Oct 1 to 3 2010 Back onto the Bruce Highway, heading north to Groper Creek. First stop Bundaberg for 2 nights. Visited Bundaberg Rum factory (for free samples) and the place where they make the barrels. Bundaberg has very red soil because of an active volcano a long time ago. The land is very productive with sugar cane, tomatoes and sweet potatoes grown abundantly. Also, Bundaberg produces over 80% of the hot chillies sold in Australia.
Oct 4 to 11 2010 Off to Groper Creek which is a remote (very) small town on the mouth of the Burdekin River just south of Ayr in north east Queensland. Friends from the golf club, Steve and Marilyn Redman, spend 4 weeks or so at Groper Creek each year and invited us and some other golfing friends (Marilyn (Maz) and Dick Hancock) to share their idyllic spot. Steve loves fishing and crabbing and also has a boat : great to have friends like that !!
What an extraordinarily fantastic and beautiful spot Groper Creek is. And what a wonderful time we had with our friends. Steve is an avid crabber and was always providing fresh mudcrabs for the group. Fresh fish (mainly salmon and grunter) was also on the menu regularly. Bob has Steve to thank for teaching him how to throw a cast net to catch bait fish and prawns. Bob’s highlight was catching a lovely salmon, filleting it, BBQ’ing and eating it : all within 2 hours.
Steve also introduced us to fish ‘wings’, a small part of the fish that is between the head and main body, and a part of the fish a lot of fishermen throw away. But on the BBQ they are absolutely delicious, with very tender and sweet flesh.
The group, minus Maz who was nursing a broken wrist (separate story there !), also managed a round of golf at Ayr, home course of Australia’s lady champion golfer Karrie Webb. Ayr’s fairways are lined with mango trees and all players went home with several bags full.
One final note : the picture above of Bob’s feet has a story attached. Steve wore some plastic shoes which are a copy of the famous Crocs. Bob, of course, had to have a pair and bought some originals and wore them for a days fishing with Steve. Crocs have holes in them and Bob, who was otherwise completely covered from head to foot, forgot to cover his feet with sun screen. Hence the red spotty feet and he was thereafter referred to as ‘Spot’.
It was with sad hearts that we left Groper Creek but also with many happy memories … and we will be back !