Pam's Journal for November 2006

Wednesday 1st November 2006
We awoke to rain again, so it was another mad dash to get the shoes inside before they got wet. We didn’t do much really; I took Billy to the shops to stock up for our week at Cape Hillsborough. Then we got ready to travel the next day.

Thursday 2nd November 2006
We set off around 9.30am, it is only about an hour’s drive to Cape Hillsborough. We were travelling along fine, looking for naked men running along side the road, when we were waved down to pull over as a wide load was on its way. The pilot driver needs more lessons as he seemed to drive straight at us and could have caused an accident. Lo and behold, we pull over and ahead of us all the traffic had stopped, including the wide load as there had been an accident. We are convinced the pilot driver must have caused it. Anyway we waited a while, an ambulance arrived, we saw a lot of activity but no one got in the ambulance and then all of a sudden everyone got into their vehicles. These are the vehicles that had been blocking the road, they moved on and the road was clear except for the two enormous lines of traffic built up in either direction. Once we were on our way again we were at our destination in no time at all. We set up camp and I did a week’s washing, got it all dried in a couple of hours and then ironed it all. In the laundry they have an ironing board, iron and clothes maiden for you to use. We saw little wallabies grazing around the washing lines, one even came in the laundry and walked between me and the ironing board, they are so tame. We went down to the bar they have here for few drinks and then returned to the caravan for dinner.

Friday 3rd November 2006
What a beautiful day here at Cape Hillsborough, the sun is shining and from our caravan we can hear the breakers on the beach. We seem to have been in the car a lot lately so we have decided to leave it parked up for a couple of days. Our day was filled with cleaning, writing the webpage, writing letters and knitting. Later we went for an hour’s walk along the beach which was very pleasant and surprisingly cool. Soon it was time for Happy Hour, so off to the bar we went. Then home for dinner and to watch television.Well, actually I fell asleep as I am wont to do. I always thought it was the wine but I still fall asleep when I don’t have any.

Saturday 4th November 2006
It rained quite heavily overnight but we awoke to a beautiful sunny day. The park has filled up a bit with weekend people. We did pretty much the same as yesterday and then went for a longer walk along the beach. I came across some soft sand and got bogged which didn’t do my ankle much good. We went to the café and bar for Happy Hour and then had dinner there. It was all very nice too.

Sunday 5th November 2006
We did the same again today as we have done the previous two days. I did some washing and this time found a lizard in the laundry; I guess he had washing to do! We skipped the walk today as my ankle is very painful and swollen. We had Happy Hour at home as the bar closes at 5.00pm tonight.

Monday 6th November 2006
We took the laptop to look for a CDMA signal and found a strong one near the Station Teahouse. The coffee was good too. We then checked out Balls Bay and Halliday Bay. They were two beautiful small bays with just a few houses. There was a holiday resort at Halliday Bay but the place was almost deserted.

Tuesday 7th November 2006
I went for an early morning walk on the beach. There were not many people around.

In the afternoon we went over to the bar for Happy Hour.

Wednesday 8th November 2006
We went into MacKay to do some shopping and visit Spotlight and Bunnings. Once home again Pete Mate went for a swim in the pool whilst I put the shopping away. Then it was time for Happy Hour.

Thursday 9th November 2006
We took the laptop up to the Station Teahouse to do our emails. Peter also wanted to take some photos for the web site as it is an interesting story of how the station was moved from Marian. We also sampled some of Michele's excellent coffee.

Friday 10th November 2006
I went for an early morning walk on the beach. On the way back I saw two kangaroos having their photos taken by three people. I stopped a little distance away as I didn't want to spoil their photos. The two kangaroos without warning took off away from them towards me. They stopped, one either side of me. I started to walk on. They waited then bounded up to me again. I walked, they waited and then bounded up to me again. It was so amusing; maybe they thought I had some food. Later in the morning we did a local walk through the Hidden Valley. It was very pleasant and we saw birds, lizards and a snake. The snake was blackish and about a metre long . . . well, maybe not quite that long. Lucky for us it was going in the opposite direction. We had Happy Hour at the bar and ate a very nice dinner there.

