This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

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1998 Travels April 26


It was my turn for a touristy day! We set off for a drive and explore.

Took the road to Mt Tinbeerwah Lookout. This had wonderful views virtually all round. The road ended about 500m from the top, and we then had to walk the rest. It showed all the lush, green farm land around Pomona and Kin Kin, to the northwest, and the areas of bushland interspersed between the fertile valleys, and where the National Parks are. There were the big hills of Mt Mothar and Mt Cooroy. We could see Noosa itself, the various lakes, the Tewantin area – all very interesting. Stayed up there, looking, for the best part of an hour.

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From Mt Tinbeerwah looking to NW – Lake McDonald at right

04-26-1998 02 Noosa from Mt Tinbeerwah.jpg

From Mt Tinbeerwah looking across to Noosa; Lake Weyba to right

Drove down and around to Lake McDonald, closer to Cooroy, seen from the lookout. Had our picnic lunch at a park there. It is part of Noosa’s water supply, but people can sail, paddle and swim there, which seems rather unhygienic to me.

Took back roads and tracks through the Ringtail State Forest, and some farming areas. Ringtail Creek Road was one of these we travelled. It is interesting to see what types of houses people tuck away into the forest. We saw quite a few of what appeared to be alternative lifestyle establishments.

There do appear to be a number of hamlets in the Noosa hinterland where real estate is still reasonably priced, even though it is very expensive around Noosa itself.

Tea was guacamole and corn chips and assorted salads.

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1998 Travels April 25


It is Anzac Day. There was a big morning parade in Tewantin. All the shops were closed all day, but not the roadhouse at the park entrance, where I buy my papers.

John bowled in the afternoon.

I read the papers, tidied up the van. After lunch I went for a walk, as far as the Tewantin School – about 5kms there and back.

The caravan park was quite full for the weekend, with a big group of about ten vans in for the weekend. There was much jollity.

John returned happy with the game he had played, but with no “loot”.

Tea was steak and mushrooms and salad.

The weather has really improved now. It is slightly cooler, not humid, the sky is blue, there are great sunsets and starry skies at night. When the weather is like this, I understand the lure of Noosa for retirees!

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1998 Travels April 24


Today was fine, somewhat cooler, and with some cloud.

A day out in the hinterland beckoned.

We revisited the Buderim Ginger Factory and looked at all it had to offer. I decided to investigate their shares, with a view to buying some; it seems a solid, small industrial share, with growing business both from the expanding range of ginger products, and tourism. It is, of course, based on locally grown ginger. Bought a jar of pickled ginger shreds, which we had tried at M’s – yum! John bought a Bonk – a type of macadamia nut cracker. This was a real find, as we have had to resort to the block hammer to open the ones we bought, and the results of that are not great. He also bought a ginger ice cream.

In a shop at the Factory complex, there were little coin purses made out of tanned cane toad carcasses. They make an excellent little purse, with zip, but they cost $40, which was too much for me. They also had key ring tags made out of toad legs – $20. At least, some profit is being made from vermin.

After that, took a road up into the hills, to Mapleton, through very green and hilly country. The hills are steep and conical and very different to those in Victoria. There were some great lookouts along the roads we took today, with views back towards the coast.

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A view from the Montville road

Along the Montville road, detoured to the Kondalilla Falls National Park. Had our picnic lunch there, then walked to the Falls, through forest – all green and lush and a bit damp seeming, after yesterday’s rain. The walk was worth the effort as there was quite a lot of water going over a long drop – about 90 metres. It was very hard to get a decent angle to photograph the falls, though. It was a walk of almost 5kms, some of which involved steps – lots of steps! I encountered an agitated, thin, snake wriggling on the track. John was ahead of me and I suspect he may have walked on it, hence the agitation. He didn’t see it at all! I have no idea what type it was.

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A little cascade and pool above the Kondalilla Falls

Drove on through Montville, another hills village, then back down the Blackall Range via Palmwoods. There were some very steep descents! It is amazing the slopes people will build on around here, but there are some houses with the most amazing views.

Some of the villages are very touristy, with antique shops and the like, and little gourmet food places. There were a number of quaint old buildings – and some more being built, too! It is certainly an area I would like to explore more thoroughly, at a later date.

Fish and chip night. We are eating a lot of fish, right now.

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1998 Travels April 23


Saw my first daylight cane toad this morning, on my walk to buy the paper at the roadhouse. There were sprinklers on in the garden and it had come out onto the roadway to the water. Horrible ugly looking thing, about as big as my fist. It just sat there, looking gross. Later in the day it was still there, but had been squashed flat by a car!

