heading north… again
3 June 2012
We are driving north. Well Olly is driving and I’m typing. We left Fraser Island the day before yesterday. We really enjoyed the last few days on the island continuing to explore the inland tracks and went right up to the north over some tricky rocky areas along the main beach. When we left Fraser we spent about 2 hours cleaning landy, she was absolutely caked in sand and salt water! We did a bit of pottering around in Rainbow Beach (where we got the barge to and from Fraser) and then took off north again. We stopped for a night in 1770, a small town named for when Captain Cook stopped in the area. This is the northerly most point for a surf as after that the reef gets in the way of the waves coming in. So we thought we would stop and see if we could squeeze one last surf in. Yesterday we got up to a grey and fairly dreary day and no surf , well for us anyway, some out by the rocks but out of our league. We knew we had a long weekend of driving as we are going sailing and snorkelling for Olly’s birthday on Monday so we have 2 days to make it to the Whitsundays.
After pottering around at the beach for a bit yesterday we decided to hit the road and get some km under the belt. We spent most of the day driving, we spent hours and hours passing long brown grass with some trees- big cattle area up here. We broke the drive with stopping for lunch at the Botanic Gardens in Rockhampton yesterday arvo. Last night we found a free place to stay on the beach and stopped in a pub we drove past in an out of the way little town. Classic place and we enjoyed a few hours chatting to the local guys- who all work in the sugar cane fields or on Queensland Rail. The pub served a few types of Queensland beer, spirits (heaps of Bundy Rum) and white or red wine from a cask. We are not in Clovelly anymore! 🙂 We decided to treat ourselves to a meal and I was dreading the “Do you have anything vegetarian?’ when I noticed a pumpkin soup on the menu. When our meals arrived they were set in the dining room both next to each other facing the tv! 🙂 Although these guys were all blokey blokes they spent most of the time talking about their gardens and giving each other gardening tips! So Olly was delighted to have a meaty meal and I had fresh from the garden pumpkin soup.
As we did a lot of driving yesterday we will arrive in Airlie Beach (where you access the Whitsunday Islands) around lunch time today and the weather has fined up so we are looking forward to an afternoon of sun and sand. We can really feel how much further north we are, it feels like we are well into the tropics with sugar cane lining the road and much longer distances between towns. There are beware of croc signs near all the waterways and its much warmer, there is only a few degrees difference in the temp during the day and in the evening and its much more humid. We have a few jobs to do this afternoon like washing and getting some fresh food in and then we will explore. In this area you are not able to swim in the sea from October to April due to very dangerous jelly fish. We should be good to go in the water then. We are well and truly in croc country and will be until around August. We are not used to having to think about that so we will take notice of the signs and ask around before going for any swims from here up.
Landy is treating us well and we are really starting to think about any preparations we may need to do for Cape York.