Sightseeing in Mackay

Tuesday, 27th February 2018


We woke up in Paradise this morning – rather early – sun was already up over the ocean and although I wanted to take some pictures some clouds hid it! Mind you although it looks like paradise, it has also its hidden dangers – a notice board to the beach says that there may be stingers (jellyfish), strong currents and………. Crocodiles!! You may understand that we only tiptoed into the ocean and were back in no time!!

Today was going to be an easy day – doing household chores – if you can call, doing the washing up, sweeping the camper floor, sorting out the laundry and just tidying up, household chores.

So before breakfast I already had a load of whites tumbling away in the campsite washing machine and after breakfast, hanging on the wash line while the second coloured laundry pile was being washed. The sun was out but we hardly had any wind, however by the time we had finished our breakfast the wash lines were full with our clean fresh laundry waiting to dry!!

I picked up a book at the laundry room and while waiting for the laundry was drying, we sat in the morning sun, me reading and Gerry doing his word puzzles………. Very domesticated!

We had a short rain shower so we grabbed all the washing off the lines as they were mostly dry and lay them in the camper – and then it was time for lunch! Healthy cheese sandwiches also filled with tomatoes, rucola and cucumber.  

When we were ready, we showered and took the camper van off our pitch to drive to Mackay. That is the downside o a camper van – if you want to visit a town or historic place, you need to drive the big van and then it’s ever so difficult to find a decent parking place for the van – well it’s 7.5 meters long! This time we parked at Metro – a big DIY store with a huge parking area for its customers……. Luckily Gerry takes all this in his stride and doesn’t worry like I do!

On the way, we saw a few signs which show that there is a Maltese community living in Mackay – Vella’s Fish Bar, Mifsud Gardening Centre and Galea’s Fishing Equipment. Also, I remember as a kid, one of my father’s workmen – Salvu – emigrated to Australia to work in the Sugar Cane Fields – so he must have come to Queensland…………


So as I had mentioned the other day, Mackay was swept away by a cyclone and actually this was in 1918 ( and not as previously stated 1915) Because so much of the town was destroyed, new buildings were constructed round about the same time so the main street – Sydney street and the block around Sydney Street being Wood Street and Victoria Street have many Art Deco buildings It was great walking around and seeing that most of the colours were kept in their original state. 

By the time we had our walk about – in the hottest part of the day – we were ready to have something refreshing – and this seems strange in such a country as Australia that you cannot get any fresh juices….. We went in to a couple of places and they only had bottled juices and finally when we found one that did fresh juices, their machine was shut down for the day!!!!! Well at the shopping mall, we ended up having a vanilla milkshake for Gerry and crushed pomegranate juice for me!


We got back to the camper van, which was still neatly parked, and we drove then to the Mackay Marina. This is an impressive sight to see and actually it’s like a little modern village with apartments, restaurants and a garden boulevard facing the Marina. There was also an old little lighthouse which was built in 1885 after a ship was shipwrecked off the coast on unchartered rocks. 

A very high breakwater protects the Marina and as the tide is very high here – some 3 meters -, the jetties are floating jetties. 

We took a walk all along the marina and then partially on the breakwater. Outside the breakwater at quite some distance, we could see tankers all waiting to get into the port and when we asked the breakwater guard what products where being imported or exported, he informed us that coal was being exported from that terminal. Apparently a huge industry in Queensland! There is also another terminal on behind the yacht marina and this was purely for sugar. Mackay is a sugar-producing town and we had seen all the sugar cane as we were driving through the countryside! 

Well after that long walk, Gerry had to be rewarded with a real ice cream and this was at one of the Italian cafes on the boulevard. I had a chocolate milkshake!


By the time we returned to our campsite, we weren’t really hungry – yes ice cream and milkshakes are very filling. So we enjoyed a glass of wine with some cheese till later in the evening when I prepared an omelet on toast. It was a pleasant evening to stay outdoors, however I was being bitten by either sandflies or invisible mosquitos that I had to get inside the van. As usual we never have any late nights as we get up quite early the following morning.

Tomorrow we will be heading to Airle Beach – just across from the Whitsunday islands – not too long a stretch for Gerry to drive!





