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                  Debbie & Geoff's

                  Australian Safari


                          Travel Blog October 2016


For previous Blog information about what has happened look at our Blog Archive page.

Monday 31st October 2016
On the road again and a three hour drive to a free camp for the night at Boynedale. This camp was large and right on the river which was part of the Gladstone Area Water Board. It had drop toilets and a few permanent shelters. This seemed to be the place for fishermen and families, a nice and open spot with lots of grass and a few trees dotted about. As it was so peaceful and full of bird life we thought we might stay a few nights, but the bugs put a stop to that. Once again we got those teeny tiny little bugs that seemed to just push their bums through the fine holes in the screens. Again they didn’t bite but were quite annoying. It was Halloween night and I had bought some small Cherry Ripes just in case we had any callers. As there was only one family with little children we didn’t get any knocks on our door so looks like Geoff scores the Cherry Ripes. After arriving we went for a walk down by the river and you do go through some properties so we got to talk to some cows whilst enjoying the vista, just watch where you tread if you know what I mean.

Boynedale Bush Camp     Boynedale Bush Camp
       Boynedale Bush Camp

The next morning it was sprinkling and as Geoff needed phone service and the bugs drove us bananas we decided to move on. Lucky we did as not only those teeny tiny bugs but a colony of ants had descended onto the van from the tree we were parked under. Out came the surface spray for the outside and I had my hands full spraying on the inside as well. Little buggers get in everywhere. We had been told the trick of putting flea collars on the legs of the van, also talcum powder on anything that they might travel up like the power cord or hoses. Free camp meant none of those were in use and it wouldn’t have helped as they attacked us from the top and crept down in the dead of night. Sneaky little suckers!

Thursday 27th October – Sunday 30th October Another beautiful beach in Queensland and here we are at Yeppoon. Again the days are glorious with a sea breeze to keep the heat at bay. The breeze can get a bit strong at times and in the evenings it gets quite cool which is nice. There is quite a bit to do in the Rockhampton area and our first trip is a drive to Byfield National Park. A bumpy corrugated road led us in to a beautiful camping area and day picnic area with a stream rambling past. We noticed the damage done by cyclone Marcia in 2015, trees uprooted or leaning over. There did not seem to be any birds in the park, maybe it was the time of day or the after effects of the Cyclone. There was also National Forest plantations that had been logged or still maybe cleared after the cyclone, guess we will never know, but the area near the stream was beautiful. Then we headed further towards Byfield and visited Nob Creek Pottery. The pottery was done on the premises and they also have other artists that stay at the large property to work in the peaceful surroundings. Though they have sign offering to ship anything home for you, we didn’t buy anything cause at the moment we don’t have a home!

Our next adventure took us for a drive to Emu Park. Here we saw an amazing Anzac memorial. From soldiers marching along a ridge made of steel, to a glass plate painting where you can align the horizon on the painting with the horizon on the water. It is exceptionally done. Now we follow a boardwalk along the coast to the singing ship. It is a sculpture of a yacht which sings in the wind. Yes you can hear the music from the wind vibrating the pipes on the sculpture, not sure if it will make the top 40 in the charts but a very cool exhibition on the headland.

RSL WW1 Memorial Wall   Singing Ship Sculpture   Glass Photo Gallopie Landing
RSL WW1 Memorial Wall               Singing Ship Sculpture      Glass Photo Gallopie Landing

From Emu Park we drove to the Double Headed Track. You climb up stairs through bush to the first lookout where we can look at the fan shaped cliff formation of basalt, the hexagon shapes reminded me of the organ pipes at the Pilliga. Then glance out to sea and the view really is lovely. I haven’t mentioned yet the sea colour and how it has changed from the aqua blue from north to green here. We have also come at the time when the coral spawned. The locals told us it was the coral cleaning itself and how it happens once a year. You can see the spawn floating in waves out towards the ocean and we saw it when we went for our walk along the beach and it also has a strong odour, um stronger than the usual sea smell, and it is all part of the spawning out in the reef.

Double Headed     Rosslyn Bay
Double Headed        Rosslyn Bay

The double headed track then winds up further so we can look out at the Mariner and again out at sea towards the islands. The mariner sure has changed since Geoff last sailed into the area. Today I packed a picnic lunch so after our walk it was nice to sit in a park near the beach and have our lunch and Geoff got to photograph a Brahiminy Kite that seemed to own the picnic area.

