Saturday, 30 June 2007


As promised news from Bargara. We arrived here after a really easy cruise from Hervey Bay, passing through Childers on the way. The caravan park is just great and by far the friendliest we have come across but perhaps part of that is due to the improvement in the weather. On the first day we settled in and went for a long walk. There is a lovely walk along the shore here and you are encouraged by the markers along the way to attain 10,000 steps which we have done each day. There are lots of interesting historical things to see as you walk and the ocean is of course ever changing.
We have visited the Bundaberg brewed drink factory where we sampled all the lovely drinks (non alcoholic!) and made some purchases.
We hit the hard stuff at the Bundaberg Rum Distillery (purely for education purposes of course!) and made some purchases for those members of our family who enjoy the products.
On our last day here we went to watch the coopers in action and marvelled at the expertise it takes to make these barrels.
As we promised ourselves we spent each afternoon enjoying the sun and we are really feeling as though this is the start of our holiday.
Tomorrow …. Well we’re not too sure where we’ll end up perhaps somewhere near Gladstone. It’s a tough life and we’re not big on decisions!

Thanks to everyone who has posted -----

Kate, we didn't feel it necessary to announce our return to home sweet home ---- unlike you we were able to recognise we were already there!

Dave --- good luck for the new position --- I'm sure you will consult on a wide range of issues!

David and Annie --- glad to hear you shared our pain --- we'll be recovered enough to do it again on the way back!

and last but not least APC --- isn't it amazing how the Martin's leave home just when there is some serious CFA stuff to do, we're masters at it now!

Thursday, 28 June 2007

Hervey Bay

Hi everyone,
It’s been quite a long time in between blogs but the weather has been so bad we haven’t been able to do very much. However we had a great stay in Hervey Bay although not on the beach, we still went on to see and do some things we would not do at home and some we would --- I found two huge patchwork shops and walked out empty handed – I really need to find something for Ian to do ! We enjoyed one walk along the coast and sat on the boardwalk for an afternoon and admired the good work of the City.
We had a great dinner with Annie and David King and their boys. David used to work with Ian ‘back in the good old days’ at the Shire and City so it was a great night of reminiscing for them and Annie and I gossiped too. The two boys were very tolerant of us, great company and our evening was most enjoyable. There was plenty of wine consumed especially when David told us of the great service available at Hervey Bay. All you do is ring and a car arrives with two drivers – one drives your vehicle home and then collects the driver. All for $20.00! What a bargain!! A couple of Panadol and plenty of water and Ian and I woke up just fine to the sound of ……. more rain.
We admitted defeat and went to the movies and saw Oceans 13. It was great and we need to hire the other Oceans to see them too.
We’ve moved on to Bargara which is about ten minutes out of Bundaberg to the best caravan park yet and the best weather so we’ll talk about all of that in the next blog.

Friday, 22 June 2007

Cruisin' around .......

Well we’ve given up waiting for good weather so we’re making our own fun. Today we went on a canal cruise and saw where all the rich and famous live including Grant and Lisa Kenny and also saw the vessel Steve Irwin was travelling on when he had his unfortunate meeting with a stingray. It was moored outside the house purchased to provide mooring for the vessels used for research and filming by Steve Irwin and now being carried on by the rest of his team. Tomorrow is the launch of the new whale spotting vessel which was also moored at the same spot today. It is very impressive, as is the home which is used as a guest house, as Steve and his family preferred to stay at their own home. As part of the cruise today some very eager pelicans arrived on cue for their first of three feeds for the day and left immediately our host turned the bucket containing the fish upside down indicating the feeding was over for the time being.
Tomorrow is our last day and …….. we will swim!!!!!!!!!
PS Please stop praying for rain here!

PPS Thanks for the comments ..... no we're not awake at 3.30am ---- must work that out --- thanks Dave trust an IT man to be so picky!!!

Tuesday, 19 June 2007


Hi everyone from Maroochydore,
We’re in a well located park here and plan to explore all the old haunts we used to go to when the kids were small(er) and some new ones as well. Tomorrow we’re going to the market at Eumundi because I love to shop and it hasn’t happened yet!
We’re also going to have a swim in the ocean really soon even if it’s cold ‘cos we’ve come all this way for the beach and we will defy the weather which still is not terrific, but better than home - and do it. We may well walk on water to do this but it’s happened before so we can do it too.
We’ve taken (well Ian has) some sunset pics one from South West Rocks which we are putting on today - no sunrises (we’re not usually conscious that early!).
Thanks for all your comments – its great to hear from you.

