MONDAY 22 JUNE TOWNSVILLE TO ROLLINGSTONE 65kms
It was a cloudy day.
We had to do the full pack up this morning. Left about 9.30am.
I had thought The Lakes was fine for our purposes, nice and central, but John said he wouldn’t want to stay there again. He couldn’t really give a reason why, just “a feeling”. That was the third park we’d stayed at in this town. The first, behind a roadhouse on the southern edge, back in 1998, didn’t really draw us back. The second, Rowe’s Bay, I liked for its closeness to beach walking and the Strand, but it was rather too much backpacker inhabited. As we were heading north, saw a Big 4 park on the outskirts that looked alright, as we passed. Filed that one away for future reference, should we need it.
The drive to Rollingstone was very pleasant. There was a mix of the scrubby woodland native to this area, and farmland. The ranges off to the west added interest. The railway paralleled the highway, at times; there was always variety in looking out for trains.
As soon as we turned off the highway onto the road to the caravan park, we had to cross the railway line. We were held up there, by workers installing flashing lights on the crossing. A good idea, given the volume of traffic to the park, as well as the farms and houses along the road, and the fact that – with the crossing straight after a turn one way and a big bend the other, it wasn’t easy to see trains coming.
The Rollingstone Beach Caravan park was at the end of the road, with an impressive entrance. That augured well for its standard.
I paid $31.50, after discount, for a powered site. While we were at Reception I was able to order the newspapers for the whole week. Pleasing, as there were no nearby shops.
It was an unusually laid out park. Between the office and the sites there was a large lagoon complex, and then the sites and cabins were between the lagoons and the sea. I wondered if it had been a fish farm, in another life? It was very well groomed, with lovely green lawns. The lagoon ponds were aerated and had milk fish and barra in them – lots of quite big fish. I actually wondered if they’d ever had a crocodile wander up from the sea to chance its luck in the lagoons?
Our site was fairly small, but we considered ourselves lucky to get one at all, with the long weekend for the Townsville Show coming up. There was a walkway alongside our site, which made the neighbour on that side a bit further away. From our outside area, down the access road in front, we could see the sea and distant islands.
The beach was nothing special, but at least there was one. But there were mangroves not too far away, and definitely there were midges!
After setting up, we drove back to the highway, and south again for a couple of kms, to the Rollingstone township – really just a hamlet. John had directed that his computer update parcel be sent here, but it had not yet arrived.
Nearby was the Bushy Parker free camp area. It looked a large and pleasant parkland type area; there were not very many campers there.
After lunch, I couldn’t resist sampling the superb, resort lagoon style pool. It was huge, with a waterfall at one end. The water was cold, but pleasant. I envisaged regular returns to the pool.
There was quite a spectacular build up of clouds over the nearby range.
We went for a walk along the beach towards the north. The tide was out, so it was a bit smelly. Once away from the groomed frontage of the caravan park, the beach was backed by scrub, some swamps; there were little creeks and places where the mangroves came right to the water. We could see some houses set in the scrub – acreage beach front blocks had driveways off the road we came along to the park. The houses mostly seemed pretty shack like. The beach area along there seemed rather “croccy” to me. Later, we were told that a croc had been known to nest in the mangrove and scrub area along there.
For tea, I cooked potatoes in foil in the electric frypan, with the lid on, for a while, then opened it up and cooked steaks and tomatoes in there too. A good meal.