Brisbane – April 2016

Well we thought we had better do another blog as the photos are mounting up!

While we were staying at the Show Grounds in Maryborough we decided to do a bit of a Tiki Tour in the Suzuki.  We did a loop road, first stop Toogoom, for a late Breakfast at Goody’s, then called in a saw friends Kerry & Joe who have a home there. The seaside village of Toogoom is just 15 minutes drive from Hervey Bay.   It is a popular spot for birdwatchers due to the variety of feathered creatures that nest and breed in the area, plus windsurfing or kayaking. Apparently if you want to try your luck at fishing and crabbing, head to Beelbi Creek.

Toogoom 3Toogoom Breakfast

Off to Hervey Bay, which is widely known as a site for observing humpback whales. Whale-watching boats operate during the July–November migration season. It’s also a hub for tours to nearby Fraser Island, which features beaches and a rainforest habitat for dingoes and other wildlife. A waterfront esplanade links the city’s marina with beaches offering calm waters for swimming.

Fraser Island MapHervey bay 2

By the way the Crocodile isn’t real!

Hervey bay marinaHervey Bay not real

River HeadsWe then headed up to River Heads. The town is built on a narrow peninsula surrounded by the Great Sandy Strait, the mouth of the Mary River and the mouth of the Susan River to the west. Barges and ferry services run daily from River Heads to World Heritage-listed Fraser Island. Unfortunately we just missed getting a photo of the Ferry.


Back to the Maryborough Show grounds for the night then as we had never been up around the Bundaberg area we decided to head back North a bit.  Drove through Bundaberg and on to Bargara Beach which is 13 kilometres east.  It is considered to be a satellite town of Bundaberg, with only sugar cane fields separating the two centres.

Bargara 2Bargara 3

It was so lovely there we have heaps of photos!  Tui couldn’t resist the urge for a swim!  The water was beautifully warm & Jude was really tempted to walk back to Tiki Tourer and put on her Bathers!!

Tui swimming BargaraBargara 5

The plan was to go 20kms out of Bundaberg to free camp at Avondale Homestead Tavern, however as we were crossing the bridge Tui spotted caravans to the right.  It didn’t look like your average Caravan Park, and looked more like a Free Camp, right on the River.  Riverdale Caravan Park was a lovely place to stay with affordable rates.  The Managers are awesome people and made us feel so welcome we did consider staying on a permanent basis with Tui looking for work. However after a few days we decided Tui still needed more of a break.

BundabergBundaberg our spot

It was here that our new awning went out for the first time! Love it!!  The 2nd day we decided to drive up to Agnes Water and 1770. Having a look at Avondale on the way up. Not a lot there except a few houses and of course the tavern!

Avondale 2Avondale Homestead Tavern

Approximately 70kms later we arrived at Agnes Water, which was reportedly named after a coastal schooner, the Agnes, lost at sea in 1873.  As well as the surf beach, Agnes Water is intersected by rocky headlands and has a stream behind the coastline. It has a commercial centre with numerous shops, professional offices, a medical centre, and two apartment blocks.

Agnes Water SignAgnes Water Surfies

Being school holidays it was really busy and it was a challenge to find parking.  Just as well we were in the Suzuki!! The Surfers walking out to the break looked like little ants!  We drove down to Chinaman’s Beach, a steep grade!

Chinaman's BeachChinaman's Beach 2

Situated about five kilometres north of Agnes Water, its name commemorating Captain James Cook’s first Queensland landfall in May 1770, is the town of 1770.  A tiny town surrounded on three sides by the Coral Sea and Bustard Bay, a huge part of Australian history and an explanation for its strange name.  Originally known as Round Hill, after the creek it sits on, the name was changed in 1970 to commemorate the bicentennial of Cook’s visit and has become a historic landmark on the Australian map.

1770 #2Paddle Boarders 1770

We had a late lunch at “The Tree”.  Very nice. With a lovely view!

Lunch venue 1770Lunch view 1770

Stopped at a lookout before heading back to Bundaberg.

