After leaving Brisbane we ventured to Toowoomba where we stayed a night with a new friend of Cams, Griffo from the Islands, yes another new friend. I should be keeping a tally as we owe all these lovely people accommodation and a feed. Sprout again made himself at home on the couch and the girls were treated like royalty and were very spoilt. Maree loved them so much she cried as we were driving out the following day.
Next stop was Coloundara where we called into some new friends we made while in Japan, Mick and Justine and their daughters, where we got spoiled and treated like royalty at their beautiful place.
Noosa was the next destination, but only for the night, we were dropping off our van and packing the car to head to Fraser Island for 5 nights, mind you Marcee wasn’t too keen after hearing all the talk about Dingoes that night and saying before bed “I don’t want to go to Dingo island!”🤣
It was a bit of a change from a house, to a van, to a tent and with only the essentials, a test for when we head north to Cape York.
We got up at the crack of dawn and caught the first of our ferry rides at Tewantin which took us to Double Island Point then to Rainbow Beach. A bit of beach driving then to Inskip Point to the next ferry to cross over to Fraser Island.
After driving up the beach a few Kms we pulled over and waved down another couple who were heading in the same direction and decided to tag along (safety in numbers of course), low and behold she was from Tassie and of course there was someone we knew that she knew.
We decided to camp in the fenced off areas as we were in tents and both girls were freaking out about the Dingoes, last time Cam and I were here we had our pop top troopy so we had no issues, but better to be safe.
A bit of beach fishing and Ilueka caught the first and second fish and the rest of us went empty handed, but we had one very excited young lady with bragging rights.
No sight of a Dingo yet but we saw lots of other wildlife, a sea snake, a shark a porpoise, goanna, possum and some whales, very exciting.
Finally on our way up to Sandy Cape we saw a lone Dingo. The girls were very excited. When we got to the tip and turned around we found a spot to look for sand worms, waving dead meat over the sand waiting for them to pop their heads up, the only thing that popped there heads out was an inquisitive dingo who sort of cornered Cam, the girls and our travel buddies. They made a dash back to the car and decided we didn’t need sand worms that desperately.
With only a couple of days left we headed over to the other side of Fraser, Wathumba, a beautiful inlet and beach where we went for a swim, a little fresh to start off with but it soon warmed up and was quite refreshing.
Next we headed to Lake Mackenzie, another beautiful spot, the water was like a tropical oasis but certainly not as warm, Cam was the only one to go for a swim here, brrrr.
There was so much to see and if we had more time we would’ve but our fury friends time was up in the kennels (prison🤣) and we had to collect him. We did feel for sure that we’d get a phone call to come and collect him but apparently he was “well behaved??”. He does surprise us sometimes.
We headed back to Maizie and Tan’s place at Eumundi for a couple of nights, having a few drinks around the fire pot, infact believe it or not the guys wanted to go to bed before us girls, strange I know, especially in my house 🤔.
After a good look around Noosa and Eumundi, we ventured to Hervey Bay to catch up with an old friend, Mince. We had a few drinks and the following day we were invited to his boat and home for a cuppa. A beaut boat, the girls were saying maybe we could sell the van and travel in a boat………😳
We packed up our trusty home and headed to Paronella Park an amazing place that I would highly recommend to visit if you’re able to. The story behind it is one of hard work, sadness and happiness. The couple that run it now have done it justice and we left there in awe of it and touched by its history.
Another place that Cam and myself visited years ago was Etty Bay. A very small place. The van park was on the beach, but due to our little friend Sprout we could not stay there because of the Cassowary’s, which we were lucky enough to see when we drove in. An unusual bird, similar to an emu in a way.
Next stop was Airlie beach, another beautiful place, the girls loved the bird feeding at the park where we stayed. We only had a few days here but wished for more.
Cairns was our next big stop, ready for a visit from some familiar faces.
Johnny and Carol, great friends from Tas arrived and we treated ourselves to an Air BNB as it was actually cheaper for all of us to stay there than a van park, also less likely to get kicked out for noise levels 😬.
We had a look around the out skirts, up to Karunda to the markets and the butterfly sanctuary.
Booking a reef trip can always be a tough call but rain, hail or shine we were going. There was no hail and the sun popped out a couple of times, however our attitude was well we’re gunna get wet anyway, so off we went in 1-2 metre swell, all of us traveling ok to begin with, but then one by one we had people go down. Now I won’t name names (ahem Johnny), but the only ones who weren’t affected were Cam, Mazie and Ilueka, I kinda figured Ilueka was ok because she kept herself occupied by her constant conversation, omg I don’t think I’ve heard her talk so much. I did find myself go out for fresh air but that was because it was getting stuffy and well I wanted to check the view but not quite over the side 😬.
The snorkeling was great fun and we saw a lots of different species of fish. It was a great experience for the girls, something they hadn’t done a lot of. The smiles on their faces was worth the rain and rough waters.
It was time to say goodbye to our beautiful friends and Cairns as we were off to Mareeba for a stint. Cam was off to the Torres Strait Islands again for a 2 weeks Which soon became 4 weeks 😩.
Cam was very stoked with this trip to the Torres straight Islands, as he was getting sent to Murray island this time in the eastern cluster and what a beautiful place it is….. lucky him!☹️
He got to catch crays and sharks straight off the beach.
We waved goodbye to him and our life in the van began.
Andy and Keely, who’s place we camped at, were awesome. We felt welcomed, very safe and comfortable. Mareeba had everything we needed and for my birthday outing the girls and I took ourselves to the local rodeo as we had never been before.
We arrived in time for the comedy part of the show which was great and entertaining but when that finished we went for a walk around and just for old time sake, had a ride on the Gee Whizzer. We got an extended, faster ride as there was no one in the line but from all the laughing and screaming we possibly created some interest as there was a line up when we got off.
Now no show is complete without a dagwood dog and the taste is as I remember them, great at first but that greasy feeling afterwards but you only turn 44 once.
We went back to watch the bull and horse riding but after the girls were making comments about the cruelty of the steer wrestling I felt it was time to leave before we got thrown out for being animal activists.
School started back and was very testing with internet dropping out every now and then, but we’re getting by with very patient teachers, students and a mother who has more grey hairs and has started drinking more coffee (and wine) just to get through, I’ve spent a few moments in the only private room in the van, the en-suite, door closed, head in hands think what the f$&k am I doing!!😩
But on the upside, not too long and Cam will be home and we’ll be making our way to Cape York, a part of our country that not many can say they’ve been to and all the experiences along the way and it’s all worth it. I’ll just make sure I have a bottle of something on hand for those bad times, thank god for a mum that listens to my whinging.
Well it’s goodbye for now. I can’t wait to see what lays ahead.