Hervey Bay to Rockhampton, the Capricorn Coast

last view of the beaches at Herve Bay

last view of the beaches at Hervey Bay

On the way to the Whitsunday Islands we stopped off at Rockhampton it is the Capital of Central Queensland and is located on the Tropic of Capricorn. Rockhampton gets it’s name from the rocks in the river between the traffic bridges and Hampton which means ‘town on a river flat’ It is known as the Beef Capital of Australia.

There are plenty of warnings on the road about ‘nodding off’ whilst driving and making sure to put your seat belts on. We were later followed by a police car that had seen Matthew slam on the brakes as we passed them on the road – I guess we looked tourist and of no interest to them – so they turned off after a couple of miles. We’ve passed several road blocks by the Police and guess that they are checking for seat belts and drink driving. The roads are generally in good condition and speed limits have, with few exceptions, been maintained by all cars we’ve seen, we suspect that what accidents there are, are very serious. 

Rockhampton to Airlie Beach

The scenery changes once more, the cattle, kangaroos and trees giving way to pineapple and sugar cane plantations. We stop off at Clearview, the first time the Bruce Highway touches the Coral Sea for our first view of the waters since Hervey Bay. A box on a pillar provides a litre of vinegar for the treatment of stinger bites! It’s a boiling hot afternoon but we decide not to go for a dip in the ocean.

 

We stop off in Mackay and become members of the Souths – Southern Suburbs Football Club for the afternoon. Free membership allows us to pop in out of the heat and grab a coffee.

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Clubs like this abound in Australia, they’re main feature seems to be the Pokies (slot machines) which through constant use are the main income. Coffee ain’t bad either!

 

After a long and uninteresting drive we arrived in the Whitsunday Islands, which is to be our base for four days; we’ve book a very nice apartment with a pool and are splashing around within minutes of arriving.