Our Journey North Continues

It was an uneventful 190km drive from St Lawrence to Mackay on Thursday.  We had one small stop on the way to grab a coffee and to stretch our legs. It was a lot of road and not too much really to see. We could have dived on down a side road to the coast but the wind had been blowing about 40kts so a coastal ‘stroll around’ was not too pleasant.


A frequent visitor into the van

We spent a bit of time on Thursday having a look around Mackay and the general area. Towards the end of the day we ended up on the Mackay wharf at the local fish market and managed to get a ‘fresh fish’ dinner. We still haven’t found a fish that measures up to our own snapper. The birds (feathered variety) at our Mackay stop were super friendly. Within an hour or so of our arrival, they sensed a pair of softies and were coming into the van for something to eat. Even the magpies were sitting on the inside steps.

We continued north again on Friday as we could only get one nights’ park over in Mackay and could not find any freedom camping areas close by. The public camps are being booked by ‘grey nomads’ travelling north as we are.  The difference appears to be that we are not bothering to book ahead as we are never quite sure where we want to end up at the end of each day. It’s all part of our ‘fredum’ to do what we want.


Rock Wallaby with Joey by the Motorhome door

On Friday we continued north and managed to luck in at an ‘almost’ free camping site called Camp Kanga. Camp Kanga is about 24km west of Proserpine and 200km north of Mackay.  It is well away from any town and as it turned out, it was a beautiful place with plenty of wild life.  There were about ten other travellers at the site. At sunset the rock wallaby came out of the bush and gathered around our camp. Even tho’ they are wild, they were still coming within a couple of metres of our motorhome door.  We are loving the freedom camping life – there is so much to see and do.

On Saturday we took a boat cruise to the Whitsunday Islands. We booked ourselves on the Whitehaven Express from Arlie Beach and sailed around Hayman Island, Hook Island, Whitsunday Island, Hamilton Island, Long Island and South Molle Island. We snorkelled on a coral reef at Mantaray Bay on Hook Island and were provided with a BBQ lunch at Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island.  It was a stunning day even tho’ the sea was a bit choppy. Click HERE for more photos of our day.


Our Whitsunday Tour Boat – The Whitehaven Express

We departed Camp Kanga this morning at about 10am and made our way north. We could have made Townsville but we have stopped at the little place called Home Hill about 110km south of Townsville. It is a free camping spot in the middle of the town and directly beside the railway line. There are about twenty other vans or caravans here as well. With it being Sunday we are all hoping there will not be too many trains tonight.

Tomorrow we will really get to Townsville as we have booked into a low cost country park about 26km north of Townsville that is set on 55 acres of bushland. It has all the amenities we require, is close to the beaches and fishing spots, lots of wildlife in their natural environment plus they have a formal “5 o’clockers”.  Can’t be too bad.

We will spend the next few days exploring the area.

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4 thoughts on “Our Journey North Continues

  1. leigh staples

    You are cranking up the miles team and a bit of ‘seat time’ too we see. All looking pretty relaxing and good fun. Hope you are still having Captains Rounds and a kit muster or two thrown in. Jude and I had a weekend in Whanga and all good down tehre, there was a big high over the coromandel so some very summe like weather. The Whanga Club had a good crowd Saturday night to watch the Chiefs beat the Crusaders and standy bye for the Chiefs Vs Brumbies this Saturday in the final. Whanga hopefuly you can both find a stop over there to enjoy the game.

    Yours aye

    Stapes and Jude

    • Gidday Stapes and Jude

      Many thanks for the Whanga update. While we are having a great time we still think of ‘home’ quite often. Missed the rugby – it’s all league and AFL over here. All going well here Stapes. Keep well mate. Rod

      • Leigh.Staples

        Howdy Rod and Dearne

        It’s great reading about your trip, the pictures too on the website, just like being there too. Don’t forget Whanga mate, it’s your home town base camp. BLACKIES Cafe had a garage sale on Saturday, the guy who owns that had the Estaray Dairy and also has the LINCOLN Resturant now. He wanted 180.000 to 200.00 for BLACKIES, I had a good chat with him, it’s just a 90 day business and weekends, long weekends and beach hop and other big events but he profits 70 to 80 K a year with paid staff. He leased out all those other food sites in the park area too and took 10 percent of their takings…..there is quiet a good size shed been built at the back of the surf club now, looking at the beach from BLACKIES it’s on the left hand end so blocks some of the view having a coffee that end. They were going to put it in the front but the locals complained about their view being blocked so they changed it to the back of the Surf Club….the never told Blackies, just put it there…..you should buy BLACKIES mate, Jude and I can run it for you while you are away on all your ventures around the world…we could retire a couple of years early then.

        No beach this weekend, Jude has a function at the RNZAF BASE at WHENUAPAI – she had a shock last Monday, all the child care workers arrived at the centre and the AIRFORCE were there with notices for the parents and all that Monday last was the last….last day for everything so 9 staff out of work and 43 kids parents tearing around finding new DCC to put them in. Story is the building needed so much work done on it to bring it up to scratch and more for the license it was easier for them to just close the place….the end of an era.

        So Jude is unemployed, I think hard work getting anything now with 2 years before the Gold Card is due. She wants to go over to AUS and see her sister for a week or two August sometime I think…..without a credit card of course….I hope.

        Don’t worry the Stapes is still running ADHB and keeping the ship running.

        Hopefully you can catch the SUPER 15 FINAL somewhere you two rugby fans.

        Yours aye


  2. Penny Anderson

    Still enjoying reading your day to day news guys. Such is life! No responsibility or commitment. Way to go!

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