Page 3 of SilverLinings Travel Blog Posts

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Gold Coast October 14th 2015

We travelled from Noosa Heads on the far north of the Sunshine Coast to Burleigh Heads on the far south of the Gold Coast. Most of the drive was on freeways and toll roads, including a massive bridge that gave us the biggest hill of the day. It was weird to be struggling to climb over a bridge. Since we did not have a transponder for the toll roads we took a photo of the sign that told us how to pay the toll. Our caravan park in Burleigh Heads was right on the beach and we had to drive through the downtown shopping area to get there. We were surrounded by high-rise apartments and everything was very developed. In spite of the spectacularly developing thunder clouds we took a walk around the area to see ... read more
Greg on the beach
Joan looking just right for the beach
The road was surrounded by thick vegetation.  Not sure it is jungle, but pretty close

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Noosa Heads October 12th 2015

The drive from Bundaberg to Noosa Heads was easy and uneventful, except for a period where we were driving through smoke so thick it was almost like fog. Somewhere there must have been a bush fire but we saw nothing other than smoke. As the area becomes more built up the road regularly has multiple lanes and the amount of traffic has increased. Often we drive through speed limited areas so pulling a caravan is less of an issue. After setting up in the caravan park we went for a grocery shop and then decided to drive out to the actual Noosa Heads. The roads are now tight urban streets with lots of roundabouts. We were glad we had left the caravan behind. The road along a major river was lined with holiday apartments, bars and ... read more
There are also lots of inland waterways attached to the river.
Chocolate and ‘rum and rasin’ icecream. Yum!
Choc honey comb and raspberry is Joans pick.  Yuuum!

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Bundaberg October 11th 2015

The Bruce Highway is the main North/South route in Queensland and once we left Mackay it has been the road we have travelled. As we move further south the density of traffic has increased and the frequency of overtaking lanes has kept pace. Initially the ratio of road trains to cars was very high and the overtaking lanes were few and far between. The truckies are pretty good but they do get a bit frustrated when stuck behind slow vehicles. We saw an instance when two very slow camper vans, doing all of 70 kph, were closely followed by a string of three road trains. We had slowed down in an overtaking lane to let them past – and had told them what we were doing over the radio so they could take advantage. They obviously ... read more
Enjoying that “Bundy” spirit!
A cane train delivers more sugar can to be turned into – rum!
One of the many rivers we crossed.

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Yeppoon October 9th 2015

It was a very windy drive from Balnagowan to Yeppoon, with the wind hitting the front passenger side. This pushed up our fuel consumption and made the van less stable. Still, we managed to pass a number of vehicles; admittedly they were the slow backpacker type vans and a prime mover that had obvious mechanical trouble. Earlier this year Yeppoon was hit by a major cyclone. Some building damage was still being restored and some trees had obviously lost all of their branches. As we approached our caravan park along the foreshore road it suddenly turned into one lane only as the sea had carved the land away right up to the edge of the road. The cliff face on the inland side had also been made unstable. However for the most part there was little ... read more
But this is the one I want!
Passing one of the vans
This prime mover was in big trouble, but was polite enough to move over.

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Mackay October 6th 2015

After sharing a wonderful week with Tristan and Zoe it was time to move on to Balnagowan for 5 nights with our friend Marian, who we met on our 2012 WA caravan trip. An early departure in the hope we would avoid the predicted strong winds meant we arrived earlier than expected. Marian was working until late afternoon so this gave us plenty of time to set up the van in her backyard, Greg to write his weekly Stock Market Technical Analysis and time left to sit on the front patio and enjoy the stunning view over the Pioneer valley. The day had moved us from the dry Central Highlands where cattle stations and coal mining predominated, over the Eton Range to the Pioneer Valley, inland of Mackay, with its lush sugar cane fields and tropical ... read more
The dry season has brought wild camels in closer to Dysart than usual
The view from Marian’s patio over the Pioneer Valley cane fields
Greg finds yet another friend