And finally in Paradise – Bucasia Beachfront Mackay

Monday, 26th February 2018

This morning we woke up to a very beautiful sky – I was hoping to see sunrise but that was lost in the clouds but still it all seemed peaceful. The tide was out on the beach so it was a long stretch – I tried looking for any signs that turtles had either come ashore to lay their eggs or little turtles that had hatched had run down towards the horizon – but alas that phenomena did not take place!

After breakfast we were on our way again,; we did not stop to go through Yeppoon but we did go to the Shipwreck Point were a great number of ships in the late 1800’s had gone missing. Also interesting to note the this was Aboriginal land long before the settlers came here and of course they did resist the european settlers.


Finally on our way and on the A1 highway we came across bizarre landscapes – just like in Vietnam and Cuba, we saw these round mounds of limestone rock in flat land  – these rocks were formed due to volcanic action millions of years ago but I still need to find out more about the area. 

On our last leg of our drive after having filled up the van with diesel and had lunch at Carmile, we still had some 90 km to Mackay. This time we programmed  a campsite some 16 km north of Mackay and directly on the beach front which meant we did not get to see Mackay today. Anyway it was near 5 pm and most camp site offices close round about that time. We were just in time to reach a small part of paradise and we celebrated that with a bottle of bubbly whilst listening to various birds chirping and screeching away. We have enough to explore tomorrow!!

And by the way – we had a scorcher today! 24 degrees and although sometimes somewhat cloudy and a little bit of showers on the way, the day was sunny most of the time!! let’s keep fingers crossed that tomorrow is the same………

Finally on the Beach at Yeppoon

Sunday, 25th February 2018

Well what do you think? It had rained at night but by 6 am, we had a lovely morning sky and it seemed that the day was going to be a sunshine day! And we had cancelled our trip to Lady Musgrove Island – oh well we had an early start as our drive to Rockhampton was just over 300km and from there we planned to go to the coast to a small seaside town called Yeppoon. 

We were on the road by 10.00 and the weather remained good – luckily our van’s airco functions properly – outside we had temperatures soaring from 28 degrees Celsius to 32 degrees Celsius. Our lovely Serena from the TomTom GPS, directed us through the A1 highway which was a quiet road with very little traffic and winding through beautiful green hills. We still could see the damage incurred with the heavy rainfall – most creeks were still swollen and the current was strong.

Also what was interesting on the way were all the slogans on the big notice boards along the roads such as “Driver Reviver” and then followed by signs to a restaurant or coffee place at a petrol station. Another sign we’ve seen: Break the drive, stay alive:, Also on a long stretch there was “let’s play Trivia” then on the next board there was a question “What is the Floral Emblem of Queensland” Of course we did not know the answer so waited till the next board came up with the answer “ Cooktown Orchid” Now have to wait till we have WIFI again to look up this flower!


On the way, we stopped for coffee and milkshake at our usual “internet café” – McCaffee at Calliope River. But while the milkshake and cappuccino were as usual very good, we were really disappointed that we could not get onto McDonald’s WIFI – even after it was reset! So we continued further till we came to Rockhampton where we stopped for a while to a stroll around town.

Rockhampton is a cattle city just 40km away from the coastline. It is also called Australia’s Beef Capital and since mid 19th Century has acquired some standing through gold and copper mining and of course cattle trading. However this city never quite made it to being the regional capital city even though some buildings like the Customs House just off the Fitzroy River and the General Post office were built to reflect great standing! But none the less, Rockhampton sits on the Tropic of Capricorn and this is marked by a spire at the visitors’ centre .


Once we had our sightseeing done, we carried on our drive to Yeppoon – the little seaside town on the Capricorn Coast. We have given up trying to get to any island for snorkeling as it can rain any moment so we’ve now decided to make our way to Cairns and plan to “do” the Great Barrier Reef from there! 

We found the campsite, which is situated, just off the beach and our pitch is a really good one – it has the entrance to the beach and we have a beautiful scene in front of us – The Great Keppel Island – we have walked on the beach and tomorrow we’ll explore further and see where the harbour is.