Saturday, 16 June 2007


The weather had been too cold to stay at the van so we took off for a drive and another first, picked up a young hitchhiker just outside Stuarts Point. After discussing the Rugby (always a good opening line in NSW especially when Qld. won!), he suggested that we should take the scenic road to Yarrahapinni Mountain Lookout. At the mention of the steep incline to achieve this and the unmade road with some water to travel through Ian’s eyes glazed over with joy and off we went! He has been dying to do some off road stuff. That’s why we didn’t get an off road van!
It was however a wonderful drive and we discovered that the view was just as our young traveller had described and we also found the wonderful ceramic monument created by members of the two aboriginal clans who have ties to the area. All the parks we have been to have been very well maintained by the Parks and Wildlife Department and very informative.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Touring South West Rocks

Wednesday 13th
Having arrived here on Saturday we finally did something touristy today. Until now we’ve walked everywhere except one visit to the supermarket for supplies. We’ve sat in the sun and read and sewed which has been very relaxing and our tans are coming along nicely thank you. You can see from the photo the view we have from our caravan, that’s why we’re quite content here!
We went to the Smokey Cape Lighthouse and the Trial Bay Goal. We’d been to the Ggaol before but not the lighthouse and it was beautiful and so well maintained. They were painting the Lighthouse today so we couldn’t go all the way to the top but none the less it was a great view and the photos are only some of what we have taken.
It’s warm here but not warm enough so when we leave on Saturday we’re planning to stay a night at Ballina and then on to Gympie.

Saturday, 9 June 2007

From Gosford to South West Rocks

Saturday 9th – we’ve made it to South West Rocks safe and sound. Sounds dramatic? Not if you watched the news over the last few days.
We had a lovely visit with Pete and Dawn and enjoyed a visit to the Hunter Valley purchasing some very important liquid refreshments for our journey, cooking dinner for them in the van and in turn enjoying a dinner at their apartment of home made pasta after Pete’s basketball match. The pasta was great the basketball not so successful.
However, then the story becomes interesting(!) as mother nature took her turn in arranging our itinerary with buckets and buckets of rain. We are truly drought breakers. The weather turned so nasty with gale force wind warnings and torrential rain forecast that we decided it would be unwise to leave Gosford as planned on Friday. We spent Friday reading and cruising along the coast watching the spectacular show of waves breaking on the shoreline. I might add that the power went off at 6am so it was getting pretty cold in the van! Pete and Dawn were at work and had no power at home either, however when their power came on and Dawn invited us to visit we didn’t hesitate, and in fact stayed the night enjoying the warmth and comfort.
Meanwhile back at the van ….. 1.30am saw an uninvited guest at the van next door – a tree popped in! When we returned this morning we were stunned to see how lucky we were to still have our van unscratched. Fortunately the van which was demolished was unoccupied. We left Avoca Beach!
So here we are at South West Rocks watching the sun set and looking forward to a week of bliss --- we’re thinking of you all …..not!

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

On the road!

We set out from home at 11am on Saturday morning – uncommonly late for me I’m sure you are all saying but we have plenty of time! We made it as far as Holbrook where we spent one night moving on Sunday to Cowra. We visited the Visitors Centre and watched a really good hologram presentation there on the Cowra Break Out and also went to a winery called The Mill which is a fascinating building only recently restored after sitting unused and wrecked for 90 years. Some of the restoration utilised materials from Echuca and there was a Furphy Tank End just to make us feel at home.
You will never guess what else we heard about at the Visitor Information Centre – a great patchwork shop which we visited this morning and was not disappointed. The Business is up for sale – what an opportunity!
We then went on to Bathurst where we visited The Patch - Annie Downs was there and I saw her quilts including the Gardener and the Family Quilt I am intending to do as we travel – her shop is terrific and was well worth the visit too. I might have bought some fabrics for Kate’s new quilt there.
We decided to go on to Gosford one night earlier than planned and arrived at the caravan park at 6.30pm and will be here for four nights now instead of three.
We have travelled through some lovely country and enjoyed seeing green grass and water on the side of the road. We’ve also travelled through quite a lot of rain which we know is appreciated all along the way. The best thing about travelling with the van is that Ian is driving slowly and I can see things along the way without getting a sore neck from trying to look behind me as points of interest wiz by! I even had time to enjoy the spectacle of a wind farm – the turbines are huge!

Friday, 1 June 2007

The Last Day for Ian

Look what happens on your last day! Ian arrived at work this morning expecting nothing very exciting, and the fairies (Belinda, Jesse and Tom) had visited. Ian's office was bedecked with pink ribbons, balloons and butterflies which complimented the throne which took the place of his usually staid office chair.

We should explain the throne for those who are unaware! Some COGS staff have undertaken to raise a large sum of money prior to the Relay for Life event this year and as part of that process have initiated a beautifully decorated throne (aka a toilet complete with seat, but not connected!) which the staff could buy for a day and have 'installed' in some lucky persons office. The lucky recipient was instructed to sit upon the throne for the day much to the amusement of all who pass by. Lucky its a fundraiser!

Ian sat upon his throne for most of the day and together with his decorated office provided much hilarity for all the staff who seemed to need to say good-bye!

Thanks Belinda and all for making this day so special, see you soon, or not!