Follow the travel diary of Val and Rosney (The Man) as they travel from Brisbane to Cairns. First travelling by tilt train from Brisbane to Hervey Bay – where they pick up a rental car and continue on an unhurried drive to Cairns.
Hervey Bay to Bundaberg:
Weather, almost perfect...
The drive to Bundaberg was straight forward, just a matter of staying on the Bruce Highway.
To start with the view along the way rarely changed, just brown fields and scruffy trees, but as we entered the cane-sugar growing territory there was greenery, sometimes, as far as the eye can see.
We stopped at Childers and gobbled a yum morning tea, (have to make sure we do the important stuff) and arrived in Bundaberg in time for lunch. Bundaberg is reasonably big; (population 71,000) the CBD is not huge but seems to ramble out each side of the main drag with two large mall developments. Once fed and watered, we didn’t hang around in town, but instead drove out to the coast in search of our accommodation.
We scored a dinky villa surrounded with trees and a live-in-pack of squawking birds. There’s a deck out front with an outdoor table and chairs complete with ants the size of mini-monsters running here and there – plenty of internal room with an attic bedroom to stuff the kids into, that is, if you have some. After unpacking, we wandered down the beach and were surprised to find it to be rocky (volcanic?) but with golden sand and attractive to the eye. At this time, the day was drawing to a close and after farewelling the sun we dined at the in-house restaurant. The Man had a steak and I tried the seafood Gumbo (tasty) – afterwards we had a relaxing read-of-book and an early night. We needed some deep-sleep, as once again we’d had a disturbed night at Hervey Bay, this time with loud yahoos doing shouties and wheelies around the hotel carpark.
Worryingly, The Man woke up this morning with a sore throat, but not too bad at this stage. In the mood for more exploring we chirpily headed off to Burnett Heads via Turtle Beach, which turned out to be an average drive, but once there, to take off what icing there was on the cake, the uncooperative lady at the only cafe firmly declined to serve us coffee (why?) as they didn’t open until 11 am and it was now only 10.45am, even though the doors were open for business (geeeze). This totally piffed The Man off (and one should know better than to piff The Man off), so manly-jaw-set-in-place we drove all the way back to Bundaberg and had morning tea there.
Afterwards, we did the must-do river walk with the water looking murky and suspiciously crocodiley to me. At this stage the heat was fierce and wilting us, so rather than die, we went to the air-conditioned Bert Hinkler Mall, then after a wander around decided ‘malling’ wasn’t for us, so it was off for a coastal drive (air-con-in-the-car). However, this proved frustrating as we kept getting lost, the sign-posting was minimal, plus the scenery was disappointing, and worst of all NO coffee shops – so it was drive back to town for a late afternoon tea, then back to home-base.
The sun was now fading so we took a warm-air beach walk, then dined once again in-house. The Man’s sore throat has improved (hurrah). Still having trouble getting used to the intense heat, so dehydrating and hard to sleep at night even with the ceiling ans going twirly-whirly. I’m glad we left this trip to the ‘cooler’ season – also waiting to discover some notable Oz scenery to be excited about, my camera has been having lots of rest-time, however, off to Rockhampton tomorrow, so will see what that brings.
To be continued….
By Val Bird