We couldn’t sit outside too long as I was being eaten up by tiny mosquitos so after our evening meal made up of left over pasta, fish and chips and salad, we washed up and have our coffee/tea indoors. So great that we have the airco on in our van – it’s nice and cool.

Tomorrow after some exploration in the neighborhood, we will be driving up to Mackay where we will spend two nights – this is an Art Deco town as back in 1915, it was blown off the surface of the earth by a huge cyclone and was then rebuilt ……….. and I just love Art Deco so I would like to spend some time there…….






From wet Agnes Waters to Rockhampton and stay over at Yeppoon

Saturday, 24th February 2018


When we woke up, it seemed that we were going to have a good day but by the time I returned from the showers, I had another shower – outside it was a torrential rain and it did not stop for 3 hours!! This was supposed to be our beach day and we were also planning a day trip tomorrow to Lady Musgrove Island for some snorkeling and an underwater observatory. We quickly changed our minds about that and did not make the firm booking we were supposed to make this morning.

We just spent 3 hours indoors in our camper van and thinking of different routes to go further north. The radio was saying that it was raining badly all along the coast so we needed to get up north as quickly as possible.

Round about 10 the sun broke through the clouds and those grey clouds melted away and blue sky appeared. We watched how an instructor gave theory lessons to a whole group of kids and soon after they all trooped down to the beach to put their theory lesson into practice. Well we were ready to go down to the beach too and first has a fresh fruit juice at our holiday café and check our social media as this was the only place on the campsite where there was free WIFI. It was so calm and peaceful sitting under the shady pine trees and enjoying our drinks. When we left, we had to cross a strong stream of murky brown rainwater that was making its way into the ocean. It looked quite deep but it wasn’t – just not clear!


We set up our gear on a bench under a tree and that was quite shady as once the sun was out, you would never have thought that it had rained so much – it was a real a real scorcher. The waves and surf were quite high so the kids were having quite some fun and we enjoyed watching too. 

Gerry decided to get into the water and after some time I joined him too but the waves were quite high to my liking and I went under a couple of times……….

By 13.30 we were back at our camper van for lunch and I had a siesta as I had been up ever so early due to the rain. By 16.00 we were down on the beach again and this time we took a long walk along the beach – the weather had improved tremendously which meant we could have a nice glass of wine and snacks at our pitch when we returned from our walk. Luckily we could sit in the shady side of the can and soon afterwards I started preparing dinner – penne with vegetables and canned corned beef in tomato sauce and mozzarella – it was ever so tasty.


After dinner, we both went to do the washing up at the camp kitchen and by the time we returned, it was nearly time for bed – we enjoyed a cup of tea outside and then moved indoors. The clouds were gathering again so we had taken the right decision not to go on the excursion to the reef island tomorrow.

We decided instead to break up camp and drive further north – some 300km to Rockhampton, which would be half way to Mackay.








From Hervey Bay to Agnes Waters



My “office” and trying to update my blog on McDonald’s WIFI

Friday, 23rd February 2018


Just listening to the radio in the morning – roads are flooded and the radio advise is “If it is flooded, forget it” We’ve had more than 150cm rainfall overnight.

Several car drivers had to be rescued when they got stuck on the flooded roads. According to the weather forecasts, we will be having heavy showers all through the weekend!

So breakfast taken while sitting at our seats in the cabin. Decided to wear my bikini to go to the showers this morning, as I would be getting wet making the short walk to the showers and back! We left the campsite during a heavy shower – I was keeping my fingers crossed that it would be over quickly as we wanted to take a look at Hervey Bay itself, or as it is also know in the Aboriginal language, Urangan – and hey – all of a sudden blue patches in the sky appeared and a few moments later it was dry and we could enjoy our drive along the Esplanade. Beautiful old pine trees lined the esplanade and this turned into a park just before you could descend onto the beach.

Onto one side of Hervey Bay, we could see Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world measuring 120km by 15km! This is the only place where the rain forest grows on sand. Well as the weather was not yet settled we dared not take any boat trip to the island so we decided, after taking a walk on the pier, to start driving northwards via Agnes Waters and the Town of 1770.


