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carmel’s Travel Diary

Monday, 07 Aug 2006

Location: Bribie Island, Australia

MapWednesday, 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.
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