14th August, Wednesday, Gladstone
Another day of phone calls but things are looking good for today and we can move on. This morning we took a ferry ride out to Facing Island and Curtis Island, there are small communities on these 2 islands and the ferry goes their twice a day. Gladstone isa deep sea port and many ships could be seen being loaded from our ferry. There is a fairly new Liquid Gas Plant on Curtis Island not that we got close to have a look at it. It was foggy early and interesting to look back to shore and note the pollution from the Alumina plant covering Gladstone. Hooray a phone call at 2.30, our car ready to be picked up. We are quite looking forward to moving on tomorrow, all washing up to date and supplies replenished. I posted Angus his Orange Scarf today.
15th August, Thursday, Gladstone to 1770. 125kms.
So many people we have spoken to along the way have had glowing reports of 1770, we felt we would like to experience it for ourselves. The drive into 1770 via Agnes Waters was lovely, scenic and beach areas. Arriving at the recommened CP at around 11.30 discovered "No Vacancy" sign decided to ask any how and we given a beach front site for $42.00. After Bill had reversed the van onto the site we discovered we were unable to put our awning out the camp next door had encroached by 1//3rd on to our site. We spent the night in the caravan, cooking our tea and having our breakfast inside as we were unable to put our chairs out. The fellow next door did apologise and thought it would be alright as he was taking over the site the next day and had told the managers he was setting up the way as he had done. Needless to say we were not happy and would not recommend the camp to anyone. Bill and I did have a nice walk along the beach front and the board walk and watched as the sun went down a beautiful sunset.
16th August, Friday, 1770 to Maryborough, 250km
We left 1770 and journeyed our way to Bundaberg and a visit to the rum distillery. We learned there was to be a tour at 11.00 so joined in. The first part was the obligatory safety blurb and then a short film on history. We had 2 guides showing us all the steps taken in making rum. I was given some sheets to read as we were not allowed to have anything with a battery in it, watches, cameras or hearing aids with so much alcohol a battery could cause an ignition hence we have no pictures. Of course there was a shop at the end selling all various qualities and ages of rum including a rum liquer which can only be purchased at the distillery, they also had a new drink on the market which is ginger beer and rum or sarsparilla and rum anrd apple cider and rum, these are only available in qu'ld at present, they can't keep up the supply. Lunch and a drink after 2 tastings which turned into 4 with Bills I felt I needed food.Next stop was Maryborough and 4 nights with friends we recently metin Bendigo, John and Gwen Duggan.
John had a Prawn trawler and prawned up and down the coast for 25 years.
17th August, Saturday, Maryborough. Bill had an early start with John Duggan as it was Glenwood Swap and John loves a swap meet, he travels to Victoria twice a year to the Ballarat & Bendigo swap meets. They left Mary- borough at 6.00am to be at Glenwood when the swap opened. Gwen wanted a TV on sale at Aldi so we to had a fairly early start also but we were home by 9.30 minus the TV, Aldi had sold out of them by 8.15am. Gwen is a bit like me very interested in Family History so a lot of our conversation on Saturday was just that and the various web sites we use. John has family connections to Newcastle and Gwen put meonto Sandgate cemetry re cords which are very good, and I found the grave of Ellen Jane Goninan who was my Dads mother, my grandmother, it appeared no other direct relation of mine is buried at Sandgate. The men duly arrived home from the swap witnha pair of overalls brand new for $2.00, only one size "small" which I have suggested to Bill will probably not fit him when they are washed they are that tight. John being a collector of anything and everything had a few goodies and some avocados. We all had an early nigt due to the early start.
18th August, Sunday, Maryborough
Our day out today took us along the road east from Maryborough, to Rainbow Beach, Inskip Point, Cooloola and Tin Can Bay. Rainbow Beach is very touristy with caravan parks and holiday units all along the beach front. We had a very nice lunch at the Surf Life Saving Club which has recently been extended and renovated. Further along we stopped and had a look at Inskip Point and further still Tin Can Bay this area along with Cooloola are more residential. John & Gwens son Glen, lives at Tin Can Bay with his wife, 3 sons and baby daughter. Glen has a prawn trawler and trawls the Queensland coast up as far as the Tip of Cape York. Glen has recently puchased a larger trawler so he can trawl further out to sea. Glen and John were heading to Cairns Monday morning to do so some maintenance on the trawler and organise the staff to get the boat back out to sea and working before the season ends then it will be bought back to Tin Can Bay for an overhaul before working from this area. We dropped John at his home in Cooloola and headed back to Maryborough, for happy hour with a few nibbles which turned into tea as none of us were hungry after our Bacon and Egg Breakfast and Lunch at Life Saving Club.
