Tuesday 30th September, (Emerald).
How plans can change; We are now at Emerald, or at least at Lake Maraboon 20k south of Emerald, on our trip back to the coast via Carnarvon Gorge. We have almost decided to bypass Carnarvon Gorge, as the caravan park we are now in is just so nice, on the edge of a gigantic lake and with abundant bird life, and we will maybe stay here for a week. This will put us behind our schedule a little, and seeing that we will be visiting several other gorges we may not have enough time to spend what we need at Carnarvon. There will always be another time to go that way, unless Linda decides that seeing we came this way to see Carnarvon we should do exactly that.
As I have already stated the caravan park we are in at the moment has turned out to be much better than we expected. We knew that the park was on the side of a lake, but inevitably when one books into this type park one is parked way back from any view of the lake, which makes it no different than any other park. The site we were placed on in this park would have to be one of the best sites in the park for lake views and it also seems to be the regular feeding point for all the birds around here. This is a big win with Linda as it gives her something to occupy her, and some birds to talk to, especially when the cockatiels will eat from ones hand.
The lake itself is enormous, and the dam is also very long. The dam is a couple of kilometres from the park, so a walk not only to the dam but over it to a lookout on the other side will give us a day of good exercise when we decide to do it. I estimate the walk will be about 10k.
Saturday 27th September, (Moranbah).
So bloody hot: It must have been at least mid to high 30â€™s today.
We have now moved to Moranbah, about 180k inland from Mackay. This is a purpose built town for the workers at the coalmines in the area. There does not seem to be much for tourists to do in the town so we will only be here for two days.
Sunday 28th September, (Moranbah).
This is what travelling is all about. We have decided that Moranbah has absolutely nothing to offer the average tourist, unless they are into coal mines, but what I mean is that we would never know this if we didnâ€™t visit the place. We should have had some idea this is what it would be like, as the few travellers we have spoken to about this town did not even know the place existed. The lack of through tourists in this caravan park well demonstrates exactly that.
The other thing to consider is that perhaps all other travellers have heard what the ants are like in this area; We have never seen so many ants gathered in one area anywhere before. I reckon I alone have killed several million just around our van site, and that has not even put a dent in them.
Wednesday 24th September, (Mackay).We had our guided bus tour today and although it was a pleasant change to not have to drive I donâ€™t think we will go on another. With a little looking at information centres we could have found info about all we did see today, and we would not have had to see the couple of things that did not really interest us. It would also be a lot cheaper if I had drove myself and we would not have taken as long to make the trip. I also felt as tired after the trip as if I had driven myself anyway, although it was a different tired, more from the drone of bus engine noise I assume.
All in all though we did enjoy the trip, but to sum it up it was not worth the extra expense to go by bus.
The trip was to the Pioneer valley, taking in Finch Hatton Gorge and waterfalls, and up to Eungella, Pronounced â€˜young-galahâ€™, National Park that offered spectacular views back towards Mackay and the coastline. We did also get a fair bit of commentary about the ins and outs of sugar cane growing that was rather interesting.
We did go to see a place we would not have if we had not taken the bus, called â€˜The Sugar Bowlâ€™, which was a memorabilia come souvenir shop that was actually rather interesting, especially for Linda. There was a collection of old â€˜everythingâ€™ from the past that bought back some memories, and the grandmotherâ€™s creation was a garden with sculptured plants and such.
We had thought that we would learn of other things, like bushwalks, to do in the area that were not covered by the tour and would then return on Friday to partake in some of those adventures, but we have decided that we saw enough of the area and had a good walk so it will not be necessary to return. This now means that we will have a nice relaxing day on Friday before packing up to leave on Saturday.
Monday 22nd September, (Mackay).
We have in fact booked on a bus trip for Wednesday and are going to enjoy someone else driving us around for a change. We will tour the area inland from here and incorporates gorges, waterfalls and such, with meals provided as well; We are looking forward to it.
After driving around town yesterday it came to realisation as to why I have not been around this town taking photos in the past. The town does not do anything special for us and there doesnâ€™t seem to be much interest in taking photos of the buildings, as they donâ€™t seem to be anything special. I have and will take scenic photos of the area though, and we will see about around town.
Tuesday 23rd September, (Mackay).
We went for a short drive to the northern beaches today and checked out a couple of caravan parks in the area. One of which was one called Bucasia caravan park that we had heard quite a bit about, but it did not come up to our standards and probably has Midges. Another called Seawinds was also below our normal standards but decided that it could be worth a short stay being rather cheap for the area.
There are some nice beaches in the area and that is probably all that is going for the area unless one is a fisherman.
Saturday 20th September, (Mackay).
We did stay an extra day at Midge Point, which we thoroughly enjoyed, but our feelings about returning have been dampened a little by the fact that there is in fact several types of insects present, including the dreaded Midge. We were not bothered too much by the insects, the biggest problem was with them being so small they still get into the caravan through the flywire, but there were a couple of people that were bitten rather badly by the midges. Even though we were bitten a few times they did not seem to bother us too much, perhaps after being bitten rather badly in the past we may have built up somewhat of an immunity to the effects.
There were also some reports of people having an argument with a crocodile in the nearby creek, but then there were some long time residents that said that this could not be true, so we will not worry about that one too much.
We met a couple, Carol & Graeme Brine, who were parked next to us and had a get-together one night. We were a little surprised to later have them give us their address and phone number and insisted that when we are at the Gold Coast we must visit, and she would even cook us a meal. We will probably take them up on their offer, but we are still a little surprised as we didnâ€™t think that we hit it off well enough for this sort of offer to occur. Then they may be the type to make this offer to all and anyone.
We have now moved on to Mackay. We decided to stay at a different park than in the past, Andergrove Top Tourist this time, as this is one rule we must adopt in towns of multiple visits. This may give us a different opinion of the town, as was the case at Bowen.
After only being here since this morning we have recalled that we in fact have not seen much of this town, I havenâ€™t even been round town taking photos. There does seem to be several day trips to be made in the area and we may even do a bus tour while here as they run them from the park we are in.