Saturday 11th November 2006
We both went for an early morning walk on the beach but didn't see any kangaroos. The reason we were both up and about early is we have some kids next to us and they are very noisy and seem to think the whole camp needs to be up and about at 5.00am. We walked for about an hour and half and the kids were even noisier when we got back.

The Old Fellow checking out quieter accommodation.

Evening time saw us back at the bar drinking and eating. Oh no, those scales will be screaming soon.

Sunday 12th November 2006
The park is full of weekenders, probably from MacKay. We don't mind sharing 'our park' with these people but they should follow our rules:

Keep your children under control.
Do not allow your kids to scream and shout at 5.00am. Or even 6.00am.
Do not light camp fires directly below our caravan as the smokes drifts into the 'van.
Stay off the beach early in the morning as you frighten the kangaroos off.

I think that about covers it. Methinks we are turning into two grumpy old so and so's! Our early morning walk on the beach was like being in Hay Street Mall there were so many people. By the afternoon most people had left but . . . unfortunately, not our neighbours. We took our wine down to the beach and had a peaceful happy hour watching the waves finding their way to shore. Very relaxing.

Monday 13th November 2006
I went for an early morning walk, still one or two people about. Our neighbours are packing up; one of the twins (boys about 4 years old) was screaming and shouting at 6.00am. Once they had left, the park was peaceful and 'roos all came out of their hiding places. We had Happy Hour over at the bar, then Pete Mate went for a walk on the beach whilst I cooked dinner.

Tuesday 14th November 2006
I went for an early morning walk on the beach, it is much quieter now. We went to the Station Teahouse for coffee and to do our emails and update the web site. We had a rushed Happy Hour as we were late leaving the Teahouse.

Wednesday 15th November 2006
It is 'get ready day' today. Cleaning, washing and storing things away. Went for a last look at the beach but didn't walk today. In the evening we had Happy Hour and dinner at the café.

Thursday 16th November 2006
We were on the road by 8.30am which is really good for us. We made good time even though we had two breaks, and the wind was against us for most of the time. We arrived at Emu Park around 2.30pm, and received a warm welcome from Jim, the manager who informed us Happy Hour was everyday at 4.30pm. This is our kind of place. We set up camp and then I walked over to the shops for some supplies. It seems to be a really nice place. At happy Hour we met a few people who were very friendly. Yes I think we are going to like it here.

Friday 17th November 2006
I went for a walk on the beach, it is really nice, similar to Cape Hillsborough. We went for a walk into the 'village' for lunch then explored the place a little. We went to the museum which was excellent. We learnt all about King O'Malley. For those people that don't know him, he was the chap who started the Commonwealth Bank amongst other things. I won't go into detail as I think Pete Mate is doing a write up on the web page. We saw the Singing Ship, a sculpture that really does sound like it is singing when the winds blows through it. We walked over to another beach and then found the rest of the shops in the village, plus the pub. Funny that how we always manage to find the pub. Anyway, after a drink we made our way home for Happy Hour.

Saturday 18th November 2006
Pete Mate was up and out early this morning washing Billy. Whilst he did that I did some washing and my chores. We then left for a day of exploration in and around Yeppoon. First stop was the information centre. The man in there was eighty years young and boy, could he talk. We left there with heaps of information and headed for Byfield National Park. We saw some lovely scenery and - wait for this folks, - Pete Mate took me to a pottery without being asked or begged. Amazing. Anyway we had a good look around and I took Pete Mate's photo:

A new line in garden furniture. Order NOW for Christmas.

We then went further into the park to a place called Hideaway which was supposed to serve coffees and light lunches. We didn't know that after a while we left the bitumen for a dusty, dirt road and Billy had just been washed. Oh dear, someone was not happy. Once there we found the place to be very yuppyish and only served full dinner type meals. So back down the dirt track we went to the General Store for a sandwich, which was very nice even though the woman that served us was grumpy. We then went into Yeppoon to do some grocery shopping before heading home for Happy Hour.

