Week 77 | Nebo to Mackay

Day 533: Nebo

Nebo; home to a heritage listed hotel, state of the art rodeo arena and a museum celebrating the Shire’s history.  The museum is closed due to the virus. The local economy relies on the coal mining industry.  There is not much more to say about Nebo. The river is dry and the township is desperate for water.  We drove around the streets and it was such a shame to see large estates of land that were to be developed but sadly they all sit unsold.  There’s a lovely small park with lush green grass and three information barrels beside the water trough and pump.  There is a couple of booklets inside on the area and nothing else.  It’s a novel information source!  The remainder of the day is spent relaxing back at the caravan park and I’ve spent some time colouring a card from Colour Me Art that I picked up at the Heritage Centre gift shop at Biloela.

Tonight we are walking up to the pub for dinner.  We’ve got a great table on the sprawling veranda.  The people you meet when you least expect it… a workman turns up and Andrew says hello as he walks up to the bar.  He comes back to our table.  Chris Brown worked with Andrew back in 1998 in Brisbane.  It’s such a small world.  The meals are generous and Andrew has the usual parmi and I have the fish-n-chip special.

This pub has a licence to print money.  We loose count of the number of work vehicles pulling up and taking away a carton of beer at a time.

Wildlife: crows, horses, cattle.

Day 534: Nebo to Bakers Creek Mackay

We’re not sad to say goodbye to Nebo.  The bindis at the park were really bad and the township is dieing.  We are on the road by 9.14am and it’s 17 degrees.  Our journey is only 87km.  There is nothing quite like the sight of the mountains and sugar cane ready to be harvested.  I have an overwhelming sense of being close to home.

We’ve booked into the Mycow Caravan Park at Bakers Creek.  It’s right on the creek bank and not too far from Mackay.  I meet Mike, he’s the Manager and he’s done the big lap 7 times, written a book; Australia Free and made a travel app.  He’s a real character.  There are a lot of backpackers here in onsite accommodation but Mike vets them all and doesn’t stand for any nonsense.  A lot of them work across the road at the meatworks.

We’ve got a corner site with plenty of space and lush green grass.  Cinta is a happy girl.  Seven nights for $170 is a good price. This afternoon is time to finish off a bit of work and get the grocery shopping done.  A quick walk on the pathway along the river where there is an outdoor bbq area and several spots with fake grass, chairs and fishing rod holders.  Apparently the fishing in the creek here is quite good.

Wildlife: cattle, horses, crows.

Day 535: Bakers Creek Mackay

How lovely to hear rain on the roof overnight.  Welcome back to the tropics, mosquitoes and humidity.  BUT I am certainly not complaining as I would much rather be in warm weather than cold.  I’m off for another much needed haircut and then we head over to Bunnings to pick up a few maintenance items.  We’ve sought out a butcher and stocked up on our meat supply.

Tonight we are catching up with Andrew and Pete’s fishing buddy Daryl.  In all the years the boys have headed off for their annual fishing trip I’ve never met Daryl’s wife Elizabeth.  I’m really excited to finally meet her and feel like we already know so much about each other.  We connected on Facebook and they’ve been following our journey through this blog.

Elizabeth and Daryl were so welcoming and we had a really lovely evening with them.  We’re looking forward to having a BBQ dinner with them over the weekend.  Elizabeth has now retired and has started sewing quality eco-friendly reusable produce bags.  Do yourself a favour and check out her Facebook page!  Here’s the link https://www.facebook.com/bessbags/

Day 536:  Bakers Creek Mackay

A late start to the morning today before washing all of Cinta’s bedding.  Next up is baking scones for morning tea. Yum.  We are heading out to Quota Park to take Cinta for a walk on the Town beach.  Elizabeth has told us how far the tide goes out and it was amazing to see.  We had a walk right out, not quite to the ocean though.  There were thousands of tiny soldier crabs scurrying across the sand.  We couldn’t believe how many of them there were.  We also spotted a jellyfish.  Here’s a short video of the soldier crabs scurrying across the sand.

