JUstDreamInparadise.......JUDI living in Paradise

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Good Intentions

I had intended to blog our holiday while we were away but unfortunately it never eventuated.  I took all the apple orchard with me.....iphone, MacBook, hard drives and a million cables.....and they annoyed me the whole time we were away.  They always seemed to be under my feet when we were in the car!
Our time away, as predicted, was wonderful.  We left on the 20th December and arrived home on the 6th January.  Our new vehicle, with the camper onboard, behaved beautifully.  Philip did all the driving and we were "those" people. You know.  The ones that drive at 90kmh!  But, we did pull over to let other vehicles pass at any opportunity and at the passing lanes we SLOWED DOWN!  Can't say that about a lot of drivers who speed up at the passing lanes.
We didn't leave until after lunch on the first day and made it to our favourite caravan park at Cowley Beach (just below Innisfail).  Once again we almost had the entire place to ourselves.  Unfortunately the fish and chip shop across the road from the park was closed on Tuesdays so we simply settled for drinks and nibblies.

This shark (actually two) were very close to the shore!

Beautiful Cowley Beach

We have always wanted to explore the region behind Mackay so the next night we made it to Pinnacle where we stayed at the park behind the pub.  It is advertised as having powered sites but once we realised that the power comes from the garden shed via a very long lead we elected to go solar for the night.  We ate in the pub as apparently the pie, chips and peas are a "must eat".  The reputation was well deserved.  We were talking to the owner the next day and he says that he sells, on average, 1400 pies a week.  That's a lot of pie making!

The next morning we woke early, packed quickly and made our way to Finch Hatton Gorge.  It was beautiful and not unlike walking through Mossman Gorge.  Philip walked the whole distance to Wheel of Fire (named after the Fire Trees) but I stopped about three quarters of the way at Calestimon crossing and just soaked up the  atmosphere until the tranquility was disturbed by other hikers.

We walked for about an hour before once again hitting the road.  Our next night was at a van park in Rockhampton where we were given the perfect spot right beside the amenities and laundry.  It was also very quiet.  We were guessing that most folks were already at their christmas destination.
Next day was an easy drive to Marc and Suzies place, "Evergreen", at Gundiah. We detoured off the highway and visited Gladstone and Tannum Sands.  Gladstone was a very pleasant surprise.
We had a lovely time with the family and managed to fit in a trip to Maleny/Montville where we explored the numerous shops and did some last minute christmas shopping.  Lunch was at a lovely spot called Brouhaha Brewery where they specialised in making boutique beer.  I'm not a beer drinker but everyone said it was great.
Christmas Day started with Champagne Cocktails with Ham and Eggs and for lunch it was chicken and salad.  Later in the day it was a magnificent platter full of cheeses, fruits, salami and a trillion other things.  It was the perfect christmas day with over an inch of rain falling gently throughout the day.
Boxing Day was spent in and around the Mary River with family and friends.  So much talking with everyone catching up on each others news.
Our camp on the Mary River

Champagne Christmas Breakfast

Storms on Christmas Day.  The best present.
Philip kayaking on the Mary River

Boxing Day at the Mary River
The next day it was back on the road to Toowoomba where we spent the next couple of days with my family.  We caught up with both my sisters and their family and an aunt and uncle who very tragically lost their son (my cousin) just before christmas.

We also meet up with some old friends from Julia Creek who are now living at Leyburn.  It was a talkfest and the time passed all too quickly before we where in the car again and heading to the Sunshine Coast for New Year.
Our Leyburn friends

Our friends showing us their timber mill
We stayed with friends who are ex Julatten and now live at Caloundra in a lovely duplex.  One of the nicest I've ever seen.  Our friends had organised a cruise around Pumicestone Passage for New Years Eve. We all took our own drinks and nibblies and just sat back and watched the world pass us by and at about 9.30 pm we dropped anchor to watch the fireworks.  After the cruise we went back to our friends place and sat around chatting until the clock brought in the new year.
Cruising Pumicestone Passage

Bullcock Beach

New Years Day we were up bright and early to "bag" a good spot for our bbq lunch.  We found the perfect spot beside the boat ramp at Golden Beach.  We didn't have long to wait before hubby's extended family arrived.  Damien brought his speed boat so we spent the morning boating, swimming, kayaking and enjoying each others company over our bbq lunch.  It was the perfect day.
Golden Beach New Years Day

The extended family
The next day, after saying goodbye to our friends, we made our way up the Sunshine Coast and then across to Kin-Kin, Pomona and Cooroy where we enjoyed a lunch of delicious Fish and Chips.
Point Arkwright

We arrived back at our son's place mid afternoon.  Since we left them the day after Boxing day they had numerous guests dropping in so they looked very tired.  But as they said, better than no friends at all!
After Gundiah, our stop the following night was 1770.  It was a very crowded caravan park but it had a friendly atmosphere.  Our walk along the beach the next morning was just what we needed before getting back in the car for another long drive.
1770 - Tinny Heaven
 The following night we found a lovely caravan park at Clareview (between Rockhampton and Sarina).  This little place had it all.  We loaded up the washing machine and while we waited for it to be done we headed to the little bar that was right on the beach. It was lovely and we have posted on Wikicamps that it is worth a stopover.
The rain began falling through the night and when we woke the next morning there were reports of flooding around Mackay so we quickly packed up the camper and hit the road.  Fortunately all the roads were clear and we made it as far as Balgal Beach (just north of Townsville) for our last night.  This was a free park so our expectations were not high, but what a pleasant surprise.  Beautiful grassed shady areas for parking and and another large grassed covered bbq area between where we were camped and the ocean.  There was a stinger net set up with a lifeguard on duty because as you know, we can't swim in the northern waters in summer because of the very dangerous jelly fish.  Across the road from the camping area was a great little restaurant/bar that sold, you guessed it, Fish and Chips! They were, hands down, the best we have ever eaten.  We will remember this place and will come back, if only for the fish and chips.
Beautiful Balgal Beach

Best Ever
This was the last day of our holiday and we have enjoyed every single moment of it.  Home is always wonderful but we are already looking forward to our next glamping adventure.

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