Day 67 - Wednesday 21st May 2014.

Agnes Water to Tannum Sands, Qld - 106 kms.

We slept well and I awoke and got up about 6:00am, Marg was awake so we watched Ch7 Weekend Sunrise. I showered and had brekky and slowly packed up as we only had 106kms to our next CP. We emptied the shitter and left the park at 9:24am, our first stop was at the Footy oval in Miriam Vale, followed by a 4 minute stop at the roadworks and arriving at Tannum Sands at 10:57am. I was asked if I wanted to pick my site, so I did. I chose site 36, it was a bit wider and near the camp kitchen. We did a quick setup, only power and water. After lunch about 1pm, we drove into Gladstone for a spot of sightseeing. We headed to the refinery and came across a lookout, which we followed and it overlooked the refinery, so I took some photos. From there we drove into the city centre and then to Barney Point, before stopping at Stockland Central, where we did some food shopping and had a coffee at donutking, then drove the 24kms back to camp, arriving at 4pm.

Back at camp, we sat outside and relaxed by watching the kookaburras. They are quite friendly, well one is anyway. Check the photo. I did managed to caress it.

Dinner was pizza slices. They were YUMMA.

Tomorrow, we head to Marlborough for hopefully some fossicking.

Our route from Agnes Water to Tannum Sands - 106 kms.

Our sightseeing route into Gladstone.

Gladstone Harbour.

Queensland Alumina Plant.

Queensland Alumina Plant.

Queensland Alumina Plant.

Queensland Alumina Plant.

One of the main wharves.

Queensland Alumina Plant.

The Queensland Alumina Plant's lookout.

Our part of the park.

Our site 36.

Our site 36.

Our site 36.

Kooka on our power pole.

I did tickled this one.

Kooka and his 2 mates.

Day 68 - Thursday 22nd May 2014.

Tannum Sands to Marlborough, Qld - 242 kms.

We slept well and I awoke about 5:30am and listened to the radio until 6:15am, when I got up and went and showered. The shower was the best yet, clean with heaps of water pressure. When I got back to camp, Marg was watching Ch7 Sunrise, we had brekky, packed up and left camp at 8:30am and headed towards Marlborough.
Our first stop was at Mount Larcom Rest Area (9:20am), our unscheduled stop for roadworks was at 9:52am for 4.5 minutes. There were plenty of roadworks during this section. Our next stop was at Rocky (10:36am) for fuel, finally arriving at Marlborough Motel and Van Park at 12:10pm. There was one other van in the park when we arrived. Currently(5:30pm), there are six vans.

After lunch, we drove into downtown Marlborough, there is a mechanics, pub, convenience store and not much else. We followed a road towards a creek, where we stopped and had a walk along the creek, and stopped and had a dig in the side of the bank, we found some rock but whether it is Marlborough chrysoprase, we won't know until we cut it open, back at our lapidary club.

Back at camp, we sat outside and relaxed. I had a chilled refresher while Marg read.

Dinner was Chicken kiev with potato gems. They were YUMMA.

Tomorrow, we head to Mackay for some sightseeing.

Our route from Tannum Sands to Marlborough - 242 kms.

Day 69 - Friday 23rd May 2014.

Marlborough to Mackay, Qld - 226 kms.

We slept well and I awoke about 6:00am and took some photos of the mist in the fields and rain clouds on the far hills. Marg woke about 6:30am, we had brekky, packed up and left camp at 8:21am and headed towards Mackay.
Our first stop was at Waverley Creek Rest Area (9:09am) the best Rest Area that we have seen, our next stop was completely unscheduled, it was a Police RBT in the middle of nowhere. Next stop was at Carmila (10:05am) and arriving at The Park, Mackay at 11:19am. This park would be at least half full.

