Category: Bailey friends

Yeppoon QLD

About Yeppoon

Yeppoon is part of the commuter belt around Rockhampton. It is also a popular holiday destination which is surrounded by attractive beaches where, for most of the year, the swimming is good and the opportunities for fishing, walking along the coast, cruising around the Great Barrier Reef, exploring the rugged headlands and relaxing are inviting. The town itself is a modern service centre for the surrounding district (sourced from the Aussie Towns website – click for more).

Yeppoon Caravan Park

We tried real hard to get into the Yeppoon Beachside CP, right on the beach in Yeppoon, but it was totally booked out so we settled for the NRMA Capricorn Yeppoon Holiday Park which is about 13 kms out of town, in the town of Mulambin, but it was a good 2nd choice (maplink).

Took a stroll out to the beach (which has massive tidal drop) and caught site of some “Blokarts” (AKA Sand Yachts) flying down the beach at about 50km/hr – wow what a site! Came back to see our travelling buddies washing car and van.

Big tides!

The tidal changes in these parts are massive and it’s best shown in these photos. Check out the local creek (Ross Creek) which has a drop of about 4.6 metres.

The Wreck Lookout

The Wreck Lookout has great views over Yeppoon’s Cooee Bay. The lookout depicts a ship’s deck, in memory of the wreck of the 62-tonne trading schooner, Selina, which drifted crewless for 2600 nautical miles and was washed up on Wreck Point in October 1848, after disappearing in 1847 with a load of cedar logs, bound for Sydney. The headland was subsequently named Wreck Point.

Summing up…

  • AccommodationNRMA Capricorn Yeppoon Holiday Park is a very nice park with great sites
    • Cost per night – $31.25 (@ 2-Aug-2020)
    • Facilities – Great facilities, very clean &modern
    • CP Location – 11kms out of Yeppoon (maplink)
    • Our rating/score 8/10
  • Was it a nice town to visit? Yeppoon itself was just another town; nothing special
    • Activities & places of interest – Sand yachts on the beach was great
    • Tourist info centre?Scenic Hwy, Yeppoon (website)
    • Would we return? – Maybe, but we’d try to get into the beach CP in town next time
    • Overall Score – 7/10
  • Summary – Not a bad stay. Would recommend for a first time visit

Bargara QLD

About Bargara

Bargara is a seaside holiday resort town with a road which runs along the coast – The Esplanade, Miller Street and Woongarra Scenic Drive – and a long strip of holiday homes, flats, apartments and motels all built between the beach and the hinterland. As recently as the 1980s Bargara (pronounced b’gara) was a sleepy coastal village full of interesting historic artifacts. There was a swimming pool which had been built out of the local volcanic rocks by the Kanakas – the slave labour brought from the South Pacific – and equally the kanakas had built impressive stone walls. Today the gods of development have taken over. The main street is full of chic cafes, a huge modern pub and lots of gift shoppes. The sea front – which in the 1980s was just a collection of fibro holiday homes – is now a solid row of five storey apartment blocks with land for development selling, in 2017, for $3.5 million and apartments trading for upwards of $700,000 (sourced from the Aussie Towns website – click for more).

Bargara Caravan Park

Checked into Bargara Beach Caravan Park for 4 nights, on the coast 15km east of Bundaberg (maplink).

After our set-up I headed over to check out the beach (right next to CP) and had a swim – the water was freezing! I’d already had daily swims as far south as Burleigh Heads, Byron Bay and Woolgoolga (730km away) and the water was FAR colder here; I just could not believe it. It was a “tight fit” in the caravan but we still enjoyed our stay. We did a great walk into town and had our lunch in the park over looking the beach. Noice!

Using Bargara as a base we ventured around the area, taking in some of the attractions on offer. Went into Bundaberg for a bit of an explore but, thanks to Covid19, the famous Bundaberg Distillery was closed to the public.

Elliot Heads

We discovered Elliot Heads which was a lovely little town to the south of Bargara. We took our lunch and had it in the park right on the beach and then took a stroll out to Dr Mays Island bird sanctuary. Elliot Heads is a beautiful spot to visit and there is a really great looking caravan park there which we’ll look at staying next time.

