16th – 20th June, 2013
We left Townsville this morning in bright sunshine and we are heading for Balgal Beach about 150ks up the road.
There are a lot of sugar cane plantations on each side of the road now and they are actually in flower, an event that neither Rob nor I had seen before. The flower is very similar to the “brush tail” type flower on the flax plants down south.
As we head further north it is becoming more tropical with palms and ferns and lush greenery everywhere. It is a very nice part of Australia …… I still prefer the outback though.
We are now at Bushy Parker Camp Ground at Rollingstone.
We had hoped to get into Balgal Beach but that didn’t pan out. Too many already packed in and it wouldn’t have been all that nice anyway as they are doing a lot of work along the banks of the beach.
Rob will just have to wait a bit longer to either get the kayak in the water and/or do a spot of fishing. I am sure he is having withdrawal symptoms.
We only went down the road a couple of ks and pulled into Bushy Parker Reserve at Rollingstone.
You know something; I haven’t found any moss either.
It is a fairly large campground and we can stay here for 48 hours. It was lucky we came earlier in the morning than most as by lunch time it was pretty well full and some of the motor homes were parking right in the middle of the road, which in turn will make it a bit hard for some of those parked around the outside if they want to leave early.
We went for a walk down to the bridge and took some pictures of the murals. If you didn’t go for a walk you wouldn’t even know they were there. They were very well done and depicted earth, fire, wind and water.
There is a lovely creek running along the bottom boundary of the camp ground and funnily enough it is called Rollingstone Creek…..now I wonder why that is.
Rob has FINALLY got the kayak in the water. The creek is so clear you can see the bottom and there are no signs to say there are crocodiles. He was gone for most of the day so hopefully this will ease the withdrawals for a little while. LOL
He brought me back some beautiful water lilies. The colour was beautiful.
There is a cane toad in the toilets but thankfully I didn’t see it or I wouldn’t have been going down there.
We spent a nice 48 hours here and now it’s time to move on.
As we head up the Cardwell Range there are a lot of road works. By the time they finish all the work the trip should be a lot shorter as they are bypassing a lot of the steeper grades and cutting out a few of the bends.
At the same time they are putting in new high tension power poles and they have these really large pullies hanging off the arms. Further on there were two blokes hanging off the arms. Better them than me.
The view as we got to the top of the range was absolutely lovely. The blue haze on the mountains and lush greenery as far as the eye can see and lots of little pockets of water. They are probably BIG pockets but from up here they look little and you can even see the ocean in the distance.
There is acre upon acre of sugar can now and some of it has been harvested. There was a sign saying that it is sugar crush time and beware of slow moving vehicles so it must be the start as there is more still growing than has been harvested by a looooong way.
We stopped at Cardwell at the bottom of the range for what is supposed to be “The World’s Best Pies” according to the sign the last time we were up this way.
The Pie Truck wasn’t on the side of the road in the park as they are doing so much upgrading of the road through the town there is nowhere for him to park so we went to the bakery.
Brekkie Pie with Mushrooms. The lightest pastry that I have ever had in a pie and the filling was more than ample too. Rob and I had a sausage roll to share and we were both quite surprised that there was more meat than anything else in it and again very light flaky pastry. If you are ever up this way then you know where to stop. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Cardwell is right on the ocean front and you look across to Hinchinbrook and Palm Islands. Very nice little village which we will pencil in for a stay if we are up this way again.
We saw our first cane train between Cardwell and Tully. Very small gauge, lots of carriages and funny little engine pulling them. Of course we couldn’t stop for pictures but if I see any more and we can stop I will take one to show you.
A good majority of the creeks and waterways now have their warning signs up for Crocodiles so I am hoping that Rob will take notice (he’s sitting here driving and poking his tongue out as I say this ) Take notice of the signs Darling says I……..tongue sticking out again is his reply.
There are so many caravans heading south today, don’t they know it is COLD and WET down south.
We headed East off the Bruce Highway for about 14ks and are now booked into the Googarra Van Park for a week and after a “team meeting” we have decided that we will put down roots for a while and will probably stay three weeks.
It is a relatively small park with some permanents, some cabins and some that come here year after year.
They have a camp fire every afternoon around 4.30 and they seem a nice bunch of people. It seems you can’t go anywhere without running into someone from home.
Les Barford, the uncle of my little great granddaughters lives in this park during the winter months and goes home to Ulladulla in the summer. Also a lady from Wallerawang. She and her husband own the Commercial Hotel there. For those of you who don’t know, I came from Lithgow to Ulladulla quite some years ago and Wallerawang is only a few ks down the road from Lithgow.
After the camp fire the four of us went next door to the tavern for dinner. A lovely Tavern with a lot of wood featured in the décor. Open veranda’s to let in the cool breeze. Quite an extensive menu too.
Rob had the seafood basket which he said was really nice. The seafood was really fresh.
I had chicken schnitzel with mushroom sauce, the best sauce I think I have ever had. The veggies were cooked to perfection. Pity I couldn’t eat it all but we had decided to have a garlic pizza instead of garlic bread……………..MISTAKE. The meals are very large so next time it’s no bread or entrée for us.
On second thoughts another garlic pizza, skip the mains and go for the chocolate fudge cake with ice cream for dessert. Now that sounds like a good thing to me. Hahahahah
This morning it was do the chores and check out the fishing spots. Guess who did what?
Tomorrow we might do a bit of a drive around to see what is where and how far it is.
Greg and Caz went into town today and came back with such a very good likeness to Greg (The Gnome) it was uncanny. Good thing they went first because if we had gone and seen it first I would have bought it for him. LOL.