The beauty of a trip north for us is that we can visit lots of family and friends. We are fortunate in that we both have family up that way and coincidentally that is where we have some good friends. All in all a good excuse to go for a drive.
We had the choice of a few roads to travel south and we selected the main coastal highway to start with. The landscape is so different to what we had been through on the way up. There were a couple of spots with lots of palms growing wild in the bush.
It wasn't long until we started to see sugar cane.
We turned off the main highway towards our night's destination - Kingaroy. On the way we followed some lovely fertile valleys with lots of food production. There were several mango orchards.
Look at that lovely green grass. There were lots of cattle. Most were Brahmans, but this herd were Droughtmasters.
As we neared Kingaroy, our destination for the night, the soil turned red and we started to see the crop they are famous for - peanuts.
Any time we pass through Kingaroy we have to call in to the Peanut Van. Apparently they have been trading from this site since 1969. We have a few different flavours of nuts to test out.
Our reason to visit Kingaroy was to catch up with some more long term friends. Mick met Tony and Noreen in the mid 80s when Mick and Tony worked together in a mine in Western Australia, so they have known Mick longer than I have. It is always lovely to get to see them.
The next day we continued on south, having morning tea at Crows Nest. We've stopped here on several previous occasions, but had not noticed this memorial in the park before. Obviously, we hadn't parked on that street before.
The plaque tells the interesting story to the origin of the town's name.
We had lunch with my aunt, uncle and cousin, who live just north of Toowoomba, which was really lovely. My aunt and uncle live in the retirement village where Kris from Tagalong Teddies works at her grown up job.
It was a very social day, as we had dinner that night with Kris and her beloved Geek Boy, Fiona from BubzRugz and her Dave and Chookyblue's Fairy Girl, who we broke out of school for the evening. It was nice to finally meet Fiona face to face. I had met Kris on a previous visit. Such a pity the evening went so quickly, as there wasn't nearly enough time for chatting.
We were back on the road the next day, heading down the Toowoomba hill back to the coastal areas.
Our destination this time was Kingscliff, on the New South Wales far north coast, where we had dinner with Mick's aunt and uncle. We were lucky enough to also catch up with one of his cousins and his wife, who we haven't seen for nearly twenty years.
The weather was much more beach like here than it had been further north.
We went for a walk and noticed a fenced off area with this sign.
I was able to zoom in and get a photo of the hen and chicks. They are bush-stone curlews, which are an endangered species, presumably as they nest on the ground. It was fun to see them doing fine in the middle of town.
And that was the end of all the socialising. It really was lovely to see everyone, but it means that our holiday wasn't just chill out time. That will come another time. I must say, we did eat VERY well.
Next it was just two more days drive to get back home. More soon.