Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Bushy Parker Rest Area

The motor in the car barely warmed up on our travel northwards to our next camp at Bushy Parker RA located at Rollingstone. The entire distance from Toomulla RA was in the region of twelve kilometres. Rollingstone is also the road junction to reach Balgal Beach CP. The camping at Balgal Beach is very limited, therefore it is very difficult to find a vacant site this time of year.

Jude and I camped here some sixteen years ago, the RA didn't have a name back then and   accommodated around 100 caravans and you could stay as long as you wanted. Now the RA area, named after a local WW11 Spitfire Pilot Hero, is reduced by restrictive fencing and is limited to 30 caravans and 48 hour stay, although some seemed to disregard that requirement, most camp sites have reticulated water. Bushy Parker RA was at capacity each night we stayed there.

Across the railway line is The Rollingstone Hotel, we checked it out and it hasn't changed in any detail over those sixteen years, even has the same paint job.

This view looking towards the railway line, noise is not a problem though.

This view looking back towards the RA entrance.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Toomulla Beach

On the move again and a further 22 km north along the Bruce Highway to Toomulla Beach. The Rest Area here is far larger than at Saunders Beach, and it needs to be, as there are many more campers set up here. It is a slight disappointment here though as there is no easy access to the ocean beach. You need to wade across a deep and muddy bottomed Saltwater Creek to gain access to the beach. We were not prepared to do that.

We stayed for the night though as we had good television reception to watch the NRL Football broadcast, a 'must do' on a Friday night.

Saltwater Creek at Toomulla Beach under a brilliant azure sky. This creek bars easy access to the ocean beach.

Alongside Saltwater Creek and along the entire length of the Esplanade is well kept parklands.

This is half the of the Rest Area at Toomulla Beach. Campers are parked at all different angles, all seeking the most sunshine for their solar panels.

Saunders Beach

Our travels so far have been to get to this point in time and place. Our holiday begins now that we are north of Townsville. Saunders Beach is only 22 km north of Townsville and this became our first stop-over. We were warned that the Rest Area (RA) here is very small and we may have to pass this one, but we were lucky today and drove straight in. One hour later and all the prime positions were gone. By nightfall however, another fifteen campers had set up. Our neighbouring campers had travelled from Bundaberg.

An afternoon shot looking south along the beach towards Magnetic Island.

A vastly different sky. This shot taken in the morning and looking north along the beach.

A very tidal Althaus Creek enters the ocean beside the parklands at Saunders Beach. Clouds cover the peaks of the range in the background.

We enjoyed a bike ride south along the foreshore. There are houses to our right and many of the owners keep the foreshore mown and in some places gardens are cultivated.

Our camp. This shot taken early afternoon before the hordes of late arrivals appeared.

I was busy with the pliers pulling "three cornered jacks" from my thongs and the bike tyres, sadly there is no more riding the bike for me until we reach Ingham and buy two new tubes.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

In Transport Mode

Following on from our last stop-over at Isaac River, we travelled two hours east to Walkerston and called in on our great friends Ian and Sue and their family. We stayed three days and visited some of the nearby small towns and communities around Walkerston.

Departure day came around, we said our goodbyes and aimed the car northwards, heading for Proserpine. We stayed in the Caravan Park there so that we could do some compulsory shopping, things like medications and LPG gas refills.

We don't drive too far these days and make many stops along the way. Lunch was at Plantation Park, Ayr. We have used this Rest Area on many occasions. We finally pulled into the free camp at the Caltex Roadhouse at Alligator Creek, 22 km S.E. of Townsville. The amenities here are outstanding and for zero charge.

This is Gubulla Munda, the Python Totem in Plantation Park, Ayr.

Alligator Creek Rest Area with threatening skies overhead. I took this photograph too early, all the gaps became filled with late arrivals.

Our comfy home for the duration of this trip.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Tour of Far North Queensland

At 6 weeks, our Jayco Caravan has been in storage for far too long. Plans were made and a time set to leave Hervey Bay and travel to the warmer climate of Far North Queensland. We hope the rains have eased and sunny skies will prevail.

Our caravan was collected Tuesday at 8 AM bought home and packed with food, clothes and other necessities. We locked our home and departed rather late at 3:15 PM.

First camp was at Apple Tree Creek Rodeo Park. We had an appointment at Warburton Jayco in Bundaberg the next morning at 8:30 AM.

Wednesday afternoon we reached Coominglah State Forest, along the Burnett Highway, and made camp there. Here we met and had a yarn with Mick and a play with his Maltese Terrier, SAS.

Thursday morning came and rain was threatening. It wasn't far along the road that the rain began and it continued for 24 hours including all of our time camping at Duaringa Rest Area on the Capricorn Highway.

We managed to depart Duaringa about 9:15 AM after refuelling. Our Friday night camp and our current location is Isaac River Rest Area on the Peak Downs Highway.

This is the maiden trip with our new vehicle, a Mazda BT50. This vehicle is proving eminently suitable for towing our caravan and is delivering exceptional fuel economy while maintaining good highway speed.

Lunch stop on Wednesday was at Monto.

The large park also incorporates The Tourist Information Centre.

This piece of sculpture represents The Three Moons Creek which is not far out of Monto.

Dry weather track at Coominglah State Forest leading to Hurdle Gully Lookout. Sadly we didn't have time to check it out!

Lucky enough to camp beside a shelter at Coominglah State Forest.

Back to clear sunny skies at Isaac River Rest Area.