A Travellerspoint blog

One of our favourite spots - Ellis Beach

The mountains to the west, the ocean to the east

sunny 28 °C

Wow! This place is exactly as we remember - going to sleep and waking up to the sound of the waves crashing on the beach is just perfect. Someone put a comment on Wiki Camps, complaining that he couldn't sleep at Ellis Beach for the noise of the waves - we think he needs to move on, perhaps park on the side of the highway. The only thing that wakes us in the night is the cry of the Curlew Birds.....they sound as if they are being murdered, calling to each other across the park. We wake in the morning to the beautiful sunrise across the water.

We are on the second row this year, not the front row as we were last year......seems there's a bit of competition for the front row, in fact they call it "death row" - if someone's budgie dies at home and they have to cancel, there's a chance we might get in! Next year we will be up there in Front Row.

Palm Cove is just a 5 minute drive down the coast - we popped across on Friday for a walk along the Esplanade and had a scrummy lunch in a beachfront cafe. It's a charming place, everyone relaxed and happy, holidaying! It's a unique, quiet and relaxing village by the sea where centuries old “paperbark” Melaleuca trees line the esplanade - it's a tropical paradise with an atmosphere of relaxed sophistication.

Fathers' Day.....so even though Joe's not my father (!!!) I took him to the Port Douglas market where we whiled away a couple of hours. Fathers' Day lunch was a kilo of prawns fresh from the trawler, eaten out of the plastic bag, and washed down with a bottle of sauv blanc under a big tree in the park. With calls from all Joe's girls, we had a beautiful day, a beer at the pub, a walk along MacCrossan St, a look at the shops......then back along the beautiful coast to our camp for roast lamb dinner at our place!

We've just been for a walk on the beach.....it's a huge full moon tonight, and the tide is very high. Sometimes it might be a good thing not to be on the front row! We've bowed 7 times to the moon, and made a wish - something Joe's Mum always did, and Marion reminds us to do it each time there's a full moon.

We've broken the hydraulic struts on our bed .....no, not what you're thinking. Joe was searching high and low for the Hawthorn Flag, and thinking he might have hidden it under the bed, he lifted it too high and too fast, breaking both struts. Anyway, didn't matter, Hawks won and now we have to get 2 new struts.

Planning the next sector of our trip is something we need to do - thinking we will probably head south to Townsville, then west a wee bit, to Charters Towers, Winton, Longreach and Barcaldine. Places we haven't been, and are keen to see at least once. It will be hard to leave this beautiful coast, but we will enjoy the contrast. And we have another 3 glorious weeks here at Ellis Beach before we head to the outback.

Posted by Crazy Poupes 8.9.14 02:38 Archived in Australia Comments (2)

Up the Beautiful Coast to Ellis Beach

Tour of Duty Over, Holiday Resumed!

sunny 26 °C

After what seemed like a couple of days, but was almost 2 weeks, we found ourselves at Launceston airport heading back to the warm climate to resume where we left off. We found our car and van in good condition, apart from a few bird droppings - we left it at Sunshine Coast Caravan Storage at Didillibah, about 20 minutes from the Sunshine Coast Airport. Brett, the caretaker, offered to collect us from the airport, so we thought that would be easier than trying to explain to a cabbie where to go. It was good to know that our precious home had been behind locked gates while we were away.

We did have lots of fun in Tassie, looking after the kids - and them looking after us! It's the best way to get to know our grandchildren, spending a couple of weeks with the parents absent. It was fun catching up with friends and family, and we found it easier for them to come to us, rather than packing the twins into the car. We got ourselves into a routine in the mornings, making sure we were ready for the school run and the twins weren't late for school.

We were lucky to see all the family, except Ella who was busy graduating with a Degree in Paramedics. The little ones are all growing like mushrooms, the girls all becoming young ladies - scary really! The weather was superb - snow on the mountains, frosty mornings and beautiful sunny days. Joe kept the fire stoked up and the house was toasty warm. We spent our time between the car, the supermarket, the kitchen and the laundry, looking after the needs of 4 hungry kids. We all survived, and Lou and Scotty came back refreshed and looking great.

