the night finished with a fireworks show.

Being a whale festival, there were signs hung up everywhere saying ‘STOP HUNTING WHALES’ and ‘DON’T KILL OUR HUNCHBACK WHALES’. Needless to say, the Japanese won’t win any popularity contest in Hervey Bay. The sign there that really intrigued me was ‘PUBLIC NOTICE – PLEASE REFRAIN FROM LICKING OUR WINDOWS’. (Yuk!)

We had intended spending Sunday on the Sunshine Coast, but Sue rang to say our house was ready, so we came home instead. On the way home, we drove through Maryborough and they were having a classic car rally – there were some great old cars. Maryborough is also known for its beautifully maintained old homes.

Over the 11 months, we travelled just under 30,000 kms – and still only barely scratched the surface. The Astra did a marvellous job.

Wednesday, 02 August 2006

Location: Burnett Heads, Bundaberg, Australia

Wednesday, 02 August 2006

We are now at Burnett Heads, just out of Bundaberg. We arrived here yesterday and are staying at the Lighthouse Caravan Park. It’s very crowded, I actually think what they are doing is putting 2 vans on each block. I’ve been for a walk along the foreshore. It was low tide and the water was way out, and it was all mud flats. I went to the south and, once past the mudflats, it was rocks as far as I could see, not rock pools, just rocks. So I’ll try going north this afternoon and see how I go. I can see sand in the distance, but it looks a fair way.

The internet here is $1 per hour for us oldies, so, needless to say, I’ll be using that.

Sunday, 30 July 2006

Location: Yeppoon, Australia

Saturday, 29/7/06

Jason and Nic took me 4WDing along the beach, it was fantastic. There even is a designated surfing only area. They are going back there again tomorrow to have a go surfing. After driving for a few kms along the surf beach, they were able to cross over to Corio Bay. Being a bay, there were no waves, so we got out and took Angus, their 9 week old mini Fox Terrier, for a run. Initially he wasn’t too sure about the water, but he did get used to it. We also saw a stingray, only about a metre from the shore. Apart from 2 fishermen, we were the only people there. We then came back through the wetlands. That was a pretty rough trip, even with a 4WD. Next we had a tour of Yeppoon and saw Nic’s offices, both in the Livingstone Shire Council Administration building and at the depot. As most of the staff work at the depot, that’s where she spends most of her time, but the admin offices are just across the road from the beach – what a great place to work.

It seems unbelievable, being the middle of winter, but, for dinner, we had a BBQ and sat outside to watch the Lions/Bombers match – enough said.

Sunday, 30 July 2006

Seeing Nic, Jason and I had been to the better beaches north of Yeppoon yesterday, Barrie and I went south today. Our first stop was Cooee Beach where they were holding a cooee contest, plus a concert and stalls. We didn’t stay long, as the ‘Local Law’ (parking inspectors) were wandering around and they are sudden death here. Apparently they are giving Yeppoon a bad name among the ‘grey nomads’. We then went to Kemp Bay so I could collect shells, and finally on to Zelzie Bay, where there is this big resort/housing development going on – miles from anywhere. Nic and Jason have certainly got a great buy.

Friday, 28 July 2006

Location: Yeppoon, Australia

Friday, 28/7/06

We are still at Yeppoon. Barrie has been helping Jason do some minor repairs to cupboards etc. I've been a lady of leisure, although I was in charge of Angus, their 9 week old mini Fox Terrier, while the men went out to buy some parts - and he fell off the balcony. I'd say I've been sacked. Fortunately he seems to be OK. However he must have got quite a shock as he spent quite some time just snuggled up in my arms. (He's a dear little thing (little being the operative word).)

This afternoon, Jason gave us a local's tour of Yeppoon. There were lots of places a tourist would never have found. It's a really nice place with lots of potential.

Thursday, 27 July 2006

Location: Yeppoon, Qld, Australia

Saturday, 22/7/06

I was a bit lucky with the e-mailing this morning. I had just finished when the library server went down. The caravan park put on a (free) sausage sizzle and Country and Western group. They were very good although we had to leave early – I wanted to watch the Lions game.

Sunday, 23/7/06

I had a bad day today. Example no. 1 - just as I was about to go to Church, a couple opposite called over for a chat and to exchange addresses. So I rushed off to Church – and went into the wrong one. I knew it was different but thought maybe they didn’t have a priest and were having a memorial service. (As you can see, it wasn’t all that much different.) (The Catholic Church was next door.)