Sunday 19th November 2006
We had a long walk along the beach before breakfast. We got to the end of the beach and found a track leading to the road. As my ankle was hurting we decided to walk back along the road, but the road ended and we had to find our way back onto the beach. We walked back through the park as the monthly markets were in full swing. I had forgotten about the markets but Pete Mate reminded me . . . he is becoming a worry. We enjoyed a very late breakfast and I spent the rest of the day knitting and Pete Mate worked on the web page. We gave Happy Hour a miss tonight as we decided to have an alcohol free night. I know, shocking isn't it? The wine industry is already feeling the effect!

Monday 20th November 2006
We went for the day to Rockhampton which has many old buildings but sadly many are much neglected. First we collected the mail then had a mediocre coffee. We decided to visit the information centre where there is a spire marking the Tropic of Capricorn but as Pete Mate has already covered this I won't go into detail. From there we went to the Archer Street Tram and Steam Museum which we found to be excellent. As Pete Mate has already mentioned, the statues on the platform were very good. My favourites were . . .

. . . the couple saying goodbye as the husband went off to war,
and the piano player in the tearooms.

We were given complimentary tea and biscuits whilst watching a video of railways in Australia. Before leaving the museum I paid a visit to the ladies room and upon walking through the door I was greeted with this . . .

Luckily I didn't have to use it as it was just for show. When we left the museum we headed off to a look-out on top of Mount Archer. It was late in the day and the air was a bit murky so that wasn't a huge success. There are a lot of references to the Archers around this area - they were a very old pioneering family. Two brothers, Tom and Charles Archer, opened up this region in April 1853 and established the cattle industry here. In fact, Rockhampton is known as the hub of the Central Queensland cattle industry. The Archers built a home called Gracemere (after Tom's wife, Grace) and their descendants still live there today. They boast they have the largest saleyards in the Southern Hemisphere. After the lookout we headed home for Happy Hour.

Tuesday 21st November 2006
Lay day today. I wanted to catch up with a few things and Pete Mate wanted to do the web page. Later in the afternoon we went to the shops and to the coffee shop for afternoon tea. Very nice too, then home again for Happy Hour. Our host, Jim, kindly gave us a very nice bottle of wine.

Wednesday 22nd November 2006
Today we went to the crocodile farm as recommended by Mick from the Coffee Spot, (coffee shop at Emu Park). Pete Mate has covered the farm extensively so I won't go into detail here. We did enjoy it very much and it was well worth a visit. We thought we had seen enough of crocs on our travels but this was very educational as it is a working farm first, and a tourist attraction second. The lunch of crocodile kebabs was okay but not the tastiest thing I have tried. One particular piece of information our guide told us was that the ancient Egyptians used to have crocodiles as pets. The more crocs they had the wealthier they were, so they used to take them for walks to display their wealth. Why didn't they get eaten? I just found it very amusing that these people would keep crocs as pets; did they train them to fetch their slippers?

Our version of an ancient Egyptian with his pet croc.

Thursday 23rd November 2006
Lay day. We walked into the village in the afternoon and had afternoon tea at the coffee shop. Then it was home again for Happy Hour.

Friday 24th November 2006
We were out early this morning as we had a long drive over to Mount Morgan for a tour. We arrived at the rendez-vous point, the old station now a railway museum, in plenty of time. We were a small group of six, four Swiss and us. The tour started with a tour of the town which I found fascinating and then we went onto the mine site. The mine hasn't operated for some time but was still very interesting. Overall, the tour was excellent but the young tour guide gave us so much information that when the tour had finished our heads were reeling. After walking around the old station and watching a short video of the railway we headed into town for lunch. After lunch we went to the town's main museum which was okay, but nothing exceptional. Walking around the town the story behind one of the statues caught my attention.

The Cutter's Runner

The "Cutter's Runner" was a young lad who took a billy of beer to the miners. That part of the story is established as fact but the reason behind the Cutter's Runner varies.

  1. To stop the miners leaving the mine site. They would drink their beer and then continue working after having had their 'cut'.
  2. The wives used to send their sons up to the mine at the end of the shift with a full billy of beer so the miner would then go home instead of to the pub.

We stopped for a coffee on the way back to the car then headed home for Happy Hour.

Saturday 25th November 2006
Lay day. Walked into the village without Pete Mate. Happy Hour was a joke-telling session which proved to be a hilarious couple of hours.