Brahiminy Kite     Brahiminy Kite
       Brahiminy Kite

How can we top this you might ask? Rockhampton Botanical Gardens and Zoo. Ten out of ten Rocky, a beautiful park with a small free zoo. We started at the zoo with a walk through the bird aviary. Of course that took some time to stop watch and take photos. Ok now for the funny story, when we were at Bucasia and sitting near the pool in an undercover shelter, it was the wifi hotspot, Geoff was working on the computer and a bird was perched above him on the eves of the structure. My bird man got schat upon by a Butcher Bird, landed on his arm which was lucky that it didn’t land on his shirt or more importantly the computer keyboard. So here we are in the aviary looking at some beautiful birds when he felt two plops on his hat. Oh no, he got schat upon again by an Imperial Pigeon, guess he is one lucky bugger or maybe it’s me that’s lucky to have been standing in the right spot and missed it.

Japanise Garden   bird   butterfly
       Rockhampton Botanical Gardens

As we finished our walk through the aviary and Geoff washed his hat then we got to spy on Lace Monitors, Goannas and a Python. We didn’t bother going into the kangaroo enclousure but stood and had a good close look at the only emu in the pen. They had fresh water crocs and a very impressive extra-large salt water crocodile. We spotted one dingo, a koala (not in the same pen) a sign that said there was wombats and then lo and behold they have chimps and Lion Tailed Macaque, an otter that was quite busy in disappearing and macaws. From the Aussie to the exotic all on display in this free small zoo that asks for contributions. They were also affected by the cyclone and are still doing renovations and repairs.

Pale-headed Rosella     Scaly Breasted Lorikeets
Pale-headed Rosella        Scaly Breasted Lorikeets

On to the gardens and I must say they were lovely. We strolled around the paths looking at different areas from dry and arid cacti to a Japanese garden with a waterfall where a pale headed rosella decided it was time for a bath. I know what my budgie was like in bath time and this bird certainly enjoyed every moment of his dip, standing in a pool that the waterfall was cascading into and putting his head into the water. Geoff and I was more than surprised that it managed to actually fly off with his water laden body and wings. Then it was through the fruit garden where we saw jack fruit which the green ants took a liking too, lime trees, which supplied a few limes to go with our coronas for lunch and many more exotic trees that we could not even pronounce. Unlike Byfield the birds here were amazing and Geoff saw so many different types, from Apostles to Scaly Breasted Lorikeets which were my favourite as they were all paired up and being very lovey dovey. To finish off our day we had our picnic by the river to be amused by the water birds and also a couple of magpies, one had a broken leg so its landing was not the most graceful, but they happily warbled away to each other. It was a perfect day and after our picnic we had ice creams , yum yum yum!

Monday 24th October 2016 to Wednesday 26th October 2016 Well hello Mackay nice to be staying a few days to explore your region and staying at Bucasia Beach. The days are lovely and there is a slight breeze to keep things pleasant. The tides are 5 meters so our walk along the beach was more out than along. The sand sucks you in and is very soft so certainly made you feel like you were exercising. One of the first things I did when we arrived was to find a red cross blood bank as I was way overdue for my donation and had found out there were no warnings for having been up north. All bugs must be under control for the moment from mosquito bites. Got my junk food fix and also got 2 cookies for being a good girl. They were all very impressed that I dropped in since we are travelling and were more than happy to fit me in with their appointments. Geoff waited for me in the car even though he could have come in and used the free wifi and sit in the air conditioning.

Wooden bowl             Sunset @ Bucasia
Debbie visiting the suggar mill                                Sunset @ Bucasia               