Lookout 1770 #2Lookout 1770

The views from our site in Bundaberg were lovely.  At night lights shine along the banks of the Burnett River and by day it is quite interesting seeing the activity on the river.

Bundaberg view across riverBurnett River from Park

The area lays claim to the internationally renowned Southern Great Barrier Reef, Mon Repos Turtle Rookery, Bundaberg Rum, and the famous aviator Bert Hinkler.  It is in the heart of a rich sugar and horticultural belt supported by a growing manufacturing sector. In fact, Bundaberg produces one fifth of Queensland’s sugar crop and the city is surrounded by a green sea of rich sugar cane and many farms growing Australia’s finest small crops. Even the main street of Bundaberg is pleasant.

Bundaberg Main St 2Bundaberg Main St

Off we headed in a southerly direction again, driving through Childers, a pretty place, 52kms south west of Bundaberg, through Gympie and out to a little place named Ponamo, where we camped at the Show Grounds. Only 140 kilometres north of Brisbane and approximately 30 minutes driving time to Noosa Heads on the Sunshine Coast. Beaut place to base yourself whilst exploring the Sunshine Coast.

Ponamo showgrounds 2Ponamo showgrounds

First port of call the next day was a Tewantin Forest Reserve.  Only a 500m walk to the lookout but all up hill.  Jude soon realised how unfit she was. It offers great 360 degree views to the popular Noosa coast and lakes.

Tewantin Lookout 2Tewantin Lookout 3

Jude walking Tewantin trackHorse made of wood

Driving back down the access road we saw this amazing horse made from wood.  Wouldn’t cost anything to feed!!  The Noosa River forms one boundary of the town Noosa, the headlands of the Noosa National Park another. Tewantin and Noosa Junction create a continuous urban area at the northern end of the Sunshine Coast.  The beach at Noosa Heads has remained a popular tourist attraction since the 1890s. The Shire’s tourism exponentially grew shortly after the Second World war.

House Boats for HireHeading to Noosa

Canals NoosaNoosa Coast

Noosa BarNoosa Beach 2

Sunshine Coast is a metropolitan area and the third most populated area in Queensland. Its urban area spans approximately 60 km of coastline and hinterland from Tewantin to Pelican Waters. The estimated urban population of Sunshine Coast as at June 2014 was 297,380, making it the 9th most populous in the country. It was quite difficult to distinguish one place from another and to remember which photo goes with which Beach as they appear to meld into each other.  We opologise if any of the captions are a little off but they are in order of when the photos were taken.

Driving along coastCoolum Beach Sign

Coolum BeachHigh Risers

Alexandria Headland BeachMaroochydore marina

Looking North 2Surveying the Scene

ColoundraContainer ship

A lay day next day and time to get the washing machine out.  Thank goodness that didn’t get broken when it fell out of the cupboard when we had the Trailer incident! Next stop Pine Rivers Show Grounds in Lawnton, a Northern Suburb of Brisbane. We picked this spot as it was the closest to both Dianne & Ray’s home (Jude’s ex sister in law) and also Tui’s brother, Haut & Kerry’s place. We had been trying to get down to see both of them for some time also Tui wanted to get the springs checked out on the trailer now that we are carrying extra weight.  The Caretakers here are awesome!  On a Saturday they have markets so we couldn’t get in till 3pm, parked up, had another late lunch then onto our spot. The very next day Dianne paid us a visit and took Jude out for lunch.  So cool catching up, it had been a few years.

Off for a drive to Bribie Island the next day which is the smallest and most northerly of three major sand islands forming the coastline sheltering the northern part of Moreton Bay. The others are Morton Island and North Stradbroke Island. It is 34 kilometres long, and 8 kilometres at its widest and is linked to the mainland by the bridge below. A lot of places around this Brisbane area seem to really focus on Canal living and it reminds us a lot of the Gold Coast. Calm waters one side and a slight swell on the other!

Canals Bribie IslandBridge To Bribie Island

Woorim Bribie Island

Further south we went into Deception Bay in the Moreton Bay Region and explored the Redcliffe area down to Woody Point.  It was cool watching the Skydivers land exactly where their markers were.

