Sadly our time in Cairns came to an end on Saturday and it was time to travel to Townsville. We had a quick stop in Cardwell for lunch and the girls were disappointed they couldn’t swim because of crocodiles, with Eliana asking “what is the point of the beach, if we can’t swim?”
Our first stop in Townsville was at Rowes Bay Holiday Park which is right on the waterfront and a short and historic walk to The Strand. On our first night we enjoyed Happy Hour in the park, where we talked to many of the guests that told us they return every year and stay for weeks! Cindy and Dwayne were lovely hosts and put on a great spread.
The next day we strolled along The Strand, with stops at the Rockpool, gelato shop, Surf Club for the adults and a play in the park for the kids with the final stop at the water park. The girls had a great time and amused themselves with all the art work and exercise equipment along the way.
We had another stop in Townsville, so we packed up the van on Monday morning and checked into Bush Oasis Caravan Park.
After we settled into our site for the night, we walked next door to the Billabong Sanctuary to get up close and personal with some of Australia’s native wildlife. It was quite a warm day and the girls complained about the heat thinking it was summer, we had to remind them several times that it is still winter as we lathered them in sunscreen.
The highlight of the day was getting up close with Wanda the Wombat, but we also enjoyed meeting her boyfriend Reuben, patting Banjo the koala and watching Snappy Tom, Billabong Belle and Jupiter (the crocodiles) get fed.
Another Happy Hour was hosted by Fiona and Martin at Bush Oasis Caravan Park, which included live music entertainment and fish and chips for dinner. The girls enjoyed listening to the music and the acts that the residents joined in on.
That brings us pretty much up to today when we headed to Charters Towers. Along the way we stopped at the Macrossan Bridge marker at the mighty Burdekin River. This big pole shows the heights of the floods as early as 1870, with the highest recorded water level being 21.79 metres in 1946. We parked the Winnebago (which is 3.5 metres tall) beside the pole and it reached the equivalent height of the 1997 flood which was 18.01 metres. It was daunting to think of how much higher the water has risen and the chaos this would have caused the residents, wildlife and stock of the region.
We arrived at our destination at the Charters Towers Tourist Park. This is a great park with great shady trees, clean and tidy facilities, a pizza oven in the camp kitchen and awesome hosts Raylean and Brad. Happy hour was a great success and we had an opportunity to talk to many people who had travelled the route we were about to embark upon. Kylie met a lady that worked at the primary school she attended in Strathpine, talk about 6 degrees of separation. Raylean and Brad even arranged for a guest speaker from the local Information Centre to provide a talk on what there is to see and do around Charters Towers! The kids had a ball playing “tag” in and amongst the trees until it was time for dinner and bed.
Tomorrow we will explore Charters Towers and move onto our next stay. It has been a challenging first week for our family, adjusting to life on the road, but every second has been worthwhile, with so much seen already and so much yet to come. Stayed tuned for more of our excellent adventure, following the sun.
Until then, there’s no place we’d rather be…
-Tina, Kylie, Elliotte, Nevaeh, Kiahna and Eliana
August 12, 2018