The caravan park is very nice and as we have found now that the high season is ended they have no trouble fitting us in. I did call in the morning just in case I had to make a plan B. They supplied us with free wifi that was really good and meant I could facetime my sister for her birthday and we did all the updates on the computers. Had a great neighbour who had a very big German Shephard so even though our van backed onto the carpark with the public jetty we certainly felt safe. Our neighbour Jeff also gave me a pumpkin and my Geoff went yabbie pumping to try and get some bait but came back empty handed so neighbour Jeff gave him a few prawns to help with his fishing attempt. No luck, no bites, no nothing.
Our next adventure was to do a tour of a cane mill. Never ever done this before and I had no idea how sugar was actually extracted from the cane. We arrived and got kitted out in fluro vests, hair net, hard hat and safety glasses. We watched a short video then taken by our guide into the mill. The process was explained to us from the cane being cut up, then crushed going from vat to vat cleaning and extracting the molasses which gets boiled down through a few more processes before turning into the sugar crystals we all know and love. We tasted the molasses at different stages and could tell the difference between the A grade and the D grade. All buy products are used and recycled, The dirt that comes off the cane and the cane roughage goes back to the farmers to use as mulch and fertilizer. The D grade molasses gets sold to the farmers to be used with the cattle feed. I found it truly amazing. We then went for a drive down to the mariner section which is trying to be a place to go. Quite a few of large apartment blocks dot the foreshore so we decided to check them out and why not? Call us Sticky Beak and Busy Body. A three bedroom 2 bathroom apt with pool in complex overlooking the mariner asking $450,000. Only 12 minutes drive to town or a bus that goes twice a day. Also there are restaurants and a yacht club right on your door step. Very nice but I think the humidity would be the downfall for us.

Wooden bowl    
       North Mackay Marina and apartment development

Thursday 20th October 2016 to Sunday 23rd October 2016 and we are heading south to Airlie Beach which is also party central. Lucky our caravan park is about 3klm out of town so most back packers keep away. It also has the airport for light aircraft right behind it so during the day it can be a bit noisy. The next day we are having the car serviced at the local Ford dealer so plan to stay for a few nights. The Dealership supplied us with a loan car so we took it for a drive out to the river, then off to Proserpine Dam for an outing followed by the tourist information centre and the museum which though quite large cannot compete with what we saw at Herberton. But they did have a bloody big pen and bowl made from red cedar on display which really won the prize for imagination.

Wooden bowl     big pen
       Big wooden bowl Proserpine Museum & a Big wooden Pen

Now one of the highlights was a rodeo that we attended. Unlike the rodeos we have been to at Sydney this was a real country rodeo, the atmosphere was fantastic. The ring was close so you didn’t need a big screen to see the action. From under 10 year olds to the professionals, barrel races, roping, bucking bulls and horses it had it all. Quite a few times I held my breath as riders were bashed against the railings by their bucking horse and clowns climbing the rails to escape a bull charging at them because they still had the strap on and it was up to the clown to get the annoying strap off. I also felt the disappointment on the young children that failed to rope the poddy calf’s that shot out of the gate and they were chasing wielding their lasso above their heads. It was also fun to people watch, the cowboys and country girls against the back packers that Airlie is famous for. The money made went to suicide prevention, so a good night and a good cause.

Rodeo Airley Beach     Rodeo Airley Beach
        Rodeo Airley Beach

We decided 4 nights at Airlie will be the go as even though we did not need or want to go island hoping, both Geoff and I have had enough of that during our years we did want to do some scenery around the area. A trip out to Dingo Beach then Hideaway Bay showed us beautiful beaches and hidden resorts. Also lots of new large houses in the area. The water was too warm, nothing refreshing about it as we waded through the low tide which kept on going and going and going The sand was hot on the feet when we waded back to the shore line Then off again to a resort right on the beach for lunch, the only thing wrong was that Geoff was harassed by March Flies. They sure grow’em big up North. He just kept swatting, slapping and stamping on them so by the time we left he had a very impressive pile of bodies lying a his feet.

    Newall looking south to Mossman
Dingo Beach                 Hideaway Bay

Our last day started out sunny and hot again as we drove around Shute Harbour and then did a walk to The Beak. The track led us to a very stony beach where we were lucky enough to see Parrot fish swimming in the water and then not so lucky to see a couple of old Germans quickly pulling on their clothes – not sure if they were naked or just putting clothes over their cossies as it started to sprinkle. We followed the track through the dry rainforest to the look out. Out of a scale of 1 to 10 for this lookout, umm, don’t bother! But it was a nice walk and took us a few hours to accomplish in the heat and with stopping and looking and reading info signs on the way. We ventured back to the van and now it is raining. The first real rain that we have seen for ages. Unlike Cairns where it was night and we were in bed this is quite nice sitting inside and watching the rain fall. Glad I’m not sleeping in a tent tonight!
The park itself is very nice with a large population of Glossy Starlings. I mention this as it is getting close to Halloween and Geoff took a good photo of one that looked like it was made for haunting.

whitsunday island     Metallic Starling
Lookout from The Beak                 Metallic Starling