Joe and I both had hairdo's at the salon, and caught up with the staff.....they have suggested that they should all come up this way next year, which would be fantastic. Let's see what we can organise!

So after one night back at Rocky Creek, where we were greeted with a HUGE bowl of fresh strawberries, it was time to hit the road again towards our next destination, Ellis Beach. After a night spent around the campfire with our friends, sharing tales of the past couple of weeks, we dragged ourselves away and yelled the customary "yeeha!!" as we pulled out onto the road.

We headed straight to Childers, to spend a night with Graham and Jan, parking the van on the road outside their place. Graham, once again, produced a delicious meal with what appears to be little effort. There was a moment of angst, when we heard a crash from the kitchen, followed by a "what the f*&k", to realise he had the oven too hot and the baking dish had smashed into a hundred pieces in the oven. Very funny (at the time), but all was well with the delicious roast lamb and veg. So good to see these two and know that everything is OK with them.

Realising that our friends, Robyn and Geoff Pask from Launceston, were still at Bargara Beach, we joined them for 2 boozy nights at a lovely caravan park just over the road from the beach. Nice town, just 1km walk to shops and restaurants, big grassy sites and friendly folk. We'll go back there sometime and stay longer.

So to find some free camps on the 1660 km up the coast to Cairns, Wiki Camps helps us choose the best spots. Calliope for 2 nights, with about 100 other vans around us, but lots of grassy space. Then to St Lawrence, where there were also about 100 vans - dry and dusty, but lots of room, free toilets and water, and hot showers for $1. Onwards towards Bushy Parker Park at Rollingstone, where our dear friends, Penny and Reece were waiting for us. So 3 more days and evenings of fun and laughs, hearing each others stories. And then time to head for Ellis, where we have a spot in the second row.....the front row, where we were last year, is absolute beachfront.....however you almost need to wait for someone to die before you get a spot there. We can hear the waves, we have glimpses of the water, and we are sussing out which palm trees would be best to hang the hammock between.

We've cleaned the van inside and out until it sparkles, washing's all done, Joe's worked his magic on the black car and we will relax and enjoy this gorgeous place. We've had to set up the satellite dish so we can watch Hawthorn and Geelong fight it out tomorrow night.....the bloke in the van next door is also a Hawks supporter, so we may put the TV outside for the match.

We have received news from my cousin, Alastair, in England that his father Robert, my Dad's brother and my Uncle, died on 30th August. Robert was the last of that generation of 5 Fraser boys - the end of an era. He had been unwell with declining health for quite some time, so is now resting peacefully. We are constantly thinking of our family in England at this time.

Posted by Crazy Poupes 3.9.14 18:18 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Back on the coast, and heading for Tas

Bracing ourselves for the cold!

sunny 24 °C

In preparation for our trip to Tassie we are at Mooloolaba.....dropped the van and car off at a nice secure storage place at Didillibah , just 20 minutes by taxi from here. So tomorrow we bus to Brisbane, and have a direct flight to Launceston. Arriving late afternoon, so we can get our instructions from Lou on how to care for 11 year old Hannah and Will, 19 year old Millsie, 17 year old Angus, half a dozen chooks and Charlie and Willy, the dogs.
Looking forward to all this, but I have to say we are dreading the cold......it's 24° here today so it will be a shock. However, it will be fantastic to see the family, share some time with friends, daughters and grandchildren and rug up by the fire. Our first night will be with dear Ros and Paul.....always so much to catch up on there over a glass of red or two!

Yesterday we popped in to the Mooloolaba Surf Club, as we do, for a beer. I recognised the couple at the next table......Tony and Kathryn, a lovely couple we met and had a fun evening with at Barkly Homestead, 2000 km away, just over a year ago. So here we all are in Mooloolaba where they live. We're just about to pop down to their dental practice for their lunch break to catch up again. So good to hear their news, we seem to have lots in common and lots to talk about. They sure live in a beautiful place. Small world, eh!

