This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

2009 Travels July 9

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Late last night, I thought I’d smelled rain in the air, but we hadn’t had any. Found out this morning that it had rained at nearby Toomulla Beach.

I walked some circuits of the Park before John got up, then he went walking whilst I got the breakfast ready.

The fridge was fine: freezer stuff was frozen, fridge stuff wasn’t. There had not seemed to be any excessive running throughout the night. From memory, this was the second new thermostat the fridge had needed, in something like a cumulative total of eight years of running, since we bought it in 1991, and some of that in excessively hot conditions. It was regassed in 2007. We certainly couldn’t complain about it!

An outing was needed – my turn to choose, since John had bowls a couple of days ago.

We went to Reef HQ, an aquarium type of display. It cost us $18.95 each for entry, after concession. It was worth the money – with bells on!

The main exhibit showed different faces of a live coral reef, from the quiet inner face, to the side that faces the waves, and all in between these extremes. Sophisticated technology simulated wave and tide actions, so there was constant movement all round the reef. Viewers walked around the central reef exhibit, which contained the world’s largest exhibited (captive?) living coral reef, with over a hundred different species of coral growing on it, and over a hundred species of fish swimming around it, just doing their thing. As well, it contained critters like starfish and sea urchins.

A different display held sharks, sawfish, turtles and moray eels.

It was engrossing to watch what happened on any particular piece of reef, as the water moved about. The antics of the fish were captivating. It was a wonderful way to “see” the Great Barrier Reef, without going diving. In fact, one probably got a better picture of it this way – unless you were really hooked on being wet and having to watch out for anything that might view you as lunch.

We spent over three hours there – much of it just sitting watching the action.

I bought some postcards of the place, and a pale blue polo shirt with the Reef HQ logo, that was marked down to $20.

It was a place I’d quite happily go back to another time, and spend another long session there.

Reef HQ (tourism brochure)

There were some NAIDOC Week events happening in the same building complex. We looked at a display of aboriginal art. (NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. It has become an annual celebration of culture and remembrance of past struggles).

We’d parked Truck part-way along the Strand, so got some exercise walking between there to Reef HQ.

Stopped to watch kids having fun in the water playground area. It was still school holidays somewhere, it seemed.

Drove to the Fishermen’s Co-op, over on the South Side. We had to take a really round about route, due to street closures for the V8 Supercars Race, on at the weekend. Some of the roads we would usually take to the South Side would be part of the race track. It was a real hive of activity, with stands being erected, barriers altering routeways, all sorts of vehicles being moved into place for official and catering purposes.

I bought barra for two feeds, plus extra to add to what I already had for this week, and two kgs of prawns. It only occurred to me afterwards that there was a bit of a disconnect between spending ages admiring the live sea creatures, then going to buy some to eat….

Stopped at the Woolworths in the little shopping complex near the caravan park, for a couple of things. It was a rather poorly stocked supermarket. I decided it was here more to preserve the site and business for when Townsville expanded more out this way, rather than to really cater for the current passing traffic.

Back at the van, spent two hours peeling the prawns for freezing. The tool that John bought at Halifax did not help much, after all. In theory, it sliced the shell open down the back, for easy peeling and removed the poo tube. In practice, it was easier to do it the old way.

I made some extra salads for tea, to add to the leftovers from last night.

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