Monthly Archives: June 2017
Here we are in Hervey Bay, gateway to Fraser island. Our daughter, Gillian, worked at Maryborough for a few years and let us know that this area is pretty quiet. Like a great big retirement village in fact! Well it is. There are of course a few young uns around, somebody has to work around here I suppose. Speaking of Gillian, at the Relish Festival we asked some representatives of her employer if any of them knew her. There were shakes of the head but one said she did recognise the name from somewhere. Maybe from her whiting fishing exploits in the Bay.
Here at Torquay they ARE building a wall. And it is quite a big one. This one is to hold back the sea in front of the camping ground and along the foreshore. And it probably will for a few years. A lot of rock is going into this one.
The camping ground is only about 60 percent full, quite a few nomads from the deep south. Some of those around us have been coming here for 15 years they say and seem to have a rather proprietorial attitude towards the water taps. We had the seeds of a minor skirmish over this on our arrival. We were allocated a site among these characters and they had cornered all the taps. They suggested it was not their problem and we could put our hose on the taps down there! Gesturing with his outstretched hand and finger. Our hose wouldn’t go that far. Suggestions were made that 15 years was too long. Allthego was about to set off for the park police when one turned out to be a little reasonable and put a double adaptor on the tap for us to plug onto. All’s well that ends well. Homealone wouldn’t let Allthego throw prawn heads and shells under their vans the next night.
The other thing about this place is that there is not a lot to do except walk around the foreshore looking at the Bay (which is very pleasant). And also monitor daily the progress of the wall as it moves slowly along, as many of the nomads do. There are also the shops and eateries. The Bay’s tourist guides all say to go somewhere else to see things………..Fraser island, Lady Elliot Island, Maryborough, Bundaberg etc. Then of course there is the whale watching, when the season is right. It’s not at the moment.
So we went to the shops. It’s an odd collection of establishments along the waterfront. One caught our eye. A second hand book shop. In we went. Homealone has been searching for the 11th volume of a series called ‘The Australians’, there are 12 in total, she has the rest and read them 30 years ago, hasn’t touched them since. They are going yellow on the bookshelf at home. She told the woman at the counter she was looking for Vol 11. Well did her eyes light up, from under the counter next her out it came. Must have seen us coming, $30 thank you! It was a hard back in good condition, out of print etc, couldn’t beat her down. Allthego spotted something interesting ‘Australia’s First Century 1788-1888’. This 900 page epistle is a facsimile reprint of the original work published in 1889. Looks interesting, only $8.50 and I got it for $8.
Have had a brief go at the Fish n Chips, nothing spectacular to report on. Looks like Yeppoon wins.
We head off home tomorrow after nearly a month away. It’s starting to get a bit nippy at night and in the early morning. Weather has been great, clear sunny blue skies with only a little wind. We will return……on the way to Fraser Island!
After the few hours walking around Great Keppel Island we were pleased to get back to Yeppoon for an evening of rest before packing for the lengthy drive back down the coast to Maryborough the next day. Originally we had planned to go out and stay at Hervey Bay and travel into Maryborough for the Relish Festival and a general look around this old regional Queensland city. But no! We decided to stop in Maryborough and stay close to the next days action. We found a neat little stop over spot down by the river at the Marina. The Marina had about 8 large powered sites over looking the river. We had use of the Marina’s facilities, on site cafe and it is only a blocks walk from the Festival and the city centre. Recommend this as a great spot for a few days in Maryborough. Probably best though in the cooler months of the year so as to avoid the dreaded midges!
The Relish Festival was well done. We kicked off by having some ‘Tipples and Tales’ in the old Bond Store. It was an interesting experience down in the original cellar of the Bond Store hearing tales from Maryborough’s early years. Followed this by a ride on the replica of ‘Mary Ann’, Queensland’s first locally built steam engine.
After this it was off up into Queen’s Park for the Long Lunch. There were 100 guests at this. Allthego and one other male entertained 8 ladies at our table. There seemed to be a preponderance of ladies present at the whole event. The food was excellent (particularly the slow cooked short rib steak), complemented by wines from local producers from the Burnett Valley. A couple of them were quite OK, the others a little nondescript. This took us through to mid afternoon and after a little stroll around the usual festival stalls and pop up eateries we headed back to the Marina. Had to indulge in a rum n raisins (it was claimed the raisins had been marinated in Bundaberg Rum) ice cream on the way back.
