Monday, 22 August 2011

Bramston Beach - Cairns (again) - Wonga Beach

Heading back north again and decided to check out one of Sue's recommendations - Bramston Beach. It would have been a lovely caravan park years past but the land has been sold for a housing development so there has been no maintenance carried out for a long time and it's a free for all,  no rules many of the campers were interesting characters. We were there over a weekend so lots of families with screaming babies that took it in turns to make a racket !
Mark did a bit of fishing but only caught a small brim and a puffer fish......big crabs were eating his bait but would drop off before he could pull them in.
This was the view from our caravan.

 Back to Cairns for a couple of nights and a chance to re stock. We have just arrived back at Wonga Beach .......... the weather is much nicer this time (25c and sunny) , it rained off and on most of the time we were here last 's taken us a while but we have wised up to the fact that if we go unpowered we can get away from the annoying caravan sitting, cackling, grey nomads and its much nicer are not so crowded in. As long as we are getting some sun on the solar panels we don't need to be on a powered site and we can also still have TV.
We are expecting Pip and Liz to arrive tomorrow afternoon ......we will spend a couple of days here then off to the Tip ( Cape York)

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Townsville - Charters Towers - Lucinda

We were not impressed with Townsville and found that there was very little to look at. So , when you have time to kill the Museum is generally a good option. There was a large exhibit on the sailing ship "The Pandora" which was sent out from England to find The Bounty hit a coral reef and sunk, the wreck was only discovered in the 70's .
A number of the houses around the city were built into the side of the mountains.

Charters Towers was next and we found North Queensland marketing in overdrive, they certainly like blowing their own trumpet and will endeavour to make a tourist attraction from almost nothing. It is a Gold rush town therefore they have a number of very elaborate buildings. 
This arcade was designed by the architect that designed some of Melbournes famous arcades.

Mark did find something that interested him ...... a fully restored Indian Superchief

We took a tour of the Gold Battery which was very interesting the manual labour that was involved in process must have been backbraking certainly no OH&S in those days.

It is also a town where ghosts apparently reside, a couple showed up for us.

We started to head north so Lucinda was our next destination.
Lucinda has a large sugar mill and the longest jetty in Australia  - 6 klms - sugar was sent along the jetty by conveyor to the transport ships until Cyclone Yasi which damaged the jetty and put it out of alignment , the sugar is now transported by truck until the repairs are undertaken.

Lucinda is a very popular fishing location and most of the old blokes in the caravan park have been coming here for years and most have a boat,  apparently the fishing is not very good this year.

Lucinda is the closest access to Hinchinbrook Island.

Wallaman Falls about 75 klms west of Lucinda is Australia's longest sheer drop waterfall....305 metres........quite spectacular.

Thursday, 11 August 2011


What a lovely location, best caravan park so far , our caravan is about 6 mts from the sand and Mark can fish from the beach close to the fish yet but at least he has been able to get the rod out.
The tide goes out a really long way , we went out looking for bait in the rock pools unfortunately no bait but loads of interesting hermit crabs.

The photo below is just in front of the van , the tide was on the way in and the sun had just gone down.
We drove out to the Paluma Region today..........but we should have known Queensland marketing at work again..........The brochure gives a recommended itinerary which suggests lunch at the Paluma Village .........unfortunately , it was like a ghost town .......not one cafe or shop open.... the smoke from the fires at Townsville meant that there was nothing to see from lookout ...........also two of the main sites to visit were closed ......probably due to cyclone Yasi.
Aside from that there was great scenery of rock formations , gorges and waterholes. 

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Back to Cairns

Change of plans............... from Wonga Beach we headed back to Cairns for a couple of days, yesterday we had lunch at the waterfront then to the movies to see Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

The peacock at Wonga Beach put on a show for us before we left.
These unusual birds ... Curlews.... were at the caravan park at Cairns nesting ,of all places in the kids playground under one of the climbing towers, the male had the kids totally bluffed , they can be quite aggressive and put on a show with wings flapping when they felt threatened and during the night they make a high pitched wailing.