After lunch, we drove into downtown Mackay, this place is bigger than Marlborough. We did some sightseeing, we drove to Lamberts lookout on the Northern Beaches, then headed towards CBD, diverting over to the marina. I was walking out along the breakwater, but was told that it is closed to the public. The council is rebuilding the breakwater, as it was severely damaged by a cyclone 3 years ago and while repairing it, about 18months ago another cyclone came and did more damage, consequently, it is still being repaired. There are dumptrucks carrying rock out to the end of the breakwater, so the public isn't allowed on it, until it's finished.
Our last stop was at Caneland Shopping Centre, we were surprised by how large this centre is. We had a coffee at The Coffee Club and then visited Woollies, before heading back to camp.

Back at camp, we sat outside and relaxed. I had a chilled refresher while Marg read.

Dinner was curried sausages on rice. They were YUMMA.

Tomorrow, we head to Airlie Beach for 4 nights.

Our route from Marlborough to Mackay - 226 kms.

Morning mist.

The rain didn't catch us.

The park wasn't full.

Marlborough Van Park - Our site - We were told to take up a couple of sites.

Our Mackay sightseeing route.

Lamberts Lookout looking South.

Lamberts Lookout looking North.

Looking South.

Zooming in.

Zooming in further.

Mackay marina.

Mackay marina.

Day 70 - Saturday 24th May 2014.

Mackay to Airlie Beach, Qld - 150 kms.

We slept well and awoke just after 6:00am and got up dressed and on the internet, then had brekky and packed up and left camp at 8:23am and headed towards Airlie Beach.
Our first stop was at Kolijo(9:15am), our next stop was at a roadworks (9:37am), before driving NON stop the 72kms to our destination, arriving at 10:45am.
We were allocated site 77 at the Big4 Adventure Whitsundays. We parked and setup camp, as we are here for 4 nights, we connected power and water, put the awning half out and erected the Dish and the clothesline.

After lunch, we relaxed, I had a beautifully refreshing shower and shave and we did 2 loads of washing, then Marg had a nanna nap, while I sat outside and updated our website. We are the closest site to the pool and the mini golf, but the noise is manageable. Eaves dropping on the mini golf course, when the grandpas are playing with thier kids and grandkids, I hear a lot of "that's a gimme". It brings back memories.

After Marg woke up, we sat outside in the shade of the palm trees and watched the world go bye.

Dinner was omelettes and bloody yumma.

Tomorrow, we check out Airlie.

Our route from Mackay to Airlie Beach - 150 kms.

Ian came and bathed in the mini golf waterfall.

Ian came and bathed in the mini golf waterfall.

Ian came and bathed in the mini golf waterfall.

The resident ducks came to say "hi".

The resident ducks came to say "hi".

The resident ducks came to say "hi".

Day 71 - Sunday 25th May 2014.

Checking out Airlie Beach.

We slept well and I awoke just after 6:00am and got up and went on the internet, Marg awoke about 7:30am and laid in bed watching Ch7 Weekend Sunrise, meanwhile I walked over to the showers and had 'tubby time'. The showers are beautiful with good mains pressure. We buggered about camp, having a 'major discussion' on which snorkelling tour to do tomorrow. There were 4 to choose from, after hours of debating, adjournments and delays, the vote went 2 love to Big Fury. The dramas and stress that Marg and I have to contend with.
After the decision was made we drove into Airlie Beach about 6kms from our camp. First port of call was at the marina to see if Big Fury was there, as it turned out, today's tour was assembled and were given a briefing, so we didn't interrupt. We continued into downtown Airlie Beach and parked in the carpark on the beachside of the main street. It cost $2 for 2 hours parking, I paid. Marg and I then did a circuit of the main street, there were plenty of 'cool shirts' (aka Hawaiian Shirts) that caught my eye, but I had great self control and didn't buy any. Well, my self control didn't last long, maybe one or two shops, then I saw the shirt in the picture below. It was no contest, I was besotted, captivated, entranced, hooked on, infatuated, I just wanted it, you get the idea. Being colourblind, I love bright, vibrant colours.
We walked the main street, also looking for a coffee shop that faced the water, couldn't find one. No big deal. We continued onto Shute Harbour, it is now a GHOST TOWN, as I was taking photos, I spoke to a local walking his 2 dogs. As it turns out, he lives on one of the moored yachts in the harbour. He has lived on his boat for 8 years with his 2 little dogs. He said that the businesses that used to exist around the Shute Harbour Marina are now 99% dead and when the barges and ferries shift their operations to Airlie Beach in the next few months, then that will be the final nail in the coffin for Shute Harbour.
We left Shute and drove back through Airlie to Centro Whitsundays SC, just down the road from where we are staying. We stopped at DonutKing for lunch, hotdogs and coke and did some food shopping, we also bought an underwater camera at BigW for $58 with a 4Gb memory card. It will be interesting what the photo quality will be. Tomorrow, we will know.

