Surrounded by Bananas and Sugar Cane - nearly ready for harvesting!
15.5.15 - 28.5.15 25 °C
What a lovely time we had in Noosa. The usual stand up paddling for Joe, walking the beaches, streets and woods, watching faces of tourists visiting for the first time and loving the perfect weather. The only hitch we had was when there was a huge downpour of rain, and again our van roof leaked - another fight with Crusader, but Ben from Giant RV came to our rescue, sealing all the hatches and windows as they should have been sealed when the van was built. Crusader have really let us down with this van, we have had numerous warranty claims and are very disappointed. We just wonder what will go wrong next.
We were lucky to have Chris join us for a day in Noosa, when he drove up from Brisbane and had lunch and a paddle. We had a hilarious few days when Lou and Scotty and Katie Jo and Webby escaped from their busy lives in Tassie and joined us. They hadn't been to Noosa before so we tried to show them the highlights, and sampled the best restaurants. We were all exhausted when they left, but so happy. I think we've spoilt them now for Noosa - they're all booking to come back.
Time to leave, and we're heading north towards Ellis Beach. We've got a couple of weeks to get there so no rush - we've found some beautiful freedom camps along the way and met some great people. One of the best spots was Flaggy Rock, green and grassy, huge spaces for the vans, great caretakers, John and Christine and lots of fun campers to join for happy hour. All for just $7 a night. We had to set the satellite dish up to watch Hawthorn play Sydney - so we put the TV outside and all the campers brought their chairs and drinks, someone bought party pies and little savs, and we watched Hawks get beaten by 4 points. Bugger! But we had a fun night.
So now we're at Tully Heads, parked on a block belonging to Glenda and Peter, a couple of friends of Joe's family from Ceduna. We're lucky enough to be plugged into water and Ernie next door has connected us to his power. Unfortunately it's been so windy we haven't had much beach time, but we've had a good look around the area, the coast and the hinterland. We haven't spotted a cassowary yet, in spite of the numerous signs stating that there has been a recent sighting. There are also signs everywhere warning of crocodile presence, and stinger nets are out. The ocean is warm, and these nasties love the warm water.
Tully's a small town in Queensland, between Cairns and Townsville, in the Cassowary Coast region. The sugar cane grown at the many farms in the area is processed locally at the Tully Sugar Mill to give raw sugar which is shipped elsewhere for refinement. In March this year a banana farm at Tully tested positive for Panama Disease - luckily harvesting has been able to continue with strict protocols in place and the farm has been able to continue operating. Everywhere we see huge bunches of bananas on the trees. There is a transient population in the town, many backpackers and lots of Koreans come to the area to pick bananas and work the sugar cane harvest.
Tully is reported to be the wettest town in Australia, and in 2011 Tully and surrounding areas were badly damaged by Cyclone Yasi, becoming a scene of mass devastation. Many homes were completely destroyed as 300 kmh winds battered the area. Somehow the town has been rebuilt and is an interesting and likeable town. It has the BEST kitchen shop in the main street, Kitchen Essentials - I could spend a whole day in there, but there's only so much I can fit in my caravan kitchen! Cyclone damage is still evident in surrounding areas with some buildings not having been repaired, roofs still off and palm trees blown up on the verandahs.
On Sunday we're going to Paronella Park at Mena Creek. It's a castle, built in the 1930's by José Paronella, with tennis courts and a cinema, to provide entertainment for the public. In recent years it has been badly damaged by fire, cyclone and floods but has been rebuilt. It has a caravan park so we'll go and have a look. Then to Ellis Beach to find some friends we met a couple of years ago. We're loving the climate, and every day we look at Tassie's winter temperatures, and realise we don't want any more winters.