Thursday 13th October 2016 to Wednesday 19thth October 2016 and it has been exactly 2 months since our last stay at the Big 4 in Townsville . We booked for a week and eagerly waited to see the family again. Prue arrived with little Zac who is now 3 months old and winning our hearts once again. Our stay happened to coincide with the 150Th Anniversary of the RAAF in Townsville so the weekend was the big air show on Saturday and the RAAF Base had an open day on Sunday. Prue purchased baby earmuffs for Zac and they were a winner. Even with the jets flying over the top of us Zac was oblivious to all the noise. We had a great day watching the fly overs along the foreshore of Townsville. Planes, Helicopters, Jets, they all performed and it wasn’t till about 4.30 we decided to call it a day and head home before the crowds started. The evening they had fireworks but we were not going to stay for those. Next day again with Prue and Zac we attend the open RAAF base. Lots of people and lots of planes. The ques were quite long if you wanted to go and have a look inside so we decided against it and wandered around just looking at the outside of the planes and enjoying different entertainment that was put on. When the Scottish bagpipes started up right where Prue and I were the baby earmuffs came in handy once again.

air show     Townsville RAAF Airshow
        Townsville RAAF Airshow

Though Trinity didn’t come with us she had a pupil free day on Monday so as it was Geoff’s birthday we took both the girls to lunch down by the beach to Prue’s favourite pub. It was a relaxing few hours in a great spot. On Tuesday and Wednesday mornings Geoff and I ventured out early to the Town Common Conservation area. The amount of birds were incredible and Geoff said he has never seen so many different raptors in one area. They just circled around in the thermals occasionally one would dive into the water to catch a fish and then the fun would sometimes start with the others harassing it for its catch. I was captivated by the tiny Red Backed Fairy Wren that darted in and out of the bush. Also the Superb Bee Eaters were in attendance showing off their colours. The walk itself skimmed the wetlands in a circuit and we also visited a bird hide that had 37 little white frogs hiding in the hide and a bunch of green tree frogs gathering in one corner. The white frogs were only tiny as they all lined up and their colours varied from white, fawn to brown. Very cute indeed.

two kites     Newall looking south to Mossman     frogs
Brahiminy & Whistling Kites         Frogs in the Birdhide

Our last evening on the Wednesday we had dinner with Prue, Trinity and Zac at their house. Trent is away in Dubai for work so we were sorry not to see him. As usual it was so sad to say goodbye as unlike last time we are not sure when we shall see them again.

Tuesday 11th October 2016: On the road bright and early after chatting to another couple who owned a Lotus Freelander the same as ours. Though theirs was 12 months older it is amazing the few differences you can notice in storage, seating and design. Their van was purchased second hand so she didn’t get to pick her colour scheme which was quite dark. She couldn’t believe the difference in my van as the lighter colours make the van look so much bigger. I gave her some of the hints that I had learnt from others on packing and storage as like us they are new at the game and are both still working and not had that much time travelling.
Tonight we are staying at Julia Creek . This is a very nice town with a good feel about it. They had 2 small supermarkets, a couple of pubs – one that had just opened that day and a great tourist information centre that had a native nocturnal display of Dunnarts. What is a Dunnart you might ask??? It is a small marsupial with sharp dog like teeth and a pointy snout and only tiny like a little mouse. It is also endangered mainly due to wild cats, dogs and lack of territory. It was not until 1992 that a live Dunnart was captured. Julia Creek also had a local swimming pool we could access for $2 if we so desired and the caravan park supplied free push bikes if we wanted to ride around town. It’s the end of season now and each van park we attend has plenty of vacancies. I think it will be as we head down the coast when I will need to book ahead.

Prairie Hotel     Prairie Hotel
          Prairie Hotel

The next day we went to a free camp to a place called Prairie where we stayed behind the local and only pub. The door was locked when we arrived but we just parked around the back as we were the only ones there and sat on the veranda as we had a cool breeze and a couple of dummies for company. No literally, there were a couple of store mannequins set up on the veranda looking like real cow girls. One was reading the paper, the other sitting at the table under the crystal chandelier. Geoff sat and had a chat to them but they didn’t say much. Tom the publican appeared not even 10 minutes later. His youngest daughter had a lie down so he laid down also and fell asleep. Very apologetic but as we told him we really didn’t mind and was it ok that the van was out the back. Went in for a drink and a chat, then his alarm went off and it was time to pick up his other daughter just down the road at school. We offered to wait outside and he could lock up but no, if anyone comes in just serve them for me and if the youngest wakes up tell her I won’t be long. That’s Prairie hotel for you. We finished our drink and chatted to a young couple who had their van parked out the back and had just arrived also. Then we departed and told Tom we were coming back for dinner. What’s on the menu, Toms not sure as his wife looks after that. Dinner was chicken schnitzel with salad and we ate and talked to a group who had come down from the next town and also to another couple who had one of the biggest rigs I had seen and was also now parked out the back of the pub.