Back at camp, we booked our snorkelling tour for tomorrow $115 each. Guess what, the rest of the arvo was spent relaxing and enjoying our camp.

Dinner was egg and bacon pie. It was bloody yumma.

Tomorrow, we are off on the Big Fury snorkelling adventure.

Our Airlie Beach - Shute Harbour sightseeing route.

The Mighty Ducks of the Mist this morning.

The Mighty Ducks of the Mist this morning.

Seven ducks on a fence.

The Pool and Mini Golf course plus the Mighty Ducks.

Our site 77 in the morning mist.

Amazing how it changes, once the sun shines.

The apartments overlooking Airlie Beach.

Airlie Main street.

Airlie Main street.

How could you NOT buy this shirt. It's so colourful.

Mangrove Jacks restaurant is still here.

A view from the main street.

A view of Shute Harbour from Lookout 1.

A view of Shute Harbour from Lookout 1.

A view of Shute Harbour from Lookout 2.

A view of Shute Harbour from Lookout 2.

Day 72 - Monday 26th May 2014.

Big Fury snorkelling adventure.

We slept well and I awoke just after 6:30am and laid in bed wathcing Ch7 Sunrise, Marg soon woke and watched TV. We didn't have to leave until 9:50am, so we had plenty of time to waste before departure. We were being picked up at the CP's entrance at 10:00am, Matty arrived a few minutes late and drove us to Airlie Beach Marina, where the Big Fury departs. Our group of 10 on the bus were the last group to arrive, we appeared to be surrounded by backpackers (a lot of young females). We had roll call and hired a stinger suit each ($7 each) and walked to our 'speedboat', it has 4 x 225hp outboards and is approx 45 foot long, as it turned out for the day we travelled a 120kms and upto 50kph. It was a blast. When we were all seated, Braidon did the safety talk etc, then we departed the marina. I was in awe, as there were some old maxis moored in the marina, such famous yachts as Rolly Tasker's Siska, Condor, Southern Cross Bond's old 12 meter and Boomerang to name a few.
Just moored outside the marina was the Pacific Dawn cruise ship, which was moored off Airlie for the day and ferrying its passengers to and from the marina. Our first stop would be our snorkelling area just in the lee of Border Island about 1 hours blast, so we sat back and watched the spray shoot out the sides and back of our 'speedboat'. We dropped anchor on the lee of Border Island about 100 meters from its rocky shore. Marg and I changed into our stinger suits, we had worn our bathers under our shorts, found a pair of flippers and a mask and snorkel and hit the water. We had our $58 underwater camera, while snorkelling, I took 191 photos with it, I didn't know if they would turn out until we arrive back at camp. The coral and fish were brilliant, we were warm in our suits and were the 2nd last pair to leave the water, it was really great fun. After a head count, it was up anchor and off to the 'world famous' Whitehaven Beach for approx 2.5 hours for lunch and enjoyment, but first there was a 'blast' from Border Is to Whitsunday Is. As we approached Whitehaven beach, you could see an armada of yachts and other craft that were visiting the Beach. Our 'speedboat' can get close enough to the beach that after they drop the front gangway, we just walk through knee deep water to the beach.

