On the 18th June we packed up and headed for Yeppoon. While we had had some pleasant weather in 1770 there continued to be the threat of rain and most days were overcast or at least cloudy. We were hanging out for some continuous sunny weather that QLD is famous for at this time of the year. We booked in to the Capricorn Palms Caravan just out of Yeppoon park and spent the next few days checking out the area including a day in Rockhampton doing a little shopping and checking out the town Rockhampton is about only about 50km Yeppoon. Had the weather been better we may have spent some time on the beach however we were (and still are as I write this) plagued by cool breezes which made the thought of a day on the beach not too attractive.
On the 22nd June we headed for Sarina where we were hoping to catch up with Chris’ sister (Heather) and her husband. A quick phone call to Heather and we are booked int the Sarina Palms Caravan Village. On our way we stopped into the historical little town of St Lawrence and made lunch at the St Lawrence Wetlands.
The Sarina Palms Caravan Village is probably the most amazing caravan park we have ever come across. Talk about neat and tidy. Every site has a concrete slab and not one square inch of vacant ground was without perfectly manicured green grass. Every car is required to park in a particular way and direction. The hosts are extremely hospitable and everything is spotless including the Camp Kitchen, Ablutions and Socialising area. We were very lucky to be allocated camp sites adjacent toe Heather and Steven. It was great catching up with them. Our host told us not to worry too much about check out times so we took out time packing up the following morning then went to do the “Sugar Shack” tour which is adjacent to the huge sugar refinery in the centre of Sarina. The tour was great and very worth while. Probably better than doing a tour of a full size refinery. The Sugar Shack does everything a full size refinery does but on a much smaller scale which includes a distillery where they make an assortment of alcoholic drinks including rum, rum liqueur(my favourite), butterscotch schnapps (Chris and Di’s Favourite) and various others. The field of Dreams/ Sugar Shack Tour is worth making the time to check out if every you are in the area.
After we purchases some of the excellent alcoholic offerings we set off for Seaforth, a huge drive of 74km. Seaforth is a fabulous little place not far from Mackay. The camping arrangement, provided by the Mackay Shire is very pleasant and you can chose your own camping area. We set up for 4 nights and checked out the area. One of the hilights was a fishing excursion by mysolf and Harold down to the boat ramp were we fished with lures. After a good 45min or so Harold says “look over there there is something jumping. Fortunately I was in the position to immediately cast my lure into the middle of the fish activity and “whack” my lure was hit. I thought from previous experience that it was a Barra, but when it broke the surface and leapt into the air it was obvious that it was some other fish species foreign to us. I was fortunate enough to eventually land it onto the floating pontoons that we were fishing from.
We did not know if it was edible but it looked OK even if a little slim although quite long (a couple of feet long). Passers buy landing their boats empty handed were a little frustrated that we had caught something off the boat ramp. One passer by suggested that it was a “Ribbon Fish”. However further investigation on the internet determined that it was a Wolf Herring but commonly called a Ribbon Fish.
While I was scaling and doing the most difficult job of filleting such a slim fish some fisher folk walked by and gave us a meal size cod still alive and kicking. So after filleting both the fish we returned to camp the proud hunters providing the evening meal. We did eventually admit to our wives that we only caught one of the fish. But a great mornings work it was.
So after 4 very pleasant days at Seaforth doing some exploring and checking out future potential spots to stay if ever we return to the area we headed north to Hideaway (Hydeaway) Bay for a couple of very pleasant days. The weather however was still not favourable, while partly sunny there was generally a very cool breeze which made spending much time on the beach a little uninviting but we did do plenty of pleasant walks around the area. On our second day we made a day trip to Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour. While very interesting places with plenty of attractions, the visit confirmed our excellent decision (following Harold and Di’s excellent advice) not to try and get a camp site there.
Once again heading north on the 29th with the nagging knowledge that QLD school holiday were imminent and the pressures that would put on camp grounds particularly as we prefer not to book ahead as we dislike being tied to a schedule. Our fears of finding a camp ground with vacancies due to the school holidays came to fruition and on top of that our chosen destination of Townsville was in the middle of gearing up for the “V8 Supercars” and in addition there was a schoolboys Rugby League carnival with participating teams from all over QLD. We eventually found a couple of sites together in a rather out of the way caravan park. After some site seeing and a very pleasant day on an organised tour of Magnetic Island we once again headed north.
Our destination was Ingham and amongst other things a visit to Lucinda to check out the 5.76km sugar loading jetty, Wallaman Falls and the Ingham Wetlands.
That’s it for now, next post Harold heads for Cairns for a car service and Chris and I make our own way to meet up in Port Douglas in 2 days time