After spending a night in Mackay (QLD) which was surprisingly freezing and getting new tyres in Rockhampton, we spent a night in Biggenden (QLD), which is about 100km south of Bundaberg, and absolutely beautiful. The next day we drove along some narrow winding roads, often stopping for cattle that were on the road, even toughing out a few km of dirt road where the QLD government obviously decided they didn’t need bitumen (and they saved money too by not putting up any signs at the beginning of the road, or putting it on a map so that drivers could decide to avoid it).
From there we drove down the Glasshouse Mountains (QLD), which is actually the name of the town, and met up with an old work colleague of Mum’s from Switzerland, Esther and her daughter Stephanie. Together with them we explored the region a bit, including Australia Zoo which was pretty amazing.
Try to make sure you’re there (at Australia Zoo) for the lunchtime show, which includes loads of beautiful birds flying right up to you, or birds that are trained to retrieve five dollar notes. My favourite was then they were talking about poisonous snakes, and they used an actor to pretend to be a full-on bogan who found a snake while cooking up a barbie, and picked it up to show it to his mates.
We also went up to Maleny (QLD) and then across to Kilcoy (QLD) and camped at the Somerset dam, which was really nice. After a couple of lovely days in the area, we parted ways with Esther and Stephanie, who were headed north towards Noosa Heads (QLD), and we headed east to Postman’s Ridge (QLD), which is about 15mins out of Toowoomba (QLD). My goodness…. Toowoomba is located on the top of this mountain, and to get up you have to drive up these crazy steep winding roads, and you share it with these massive trucks that you have to constantly overtake because they only drive about 20km/h. Talk about stressfull!
Thankfully, Postman’s Ridge was a lot quieter, and Juliet and Matt warmly welcomed us to share their home, giving us shelter from the storm that would hit that afternoon – a sun shower complete with hail. Their foster dog Ruby was also very friendly, and I’m still finding dog hair on my clothes. We were able to rest there, and mum was able to recover from a tick bite she got when we walked through a national park that had given her a headache and make her feel slightly nauseous (at least, I think it was that and not my driving).
After a delicious meal (Juliet is a great cook – I wish I could make bolognaise sauce taste that good!), and a great night’s sleep, we got a bit worried about more storms and hail, so we decided to get into a hostel or motel for a couple of nights.
After searching all over the show, and not finding anything for less than $200 per night, we found this great little 2 bedroom apartment for $340 for 4 nights. After camping in a tent for a week, we were stoked to be back within 4 walls. Because the apartment had two bedrooms (a double bed and 2 single beds), and a sofa bed in the living area, we invited Esther and Stephanie to stay with us. They jumped at the chance because the camper van they had rented was on the blink, and they had been living out of it for 2.5 weeks now, as well as 2 weeks previously in New Zealand. While the apartment isn’t AMAZING, it certainly felt like 5 star luxury after camping for a week. So, if you guys are ever staying in Southport and need a good deal for 4 (or 6) people, check out the Palmerston Towers Apartments.
On 25 November we explored another national park, this time in Springvale, taking all the necessary tick prevention precautions.
The thing about national parks in Queensland is that they are mainly forests and all the ones we visited offered amazing views because they have elevations of over 1000 meters ASL (as opposed to WA, which has scrub and tiny hills).We’ve also been really lucky not to have too many people on the trails while we were there (although in Springvale there were a few people, probably because we went on a Sunday).
Today, I’m taking it easy. Just writing my emails, catching up on some reading, surfing the web and watching some TV. Mum has gone to explore Mt Tamborine, and Esther and Stephanie have gone to a Koala Sanctuary west of Brisbane. They really want to cuddle a Koala!