We planned to drive the Cooloola Way today, through the Cooloola section of the Great Sandy National Park. According to the information this is noted for its swamp scrubland, banksia bushland, and scribbly gums. The Way links Noosa and Rainbow Beach, and is 4WD for about 35kms of its length. I had wanted to do it earlier, but weather and other activities prevented it. This week’s extension here is a great opportunity to do more sightseeing.

Unfortunately, it was grey when we set out and rain soon set in. This made the clay road surface extremely slippery and provided certainly the worst driving conditions of the trip, to date. Even in low range 4WD, we often were not going where John intended. So the drive was not enjoyable and we did not stop to explore anywhere along its length. We were glad we did not meet any of the Fraser Island bus tours that sometimes use that route.

We were happy to get back onto the sealed road again – the Rainbow Beach Road. Turned off that, about 4kms before Rainbow Beach, onto Freshwater Road and then went into the  Bymien Picnic Area. This was a lovely area, in rainforest type bush, quite dim – and with lots of mozzies. We had a very damp picnic. I spotted a large reptile curled up asleep in the leaf litter at the edge of the parking area. John came over and looked at it too. From its totally unconcerned reaction, I assume it was a python.

04-23-1998 01 Bymien Picnic area Great Sandy NP.jpg

Bymien Picnic Area

Despite the drizzly rain, we were determined to walk the 2.1kms to Lake Poona, through the forest. Actually the trees broke the rain, so it was more an effect of wet mist, rather than rain. The lake was really pretty. There were stands of big paperbarks on the light coloured sands that surrounded it – a perched lake. People swim in it, I believe, but the water was tannin coloured and I would not be tempted.

04-23-1998 03 track to Lake Poona in rain.jpg

Walking track to Lake Poona – on a grey and wet day

A perched lake is one that is actually higher than the water table. Over time, a hollow on the surface collects organic matter like leaf debris, which hardens enough that it holds rainfall, and thus a lake is formed. Poona began as a hollow between sand dunes.

04-23-1998 04 Lake Poona.jpg

Lake Poona and paperbarks

We spent a little time there, looking, then did the walk back. It was potentially a lovely walk through the bush, but was made less enjoyable by the rain, which became really heavy on the way back. We did have a small umbrella with us, one we always have in Truck, but it did not offer much protection. John left the umbrella on the Truck roof, after getting in. It fell off as we left – we realized after about a hundred metres and went back. It had fallen open, handle up, and was already nearly full of water!

We drove on into Rainbow Beach township for a look see. The road was really undulating and would rock the van up and down if we were to bring it here. The township  is small and contains mostly modest holiday houses. There were a few shops, mostly geared to beach tours and Fraser Island trips. From here, one can drive out to Inskip Point, from where a vehicle ferry crosses a narrow channel to the southern end of Fraser Island.

The beaches here might be really nice, but it was too wet for us to get out and look.

We drove the track to Double Island Point, at the northern end of Teewah Beach, but lateness and the rain, plus the tide conditions, meant that we did not seriously consider trying to go back via the beach. Decided that the Cooloola Way would be even worse by now, so the only option was to return via Gympie. The last 80kms, or so, was driven in steady rain and descending night – not nice for driving at all.

It was such a pity about the weather – it would have been an excellent day in better conditions.

Late tea was fish cooked in foil, with salad.

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1998 Travels April 22


Yesterday, John phoned his sister, M, who lives at Palmwoods, and it was arranged that we go there for lunch today.

We set off after a leisurely start to the morning. Refuelled – 64 cpl. Bought an iced bun to take as a small gift.

Visited the Ginger Factory at Yandina, en route. This is a big tourist complex, getting heaps of visitors. The whole ginger growing and producing process is quite interesting. One could watch parts of the factory at work. We did not have long enough to look at it all, so decided to return another day. It really needs a couple of hours and we only had 30 minutes!

The foray onto the western side of the Bruce Highway made us interested in exploring that foothills area further, on another day.

M’s husband and son were there for lunch as well – one retired and the other does not work. There were some quite fascinating PNG artefacts in their home, from the time they spent living in the PNG Highlands.

B went out and brought back a couple of large meat pies, for lunch. John’s eyes lit up!

We talked with M for a couple of hours after lunch, mostly about her recollections of the family dynamics and the time when J was born. She is much older than him, and was grown up and working by then.

We inspected the room where her son does his inventing, which is his full time occupation. Hmmm…. not impressed.

Met the tame butcher birds which came and warbled on the back verandah, and were fed some meat for their efforts – they are just beautiful.

I was pleased that we made the effort to arrange this visit. M was so happy to have us there, and she and John got to relate in a way they never have before.

By late afternoon, back at the van, I was not feeling so well. Reheated cooked meat does not agree with me, and I knew at the time the lunch pie would not sit well. I made John macaroni cheese for tea, and I had a little soup.

A sing song at a van near us was led by a guitarist who is a regular nomad but who comes from the Kimberley. I think he was featured on the Grey Nomad program, performing at a Karumba caravan park.

