On the road from Toowoomba

We decide to leave the coastal route and head inland stopping off overnight in Towoomba before visiting Hervey Bay (pronounced Harvey) . The landscape has changed dramatically as we head into Queensland and as we travel through the area it becomes more diverse moving between rocky desert, sand dunes and dense rainforest. There’s lots of cattle and we wonder how they survive in these conditions, then we come upon a field of camels, which is a surprise to us all.

Katoomba Point Lookout

We stop overnight in Toowoomba, nicknamed “The Garden City” 80 miles west of Brisbane.

Not far from the Motel at Toowoomba were a couple of parks with a residential area built on a ridge between them. A lookout at the end of this peninsular overlooked the whole of the surrounding countryside. Well worth the short drive to get there.

 

Bunyan Mountains National Park

Bunyan Mountains Nation park is Queensland’s second oldest national park and has the largest stand of ancient bunya pines in the world. Rainforest covers most of the mountains and the area has the largest stand of ancient bunya pines in the world. We are told that the area is historically significant to the Aborigines; though the Aborigines never lived on the mountains (too cold!) they did use the mountains and they were the scene for the ‘bonye bonye’ feast, where Aborigines forgot their old tribal feuds and journeyed to eat the bunya nuts. According to legend each local Aboriginal owned two or three of the pines and this ownership was passed from father to son; the owner was the only person allowed to climb his own trees and he did this by cutting notches into the tree.

Mount Mowbullam and Fishers lookout

A couple of hours after we’d been picnicking in the Bunyan Mountains, Madeleine was aware of an excruciating pain coming from her right ear. After examination she found a tick gorging itself on her ear. Whilst driving round Hervey Bay trying to find a suitable hospital or chemist we thought of names for our new pet. Madeleine came up with the most suggestions, which sadly aren’t printable here. Going to the Emergency Department of the local hospital proved successful; Madeleine was seen immediately and the doctor managed to remove Terry (the tick) from the ear. A note here (perhaps ‘ear’) about removing ticks and we quote the New South Wales Health Department’s factsheet.

Remove a tick as soon as possible after locating it. Use fine pointed tweezers and grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. Gently pull the tick straight out with steady pressure. Avoid squeezing the body of the tick during removal. If you have difficulties seek medical attention. Do not try to kill the tick with methylated spirits or any other chemicals. This will cause the tick to inject more toxins.

Added to that, the nurse suggested that you could use a piece of cotton to form a loop around the tick, the important thing was to pull gently and slowly to extract the tick. As Madeleine told anyone within screaming distance as the tick was extracted, the tick was holding on and did not want to let go of her bloody ear!

Terry the tick after removal from Madeleine's ear is now said to be making a full recovery and probably won't make that mistake again!

Terry the tick after removal from Madeleine’s ear is now said to be making a full recovery and probably won’t make that mistake again!

Hervey Bay Fraser Island

Our accommodation for two nights is a traditional 30’s house, which we have to ourselves that is 600 metres from the beach.

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We have over 70 miles of beach to explore, which are largely empty so it’s easy to get a spot unlike Spanish beaches or even Skegness! We spent the day wandering around the area including a walk along the peer to watch the fishing. It’s great to see families out together catching their lunch and cooking it on the BBQ.

Matthew & Sue have ideas for dinner….a quick trip to the local Aldi for a couple of steaks, which they cook on the BBQ.