This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

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2013 Travels August 18


A hot day again, but not as humid.

John wanted to go driving. We had done very little driving and exploring since getting here, mostly because we did a lot of that in 2009, and there really wasn’t much that felt “undone”.

Sugar cane harvester beside newly harvester area

Went first to Taylors Beach, where we had stayed in 2009, because John had no recollection of that. It remained in my memory as a caravan park with small sites, not enough room for all the boats that campers squeezed into all available space, and where John, in giving me directions to reverse the caravan onto site, backed me neatly into a palm tree. Also, despite the name, there was no beach, just a river inlet.

When we got to Taylors Beach, John said he still really didn’t remember the place. Fair enough – it wasn’t a memorable stay.

We cruised past the caravan park, which still looked packed out, then stopped at a park area on the river edge. The tide was out, and moored boats were lying on the sand. We continued on.

The route took us through Halifax and on to Lucinda. John was fiddling about with his dash cam, the latest toy, which would not record for any length of time. It indicated that the battery was flat, which he couldn’t explain. I noticed there was no red light showing on the charger which was plugged into the cigarette lighter outlet, so John worked out that there was a charger problem. So he stopped fiddling with it whilst driving, and stopping regularly to try to fix it – for which I was grateful. That was tedious. I am definitely not a “gadget” person.

Recently planted cane in front of last year’s planting

The big caravan park at Lucinda was full. We’d noted it four years ago as a good-looking park; one populated in the winter months by regulars who stay there every year for months at a time. I find such places can be “cliquey”, especially when so many of the people are into fishing and boats. It was academic for us now, anyway, because it doesn’t take dogs.

John did not feel like walking on the beach there, or taking the path and overhead stairs to go over  the sugar wharf complex to the old barge jetty, where people fish and there are great views across the channel over to Hinchinbrook Island. So we cruised around in the car, looked at the village, then drove out the Dungeness road to the upmarket Hinchinbrook Cove Marina and Resort. That area was as we remembered it, with quite a Sunday crowd.

Back at Lucinda, bought lunch from the take away shop. John had a hamburger with the lot, for $11; he said it was great. I bought some chips, for $4 and two potato cakes, which cost $1 each. The chips were alright, not great, but the potato cakes were awful and I didn’t eat them.

We ate at a table in the very nice foreshore park, with its view of the long sugar loading wharf. There was a steady procession of caravans and motorhomes arriving, parking, and occupants going for a walk and look around. I wondered how many of these had assumed they would be able to get into the caravan park in such an out-of-the-way place, without a booking?

A siding on the cane train line, with some empty carriages

Drove back to Bus and relaxed for the rest of the afternoon.

Talked for a while with the fishing neighbours, who had done a lot of travel and fossicking. They recommended some caravan parks for when we head south again: Cape Palmerston, Woodgate and Kinka Beach.

A light tea was in order. Coleslaw, pineapple salad, followed by strawberries and yoghurt.

I texted daughter asking her to send our mail tomorrow. Once we left here, I didn’t know where we would be, or for how long……yet to be decided.

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2009 Travels July 1


In the morning, John got involved in trying to use his Access program to make bowls records.

I wrote up the diary, read, sewed, walked around the caravan park – that did not take long. Disappointingly, from this park, the only walking options seem to involve walking around the streets of the settlement – and not on footpaths either, just on the road edge or on nature strips.

Had an early lunch and then set off for some serious tourist adventures – hopefully.

As we got to Halifax, John decided we must stop at a fishing tackle shop he saw, so he could have a browse in same. I waited in Truck. He came back with a prawn peeling device that looked like it might just work.

Just out of Halifax, saw a cane train pulling “different” carriages, like small vats, instead of the usual wire sided containers of cane. Realized they were carrying processed sugar from a mill to the bulk ship-loading facility at Lucinda. We could see raw sugar around the top opening on some of the vats, where it had spilt over in loading.

The front of the sugar train……

We got ahead of the train at one point, so I got the chance to get out of Truck to take some photos. The driver waved and hooted at me – I guess it was some variety in his slow, tootly journey. 

….and the rear

It had already become evident to us, firstly, that there were heaps of cane railway crossings on these district roads, and secondly, that often these did not have a great line of sight. Cane trains travelled fairly slowly, but I wondered how many crossing collisions with cars there were, in an average cane season?

From Halifax, took the Lucinda road, and as we came into that village, turned left to go out to Dungeness to have a look. Here, on a tidal  inlet connected to the Herbert River, there was a large resort-type development, a small number of houses, and a boat launch ramp.

The channel and boat mooring at Dungeness

The channel between Dungeness and Hinchinbrook Island was fairly narrow and the island loomed large across it.

With some cloud down over the mountainous top of Hinchinbrook Island, it looked brooding and mysterious.

Hinchinbrook Island, from Dungeness

Dungeness was an attractive spot – pity it had no caravan or camping facilities.

We walked around the boat ramp area and took photos and just generally admired the place.

Then drove the few kms back to Lucinda. The good-sized caravan park there looked totally full. Lots of boats there too, but the internal roads were a lot wider than at Taylors Beach, so it was not so much of an obstacle course. It was, clearly, also a winter destination for lots of “fishy” people. The blurb in my tourist brochure described it as an oceanfront caravan park, but this ignored the existence of a large park between it and the sea!

Any views of Hinchinbrook Island from Lucinda – which would have been spectacular – were obscured by the 5.6km long sugar loading conveyor pier and the associated train unloading and sugar storage facilities. It was all quite industrial.

Lucinda sugar storage and shipping facility, from fishing jetty

There was no public access along the jetty structure that carried the sugar way out to where the ocean was deep enough for ships to dock. The structure was so long we couldn’t see its end.

The 5.6km long bulk sugar loading jetty

There was a staircase and walkway across the sugar terminal installations, that gave foot access to a landing and fishing jetty beyond. It might have been the village’s main jetty before the sugar facility was built but there was no vehicle access to it now. We did the trek across to the jetty. There were great views from that, of the Island and the opening of the Hinchinbrook Channel.

Opening to the Hinchinbrook Channel

The afternoon light on the water made it very photogenic.

Swimming enclosure, sugar jetty with fishing jetty behind that

There was also a walking path along the Lucinda foreshore, but we didn’t do that.

The Lucinda area and sugar jetty (Google )

Had to drive back to Ingham. I needed to shop for some of the ingredients needed for the pineapple  salad that John fancied for tea – chillies, cashews, fish sauce  and coriander. He also bought a couple of casks of wine.

Decided to go for a walk at the Tyto Wetlands. It was almost 5pm by then, though, so too late to do the full circuit and dawdle to spot birds. We walked to the first viewing point, past some indigenous boys – about 10-12 years old – who were swimming in one of the ponds. They were also using stakes – that had been nearby young tree supports – to dig up mussels and try to “spear” some little wallabies grazing nearby. I could not imagine that the wetlands staff were happy about such activities, but maybe they could not do anything to prevent same.

John was not walking well. Maybe another day we would be able to do more, here.

Refuelled Truck and went back to camp.

It took me until almost 7pm to get the salads made for tea – pineapple and potato ones. Late meal for us. There was a definite smell of cooking fish around the caravan park!

After tea, John spent time on the computer, I read.