Sunday 26th November 2006
Today we were out and about early. The morning was spent at the Heritage Village just outside Rockhampton. There were market stalls, entertainment, people dressed in period costume, vintage cars and a Cobb & Co stage coach. Plus you could visit any of the many buildings which housed relics from days gone by. Pete Mate was not impressed by the markets stalls so we wandered into the church and school room where a pretend class was in session.

"Please, Miss, may I go to the toilet?"
"Yes, Johnny, but leave your cigarettes on my desk."

On leaving there, Pete Mate spied some machinery operating so he headed off to investigate and I wandered around the stalls. I soon discovered the 'Doll House' where dolls from different time periods were on display. It was quite an enjoyable morning but oh so hot. I found a decent coffee place so went to collect Pete Mate from the machinery shed. We sat in the shade and drank our coffee before leaving to find the Capricorn Caves. First we found the Caves pub where we ordered lunch and a cool drink. I promptly knocked my diet coke all over the table and it only missed Pete Mate because he moved like lightening to escape getting wet. I knew I should have had wine; it is not as easy to knock over. After lunch we headed down the road to the caves where we were just in time to join a tour. The tour was really interesting and the caves fascinating. The temperature underground was lovely and cool. With the tour finished we headed back to the pub for that glass of wine then on home. Happy Hour was extended to include a barbecue. One of the couples staying here had won a meat tray in a raffle so cooked it all up. I made some salads and we took some beer so a good time was had by all.

Monday 27th November 2006
Lay day. We had a walk into the village and then found ourselves yet again inside a pub. We met an English couple who were also staying at the caravan park and seemed to know all about us. Mmmmmm, who's been talking. Once back home we went to Happy Hour for a while.

Tuesday 28th November 2006
Big day out in 'Rocky'. First we called in at our favourite coffee shop for a coffee we then went to have a look at Zilzie which is the main housing area adjacent to Emu Park. Zilzie is an anagram of Lizzie and Lizzie was a pioneer woman . . . I think. Once we left there we headed for the Fitzroy River in Rockhampton to do the walk along the river bank, as had been recommended to us. We also looked at the many old buildings along Quay Street which were in better condition than the ones we had seen previously. The old Customs building is absolutely beautiful.
The Botanical Gardens had been recommended as worth a visit so that was our next port of call. We parked the car and then found ourselves in the zoo; this was interesting but was in need of a revamp. The birds in the aviary and in the wild were beautiful, so many different kinds. We then found ourselves following a path along Murray's Lagoon where we spied many water birds. It was hot and we started to look for shade. Luckily we saw a path that led through dense foliage which gave us some relief from the scorching sun. We were now in the Botanical Gardens. They were lovely, so many pretty plants and flowers. It was then time for a late lunch so we wandered over to the kiosk where Peter ordered an ice coffee. The birds were very tame and he had a couple of lorikeets licking the cream from his fingers. Amazing. After lunch we wandered through the Japanese gardens which were lovely and we saw more birds which Peter was trying to photograph. All too soon it was time to leave and go and do the shopping. Only one problem . . . where was the car? We had meandered through the zoo, along the lagoon and then the gardens, not paying any attention to the way back. I decided we should go a certain way and Pete Mate in his wisdom agreed to follow. Foolish Man!! Anyway we eventually came to a road where the main office was so we decided we would ask our way back to the Aviary as we knew where the car was from there. So there we are toddling off to the office when Pete Mate spied Billy sitting there waiting patiently for our return. So I did know where I was going, it was just that I wasn't aware that I knew where I was going. Eat your heart out Donald Rumsfeld! It was then a mad dash to the shops and to fill up with diesel before heading home for Happy Hour.

Wednesday 29th November 2006
I went off to the hairdressers at 9.00am after arranging with Pete Mate to meet me around 10.00am at the coffee shop. A very nice young girl cut my hair and I arrived at the Coffee Spot in plenty of time. We enjoyed really nice ice coffees and then walked home. The rest of the day was spent on the computer, knitting and reading. Happy Hour saw us sitting in our usual places in the barbecue area.

Thursday 30th November 2006
Lay day today, we didn't even go for a walk. We did some paperwork we had been putting off, did some reading and the web page. Happy Hour as usual.

Go on to December 2006 or return to Index