It was sad leaving Rocky Creek, Margaret and John, Elle and Paul, Lorraine and Noel.......we made some great friends there, and had fun around the campfire each night. We've promised to return for a night when we get back from Tas., hoping the strawberries are still plentiful by then.

Posted by Crazy Poupes 6.8.14 19:35 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

A new twist on Nomadic Life - babysitting in Sydney!

What every grand parent should do to keep them young!

sunny 24 °C

It is such a long time since I have blogged, I am finding it difficult to remember where we've been and what we've done. We had a fabulous time back in Noosa with Steve and Wendy, lots of laughs of course, and they have promised to come and see us next year in Noosa. Their accommodation was just around the corner from us, and Joe passed their balcony each morning on his board. Sad to see them go home.

We caught up again with our French friends, Anabel and Ben and they shared a meal with us at the van. Ben made the most delicious crepes for dessert, and has promised me the recipe.....just hope he writes it in English. I did enjoy practising a bit of French with them, but of course haven't done it since. We may see them somewhere again in their travels.

Ben and Anabelle

Ben and Anabelle

Such a social time we had in Noosa, with Chris and Paul coming from Kawana Waters for breakfast one Sunday.....loads more laughs and stories shared. They were keen to see the van, with a view to perhaps buying a motorhome one day.

From Noosa we headed to Cooloola Cove, to camp on Irene's block, where we were welcomed by Gordon and Bev next door.....once again Gordon plugged us into his power and water, and he had even mowed the grass for our van to sit on! We had happy hour every night with them, sitting on their verandah, and caught up on the news from the past 12 months.

Rainbow Beach

Rainbow Beach

Just a short drive to Childers for lunch with our dear friends, Jan and Graham, who are living in a gorgeous unit overlooking lush sugar cane and fields of vegetables. Such a change from their Kedron and Cruiser, but it was good to see them both happy and looking so well.

So we need to go to Hervey Bay to catch our flight to Sydney......I think we chose the worst caravan park in Hervey Bay, Absolute Beachfront, but we were alongside the busy road, jammed in between other vans with not enough room to put our awning out, and the car parked almost on the step of the van!! Not to be recommended, and we weren't all that impressed with Hervey Bay. The bay is lovely, but that's about all.

We found the caravan storage place, just a 30 minute drive away, and were pleased to find an undercover spot for the van. Just $80 for the 2 weeks isn't bad, and it was nice and safe. So off to the airport and boarded our flight to Sydney. Ollie picked us up,with a very excited Will and Ruby, who, along with their little sister, Poppy, were to be left in our charge for the next 2 weeks while Ollie and Amelia went to a wedding in Sweden and then to swan around in the South of France. What a privilege to be asked to look after them, to be in charge of them for 2 whole weeks. They gave us masses of laughs, 14 sleepless nights, plenty of gooey sticky fingers, instructions on how to do everything, practice at Lego building, and perpetually aching backs.....we left after 2 weeks exhausted, but knowing those little mites so well, and satisfied that we could still do it! To our delight, Paul and Ros came and helped us for the first few days.....I tell you, it is a 4 person job......they had us all running in circles. We have more respect than ever for busy mums and dads, it really is a huge job. The 4 of us would wait for the children to go to bed, and by 8.30pm we were all snoring our heads of!! Once again, a great time with the Hogans, and we can't thank them enough. And, most importantly, Ollie and Meals had a wonderful holiday, and came home rested and more in love than ever xx

Back to Hervey Bay to collect our car and van......all safe, just in need of a bit of a wash. Joe and I were both coughing, sneezing and sniffing, so we opted for a small village on the ocean called Poona. There is a caravan park and not much else.....but it was just what we wanted to recover from our sniffles. Most travellers are there crabbing and fishing, but we just sat and rested. Rocket and Ally put on a show every night, playing and singing (!!!) and entertaining the tenants - they've been doing the same thing for 12 weeks a year for the last 12 years! Telling the same jokes, crooning the same old songs!! There was bad internet access at Poona, so it was hard to play words, email and google......I felt as though my best friend had gone