Due to Tiger Airlines still being grounded unfortunately Rachael wont be joining us, she will travel later in the year to spend time with Kate at Trinity beach. We are meeting Pip and Liz around the 25th August , so rather that just hand around Wonga Beach we thought that we would head to Townsville and Charters Towers then head back north to get ready to head to Cape York.

54 klms north of Townsville is Rollingstone, what a lovely place, our caravan site is beachfront, we put some lines in but nothing......the guy next to us caught a couple , so with the right bait we give it another go tomorrow. The weather has been lovely here today ....about 26c and sunny.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Mossman Gorge

Woke up this morning to find that we had a few visitors, there are about 15 peacocks and hens that roam the caravan park , they don't like to be out in the rain so they often take shelter under the caravan awnings

Mossman Gorge today, really lovely rainforest .
There are huge fig trees with massive root systems in this rainforest

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Cairns to Wonga Beach

After 10 days we left Cairns and made the short trip to Wonga Beach. As soon as we arrived Mark being the good provider found us a coconut. Michael and Leah, I hope that you can come up with some coconut recipes, we have coconuts dropping all around us and a few will be making the trip back down south.
Wonga Beach is about 40 klms north of Port  Douglas
its a beautiful beach and also deserted , we felt like Tom Hanks in Castaway yesterday,   Mark even found a wilson on the beach which got kicked along for our marathon walk .

Someone in this area has way too much time on their hands , we came across one thong tree yesterday and further up the beach today we came across another.
There are lots of creatures up here, Geckos are usually on the roof of the shower block but Mark found this baby one on the floor of the mens toilet, I don't think that he would have lasted very long there.
We had a look around Port Douglas today and decided that it's not really for us, lots of shops, restaurants and cafes, the weather was a bit ordinary today, but the beach was also unimpressive. We've decided to stay put at Wonga Beach until we head to Mt Carbine to put the caravan into storage while we travel to Cape York.
Off to Mossman Gorge tomorrow.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Observations after 2 months on the road

I thought that it was time to report on what we have observed after being on the road for 2 months , this post is sure to grow , so if it interests you,check back from time to time, as this will be a work in progress.

  • I unintentionally have a caravan haircut 
  • Not fond of long drops
  • There are a lot of  "Old Farts in Caravan Parks"
  • We have found out that we can survive several days without tele,Internet, power and phone .....but Mark adds not grog
  • Almost anything can be cooked in a Weber Baby Q
  • Winter in the north is like Melbourne's summer
  • A man past his prime shouldn't wander around a caravan park bare chested in his baggy shorts.
  • A woman past her prime returning from the showers in a towel only is not a good look
  • Steer clear of caravan parks that accept pets.............nothing wrong with the pets but their owners are nuts.
  •  Camping close to a Slider is to be avoided...............A Slider is usually a rental combi van type vehicle that are accessed via a sliding door which makes a loud slide .........bang to open ..........slide bang to close.............several times a night.  Sliders sneak into the camping area of a National Park under the cover of darkness , use all the facilities , then take off at dawn to avoid the camping fees.
  • Motorhomes are monstrous slow moving vehicles that have a certain breed of old fart that as a hobby modifies the manufacturers specifications of his motorhome to its detriment then stands around with similar old farts who do the same discussing their problems.
  • The more remote the more that they can get at you.............3% surcharge for eftpos ??? Same as credit card.

We have also come across some sayings that are gems

  • While as Carisbrooke Station , one of the guests was questioning the station owner why he was still struggling considering the drought was over he replied  " Well, it doesn't rain money"
  • While discussing the high price of a particular caravan park a fellow camper said "well i've never seen a coffin with pockets"
That's it for now ................i'm sure there will be more to this space.

Some travellers also like to name their caravan, motorhome or are some that we have come across.

  • Adventure before Dementia
  • Ye Old Bull  (that one belonged to a boring old man who was an expert on everything travel)
  • awayagen
  • Groovy Anns Ban
  • Lost Forever
  • Living the Dream
  • Just us 2
  • Peels on Wheels
  • Slopoke
  • Lucky Pigs
  • Tellembuggerem
  • Steve and Karin's Aussie Adventure
On the lookout for more ................will update this list