Tinaberries Strawberry Farm

Another outing took us to Tinaberries Strawberry Farm where we tried their super delicious ice-cream and naturally purchased a couple of punnets of there wonderful strawberries. On the way back we checked out The Hummock Lookout which has superb views over Bundaberg and the coast.

Our last little trip took us north to Burnett Heads for a look around. It was nothing notable except when I walked over to check out the (all rock) beach I discovered an Osprey in a tree attempting to eat a fish. There was no way he was going to loose that fish as he was buffeted around by very strong winds.

Summing up…

  • AccommodationBargara Beach Caravan Park is not a bad park. Heaps of sites but we were pretty “packed” in with not much room
    • Cost per night$42.00 (@ 28-Jul-2020)
    • FacilitiesPretty good, neat and clean but a bit dated
    • CP Locationtop location right on the beach and a 10 minute walk into town (maplink)
    • Our rating/score7/10
  • Was it a nice town to visit?yes
    • Activities & places of interest we had a good look around the nearby towns and took a day trip into Bundaberg but attractions were closed due to Covid regulations
    • Tourist info centre?none in town (website)
    • Would we return?probably/maybe
    • Overall Score8/10
  • Summarywould probably return but will look for another location nearby (e.g. Elliot Heads or Hervey Bay), just to be different

Byron Bay NSW

About Byron Bay

Byron Bay is an intensely beautiful town which, because it has become a popular watering hole for backpackers and holidaymakers on the way up the New South Wales coast, has become deeply divided. Historically “Byron”, as it is often called, became associated with the alternative lifestyle movement of the 1970s and slowly evolved into a rather upmarket hippie retreat in northern New South Wales (sourced from the Aussie Towns website – click for more).

Byron Bay Caravan Park

Byron Bay is a “must stop” location on any trip up the east coast of Australia. Despite the Covid19 pandemic the place was absolutely buzzing and not very much in the way of social distancing; except for restaurants, cafes and shops how were really strict on numbers entering their premises.

We stayed in Glenvilla Resort which is a nice park (maplink) with plenty of room around your caravan sites; unlike the other parks where everyone is cramped on top of each other.

Cape Byron Lighthouse

You just cannot come to the lovely Byron without taking a trip to the Cape Byron Lighthouse (maplink).

Built at the turn of the 19th century to protect ships passing along the coast, Cape Byron Lighthouse stands resolute on the most easterly point of the Australian mainland. Operated by resident keepers until 1989, its now an automated light is clearly visible from Byron Bay township.

Migrating whales could be seen from the viewing platform plus a pod of dolphins were swimming right below us as we checked out the views.

After leaving the lighthouse we ventured along the coast checking out some of the beaches, ending at Belongil Beach. Along the way we encountered the Byron Solar Train (the 1st of it’s kind in the world) as it crossed our path. Merrisa took a very funny video (see below) where she lets out a tiny scream as the train toots us.

We are staying at the Glen Villa Resort, right up the back with lots of bushland and critters, including some cute and really cheeky kookaburras.

 

Minyon Falls

A day trip into the mountains with friends Tim & Anne saw our first stop at Minyon Falls. Weather was a bit bleak and the hills were very misty but we headed out to take in the views of the water falls.

A decision to take a track to gain a better view ended up with us all getting drowned by a sudden downpour, but the views were worth it.

After drying off we headed to Mullumbimby to have lunch at the Lu Lu’s Café. Great food and totally recommend a visit if you’re in town.

Laird visits

Our great mate, Laird, rode his Harley down from Main Beach for the weekend to spend some time with us. We shared a beautiful dinner at The Cyprus Tree Greek restaurant. What a great feed and very friendly staff who welcomed us. We highly recommend this restaurant if you’re in Byron.

