Is it Rocky or is it Rockie?
We are now in Rockhampton and do you know I have seen it referred to, in a tourist brochure, as Rockie. Well what can you say about that except that I always believed it was Rocky!
We are in a van park just across the Fitzroy River from the Rocky CBD. It is near the end of Wholly Cow Month here in town and one senses the need to call off the Fish n Chips comparison exercise and focus on beef. Rockhampton is the home of the Queensland beef industry. Cattle welcome you into the town and cattle farewell you from the town. As well as special dinners and long table lunches, restaurants and butchers shops have been promoting various beef specials on menus and special wholly cow recipe cards. We had some rump one night at the Giddy Goat establishment, not bad at all.
One of the reasons for coming up here (apart from the beef) was to go to the ‘Opera in the Caves’ night at Olsen’s Caves, about 20 km north of the city just off the Bruce Highway. Before the show we had an early dinner at the Caves Hotel. This is one of those new old looking sorts of Hotels, everything in it looks old except for the bar maids! At the show were 4 singers (tenor, baritone and 2 sopranos) on the bill plus the pianist. The event takes place in the Cathedral Cave, holds about 100 people sitting on old pews and lit by lots of little candles on the floor and up the walls of the cave. Sang lots of well-known pieces, including some from Sound Of Music and Carmen. Highlight though was Nessun dorma, it just reverberated around the cave. Amazing. Little bats flitted around during the show as well. A great night out!
There is a fair bit of activity going on around the CBD and Riverfront rejuvenating the old streetscapes and buildings, many of which date from the 1800s. Trying to attract back into the CBD area much of the life and business that has disappeared into the shopping centres around the outskirts of the city.
Our last day in Rocky involved a wander around the Caravan etc show that was in town for the end of the Wholly Cow Month. One of the features here was the The Smokin Yak mob, who very slow cook the humps of Brahman cattle. This has only been done over the last couple of years, previously these humps were sent off as pet food….thought to be one of those undesirable secondary cuts. It was pretty tasty, particularly with their special BBQ sauce. Not unlike slow cooked beef cheeks but not quite as rich………
Enough of beef we are now off to Yeppoon for a few days beside the seaside and some Fish n Chips!