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1998 Travels April 21


Today is daughter’s 26th birthday. She is now as old as I was when I had her, so she has been around for half my life! While John slept in, I finished a letter to her.

After John got up and had breakfast, we talked to the neighbours for a while. They gave me a tip for cooking fish – baste with a mixture of lemon juice, honey and rosemary.

John wanted to suss out bowls, so I got him to drop me off at the book exchange in Tewantin. I got five books there, which cost $20, plus the four I took in to exchange. My reading rate is pretty slow, these days, for me. This is only the second book exchange I have visited in nearly four months.

There is a bowls supplies shop near the book exchange. I went in there to buy some footlets. Then John came in. He ordered name badges for us, as I am always being queried about not having one, and he wants a new one. They will not be ready until Friday, at the earliest, so we decided on the spot to stay here another week. It is easy to make decisions like that when not on time limits and when caravan parks are cheaper by the week! Then I lashed out and bought myself a pair of cotton knit bowls shorts, matching polo shirt, and a plastic rain jacket, together costing $114. Shorts are legal bowls wear in Qld, which is nowhere near as conservative as Victoria – and so I will be much more comfortable than in the dress regalia.

We raced back to the van and had a quick lunch. I booked us in for another week, finding that we are out of discount and the price has risen, so we are now paying $17 a night. Tried to phone daughter but her phone is disconnected.

We went off to bowls at Noosa Tewantin Club, for a Mixed 4’s event. It was a special day to farewell someone, which meant boring speeches mixed in with the bowls, but also an extra nice afternoon tea! John and I played on opposing teams and the game was drawn. John played well; I did not. The new clothes are really comfy – I love them, but they have no pockets, which is a serious oversight in bowls gear, where things like chalk need to be carried.

Shopped for some groceries for tea – a mixed grill, cooked in the electric frypan. Steak, sausages, bacon, rolls; John had an egg with his. I made some salad. It was very nice. Dessert was custard apple.

We have eaten the last of the sausage rolls for lunch over the last couple of days. John tells me he prefers them cold, which I did not previously know.

After tea, I wrote some postcards, then phoned K and got a new mobile phone number for daughter. Phoned her. She was just “home” at the station wagon they are camping in, having been out for a Tex-Mex restaurant tea. She had a pleasant birthday – slept in, then did school work (she is doing some TAFE distance ed business/office work course units, begun while B is working).  She said she will buy herself some jeans with the money we sent. I was so glad I was able to make contact with her today.

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1998 Travels April 20


We woke to a superb morning – warm and blue sky. Were up relatively early, about 8.30am,  because John wanted to go fishing again. Went into Tewantin for the paper and to visit the ATM. John bought bait prawns. Checked at the PO for mail – none.

As before, we crossed the Noosa River on the ferry and drove along Teewah Beach. John was looking for promising fishing spots as we went. Reached the Coloured Sands again, stopped briefly,  then turned around and drove back 6kms to where he’d seen a gutter. The focus was so much on fishing that he wouldn’t stop and wait for me to walk around and take good photos of the Sands, which I thought was mean! Managed a couple of quick ones, only.

04-20-1998 coloured sands teewah beach.jpg

The Coloured Sands on Teewah Beach

John fished for most of the day. I cleaned the catch and hunted pippis in the sand, for him. Otherwise, I read in Truck.

It was high tide about 2pm and traffic along the beach decreased markedly, close to the high. Of course, I then worried whether we would get back along the beach!

04-20-1998 view sth along Teewah Beach.jpg

Teewah Beach – looking south

John caught ten dart, mostly about two hours before the high tide, on pippis and prawns.

There was one little light shower of rain during the afternoon.

I kept the catch cold in the friji bag we use to keep lunches cool. Might need to take some ice and the Chescold, next time.

About 4.30, we drove back. The firmest sand had been covered by the tide, so we were driving through softer material, and sliding about a bit, but made it alright.

John left me and the catch at the van and went off to wash down the Truck underneath. I froze parcels of fish – our little freezebox is full. Four fish meals in there.

I cooked some of our catch for tea. Did the fish in foil, with slices of lemon, cooked in the frypan, outside. Made salad. The dart was nice eating; they have a big skeleton, which makes them easy eating – I like!

Phoned K because the mail we’d been expecting still has not arrived. The wires had been crossed, somehow, and he hadn’t posted any. John and I had a conference, then phoned K back to tell him to send it to the Hervey Bay PO.

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1998 Travels April 19


Now that the weather has improved, I did three loads of washing. It has been building up, waiting for drying weather. Costs $2 a load, here. I washed the van floor and did some general tidying up.

John made sinkers. I did some embroidery. Got the dry washing off the lines, in the afternoon.

