QLD 2023, 13-18 May: Forrest Beach/Etty Bay

Saturday morning we pack up a pretty soaked awning, mat, privacy screen, and what we’re wearing, ie our rain jackets… We leave Paronella Park and set off back down the coast a little, on our way to visit a very old friend.  We stop at Cardwell again, this time for a last coffee with Deb & Phil. We enjoy a little wander around the shops, and then say goodbye.  We head south to Ingham.  We pop into the Mitre 10 in Ingham and get some good information about how to get a piece of custom-made melamine next door at the Kitchen builders on Monday when they’re open for trading.  Jen has decided that despite having a larger kitchen, the bench space is not very generous when the cooktop is open and wants what her previous caravan had: an extension piece that can be folded down/up as needed. Ingham is a nice little town, and we get information from the tourist information, and then head to the Italian deli for a platter to take along to our next destination: Forrest Beach. Here we meet the brother of a very old friend from Jen’s Singapore time in the 70s, Johnny, and his lovely wife Carol.  The last time Jen saw Johnny was at his sister’s wedding in 1980 in Texas, so we have long catch ups, where Arno and Carol, and Johnny and I share our lives’ stories.

Our van gets parked on the verge in front of their home; they live almost at the end of dead-end street that ends at the beach.  We don’t seem to be in anyone’s way, and it’s nice having our own home, but still enjoying the company, not to mention their beautiful home, adorable doggie Floyd and pool and garden.

Sunday we go for a walk along the beach and John and Carol show us the local towns and beaches in this sugarcane/crocodile country. We visit Lucinda, with its 5.8km long jetty carrying an enclosed conveyor belt used to deposit raw (milled) sugar into barges from the storage shed that the little, (but VERY long) trains bring from the local mills. We have since learned a lot about Australia’s sugarcane industry, and the process from cane to table (or Arno’s coffee)… 😉we do eventually learn about that later.

Lucinda is a lovely popular little beach town (populations around 400 (last census 2016), where fishing is a big pastime (despite the CROCODILES), and is the gateway to close by Palm Island Group (consisting of 16 islands), as well as Hinchinbrook Island (we saw the North-end when we stopped at Cardwell).  The latter is very popular for hikers who want to just spend 3 or so days exploring.  We don’t get blue sky pictures, but the temperature is beautiful.

Monday is a beautiful day, and we head back into Ingham, and order the foldout leaf that will be eventually added to the kitchen bench.  We’ve taken the bikes on the car and after a (reasonably good) coffee we ride around the Tyto Wetlands circuit, a lovely, peaceful area, with reportedly (not by us!) numerous crocs, clearly sleeping somewhere else today.  We are, however, all alone on this 3-4km ride on a wide, well mowed, grassy path among many birds.  Ingham is a nice sprawled out town that has separated their shopping areas into 2, about 1.5km apart along the main road.  The Pub with no beer is famous, but we don’t know what for, and we take a picture of the horseman on top.

We then decide to do the one-hour inland drive to Wallaman Falls, which are 268m high, and seem to be the longest, single, continuous running falls in Australia.  They are around 350m above sea level.  Impressive falls, and a lovely ride out there, especially without the van!, it’s a narrow road, but windy and green. On the way back, we collect our kitchen plank, shop for a bell for Jen’s bike, as it has gone missing, vibrating itself loose while travelling on the caravan’s A-frame, and we pick up some more shopping. There is a large sugar mill between Ingham and Forrest Beach called Victoria Mills that we’d love to see the workings of, but it doesn’t seem to have any information for visitors (unlike the Bundaberg Rum Distiller’s tours!!), but Arno takes a few pictures.

Wallaman falls 268m high

We do a few repairs while at Johnny and Carol’s, (bike brake-cable, diesel heater, which we really don’t need here etc).  Jen makes plenty of use of Carol and Johnny’s beautiful deep swimming pool that they deem too cold!

Tuesday Arno has a round of golf in Ingham, Jen washes the bedding, has another swim, and works out the next stretch of travel. Carol is at work, Johnny is also busy, and we meet up around 4pm and spend the last evening of our time together.  Tomorrow we are heading north again.

Wednesday we say goodbye to our new friends, and after one more quick shopping stop in Ingham (and also one at a caravan repair shop along the way to buy a new water pressure reducer), we head north to arrive at a small caravan park in a National Park (one way in and out) on a beautiful little bay, called Etty Bay, where we’ve booked 2 nights. The sun is out, and while sitting under the awning, listening to a podcast, a huge bird passes behind Jen, the resident Cassowary.  An enormous, endangered bird, twice as heavy as the emu, but around the same size, with unbelievably big claws.   Arno replaces the pressure reducer on the van, and all works again; we hope for a bit longer than the last one did.  It rains the rest of the day, but then: beautiful the next, and we spend it on the beach, just relaxing, watching some parachute jumpers land on the beach. The mosquitos and midges (very mean sandflies) are out in droves so we don’t really sit outside after 4pm.  There is no phone or 3/4G reception, and only very little, very patchy Wi-Fi from the caravan park, but such a pretty place to chill!

This post’s trip: https://goo.gl/maps/uP6HGKpSsfWeujN29

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6 thoughts on “QLD 2023, 13-18 May: Forrest Beach/Etty Bay

  1. Mooi verslag.en fraai met foto’s geïllustreerd. Ik wist niet dat ee in Australië ook van die gemene zandvliegjes waren die zo gemeen betern op het zuidereiland van Nieuw Zeeland
    Kijk uit naar het vervolg. Goede reis verder
    Groetjes Ton

  2. Hoi Jennifer en Arno.
    Wat een leuk verslag. Gebruiken jullie wel eens polar steps. We kunnen er geen idee van krijgen in welk gedeelte van Australie jullie zich bevinden. Ik vond vooral de foto van de waterval impressive. Nu we weer thuis zijn en jullie verslag op de computer kunnen lezen is er ook geen enkel probleem met jullie een berichtje te sturen. Kijken weer uit naar het volgende verslag. Fijn dat jullie nieuwe caravan goed bevalt.

    Knuffel Ellen en Henk

    1. Hoi H&E, onder aan het verslag staat een link met de route die we hebben afgelegd. We zitten nu in de buurt van Atherton zo’n 2500 km van huis.

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