Day 25 & 26 6/6 – 7/6 St George

Spent yesterday roaming around St George. Nice spot. How about the old Greek guy that carves the Emu Egg lights. Great story about him coming to Australia after WW2 & making a success for him & his family. He can spend over 100 hours per egg.

We then went to Riversands winery for a tasting & ended up having a ploughman’s lunch. Excellent chardonnay & as always Ulrika purchases a bottle of Muscat. It is a little chilly in the evenings!2017 06 Jun_0564

Went for a drive to Beardmore Dam but not much there. Interesting that the floods of 2012 were the highest recorded level & that the whole town was evacuated for a week.

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Beardmore Dam on the Balonne River

Set off for Moree this morning & have spent a lazy day looking around the town.

Ulrika has added a Wedge Tailed Eagle & Apostle Bird to her list of sightings.

Off to Tamworth tomorrow to spend a few days & have our first game of golf for a while.

Day 20 to 24 2/6 – 5/6 Clermont/Carnavon Gorge

Drove to Clermont today & we stayed at Clermont Caravan Park. Walked around town looking for somewhere to have dinner. Nope, only place open on a Friday night were the pubs. Decided to do Pub Crawl (as you do). Visited all 4 pubs & caught up with locals. Not much of interest in town except for a horse & cart.

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Horse & cart at Clermont

Drove the next day to Carnarvon Gorge & stayed at couple of nights at Takarakka Bush Resort. Its been 21 years since we were here last with Steve Elliot & family. If your watching Steve here’s some photos from then.

Got some decent pics of the gorge. Got a bit chilly at night but the caravan is not bad. Ulrika has decided to take up Bird Watching as a pastime as we travel around. She has an app that helps her identify birds.

Fortunately they had a happy hour which we made the most of.

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Happy hour at Takarakka

Left Carnarvon Gorge this morning heading to St George. Ulrika got most excited just the other side of Roma when she saw Emus & Baby Emus.

Stopped at Surat for lunch. Interesting place. The last horse drawn Cobb & Co stagecoach arrived here in 1924.

Lots of cattle on the road after we left Surat

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Cattle on road just south of Surat

Arrived at St George this arvo & just had dinner with my lovely at the Cobb & Co Hotel for my birthday.

Here for the day tomorrow & then off to Moree.

Day 10 to 19 23/5 – 1/6 Whitsundays

Well we are finally back on dry land after spending the last 10 days on the water. The weather was great overall blowing consistant 10-15 knots every day from the South East. Great for sailing. Gary & Grant enjoyed the challange of learning to sail. Gary especially likes tacking! Got a bit windy (25-30 knots) last night & today as the wind turned South. Good thing we were coming in! Below is where we went (blue lines).

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Where we went is the blue line

So I can remember this is where we moored each night:-

1st night                     Abel Point Marina

2nd night                   Nara Inlet

3rd night                    Stonehaven via Caves Cove

4th night                    Tongue Bay via Blue Pearl Bay vis Manta Ray via Border Island

5th night                    Chalkies via Whitehaven Beach

6th night                    Hamilton Island Marins via Solway Passage via Fitzalan Passage

7th night                    Stonehaven via Caves Cove (yes we like it there)

8th night                     Sawmill via Butterfly Bay via Maze Bay

9th night                     South Molle

10th night                   South Molle via Shute Harbour many times (Garys tacking skills                                               need improvement)

 

One of the consistents was the mess left from Cyclone Debbie. Just a few examples below.

Uli had a good time with the highlight being feeding the turtle

We did not do much snorkling as the underwater visibility was still not good. We did do plenty of eating & drinking & laughing.

 

Found a couple of different ways to travel.

Went to some great spots.

We may not be back next year but when we do we “need a bigger boat”. Luckily we found one that meets our needs. Southern Cloud – 130 foot long, 6 state rooms & pretty reasonable at $100k/week.2017 01 Jun_0030

Thanks Dorothy, Gary, Nancy & Grant for a great start to our lap. The only thing that spoilt it was Garys mood after QLD lost last night.

Tomorrow off to Clermont on the way to Carnarvon Gorge.