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Moranbah October 1st 2015

Arriving on a Saturday we had a day and a half to spend with Tristan before he returned to work. During the week we see little of Tristan as he starts work at 6am. Since his mine is 60km away and they car-pool, Tristan gets up at 4:30am and is out the door by 5:20am. A 10 hour standard day and the return drive results in Tristan getting home by 5:30pm. Such a long day means getting to bed early is essential. We find this highly amusing as when he was at Uni Tristan would often only get to bed at 4:30am! How things change. Each morning Tristan leaves in a clean high-vis uniform and each evening he returns blackened from coal dust. Dirty clothes are shed on the back deck on the way to a ... read more
Signs like this let you know that you are in a mining area
We found this sleepy Koala in a local park
Board games are a popular pastime

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Moranbah September 26th 2015

Leaving Rolleston we initially travelled through grass covered plains, but then finally in the distance we began to see the first hints of the Central Highlands. Before too long we were surrounded by rocky hills and steep gullies. Our fuel stop in Springsure was overshadowed by high escarpments, very impressive. The Carnarvon Gorge sounded like a place that would be well worth visiting on another trip when we have allowed more time in this area. Just outside of Emerald we were puzzled by fields of bright green, surely that is not what it looks like. Yes it is grape vines! Here in the Queensland Central Highlands this is not what we expected to see. Considering that the best new wines seem to be coming from cool areas like Tasmania this does not seem like an ideal ... read more
Escarpments tower over Springsure.
Is that really grapevines, here in Emerald?
Look out! There are cattle all over the road.

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Emerald September 25th 2015

After many days of relatively flat driving we now drove through undulating hills that eventually became significant ranges; we had entered the Central Highlands. Much of this drive was through native pine forest (the biggest native pines we have ever seen) or through wooded cattle country. Rugged escarpments towered in the distance and the Dawson river cut deep gorges below the bridges we crossed. We must have crossed the Dawson river on at least three occasions. Despite some steep climbs and descents our fuel consumption was very good. At this stage Greg has worked out how to drive economically, with one eye on the instantaneous consumption readout. Cruise control works OK only on the flat. On undulating terrain a steady throttle that allows the speed to alter gives much better results. We pulled into the modest ... read more
Joan relaxes while waiting for lunch in the Rolleston pub
There were some spectacular escarpments as we entered the Central Highlands
Where’s Friday lunch?  In the Rolleston pub.

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Roma September 24th 2015

It was a short drive from our free camp to Hebel where we needed to refuel. While filling the 4WD we could hear loud Mooing sounds and crashing noises. Looking over we saw a cattle truck road train with very excited cattle, mooing and kicking at the sides of the truck. Initially we were puzzled but then we came to the conclusion they had only recently been loaded and had not yet settled down. Joan was also puzzled as to why the ladies toilets were locked but not the mens. Leaving the town we saw a popular area to free camp next to the local river. That needs to get added to “Camps Australia Wide”, so we made our own addition for any future trip to this area. This morning we saw a variety of wildlife. ... read more
Emu crossing, please give way. This was NOT the racing emu incident – that came later.
Wild flowers graced our free camp.
Yes it is a tight squeeze but well worth getting to the free camp spot

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Lightning Ridge September 23rd 2015

So you thought you knew where we were going today, but you would be wrong. The day started innocently enough and soon we were packed up and ready to roll. Just as we were about to move Joan remembered Greg had not emptied the toilet cassette as agreed. No big deal, off Greg went and the task was soon completed. But little did we know – the pattern had been set. Greg entered our destination for two days time into the GPS and selected the route. We began to move off. Is that a strange squeaking sound we hear? Not sure what it is, so ignore it. Just onto the highway we decided perhaps we should investigate, so pull over and put on the handbrake, but wait it is already on! Opps. That explained the sluggish ... read more
There are lots of flies, but nothing like Lucky Bay in WA.
Greg is off for an early morning start in Bourke
Now that is the perfect way to reverse the tow ball under the caravan.

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