Something worth mentioning about the pier – it was originally built in 1917 to transport timber, coal and sugar and was actually 1.124meters long with a railroad built on the pier to have easier transport. However when petroleum became more important, the pier’s activities came to a halt in 1961.


Our drive to Agnes Waters was planned through the rain forest and on the secondary highways – the Bruce Highway and Isis Highway but at one point, Serena, our GPS guide directed us to a gravel road and after yesterday’s experience we certainly did not want to drive any gravel roads so we turned back to the main road. We re-programmed Serena and from then on she was never to direct us on unsurfaced roads!

On the way, we had a Mcdonalds’ stop at Bunderburg known for its rum production and this is where the regional radio station was sending out its broadcasts and we thought at first it was Van Den Berg………..


I certainly am ever so happy with McDonald’s WIFI – fast and efficient and a good cappuccino to go with it!. This time I set up office at Macca’s (as the Aussies call McDonalds) – I took my MacBook with me and was able to upload yesterday’s blog and download pictures too! Most campsites have really lousy WIFI connections – just as I am writing this blog on Friday evening in the camper van without any WIFI in Agnes Waters.


Well after our break, we continued our drive and what was really great is that we were seeing more and more blue skies between the somewhat heavy showers. We saw floods everywhere and even rushing waters. No wonder this part of Queensland is so luscious green – also we noted that most houses in the countryside were built on stilts – and now we know why! They would get feet when it rains heavily!


By the time we arrived in Agnes Waters, the weather had changed and the sun was out burning hot – most rooftops were steaming away……… We drove further along the coast, which is actually called the Capricorn Coast, as this is where the tropic of Capricorn crosses Australia, and exactly in the town of Rockhampton.


We drove to the Town of 1770 – so called, as this is the place where Captain Cook first set foot in Queensland back on 24th May 1770. We visited the monument and of course took some pictures and imagined how life would have been back then – whether Captain Cook was actually greeted by the local people or whether Abel Tasman got really annoyed with himself as he did not continue his discovery of Australia but rather went on to look for spices in the name of the VOC!


By this time it was nearing 17.00 and we had to think of spending a couple of nights here so we made our way back to Agnes Waters – we pitched up camp at the beach campsite and then went for a walk around to get acquainted with the neighbourhood. After getting information for a boat trip to a reef island, Lady Musgrove, we strolled to a restaurant in the neighbourhood for a quick meal – steak for Gerry and fish for me.


Our walk back to camp was in utter darkness and by the time we were at our campervan, the sky was reasonable clear that we could see the stars. Hopefully tomorrow will be a good day to spend on the beach – I am badly in need of a relaxing day!!!


Another rainy day on the Sunshine Coast – Hervey Bay

Thursday, 22nd February 2018


We woke up to another day of rain!  Today, it would have been my dad’s birthday – happily he must be celebrating it with more of his family now hat Hubert has joined them all in the hereafter!

However back in this world, we have  a miserable campsite! Most of the campers were busy getting their gear together and move on. We did the same – had breakfast and were ready to continue our drive up north.

Our plan was to drive through the national parks covering the areas from Nooseville to Hervey Bay and stopping on the way at Maryborough – the town where the author of Mary Poppins – Pamela Lyndon Travers – used to live. 

When we left the campsite, the weather seemed to be clearing up, however we were wrong – it got worse on the way and actually it wasn’t really a good idea to go through the national parks as some roads were just gravel roads! If it were a clear day, we would have had some really magnificent views of the rain forest. (It certainly was a rainforest!)

At one point our GPS directed us down a gravel road but just as we turned round a bend we could see that the road was flooded – no way we could go through this road so Gerry had no other option than to back up the van to the main road again. Serena, our GPS guide then rerouted us through Kin Kin and then onto Maryborough. 

Kin Kin is a tiny hamlet in the rain forest with a country hotel, general store, and church school. It would have been idyllic on a rainless day! Pictures taken out of the van – too wet to walk around here and we really wanted to get back to normal roads again. Maryborough was only 58 km away through neatly forested roads. Timber is a great production in this area.

Again, heavy rain and I really did send up a quick prayer that we would arrive safely – and we did! Maryborough is a quaint old town – actually one of the oldest towns in Queensland and has very impressive colonial restored buildings. What was really interesting is that the traffic lights show Mary Poppins with her umbrella either standing still when red or with umbrella open flying when green.