We're now back at Rocky Creek Scout Camp, near Landsborough. As luck would have it some of our Tasmanian friends, Dee and Barry and Ron and Shaz are housesitting very close by.....so we all had lunch yesterday, right here at our camp, on the lawn under the paper bark trees. So lucky to be here and to have friends to join us - we had a ball! Sue and Stew came and spent a night at the camp on the way home from their travels up north......we shared stories, had camp oven dinner, washed it down with a couple of reds, and sat out under the awning while it poured with rain and watched The Hawks beat Sydney. Too soon they had to head off to Brisbane to see more friends.

This will be our home for the next couple of weeks.....until we fly to Launceston to look after Will and Hannah for a couple of weeks while Lou and Scotty take a much needed, hard earned rest. NO we are not taking bookings for babysitting. we'll need to get some winter woolies from somewhere - we said we wouldn't have any more winters! We're looking forward to seeing family and friends while we are home, and of course to taking care of Will and Hannah, although I think they're probably big enough to take care of us!!

We are nicely set up here, our neighbours are strawberry picking, and Joe's going to find out if he can get a job for a few days......maybe they don't want short term pickers, but worth a try. And we'll have more chance to check out this stunning part of Queensland.

Hope everyones well and happy, and we'll see you all soon

Posted by Crazy Poupes 27.7.14 22:39 Archived in Australia Comments (3)

Rocky Creek Scout Camp

Taking me back to my Girl Guide days!

sunny 21 °C

This has to be one of our shortest trips ever..... just 17 minutes after hitching up we landed in this heavenly camp in the Beerwah forest. We are so happy we could stay here for another week, another month, or even longer. This pocket of paradise, just a little way from Maleny, is shared by nomads, backpackers, families, kangaroos, possums, scouts and guides. Apparently there are koalas, but we haven't spotted one yet.

We've had a camp fire every night, Joe has cut sticks and logs with his little Husky chainsaw from the many fallen trees around here. This often brings neighbours around when they see a fire going.

Getting the Camp Fire Ready for the Chilly Night

Getting the Camp Fire Ready for the Chilly Night

This Big Boy Hopped Right Up to Our Van

This Big Boy Hopped Right Up to Our Van

It's been quite chilly at night again with skies full of stars, but the days have been just gorgeous,; sunny and still. Not a breath of wind. There was just a short interlude of disturbance, when about 30 little boys arrived on Friday night for their weekend Joey camp......no way they were going to appreciate the serenity and solitude, they just wanted to play, eat and have fun. And we had loads of fun watching them, and watching the leaders attempts at discipline.

Beautiful Forest Camp

Beautiful Forest Camp

We've been parked close by Margaret and John from WA.....they too are loving their travels, and are working just 10 minutes away at the strawberry farm....Monday to Friday they leave at 6.30 am, when it's still cold and very damp, and they work 8 hours travelling up and down the rows of strawberries in self propelled carts picking the biggest strawberries I have ever seen. They did bring us a few the other day, and they were warm and sweet and scrumptious! We've seen a few come and go in the 8 days we've been here. Joe's done quite a few hair cuts.....lots of much needed old fellas, and a couple of young backpackers

Much Needed Trim

Much Needed Trim

Today I took off to Maroochydore to the Sunshine Plaza for a bit of retail therapy........Joe stayed at the camp and watched a couple of episodes of Game of Thrones which he is loving. I took my time in the Myer sale, and ventured into a few of the other lovely shops at the Plaza. Looking forward to getting in to bed tonight - on our delicious new mattress topper.

So tomorrow we head back to Noosa River Caravan Park, to have a couple of little warranty jobs done on the van, and then to catch up with Steve and Wendy.....it will be so good to see them, and to show them some of our favourite spots.

Posted by Crazy Poupes 22.6.14 03:27 Archived in Australia Comments (2)

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