A Travellerspoint blog

QLD - YEPPOON (GREAT KEPPEL ISLAND)

25 May Saturday to 26 May Sunday

sunny 25 °C
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Had 2 sleeps in Yeppoon, the gateway to Great Keppel Island. We didn’t realize that the Great Keppel group of 15 islands were part of the Great Barrier Reef and we were very surprised how good the reefs were that we snorkeled over. We couldn’t resist booking ourselves on a cruise that allowed us to snorkel over at Great Keppel Island. It was a bit pricy but we are doing ok with our budgeting so far so we splurged. Best snorkeling ever. For most of our snorkeling, the beautiful coral reef was only a metre under us. Beautiful red, blue and green corals. Hundreds of brightly coloured fish, both very very tiny and very very big. We even swam with a big old boy sea turtle there for a bit. Very majestic. Plus we followed a sting ray for a bit too. And OMG the star fish were dinner plate size. And those giant clams, awesome. I know I am raving now but it truly was the best snorkeling I have ever done. The whole time we snorkeled together we shouted in excitement at all that we saw. We now have a new language called “snorkel language”. ha ha. Unbelievable that we could actually understand each other shouting through our snorkels. It did sound silly though and at one time we both nearly drowned from hysterically laughing and then we thought we saw a shark fin and we started thrashing our way back to shore genuinely afraid. We turned a few times to see if it was gaining on us and it wasn’t because it was actually a pointy fin sized triangle buoy bobbing up and down in the sea. Again we laughed so much our masks filled up with water and we nearly drowned. I fell asleep from happy exhaustion on the return ferry back to Yeppoon. Sherrie took a photo and although hideous I have posted it just for fun.
We also caught up with friends Linda and Daniel for a home cooked meal at their house in Yeppoon. Sherrie and I hadn’t seen Linda in years and had never met her husband Daniel and they coincidentally had just moved to Yeppoon from Canberra just two weeks prior to our arrival. Great timing. The wines were going down fast as we reminisced and shared lots of hugs and laughs. Daniel (now lovingly called the midnight chef due to the late hour of serving dinner) cooked our dinner so we girls could chatter ourselves silly. A great night, thanks Linda and Daniel.

Posted by buttermenthol 01:05 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

QLD - EMERALD

24 May Friday to 25 May Saturday

sunny 25 °C
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We arrived in Emerald from Carnarvon Gorge happy and content. Cousin Vicky and her hubby Clinton welcomed us into their homes for a night. What luxury for Sherrie and I to have our own rooms and dine at a fancy restaurant. Loved our time at Emerald. In our short stay we managed to see the highlights of the town with Clinton at the wheel. Nice to be driven around after all that driving. Emerald is a mining town. And famous also for its gem stones. Sherrie and I had a crack at panning for sapphires. We found a small amount of good sapphires, 2 of which could be cut into stones and set. We don’t have the time to have it done in Emerald but will definitely look into it on return. We went to see a band at a really good Irish pub and danced the night away until their gig was over. Fell into bed finally at 2am. Big day. Vicky and Clinton sent us off in the morning with a superb cooked breakfast. What a lovely time we had. Thank you Vicky and Clinton!!

Posted by buttermenthol 00:55 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

QLD - HERVEY BAY – CARNARVON GORGE (VIA BILOELA)

20 May Monday to 24 May Friday

24 °C
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3 weeks on the road and 2,000 ks on the clock
Left Hervey Bay at 7.30am and hit the road for Carnarvon Gorge. We drove for 6 hours and decided to set up camp at Biloela, a small town along the way. Swifty was set up by 3pm and we both dove in for an afternoon nap. Our first time ever with the afternoon nap thing. So tired still from Fraser Island. Both woke up at 6pm ish and cooked inside the camper tonight. It’s cold outside and it also feels a little unsafe here. We are on lock down and are staying on high alert at the Boomerang Tourist Park. Daron is standing guard outside. The shower block doesn’t lock at all and the locks are broken on all the toilet doors. Looks like they have all been kicked in at some point. Really creepy. Won’t be watching wolf creek tonight. We have opted for some stand up comedy on the laptop tonight. Both of us are sleeping with heavy donking impliments too. Mines the jockey wheel and Sherrie has the wheel stand crank. The drive out was perfect though. Weather bright , roads good and country side just beautiful. Looks like cowboy country out here. Gawd right now as I am typing this there is some idiot in the park playing screaming loud music and trying to sing louder than it. It’s a scary set up. All the shabby permanent vans are around the perimeter of the park and the centre is for overnighters like us. Sherrie and I are the only ones brave enough to camp here tonight. And all the creepy loner guys watched us set up camp. We can’t wait for morning so we can high tail it out of here. Ahhhhh. Lesson learned. Next time we will park the van and walk through and inspect before we decide to stay. Oh no now there is some man yelling and punching the air whilst yelling profanities. He is fighting with no-one. Just himself. Bring on the morning!!!!!
Pulling out of the Boomerang Tourist Park was a relief and pulling out of the town Bileola was a relief too. Sherrie and I stopped for supplies and raced on out of there. We made strong eye contact with each other at a shop that called itself a bakery. 8am and in the Bakery they were selling 2 loaves of bread and 2 choices of really bad looking cakes. The man behind the counter looked like a lumberjack. Once again we felt very uncomfortable and backed out of the Bakery empty handed. We have laughed about our whole stay there many times.
We finally arrive at Carnarvon Gorge and it is amazing. The drive in required a shallow creek crossing. Quite exciting for us. The roads were unsealed approaching the gorge with stock meandering on the road and emu’s racing through the surrounding grasslands and Brolgas prancing around. We are always squealing with all the new things we see and do. The highlight of our stay at Carnarvon Gorge was the 20 k hike into the gorge. Woahh. Biggest walk ever!!! Breathtaking scenery throughout the gorge whilst scrambling up and down tracks and across the creeks. I must have crossed the creek about 7 or 8 times over the walk each time with stepping stones strategically placed. The creek was quite wide in places and the stepping stones harder to jump across. I managed to stay upright but did see a few tumbles. Not a walk for the elderly yet there were so many doing it. Good on them. The bush camp that we stayed at for 3 nights was also beautiful with kangaroos and wallabies hopping about. Once again another place that will be hard to leave.