We had a walk around here and we were lucky that it was dry!

Further on the road, it was only some 35 km to Hervey Bay where we wanted to spend a couple of day – that is if the weather would dry up. Before getting to our campsite, the Ingenia Holiday Park, we stopped at the shopping mall to get some groceries and wine. We went into the mall with dry weather but when we got out, it was raining – real torrential rain! 

Anyway finally the rain ceased as quickly as it had come and we were finally on our final leg to our campsite. Enough place and although it looks really well kept with loads of palm trees and luscious green lawns, it did look somewhat miserable in the rain.

Just after 5pm, it was time to have a glass of wine together with some snacks under the canopy not far from our van and then I got dinner ready – a delicious Caesars salad with grilled chicken, anchovies, avocado and boiled egg together with toast – and of course a good glass of Pinot Grigio!

Again an early night tonight! Tomorrow, depending on the weather, we’ll decide whether we will be able to go across to Fraser island or drive further to Agnes Water and 1770.

A note this morning 23rd February – I am back in business and sending off this post today through McDonalds’ WIFI – am a happy person again as we were WIFI-less for more than 24 hours – we just couldn’t get connected at our campsite in Hervey Bay!! Ever so thankful to McDonalds (which apparently I have spelt wrongly all the time!!)



Another Rainy Day on the Sunshine Coast

Wednesday, 21st February 2018

We woke up to a rainy morning!!  Well I thought that our sightseeing day with Angela and David was gone down the drain……… Olivia and Dylan were ready for school on time but of course (and I remember this very well with my own kids at that time) just before leaving forms and signatures had to be completed…….

And then it’s time for Dylan and Olivia to go to school!

Once Angela was back from her school run, we decided unanimously that we would take a short drive up to Montville, a pretty little village further up in the hills and also drive around to get a view of the Glass Mountains – but all we saw was rain and low hanging clouds! I did manage to take just two pictures at the Glass Mountains look out point – one of the picture as the view should be and the other of the actual view, all blurry and wet!!

Well we went for a coffee break at the Glasshouse Mountains information centre  – a really great centre with walkways both high above the ground and into the rain forest……….. but unfortunately, it was too wet to do the walkabout. But we enjoyed our coffee and conversations!

After our wet sightseeing trip which also took in the coastline, we went back to Angela and David’s place for lunch and then we were ready to leave and continue our trip in the rain. We were heading to Noosa Head  – only an hour’s drive away  along the David Low Coast Road. Thanks Angela and David for having us over and enjoying your company!

 On our way we stopped at Coolum Point and just watched the rough waves – normally in season time, whales can be  seen off this point when they are on their migration from the arctic and back.


Finally we arrived at Noosa Heads – still raining! After getting some info at the Info centre and walking on the beach we made our way to Noosaville where we set up camp for the night. We had enough dry time to walk around and also have a fish and chips meal at the little town further down from our campsite which is situated on the estuary of the Noosa River. We’ll be off early tomorrow towards Hervey Bay and keeping our fingers crossed that we will have better weather!!


On the road northwards from Burleigh Heads and stop over at Brightwaters

Tuesday, 20th February 2018

Our stay at Burleigh Heads Municipal campsite was a pleasant one and after having our breakfast, showered and packed our stuff, we were ready to hit the road again. We’re on our way north through Brisbane to Brightwater where our friends, Angela and David live with their children Dylan and Olivia. 

Our drive was not really a long one – so we put in a detour to Tamborine Mountain and ended up at Eagles Heights.  Climbing up the mountain side of 550 meters, we constantly saw huge signposts saying that this was a very steep road and trucks, lorries and campers and trailers should not attempt to drive up! I was a bit in a panic mode thinking that half way up the road our camper van would succumb and we would be stuck half way. Actually, it wasn’t a bad climb and we’ve had higher climbs in Europe!! When we reached Eagles Heights,  we had a great view  – but it would have been more magnificent if had clear weather. We should have been able to see Surfers Paradise’s tall high rises from here but it was somewhat blurred. We used this stop as our coffee break and just enjoyed the luscious green surroundings.