There are fixed wooden seats and tables just under the tree line in the shade, which are used by the tour operators. As we were waiting for Matty and Braidon to setup lunch, we notice the local wlidlife, 4 lace monitors upto 1.5 meters long came to say "Hi". Marg and I found a seat in the shade and guarded it with my life, while Marg queued and got our lunch. Check out the photo with Marg's shoe, that is how close Lenny the Lace monitor came, you are NOT allowed to feed them and if you are scared, like a couple of the young female German backpackers, you kick a bit of sand towards them and they walk away. No big deal.
After lunch, Marg sat on the beach, while I walked about 600m to the outlook and took some photos. We sat on the beach and under the trees, waiting for our departure. While relaxing and waiting, we noticed Braidon taking photos of the backpackers, he would ask them if they wanted their picture taken, so they gave him their camera and he took various photos of them. It was 'very strange' that he appeared to spend most of his time with the pretty young females in skimpy bikins, NOT that I noticed.
After the photography sessions, we boarded our 'speedboat' and headed homeward past Hamilton Island, we were sitting on approx 50kph and it was a blast or did I say that before.

For most of our day, the sea was smooth with some small chop, in the small print, they ask you to bring weatherproof clothing, sure enough, some sitting at the back of the boat got some spray as we had to cross the seas at the wrong angle. Matty the skipper decided to even up the score, did a couple of 360s so we also got damp. That's fair.
We had a beautiful sunset just as we arrived back to the marina.

It was a magic day, both Marg and I loved it and everyone else appeared to enjoy themselves. Our $58 underwater camera fogged up enough to blur the lens, consequently, the majority are blurry. Now we will have to go snorkelling off Townsville to check that my change works. Unlucky.

Dinner was leftover egg and bacon pie. It was bloody yumma.

Tomorrow, I hope to track down my 'old' sailing mate.

Some of our group at checkin.

The 'oldest' couple on board.

Being told what to do.

P&O Pacific Dawn.

A big part of the day was spray. Luckily, not on us.

Getting ready for our snorkelling.

Marg about to take the plunge.



Whitehaven Beach - A beautiful place.

One of the 'natives'.

Our lovely lunch. It was YUMMA and had some leftover.

Lenny at Marg's foot, while she was eating lunch.

Lenny is so photogenic.

The view from the Lookout above Whitehaven Beach.

Another view from the Lookout above Whitehaven Beach.

Our 'Speedboat' at rest. It was lunchtime.

Braidon our Deck hand.

Hamilton Island in the background.

The sun behind clouds.

Close to sunset.

Sailing off into the Sunset.

Day 73 - Tuesday 27th May 2014.

Rest Day in Airlie.

We slept well and I awoke just after 6:30am and got up, Marg woke soon after and laid in bed wathcing Ch7 Sunrise.

In a previous life, I sailed for many years and one of my mates and competitor had stayed in the sailing game, delivering boats, being sailing master etc on numerous boats. I knew that when NOT sailing he has a shack at Airlie, so I set about doing some investigating. It turns out that he is very well known amongst the sailing, boating fraternity in the Whitsundays, eventually, I got his mobile number, rang him and organised a get together at his shack in the hills. I arrived about 9:30am and we talked and reminisced, when our bodies were younger. It was great to catch up with Dave.

I left Marg back at camp, as she would rather watch paint dry then sit around like a stale bottle of piss listening to us reminisce. SO on the way back to camp I called in at the marina to take some photos of the famous maxis that are moored there. 'They' say that a lot of old Maxis go to Airlie Beach to die, well, it is great that they do, as they are still sailing which is just great to see. Boats such as Condor(KB80), Rolly Tasker's famous Siska, Bondy's 12 meter Southern Cross (it was out sailing), and Syd Fisher's Ragamuffin 11, just to name a few. There are others there but these are the ones that meant something to me.

After the marina, I refuelled in preparation for our drive to Townsville tomorrow.
Marg made lunch and we spent the afternoon, just relaxing, doing our own thing.

Tomorrow, we drive to Townsville for a 2 week stay.

Dave the old salt and me.

Abel Point marina in Airlie Beach.





Ragamuffin 11.

Condor, Siska, Boomerang and Rags.

*2014 - Index page*

Heading to Townsville.