Prairie Hotel     Prairie Hotel
        Prairie Hotel         Debbie's new friend

Monday 10th October 2016 Here we are sitting at Burke & Wills Roadhouse at the Four Ways. Hiding again in our van as it is just for a stopover for the night and there doesn’t seem to be anything around. Once again the air conditioner his humming away and has bought the van to a very pleasant 25 to 26 degrees. Stand out in the sun for a few minutes and we are very happy to just chill and relax in the van. No internet, phone or TV so at least I have a good book and Geoff is working on some of his pictures.
Let me tell you about the drive from Karumba. The Savannah landscape certainly lived up to its name. Very flat plains, which to start were spartanly dotted with trees and cows oh and plenty of termite mounds. The grass was yellow and the sky was hazy. Gradually the scenery changes, we have a few more trees with some having yellow flowers, then we noticed water and the sides of the road turned green. They must have had some rain in the last few weeks and even though it still looked dry the greenness and red dirt made a striking combination. Lots of road kill and even when Geoff beeped his horn at the birds, they would wait till the last minute before leaving their meal and fly to safety. We also saw a very dead crocodile in a river bank which we stopped to have a peak at. Here at the roadhouse they only have dam water so it was lucky we still had ¾ of a tank that we had from Atherton. They have showers and loos so our water will be used to washing dishes and drinking water. Tomorrow we head for Julia Creek

    Newall looking south to Mossman
        Road from Burke & Wills Roadhouse to Julia Creek

Saturday 8th October 2016 Two nights in Normaton and then off to Karumba. This town is right on the gulf and there were two highlights here. The first Geoff managed to get some beautiful sunrise shots – I stayed in bed ! The second was The Ferryman River Cruise we did at sunset. As we travelled down the river they were giving us a commentary of all the buildings along the river bank including the zinc mining shipping storage area that has now been closed as they ran out of zinc.

During the cruise they cut up fish and put them on the front of the boat where the Whistling Kites and Black Kites would swoop down to feed. Then we had the pleasure of two young Black Neck Storks also known as Jabiru come and be fed. They were great to watch and very tame. Seems their dad has been fed for a while and he bought down the youngsters, one was unwell and the people from the cruise paid particular attention to it and fed it up. Now to look at both of them you would not know which one was ill as they are both same size and no problem of fighting off the kites as they tried to swoop on their feeding time.

Sunrise Karumba Qld     Sunset Karumba Qld
Sunrise Karumba Qld                   Sunset Karumba Qld

Of course the sunset on the Gulf was beautiful but I didn’t see the supposedly green flash that I have heard talk about when the sun sets in the ocean. Didn’t see any crocs either but as our skipper shone his light towards the bank you could see the eyes glowing from the shore line. Still no morning glory clouds so we decided it was time to go as it was also forecasted to be 41 degrees so that was a good enough reason to start heading south towards Townsville.

Jabiru and Black Kite     Black Kite
Black Kite swoops to take a fish from a young Jabiru                   Black Kite                        

Wednesday 5th October 2016 and we back on the road making our way to Georgetown for a free camp stop at Cumberland Historic Chimney near a lovely waterbird refuge. Great spot but the bugs drove us crazy inside and out. Teeny tiny little things that got through our screens and swarmed around the lights. At least they didn’t bite and settled down when the lights went out. Though the night started out stinking hot and being at a free camp there is no power so hence no aircon, but sometime during the night I woke up quite cold and had to pull up the dooner to snuggle under.

Cumberland Historic Chimney     Cumberland Historic Chimney
            Free camp at Cumberland Historic Chimney

We left early the next morning to head further towards the Gulf. Passing through Croydon we stopped to look at the open museum where the council had opened all the old buildings for us tourists to have a stroll through. The old courthouse had a re-enactment of a case of drunk and disorderly which was quite amusing. The Police Station, the Town Hall, and Police Residence was all open for us to walk around and investigate.

