Since our last blog update on the 1 July, the weather has done a complete 360 degrees and it has been brilliantly fine and very warm. The shorts, T shirts and jandals came out of the wardrobe and one could be fooled into thinking it was mid summer.
We are starting to appreciate the sheer size of Australia and what we hope to ‘get in’ in the two years we are here. We have given up travelling in weeks or months and are now planning our travel in seasons whether that be in the North, South, East or West of Australia. Every ‘traveller’ we have meet has advice or suggestions on where we should go and when. We are listening to all local advice but will have to make our own minds up at the end of the day.
We made our visit to the Australian Zoo on Tuesday and were totally impressed. If Steve Irwin was still with us, we are sure he would be very happy with what has been achieved in his name. The Zoo has been made as natural as possible but still giving visitors a ‘close up’ interaction with Australia’s ‘most dangerous’. We would highly recommend a visit to the Zoo should you visit here. Please find a few photographs of our visit HERE .
On our way back to Maroochydore we called in to the Ettamogah Pub and had a couple. We did not realize until we read the Pub’s history that this was not the original Ettamorgah Pub. The first one, based on the cartoon “Ned and his Neddy” written by Ken Maynard, was opened in Albury, New South Wales in 1987. The Queensland version did not open until November 1989. Oh well – another visit on another day.
One of the most noticeable things about the Sunshine Coast at the moment is the impact that weather and sea conditions have had on the coastline. In some places there is no beach – just a solid rock base. Work has recently commenced to pump sand through a pipeline from a barge in the Maroochy River to the Maroochydore and Alexandra Headland beaches. It is estimated that approximately 175,000 cubic metres of sand will be pumped over the next two months at a cost of $2.4M.
It’s all about tourism and jobs here. In Australia both local Councils and Government have recognised the spending power of the national and international baby boomer community and are encouraging them to be part of Australia’s growth. The ‘grey nomad’ movement is particularly strong in Australia – at a guess, 85% of the motorhomers and caravaners we have met are in that category. Caravan and Motorhome parks abound with more opportunities opening all the time. In New Zealand the Auckland ‘Super City Council’ for whatever reason has recently made a decision to close the very popular Takapuna Beach Motorcamp. Go figure!!! Travel where you are made to feel welcome we reckon.
We had a lovely visit today from our good friends Graham and Karen Anderson from Howick in Auckland. Graham and Karen are taking a three month break on the Gold Coast to escape the New Zealand winter. Graham and Rod’s friendship goes back some 30 years when they were on the same Ten Pin Bowling team at West Auckland. A pleasant dinner at a local Maroochydore Thai restaurant ended our day.
We have a ‘lay’ day tomorrow (Friday) then on Saturday taking the jeep and heading north to the Eumundi Markets and Noosa for a bit of a poke around. We have both been there in the distant past so decided just to do a day visit
Will update the blog again on the weekend.