Rockhampton was as far north as we travelled. However, our timing wasn’t great, as the area had been battered by Cyclone Marcia only a month earlier. Our friends live inland from Rocky but still felt the full force. Their house was unaffected , as it is relatively new and built to cyclone ratings, but a 40 foot container in their paddock was blown over. Now that is some wind.
We spent Thursday playing the tourist with our own personal guide. Having someone with you that knows the area makes such a difference. Rather than just driving around and thinking “That’s nice” you actually get the story behind places and start to understand the area a bit.
We started out with coffee, as you do, in the old Post Office building. Are you starting to see a trend here?
Rockhampton is one of those towns we have visited previously, but just as a quick stopover on our way somewhere else. We have never looked around at all. This time we travelled out to the coast. We thought it was just one road out to Yeppoon and back, but there are a few little towns on the coast. It was still rather scenic despite the recent cyclone.
I was initially wary of going out to Yeppoon as we didn’t want to be seen as rubber neckers. However, it was a month since the cyclone, so much of the cleanup had taken place and the locals wanted people to visit and support their businesses. Very similar to the Blue Mountains after a bushfire.
First stop was at Emu Park. The poor palm trees looked a little sad.
Next we stopped at Kinka Beach.
We started to see cyclone damage.
Rosslyn Bay was rather pretty.
While in Yeppoon we got chatting to the owners of two rather tasty bikes. As we talked we realised we had previously met – at the Classic Races at Phillip Island at the beginning of last year. What a small world.
As we drove around we saw more of the damage caused by the cyclone. Some houses were very badly affected, while others remained untouched. We were unable to travel along some roads as they were closed due to land slips. There were a few business that remained closed, mainly on the beach front, but the majority were back and open for business.
Once back in Rocky we visited Quay Street, beside the Fitzroy River. This is in the oldest part of town and housed some rather grand buildings from years gone by.
The Fitzroy river looked rather peaceful in the evening light. Hard to believe that it can flood such a large area of town, but it has a catchment larger than Tasmania, so can be quite a force.
We really enjoyed having a better look around this part of the world as it is not an area we get to very often.
After we said our goodbyes it was time to turn around and head back south. Friday was our longest drive, travelling over 700kms. We headed inland towards Mount Morgan. We marvelled at how lush the grass was everywhere, considering it had been really dry not all that long ago.
Mind you that lush grass came at a price. There was lots of flood damage at each river. Quite a lot of water had been around. Here’s hoping it sets them up for a good season for a change.
As we had so far to travel, Friday was not a day to stop and sight see. It was to look out the car window and soak up the scenery as we went along.
You imagine this part of the world being flat grassland, but quite a bit was heavily timbered.
We had lunch in Mundubbera, a town I spent quite a few school holidays in. I forgot to take any photos. I was too busy reminiscing and noticing the changes over the last 35 years or so.
I always love trying to spot bottle trees in this part of the world. We saw a few and loved this little roadside park in the middle of nowhere planted entirely with bottle trees.
Such lovely big wide skies.
There always has to be a photo of a windmill.
The landscape changed again as we reached the Darling Downs near Dalby.
A milo crop (I think).
Cotton, looking like it is about ready to harvest.
Coal trains are rather common in Queensland these days.
As are large trucks. Mind you, we saw very few road trains on this trip, mainly B-doubles.
And then we reached our destination for the day, Toowoomba, where we were able to have a brief visit with some of my family, which was thoroughly enjoyable.
More to follow.