Still chasing the sun

We’ve just spent three nights at another private campsite on a Billabong, Lakeview, near Beachmere. Not quite as nice as Corindi Park, but still a welcome oasis to break up the minefield of caravan parks. Corindi park is free of domestic pets so wildlife abounds, where as Lakeview allows domestic pets. Perfect for dog and cat owners, and if we were travelling with a pet it would be perfect for a lengthy stay. The only drawback is birds and Roos aren’t so prevalent with dogs and cats around. Whilst definitely second best to Corindi Park for people travelling without a pet, still wonderful. We so much appreciate these lovely people opening their private properties to us.

Camped at another Billabong.

Camped at another Billabong.

View from bedroom window.

View from bedroom window.

Lakeview is about mid way between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast, so we used the opportunity for day visits to both. Sunday we took a day trip into Brisbane, our first to this capital city. Such a family friendly city. We did a circuit starting at the City Botanical Gardens, then over a bridge to the impressive tourist and family friendly Southbank. Hope the myriad of photos will do it justice.

1 km long bougainvillia covered walk winding through Brisbane's south bank.

1 km long bougainvillia covered walk winding through Brisbane’s south bank.

And all along the walk opens to all manner of free entertainments for children and adults alike.  Firstly, several pools of varying depths.

One of many free pools lining the Brisbane River on the Southbank.

One of many free pools lining the Brisbane River on the Southbank.

A deeper clear blue pool.

A deeper clear blue pool.

Even sandy shores for the littlies to build their sandcastles.

Even sandy shores for the littlies to build their sandcastles.

There were the usual buskers – this one entertained us for the better part of half an hour. Unlike many, who these days are asking for donations of up around the $20 when passing around their hat, this one quoted the price of both a small beer and a large beer, and suggested we consider his show worth the price of a beer and donate accordingly. We willingly dropped enough in his hat to buy him a large one. But he clearly indicated he would be happy with the lesser amount if that was all one could afford. Refreshing! Of course payment isn’t obligatory, so for many they get to enjoy a quality performance absolutely free.

Busker riding 9ft unicycle. He also juggled 5 flaming torches.

Busker riding 9ft unicycle. He also juggled 5 flaming torches.

Adults weren’t forgotten, further along the walkway there was a small peaceful rainforest for a little breath of nature, and a Napalese peace temple for quiet reflection (photo didn’t do that justice, so not included). There were family priced take away food outlets in abundance, but tucked away to the rear, a refreshing change for the parents who take the time to pack their own quality picnics or barbecue for their families. The takeaway places weren’t  in your face, screaming out – ‘buy me, buy me’. You actually had to look for them. There were heaps of clean picnic tables, and heaps of free barbecues for cooking on. Yes, with place like these I would love to have my time over with Kelvin and Alice and taken them there when they were of an age to appreciate it all.

Small rainforest for quiet contemplation.

Small rainforest for quiet contemplation.

With Brisbane being so tourist and family friendly, and with the Sunshine Coast one side and the Gold Coast the other, and with all the theme parks close by, it really is a Mecca for tourists. I’m sure if I were a visitor to Australia, of all the cities that I could visit, I think Brisbane with its multitude of attractions and almost perfect climate  beats all the other cities and states by an Australian country mile. And for families – wow!!! A real treat.

Free bikes for getting around the city.

Free bikes for getting around the city.

We didn’t take advantage of one of the free bikes to get ourselves around, preferring to do our city site seeing on Shanks Pony. After the Southbank we crossed another bridge bringing us back into the city centre. In the middle of the main mall there’s an area that looks to be set up for free concerts. We arrived only for the closing 15 minutes or so of Brisbane’s Wind and Brass Orchestra’s free two hour concert. The tunes we did get to enjoy  were, the theme song fromThe Sound of Music, plus Doh a Deer, My Favourite Things, and I think there was one other as well from that musical before they finished with a rousing rendition of 76 Trombones. They were pretty damned good, and I was sorry to have missed the earlier part of their performance.

Orchestra playing in city centre.

Orchestra playing in city centre.

Now I’m going to contradict myself – the climate although warmer than most other capital cities isn’t warm enough for us. We had some unseasonably warm weather while on the Gold Coast with peak daytime temperatures of around 27°. But as I said, that was unseasonal. It’s now back down to the low 20s, with very cool nights. We’ve had our diesel heater running all night several times, which isn’t in our plan.

We’re now in Hervey Bay for a quick three day look. Most likely after that we’ll head north quickly, up to Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays.

We’ve wanted to see Hervey Bay for ages now. So far, it’s been a little disappointing, but we haven’t seen the main part yet. Guess we’d better leave any final judgements out until we’ve had a good look. We had two caravan parks in mind near by before our arrival. We had a look at both, gave them a wide berth, and have opted for a Big 4 at Point Vernon. Reading reviews on Wiki, it appears theft is prevalent in the van parks at night, but we think this one looks less open to unwelcome visitors looking around for things to help themselves to. We’ve also been reading some generalised area views, and although this is an area were a lot of people retire to, it’s also apparently an area that is home to a few to many undesirables, bogans, to use the Australian term. Hence our three day stay rather than our originally planned week long stay. Perhaps I’ve jumped the gun though with my judgement. Watch this space…..

2 thoughts on “Still chasing the sun

  1. We’re in roadside camp on the way to Airlie Beach. It’s just stopped raining here but further south they’re getting deluged. We left at the right time. It’s not cold though. We’ll spend couple of nights in roadsides, then by Monday the rain should be over. No point in spending money on park fees just to be inside sheltering from the rain.

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  2. Lovely photos Chris. We had a frost this morning & the air temp when I got up was minus 2. Beat that. The high for today is expected to be 14 & the sun is out so that is always good. xx

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