We spent the night at a free caravan park at St Laurence. Unfortunately, there is really nothing at St Laurence itself, but the park was great. The amenities block would have been well up in the top 50%, which doesn’t say much for some of the parks which charge. They had hot showers ($1 for 3 mins). I got undressed then popped out to put in my dollar – but no water. I then found out I’d put the money in for the next shower
- Example no. 2. Barrie reckons I shouldn’t be allowed out without a leash. Not only were the amenities spotless, but there were free BBQs, also spotless; and a very nice picnic area. There was a notice board with all that is on in town, plus a fruit and veggie van comes around each afternoon. There would have been 50 vans there – divided in to 2 areas, one for generators, the other for us quiet ones.

Not only that, the park was on the St Laurence river although a lady said there were ‘smiley logs’ (crocodiles) in it. And there was a mountain range in the background – the sunset was beautiful.

Monday, 24 July 2006

We are now at The Caves Caravan Park near Rockhampton. We had initially intended staying at Marlborough, but, like St Laurence, there was nothing there. The Caves is an environmental park, with kangaroos (some with joeys) wandering around. There was also an Aboriginal demonstrating throwing a boomerang, however we missed most of it. By the time we had booked in, he had knocked off.

This afternoon, we did a tour of the caves. They are very impressive. There is one called the Cathedral where they hold weddings. We have taken a brochure in case Nic and Jason are interested.

Tuesday, 25 July 2006

We are now at Rockhampton, at a very nice park. Our van overlooks the Fitzroy River. We are only staying a night so we can do a bit of shopping, then we are off to Yeppoon. Rockie is a really big town, shopping centres everywhere. I want to find a craft store this afternoon.

Thursday, 27 July 2006

We arrived at Nic and Jason’s at Yeppoon yesterday – we had a bikie guide us. There house is really nice. They had the inside painted and it has made it a lot brighter, and it appears much larger (not that it was small in the first place. We haven’t done any of the touristy things yet.

Saturday, 22 July 2006

Location: Sarina, Qld, Australia

Saturday, 15 July 2006

We are now at Midge Point – and there aren’t any midgies, thank goodness. We have only booked in for 2 days so far. The park is right on the beach and not at all busy – BUT the beach is very tidal – and it’s mud flats, and there is absolutely nothing else here, so we still have to make up our minds whether to stay on or not.

This afternoon, we went for a drive to Midge Point. The beach is still very tidal with mudflats. There are also quite a number of houses, but nothing else (no shops etc). However there was a wedding being held at the Rural Fire Brigade Hall, also a sign at Midge Point itself announcing it. It looked like everyone was invited.

Sunday, 16/7/06

I woke early this morning and went for a walk along the beach; it was just as well, it rained for the rest of the day. An inlet borders the caravan park so I walked to it but didn’t hang around as we were told 2 crocodiles live in it. Almost everywhere you go, there are warnings of what you should do in croc country.

I met a chap on the beach and asked him when it is high tide. He said he’d been here for a month and it always looked the same. (He was working at Laguna Quays which is just around the bay from us.)

Monday, 17 July 2006

We are now at Cape Hillsborough and, although it is still cloudy and (as far as we are concerned) cold, the rain has held off. There is much more habitation and traffic now we are on the east coast. We also saw our, in all probability, last wedge tailed eagle on the Cape Hillsborough road – I love watching them. The scenery along this road is much more interesting and varied – rocky mountains, bush, cultivated farms and sugar cane – and it is all so green because of the rain. We also saw our first cane train, well engine actually. I guess it was going somewhere to pick up carriages of the harvested cane. We also had a helicopter flying overhead. It’s all go here.

Cape Hillsborough is the nicest, by far, beach so far. It seems the further south we go, the better the beaches become. I can’t describe the beach so I’ll put a photo on my photo page. We were very lucky to get in here, but have one of the better sites, right on the waterfront. We have only booked in for 2 nights as the park is in the national park and there is nothing else here. We expect to see everything over 2 days. We’ve already had a walk along the beach.

There are 2 wallabies here, one just wanders around the park, while the other one is in an enclosure as it had a broken ankle. It is 12 months old but not in good condition, so it is still being bottle fed. While we were on the beach, its carer carried it down for its exercise (a walk on the beach), and the other one followed closely behind.

