This morning we head to the Maroochydore Bush Botanical Gardens to meet up with Robin & Faye White who are staying close by at the Cotton Tree caravan park. The Botanic Garden is well worth a visit when in this area, the gardens are an eighty-two hectares eucalypt forest with walking tracks and winding creeks some flowing into large water holes. One of the walks has been dedicated to the arts with many sculptures placed around the walking track created by artists from around the world. As we had done this track before we chose the river walk, which we all enjoyed, afterwards coffee and cake at the canteen. We were served by a Downs Syndrome girl who did a great job and was very ably assisted by one of the volunteers working in the canteen, it was great to see. Time to move on to our next stop Chatsworth Park, which is 6km south of Gympie a free overnight stopover. The Gympie council have done a great job setting up this parking area, the sites are all clearly marked and easy to manoeuvre, at the park are clean amenities and the park land has three large ponds with many varieties of water bird species. The area is about three hectares and Pam and I enjoyed walking around the area. One big draw back it is on the Bruce Highway and very noisy.
Friday 2nd to Monday 5th August.
For the next four days we are staying at Moore Park Beach with Bill & Leslie who built their home here 12 months ago moving from Brisbane and what a great home they have created. The lay out of the house works very well and complimented with an outside covered barbeque area. We were parked alongside the house the lead in to Bills rather large shed where he stores his caravan. Bill and I fished the top end of the Kolan river over two days and between us caught six fish unfortunately all undersize, one cod fish looked to be OK but it measured 2mm undersize at 38mm. bugger. Bill, Pam and I walked the beach on three of the days Pam setting the pace her little legs working hard with Bill and I at a more leisurely pace lagging behind. Leslie is an accomplished artist she has created some wonderful paintings and is once again turning her skill to making two lead light windows, the first one giving her some grief as she is a perfectionist, however she also has incredible patience. Leslie & Bill introduced us to a game called funergel a dice game and great fun, I can’t wait to introduce this game to our grandchildren. Our time with B&L was very relaxing and we are looking forward to seeing them in Mornington later this year.
Tuesday 6th August.
We bid our fair wells to B & L and headed to Miara situated at the entrance of the Kolan river, the caravan park runs along the river front and is a great fishing spot. What I like about this place is that I can leave the boat in the water safely. We were introduced to this park by Ron & Jan Sweetser both previously members of MYC, Ron the Class Captain for trailable yachts when we joined. As I was reversing the van into our site who should be parked alongside but Ron & Jan, it was great to catch up. After setting up the van launching the boat, I was now all ready to put fear into the fish stock. Speaking with Ron I learned that the fishing was slim pickings all put down to a lack of rain during the summer, however I was not daunted.Ron was right after three days fishing the only taker was a 45cm Flathead a lovely fish. It was not that there were no fish, there were hundreds of Toads, I must have caught 25 of the buggers, some small flathead with some catching whiting and bream but not many. However, sun beamer’s with Ron, Jan and friends was pleasant and Pam very wisely stocked the fridge, so no shortage of food. On our last day there one fellow caught the biggest Flathead I have ever seen it was 73cm just a monster I was now wondering why we were moving on.
Saturday 10th August.
Today we head to Eumundi, staying at the show grounds, our preference was Maroochydore but all the caravan parks were full. Our reason to stay here was to catch up with friends Chris & Glenys Leighton and Robin & Faye white both couples staying at the Cotton Tree caravan park. Is it any wonder all the caravan parks were full, this is a busy place, 40 years ago we stayed at Cotton tree with the ankle biters then it was a lovely seaside village a relaxed place, today it is fast becoming another surfers paradise with multi storey buildings along the river and more under construction? The Leighton’s, White’s and ourselves went to the Coffee Club for lunch a very popular place afterwards back to the White’s site, which is looking towards the mouth of the river a pretty spot. Chris told us of their visit to Lightning Ridge where he bought a ring featuring a brilliant green opal and of a cave where one fellow had carved figures into the cave apparently quite spectacular. We have yet to visit Lightening Ridge it is now on our radar.
After Eumundi we start heading south our next stop Bribie Island.