19th August, Monday, Maryborough
This morning Gwen directed us out to Hervey Bay via River Heads. From Inskip Point yesterday we were able to see the bottom end of Fraser Island and watch the ferry taking passengers and motor vehicles across. Most cars crossing are 4WD as you are able to drive quite a distance around the island on the beach. River Heads is approximately half way up Fraser Island but on the main land, a barge crossed with several passengers for Kingfisher Resort as well as some staff. Hervey Bay is very touristy big apartment blocks many resorts many holiday homes and a few CP's and of course shops and more shops and eating places and more eating places. We chosea little bakery for lunch on the beach front and enjoyed the scenery. On way back to Maryborough Gwen talked about a large craft shop she frequents so of ourse I must have a look. What Gwen had not seen before but I spotted a patchwork shop about 4 doors away. At least an hour passed before we moved on. For my sister and sister in laws benefit the patchwork shop also had Lisa Chandler type Australian Prints including some of what we have used in the Reunion Quilt. I cooked a stir fry for tea and we did a little packing as we are leaving the hospitality of the Duggans tomorrow and heading south.
20th August, Tuesday, Maryborough to Cecil Plains 340kms
Today we left John & Gwen Duggans hobby farm after an enjoyable few days around Maryborough. A cooler morning but still in shorts and Tshirts. Our journey today has taken us through, Murgon, Kingaroy, and Dalby, the main activity around these parts is crops, sugar cane and other crops and I guess around Kingaroy peanuts although we do not think we actually saw any as most crops looked to be young. We did not believe our eyes when we saw cotton growing in this area and a lot of irrigation channels. We continued onto to Cecil Plains arriving around 4.00 for our over night stay it was so cold and a cold wind blowing that I cooked tea inside the caravan (unusual for us) and we were in bed by 8.30.
21st Aug, Wednesday, Cecil Plains to Dumaresq River Rest Area 168kms
Brrrr!! We could tell we are heading south, freezing this morning I believe -1º at Cecil Plains at 7.30 when I got up it was 5º. We had a slow start never the less moved towards Texas and the Q ld border around 9.00am. Stopped at Inglewood for a toilet stop and morning tea. Moved onto Texas arriving arounx 11.30, I am disappointed no 10 gallon hats to be seen. 5km from Texas our WikiCamps App showed us a Rest Area on the Dumaresq River, upon investigation this will be home for the rest of today, the river flowing past our frontdoor, sun shining, a fresh breeze but not cold - very nice.
22 Aug Thursday Dumaresq River Rest Area to Forestry Reserve rest area Ellangowan NP
That was the understatement of the night it was cold, freezing to be exact. We werein the mountains so I guess it was to be expected. Ellangowan NP is between Casino and Grafton about 10 campers for the night. Travelling through windy and mountainous areas, the mountains tend to be more alomg the lines of rainforest not as dense as North Q'ld. Crossed the border into NSW at Mole River. Where we can we have taken back roads to see what is behind the highways. Passed through Tenterfield and Casino these towns mainly farming areas and due to rainfall, quite pretty. Pineapples, bananas, avocados are the food crops and we have noticed a few cattle and dairy farms. Passing out of Tenterfield noticed a winery and just had to go in and have a taste, we came out with a few bottles to quaffe in the coming days. It was still quite cool as for first tme 6 weeks we had warm tops on and the jeans will be coming out of hibernation tonight.
23rd Friday, Forestry Reserve Rest Area Ellangowan Np to Gumma Reserve, Macksville. 230km
Another cold night, porridge for breakfast, Bill having his in bed. More winding roads and hills that is what you get on back roads through various NP's but very scenic none the less. Coming into Grafton we took anothter back road to Coffs Harbour. We have not spent a lot of time looking around the various towns in NSW as we had been in this area 4 years ago and had a good look around then. A toilet stop and bread at Nambucca Heads, a quick check on Wiki camps found us a camping reserve just out of Macksville arriving early afternoon, so after setting up had a late lunch. A quiet afternoon enjoying surrounds, the river being the main feature. We purchased some fresh fish from a fish supplier in Nambucca Heads the first for this trip. Watching Collingwood trounce West Coast we heard several late arrival to our camp spot obviously popular for weekends and fishing. Tomorrow we move to Port Macquarie to visit Simon, Ron and Isobels son and his family.Photo near our camping spot last night Gumma Reserve