Tuesday, 18 July 2006

We woke to a perfect day – blue sky, warm with just a slight breeze. We’ve now walked from one end of the beach to the other. At low tide, we also walked across a (so called) causeway to Wedge Island. The causeway was made up of both large and small rocks, and also had squelchy mud at the base – at least we can say that we did it. I don’t know whether it was worth the effort. The beach is surrounded by cliffs, with lots of large rocks in the water. At low tide, several of the rocks finish up on the sand, with little moats of water around them; some even had small fish in them.

Barrie took some photos, and I am going to put 2 on my photo page, but they don’t do the place justice.

Wednesday, 19/7/06

We had intended staying for a few days ay Mackay, but when we got there it was so busy and crowded, we decided to come on to Sarina – more our style. We originally intended booking in to the park at Armstrong Beach but the vans were packed in like sardines. There are 2 other parks in the area, but we didn’t check one of them as this one sounded better and, according to others here it is the nicest park in the area, they even have flower arrangements on the vanity basins. And there are scrub turkeys wandering through the park. The people who own it travel a lot and have set up the park the way they would like all parks set up.

So, apart from our not to be missed visit to the information centre, that was it for the day. Although we did go over for drinks with a couple from Loch Sport in Victoria in the late afternoon.

Thursday, 20 July 2006

We’ve been real tourists today. The day started with a visit to the Port of Hay Point, a coal port about 22kms from Sarina. It was a really big operation. We then visited all of the beaches in the area – Hay Point, and Slonika, Grasstree, Campwin and Sarina Beaches. They all have coconut trees along the foreshore. Barrie was only just missed by a falling coconut at Grasstree. It fell then bounced, that’s when it just missed him. We were very careful where we parked the car. It is a very windy day, but I must walk on every beach (and see if I can find shells) – I think I drive Barrie mad. We had a seafood medley for lunch, sitting in the car overlooking the water. (I think she thought she was feeding an army.) The beaches here are just as nice as the others we’ve seen lately.

Friday, 21 July 2006

We had intended going to see the CSR distillery and the sugar shed today, however both are closed, so today will be a ‘nothing’ day. And the monthly market is held on the last Sunday of the month, so we’ve missed out again. And, apparently, the market is the biggest one in the area.

The sugarcane is being harvesting now, so there are quite a few cane trains coming through. They run on very narrow lines and the engines only look small but they must be powerful, they tow almost a km of carriages.

(I wasn't able to send photos on this computer. I'll try from Nic's.)

