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Published: July 13th 2011
Eungella by day
Friday last week I ventured from Yeppoon to Mackay to visit some friends from Adelaide. The long drive, which took 7hours in total including a stop along the Bruce Highway for lunch and a arvo nap in the back of Iris, was quite pleasant and scenic. The central coast of Queensland has quite an earthy appearance to it, with a real outback feel at times, ever reminded though that the coast in not far away if need be. Along the way I also had to give Iris a bit of once over as her oil light flashed at me, reminding me that I have not been attending to her as regularly as I should have of on this already 6000km trip of mine.
Arriving in Mackay, I went straight to my friends Karen and Michaels place for a night of catching up. It's been nearly 3 years since I have seen Karen and the kids Chelsea (5yrs) and Ethan (3yrs). While neither of the kids remebered who I was, I was welcomed by them enthusiastically as my body was at times used playfully like a piece of playground equipment. It was a lovely evening and I slept peacfully ready for my
next adventure. I was thinking I would go to Cape Hillsborough a national park on the coast north of Mackay, but thankfully Karen suggested I come to Eungella in the hinterlands, 85km west instead. Wisely I took her advice and landed in what could easily be my favourite place so far to date. This place is stunning with scenery so perfect I thought I had landed in Heaven. Iris is parked about 5 meters from the edge of the cliff, 2500ft above sea level, overlooking the valley housing the township of Finch Hatton. This is the exact place you visit if you're needing respite and peace, which of course on a 3month solo adventure where I work minimal hours a day, if at all, it has been remarked "what the hell do you need respite from"? Great question, but when life is this good sometimes it's just so nice to slow it down that bit further. Surrounding the caravan park are rainforest walks and creeks. Sam and Damien, the caravan park owners who have been lovely and treated me like a welcomed friend, took me four-wheel driving on Diggings track which was once a prime gold mining spot (obviously not
in recent times). They also took me to Broken River where I did a couple of hikes on two different days, finishing each of them at the river where Platypus are aplenty. This spellbinding place has me ever aware that I am in the realms of Tropical North Queensland with warm sunny days and rainforests in one direction, while showcasing a country side fit for all its dairy farmers in another direction, and then the rustic earthiness of the mountain-side sports its masculinity where miners and their families reside, making it feel like a scene from "Grizzly Adams."
Tonight my last night, I'm bunkered down in the warmth of Iris, although the mountain air is so fresh that I keep the windows open to feel it's coolness and every so often delight in the smell of the open fires that are lit by other travellers in this intimate little caravan park. Joining me in the bus is Anya, a lovely German traveller, who is clicking away on her keyboard doing her travel blog and who has been a fun interlude from all the solo travelling for me.
I can't express enough the beauty of this place and unfortunately my photos
the rainforest walk around the river
don't even begin to do it justice. I really do recommend this place, small and quaint as it is, with only a tiny general store and a pub somewhere nearby I am told, I find myself enamoured with all it has to offer, again reminding you that it is the perfect place for peace and inspiration if you are looking for alittle of that too.
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