In the late afternoon, we headed off to the Peregian Bowls Club for their Twilight Bowls and BBQ sausage tea. The BBQ came first, at 4.30 – paid $1.50 each for a sausage on toast – seems they do sausage sizzles differently up here.

We played a pairs game and drew it. The people at the club, and playing, were very casual and friendly, which made it all more enjoyable.

There were a few clearing showers while we were bowling, which made the grass heavy to bowl on.

It was dark by the time we were driving home, and pleasantly non-humid, for a change.

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1998 Travels April 18


We used the alarm to get ourselves out of bed at 7.30am.

It is Eumundi Market morning, and we wanted to get there not too long after they started. Eumundi is a village some 20kms away, with street stall markets on Saturday mornings, promoted as a major event in these parts. Markets are still a bit of a novelty for us, too. Eumundi has a number of historic buildings and the stalls are centred around the former railway station.

It was quite a large market display. Many of the stalls were similar to others we have seen, but there were a few “different” ones. For example, a stall selling wall hanging plaques made from varying tones and textures of brass and copper, mostly of native birds and animals. They were big – up to a metre across – selling for hundreds of dollars, with one over a thousand. Real craftsmanship.

Saw some good value cotton clothing, but resisted purchase. But I could not resist buying a little green plaster frog, to be a mascot for the van – it cost $6 and will sit on the ledge above the bed.

What we did buy was bananas, pineapples, macadamias, custard apples; the prices seemed quite cheap.

The markets were crowded and busy. We were not able to park very close, so had to limit our purchases to what we could comfortably carry – probably a good thing!

When we’d had enough of the market and felt we’d looked at most stalls, went driving. Continued down the highway, then across to Mooloolaba, then followed the coast back to Noosa. That southern part of the Sunshine Coast resembles a mini Gold Coast, it appears, compared to the area around Noosa which has a more rural atmosphere.

Stopped at Noosaville for some groceries, meat and the paper.

Had lunch back at the van – crumpets, followed by our first ever taste of custard apple – yum. It is, however, a fruit that tastes much nicer than it looks!

After lunch, John busied himself making fishing sinkers. He’d brought moulds with him, and lead. I had to sacrifice one of the old saucepans from Truck, that I use on campfires, for melting the lead. It was a DYI challenge for John, that occupied considerable time. I wasn’t prepared to have the lead melting happening on the van stove, so he had to unpack the camping stove from back of Truck, and hook that up to one of the camping gas bottles.

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It works!

I read the papers, embroidered.

For tea, made guacamole, using the last of the avocadoes bought from the Tweed roadside stall; they have kept well. That was served with bought corn chips and followed by sausage rolls I made – again utilizing the van’s oven.

It has been a mostly fine day, for a change. I was pleased that we got to go to the markets, given their promotion as a local feature for tourists. Worth seeing once, and worth revisiting for fresh produce at great prices. We drove 130 kms today.

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1998 Travels April 17


The day was a grey one, with rain for much of it, though it had eased a bit, and wind.

John decided there had been enough days spent in the van and decreed we would go fishing along the Teewah Beach. He has been itching to drive Truck on the beach over there, since he found out that access is via ferry from near here..

We got the vehicle ferry across the Noosa River, which cost $4 each way, then followed a muddy, corrugated track through the scrub, to Teewah Beach. We drove north along the beach for about 20kms, maybe  a bit more. I think we were about half way to Double Island Point, at the northern end of the beach. The tide was out and there was firm sand to drive on. There were plenty of others doing the same thing. We did not need 4WD and at times reached speeds of 40-60kmh.

04-17-1998 02 Teewah Beach driving conditions.jpg

Driving conditions on Teewah Beach

We drove as far as the Coloured Sands. These cliffs of differently coloured sandstone layers are interesting and would be very photogenic on a better day.

We gathered pippis from the sand. One sees a sort of bubble in the tracks made by the vehicle, and digging there produces a pippi. We did not use all that we gathered, but took the surplus back to the van to freeze for future use as bait.

John caught a dart.

I spent most of the time, while John fished, snug in Truck, knitting. It was too wet and uncomfortable outside for me. At times, John had to retreat to Truck due to heavy rain periods. He occupied himself by fiddling with the HF radio. One of these days, it may be mastered!


Rain coming in – Teewah Beach

Returned the way we came. I had spent some of the afternoon worrying about whether there would still be firm sand to drive on if the tide came in! Should learn to relax more.

It was dark by the time we got back to the ferry.

John hosed down under Truck, to get sand and especially salt, off. There is a washing bay facility at the servo at Tewantin. Then he drove to get tea – it turned out to be a pizza because the fish and chip shop shut at 8pm. He also hired a video.

Apparently, this week, we have had a total of eight and a half inches of rain! Over 200mm. That is roughly a quarter of what we get at home in a whole year.