We had one more night before being due at Nic and Mick’s where we will be on house/horse/dog/cat/cattle-sitting duties until it is time to fly home two weeks later.
Leaving Tin Can Bay we drove through more hectares of pine forest ….
…. until finally we reached Gympie where we stopped for lunch and Dave explored the Gympie Gold Mining and Historical Museum. I decided some sudoku was more attractive. No photos from Dave – he had the wrong lens on his camera. No photos of the town either, I was too busy trying to navigate up and down the steep streets especially when we strayed off the highway.
Our last night we spent in a remote bush camp somewhere on the road between Gympie and Nanango, in the South Burnett region of Queensland. Rather optimistically called Broadwater, there is a narrow creek beside which we camped and enjoyed a reasonable but not remarkable sunset, surrounded by bush noises and with only one other known camper well out of sight on the other side of the reserve.
Dave went bird hunting ….
On the way to our final destination we stopped at Murgon and visited the Information Centre just in case there was something interesting in the vicinity. It was there I spotted this sign about Duboisia (the native Australian corkwood tree) with its useful medicinal properties.
The first commercial crop of about 5 acres was grown in the area in the 1940s. There are now approximately 1000 acres sown. The plant is propagated by cuttings grown in pots in a hothouse. It has a high water requirement. Up to two crops can be harvested per year.
Duboisia grown in the South Burnett region of Australia has a particularly high concentration of the tropane alkaloids scopolamine and hyoscyamine. The plant’s properties were known to the early aboriginals.
I think this is a Duboisia plantation, spotted a few days later.
Also these are examples of Bunya nuts which I haven’t seen elsewhere. Dave charmed the information ladies with his Kiwi accent!
Next morning, we reached Nanango in good time for morning tea with Elaine and Frank, then on to Toogoolawah in light rain. Finally our destination came into sight:
We are now camped in the same position as four months ago. We have done 19,650 km, seen many beautiful sights and had some wonderful adventures.
This was supposed to be the last blog for a while but seeing we are here for 2 weeks before flying home we do expect to see/do a few more things. As for example driving all the way back to Gomeri three days after passing through that small country town, to watch Nic and Mick doing some ‘cutting’ with their quarterhorses (we actually got there too late to see them). It was a huge weekend event with people – and horses – coming from near and very far judging by the size of some of the motorhome-horse floats.
Very loose reins, hold the pommel, guide with spurred heels … The horses were amazing, wheeling, backing, feinting …ears pricked, coats gleaming….
It was a fine day but very windy, therefore rather cool, and after some hours sitting in a grandstand watching the cutting it started to pall and the thought of some nearby wineries became increasingly attractive. So off we went for lunch at one of the Barambah/Moffatdale wineries, which shall remain nameless. Nothing wrong with it, a reasonable atmosphere, pleasant wines, a small but adequate menu, nice scenery …. but not a patch on NZ wineries in my opinion. Still, we left with one of their champagnes and a Verdelho (the same wine in which my salmon was expertly cooked – but why was it Atlantic salmon and not NZ? Think air miles, global warming, etc etc. I asked the waitress but she had no idea).
We also had a look at the Bjelke-Petersen dam (Lake Barambah). The huge camping site was chockers. People, kids and boats were everywhere. Not our idea of a peaceful camp, but there WAS plenty of water to play on and in.
The water skiers were all just out of sight. Apparently the fishing here is very good.
“What are those people doing in our pool?”
We have over a week left so will probably do some more exploring of the region; plus the caravan and Jeep should both have a service in Toowoomba before they get wrapped up and stored until we return some time next year. So, maybe one more Aussie Blog is to come??