Posted by buttermenthol 15:52 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

QLD - HERVEY BAY & FRASER ISLAND

12 May Thursday to 19 May Sunday

sunny 24 °C
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Great drive from Maroochydore to Hervey Bay. And where we are staying wow, Location! Location! Location! We are only 750 metres away from the bay and the 20 kilometre bike track which runs along the esplanade around the bay to Point Vernon. We have had 2 great cycle days. Neither of us will forget our bike bums after cycling on the hardest seats ever put on bicycles – big ouch. The Esplanade is just gorgeous, dotted with cafes, pubs, picnic areas, sculptures and even a water fountain park which is free to enter. On one of our perfect days we cycled 40 kilometres stopping for a swim in the bay and then again for fish and chips (with oysters and muscles) and eventually for a cider/cruiser at the Bayswater tavern which overlooks the pier. OMG the pier is so long, it must be almost a kilometre. When we got to the end (on our bikes) we saw fisherman dropping their lines in with up to six hooks and a minute later they would haul up their lines with 6 small herrings, one on each hook. Never seen anything like it. All the fisherman had a bucket loaded with these little herrings. They then use these for bait to catch Tuna. In fact we actually saw big tuna fish thrashing around in the deep water chasing the herrings which would then almost take flight to escape. I have never seen that either where a school of small fish end up looking like a flock of birds leaping out of the water to avoid the big predatory Tuna fish. Quite amazing.

We hopped over to Fraser Island for 2 days of serious adventuring, staying 1 night at the Wilderness Lodge on the Kingfisher Bay side. The Island is amazing. We maxed out our days and saw pretty much all the highlights. We swam in Lake McKenzie, Champagne Pools and Eli Creek. All the water was crystal clear. We walked through a rainforest following a crystal clear stream to Central Station which is an old logging village. We climbed Indian Head for the most breathtaking views of the Island. Once again the water was so clear we could count the sharks, turtles and rays in the ocean below. We stopped at coloured sands and the shipwreck “Maheno “. We saw 3 dingos in our travels. We enjoyed the company of all the back packers at the Dingo Bar and Wilderness Lodge. Sherrie and I have both agreed that Fraser Island has been the highlight of our trip so far.

Posted by buttermenthol 03:21 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

NSW - ILUKA BEACH

sunny 25 °C
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7 May 2013
Setup camp in Iluka today. Quiet little seaside town 2 hours drive north of Coffs Harbour. Set swifty up and did the bay walk. Sherrie hunted down a chemist for some voltaren. Sherrie is suffering from either a never ending leg cramp or a pinched nerve. The very enthusiastic chemist explained to me that if Sherrie laid down flat on her back I could wrap her right knee across her left knee and push down on her shoulder and crack her back. Sherrie was hilarious she just laid down on the carpet in the pharmacy and said can you show me down here with a demo. This bewildered man was still just trying to talk us both through it then just ended up kneeling beside her and cracked her back. So funny. We bought some voltaren anyway plus 2 decks of cards (yahtzee and trivial pursuit) Just about all board games come in decks of cards now and they are fantastic. We then wandered across to the co-op and had fish and chips for dinner then ended up in the pub with our cards. Talked to a really nice couple all night who helped us out with learning the rules for yahtzee. The husband was really drunk so I called us team sober and them team drunk. We got there in the end and we ended up being the last ones in the pub watching THE VOICE before eom bling home.
Our second day at iluka was just beautiful we did the bay walk to the bakery to grab bread and some breakfast before setting off on a walk through a heritage rainforest to Bluff Point. Instead of doubling back through the rainforest we scrambled across the rocks at Bluff Point to reach the surf beach for the return journey. I’d say about a 6k walk. There was not a soul on the beach and the water looked amazing so we stripped down to bra and undies and swam in the surf. The rest of our day was spent in camp chairs reading, chatting and nodding off before heading off on a brisk walk to the butcher to grab lamb chops for dinner. We cracked a wine and cooked another feast on our George Foreman.

Posted by buttermenthol 03:38 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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