Friday 7th September, (Sarina).
After visiting the information centre today and finding some things to see about here we have decided that this area is one in which we could easily stay for a week or so. There are quite a few beaches on the coast that are quite nice, one of which has a caravan park that might be a more enjoyable place to stay. There seems to be an interesting drive to the west of here that we may do tomorrow if the weather is fine, forecast rain, then it doesn’t matter if we don’t because I’m sure we will be back here at a later stage.
The caravan park management hold a regular happy hour on Friday nights for guests to meet and whilst talking to the manager he suggested we go visit him in his office tomorrow as he has something to describe to us that he considers well worth seeing.
I finally, after all my life, found somebody else who can make a Claxton call, submarine dive signal, that I have been known to perform on regular occasions. It is a call that takes great skill in manipulating the voice box and has had everybody I have known stumped in their attempts to perform the same. Then one resident at the park performed this feat with an equal skill as I have ever demonstrated and also took Linda by surprise.
I finally summoned up the courage to read at the function a couple of poems that were given to me a couple of months ago. They relate to experiences encountered by caravanners and, not surprisingly, they were the hit of the evening. I will have to make it an occurrence for me at similar evenings held at other parks.
Thursday 6th September, (Sarina).
We headed off from Airlie Beach on our way to Rockhampton with the idea of stopping for a couple of days at Carmila, about half the distance, but when we were departing Mackay we noticed signs to Sarina, not quite as far as Carmila, but a little larger and having three caravan parks. The idea of stopping here instead, I thought, would overcome the problem of turning up at Carmila only to find the only park booked out and having to find somewhere else to stop. I am lost for a reason as to why we didn’t pick this town in the first place.
A minor drama occurred on today’s travels when while refuelling at Mackay I noticed one tyre on the caravan was a little deflated. As it seemed there was a lack of a pump at the service station I decided to check it further down the road, as it may have only been the way the van was sitting. When we arrived at Sarina, only about 35 kilometres further on, I noticed the tyre was rather low, so luck would have it that it didn’t completely deflate during travels. I replaced this tyre with the spare, and was quite surprised with the apparent lack of wear; the tread seamed almost like new, and took it to be repaired. When I picked up the tyre they informed me they could not fault the tyre, so they replaced the valve assembly and recommended to keep it as the spare and keep an eye on it for a while.
It is starting to seem as though that wise man that said Australia should be travelled in an anti-clockwise direction so as to travel with the wind may have been correct. Ever since we left Cairns to travel south we have had nothing but head winds that is playing much havoc with fuel economy.
We intend to stay here for four days at this stage and have a look around the area.
Wednesday 5th September, (Airlie Beach).
An outing for tea was the order of the evening and this highlighted our reasons for not wanting to go into Airlie Beach during the day to walk around and take a few pictures. The main street is just full of touristy shops, and as Linda said “it’s no wonder this does not appeal to me, there is not a ‘normal’ shop in the centre”, and they were all open at night as well, seemingly still trying to extract the tourist dollar.
We instead went for a casual trip to Proserpine, about 16 kilometres west where we will again meet the highway when we leave here tomorrow. It turned out there didn’t seem there was much to do there so a trip further west to Lake Proserpine created by the Peter Faust Dam. This lake was created for three reasons; a water supply for the Whitsunday’s, a supplement to the water supply for Proserpine valley and to prevent the Proserpine valley flooding in wet seasons.
This all made for a casual, restful sight seeing day to fill it in nicely.
Monday 3rd September, (Airlie Beach).
We ventured along one of the shorter walking tracks today, the shorter one due to Linda’s knee not being too good, that all adverts indicated good views, undisturbed being the words, of the island group. Once again we arrived at the lookout to find trees blocked half of the scenery. I seem to be knocking this area a little; it is probably without good reason, anybody else visiting the region with the same intentions as ours may have different ideas. I guess I just expected a little more.
The walk was not a waste as half way along the walk was Coral Beach, appropriately named, that was quite scenic and a different texture to what one would expect of a beach.
This is what is on the beach instead of the usual sand.
A 1.5 kilometre walk further on revealed the lookout, which did provide some scenic views, so the trip was worth it, for the exercise as well.
I collected my mail that Matt sent me from home today and am wondering how long normal mail would take to arrive from Tassie, as the mail I received today was sent on Tuesday last week by express post and only arrived today; that’s almost a week for express post.
Saturday 1st September, (Airlie Beach).
Airlie Beach, Whitsunday, this is an area that caters mainly for a certain tourist clientele, the one that has money to spend touring the islands. There does not appear to be any catering for the ‘just here to look around’ tourist such as us.
Our idea while here was to check out the local lookouts to take heaps of pictures of the area and it seems, although there are hills galore in the area, that there are no lookouts in the immediate area. There are a couple down Shute Harbour way, we haven’t been to check them out yet, along walking tracks and offer views of the many islands in the group called Whitsunday. One of the tracks is about five kilometres of hilly climb, so with Linda’s not so healthy knee we have had to give that one a miss, but there is another that is shorter and easier and when the weather improves we intend to check that one.
Our little look around, and checks at information centres the other day indicated to us that these walking tracks were there so a decision was made to leave it for another day with plenty of time, and wouldn’t you believe it has been overcast since and threatening to rain so it is now wait and see what eventuates.
We are actually a little disappointed with the presentation of the area; especially with all the hype we have heard about it in the past, that it probably won’t be too much of a disappointment if we weren’t to get too many pictures anyway.
All this is not to be meant to take anything away from the area; it is a place that should still be on one’s list for visits.
This weekend was advertised as being a celebration of the areas ‘fun day’, which is apparently an annual event, with yacht racing, bands and groups playing and a fireworks display. Again the celebrations only seemed to cater for the young and rich, except the fireworks, with charges to get in to things to see a heap of young ones dancing and drinking. We did wait around and watch the fireworks and I will give them credit for the show.