 

 

 

 

 

Day 6 to 9 17/5 – 20/5 Airlie Beach

Been busy the last few days & no internet connection. Saturday we left Mackay & drove up to Airlie Beach. Checked into Island Gateway Holiday park for the night. Lots of Curlews around park. Met up with the Waine’s for arvo drinks & dinner.

Sunday we dropped Caravan off to storage & picked up groceries. Spent the arvo loading our boat “Rinaldo”. Spent night on board eating seafood & drinking.

Monday we headed out & raised the sails. Gibbo is a convert to sailing. Great boat for partying. Headed to Nara Inlet for the night. Weather is a bit rainy but warm.

Today we sailed downwind to Stonehaven. Uli’s been really good to get over first night hangover.

Will not be posting much in the next few days as we will have no technology.

The crew
Some of our supplies
Some of the many Curlews
Our home for the next 10 days
An early visitor
Rinaldo in Nara Inlet

Day 4 & 5 15/5 – 16/5 Mackay

The last few days have been a bit of a wash out with over 200mm of rain falling. Good weather for ducks.

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Black & White duck that patrols the caravan park

Not a bad spot on water at Bucasia. Sand flies are annoying at certain times. Didn’t see much of beach due to rain.

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Bucasia Beach

Picked up the grog from Uncle Dan’s for the boat trip. Took Uli shopping & then caught up with the Mallory’s at the bowling club for a few beers. Other than that been a bit boring in the rain.

Nice sunset in amongst the cloud. Head up to Airlie Beach tomorrow to prepare for 10 days of sailing.

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Sunset at Bucasia Beach

Day 2 & 3 13/5 – 15/5 Bundaberg

We left Maryborough on Tuesday & headed towards Yeppoon. Couldnt help ourselves & had to stop at Bundaberg to pay homage to the famous Bear. Left with wallet a lot lighter.

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The famous Bundy Bear

Stayed at Kinka Beach (16k) south of Yeppoon. Great spot. Ulli enjoyed a walk on the beach before breakfast.

Were supposed to stay 2 nights but because of the weather forecast we took off on Wednesday so we did not have to drive to Mackay in the rain. Went for a drive via Capricorn Resort (the old Iwasaki resort) & was disappointed to see that they have closed the old resort course. The place was empty. Rockhampton to Mackay drive is boring.

Staying at Bucasia Beach (10k north of Mackay). Haven’t been to Mackay for 15 years & boy has it grown up. Set up caravan & went to dinner at Eimeo Pub. Great spot on the hill overlooking ocean. Food excellent.

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Dinner at Eimeo Hotel

The forecast rain started aroung 10pm last night & it is still pouring down.

What to do, what to do?

First Day Out 12/5/17 Maryborough

Set off this morning for the first leg to Maryborough. Thanks to Laurie (Mad Dog) Mahaffey for allowing us to park the caravan at his place for the last few months.

Caravan & truck worked well together. Now parked at free site next to Airport & enjoying a beer. First time without 240volt & water. All good

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Uli has decided to collect Ball Markers on the trip & store them on the fridge door. First one collected!
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This was my first caravan trip with Dad, Mum, Glen & Alison a long time ago
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Uli all prepared for the journey
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Getting the bar fridge close to the dining room is important

First Trip

Well we are off on the 15th May for a shakedown trip. A week to get to Airlie Beach then 10 days around the Whitsundays on catamaran with our friends the Gibsons & the Waines.

Then we head to Newcastle to see our Mums for a week via Carnarvon Gorge & Tamworth.

On the way back we stop at Sawtell for a week to play in the Bonville Mixed Pairs Invitational. We are defending champions so we just had to fit this in.

Back by end of June, we are Sans dog on this trip as we have organised house sitters.

Plan is to be on the road permanently by end of July. First destination – Darwin

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Our Big Lap

This is the post excerpt.

The main reason we started this blog was so we could keep a record of our trip. It may also be useful to our family & friends who can look at it at whenever they want to rather than be inundated by Facebook posts.

Not sure when we are heading off yet, a couple of issues need to be finalised. Hopefully we can get away in June/July.

Will keep you posted