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Recent Messages

From Jane
Send some of the rain down this way please - we could do with it!
Response: I wish I could!
From Jane
Really enjoying catching up with all your travel news and diary entries. Do you keep doing this once you get back to Bribie......
Response: No way
From Marg & Don
Still really enjoying reading about your travels. Makes me want to do some more exploring in Aussie.
Nice here in Canada, had lots of rain.
Response: Barrie's brother and his wife are in Canada at the moment - and loving it (the lucky things)
From Shirley
Hi,have just caught up with all the news.
So much wildlife around snakes,crocs,eagles,you'll find it very tame when you eventually get back to Bribie!
Response: Oh no I won't!!
From jason
hello carmel and barrie, i have just checked out your site and think it is great. we are over at sue and pauls enjoying dinner and checking on the updates of your trip. Looks fantastic. ENJOY! saw the photos of jarryd's crayfish , they are huge. bigger than yours Barrie! Ha Ha ! See ya jason
Response: We want to see those photos - so you better get something set up by 22/4
From Nic and Sue
Having a quick update of the website - the crayfish look great Dad! But we've dined on lovely roast pork with some sensational pork crackle. Also had a couple of champers to celebrate the Jas and Nic's house purchase in Yeppoon. Looking forward to moving into it eventually, who knows when that will happen 6mths, maybe 12mths. Anyway will wrap it up now to have some desert. Take it easy. Love Nic and Sue.
From jarryd
hey Nan and Grandad
when i went snorkling at moreton i saw a cray fish twice as big as that and fish three times as big as your and a wobbygong. it was fun
Response: If you haven't got a photo of your crayfish, how can I believe you. Our crayfish was 1 metre long (just joking). I am glad you had a great time.
From Jane
Really enjoying reading all about your travels and looking at the photos. When is the book being published???
Response: Good question. Not long till holidays now for you. What are you doing?
From Mary Quinlan
Had mum check outyour latest reports and photos. We can't believe Barrie caught fish - dad would've been impressd!
Response: Wait till you see the crayfish!!
From Shirley
Hi there
Have just read your last entry,Jim's birthday!
Glad to know that you have a microwave that works.
Have had some good showers so it keeps the garden going & maybe we wont have to be on level 3 water restrictions!Hope your trip keeps going well as it seems to be so far,you're certainly getting to see a lot of the wildlife!
Response: I've worked out how to get into my messages - thanks
From Mark Quinlan
Barrie & Carmel,
Looked at your site. Great to see. Will give mum a look next time we are in contact with her.
Jacqui is keen to talk about Donvale Christian Coolege.
Best of luck with the trip.
Response: I'll let Carolyn know about Donvale. Her phone number is 98766168 - good luck.
From Shirley
Sorry to hear that you're not going to B/Hill,probably best as the temp there has been in the 40's & not much rain!
Would like to see a photo of the van!
Good luck,so far all seems to be ok for you,love Shirley & Jim
Response: I've put a photo of the outside of the van in my last photos - I can't remember what I called the folder.
Love Carmel
From Marg
Just checking in.
Great pictures.
Had a letter from June and Jeff, guess they just missed you folks in Tassie.
Sounds like you are having a great trip.
Response: I've just worked out how to read my messages. Good to hear from you.
From Shirley
Well look at this,I actually found the site!
Don't you think I'm clever!!
All a lot of luck!Just viewed the Tassie photos,you're looking good!
Response: I'm clever too. I've just worked out how to read my messages - and reply to them.
From Judith and Davie
Hi Barry and Carmel, Just read your diary, finally managed to locate it on Planet Ranger and found it most interesting we have been to most of the places you mentioned on a Probus trip but not with the weather you experienced nor the roads either, ours was very sedate in comparison, can imagine not having the annexe will make your trip much easier for the packing etc. Hope the weather improves and you enjoy the east coast, its a most picturesque and interesting place, is Tasmania, All well here expecting our eldest son and wife from Canada tomorrow and not looking forward to this week and the party which she is going to organised tomorrow!! We will wait and see. Thanks for your last email, went into Bulk Mail and we only found it by accident don't know how that happened. Bye for now, love from us both.
Response: I've just worked out how to get my messages from Planet Ranger - you can't expect wonders. (This e-mail is dated 19/11). But I'm on to it now.
From June and Peter
Enjoying your chatter look forward to it.Hope Barrie is managing the camper better I guess its worse if it rains.
We miss you at craft Carmel.
We won't be long before we go on our cruise to New Zealand. Love J & P.
p.s. Lynette is back we are going clogging to-night.
Response: I've just discovered how to read my Planet Ranger messages - it takes me a while, but I'm right now. (This e-mail is dated 31/10 - dhhh!)
From bern&joan
having problems with your emails-last few words on each line missing.Kevin has same problem.Peter has found a way in ,click File,Properties,Details, Message Sources and you get the whole messsage(plus lots of numbers)
did you see the PS on my card?
Response: Thanks for the hint, Bernie. I've just worked out how to get into the planet ranger message - you can't expect wonders! (Your e-mail is dated 9/10)
From Sue
Hi there,
the trip sounds good and so does Mudgee, you've obviously done well to fit some Christmas shopping in the car. Well, Blake got his 400 qualifier last night so he's pleased even though my great time keeping thought that he may not have, a moment of concern there unnecessarily caused by me. Hopefully he may get a jumps qualifier also at some stage. Tim is off for a medical on Monday for Energex which is sort of promising, he didn't get the Honeywell job but is still hoping fot the council one. Jarryd is off to touch sign on for the next season.
bye for now,
Response: Just worked out how to get into planet ranger messages. (Your e-mail here is dated 8/10). Things move slowly when you are old.
From Marg and don
HI :
sounds like you guys are having a great if windy trip, as long as its only the wind outside its ok!!!
I am dying to know,,,,what is a Beardie?? I am guessing a long haired eardy person without a permanent type home.
I even got out the map to follow along on your route.
Enjoying your notes. Hope you recieve this . It is the 2nd one I have sent.
Response: This is, I guess, your 1st planet ranger message. (They come up backwards in date.) A beardie is just that - a person with a l-o-n-g beard. And, I must admit, do look like persons without a permanent home.
From Tim Scriven
like your photos, they look great, where's the one I took of grandad??
From marg
Wow away for 12 months. I was kind of hoping it was going to involve a trip to Canada in there. ONe day.....
What are you doing..housesitting and babysitting etc??
Have a great trip and we hope to hear from you frequently.
Response: No, I've now found another of your messages, Marg. You won't know me from now.