After our coffee break we drove back down the mountain and were on our way to Brisbane – and the Sunshine Coast.  When we were close to Brisbane and the City, I was able to take a couple of pictures before disappearing into the tunnel which took all the way under Brisbane and came out at the other end in one of the suburbs – hmm…. that was Brisbane for us!

Time for some lunch and a WIFI stop at Macdonalds! Gerry is getting addicted to Macdonald’s milk shakes!! 

Finally on our way on the sunshine coast highway and when we saw the bill board welcoming us to the Sunshine Coast and……… it started raining! Oh no, our luck seemed to have run out – anyway we made our way to Brightwater – that’s where Angela and David live with their two kids Dylan and Olivia. We found our way quite easily and this is a new residential area – very similar to those in Almere – with lots of water canals and lakes as this area is actually on the estuary of the Mooloolah River . Actually well situated between the Glass Mountains and the coast.

As soon as arrived and parked in front of our friends’ house, I had a vision of the Griswolds family in the Christmas film: Christmas Vacation. Sister and Brother in law come and visit at Christmas time in their old and rusty RV and park it in front of the Griswolds’ home……..

When we met up with Angela and Dave, it was just like meeting old friends – now we know all the De Vries family spread over New Zealand and Australia and we were made welcome and enjoyed our time with the family. Angela prepared a lovely meal for all of us!

We did not make it a late night as tomorrow both Angela and Dave had taken the day off to do some sightseeing with us – let’s hope the weather will be better!!

A day at Burleigh Heads

Monday, 19th February 2018

Indeed, Gerry was right, I had a good night’s sleep and never heard any traffic – either because there wasn’t any or I fell into a really deep sleep! Today was going to be another leisure day spent around Burleigh Head . The other day, we had seen some walks around the National Park which has been left intact since Burleigh Heads started being developed in the early 1950’s.  Also the trail we were to follow would lead us to a look out post over the Pacific Ocean!

So after breakfast and shower ( for a Municipality campsite, there are really good amenities), we got ourselves ready for our hike. This time I did put on my trainers  and we started off early to avoid the scorching sun (hats on of course!)

As we approached the headland, we saw loads of people sitting on the grass slope facing the ocean – it appeared there were a number of surfers riding the huge waves and being assisted by two jet ski drivers who would take them out to catch a wave. There were many enthusiasts watching and some were armed with telescopic lenses on their cameras! We didn’t know but it seemed that there was a competition going on. 

Our trail took us first along the ocean side of the headland so we could glimpse at the surfers and then went on towards the creek which in contrast to the raging ocean, was very tranquil. People were swimming here! We had to make a U-turn at the end of the creek as we had to take another trail which gradually climbed up the hillside. Wow, it was a tough one – was glad we had cold water with us.

These coastlines of Australia, although developed by the the European settlers over the past 250 years, were the homes of the indigenous people of Australia for thousands of years before the Europeans arrived and they had stories of the rich history of the area, handed down orally through generations of indigenous Australians.

In the Aboriginal  dreamtime legend, Jabreen is a giant creator spirit who had been hunting and feasting on kuppai (honey) in the bushland of ‘Little Tallebudgera’. Tired from the day, Jabreen emerged from the bush and headed toward the ocean for a swim.

Leaving his fighting club (known as a Jabree or Tabra) on the shore, Jabreen swam out toward the horizon.  When he returned to collect the Jabree, the ground where it had been placed rose up, creating the rocky outcrop that marks Little Burleigh. The rock formation of Burleigh Headland marks the spot where Jabreen later lay down to rest. All the basalt boulders which look like huge stumps are supposed to be the remains of Jabreen when he raised his hands to heaven and he fell apart.

I was really fascinated with the great boulders as well as with the huge trees which have been in this area for hundreds of years. From the look out point we had fantastic views of the ocean – unfortunately we’re here at the wrong time of the year to watch the hump back whales migration paths. 