Burns Phillp Building Nornanton     Big Croc Normanton
Normanton Qld                               29 ft Croc, Normanton Qld

From Croydon our next night spot is in Normanton where we are staying at a van park with a lovely pool and free wifi oh and glorious power so the air conditioning is running as the temperature outside is 38 degrees. Normanton’s claim to fame is that it was a river port to service the goldfields from Georgetown to Croydon. They also have a replica of a giant crocodile called Kris that was caught by a lady. It was 28.6 feet – absolutely huge!
Now the reason we decided to head to the Gulf is at this time of year they have a cloud formation called Morning Glory. These are rolling clouds and are supposed to be very beautiful, unfortunately at the moment there is not a cloud in the sky and looking at the weather forecast I don’t like our chances.

4th October 2016 Time for a new adventure and with fresh supplies stored in the fridge we are making our way on the Savannah Way to head towards the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Our first stop is Paronella Park. The dreams of a Spanish man who wanted to build a castle. He did and it was a great tourist venture in the 1930’s. People would go there to swim, play tennis, row on the streams, picnic and also attend balls and movies. It was a wonderful park for all. Then the floods came and damaged the park not once but twice till his dream stopped The property was sold and other people tried to repair and make a go of the venture till in 1979 the ball room and movie room in the main entertainment castle severely damaged by fire. With this and the buildings falling apart due to the sand that Paronella used to make the concrete with was full of silicone which made the concrete fail and buildings began to crumble the park once again was abandoned and sold.

Paronella Park     Paronella Park
                  Paronella Park

Now it is owned by a family who have made the ruins again a wonderful area for people to visit. Day tours and night lighting turning the park into a place of beauty and magic. They opened a caravan park where we stayed, bought the pub up the road and a gift shop. The family also took over the failing skywalk which needed a lot of work to make it into another successful venture. During the day tour you are told about Jose’ Paronella and how he started the park and howearned the money by buying and selling farms. The evening tour was all about the beauty of the park we also got to see fire flies in abundance in one area, just magic.

Paronella Park at night     Paronella Park at night
                  Paronella Park at night

Saturday 1st October to Monday 3rd October 2016 – Carole is in Cairns
Up early for today’s adventure where we catch a train up to Kuranda, the trip took us back up to the mountains, not the destination but the journey never rang truer on this train trip. The train was from the original days with large leather seats and wood panelling. It wound its way up the mountain and through many tunnels that heading towards Kuranda. Lovely picturesque and very touristy town. We wandered around and checked out the shops where Geoff bought a new hat and then had a look at the markets which were very junky. I was a bit disappointed as I thought it would be more craft and unusual things instead of all the crap that was up for sale. Never mind, saved a penny or two by not buying anything and don’t forget I have limited space. The trip back down the mountain was done by Skyrail so as we flew above the canopy of the rainforest we could look down into it and marvel at the sight below. I think I liked the journeys better than the actual town.

Kuranda train     Kuranda train
Kuranda train                   Kuranda train at Stonycreek Falls

So from the trees to the water as our next destination was Green Island. Can’t come to Cairns without doing some sort of reef trip and we had the perfect weather to enjoy our swim in the turquoise waters of the island. A glass bottom boat saw us upon the reef to check out turtles, fish and of course different coral. Not as good as the outer reef but it was a lot closer with a 90 minute trip by fast catamaran there and back. We did a walk through the forest then around the shoreline to circle the island and then swim before a nice leisurely lunch to finish off our day. We picked up some fresh fish for dinner that night to have on the BBQ – yum yum

Green Island     Green Island
                Green Island

Carole’s last day and she had a visit from her old friend Beryl who had move up this way many years ago. Carole and Beryl spent the morning catching up whilst Geoff and I packed up the tent, my salubrious guest room for a very special guest. A last lunch at Cairns on the waterfront finished off a wonderful holiday with my sister and yes there were a few tears when she departed at the airport. Neither of us realised that her trip home was going only as far as Brisbane as there were bad storms up and down the coast which prevented the flight to Sydney happening. So from a tent to an upgraded room at the Hilton for her, not sure if it was a good thing as I am pretty sure she would have liked to have been home in her own bed.

Camp in Cairns     Bush-stone Curlew
Camp in Cairns                   Bush-stone Curlew neighbours in the caravan park