Moreton BayMoreton Bay Sky Divers

Lunch at RedcliffeRedcliffe

Tui had seen an ad on the Internet “Blocks for sale with the use of an Air Strip” at Gatton, near Toowooba.  So next day off we set in Suzuki to have a look.  Set the GPS to avoid Toll Roads so did some interesting Zig Zagging through Brisbane.

Brisbane avoiding toll roadsBrisbane driving through

On the other side we spotted a sign Wivenhoe Dam so decided to have a look.  Stopped at the information centre at Ferndale and spied the sign below.  Better taste those pies!

Pies Just ok

Well they were quite nice but we didn’t think that they were the Best Pies in Australia! Took them out to Wivenhoe Dam for a picnic lunch!




Wivenhoe Dam signWivenhoe Dam 2

Wivenhoe Dam is South East Queensland’s largest water storage and is the main supply of water for Brisbane and the greater Ipswich area. It is also a very popular recreation destination. It has a total storage capacity of 3.132 million megalitres.  At full supply level, it will hold 1.165 million megalitres, or about 2,000 times the daily water consumption of Brisbane. There are 2 camp sites on the Lake, one with power and one with only water.  Lumley Hill Camp 1-2 People $18.00/Night, Extra people $7/night each, Children 1-4 yrs free
Maximum of 10 People per site (6 Adults)
POWERED SITES: 61-63, 71-73, 84-87, Extra $7/Night/Site for Power
Captain Logan Camp same fees no power fee.

Wivenhoe Dam campWivenhoe Dam camp 2

Each camp site had it’s own fire pit and wood can be bought from the office Friday – Sunday. Driving through the Lockyer Valley we came to Gatton which is the largest town and business centre of the Lockyer Valley.  The area is primarily agricultural, with vegetables making up the majority of crops.

Lockyer ValleyGratton

After visiting a local Real Estate office we headed to the outskirts of town to look at the “Airpark”  The houses on the Estate are built around an Air Strip. The block we looked at for sale was over 1,700sq mtrs and you build your house and hanger.  We understand that there are covenants and regulations on what you can build with corporate fees to pay to use the strip.  Bit over our price range we thought as the houses looked pretty flash but a great concept.

Tui on the stripLot for sale airpark

The following evening we set off to have a Barbie at Dianne & Rays.  A lovely 20min drive from where we are camped.  Beaut spot, great night and awesome hosts.  Thanks Guys.

Drive to Dianne'sDianne's

Fantastic views all the way to Moreton Bay on a clear day.

Dianne's views 2Dianne's views

Barbie nightDianne & Ray

Off to Tui’s brother’s the next afternoon.  Once again avoiding toll roads and we left a little late striking traffic congestion.  A three car nose to tail right beside us!  We decided to stay the night so Tui could have a few beers.

Driving to Haut'sStory Bridge

Great excitement that night as Saelem, Kerry & Hauts 14yr old, qualified to compete in the open raw Powerlifting nationals.  A huge achievement!  Well done!

Saelem Weight Lifting CompQualifying

Thanks for the awesome tea Kerry! So good to catch up with you guys!!

KerryTui & Haut

A bit slack with the photos, should have taken a full family one! It was a pity Kerry & Daytona had to go to work the next morning and Saelem off to school, however we went out for breakfast with Haut, Tui having his favourite Eggs Benedict, and chatted till lunchtime. On the trip back we decided it was easier to pay tolls!!

Tui is a bit concerned about our weight on the trailer so is trying to find a Public Weigh Bridge to check it out.  No idea how much longer we will be here so you will just have to wait until the next blog!! Phew it has been a long one this time!

Until then “Laugh more. live longer!”






1 thought on “Brisbane – April 2016”

  1. Hi Judy and Tui,
    It’s so lovely to read your latest blog!
    We seem to be a bit out of touch as we hadn’t realised you were on the move and off exploring!!! Good on ya.
    Looks like you are both well and having lots of fun. Xxxxxx

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