Sunday, September 22, 2013


It's been a very long day and we are exhausted.  We had an early start this morning.... Once again we slept in the Caravan in our front yard....

Our set up at home last night...
 We had everything packed and the van hitched yesterday, so that we could spend a little time saying goodbye to our house guests and still manage to get away early...
All hitched ready to go
Sharon and I both went to the Kern Arcade markets, before we left.... I wanted some fruit and vegetables to bring.  I love the fact that the fruit and vegetables I get there are mainly organic and at least have some decent flavour to the,.

By the time I got back, Steve had the car and van out in the street ready to go...
Ready to take off...
We had a pretty slow run through town and by the time we got out the other side it was after 9.30am.  I never realized how long and boring the trip between Rocky and Mackay is.  There is really nothing in between, and the country is very dry and desolate at the moment.  It took us two hours to get to Clareview... our first stop for a cuppa. 
Just off the Bruce Highway.
 It is a lovely little spot.... right on the beach.  Always a favourite for us ocean loving travellers.
Steve made us a cuppa, we had a piece of fruit and shared a slice of Apple and Cinnamon bread..
Cuppa time
My share of the bread...
 The thing I love about caravan travelling is the lovely people to get to meet.  it is definately not the same when you stay in Motels or Resorts.  We met a lovely lady here who has just come from the Cape and is heading home.  They were free camping here right along side of the beach....  She gave us a few tips of places to see further north near Babinda, so we are heading there tomorrow...
Steve and I both went for a bit of a walk along this lovely little stretch of beach..
Clareview Beach - our view from the table... the beach we walked along.
 We have both got bad backs at the moment, so the constant sitting is not doing them any good...
Beautiful flowering tree right next to where we had morning tea. 
 The area is quite pretty, and the amenties here were well kept,  toilets were nice and clean, and they have all been freshly painted with lovely murals from the area. 
Some of the Murals.
More of them.
 There were quite a few vans free camping here.  Lovely lovely spot,  beautiful cool ocean breeze, and the view was really lovely.  Made a mental note to remember this spot for when we head off on our next big trip.  Wishing we had six weeks or so to do the top of Queensland,  we could easily have spent a couple of days here. 
Free campers on the ocean front. 
The road runs right alongside the beach...
We really couldn't get over the number of caravans on the road this morning... We would have passed well over a hundred going in the opposite direction between Rocky and Clareview.  By the time we turned off to go into Clareview,  we were the second of five caravans in a row.  A truckies nightmare no doubt.  

 We still had a good hour and a half before we got to Mackay.  Originally we thought we might have stopped and had lunch in Mackay, but since it had taken us almost five hours to get there, we decided to keep going as we weren't feeling that hungry. 

The trip north from Mackay was much prettier,  it was greener,  kind of reminded me of my growing up years around all the cane...  The big difference though is Bundy is really really flat, where the cane fields around here are framed by these lovely mountain ranges.
New Cane being planted
Surrounded by mountains. 
 We kind of bypassed Proserpine, and kept going.  We have seen some big things, on our travels in the past,  the big pineapple, the big apple, the big prawn, the big bike,  well as we came into Bowen, we saw the big Mango. 
Big Mango
Big Mango just out of Bowen.
 Bowen is pretty famous for their beautiful Bowen Mangoes.  They would have to be the nicest mangoes on the market.  We have a couple of Bowen Mango trees at home...
Our first real view of Bowen was this...
Reminds me a bit of Bollywood...
 I had looked up a few caravan parks, before we left home and recorded them in our travel diary, so it was just a matter of programming them into the GPS.  Bowen has two Top Tourist Parks ( we are members and therefore get a discount), one was situated on the harbour front... thought that sounded much nicer.  I am glad I picked this one as the other one was right on the Bruce Highway and would have been terribly noisy. 
Our stop for the night. 
 It is a lovely park, right on the water front, with lovely walks along a beautiful done esplanade.  Lots of kids swings, skate parks, water parks, and long jetties.    The park itself is clean, and we are parked right next to share amenities blocks, just like having your own ensuite...  The owners were really friendly and told us about a few things to do and see in Bowen, even giving us a local map.
We parked the van and set up as quickly as possible so that we could have a quick look around Bowen, as we plan on heading out pretty early in the morning.  

The Park owners recommended that we go for a drive up to the Flagstaff Hill Lookout.  It had panoramic views of all of Bowen, beaches and the islands.  He was not wrong, The views were breathtaking, and it wasn't even a really clear day.... I can just imagine what it would look like if the sun was out and the water was a crystal blue.   Also we didn't really get up there until just on half an hour or so  before sunset. 
Looking back towards the city
Looking out towards the islands...

Steve up at one of the Lookouts. 

The tea rooms and little restaurant. 
 Unfortunately they were just closing when we got there, so we weren't able to check them out...
The views from there were quite breathtaking though. 
View from the Tea Rooms.

Steve checking out the view from the telescopes
Steve checking out the view....
The beach view Steve was seeing...
 In the distance we could see the boulder sitting on the top of the mountain.  It is 40 years since I have been through Bowen, and last time I was here, I stayed in a house at Rose Bay just below that boulder, so our next stop was to go see if we could find the house and that boulder....
it wasn't too hard to find...  This beach is still as pretty as I remembered it. 
Some of the many boulders around Rose Bay

Some of the lovely mosaic signs we have come across in Bowen.  
 One of the things we have noticed about Bowen is, that the town itself is not that attractive, but the beaches are beautiful, and they have gone to a lot of trouble to make their esplanades look nice.  There are lots of lovely mosaics around the esplanades along the beachfronts, and the one above is pretty typical of what we have seen. 
Rose Bay, exactly how I remember it.
 This is still a really lovely little beach.  There is a resort in front of it now.. but it is still left pretty much in its natural state.  We enjoyed another little stroll along the beach. 
Beautiful rock formations frame the beaches

Checking out the rock formations on the beach at Rose Bay.
The house I stayed in 40 years ago was in this street,
 Way back then when I first stayed here, I used to wonder what kept that Boulder in place.  There has been cyclones, and natural disasters, and 40 years later that rock is still sitting up there exactly as I remembered it. 

From Rose Bay, we went for a drive along Queen's Bay and Grays Bay around to Horseshoe Bay.  This is another spot I remember visiting 40 years ago, and it didn't disappoint either.  Unfortunately the photos aren't that good, as it really was past sun set by the time we arrived here...
Horseshoe Bay
The other end of Horseshoe Bay
 The views are really lovely, although I wouldn't say the sand is the best beach we have come across.  The sand is actually quite coarse, and it is not white at all..., still we enjoyed our little visit and our walk. 
Steve resting on a tree trunk at Horseshoe Bay.
By the time we left Horseshoe Bay it was getting quite dark, so we decided to head back to the van.  Both of us had very sore backs from all the sitting we had done all day, so when we got back we decided to go for a nice long walk down the esplanade.  We sure went on a long walk, we ended up walking out along one of the jetties... it was quite dark, and by the time we got back off of it, I was feeling a little relieved, because I really couldn't tell where I was walking.  I was a little afraid I would ahve a fall and trip over and hurt myself...

We got home just after 7,30pm,  time to cook dinner, load photos, finish this update and now I am ready to crawl into bed.

We have another very big day ahead of us again tomorrow.  We hope to leave here in the morning somewhere between 8am and 9am and the plan is to head for Paronella Park.  it is about 280kms north of Townsville, and just before Babinda.   We heard today that if you pay to go in and see it, you throw in a nights accommodation at their caravan park for free. 


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