Our next stop Grafton where we meet up with our dear friend Bevan Williamson who is on route to Pottsville, but beforehand he is going to join us and spend the next two days relaxing in Grafton. We decided to check into the Gateway Lifestyle caravan park, which as the name suggests is also a retirement village. Once settled into our van sites we decided to take a walk around the park and get a feel for the place. This is a very neat, well established caravan park, with manicured gardens and plenty of lawn particularly in and around the retirement village. The caravan sites were large and easy to get into, also we were fortunate as our sites were very close to the amenities. For such a great quality caravan park we were surprised to find the daily fee at only $25.00. very reasonable.
The private homes in the retirement village were all modern and well maintained with great gardens, individule driveways and sizeable garages. Bevan noticed a leak on our van, water coming from a water hose leading to the toilet the plastic fitting had split. A quick trip to the plumber supplies part purchased and back to the park to replace the broken part, job done time for dinner.
Today is a shopping day, topping up the food supplies and trying to find the Information Centre. Try as we did, we just could not find the information centre even our GPS, which took us to the so-called location, it just was not there, we guess it has moved address.
Grafton is situated on the mighty Clarence river with a population of around 20000, the greater Grafton area has a population of some 50000. In 1851 Governor Fitzroy named Grafton after his grandfather the Duke of Grafton a former Prime Minister of England.
Grafton was originally opened up because of its Cedar forests known as red gold a much sought-after timber. Today Grafton is known for logging, beef cattle, fishing/prawning, sugar, manufacturing and tourism.
Friday 28th June.
Our next stop Hastings Point Caravan Park situated on Mooraback Creek a tidal creek, which opens up through sand banks to the Ocean. The caravan park is on a bend of the creek and looks out towards the entrance. Opposite is a hill over looking the beach and from this point it is possible to spot whales frolicking on their way to the breeding grounds.We met up with Rhonda & Howard dear friends originally from Mt Eliza, Rhonda & Pam share the same birthdate the 1st July as such a birthday drink at the local watering hole, a lovely night.
Saturday 29th June through to Sunday 29th July.
Breakfast with Rhonda then on our way to our daughter’s home at Tanah Merah Brisbane. Parking the van at our daughter’s home is by far the most difficult parking I make, enough said. But I must admit I always enjoy the challenge. On previous visits we have only spent a couple of weeks with Tracie and the boys but this time Tracie had a number of jobs, which needed doing also she had a very busy period at work as she had only recently arrived home after an overseas holiday, as such our timing was perfect for her. I repaired her pool chlorinator, serviced her motor mower, repaired some damage on a wall, adjusted her curtain mechanism, mowed lawns and became Oliver’s driver with school pick ups and soccer training/playing runs, all very satisfying. Pam washed clothes, cooked meals, house cleaned, and helped Tracie with designing a display for her companies’ exhibition to be held in Sydney in just a few weeks’ time, they walked every day, exercising, but most importantly enjoyed some great Mum and Daughter time together. we were both thrilled to help out and isn’t that what parents are for, there is no doubt as a single Mum she does a great job and we are very proud of her. I also took the opportunity to make repairs and polish the caravan and the cruiser both badly in need of attention.
Pam has a number of relatives in Queensland and we took the opportunity to catch up with as many as we could some lovely lunches and catch ups. We also caught up with Adrian and Daisy, friends we met on a Canada & Alaska cruise, a great couple and good company.
Tuesday 30th July.
With the van all packed by 11am we were soon to start our next journey, to negotiate the gate and get onto the road one must drive across the road and onto the nature strip opposite, normally I can then get onto the road and align on the bitumen, not today, as I got out of the gate the garbo turned up leaving me little room to negotiate. Being in a hurry I drove out of their way only to hit a deep guttering slicing a hole in the side of the front tyre. Off to get a new tyre, back to hook up the van finally on our way. Our next stop Scarborough to visit Neil & Lois sailing friends. Last time we called in N & L had a few Butcher Birds, which they fed each morning one named squeaky, well Squeaky knew he was on a good wicket inviting the rest of the family to join him, not a good move as he and his family became unpopular and got evicted. Neil’s Mum was over from Tasmania enjoying some warm weather, a delightful Lady, much talking about sailing, Tasmania, politics and just having a great time. As usual Lois cooked up a storm enjoyed over a glass or two.
Wednesday 31st July.
After coffee with Neil, Lois and Neil’s Mum we set off heading towards Bundaberg, our overnight stop the Woodford show grounds. This is a great overnight stop, good facilities quiet and close to the village. Woodford is known for its folk festival, which is held each year over the new year’s holiday period it is very popular especially with the young. Woodford has been kind to our Daughter Debbie who for some years had a stall there selling her clothing range with great success. She had a double bonus as she also loved joining in with the festival activities.