However, to the left side of us, we could see a huge city with lots of high rises emerging out of the ocean. This was Surfers Paradise – nowadays the surfers have moved elsewhere and the Paradise – well that’s gone too unless you think a partying and shopping malls area is paradise – well not to me. Gerry was there some 30 years ago with his daughter, Monique, and he is also flabbergasted at how Surfers Paradise has changed. At that time there were no high rises and was a little seaside resort on the Gold Coast! Anyway, we’ll go through it tomorrow when we are en route.

Back to our Hike, we finally made it back to the entrance and there were still loads of people watching the surfers! We made our way to the boulevard and finally found a place where they had fresh fruit juice ( difficult to get it seems here in Australia!!) and ice cream! Gerry’s prize for hiking a 7km trail which was mostly uphill was a big tub of vanilla ice cream and I had a fresh juice made up of oranges, apples and watermelon – so refreshing!!


Back at our campsite for a shower and lunch. After that was quite tired and needed my siesta. So at first tried to have a nap in the van but it was too hot so she decided to go down to the beach and choose a spot in the shade. Unfortunately the beach was closed for swimming as it was dangerous waters – such high waves and the beach patrols kept going out to swimmers to bring them back (mostly were Asian!)

It was so cool and refreshing on the beach and both Gerry and I did manage to fall asleep for a while. We then just went down to the shoreline to dapple our toes in the ocean – both of us were sure not to get into the sea!

On our way back we stopped at our watering and WIFI hole – the Burleigh Heights Hotel  – Gerry had his beer and I had my sauvignon blanc and checked our social media. I was in touch with home in Malta as today is the day that my family will be holding the funeral service for my brother Hubert.

We made restaurant reservation at the Fish House for the evening and then back at the campsite to relax before heading for dinner. We had a delicious meal – started off with oysters to share and then Gerry had fresh  grilled swordfish and I had grilled Trevally – a local fish caught off the Gold Coast – of course with a good glass of sauvignon blanc. And this time I spoilt myself by having a desert – rhubarb and pear crumble with a lump of creme fraiche!!

Back at the campsite, it was soon time for bed – tomorrow we’re leaving and meeting up with Angela and David.


From Yamba to Byron Bay and Burleigh Heads

Sunday 18th February, 2018

By 9.30 am we were on our way again – this time it was a short drive – some 126 km which we would have done in under 2 hours. We were surprised how luscious green this coast road is – there are numerous rivers flowing out into the Pacific Ocean and the rain forests head down right to the beaches where a constant surf is churning.

While Gerry was driving I tried to read up on the area we were driving to – Byron Bay, a mishmash of leftover hippies, virile surfers, tourists catching the Byron vibes and loads of traffic jams which we did experience. We finally arrived at Byron Bay and yes we literally crawled to the beachfront in our camper van . The town centre was filled with shops, restaurants, pubs, and loads of young people in travel mode! There was enough to see but it was ever so hectic. At the beach front, all the car parks were full so we only stopped to take a couple of pictures of the coast – and then with mutual consent, we headed back to the highway! This was not exactly what we were looking for!

So our next stop was some 80km further north – Burleigh Heads.We were now in Queensland and had left New South Wales after leaving Byron Bay! And we were on the Gold Coast. We found the town camp site situated close to the beach – and we were lucky as there was enough place so we booked for a 2 night stay. Once set up, we went for a walk around town and the beach boulevard – it’s Sunday and the beachfront was packed with families and tourists but there were good vibes in this place and certainly we got a glimpse of the Aussie way of life! Picnics under the tress and on the grass lining the beach front and watching surfers trying out their skills on the huge waves. After our stroll we ended up at the Burleigh Heights Hotel terrace (in the smokers’ section) to have a drink. Certainly Gerry needed his beer after driving so long and putting up with me and my emotions! And we were lucky! We had free WIFI! 

Back at our campsite, I prepared a Greek salad and we sat outside enjoying the evening. This time we had a strange visitor strutting around us – some sort of a turkey! He was keen to see if we had leftovers for him and sometimes was quite daring…….

I was wondering whether I would be able to sleep tonight being that we were in the middle of the town and traffic  – but Gerry assured me that I wouldn’t have any problems as the Aussies were all in bed by midnight or earlier……  Tomorrow we will be going for a hike round the Burleigh Headland’s National Park.