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 !
Sep 1 to 13 2010 Off to Townsville for the QLD Vets Golf. First night stop in Gladstone at Barney Beach. First class site with very helpful management. Second night at Baucasia Beach, Mackay. Basic site with average facilities. Arrived at Rowes Bay Caravan Park in Townsville on Sep 3. The QLD Vets Golf Championships were held at the Rowes Bay Golf Course (very handy – next to the caravan park!). There were 2 separate 52 hole competitions over 2 days for both men and women.
There were several other people from Pelican Waters Golf Club at the Championships and the club featured well in the prizes. Peter Steele was the net winner in C Grade and Dick Hancock was the gross runner up in C Grade. Siobhan won the ladies partners competition.
Bowen is famous for its mangoes and we stopped at the biggest one we could find ! Also, the major blockbusting film ‘Australia’ was mostly filmed in Bowen. They even have a large sign on a hill which reads ‘BOWENWOOD’ – a take off of the famous Holywood sign. Back home via Airlie Beach, Rockhampton and Hervey Bay. Went to see the whales at Hervey Bay.
Aug 3 2010 Took caravan to Brisbane to have the annex fitted. The guys at RV Warehouse did a great job – very helpful and professional – highly recommended. They even replaced a couple of annex poles after we had broken them through inexperience (at no cost).
Jul 30 to Aug 3 2010
Travelled to Bribie Island for the mixed veterans golf. Buddy Alan Gray came to help set up the caravan as Siobhan away in Ireland.
Bob did not appear in the list of winning scores at the golf.
Jul 23 to 30 2010
Moved the caravan to Tewantin (close to Noosa). Yet more bits and pieces added to the caravan inventory : nearly finished ? Have since found out that there is always something else you need (or want!).
Managed to work out how to wire the Austar box so we would never have to miss Coronation Street on the road !
Jul 16 to 23 2010
Decided to travel all of 8 Kms to set up for the first time at Cotton Tree, Maroochydore. It is really surprising how many bits and pieces you need to make a complete caravan home.
Our first experience of those who have ‘been there and done that’ – the guy from the next site came over and started to let us know how bad the TV reception was at the site. Then I pressed the button that made the satellite dish on top of the caravan open up and automatically found the Austar satellite – he was impressed !
Jul 16 2010 Picked up caravan from Brisbane RV’s. Oh dear, its a bit bigger than we thought !! How do we drive the thing ? What a good decision to attend the RACQ towing course. There was one unfortunate attendee who had a brand new Landcruiser plus a brand new 25 foot caravan who got stuck in the car park and the other men on the course had to manually turn the caravan around. He was very quiet after that !
Apr 9 2010 Flew to Townsville to pick up the Landcruiser and drive it back to Sippy Downs. This was a trip of 1,250 Kms which took us 3 days with stops at Mackay and Hervey Bay.