South of Mackay is an overnight stop at Waverley Rest Area. Beside a river it is a popular stop for those doing a long haul up to Cairns or beyond. Waverley broke the journey on my way to Yeppoon.
Yeppoon is a gorgeous and popular area with some outstanding beaches. Some great lookouts over a number of the beaches and I especially liked Emu Park, some 20km south of Yeppoon. It has one of the best situated Anzac Memorials I have ever seen and I managed to take in a magnificent sunrise here. On the headland is the Singing Ship with a boardwalk that wraps around the cliff face to the war memorial. Along the way are reminders of each of the different campaigns that Australia were involved in in WW1. There are also fitting tributes to local hero’s who served.
The Singing Ship is a majestic monument that commemorates the area’s legacy of the historical explorations of Captain James Cook, who discovered this bay in May 1770. The unique feature represents the billowing sail, mast and rigging of his ship Endeavour. Concealed organ pipes use the sea breeze to create musical sounds. Great Keppel Island gives a stunning backdrop to complete the picture.
On my near 10 months of travel there are a handful of places that I thought, “I could possibly live here”. Emu Park is one such place. Beautiful beaches, a village atmosphere and friendly locals.
The Yeppoon Sailing Club is well worth a visit also. Situated on the cliff top overlooking the ocean it is a view worth taking in whilst enjoying a meal or just a cold drink. This is an area I will definitely come back to.
About 45km inland from Yeppoon is the City of Rockhampton. This city didn’t really grab me like some large cities in Queensland have but nonetheless I did enjoy a few days here. I took a drive up Mount Archer which has a stunning view across the area. It is an extremely steep climb, unrelenting and in fact I didn’t drive all the way to the top as I was worried that Rhonda would overheat. I did walk the last 500 metres though and it was so worth it. I also visited the Rockhampton Botanical Gardens and Zoo. I am not into gardens as such but I do find that visiting Botanical Gardens is an enjoyable experience and usually a cooling and calming effect can be had. The Rockhampton Museum was also an interesting place to visit.
Next was a trip back out to the coast a bit further south to the twin towns of 1770 and Agnes Water (see Bucket List #20). This was paradise where I spent a week. After leaving Agnes Water I detoured to the locality of Damascus (See Bucket List #21)and then though Gin Gin to Bundaberg.
When I was at Daly River in the Northern Territory I met a lovely couple and they had invited me to stay with them when I reached Bundaberg. I spent several days with them at their property at Innes Park which is near the coast from Bundaberg. The coastline here is very pretty with walkways and parks all along the coast. One can’t go to Bundaberg and not visit the Bundaberg Rum Distillery. I am not a rum drinker but did find the tour very interesting and well worth the $30 entry fee for the hour long tour and a look through their museum. The entry fee also include a couple of samples of their whares. Some of their liquors you can only buy at the distillery and I was very tempted to get a bottle but in the end passed on the opportunity. I also had a wonder around the CBD area which is very neat and tidy and had a lot more foot traffic than most of the cities further up the coast. I also visited the Botanical Gardens here and the Historical Museum. The Museum was not the best I have seen but certainly worth a visit.