The next day saw us off on a morning walk around a heritage/street art self guiding walk taking in some of the city’s historical sites and old buildings. This was a pleasant stroll. Even bumped into Mary Poppins’ on the way back. P. L. Travers the author of the Mary Poppins’ books was born in Maryborough in 1899. After taking in all this culture we made it back to the Marina for lunch and an easy afternoon.
We are now at Hervey Bay having made the 35 km trek out to the coast. Staying at the Beachside Caravan Park at Torquay.
Well this was an interesting little trip across Keppel Bay to the Island. Bumped across the Bay into the face of a stiff sou-easter, a bit of splash into the back of the boat kept us dodging the spray. After 30 minutes or so we arrived and edged up onto the sand to let everyone off. Homealone had to take her joggers off to jump ashore.
We had come for the day, the boat would return at 4 pm.
It soon became apparent there wasn’t a lot to do here except walk around, or sit down and eat and drink. There used to be a major resort on the island but it is now derelict and has been for about 9 years. A redevelopment proposal is afoot but needs funding.
So we set off for a walk, up and across the headland to Monkey Beach and then onto Long Beach, about 2 hours. The track was a bit marginal, fellow walkers advised against going down the hill to Monkey Beach so we kept on the path to Long Beach. This was ok for a while but ended up evaporating into the scrub with no way forward. So we turned back, retraced our steps and after a couple of hours wandering around we had a nice but late lunch at the Hideaway Resort cafe, followed by a lie down in the sun on the beach.
The boat returned and so did we! It was a good day despite the disappointment of the aborted island walk.
We have now left Yeppoon and headed back south. Staying the night at Maryborough and readying for the Relish Festival on Saturday.
We are now at Yeppoon on the coast about 40 km east of Rockhampton for 3 days. The van park is right on the beachfront and we are looking out over Keppel Bay towards Great Keppel Island. We are in about the centre of this stretch of coast, between Emu Park in the south and Byfield National Park in the north (about 30-35 km in each direction). Unlike Byfield National Park Emu Park is not really a park, it’s another coastal community. We will go south to Emu Park one day, north to Byfield another day and plan to go out to Great Keppel on the other.
The weather has been kind to us so far,warm sunny days with a bit of cloud and gentle breezes. Wind got up tonight and blew us around a bit, but all held in place.
Down at Emu Park the local RSL sub Branch in conjunction with the Council has developed a quite original ANZAC Memorial Park. A boardwalk runs along the cliff line beside the sea-shore with various sign posts in the ground recognising the various theatres of war Australians fought in during WWI. At the end of this are memorial boards under cover highlighting the involvement of a number of local residents in these conflicts. Finally, there is a photograph in a hardened glass display that sits on the cliff edge. The soldiers in the photograph look as if they are climbing up the cliff line in front of us, a simulation if you like of the Gallipoli landings. Quite original idea and very effective!
A bit further along is the singing ship, a memorial to Capt Cook who sailed through Keppel Bay on his way north. The wind whips through the shrouds and makes a sort of musical sound…………
Returning to Yeppoon, we stopped in at the Rosslyn Bay Marina for lunch. This is where the ferries leave to go out to Great Keppel Island. There is a nice little cafe here at the Marina that overlooks the yachts and amongst other things does Fish n Chips. These were actually I think the best we have had to date. The fish nice and firm, the batter crisp but not too thick, not a great pile of chips and just enough salad to give a nice fresh taste in the mouth……. 4.5/5 .
Nearby is Double Head, a short walk takes one to the top of the headland with great views up and down the coastline. There is also an unusual geological feature in the cliff face here, Fan Rock. It is a Trachyte plug, the remnants of a volcanic extrusion that has forced itself up through a pipe and then spread out in hexagonal columns, like a fan.
Next day it was off up to Byfield NP. Unfortunately, we had to abort our trip a bit over half way along the sand track out to the coast section of the park from the township of Byfield. Tyres had to be deflated and with the time getting on we decided this coupled with then having to reinflate them on the way back meant we would have little time at the destination. So turn around we did. Need to leave earlier next time to allow for this! Enjoyed the couple of shallow creek crossings and a timber plank bridge for good measure.
Back at the campground in Yeppoon a number of nomads gathered for the State of Origin on a big screen in the BBQ area. A number of Blues supporters seemed happy at the outcome!