Brisbane to Cairns: Part 3

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.

Part one, Part two.

Bunderburg to for Rockhampton (population 83,000):

‘The Tropic of Capricorn is an important part of this area. This region is referred to as ‘the Capricornia coast,’ and the highway leading directly West from the city is the ‘Capricorn Highway.’

The weather is stifling hot.

screen-shot-2017-08-31-at-7-21-22-amIt was a straight road-drive, with only scruff-trees and more trees with a splattering of road-kill kangaroo and wallaby along the way. We took a detour and stopped for morning tea in historic 1770 where Captain Cook came ashore in 1770 (his first Australian landing). This place is a must to see along the tourist trail, very pretty, but we failed to find any obvious tribute to Cook, which was a shame. After morning tea, we then popped our nose into Agnes Waters, an appealing sandy bay, then headed back to the main highway.

We stopped for lunch at Gladstone, where I managed to score a tired vege-frittata while The Man did slightly better with a hunky sandwich and chips. We found this place seriously difficult to navigate with hardly any decent sign-posting, so rather than try and explore, we decided to carry on to Rocky as everyone calls it. Arrived around 4.30ish to find our motel unit is seriously small compared to other offerings. No breakfast cereal plates or wine glasses – so we walked up the road to a nearby shopping centre and bought plastic plates and wine glasses, then thank goodness found a beer outlet to buy some cold ones or the situation would have been bordering on the desperation stuff.


We dined in-house, I tried Red Emperor Fish in Filo and it was superb. Next up it was off to bed to watch the league on tele (Town and Country), that was, after removing some sneaky slinkies who wanted to sleep with us. However, the air-conditioning unit was so noisy we ended up sleeping with the screen window open and the ceiling fan whirring – also I ended up stuffing earplugs in my ears as the traffic noise from the road outside was nonstop.


Awoke to another bright, hot, sunny day. There’s a fire burning up on the hill, and a smoky smell in the air. We noticed smoke when we drove in yesterday, today it is worse. The Man has the sniffles and isn’t overjoyed. First up is was ‘do some laundry,’ then off to inspect the local shopping centre (okayish). We found the official Tropic of Capricorn and while there were lots of signposts and significant others, the earth didn’t exactly move, but it made for a grand photo opportunity. Next up was a walk in the Botanic Gardens/Come Zoo which was absolutely fantastic – we had lunch in their café, under a huge tree with cheeky birds moving in. One little fellah ate out of my hand. He was very confident, so I guessed he had done that many times before.

original__9168885_tqct_rockhampton_kershaw_gardens_p3mpfxcNext up came the compulsory river walk which has signs saying: no swimming/no diving with pictures of a big croc with mouth wide open. The river looked muddy and I couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to swim in it anyway – then it was time to go shopping as The Man’s sandals had disintegrated so we went to the main shopping centre to find it looking ever-so-sad due to the opening of: ‘mall shopping complexes.’ The heat was fair bouncing off the pavement and whacking me in the face, just too hot, so I dragged The Man into a corner pub to cool down with cold beer. Turned out there was no sandals to fit, (big-feet) so it was off to the mall where footwear was found, also found more stuff to possibly help ‘The Man’s snotty nose.’ Decide to eat in-house again tonight, then tomorrow it’s off to MacKay.

To be continued….

By Val Bird

Read more of Val and The Man’s adventures here.