Our next stop is Slade Point to see the water tank mural art.  Completed in June 2019 by renowned mural artist Scott Nagy who was assisted by Cara Sanders, aka Owlet.  The Mural is a celebration of the regions Humpback Whale Migration which occurs usually from June to August each year. It also depicts their magnificent Red Tailed Black Cockatoos which reside in the area.  The views from this point are pretty special too.

Further around is Lamberts Lookout with sweeping views over Lambert’s Beach, The Cumberland Islands and Slade Point.  Both sunrise and sunset can be viewed from the lookout.  There are quite a few boats sailing past.  Our final destination is Mackay Harbour and the breakwater. Home to luxury yachts, sailing boats and a world class Marina Village.  We drive right out on the breakwater for spectacular views back over the marina.  It is so picturesque.  We’ve had an amazing day sightseeing.

Wildlife: black cockatoo, sandpipers, lorikeets, soldier crabs, terns, sea hawk, seagulls.

Day 537: Bakers Creek Mackay

After another slow start to the day we head off for a stroll around the Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens.  The gardens were opened in 2003 and offer over 3km of walking and cycling trails overlooking the lagoons.    There were some lovely reflections on the lagoon today and quite a lot of bird life there too.  Pictured below is some of the artwork on display.

We were surprised that there was a lack of colour in the gardens.  We were expecting a lot more tropical plants on display and felt that the gardens were more like parklands by the lagoon.  I would describe the gardens as having 50 shades of green!  We had a lovely long walk and of course I took plenty of photos.

Wildlife:  ibis, tortoises, ducks, water hens,

Day 538: Bakers Creek Mackay

It’s the weekend.  To be honest every day feels like a weekend to us. We are off for a drive to Sarina.  It’s only 30km to the south and it’s such a beautiful day.  Andrew thought that I would like a photo of the “big thing”… it’s a cane toad… not likely I said!  I’d rather photograph the mosaic near the information centre. 

We headed out to Sarina Beach and boat ramp.  It’s quite a nice beach and the drive out reminded me a little of coming into Mission Beach. Next stop was Hay Point home to one of the largest coal-loading facilities in the world.  You can drive right out to the breakwater to view the facilities.

On the way back we stop in at McEwans Beach which is on the other side of the river to Bakers Creek.  Cane farms are on both sides of the road in to the small beach side community. The tide is low.  

Tonight we are off to Daryl and Elizabeth’s for a BBQ dinner.  Cinta is coming with us and it’s a really lovely evening with them.  Great company and delicious food.  Elizabeth is a fantastic cook!

Wildlife:  dead possum, swans, pelicans, ibis. Cattle, horses, sheep

Day 539:  Bakers Creek Mackay

We are waking up to 8 degrees this morning.  We’ve had some beautiful warm days but the breeze has been quite cool.  Morning tea is with Daryl & Elizabeth and then they’re taking us for a drive to see the sights of Mackay.  Eimeo is well known for the Eimeo Pacific Hotel perched up on the hill with sprawling  picturesque views as far as the eye can see.  It’s a great location to sit back, relax, enjoy a few drinks and a meal.  Which we did.

After lunch we drive further out to Shoal Point, the northern-most community of the northern beaches.  I believe at low tide you can walk out to Green Reef Island.  There’s a lovely esplanade with picnic tables and BBQ’s and further up the hill a great spot for sunset photos.  Bucasia Beach is the last stop on the way home.  The Northern Beaches area is certainly very pretty and we’ve had a fantastic day out with Daryl and Elizabeth.  It’s been so great to spend time with them both and we know that we will be friends forever.  Thank you, to you both for your hospitality, it’s made our visit to Mackay all that more special.

Wildlife:  pelicans, swans, seagulls.

Week 77 total expenses: $1077.19 we are over budget this week, but we’ve stocked up on groceries, alcohol and quite a few maintenance items for the caravan.

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That’s a wrap for life back on the road.

PS: Don’t forget to leave me a comment!

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