Summing up…

  • AccommodationGlenvilla Resort is a bit out of town but we enjoyed the stay
    • Cost per night – $42.71 (@6-Jul-2020)
    • Facilities – pretty old and not the best, but at least they were clean
    • CP Location – a 10 minute walk to town or a 15 minute walk to the beach (maplink)
    • Our rating/score 7/10
  • Was it a nice town to visit? very trending and VERY crowded considering the Corona Virus was supposed to limit peoples movements
    • Activities & places of interest –plenty to do here. We loved our early morning walks on the beach and my daily swim was great
    • Tourist info centre?80 Jonson St, Byron Bay (website)
    • Would we return? – probably not – been there & done that (too busy and crowded)
    • Overall Score – 7/10
  • Summary – at first we thought it was a crappy park but soon changed our minds after settling in and seeing how cramped other caravan parks were.

South West Rocks NSW

About South West Rocks

South West Rocks is a coastal town which attracts both holidaymakers and retirees. Like all the North Coast towns that are not on the Pacific Highway, it is most commonly bypassed by holidaymakers. This has resulted in a town removed from excessive, modern development. It is a haven for people looking for quietness and coastal relaxation. For many years it was a popular hideaway for television personalities eager for a little privacy. Today the township is primarily a tourist destination. It has plenty of accommodation, beautiful foreshores, pleasant beaches, and particularly beautiful stands of Norfolk pines (sourced from the Aussie Towns website – click for more)

South West Rocks Caravan Park

Moving northwards from North Narrabeen we headed 454kms to South West Rocks to catch up with some Bailey caravan friends. We booked into Ingenia Holidays Caravan Park for 7 nights (maplink).

On our 2nd night we got out the fire-pits for happy hour down by the creek. It’s a lovely location and the sunset viewed up the creek was glorious.

Trial Bay Gaol

Today started with a group breakfast at Trial Bay Kiosk then a walk up to the German Cemetery.

Trial Bay Gaol is full of history. The gaol opened in 1886, after 13 years of construction. It must have been a strange feeling building a prison in such a beautiful setting. The prison labourers were there to construct a breakwater to make Trial Bay a safe harbour between Sydney and Brisbane. Unfortunately the scheme failed, however the remains of the breakwater can still be seen from the guard tower lookout.

During World War I the gaol became an internment camp for people of German descent who were feared to be enemy sympathisers. We walked to a cemetery which was built for those who died during the internment.

You can find out more about Trial Bay Gaol and internment camp on Wikipedia.

Smoky Cape Lighthouse

A short drive from South West Rocks to Smoky Cape Lighthouse (this is a great website!) found us in the Hat Head National Park (maplink).

Fantastic views over the coastline and we even got to spot some whales moving north, even though they were a fair way offshore. We also spotted a beautiful diamond python slithering through the scrub right below the viewing platform at the lighthouse.

Accommodation is available at the Smoky Cape Lighthouse, in the old lighthouse keepers quarters, which is pretty cool.

One of our friends, Keri, told us that their uncle, Mr Harry Handicott, retired from active service in 1985 and was the last lighthouse keeper to manage the light. We found a little bit of history about him plus a photo in the museum and the poem below…

The man stood at the pearly gates looking all tired and old.
He meekly asked the man of fate for admission to the fold.
‘What have you done,’ Saint Peter asked, ‘to gain admission here?’ ‘I was in the Lighthouse Service and got leave once a year.’
The gate swung open widely as Saint Peter tolled the bell.
‘Come in,’ he said, ‘and take a harp. You’ve had enough of hell.’

Summing up…

  • Accommodation Ingenia Holidays Caravan Park is well set-out with plenty of room around our site
    • Cost per night $35.43 (@ 28-Jun-2020 – Bailey group booking deal)
    • Facilities a bit dated but very clean – 7/10
    • CP Location walk into town for pubs, restaurants and beach – 8/10 (maplink)
    • Our rating/score7/10
  • Was it a nice town to visit?yes – a small town with lots to offer
    • Activities & places of interest Trial Bay Gaol and Smoky Cape
    • Tourist info centre?#1 Boatmans Cottage, Ocean Dr, South West Rocks (website)
    • Would we return? Definitely
    • Overall Score 8/10
  • Summary We were a bit uncertain about this caravan park but we loved our stay (in the end). Our friends were camped on the “creek frontage sites” and we were 2 rows back. They froze as there was no sun during the daytime which we had (LOL).